Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

The Rise of the Learning Pod: How COVID-19 Launched a New Industry

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Source Outschool

COVID-19 forced US schools to Teach remotely for the first time in history back in March 2020. Many Teachers were not prepared to deliver remote instruction. Parents complained that the quality of their child’s education has declined since remote instruction began. Schools used this remote learning model until the end of the school year. As Summer vacation ends, parents grapple with the issue of whether they want to send their children back to school.

Many school districts across the US such as those in California have opted to keep remote learning for the fall because COVID-19 has resurged. In areas where COVID-19 cases are down, school districts such as New York City have opted for blended learning models where students report to school on some days and learn from home for the rest. According to Common Sense Media, over 50 million public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be learning remotely from home this year.

While safety is a top priority, the job of a school is to educate students. Parents are not satisfied with the public education offerings that have been presented for the Fall 2020 school year. This dissatisfaction with public education has made many parents seek out educational alternatives beyond blended and remote learning. These alternatives include learning pods, and supplemental education services such as tutoring.

Learning Pods Versus Tutoring

Learning pods are small learning communities where students meet every day to get instruction from a Teacher. This is different than tutoring because tutors review and reteach material as opposed to presenting new concepts. Tutoring functions as an educational supplement.

Why Parents are opting for In-Person Learning Pods

Parents that opt to use learning pods are looking to gain an educational advantage for their children by recreating traditional schools in a small group setting. The benefits of learning pods are that student instructional and social-emotional needs are met.

The Downside and Risk of In-Person Learning Pods

While this might sound like the perfect fix to remote learning and blended learning it comes with risks. The risks are that students and teachers are still at risk to contract COVID-19.

Another drawback of in-person learning pods is finding space. To address the issues of space, parents are buying apartments and houses; transforming them into schoolhouses. Marie spent $2000 to transform her guest house into a classroom she ordered desks, a whiteboard, a 50-inch television to live stream zoom tutorials, and built a library complete with personalized pencil boxes and workbooks.

Another mother is spending $720 per week to have her preschool son tutored in french with two of his friends.

Amanda Uhry, the NYC-based founder of Manhattan Private School Advisors, states Pandemic in-person pods can cost parents up to $100,000.

Some NYC parents are spending up to $70,000 on elite pod teachers, plus $2,500-a-month on studio apartments to serve as makeshift classrooms, plus an additional $50,000 to keep their kids enrolled at their private schools.

Why Virtual Learning Pods are the best option

How can parents get the benefits of a learning pod at an affordable price? Parents can look to tutoring services that offer virtual learning pods. Virtual learning pods eliminate the need for physical space making them more affordable than in-person learning pods. Groups of parents can sign their children up together in a virtual learning pod to lower the cost even more.

Virtual learning pods take the benefits of traditional school and put it online. Students get the benefits of individualized attention and social interaction all of which are lacking in traditional remote learning. Parents can have peace of mind that knowing that their child will not contract COVID-19; something that pricey in-person learning pods can not guarantee.

How Education Companies Can Corner the Learning Pod Market

Companies that offer Teacher staffing, tutoring, and instructional materials to schools can seize the opportunity in the learning pod market because they are well established in their industry.

K-12 Education and learning companies that hire seasoned certified teachers as tutors and learning pod instructors will be able to do better than companies who hire non-certified or inexperienced Teachers. Why? The reason is that Teacher certification and experience will help companies overcome the credibility hurdle. For Education companies that offer virtual learning pods, the teachers and tutors would need to be skilled in distance learning and remote teaching.

Would you choose a learning pod over traditional instruction for your child?

Why or why not?

Join the conversation.

Posted 65 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

How to Create Content Customers Love

Creating content that engages customers is key. Another key element to creating customer-centered presentations and digital content is knowledge of buyer learning styles.

In other words, how do buyers learn best?

There are three learning styles, Visual, Auditory, and kinesthetic. 65 percent of learners are Visual but this is not everyone.

Survey Results

I surveyed my LinkedIn Audience to ask which types of content helps them to learn best and what type of content they value most.

As you can see, people learn best from a mix of written, video, audio, and content formats.

Of the types of content, people want to read, many want to read industry insights, how-to, insights from conferences, and a mix of all of the above.

Based on my findings, I would recommend that content be:

1.Created and repurposed in multiple formats

2.Content is about industry insights, how-to, and insights from conferences

The overall content strategy should be based on how your customers learn and the types and format of content based on their wants and needs.

Bonus Content

In the presentation below, I provide ideas and strategies to:

1.Collect information on your buyer’s learning style

2.Create presentations and content that will engage buyers with content that is optimized to their learning style making it more engaging**

3.Create differentiated presentations and content for all learners when buyer learning styles are unknown

** How to Customize Presentations & content to Buyer learning Styles **

from

Dan Galante

How do you learn best and which content format helps you most? Comment and share.

Posted 55 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

9  Key Strategies to Overcoming Sales Objections

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also, you must address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.

Handling Objections & Stalls from Prospects

1.I am happy with my current supplier.

When you call on a prospect they say we are happy with our current supplier, this can mean one of two things. The first is that they are truly happy and the second is that they want you to get lost. (A stall) Obviously, you need to be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell by a prospect’s body language and level of attention.

If it is the first scenario, you should find out what supplier they currently use. When the prospect tells you it is your job to demonstrate how you are better. Once you feel that you have demonstrated how you are better, ask for a commitment or small order. By asking for a small order, you provide the prospect an opportunity to take a chance on you with minimal risk. I have had a lot of success with this approach.

If the scenario is the second one, the prospect will not provide you with any information or say that they deal with a company or person for 20 years and they do not want to change. In this case, I would still ask for the order. Should the prospect say he is not interested again, I would thank them for their time and leave. You should call on this prospect a few more times and then only call on them every two months. You need to focus your time on prospects that are receptive to you and your offering.

2. I want to think it over.

When you hear this, what the prospect is really saying is I am interested but I am not totally convinced. You should ask the prospect what specifically about this offer do you want to think over? Your goal here is to uncover the real objection. If the prospect gives you a specific answer, you are in business. Address the objection and ask a closing question. Say if I can handle XYZ, is there any reason why you would not purchase this product. Should the prospect say, no you covered everything, this means that they are either stalling, not interested in your offering, or will not tell you the real issue they have with your product. If this is the case, ask when they plan on making a decision and follow-up with them in that time-frame.

3. I need to consult another party

This can be a stall to put you off. You will need to determine this by the prospect’s body language and the level of attention you receive. When the prospect tells you this, you should ask for a meeting with the prospect and the person they need to consult. Should the prospect agree to this, you have a chance. If they will not agree to a meeting, it is a stall and they are not interested in your offering. However, I would still call on them a few more times. If you have no success, call on them every two months.

4. I am not the Decision-Maker- The Columbo Technique

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision-maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away too much information on their bosses’ business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision-maker but many times they were not in the office, or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Columbo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually, the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more, than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down. After all, they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision-maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow-up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Columbo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

5. Your price is too high.

Emphasize the quality of your product along with the level of service you will provide. Next, you should demonstrate to the prospect how your offering’s total cost is less than the competitors over the life of the product. Testimonials from loyal customers can also help you here. By taking these steps you demonstrate that your product is valuable and increase your chances of making the sale. (Provided this is the real objection.)

6. We spent our budget.

If they say the money is not the budget, ask If I can offer delayed billing or a payment plan would you be able to take delivery? If the person needs approval from another person, ask to present your product to that individual with your prospect’s endorsement. Should the company really want and need your product, they will find a way to pay for it.

7. I had a bad experience with your company.

I would apologize to the prospect about the experience. Tell them you are the new rep and that you will not let anything bad happen on your watch. Ask them to give you a chance. This will not work all of the time.

8. Call me After the Holidays

During the holiday season, many people are in holiday and party shopping mode. from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customer’s and prospects’ mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus. Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call.

To combat this objection. You have to attempt to get around this objection. If your offer is time-sensitive or if you can provide a break on pricing or payment through a special promotion for example no payments for 3 months; make your customer aware of them. However, at this time of the year, you will get customers and prospects who just don’t want to deal with you and your offering. As a sales rep, it is your job to be able to tell if the customer and prospect are telling you the truth. In other words, you need to qualify their objections. This means following up with every customer and prospect even when things look bleak.

Should your customers and prospects insist that call you after the holidays, I would find out which holiday they mean. Next, I would pin them down to a specific day and time to call back. I recommend sending your customers and prospects a holiday card with a little note reminding them about the appointment; stating how you look forward to speaking with them on the specific date and time. Once this time comes, I would hold them to their promise. Deliver your presentation and ask for the business.

9. Testimonials and Referrals

Showing Testimonials to a prospect can be a great way for them to trust you enough to make a purchase. If you don’t have any the sale is that much more difficult but not impossible. I have made plenty of Sales without them.

Once you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow-up with a customer. As a Salesperson, it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in with the customer throughout the implementation of your product or service and staying in touch with the customer after the sale. In this post, I am going to discuss how to earn referrals and testimonials.

During my time as an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of my day. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted to ask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product and services? However, once I made the sale my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral. Now many people would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and this shows a sign of trust. But what did the customer really buy? Yes, the customer bought you and your products but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering. How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven? Yet many people do.

Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise and you will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationship and that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Salesperson is to build relationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating the value of your products to the customer. Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.

Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?

I would ask the customer for a referral when you know the customer is happy with the implementation of your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offer more than one product or service try to cross-sell or upsell the customer first. See if the customer will use more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you. Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like and trust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.

I would ask the customer for a referral by first thanking them for the business that they have provided and trusted me with. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit from my offering. My experience has taught me that the customers were always willing to offer themselves as a reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients or pass my name along to their peers.

Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There are a testimonial letter and a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did a wonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendation feature on LinkedIn. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short video segment.

When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feel comfortable with. Also, be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you get new business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give you anymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.

This is how to handle objections in a nutshell.

What objections did you face?

How did you handle them?

Comment and share.

Posted 35 weeks ago