2 Vital Tips to Not Overwhelm Users

You almost never see nutrition information listed in a prominent position on a package, but why? That information might help to inform a customer, but it is more than likely going to overwhelm most uninformed buyers. That amount of detailed information would more than likely drive most people off. When you are looking for a product, you want to see the product, maybe even how the product is used, or some suggestions in how to use it. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a product on your website, simply that you want your site to inform in wide strokes initially.   1. Create a Hierarchy of Information We all know that most viewers only consume about 20 percent … Read More

How to Sell Your Service

Selling a Service

Services are so much more about a relationship than almost anything else. Think about it this way: you can be a real jerk, but sell a great product and as long as people have limited contact with you, you can be a success. However, if you are selling a service – whether that is technical support or drinks in a bar – then your customers and clients are much more interested in your relationship. You cannot be a jerk if you sell services because services necessitate human interaction.   Selling a Service is Selling a Relationship Whether it is landscaping, painting, web development, or bartending, people tend to care more about the relationship than they do about the product. You … Read More

How to Improve Your Contact Points

Improve Your Contact Points

If you want to get better at talking to people, look at how you speak to them currently. Go over your phone calls and your emails and, as best you can, your interactions with people. Become analytical about your interactions if you want to become better at interacting.   Improving Your Contact Points Are your sales struggling, or are you losing customers, or are your customers unhappy, or is everything fine, but you don’t get good feedback from folks? If you are looking to improve any of these areas, then you must get analytic about your contact with other people. This might sound strange, but if you think about it like a head coach analyzing a game, it might make … Read More

The Last Impression

We have all heard about making a lasting first impression, about how much a first impression matters, about the first impression being everything. But is it?   The Last Impression Unless you make a terrible, terrible first impression, you typically have time to recover and make up for something you’ve done or said. Obviously, if this is a meeting with a potential client or job interview, then don’t be late because that is a first impression that tends to linger poorly. You can make a bad first impression and still remain in a conversation that is worthwhile and beneficial. Plenty of times the first impression is really only stuck in your head.   Turns out the last impression can be … Read More

Your Company’s Future: Sales

When you are on your own working on projects and assignments for customers, the ups and downs, feast and famine, and peaks and valleys of when you are busy or not are fairly predictable. It can be relatively easy to withstand a famine when it is just you on your own, but when you have employees who are relying on you to keep steady work for them, it is a whole other ballgame.   Steady Work You may still be in a position to sell for your company either out of necessity or because you like to. Either way, forecasting, resourcing, and knowing when projects begin and end and will help you keep consistent workflow available for your employees. If … Read More

Business Basics: The Business Plan

A business plan is much more than an arduous document you put together if you are looking for investors. It helps set a clear path for you and your company going forward, establishes financial and growth goals, and makes your business strategy transparent. While it might be nice to finish your business plan and put it away for eternity, it is a document that should be updated, edited, and polished as often as you see fit. Goals and plans change, you know!   The Business Plan: Essential Sections While it is a relatively straightforward document with required sections, there is quite a lot to the business plan as a whole. It starts with the executive summary, which is a one … Read More

Business Basics: Business Finances

While some rare people have been able to simple transition from a hobby into a small business and not worry about money or income, most of us start a business to make money. It all seems simple enough: offer a product or a service, get clients, make money, right? To some degree, yes it is that easy, especially when you are your only employee, but when you start adding employees, offering different salaries or hourly pay, renting or leasing an office space, or adding assets to your company things get much more tricky.   Business Finances, a Brief Overview The first step to business finances is to get the help of a CPA or hire an in house financial manager, … Read More

Small Business: The Elevator Pitch

You have more than likely heard that an elevator pitch is essential to forging partnerships and sales. Turns out, it is also really helpful to describe your business to your friends and family. More importantly, an elevator pitch helps you figure out your small business’s positioning and that allows you to market effectively.   The Elevator Pitch and Positioning It can be pretty tough to distill what you do into a 15 second sentence or two, but by figuring out how to talk about your company in such a compact way you can communicate with pretty much anyone. A typical elevator pitch goes like this: “[Your Business] is a [type of company] that helps [type of customers] by [service you … Read More

Networking: Show your Value

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Be good and you will be lonesome.” It is something that a lot of developers and writers know either intrinsically or passively. You can’t spend hours in front of a computer screen, typewriter, word processor, notebook, or even dictating without it being time away from socializing. The problem in the business world is that the common idea is networking is how you achieve success. But is it? This article in the NYT argues that it isn’t, and we tend to agree.   One Cannot Live on Networking Alone About halfway through the article the author, Adam Grant, cites a colleague’s attempt at climbing the corporate ladder via networking alone. Side note: Argentina has a … Read More

B2B: Face-to-Face Meetings

It seems like, no matter how digital or technology focused we get, there are a few things that we simply cannot leave behind.   Face-to-Face Meetings Sure, we have definitely closed sales over the phone, or via email but there is nothing like an in-person meeting. There are lots of quotes regarding knowing something about someone through a handshake, or how important it is to look someone in the eye, or even about going to someone’s home to really meet them. They are all true and despite building websites and spending most of our days in front of computers, we make an effort to meet with clients and potential clients face-to-face. We are interested in meeting this way for several … Read More

B2B User Engagement

Without user engagement, your website might as well be dead in the water. You might as well have a billboard that is hidden behind a bunch of trees on a road where everyone goes too fast. Engagement for a B2B website can come in the form of blogs (like this one!), video, or infographics, but they all share the same purpose: educating leads. As we all know, an educated customer is the best customer, but educating a customer takes a bit of work. It takes solid B2B content and it takes a bit of progression through your B2B sales funnel, and both of those things mean engagement.   B2B User Engagement The goal of your site is to educate users … Read More

B2B Content and the Sales Funnel

Yesterday we talked about how keywords should reflect your site architecture and your site architecture ought to reflect your sales funnel. With B2B websites, you are trying to capture anyone at pretty much every stage of the funnel and your content can be a massive help. Using keywords to help your content and positioning your content appropriately along your site to reflect the sales funnel progression will see your site turn more conversions. B2B content is unique in that it is informative, positions your company as experts, and attempts to move users through the sales funnel without being a full on sales pitch.   B2B Content and the Sales Funnel Like with keywords, moving from general to specific – like … Read More

3 B2B Website Tips for More Viable Leads

Your website is an extension of your small business, which means that it is an essential part of your business. When using your site to generate leads, it is hugely important to figure out your audience and target your site to them. When your customers are other businesses, there are a few ways in which you can craft the content of your website in order to bring in more viable leads.   B2B Website Marketing: An Emotionless Desert Ok, it isn’t quite a desert, but emotions don’t come into play when businesses are making business decisions. So making your value proposition clear is essential. Answering Why your business is a solution for the other businesses right off the bat immediately … Read More

Small Business and Core Customers

SEO, SEM, marketing, Google Analytics, and all of the data that comes along with all of this are really an effort to get to know your customers. Your small business offers a service that certain sections of the population want or need, but identifying those sections is crucial to success. Not every business has a sales person that could sell refrigerators igloo-to-igloo, but not every business needs that. With all of the data that is available at your fingertips simply by having a website, you can start to focus in on your core customers in an effort to serve them better and grow your business.   Core Customers: the Heart and Soul of Small Business In February, Grovemade CEO Ken … Read More

Amazon and Small Business

On June 30th, David Hughes, GRAYBOX’s Director of Strategy, gave a presentation on the “State of eCommerce” about the IRCE conference he recently attended. Although there were some pretty striking stats and pieces of information, one item has been pinging around in my head for the last couple weeks: Amazon sales grew by $25 Billion, while Walmart internet sales were $15 Billion!   Amazon: The eCommerce Frontier for Small Business Amazon started off selling books in 1994. Books! They outlasted about 98% of all of the tech companies that arose in the dot com boom in the late 90s. They have changed the way people shop. Remember when 3 or 4 weeks seemed like a short time to wait when … Read More