Every business has to focus on content marketing--publishing articles, white papers, ebooks, podcasts or webinars--to attract new clients and become the go-to provider in their market. But they have to do it right, warns Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, authors of the new book Content Rules. They need a strategy: plan what to do, share information, solve problems, and be human.

 

Direct download: Content_Marketing_Handley_Chapman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Virtual events, while similar to other online lead generation tactics, differ in one unique way: they allow you to generate and qualify leads early on, speeding up the sales process. Forget about generating a lead and then handing it to sales to qualify, says Dennis Shiao, author of Generate Sales Leads with Virtual Events. People enter your virtual booth, and you interact with them and qualify them on the spot. Listen as Shiao discusses the benefits of virtual events, gives examples of organizations that have succeeded with such events, and explains how to get started using them.

Direct download: Shiao_Virtual_Events.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

We've all heard the rumor: cold calling is dead and doesn't work anymore. Nonsense, says Wendy Weiss, the Queen of Cold Calling. It's actually the perfect tool for today's economy she says. The problem is most people do it really badly. Listen as Weiss explains some of the myths and misperceptions that cause cold calling efforts to fail.

Direct download: Weiss_Cold_Calling_Myths.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

During tough economic times, you may have to take on less-than-ideal clients to keep the lights on and generate the revenue you need. But you must not make that a habit if you want to attract higher-paying ideal clients and grow your business. Listen as Randy Shattuck, President of The Shattuck Group, explains why pursuing ideal clients should be a top priority and how to get those clients.

Direct download: Shattuck_Client_Acquistion_QA.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

We all speak in metaphors: "It's cold as ice," "I don't have the bandwidth to handle that right now," "The room looked like a bomb hit it." It's imperative now that services professionals strategically use them in sales conversations to get prospects to pay attention them. Listen as Anne Miller, author of Make What You Say Pay!, explains how to use metaphors to effectively describe your services, how your services help businesses, how to address client objections, and how to get your foot in the door of a new client.

Direct download: Miller_Metaphors_and_Selling.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Every sales call is met with initial resistance. But by following a few key practices, you can weaken that wall and get prospects interested and willing to meet with you. Listen as Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, explains what you must do within the first few seconds of a sales conversation to get—and hold on to—prospects' attention.


Learn More: Attend Kelley Robertson's webinar, Ditch the Sales Pitch: How to Master Sales Conversations and Win More Deals, on Nov. 4.

Direct download: Robertson_Sales_Conversations.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Want to get buyers to notice your website over your competitors'? Then stop making it look like theirs and stop trying to make it all things for everyone. Follow basic marketing advice and uncover the one thing you do different from everyone else, and use your website to clearly explain that one thing, says Ben Hunt, website consultant and designer and author of Save the Pixel: The Art of Simple Web Design. (RainToday.com listeners can save 30% off the cost of the Save the Pixel.)

Direct download: Hunt_Website_Design.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Chances are 40% of your business is unprofitable, and you aren't even aware of it. Thanks to antiquated accounting systems, this information goes unnoticed. The good news is that it isn't difficult to uncover those trouble areas, and it's easy to solve the problems and significantly increase profitability, says Jonathan Byrnes, author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink.

Direct download: Byrnes_Business_Profitability.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

How many times has a prospect objected to your price? How often have you heard people say it isn't a good time to buy your services? Client objections are a way of life, but they aren't the end of a sales conversation. They are, in fact, a good thing because they show there's an interest. Following the strategies RainToday founder describes in this podcast, you can get past client objections and make the sale.

Direct download: Doerr_Client_Objections_Podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Think your bio isn't important? Think again. It can make the difference between winning clients and watching prospects walk away. With millions of people doing business as independent professionals, you must lead with information that compels people to want to engage. Forget the traditional boilerplat bio. Listen as Nancy Juetten, author of the second edition of Bye-Bye Boring Bio, explains the four essential elements of bios, describes the biggest mistake people make with bios, and gives examples of compelling bios.

Direct download: Juetten_Ditch_Boring_Bio_Get_Clients.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Why do people buy from you and not your competitor? Is it a higher level of service? Is it a diversified level of service? Is it a complex niche that you're in that because of your experience or industry will give you a leg up and help your clients? When you can answer that--explain your value proposition--then you can build out your marketing plan, target your ideal clients, and grow your business, says Mike Schultz, President of the RAIN Group. You won't have to compete against price.

Direct download: Schultz_Value_Proposition.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

As clients and prospects become more difficult to reach, you might be tempted to make your marketing louder. But don't. It will only annoy them, says Adrian Ott, author of the new book, The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy. Instead focus on strategic marketing that fits into the "ebbs and flows" of their time. Listen as Ott outlines how to embed yourself and your services into clients' habits and routines and some of the new rules for marketing services.

Direct download: Ott_New_Marketing_Rules.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

The up and down of the economy has many professional services firms concerned about their business and often taking on any client that comes their way. It is possible to grow your business, however, without having to resort to desperate measures. You start by developing a growth plan that allows you to establish the foundation of a strong company. Listen as marketing strategist Lisa Nirell explains the struggles firms are dealing with and what it takes to get your business to grow and thrive.

Direct download: Nirell_Strong_Wealthy_Company.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

Effective thought leadership—the kind that attracts prospects that eventually become clients—requires a strong platform that your entire company adopts, not "random acts of content," says Craig Badings, author of Brand Stand: Seven Steps to Thought Leadership. Listen as Badings explains how to develop a strong thought leadership platform and the success organizations can see from implementing it.

Direct download: Badings_Thought_Leadership.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Webinars are a great way to build your brand, demonstrate thought leadership, and generate leads. They can also fill the gap when companies are not able to send staff to training. But for them to succeed, whether they're free or paid, you have to have a strategy. Listen as Lee Salz, author of Stop Speaking for Free, explains how to pick a topic that draws viewers, how to create a title that grabs people's attention, and the type of content you must provide if you want people to pay to attend your events.

* Full Disclosure: the link to purchase <i>Stop Selling for Free</i> is an affiliate link. And while the authors offered to pay us a small commission for anyone who purchases the book through us, we wouldn't promote it if we didn't think it was an excellent resource.

Direct download: Webinars_Salz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You know blogging is a powerful way to establish yourself as a trusted expert and grow business. But it can happen only if you manage your blog properly. If you're not seeing the results you hoped for, chances are you've made one of the many mistakes people fall for. Listen as professional blogger Chris Garrett describes the two biggest mistakes bloggers make, the worst thing you could do with your blog, and how to get people to notice and comment on your blog.

 

Direct download: Garrett_Power_of_Blogs_for_Business.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00am EST

You know body language can affect personal relationships, but have you stopped to consider how it and other non-verbal communication can affect your sales results and your client relationships? People respond on a primal level to how you say and do things, says Sharon Sayler, author of the new book What Your Body Says, so it's important you do things that draw people to you, not push them away. Listen as Sayler describes the two main things that hinder business relationships and what you can do to get people to respond positively toward you.

Direct download: Body_Language_Business_Sayler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

A sales training program might be just the thing to help your sales team improve their skills and sell more. But how do you know which program and vendor is right for you? To help you figure that out, Dave Stein, CEO and Founder of ES Research Group, discusses some of the findings of the company's Sales Training Vendor Guide.

Direct download: Stein_Sales_Training_Programs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Sales has change significantly over the years, particularly for B2B services firms. These days everyone plays a role in helping to grow the business, and firms must have a client-centric approach, says Matt Heinz, author of Successful Selling. Listen as Heinz explains mistakes firms make with lead generation, how firms can win complex sales, and how to avoid becoming a commodity.

Direct download: Successful_Selling_Heinz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EST

Thought leadership might be considered a buzz word in the world of professional services sales, but it's an absolute necessity if you want to attract prospects and convert them into buyers. Listen as Scott Ginsberg, aka The Nametag Guy, talks about key aspects of thought leadership, mistakes people make, and how to overcome the biggest challenge of attracting prospects willing to pay for your services.

>>Learn More:
Attend Scott Ginsberg's Webinar How to Build a Thought Leadership Platform So Clients Come to You with Money on Thursday, July 29

Direct download: Browsers_to_Buyers_Ginsberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EST

Problem solving requires creative thinking, but too often people get stuck coming up with the same tired solutions. How can you break out of that rut and think of ideas that solve your business problems? Mark Levy suggests using a process called freewriting, which allows you to explore ideas you might never come up with using traditional methods.

 

Direct download: Problem_Solving_with_Freewriting_Levy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30am EST

How to Get Prospects to Sit Up, Pay Attention, and Buy Your Services

Want to sell more? Stop talking about you and your services. Prospects, who are busier than ever, don't want to hear it. Jill Konrath, author of the new book SNAP Selling, says to instead focus on your prospects and their challenges, demonstrate your value, and tell them something that will grab their attention and hold it throughout the decision process.

Direct download: Konrath_SNAP_Selling.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

The Right Way to Market Technology Services

Marketing technology services effectively requires a systematic approach. Unfortunately, however, many companies go about it in an erratic and tactical way that doesn't allow them to demonstrate the value of their services. And as a result, few buy their services. Listen as Laurie Young, author of Marketing Technology as a Service: Proven Techniques that Create Value, explains what successful companies have done to market their services and mistakes to avoid.

Direct download: Young_Marketing_Technology_Service.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Employee Happiness Key to Driving Profit and Growth

Happiness as a business model--you might doubt its effectiveness, but Zappos is proving that it helps drive profit and growth. Listen as Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, talks about how a strong company culture that centers on employee happiness leads to better customer and client service, which leads to more sales.

Direct download: Hsieh_Happiness_and_Profits.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

What You Must Do to Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full

If you've ever been trapped in the cycle of having a lot of client work and then having none, more than likely, it's because your marketing efforts weren't continuous. You have one marketing push followed by all-out work only to lift your head at the end and discover you don't have any leads. You can avoid such trials of feast or famine when you make marketing part of your everyday life. Never stop marketing, and you'll never have to worry about filling your sales pipeline.

Direct download: Epstein_Never_Stop_Marketing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Are Your Sales Lagging? Poor Leadership Principles May Be the Cause

Even when you have a sales organization that has the right processes and does things perfectly, you can still get low returns. That's because core leadership principles within a company can have a negative effect. Listen as Danita Bye, author of Leadership Shift: Paradoxical Wisdom for Transformational Leaders in These Times of Change, discusses leadership paradoxes that can significantly impact sales force effectiveness and should be evaluated if sales efforts are lagging.

Direct download: Bye_Sales_Leadership_Principles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

What Firms Must Do to Achieve Sustainable Growth

In the past all you needed was a pulse and few clients and your firm could survive. With the "new normal," however, that isn't enough. The CEO can no longer be the sole rainmaker and top sales person, and you must have a plan for running your firm. Fail to change your approach and you limit how much your firm can grow and run the risk of watching it fail.

Direct download: Nirell_Sustainable_Growth.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Often service professionals kill any trust that might be developed with prospects with their sales and marketing tactics--and not even know that they're doing it.

Direct download: Maslansky_Language_of_Trust.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Why You Must Invest in Existing Clients

Often firms spend a lot time and money wooing perfect strangers to become clients only to stop paying attention to them after the project is complete. But it is through existing clients that firms can generate more business, says Joseph Jaffe, author of Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones. Instead of following the traditional marketing funnel, flip it so that you build on existing client relationships and use those to draw new clients to you.

Direct download: Jaffe_Client_Relationships.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

The Best Way to Generate Referrals and Get More Leads

If referrals are the best way to generate leads and grow business, then why don't more firms do this well? It all starts with being referable and trustworthy, says John Jantsch, author of the new book The Referral Engine. When you establish trust and provide a great client experience, you set the stage for building a powerful referral system that generates leads and often eliminates the sales cycle.

Direct download: Jantsch_Generate_Referrals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Preferred Lead Generation Tactics for Professional Services

With all of the marketing tactics available for professional services, five have risen to the top in terms of preference, including email marketing and thought leadership, according to recent studies by The Shattuck Group. Listen as Randy Shattuck, senior marketing executive and founder of The Shattuck Group, reveals some of the findings of those reports and give a preview of his upcoming webinar.

Direct download: Shattuck_Lead_Generation_Tactics2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Social Media Marketing Better than SEO for Web Traffic

If you're not doing social media, you need to rethink that. Not only are millions of people using social media networks, but using those networks to market your firm can create greater awareness and generate more web traffic faster than SEO tactics, says Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com.

Direct download: Stelzner_Social_Media_Marketing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Economy Recovering: What Firms Must Do Now

Mike Schultz, President of Wellesley Hills Group, talks about the state of the professional services market and what leaders must do to navigate their firms through the recovering economy.

Direct download: Schultz_Grow_Revenue.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

How a Strong Brand Helped Accenture Withstand the Tiger Woods Scandal

Teresa Poggenpohl, Executive Director of Advertising and Brand Management at Accenture, explains how Accenture built its strong brand, how it handled the Tiger Woods incident, and what firms of all sizes must do to build a strong brand.

Direct download: Accenture_Strong_Brand_Final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Turn Your Firm into a High-Performance Machine

If your firm isn't performing at high levels, it may need an alignment. Start with your vision and then determine if your culture matches your vision, if your strategies advance your vision, and if your client experience advance those strategies. Only when all of those are working in concert will your firm achieve high performance levels, says Joe Calloway in this interview with RainToday Publisher Mike Schultz.

Direct download: Calloway_High_Performance_Firms.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Client Objections: No Doesn't Have to Mean No

Believe it or not, it's often a good thing when a client or prospect voices objections. It gives you an opportunity to ask questions and understand what the true issue is. Then you can explain and perhaps offer another solution and get them to say yes. As John Doerr, founder of RainToday.com, explains in this interview, no doesn't have to mean no.

Direct download: Doerr_Client_Objections.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EST

The Best Path to Profitability for Professional Services Firms

Acquiring new clients doesn't necessarily lead to profitability. Often it's better to sell new services to existing clients than it is to sell existing services to new clients. But getting clients to buy additional services means signing on ideal clients who believe you offer great value. Listen as Randy Shattuck, senior marketing executive and founder of The Shattuck Group, explains the importance of building your value proposition and your brand and what you must do to attract ideal clients.

Direct download: Path_to_Profitability_Shattuck.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Why Clients Leave and What You Can Do About It

Because a client bought from you once, it doesn't mean they will continue to buy from you. You must nurture that relationship and build trust. Listen as Colleen Francis, President of Engage Selling Solutions, explains the two essential pieces of a client retention strategy, the most common reason why clients leave, and the best thing you can do right now to start successful relationships with clients.

Direct download: Francis_Why_Clients_Leave.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

So, You Want to Become a Thought Leader?

Listen as Tom Davenport, 13-time author of books such as Thinking for a Living and What's the Big Idea and Babson College professor, talks about the benefits of thought leadership, what it takes to become a leading expert, and how to set yourself apart from others trying to do the same thing.

Direct download: Davenport_Thought_Leader.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Is the Traditional Website Dead?

For professional services firms, blog websites work better than traditional websites for cultivating client relationships and selling services, says Ian Brodie, owner of The Rainmaker Academy.

Direct download: Brodie_Website_vs_Blog.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Do You Have What it Takes to Compete?

The competition for clients is fierce—even more so these days as a growing number of firms vie for fewer budget dollars. You need to differentiate yourself and give prospects a reason to choose you. How can you do that? With competitive analysis, say Sean Campbell and Scott Swigart, principals at Cascade Insights.

Direct download: Competitive_Analysis_Campbell_Swigart.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am EST

Using Case Studies to Build Trust and Facilitate Sales

Case studies are fantastic tools to facilitate professional services sales, as well as share with the world client success stories. But like anything, their success requires following certain best practices. In this week's podcast, Casey Hibbard, founder and president of Compelling Cases and author of Stories that Sell, reveals some of the best practices of creating case studies and how to use them to build trust with prospects and win clients.

Direct download: Hibbard_PS_Case_Studies.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

How Search Engine Marketing Can Improve the Sales Cycle

Professional services firms traditionally have done business by developing relationships and networking. While that's still an important part of how you develop business, more and more people are turning to the Internet to find and research service providers. And firms that know how to take advantage of the power of the Internet and search engine marketing definitely have a leg up on the competition. Mike Cooch, founder and CEO of Everon Technology Services, explains in this week's podcast.

Direct download: Search_Engine_Marketing_Cooch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Get Prospects to Notice You: What Every Marketing Campaign Must Have You may not think it, but when you deal with your public—your prospects and clients—you're doing PR. You are developing relationships with them via traditional and social media. That's why it's important to include a PR strategy in your marketing campaign. Listen as Drew Gerber, CEO and founder of Publicity Results, discusses the types of media outlets professional services firms should reach out to, what's required for a good PR campaign, and the success firms can see as a result.
Direct download: PR_Marketing_Campaign_Gerber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Want to Attract New Clients? Think Like a Publisher If traditional marketing methods no longer get clients' attention, then it's time to consider content marketing. You want to think like a publisher and create compelling information that's educational, not sales-related. Listen as Joe Pulizzi, founder and chief content officer of Junta42 and co-author of Get Content Get Customers, explains what content marketing is, describes how to develop a content marketing strategy, talks about how to measure content marketing efforts, and gives an example of a firm that is doing content marketing right.

Direct download: Content_Marketing_Pulizzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

The Number 1 Sales Mistake People Make When selling professional services, you're bound to make a mistake at some point in your career. The biggest mistake, however, is selecting or going after poor prospects, says Dan Seidman, sales coach and author of Sales Autopsy. Listen as Dan talks about how to find the perfect client, explains the importance of the "dairy queen", and shares some sales horror stories.
Direct download: Seidman_Top_Sales_Mistake.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Don't Let Bad Presentation Skills Cost You Clients It doesn't matter if you're giving a keynote, talking in a meeting, proposing ideas to a client, or talking one-on-one with someone, you must have good presentation skills. Listen as Tim Wackel, founder and president of The Wackel Group, explains how good presentation skills help prospects and clients trust you, outlines the two-step process for giving good presentations, and reveals the worst thing he's seen happen as the result of a bad client presentation.
Direct download: Presentation_Skills_Wackel.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am EST

Firms Must Break Down Marketing and Business Development Silos Professional services firms must break down marketing and business development silos if they want to be effective and productive. They must shift from doing a craft to running a business, and that requires making cultural and structural changes. Listen as Suzanne Lowe, author of The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos – Once and For All – in Professional Service Firms, explains what executives must do to break down barriers and grow their firms.
Direct download: Lowe_Break_Down_Silos.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:10am EST



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