What is your Brand?

When I think of a go-to pizza, Shakey’s is the first thing that comes up to me.

When I think of an old-school but stable bank, it’s Metrobank.

When I think of a sports brand that most athletes wear, it’s Nike.

To me, this is the true meaning of a brand. The customers brand you and not the other way around.

The problem with most businesses or marketers is that they create their brand message based on the image that they want to project, not based on how customers are branding them.

I always ask in interviews, “if I call your former colleagues, what do you think will they tell me about you?”. That’s your brand.

I am writing this because I’d like to share the proper mindset in discovering your brand. Also, Hilsoft never used a tagline, only a slogan “Loved by Filipino SMEs for over 17 years“. I think its about time to use one this coming 2019.

Looking back, I often hear from customers or partners that if you want your problem to be solved then call Dennis. Even in our team, if the devs couldn’t solve the coding problem, then they call me. Debugging that takes days, I can solve in minutes.

So I am branded as a guy who can solve anything. Relative of course to business automation problems whether if it is a user issue or a software issue.

Just recently, I encounter different cases during sales meetings with clients. So we in the sales team always come up with solutions. It can be a simple software customization tweak, hardware integration or even iOT.

Now I can confidently say that not only me but we are tagged as a company who can provide solutions to each business process problems that the customer have.

A few years ago, I printed and posted a message in our office wall, “You can solve anything.” I posted it to impart to our team that with resourcefulness, creativity and having an innovative mindset, any programming problem can be solved. So I figured, why not use this as a company tagline to tell the world that there’s a solution to every problem and Hilsoft can help and collaborate with you in solving them.

My next job is to make sure that I communicate this tagline to our team, so we are all aligned as to who we really are and how we are different from the others.

The most important thing is to create a process of how our team can systematically execute this brand to customers.

So in your case, what is your brand? Or should I say, what do your customers tell about you? I hope this writing can help you in discovering them.

5 Innovative Ideas to Boost Sales

innovativeideastoboostsalesBeing in sales in the past decade with Hilsoft has been great! I’ve seen and observed customer problems vividly.

But I figured it is not enough. Salespeople have to show a unique impression with a customer. They have to have an obvious authentic presence.

Let’s explore more options and innovative ideas I can think of to boost sales in your organization.

1. Hire a specific personality. A good recruitment process in general is essential in choosing the right person. If you’re a startup, generating revenue is the first priority hence hiring a good salesperson other than yourself is a must.

But how does one hire the best candidate? You have to define a specific personality who will represent sales.

In our case, since we are selling our own software solutions, the candidate must possess a strong background in software development and business process. A young executive, enthusiastic about technology and innovation.  Or it can probably be a typical geek like myself who can answer any technical question the customer can throw.

2. Implement Pareto (80/20). First step is to group prospects in the pipeline. In our case, we group them depending on the percentage of chance to close the deal. We define the percentage with the ff criteria sample:

a. Have they seen the product?

b. Do they need it asap?

c. Is the owner or the top decision maker involved?

d. Do they have a copy of the proposal/contract?

e. Total project cost.

Based on the above, 80% of our efforts are focused on 20% of the highest business potential, immediate and highest chance to close.

2. Focus on Closing Techniques. There are a lot of closing techniques in sales but I would recommend the ff:

a. Push for a “price” meeting. We normally set a mtg with the decision maker to discuss the proposal. We tell them that we will bring a laptop so we can modify the proposal during the meeting and sign on it.

b. Push for a “comparative” meeting. Suggest to meet them to discuss competitive advantages over other vendors.

c. Offer a promo/discount with deadline. Promo can be 50% discount with other products, trip abroad for two, free hotel accommodation with breakfast and lunch buffet.

3. Brand recall. Don’t leave a meeting without a leave-behind item. It can be a penholder, a paper weight or anything that they will use on top of their workstations.

Another way is to always add the business card emails to your company’s product newsletters.

4. Referral Program. Implement a referral program. In our case, we offer customers incentives if they give a referral.

5. Treat the vendor selection team. There are some decision makers who are loyal to their subordinates.  Treating them for lunch will definitely give positive impact with the deal.