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NASCAR: Atlanta Motor Speedway: What you need to know

Race: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Distance: 325 laps, or 500.5 miles. Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, a 1.54-mile, quadoval in Hampton, Georgia. When: 2 p.m. … Click to Continue »

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Bubba Wallace's take on Denny Hamlin claiming a flat tire at the line

Following the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Daytona International Speedway NASCAR drivers Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin had quite the post race. During a TV interview Wallace commented that Hamlin should have probably taken some adderall as Hamlin had claimed 70 percent of the drivers did during a podcast earlier in the week. Hamlin had been spoken to in the NASCAR trailer following that comment but it still has ruffled driver’s emotions. At the finish line on Sunday night, Hamlin claimed that he had gotten a flat tire racing against Wallace. … Click to Continue »

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A Sales Professional’s Guide to Successful Events

Not long ago, 2018 has begun. For sales teams, this can mean only one thing – it’s time to start the industry conference season. I hope you’re excited as much as we are!

As a psychology student back in the day, and now as a sales executive at GetResponse, I’ve had a chance to attend many events. I would love to share a few tips and tricks that worked for me and can help you boost your lead generation efforts.

So if you read on, you’ll learn how to prepare for a tradeshow. You’ll also learn how to apply psychology in onsite conversations to get the best results. Finally, I’ll tell you about my strategy for following up with leads and making sure that I don’t miss out on any opportunity.

 

How to prepare

The first thing you want to do is ask your marketing team to prepare a list of guests that are going to participate in the event. Identify those who fit your ideal customer profile. If the event organizer doesn’t share lists, you have two options: you can use a dedicated networking application prior to the event (if available) or review the list of exhibitors (this one will be available for sure! 🙂 )

Once you identify the list of potential customers, don’t waste a minute waiting for the event. Connect with them on social media. You can start the conversation with a very general, open-ended question: “It looks like we’re going to meet at…. I was wondering, why did your team decide to take part in this show?” Alternatively, you can ask them if they will be looking for partners to help them solve some specific problems (and hopefully, you can be their savior.)

Most of the time, you’ll find people that will need your product or service to face their current business challenge. Make sure to book a meeting with them. Everyone’s going to be busy, so you can have lunch together or grab a coffee.

If you follow this strategy, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and avoid being perceived as the annoying person who chats up every passerby.

 

What to do at the event

I know you might have been already following these tips on a subconscious level, but it’s always worth pointing it out and keeping the basics in mind.

 

Be punctual.

Yes, I’ve seen too many reps get there too late. The first hours are quiet, that’s right. Still, a lot of CEOs or Directors (who usually are the decision makers) have busy schedules, so they come in the mornings when it’s not that crowded yet. They can look around and then get back to their duties. You don’t want to miss them.

 

“A smile is the universal welcome.”

When that CEO approaches you, make sure to smile. When people see a happy face, it activates their mirror neurons, which makes them share the feeling (L. Winerman, ‘The mind’s mirror’). What’s more, if someone is exposed to a positive stimulus (like a smile that triggers a positive emotion) and to an image (like a logo or your face) at the same time, their brain automatically builds an unconscious connection between the two (J. De Houwer, S. Thomas & F. Baeyens, ‘Association learning of likes and dislikes: A review of 25 years of research on human evaluative conditioning’). This phenomenon is called evaluative conditioning. When you smile, you’re doing a favor to your company and yourself.

 

Be aware of your body language.

Make sure to keep it open and positive. A good tip is to stand next to the other person (shoulder to shoulder) and – if possible – look in the same direction. Evolutionary psychology tells us that if we stand in front of someone we just met, they can feel uncomfortable or even threatened. Have you ever felt this way? You can reduce this negative effect and make your conversations more natural by just grabbing a product brochure and show images to illustrate what you’re talking about. This way, even if you make eye contact from time to time, it will seem more natural than just staring at each other throughout the whole conversation.

 

Sales event body language

Ask simple questions.

Ok, so you’re on time, with your happy face on, and starting your first conversation.

First of all, you want to find out if investing your time in a business relationship with this person is worth it. Verify, ask questions. If they ask you what you do, be brief and clear. Ask if that’s something they’re looking for. If it is, then immediately follow up with why and what kind of problem they need to solve. If it’s not, ask “so, what are you looking for?” With this tactic, you’ll find much more leads and won’t waste an additional hour explaining what you do to someone who’s not going to become your customer.

 

Respect your time while offering help.

If you find a person looking for a product like yours, make sure to learn “why”. What kind of issues are they trying to solve? Then, show them how your product can address it and, if possible, share some testimonials. That’s it. Don’t do a demo, unless someone asks for it. Build value based on their main problem. You’ll tell them about the product later. Respect your time and make sure to make the most of it.

Finally, make notes. If you follow the tips above, I guarantee you’ll meet a lot of people who will be a great fit for your business. Don’t lose the information you collected. It will help you build stronger relationships with your future clients.

 

How to follow up after

Timing is important. During your conversations at the event tell people when you’re going to follow up with them. This first email – if you send it on time – is a great opportunity for you to build trust. Building trust is nothing more than simply delivering on promises (E. Schniter, R. M. Sheremeta & D. Sznycer, ‘Building and rebuilding trust with promises and apologies’). You can easily start off on the right foot.

Also, use your notes for that first email or call. Impress your prospect by mentioning something unique about them. This will show you really care and listened to what they said.

 

Sales event follow up message

 

The last piece of advice relates to delivering demos. I hope you managed to book plenty of them. If that’s the case, consider doing a webinar. This will help you scale your conversations and show off the interest that you gained. Why? According to Cialdini (‘Influence: The psychology of persuasion.’, 2007), if someone sees people like them perform an action (for example, buy your product), the chances they will do it too increase by 33%!

 

Summing up

There’s no foolproof scheme that will guarantee a success every time. But, if you follow these rules, the road to becoming a sales events expert is much easier and less stressful. Remember that every step is equally important. Put effort into the preparation, be aware of the subconscious messages you’re sending at the conference or trade show, and follow up, as promised. Build an audience that will help you sell.

If you have some more insightful tips, feel free to share! We would love to learn from you  :-)!

 

While we’re at it, be sure to check our upcoming online marketing bootcamp. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

 

Online Marketing Bootcamp

 

A sales professional's guide to successful events

The post A Sales Professional’s Guide to Successful Events appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Can altruism exist without empathy? Lessons from the ant world

New research shows that termite-hunting Matabele ants dress the wounds of injured comrades. It is the first time an insect has been shown to display healing behavior toward others.

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9 Listing Photo Do's and Don'ts

Your bags are packed, you’re ready to move and the last thing you want to do is follow your agent’s advice about putting time and money into your listing photos. But if you don’t, your photos could prevent the home from selling quickly.

Consider these nine do’s and don’ts to help your listing attract the attention it deserves.

1. Do: Take a shot from the curb.

Keep your home’s curb appeal top of mind. Buyers often decide in a matter of minutes (or seconds) whether they want to keep looking or move on to another listing.

Make sure you get the whole house in the shot, and don’t let cars or other objects block your line of sight.

Don’t: Create a landslide.

When taking a shot from the curb, be mindful of your camera’s angle. The roofline should be parallel with the photo’s frame to make it look level – not like there’s a landslide on the property.

2. Do: Welcome visitors.

An attractive front door and entryway go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your home. Leaving the door open in one of your photos can also send a welcoming message.

Don’t: Threaten visitors.

Remove any threatening signs or barriers on the property before taking photos. The goal is to create a feeling of warmth with your listing photos – not scare onlookers away.

3. Do: Consider a bird’s-eye view.

Taking a photo from above is a great way to show off a large property or a waterfront location. Crop the photo close enough so the home is visible without having to draw an arrow or a box around it.

Don’t: Consider a fisheye lens.

Some folks use a fisheye lens to make smaller spaces appear larger. However, it often has the opposite effect, making the space feel smaller and distorted.

As a general rule of thumb, stick with a traditional lens for listing photos, and make small spaces appear bigger with design tricks.

4. Do: Capture your home’s selling points.

You may think it’s best to skip the bathroom when taking listing photos, but if yours was recently updated, show it off! Bathrooms are among the first spaces to be upgraded in newly owned homes, and research shows that blue bathrooms sell for more than expected.

Don’t: Capture yourself in the mirror.

While a vanity can be a selling point, you want buyers to picture themselves in the mirror – not you. Stay out of your listing photos by avoiding angles where you or your camera’s flash may be reflected.

5. Do: Stage each room.

The goal is to put your home’s best foot forward. That means staging each room to sell shoppers on the lifestyle your home offers. Create cozy vignettes in each photo so it’s easier for shoppers to envision themselves living there.

Don’t: Stage a mess.

If there’s one absolute “don’t” for listing photos, it’s capturing a mess. Tidy up each room before taking any photos so your home looks its best.

6. Do: Play up the season.

Even if your home has been on the market for a while, it will feel up-to-date if the photos reflect the season. If it’s summer, take a sunny photo of the backyard. If it’s winter, create a cozy feel with a fire and a warm blanket.

Don’t: Play up your holiday decor.

Over-the-top holiday decor can be a turnoff, especially if buyers don’t celebrate that holiday. Instead, consider ways to decorate for the season as a whole and take photos of rooms without themed decor.

7. Do: Show off the view.

If the view is one of your home’s selling points, you’ll definitely want to show it off. It’s best if you can capture it with a part of the house in the shot, like the deck or porch. That way, buyers can picture themselves there.

Don’t: Show off your pets.

Focus on the parts of your home that will be there when a buyer moves in. Unfortunately, your pets don’t fall into that category, as cute as they are!

8. Do: Show off architectural details.

Archways, beams and other architectural quirks may be hard to photograph, but they give your home character. Try to capture a few of the architectural details if you can.

Don’t: Show off architectural blunders.

Every home has its blemishes, but that doesn’t mean you have to capture them all in the photos. The listing is the time to put your best foot forward – the open house and inspection are when the buyer can take note of the imperfections.

You may also want to consider making a few small improvements, like updating the bathroom, before listing your home.

9. Do: Take a night shot with the lights on.

While it’s easy to assume daytime shots are ideal, a nighttime exterior shot can create the right amount of contrast to make your photos stand out. The key is to leave your home’s interior and exterior lights on while you take the photo.

Don’t: Capture a dark room.

When it comes to interior photos, you want all the light you can get. Use lamps and daytime window light to make your photos as bright as possible while still looking natural.

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Austin Dillon: You drove the Number 3 and that is why I want to drive it

NASCAR team owner Richard Childress was asked about his decision to let driver Austin Dillon drive the famous Number 3 car on Sunday evening following the Daytona 500. Childress spoke to his reasoning to put Dillon in the car. Sunday the decision placed him back in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway 20 years after Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s Daytona 500 victory. … Click to Continue »

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CRO With Live Chat and Chatbots – 9 Optimization Tips

People increasingly expect brands to be available 24/7, and to provide a personalized experience for them. Live chat and chatbots help your brand do both of those things.

Chat also helps customers research your product or service, find useful information, and make purchases. You know what else live chat and chatbots do? Improve your conversion rates.

 

Why live chat and chatbots work for conversion rate optimization

Intuitively, it makes sense that chat boosts conversion rates.

Chat saves visitors’ time so they can convert quickly and easily. No longer do they have to waste minutes searching through your website for a specific product or an answer to their question. Your chat agent gets them what they need instantly.

But there may be another reason why chat proves so effective. It’s personal. Back in the day, all sales took place over the phone or in person – with a real human. With the rise of the internet, a website jammed its way in between those sales reps and your customers, increasing friction and making things impersonal.

This is why people love using chat. Almost half of the consumers would rather message a brand instead of emailing them, and more than half of WeChat’s nearly one billion users have linked their credit cards to the app. When it comes to branded chatbots and live chat, consumers are welcoming them with open arms.

 

9 CRO tips using live chat and chatbots

With effective live chat, the conversion rate can increase significantly, regardless of how optimized your site is. This theory helps explain why most non-optimized websites are lucky if they have conversion rates above 2%. But as long as your chat works, it doesn’t matter if your search button isn’t mobile-optimized or you have a broken page – customers can get what they need.

If your website is converting at 5% or higher, live chat can interfere with conversions and distract visitors into chatting instead of buying. But unless you’re a part of that elite group, live chat and chatbots can work wonders for your brand.

Here are nine tips for optimizing your conversion rate using chatbots and live chat.

 

1. Automate your chat greetings.

Live chat greetings are the ecommerce equivalent of the friendly hello from an in-store salesperson. Except that customers don’t find them annoying. They’re less intrusive and pushy, literally unable to breathe down your back, yet impressive in their capabilities. Customers find them a delight. In fact, customers who are invited to chat are over 6 times likelier to convert than those who aren’t.

Timing the pop up of your chat window will depend on some testing, but anywhere between 30 seconds to a few minutes will probably work. Pop it in the lower right-hand corner, large enough so it’s noticeable for those who need help, but out of the way enough so the users who don’t want to chat can easily close it out.

 

2. Personalize your chat greetings.

Don’t stop at automating your chat greeting. Personalize it! Most chat providers allow you to customize the greeting depending on the referring website, user IP, or the PPC ad they clicked on, among other things. Depending on how fancy you want to get (and how much you want to convert), try some of these ideas for the initial message:

  • Mention your current sale: “Hi there! 30% off all shirts – any designs you like?”
  • Match your message to the ad copy they saw in the PPC ad advertising shirts for men: “Hi there! Check out our favorite shirt selections for men.”
  • Target your message to the page they’re currently browsing: “We love this shirt, too! Need help picking a color?”

You can also make the chatbot itself feel more personal by giving it a name. If you’re using live chat, use the agent’s first name and a friendly headshot.

Just as with all of your content, the voice of your chatbot should use the same language as your customers. For example, HarperCollins’s teen-focused Epic Reads chatbot recommends young adult fiction to their Gen Z audience, using emojis and GIFs. The chatbot did so well that they released an all-ages version less than a year later.

 

Personalize Chat Greetings for CRO

EpicReads’ successful chatbot

 

3. Make it easy to use.

For your chatbot to work, it’s absolutely critical that it be easy and intuitive to use. Introduce any friction, and your customer may be even less likely to convert than they were before. They’ll lose trust in your company’s tech and extrapolate from there (What does that mean for the security of my credit card information? Will my order arrive? and so on).

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use chat software that mimics the way other common chat programs work, like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Google Hangouts. Most chat software has been developed on years of testing and user feedback. Trust in it and adapt it to your brand by only tweaking the colors and fonts.

Make your chat even easier to use by giving customers alternatives to typing. Offer quizzes so customers can simply tap a button to be presented with content relevant to them, like American Eagle did with their Aerie bra-style helper.

 

Easy to Use Chatbot for CRO

 

4. Be where the people are.

Want to reach more people? Don’t force them to visit your website (shh, don’t tell your SEO team). It sounds counterintuitive, but CRO is all about minimizing friction, and sometimes that friction takes place when you’re dragging the person away from where they are and towards your website. This is why Facebook Messenger bots are becoming so popular.

Even though people are developing app fatigue and concentrating their time on a small group of apps, over one billion people still log into Facebook every day. Facebook Messenger reached over 100,000 bots within its first year.

Create a Facebook Messenger bot for your app. Customers can ask questions, purchase items, and book reservations all from within Facebook. This strategy works for plenty of companies, including Uber, Sephora, and 1-800-Flowers. 1-800-Flowers, in particular, attributed 70% of their chatbot sales from new customers.

Be Where People AreBe Where People AreBe Where People Are

 

5. Provide faster and thorough customer service.

Grease the runway to conversion by resolving customer service questions faster than ever. No longer do people have to browse your FAQ, use your search function, or read a blog post. They can simply ask your chatbot questions, saving them time and speeding up their purchase process.

Kayak’s chatbot helps people scout out potential travel destinations and plan their entire trip. They can find things to do, book planes and hotels, and receive flight reminders from the app. This full-service chatbot is like a travel agent in your pocket. Instead of using Kayak for just the booking part of their trip, the chatbot checks in at multiple touch points. This positive experience builds loyalty and makes customers likely to return to Kayak the next time they plan a vacation.

 

Customer Service Chat

Customer Service Chat

 

6. Gather user feedback.

Got a landing page that just isn’t converting? How about a product with a high cart abandonment rate? Chat can help you figure out the problem.

When people move their cursor to leave your shopping cart, try temporarily opening up a chat window instead of hitting them with a special please-don’t-go offer.  Ask them why they’re leaving. Make it simple with a quick poll and give them your offer at the end in case they change their mind.

You can also test out assumptions on new landing pages using mini polls in chat windows. Or, invite customers to live chat for a special discount code in return for their feedback. Once you’re done, you can even ask customers to rate their satisfaction with the chat experience itself.

 

7. Quickly sort leads.

Many B2B sales require a lot of upfront information. Live chat can speed up this process. Through a short interview, a chatbot or a live chat agent can discern a person’s stage in the funnel and react accordingly:

  • If a person is just browsing, the chatbot can invite them to download a whitepaper or sign up for your email list.
  • For those who are a bit more interested, the chatbot can ask a few firmographic questions, such as the size of their company and the vertical, and then offer to email them a case study specific to their needs.
  • For hot leads or anyone with a more complicated question, the chatbot can connect them straight to a salesperson or a live chat agent.

 

8. Increase shopping cart totals.

You know those “People Also Love” related items galleries languishing at the bottom of your product page? Give them new life with a chatbot.

Whenever a person adds an item to their shopping cart, your chatbot can pop up and suggest similar items people usually purchase.

eBay’s Facebook Messenger Shopbot helps people find and buy items they’re looking for. The more the person uses the bot, the smarter it becomes, tailoring suggestions to the user and prompting them with recommended items.

Shopping Cart Chat

 

9. Test, test, and test again.

When you perform CRO activities on your website you test everything, right? Do the same with your chat experience.

  • Experiment with different opening greetings, responses, and CTAs on your buttons. You might be surprised to see how a simple word choice changes your conversion rate.
  • Your goals with chat copy will be different than the ones on your website. While it should still match your brand voice, your chatbot should be friendlier, more casual, and more real.
  • The principles of urgency still apply, so use that to your advantage. “There are only 2 items left! Want me to grab one for you before we run out?”

 

Conclusion

Above all, remember that for a chat to work, it has to be available. Make it accessible 24/7 or turn on chatbots during the hours when your Live Chat support reps aren’t around. Answer quickly, within 15 seconds or less.

When done right, live chat and chatbots make life easier for your customers. Impress them with a fun and helpful chat experience, and they’ll reward you with conversions.

 

CRO with Live Chat and Chatbots

The post CRO With Live Chat and Chatbots – 9 Optimization Tips appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Second lucky penny gives Austin Dillon victory in the Daytona 500

The memory of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt’s victory at Daytona International Speedway isn’t far from driver Austin Dillon’s memory. In fact, Dillon can watch the victory through a window at the team’s shop where it plays continuously. Twenty years ago Earnhardt received a lucky penny from a young girl and won the Daytona 500. Dillon won the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18, 2018 after receiving a penny from a young fan during an autograph signing days before. The legendary Number 3 Chevrolet returned to Victory Lane with Earnhardt’s close friend and Dillon’s grandfather Richard Childress standing alongside on the dais. … Click to Continue »

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NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver is surprisingly enduring honor. Is Chase Elliott next?

Flags flying in the infield; hordes of hollering, excited teenage girls; a good ’ol family name. Chase Elliott has it all, a human cocktail with the necessary ingredients to make … Click to Continue »

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