All posts by Caitlin Delohery

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

How to Get Great Data Out of Your CRM

Your CRM does so much. It organizes your contacts, streamlines your daily workflows, and automates the heavy lifting of your business. It’s a personal assistant, a project manager, and a savvy marketer, all rolled into one.

And, on top of all of that, your CRM can produce the kind of data that helps you run your business better. From website traffic reports to contact response data, from days-to-close metrics to ROI on outreach efforts, your CRM gives you the data that allows you to not only improve your today but maximize your success tomorrow.

Here’s how to get great data out of your CRM.

Create a CRM strategy.

Without a good CRM strategy, you and your team are just collecting information willy-nilly. This can lead to total chaos.

So, whether you’re a solopreneur or a larger business, plan out how you are going to implement and use your CRM. Think about how you are going to define your favorite metrics, the data you need to support your larger goals, and who on your team owns what info.

Here are some questions to guide your thoughts.

  • What data do I need my CRM to collect?
  • What is the function of my CRM data?
  • What metrics will help me reach my larger strategic goals?
  • Who is responsible for entering data into my CRM?
  • What existing tools will my CRM integrate with?
  • What devices will be synced with my CRM?
  • How will we perform quality checks on CRM data?

Standardize your data collection.

Once you’ve got your strategy on lock, the next step is putting it into action so that your entire team reliably and consistently gathers the info you need most.

Here are a few tips on standardizing data collection:

  • Educate your team on the importance of sticking to the standards.
  • Set clear guidelines for how to record info.
  • Define custom fields that easily slot into your existing workflow.

Implement templates across your organization.

Think of templates as another way to put standardization into action. By creating forms, emails, and to-do list templates, you can sculpt the way information is entered into your CRM.

Create standardized workflows, so that you and your team perform the same actions — and capture the same info — every time you do a certain task.

For example, if you create a custom form to fill out every time you return from a speaking gig or sales conference, you can be sure to capture the right info for new contacts, every time.

You’ll no longer have to dig back through your email or scour your desk drawer for a business card you may or may not have kept. Templates will help you do it right the first time around so you’ll always have the best data right at your fingertips.

Integrate your CRM with your email and social accounts.

Automation is your superhero when it comes to the kind of standardization that yields gold-star data. So, when you integrate your CRM with your email and social accounts, automation will rescue you from the perils of boring work and the havoc that human error can wreck on your info.

All your contacts’ info and your most recent correspondence will be logged directly into your CRM. No muss, no fuss.

This also saves you the hassle of navigating back and forth between your CRM and your various inboxes and helps you follow up as efficiently and knowledgeably as possible.

What’s more, when your email and social data is synced with your CRM, you can ensure that you’re getting the best, most up-to-date data as possible on all your contacts.

Check your work.

Even if you do everything right, follow all our steps, it’s likely that something can still go wrong. Call it Murphy’s Law of Data Entry. So, to really get stellar data out of your CRM, spot check your contact records and regular reports to make sure you don’t miss any sneaky, persistent errors:

  • Cross-reference your contact records against your email inbox or your own knowledge of your network.
  • Periodically audit some of your contacts to make sure nothing funny is going on — no fields were transposed, no data is being omitted, no monkeys have snuck in and replaced all the vowels with banana emojis, etc.
  • Investigate any analytics that seem out of left field to make sure reports were set up correctly, and there’s no other monkey business afoot.

So there you have it — how to make sure you get rockstar data out of your CRM.

Looking for more on that good, good data? Check out our article on paying attention to the metrics that matter.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

How to Be Persistent in Sales Without Being Annoying

We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a company’s unwanted attention. You’ve said no again and again or ignored emails and phone calls, but they can’t take the hint. When you’ve gotten annoyed with a company’s outreach, how likely are you to become one of their customers?

So, when the shoe is on the other foot, you want to avoid pushing your audience’s annoyance button.

Here’s how to be persistent without being annoying in sales.

Focus on benefits.

You know that your customers don’t want to be sold to. They’ve heard it all before. If you lead with all your products benefits or how wonderful your company is, they might not even pay attention to you long enough for you to understand where you went wrong.

So, instead of focusing on why you’re great, give your contacts an idea of what benefits your solutions provide.

For example, this email is on the road to Annoyingville, population you:

Hello,

Have you heard about how amazing our company is? We’ve won 13 awards, we’re the best-in-class, and we top the competition every day. We’re so wonderful, you’d be lucky to be one of our customers!

Thanks,
Brad Braggarton

This email focuses on what a contact has to gain by responding:

Hello,

Just popping into your inbox to send this article about how you can save some time on training because every HR director I know could use more hours in their day.

Do you have 5 minutes to talk about how we can save you a week in onboarding time?

Thanks,
Angela

Timing is everything.

Be thoughtful about when you reach out and how often you make contact. For example, if you send multiple emails in a single day, that could quickly cross the line into over-communicating. If you make phone calls outside of normal business hours, you up the chance that you’re interrupting your audience’s life instead of providing value.

Good timing varies from audience to audience. So, test out what seems to work the best for your prospects. Here are some good tips to start:

  • Try touching base 2 days in a row initially and then spacing outreach 3-9 days apart.
  • Try the mid-week and mornings.
  • Avoid typical lunchtimes and Saturdays.
  • Keep track of what works — and what drives people away.

Be funny.

Entertaining your contacts is pretty much the opposite of annoying them. If you can make your audience laugh, you’ll earn a lot of brownie points. You can cash these brownie points in for more touchpoints or even a sale.

  • Be lighthearted.
  • Use gifs and memes.
  • Keep it work appropriate.

Get creative.

Your contacts get *a lot* of emails, messages, and phone calls. In fact, most people get more than 120 correspondences per day. If you’re just another one of the masses, you’re going to be part of the annoying noise that makes your prospect’s life a little bit more difficult.

But, if you get creative with your follow up, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

  • Be specific, personalized, and personal.
  • Be yourself — that’s how you’ll implement your most unique ideas.
  • Don’t replicate the same old messages you get (and ignore) yourself all the time.

Know when to walk away.

You put a lot of work into your sales follow up, so it can be tricky to walk away. But if you’ve made repeated attempts to connect with a prospect and they’ve never responded, it may be time to let things go.

Pay attention to your business cycle and set a reasonable timeframe for your audience. If you don’t hear from a prospect within that window, cut your losses and move on to someone who’s more interested in your offerings.

Looking for more on effective outreach? Check out our article on how to sell to people who don’t want to be sold.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

If You’re Not Putting Your Customers First, Someone Else Is

It’s easy to get distracted by the everyday tasks that keep your business running. You have meetings with your sales team to make sure everyone is aligned on your vision, your product, and your long-term goals. You have financial and operational decisions to make. And there are always more emails to respond to and calls to return.

In doing all that work, customer interactions can quickly become just another item to check off of your to-do list. 

But, your customers are moving fast, too — they are busy, too. They don’t have time to be ignored. So, if you’re forgetting to keep them at the center of everything you do — always — your competitors have an opening to take them off your hands.

Because in sales today, it’s not the product with the most flash and features, it’s not the service with the most options that wins — it’s the company that gives their customers the attention they need.

Here’s how to keep your customers front and center in your business.

Listen.

To know what it takes to make your leads and customers feel like they come first, you need to ask them what they want.

  • Pool your team’s knowledge about effective sales calls, unique use cases, and other customer-generated info.
  • Survey your customers — satisfied and not — to find out what you did right and what you can improve in the future.
  • Don’t forget in-person conversations. Meet up with your customers and find out what their biggest challenges are — and how you can help to meet them.

Looking for more tips on connecting with your audience? Check out our article on how to close more sales with kindness.

Develop real relationships.

When your customers reach out to you, they aren’t looking for another transaction. They are looking for interaction.

And your competitors know it. Nearly 90% of companies expect to compete on the basis of customer experience alone.

To create a strong customer experience, you need to take the listening you’ve been doing and apply it.

  • Refer to information you gained in previous conversations to let your contacts know you’ve been paying attention.
  • Personalize your emails and other outreach. Move beyond a first name or a job title to include specific resources based on your leads’ and customers’ interests and needs.
  • Use a CRM to organize customer data, requests, and input.

Looking for more on building relationships with a CRM? Check out our article on how a CRM is your most important sales tool.

Link your strategic vision to customer satisfaction metrics.

Putting customers first goes beyond great customer service. To truly top your competitors, you need to build the customer into every aspect of your company — from your mission statement to your strategic goals.

And to make sure big-picture thinking is grounded in your customer, track customer satisfaction metrics regularly.

Here are some customer satisfaction metrics you might choose:

  • Net Promoter Score (likelihood to recommend to friends)
  • Overall satisfaction
  • Intention to purchase again
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Churn rate

By keeping an eye on these happiness indicators, you can be sure your customer remains your North Star.

Looking for more on putting your customers first? Check out our article on how to always be helping in sales.

 

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

“It’s So Comforting to Know That karmaSpeaker is There”: How Pro Speaker Jeff Bush Cut Through the Noise and Grew His Business by 20%

Jeff Bush has built his speaking career on his ability to cut through the noise. He’s known for helping executives understand the often confusing financial ramifications of political changes. What’s more, he helps his audience in diverse industries — from retail to food manufacturing — anticipate the changes that are coming around the bend. He arms his audiences with the knowledge they need to make the smart, adaptive financial decisions that keep businesses thriving.

But, when his professional speaking business was just starting out, Bush was having trouble cutting through the noise of his own inbox. He was so in demand as a speaker that his go-to method of gig management just wasn’t able to keep up. He knew that messages were going unanswered, that some of his prospective clients weren’t being properly nurtured, and that he lacked a long-term cultivation tool to build up his speaking business the way he wanted to.

“I didn’t have a good system for following up,” says Bush. “My only system was keeping emails in my inbox and then making sure I periodically followed up with them.”

By adopting karmaSpeaker, Bush increased his business by 20%, boosted his email response rate, and saved thousands on marketing.

Here’s how.

Customizable workflows and adaptable action items created a powerful follow-up system.

Like most professional speakers, Bush needed a contact management solution that was built for speakers and also worked with his own idiosyncratic workflow.

Bush came across karmaSpeaker when a fellow speaker recommended it at a conference. “Here’s a firm that seems to understand speakers,” he said. “It made all the sense in the world for me to adopt karma’s CRM.”

karmaSpeaker came locked and loaded with powerful speaker-specific features but was also flexible enough to adapt to the way Bush worked. “What I’ve been most impressed by with karmaSpeaker is that, on top of being built for professional speakers, it’s incredibly easy to customize. The karmaSpeaker team is willing not just to listen but to implement my suggestions.”

Airtight follow-up systems generated more speaking engagements.

Every speaker knows that when you don’t follow up with leads, you’re leaving opportunities and money on the table. Bush kicks himself for all the gigs he lost before he started using karmaSpeaker: “Quite honestly, I was missing out on at least 20 events a year because I wasn’t able to follow up properly.”

But now he’s making up for lost time. “Implementing karmaSpeaker has boosted my business by 15% to 20% with its airtight contact tracking system and follow-up reminders.”

Well-timed, template-based email campaigns boosted response rates to 60%.

Bush has also benefited from karmaSpeaker’s research-based email templates, which are optimized to improve engagement rates. “I started getting a 60% open rate on my email — from stone-cold outreach. I was thrilled — I’m a data guy, of course, and those were numbers that I really loved to see.”

And his leads were responding, too. “I have ten potential engagements in my pipeline because of karma’s email templates. They work incredibly well. And, say half of them will close — a pretty modest estimate — that revenue pays for my assistant for the entire year.”

karmaSpeaker demonstrated ROI within the first month.

karmaSpeaker is the kind of simple but powerful solution that comes with a modest price tag. Bush had invested in a branding professional to boost his profile and hadn’t seen much in the way of results. “I was spending $2000 per month and I didn’t get a single event. Not one. I spend a fraction of that with karmaSpeaker, and I got events on the calendar in the first 30 days of using it.”

Bush says, “This CRM is like my better half — reminding me to follow up, send emails to important contacts, and do all the things I used to keep in my head. It’s so comforting to know that karmaSpeaker is there.”

Ready to give karmaSpeaker a whirl? Get access now.

 

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

Always Be Helping: How to Sell to People Who Don’t Want to be Sold

You’re probably familiar with what it’s like to interact with folks who don’t want to be sold to. You can be giving your best pitch or just making small talk, but the only response you get from them is:

Your potential customers know when they are being sold to. They know when you have your own goals and needs in mind. The good news is, because they are so savvy, they also know when you are thinking of them first.

Here’s how to always be helping in sales.

Recognize the signs that they don’t want to talk sales.

Before you can focus on what your buyers do want, you need to get rid of the behaviors that push them away.

When you’re at a party or networking event, you take verbal, nonverbal, and behavioral cues to judge how interested someone is in your conversation.

The same is true for your leads:

  • They try to give you the slip with fake contact info.
  • They rush to get off the phone with you.
  • They avoid you by not returning your phone calls.
  • They ignore your emails and texts.
  • They refuse to meet with you.
  • They give you verbal cues that they don’t see the value you provide.

When someone is going out of their way to avoid you, stop and rethink your approach.

Build relationships instead of making sales.

Part of what your reluctant contacts are avoiding is the inauthenticity of sales interactions. If you are focused entirely on making a sale, you aren’t seeing them as unique people and you aren’t interacting in a genuine way.

Instead of thinking about “making sales,” think about building relationships.  

  • Be present. Practicing mindfulness helps.
  • Listen to your contacts. Two ears, one mouth → listen twice as much as you talk.
  • Dialogue. Don’t talk at them, talk to them.
  • Ask for feedback. You don’t have to guess — ask them what they want and then give it to them.
  • Show your appreciation for them. A little genuine gratitude can go a long way.

Look for opportunities to provide value.

One of the great things about these relationship-building techniques is that they give you deep insight into what value looks like for your prospects and customers.

So, instead of hunting for ways to make a sale, look for ways to provide what your customer needs. Hint: what your customer needs is not necessarily your product.

  • Create insightful articles, white papers, eBooks, and other content that answers questions, informs their choices, and provide useful data.
  • Make your user experience easy and thoughtful.
  • Surprise them with anything delightful — from discounts to fun. A laugh is sometimes more valuable than a coupon.

Go out of your way to help.

When you are building a relationship-focused business, your currency is helping. Look for ways that you can help your customer, rather than looking for how they can help you.

  • Be there even when you think a sale is off the table. Don’t drop your contacts just because they’ve told you no.
  • Donate your time. Go out of your way to help prospects solve problems.
  • Offer your expertise. You’ve built a knowledge base in your industry — be sure to share it with your contacts.
  • Give your money. Donating to good causes isn’t just a great way to give back. It shows your prospects — even the reluctant ones — what your company is made of.

Looking for more ways to help? Check out our article on how giving helps you sell more.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

How to Close More Sales Without Being a Jerk

Though the internet has brought us closer to our friends and family and made it easier to build all kinds of relationships, it also gives us a window into the not-so-nice aspects of being human.

Let’s face it: a lot of people (and cats) can be jerks.

And salespeople aren’t exempt from that — the profession has a reputation for prioritizing money over people. Salespeople may continue to pester prospects after they’ve asked to not be contacted. They may promise the moon but not be able to deliver. And they may make it crystal clear they are thinking of their own needs instead of their prospects’.

So, let’s think about how to be the exact opposite of all that. Here’s how to close more sales without being a jerk.

Remember that every prospect is a person.

When driving towards a goal — a close, a sale, higher revenue — it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters: relationships. There are people on the other end of that cold call or that sales email, and they are looking for connections that bring value. They are looking for relationships built on trust.

So, to keep relationships at the center of your sales strategy, remind yourself that everyone you talk to is unique.

  • Create a description of your ideal customer and keep it front and center when you’re reaching out.
  • Listen for details about your leads and customers — such as family members, pets, and hobbies — so you can personalize your communication.
  • Keep track of these tidbits in your CRM so you can have them on hand whenever you reach out.

For more on how CRM helps you build better relationships, check out this article on why CRM is such a crucial sales tool.

Be empathetic instead of emphatic.

“So many executives and sales professionals feel pressure from their bosses, their investors, or their spouses to make the sale that they overlook an important aspect – empathy,” says Ian Altman, keynote speaker and author of Same Side Selling. “Empathy is the key to emotional intelligence. It helps us to connect with the other party, and helps them feel like we care about their situation.”

  • Focus on listening intently to what your prospect tells you they need instead of insisting you know what’s best.
  • Focus on the value you can provide others instead of your own gain.
  • Focus on how your solution meets your contacts’ needs instead of talking about how awesome your product is.

Spend time with people who will really benefit from your work.

When you’re building your business, it’s natural to want to open the doors as wide as possible and to reach out to anyone and everyone. But, you and your team have finite energy, and the best way to build good relationships is to give your attention to those who need your solution the most.

  • Narrow your focus to best-fit prospects.
  • Allocate your energy based on how urgent the need is. Don’t ignore folks who are far from a sale, but don’t touch base with them every day either.
  • Fire prospects when necessary. Not being a jerk doesn’t mean you can’t say no. If it’s not going to work, kindly cut prospects free.

Be patient.

The business world moves quickly. It’s likely that you and your team are impatient to show results, make a sale, and keep ahead of the game. But if you bring that sense of urgency to your conversations with leads and prospects, you can come off as being kind of a jerk.

  • Don’t interrupt. Listen (again). Even if you think you know what someone is going to say, hear them out. You may learn something unexpected.
  • Don’t rush your prospects towards a decision point. In addition to being off-putting, this strategy can backfire and get you a quick no.
  • Don’t overdo it on the outreach. Though you want to stay top-of-mind for your contacts, you don’t want to push so hard that you push them away.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all the rage in business these days for a reason. It can help you and your team cut out distractions and focus on the person they’re engaging with. It increases empathy, reduces stress, and boosts job satisfaction. All of this makes way for a less jerky workforce.

  • Take a five-minute breather and literally just breathe.
  • Start a workplace mindfulness lunch hour.
  • Download a meditation app, like Insight Timer, to practice mindfulness on the go.

Want more? Check out 5 ways to improve your business karma.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

The Most-Read Articles of 2017

Looking back on 2017, we here at karmaCRM are excited at all the connections we’ve made and all the learning we’ve done. From our professional speaker interview series to our tips on how to get your team to love your CRM, these popular articles will help you start 2018 on the right foot.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Professional Speakers

You already know you have to rock the platform. But to be a truly successful professional speaker, you also have to strengthen your network, grow your business, anticipate the future, and much more.

We sat down with some of the most successful professional speakers in the business to find out the keys to their success. Here’s what top speakers do to thrive.

How Top Professional Speakers Build Strong Relationships

Everything that runs well runs on relationships.

Good professional speakers know this. What they sell, in fact, is not an hour of powerful info, a memorable experience, or the secret to unlocking leadership potential — though that might all be part of it. Top speakers are in the business of creating relationships — with clients, with meeting planners, and with audience members.

In our interviews with professional speakers, we learned that their relationship status is always set to “more.” Here’s how they create and grow their connections — and their business.

5 Reasons Your Salespeople Hate Your CRM

You’re spending money on CRM software that your sales team won’t use. While you were bright-eyed and optimistic about the possibility to grow your business with it, they resist.

So what gives?

We’ve got a few ideas.

Stumped on How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Business? Learn from Top Brands

Experts says that all work and no play makes you more than just dull. Overworking can decrease productivity, weaken focus and attention to goals, and crush innovation. In short, you’ll end up getting less done by trying to do too much, and your life (and your company) may suffer for it.

Enter mindfulness. It’s grown in popularity in the U.S. in the past few years (as I’m sure you’ve heard) for a reason. Mindfulness is an in-the-moment answer to internal and external pressure to work constantly. It’s also a break from work that can take as little as five minutes. Stumped as to how to get started? Take a page from the books of the big brands. Here’s how Google, Aetna, and other top companies get their mindfulness on.

Professional Speaker Interview with Doug Devitre

We sat down with some professional speakers and asked them about the challenges and keys to success in their profession. Doug Devitre talked to us about cutting through the digital noise, combining low and high-tech touches, and collaborating with audiences in real time.

Looking for more great articles? Check out the articles in our two most popular blog categories in 2017: professional speaking and CRM software.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

karmaSpeaker Partners with eSpeakers to Create First Event Management CRM Built for Professional Speakers

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re going to integrate with eSpeakers’ powerful event management tool, EventCX, to create the first ever event management-CRM suite built with speakers like you in mind!

You have so much info to keep track of as a professional speaker. You might have dozens or even hundreds of contacts from a single event. You have multiple points of contacts just to organize one gig. You have a long list of time-sensitive tasks that must occur to make your events a success: from sending contracts to post-event email touches. You need a system that organizes your event tasks and your relationship management tasks simultaneously.

That’s why we’re so excited about this integration. Together, karmaSpeaker and eSpeakers EventCX provide a suite of tools that will help you manage all your data, automate the boring stuff, and book more engagements.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

Track event info

  • Customized Calendar Tool: easily set lead, hold, confirmed status
  • Real­-time Availability: make it easy for your customers to access you
  • Event management: track active engagements and potential opportunities

Organize your event info

  • Speaker Dashboard: access critical business highlights at a glance: Booking Statistics daily calendar changes, and event pipeline
  • Contract Generator: create, modify and manage contracts, thank­you letters invoices, program agreements and more

Speaking business automation

  • Customized Action Lists: Stay on top of event details and tasks, travel info, and more; create a list once, and it will intelligently apply your tasks to every new event
  • Book Me Now Plugin: secure more gigs with live online bookings and website plug­in
  • Business Intelligence Reports: secure more gigs with live online bookings and website plug­in

In addition to the above EventCX features, eSpeakers provides helpful promotion and marketing tools.

Study industry hiring trends

  • What topics are being searched the most
  • What price ranges are being searched
  • Average time between confirmation and event date Annual cycle of booking velocity
  • Most booked cities

Track your online profile statistics and analytics

  • Views in last 30 days
  • Your rank in the directory per topic
  • Your fee range compared to average

Gain exposure

eSpeakers customers will also enjoy many of the features they love in the karmaSpeaker platform directly from EventCX:

Automation Email Outreach

  • Stay in touch with your audience after you leave the stage using automated tasks, reminders, and email sequences.

Capture Business Cards

  • Add contacts from speaking engagements by uploading business cards using your phone’s camera.

Tap into Speaker Sales Tools

  • Get access to email templates, sequences, and resources created by speakers, for speakers.

Boost product sales

  • Promote and sell your products before, during, and after your gig.

Book more engagements

  • Manage a bigger sales pipeline and build more meaningful long-term relationships with meeting planners.

Ready to get started? Check out our integration page to sign up today.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

Prospecting Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Business

We’re going to let you in on a secret. Most salespeople think they are the cat’s pajamas when it comes to prospecting. But, the truth is, many are driving away their best future customers before they even come through the door.

Here are the top prospecting mistakes that are ruining your business.

Taking your sweet time to follow up.

These days, everything moves at a mile a nanosecond. Your leads are waiting for you to get back to them, and their patience is very limited.

If you don’t get back to them quickly, chances are, someone else will. Businesses that follow up with online leads within an hour of contact are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with them. Seven times!

Tips for speeding up your responses

  • Create email templates to make responding to common inquiries more efficient.
  • Create email sequences that allow you to nurture your leads automatically.
  • Set aside time once or twice each day for phone follow up to make sure these leads don’t languish.

Being a robot in your outreach.

Westworld captivated the nation’s attention in part because it was so tricky to spot the androids amongst the humans. The artifice of the robots was thoughtful, rich, and adaptive — pretty much the opposite of a robo-call or a generic mass email.

Your customers likely know that your outreach may be in some way automated — but they don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a robot. If you let your automation show or stick to mass, impersonal outreach, your customers are going to be put off.

Tips to make sure your automation isn’t robotic

  • Personalize your outreach using your prospects first name and any other reliable info you have. Be careful you have all the data you need, though. Nothing reeks of robot more than failed personalization (Hey there, FIRSTNAME!).
  • Use a friendly tone — talk to your customers the way you might talk to an acquaintance.
  • Provide value — give your prospects information that helps them with their challenges.
  • Vary your message — repeating the same thing over and over again is annoying, and more robot than human.
  • Segment your outreach to make it more tailored to the individual. For example, if you have a business that works in multiple verticals, write individual emails that are specific to each vertical.

Being self-absorbed.

I know it’s hard to accept, but your customers don’t want to hear about you. They probably didn’t sign up for your email list or come to your website to learn about how awesome you are, how many awards you’ve won, or how quickly your business is growing.

They want to hear about how you can help them, how your solution will make their lives easier, and how your team will help them meet their challenges. If you only talk about yourself, your prospects are going to tune out quickly.

Examples of self-absorbed vs. customer-focused messaging

Self-absorbedCustomer-focused
Cleatsman Cleats are the first-in-class soccer cleat and the winner of 75 awards for best sports accessory in the entire world.You need a cleat that will help you stand your ground. That’s why Cleatsman Cleats have 27% more sticking power than the competition.
I know you’re just chomping at the bit waiting for our latest software update — and here it is! We’ve slaved away for hours to make it awesome, so we hope you like it.You asked — we answered. Your top feature request was for real-time calendar integration. Now, that’s as easy as 1 (login), 2 (check this settings box), 3 (visit your calendar).
The brand new BlastXXL has 30 TB storage, the most brilliant processors, cutting-edge data backup, never-before-seen optics, a 4-million color screen, the tiniest pixels, the fanciest xcrypt encryption, 2-nanosecond response time, infrared fingerprint scanners, 75 V power reserves, 320-hour battery life, and more!Here are the benefits of the BlastXXL: Save your time: you’ll be able to get work done 2x faster with the Blast’s improved processor. Secure your data: with xcrypt encryption, you will sleep easy knowing your data is safe. Power your adventures: with 320-hour battery life, you will never have to slow down to charge up.

Failing to capture all your leads.

So far, we’ve looked at the ways your outreach might be driving your leads away. But, if you don’t have a solid system for capturing all your leads, you might have prospects slipping through your fingers before you even speak to them.

These missed opportunities hurt. Prospects came to you over the phone, through your website, or by email, and you just missed out on them. Sure, you can follow up with them if you discover them months or years down the line, but chances are, they are dead in the water by then.

Tips for making sure you capture every lead, every time

  • Adopt a CRM.
  • Fully integrate your CRM with your phone, email, website, and social touches.
  • Audit your CRM system to ensure all lead sources are being properly attended to.
  • Spot check each of your team member’s leads to make sure no one is falling down on the job.

So, there you have it: you can avoid these business-killing prospecting habits. Just be quick, be human, be customer-focused, and get a great CRM.

Looking for more on relationship building? Check out our article on how being human will help you sell more.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

“karmaSpeaker was a lifeline for us”: How Pro Speaker Rebecca Heiss Evolved Her Business

Evolutionary biologist Rebecca Heiss knows a bit about what makes modern businesses run. She’s built her professional speaking career on exploring the ways we can overcome our Stone Age brains and hardwired impulses to speed professional growth. She brings awareness to outmoded patterns — such as fearing outsiders and being chronically stressed — and helps companies implement strategies that will make their brains work more productively.

When she first started out as a speaker, Heiss knew that she was using another “Stone Age” brain to run her business: she used a spreadsheet to organize thousands of contacts, important outreach plans, and a dense follow-up schedule.

“I don’t even like to talk about it because it was so painful and frustrating,” Heiss says of her spreadsheeted past. “I was losing things left and right and forgetting to reach out to people.”

As her business started to grow, Heiss hired other employees, and her team members would often be editing the spreadsheet simultaneously. “We spent so much time just trying to figure out what everybody else was doing — it was a nightmare.”

Contacts would receive multiple follow-ups in a short period of time. “It was really tough to handle anything more than a hundred people,” Heiss says. As her database grew by thousands of names, the spreadsheet method couldn’t keep up with the job. Her business brain needed to evolve.

Enter karmaSpeaker.

“karmaSpeaker came at the right time,” Heiss says. “The efficiency and simplicity appeal to the scientist in me.”  

With karmaSpeaker, Heiss improved her referrals process, expanded her prospective client base, and increased email touches.

Here’s how.

Kicked off with ease.

Heiss found karmaSpeaker intuitive from the get-go. “I’m pretty old school when it comes to technology, and with karmaSpeaker, I could immediately plug and play. Everything was very user-friendly and I was able to figure things out pretty quickly.”

For anything that Heiss couldn’t solve on her own, she tapped karmaSpeaker’s accessible, responsive customer service team. “They’ve become like friends of mine,” Heiss says. “It’s always quick, thorough, and thoughtful. They really streamlined everything for me into a very simple, tailored system. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Customized solutions.

Like many professional speakers, Heiss needed a highly customizable way to manage her potential clients, gig contacts, and referral base — and she found that, and more, in karmaSpeaker.

Using karmaSpeaker and the highly responsive customer service team, Heiss developed a personalized system of tags and top-level fields so she could quickly access only the most important contacts and information. It was easy to filter out the noise.

“Every time I need a feature tweak or a workaround so the system mirrors the way I think and work, I call or email customer service, and it’s done. Their customer service has been all about customization.”

Increased meaningful email touches.

Before karmaSpeaker, Heiss and her team wasted a lot of time trying to get a clear picture of who had followed up with leads and clients. What’s more, they lacked a system that allowed them to follow up with contacts at the optimal time.

With their new system, Heiss and her team developed a coherent, time-based email strategy that expanded their outreach and made their communications more meaningful.

“In the time it used to take for us to send one or two on-target emails, we can now send 100 to 200 email touches, confident they are reaching the right contact at the right time.”

Brought in more leads.

And, the targeted outreach is working. Heiss has found that karmaSpeaker is putting her in front of more potential clients and giving her more opportunities.

“It’s the nature of the speaking business that it’s difficult to quantify the boost precisely. I’m working to nail down leads for summer 2018.”

“But, without a doubt, karmaSpeaker is increasing our business, bringing in more leads, and boosting the probability that we’ll get booked for new gigs.”

Improved referrals process.

The professional speaking business runs on referrals. Remembering how all your contacts are connected, who recommended you to whom, and when to optimally follow-up on a referral can make or break a speaking business.

Heiss says, “In this industry, which is so referral based, talking to the right people at the right time is essential. The karmaSpeaker referral tool helps me keep all my connections and details about our relationship together. So, the next time I open up the contact for Jane Doe, it reminds me that John from XYZ Company gave me a great referral. I can bring up John in my follow-up, to remind her of his good experience.”

Heiss keeps more than just relationship details in karmaSpeaker. She relies on notes about previous phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings to close more gigs. “Those notes are absolutely essential,” says Heiss.

Boosted productivity.

When you’re professional speaker or a solopreneur, it’s all about the hustle. When Heiss isn’t rocking the platform, she’s working her contacts for her next gig. Before karmaSpeaker, Heiss was noticing important follow-ups and lead nurturing was falling through the cracks.

Now? karmaSpeaker helps her hit her goals, remember to make all her follow-ups, and keep herself motivated.

“You know how people say that they would die without their phones? Well, I would die without karma. It’s the first thing I look at when I get to work. I check karma before I check my email.”

She sets automatic reminders that schedule out everything that needs to be done in a day and the contacts each activity is linked to. “It outlines my day for me. It keeps me posted on what’s due today, what’s coming up tomorrow, which clients I last connected with, my brainstorming session with my team that I need to follow up on — everything.”

It also helps Heiss keep track of the work she’s already done and motivate herself to push a little harder. “It holds me accountable to myself, which is crucial when you’re running a really small business. I’ll feel like I’ve spent the entire day on the phone, and check my outreach list and realize I’ve only made 10 calls. Then I know it’s time to make another push.”

“People say humans only use 25% of their brains,” says Heiss. “While that’s not exactly true, I do feel like I’m only using about a quarter of the great features karma has to offer.”

And she knows that the CRM will continue to evolve with her. “karmaSpeaker has been a lifeline for us. I’m excited to see where it goes next.”

Ready to give karmaSpeaker a whirl? Get access to karmaSpeaker now.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.