Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for July 2014

Listening – Your Most Important Sales Tool

By Stacey Scheuring

We all “hear” a lot throughout our day but our minds may not always be “listening” to the message that others are trying to get to us. We were all exposed to a lot of comprehension and even hearing tests, but no one seems to be focused on “listening” as a skill that must be developed.

Below are some interesting statistics on listening:

-In a typical business day, we spend 45% of our time listening, 30% of our time talking, 16% reading and 9% writing

-Humans generally listen at a 25% comprehension rate

-Less than 2% of all professionals have had formal education or learning to understand and improve listening skills and techniques

-85% of what we know we have learned through listening

-We talk at a rate of 125-175 words per minute, listen at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at a rate of 1000-3000 words per minute.  The processing gaps creates opportunities for distraction and failure to listen attentively

One of the biggest problems is that people think faster than they listen. Something you can try during telesales is to stop thinking about what your prospect is going to say next. Instead, focus on what your prospect is saying at the moment. When you start thinking ahead, your mind is wondering and when that happens you substitute hearing for listening. You can miss important things that your prospect is saying that you can use to create a positive business connection.  Stay in the moment and keep your mind focused on listening.

There are other things you can use to improve your listening sales skills. During your sales calls, find moments during the conversation that allow you to summarize what your prospect just told you. You can’t do this if you were not listening. Not only will this force you to listen but it will also insure there are no misunderstandings between what you thought you heard and the message your prospect was actually attempting to communicate. Use “listening” as a selling skill that will get you positive results.

Listening can be the most important tool you use to get prospective clients interested in your product.  For assistance with your telesales efforts, call Cox eLearning Consultants.

Email Marketing: 6 Best Practices For Writing Subject Lines

Kerry Williams

July 14, 2014

I’ve read some recent statistics that the average email user receives 145 emails every day. That’s a lot of email! And if you are marketing through email, you need to grab your reader’s attention in the subject line.

When we receive emails from an unfamiliar name, the subject line is often what compels us to open the email or hit the delete button. Here are some email marketing best practices to help you craft a well written and compelling subject line for email marketing campaigns.

Make it Meaningful

Your customers are busy. So why should they bother to open your email? Your subject line needs to tell the reader “what’s in it for them”. There has to be something meaningful in it that is useful. Use action words to inspire and drive action.

Make it Relevant

Make your subject line relevant to the message. Seems like a no brainer, but we often see marketers try and get clever with some attention grabbing subject line that has nothing to do with the actual message.

Keep it Short

Long subject lines had lower open and click rates than those that were shorter. Try to say it in 35 characters or less, or 2 – 4 words.

Beware Of Spam

When writing subject lines, one of the most important things to do is to stay away from any words or phrases that may raise the alarm of a spam filter. We could write an entire novel filled with words and phrases that are most often flagged as spam, but here’s the short version – avoid jargon phrases such as act fast, buy now, earn extra cash, no obligation, etc. and excessive punctuation, such as Save Lots of $$$ Now!!!

It’s Not About You

Recognize that these emails are not about you. They’re about the customer. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but your prospect doesn’t care about you. They’re focused on themselves. So be sure to focus on them and how your company will come to their benefit.

Test, Test, Test

Test your subject lines. A/B test your subject lines to see which performs better. If your list has 10,000 people on it send 1,000 people an email with subject A, and 1,000 people the same email with subject B. If one of them has more clicks, use that subject line when sending to the remaining 8,000 people on your list.

When done correctly, email marketing is one of the most effective ways of engaging with your customers and prospects. At Cox eLearning Consultants, we carefully study many campaign metrics and constantly make adjustments to refine an email marketing strategy and deliver a strong return on your email marketing investment. If you need any assistance, please contact us directly at 925-373-6558.

Are you using a consistent voice in your marketing efforts?

By Amanda Yanchury

Voice, branding, tone, messaging. All of these words are “buzzwords” in the marketing world.

But buzzwords, like clichés, earn their title (most of the time) because they are significant! How you present your marketing message to the world, and whether these efforts are consistent, can completely alter the success or failure of these efforts.

Here are some ways to ensure you’re using a consistent “voice” and “tone” in your marketing efforts:

  • Make sure the marketing department and/or writers have access to company information and are informed about company values, strengths, and best practices. Ensuring that they are 100% informed will allow your brand’s ideal message to come through
  • If possible, use the same writer or team of writers for each marketing piece. Sometimes outsourcing is valuable and necessary, but using a consistent team allows for them to develop the voice and tone over time, maintaining a strong presentation of your company
  • Revisit your marketing strategy bi-annually. Have your priorities, goals, or objectives changed? Making sure that these are up to date will allow your marketing team to be confident in the message they’re sending – and as an added bonus, revisiting your strategy has the side effect of re-motivating your employees to reach these goals

Your voice and tone should reflect your brand and its priorities. Does your company pride itself on being positive and upbeat? Is it serious and business-like? Is it suited for one particular industry or multiple industries? Use descriptors and language in your marketing that allows your audience to understand what it is that you stand for – and they’ll be more likely to be receptive to what you are offering them.

For more information on branding/messaging, as well as information on our full-service marketing services, click here or contact us today.

Elevator Pitch – The New American Express Card, never leave home without it


Blog By: Eric Thompson


Picture it, you enter an elevator, and you notice a prospect also enters, you have 30 seconds to convince the prospect to continue the conversation, are you prepared to describe you, your business, the benefits of doing business with you, and why they should continue the discussion? You’re only going to get this one chance to get their attention, sales people either freeze or feast in this situation, with the majority freezing.

A good elevator pitch is very important to have, it is the best “look in the mirror” exercise for you. It’s an opportunity for you to take an account of who you are, what you do, and what you can do for your prospect/client, the last one being the number one reason.  You have to be able to communicate all that in 30 seconds, can you do it?

This is just not an elevator pitch, it is the first impression that prospects hear on cold calls, working at trade shows, and when you meet someone cold out in public. You need to have a clear and concise message to deliver on cue.

It is not difficult to create a great message, you just need to collate all your thoughts about who you are, what company you represent, and why your target prospect should want to work with you. Remember to be sincere, truthful, and clear on your intentions. Practice, practice, practice your pitch, get it to be second nature, believe me most professionals will appreciate the respect of their time by being quick and communicative.

You should always be prepared to talk about you and explain why you do what you do. Be confident when speaking your pitch, but also be relaxed, don’t rush your delivery. Having a good opening line will get people to want to listen longer, especially if you can convey you can help them. It could lead to more sales opportunities and closing more deals.