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 Your Customers to Open Every Email and Answer Every Call

Today, your customers are inundated with more information than ever before. They receive hundreds of emails every day, dozens of text messages, and likely spend a good portion of their time on social media and browsing the internet. Most of them are probably overwhelmed.

Everyone wants to communicate with them, and as a result, your customers are getting more and more desensitized to messages. Ignoring messages and information is now crucial to productivity, focus, and happiness.

So, how do you cut through the noise meaningfully? How do you deliver solutions to your audience in ways that allow them to hear you? Here’s how to get your customers to open your emails and answer your calls.

Provide value.

We’ve said before but it bears repeating: your customers don’t want to read messages all about how great you are. They want information that makes their lives easier, makes them better at their jobs, that helps them solve problems that have been driving them crazy.

In short, they want info about them, not about you.

So, to get your messages read and your phone calls answered, show your customers that you are talking to them, not at them.

  • Speak directly to your audience. Write messages addressed to you instead of focusing exclusively on I and we.
  • Lead with why you are reaching out. This should be a statement of the value you want to provide them. “Just sending you this message because every leader I know could use a systemized way to organize team feedback.”
  • Send along information sometimes, without an attached ask or sell.

Listen.

“But,” you may be asking, “how do I know what’s most valuable to my customers?”

That’s right, you listen to your customers. You poll your leads. You survey your prospects. You listen in phone conversations, on forums, at conferences. The closer you listen, the more likely you are to deliver the messages that will get the responses you need.

Personalize your messages.

To get your customers to respond to your outreach, make them feel like they’re the only ones in the room.

Instead of writing mass, generalized messages or leaving the same voicemail to every contact, drill down into your audience and provide tailored messages that speak to them more directly.

To do this, use your close listening and research to segment your audience into different groups. Write messages to each of these groups, so you can really home in on their specific needs.

Automate your outreach.

If you have been on the internet in the past couple years at all, you’ve likely read a bit about automation.

And automation is cool not just because it does a bunch of stuff for you.

The real beauty of automation is that it frees up you and your team’s time so that you can really focus on what’s important. You can build relationships, have those longer conversations, and listen harder to your customers.

What’s more, a great CRM can automatically nurture your leads over time so that your contacts receive those valuable, personalized messages without your team needing to send hundreds of people hundreds of emails.

Analyze your efforts.

If you don’t analyze which emails get the most responses or which messaging clients delete immediately, you’ll be communicating in the dark.

Track analytics on all the messages you send. Explore:

  • Which subject lines get the most opens
  • What links get the most clicks
  • Which emails get the most responses
  • What time of day generates the best engagement

Armed with this information, you can experiment with your subject lines, email length, and your message timing. By taking the guesswork out of your communication strategy and using data to drive your outreach decision-making, you’ll engage your audience more effectively, boost response rates, and build better relationships.

Looking for more on best sales communication practices? Check out our article on how to be persistent without being annoying.

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 Build and Implement a Successful CRM Strategy

Chances are, you know a lot about building a successful business strategy. But, if you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’re wondering how to apply higher level thinking to the way you integrate your CRM with your existing workflows and to how you collect and analyze your data.

Here are five tips for creating a successful CRM strategy.

Make sure the CRM data you gather and track ties to larger goals.

Start with the big picture questions. What do you want your data to do? Or, to put it a different way: how do you want your data to support your biggest goals?

For example, if you run a professional speaking business, let’s say one of your top-level goals is to increase the number of speaking gigs you book annually. The kind of data that will help you support this goal is:

  • How many speaking gigs you currently book annually
    This information will help you refine your goal so it’s more concrete: “Increase the number of speaking gigs I book annually by 20%”
  • How many of your leads typically convert to paid gigs
    This information will help you understand how much outreach you need to do to reach your goal.
  • What types of leads convert to paid gigs more often
    To drill down even further, if referral leads convert 5x more often than website leads, you can reallocate your energy and outreach dollars toward gathering and nurturing more referrals.

Expand your data collection touchpoints.

Businesses often think very narrowly about their opportunities to collect data from their clients or about the way their business functions. But, this can be a dangerous trap to fall into because it means you’re missing out on rich sources of info that can fuel innovation and efficiency.

So, don’t just gather data when your customers first get in touch with you or when they make an order. And don’t just analyze client behavior when it comes to traffic or closes. Think outside the box. Here are a few ideas.

  • Add an NPS survey to your post-demo outreach.
  • Put a short pop-up on your website asking a couple interesting questions, such as “What’s your biggest challenge?” and “Where did you hear about us?”
  • Keep track of how long it takes clients to move through your onboarding experience or for customers to repurchase after their first experience with your business.

Question which data really needs to be collected.

On the other side of the spectrum, it can be easy to think that when it comes to data collection, the more the merrier. But every piece of data that you regularly collect requires a bit of time and effort from your team — or from your customers. And because you’re likely to be collecting data at nearly every stage of your customer interactions, that bit of time and effort can really add up.

Time-intensive info forms can also tax your customers’ patience and make for a less fun customer experience. No one wants to fill out eternal forms.

Simplicity is often your friend. For example, if you’ve always collected customers’ shipping addresses but rely entirely on digital product delivery, don’t be afraid to nix that piece of data from your order forms.

Determine what aspects of data collection can be automated.

The more automation you build into your data collection processes, the more time your team has to focus on the things that really matter — building strong customer relationships, giving back to your clients, and getting great data out of your CRM.

Look for as many opportunities to automate as possible:

  • Select a CRM that integrates with your commonly used apps and customer interfaces, such as your email, your calendar, and your website.
  • Use email templates to automate your outreach.
  • Create task templates to streamline your to-do lists and workflows.

Create processes to check data quality.

No strategy is perfect. You will collect bad data and duplicate info. Your data will go bad, expire, and become irrelevant. So, a great CRM strategy will also include processes to weed out the bad data from the good.

  • Perform periodic duplication checks — both to de-dupe your database and to identify any processes that may lead to duplicate information.
  • Consider outreach campaigns that check for clients’ most up-to-date contact info, user preferences, and top-of-mind business needs.
  • Schedule periodic data cleansing to keep your data fresh, relevant, and useful.

Looking for more tips and getting the most of your CRM? Check out our article on tracking the metrics that matter most.

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.