5 Keys to a Great Pitch Deck

Pitch decks are a vital part of any new fund manager’s toolkit. People retain 80 percent of what they see, 20 percent of what they read and 10 percent of what they hear, so pitching your business idea on paper or over the phone just isn’t going to cut it.

When meeting with investors, visual aids can bring cohesion, clarity and even entertainment. The best visual tool for communicating your business plan to angel investors and venture capitalists is a pitch deck. A well-prepared pitch deck helps fund managers present details in an organized and visually appealing package.

Now that we know why a good pitch deck is important, let’s jump into the 5 things you can do to create a killer presentation.

1. First impressions matter

Your opening slide is your first chance to catch your audience’s attention and pique their interest. Begin with a quick summary of what your startup is about. Some companies find it easiest to pose a comparison to a better-known company (e.g. Postmates for groceries). While this can help your audience grasp the concept quickly, if you use a comparison be sure it makes sense.

If there is no comparison that fits your business idea, a concise summary will also work. Imagine you’re writing a Twitter post or Instagram bio for your company. How would you describe it in 140 characters or less?

2. Present the problem and your solution

This is a concise and clear explanation of what your company does. To help your audience understand, provide scenarios where your product or service comes in to address a pain point.  Make sure the scenario captures what you’re trying to do and why.

3. Show the numbers

It doesn’t matter how great your idea is. At the end of the day, investors care about profit. If your business has already launched, bring out your data. Present number of early adopters, sales, paying users and any other relevant information. You should also show the size of your target market, particularly if you haven’t launched yet.

4. Do the math

Once you prove there is a market demand for your product, you need to exhibit how you earn money. This part of the pitch deck doesn’t need to be extremely detailed, but you need to be able to show who pays you and give a revenue projection based on your target market size – or current revenue increases based on the customers you’ve already secured.

5. Peel back the curtain

Investors know that a startup is only as good as the team running it. They’ll want to know who they’re giving their money to and that they’re qualified to handle it. Your pitch deck should include a slide with the quick background of each team member, or the management team if your company already has a good number of employees. This slide can include information like team members’ expertise, previous industry and other career-related relevant information. Keep it simple and elaborate during the meeting.

A good pitch deck is one of your most important tools when talking to investors. While the information it holds can vary depending on your startup’s stage of development, the deck should present important information in a tone that matches your company’s personality, and, in turn, your own!

Let Geraci Media help you reach your business goals through a well-designed pitch deck. Reach out to us here.

The Importance of a High-Quality Website

Why does website quality matter?

Think of your website as your digital storefront. Your website is often the first impression you give potential customers and in many cases your first point of contact with them. Before consumers see your store or your products they will see your website – so you want that first impression to be a good one.

The days of relying on phone books and word-of-mouth to find new businesses, products, and services are gone. In fact, 76 percent of consumers shop online, and 64 percent of consumers prefer the convenience of online shopping.

Customers will form an opinion about your business based on your website, which in turn affects their purchase decisions. When a customer searches for something you offer or specifically for your business, you want your website to be user-friendly, look great on mobile, and be well-maintained.

What makes a quality website?

Keep the users in mind

People want quick solutions to their problems and quick answers to their questions. Your website should make it easy for them to find the information they need, in a visually appealing package. Good websites are clean, well-organized, easy to navigate, clear and concise, modern, functional and branded. Key information like business hours, location and contact info should be easy to find. In short, your website should motivate the visitor to do business with you.

Make sure it’s mobile-friendly

A quality website looks good and functions well on a mobile device. U.S. customers spent roughly $177 billion in 2018 online shopping through their smartphones. Sales made directly through smartphones are expected to increase by 56 percent to hit $209 billion by 2022. You don’t want to miss out on those mobile spending dollars, so make sure your website is properly built and designed for optimal mobile use.

Professionalism is key

The best websites are also well-polished, meaning no spelling or grammatical errors, no outdated art or design, no pixelated images and no loose ends. Content should be complete and visually appealing, and fonts and colors match across the entire website.

Your website is a powerful tool. Geraci Media can help create or update your website to draw interested and engaged clients to your brand. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Geraci Media Now Offers Video Recording and Editing Services

Irvine, CA., October 18, 2019 –Geraci Media is excited to announce the addition of video content creation as part of their growing suite of products and services. This offering encompasses the entire filming process from beginning to end, including creative consulting, scripting, recording, and editing.

Video content marketing has become one of the most effective ways for brands to grow their audiences and increase prospect engagement. A growing number of companies have caught on to this trend, and are looking for ways to incorporate it into their own marketing strategies. The only problem is that many of them do not possess either the resources or the know-how to execute their visions; and that is where Geraci Media steps in.

“We understand the importance of really getting to know the company you are working with, and we want to help lenders and those in the private lending industry tell their story,” said Ruby Keys, the Vice President of Geraci Media. “Videos get people excited and allow them to visualize and understand who you are as a team and as individuals.”

Whether you are looking to create promotional videos, educational content, or more creative projects, Geraci Media is here to help. They guarantee state-of-the-art video and sound quality, lighting, production, editing, and the same high standard of professionalism and customer service that their clients have come to expect. If you’re ready to produce quality video content for your company or you have more questions about how the Media team can help you do it, please visit https://geracimediagroup.com/ or reach out to Ruby Keys by booking a call.

Media Contact:
Ruby Keys
Vice President, Geraci Media
(949) 379-2600

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

A pitch deck is a slideshow or presentation – created on PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or a similar software – that presents your company, goods, and services to an audience. Creating an effective pitch deck that keeps investors engaged and helps you achieve your business goals takes time and effort.

Anyone can throw together some slides in a matter of hours, but consider this: for every 100 pitches an investor hears, he or she will fund only 10 of them, which means most pitches get lost in the crowd. We’ve told you how to design a perfect pitch deck; now, here are 10 things to avoid to ensure that your pitch deck is at the top of investors’ minds.

1. Overcomplicate the presentation

Chances are, your investor does not know the ins and outs of your business’s industry. Avoid using technical jargon that will confuse your audience. Stick to simple words, animations, and transitions to convey complicated ideas. Create your presentation so that even someone with little knowledge of your industry and company could understand it.

It is important to note, however, that there is a chance your audience may be knowledgeable about your industry. Preliminary research is paramount to this point, as oversimplifying your presentation may appear as though you are talking down to your audience.

2. Use old-fashioned design

You don’t need to be a professional designer, but you also don’t want to present plain white slides. Your deck should convey how forward-thinking and modern your ideas are. Take advantage of the templates that PowerPoint and other presentation-building tools offer, and be sure to add custom touches, like your company’s logo and simple graphics. If you want to go above and beyond, hire an agency who can make your pitch deck in a more advanced software, such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.

3. Get off to a slow start

Even if your business idea is incredible, if you can’t capture your audience and keep them engaged, your deck will get lost in the crowd. A strong, memorable introduction will keep investors wanting to know more about your company and how they can benefit from their investment in you. After all, they’re trusting you with their money; hook them at the beginning to ensure they stay with you through the end of your presentation.

4. Give a lengthy pitch

Show respect for investors’ time by finishing your presentation well before your meeting time is up. You don’t want to make your audience antsy about missing their next appointment, and you’ll leave time for any follow-up questions. You can shorten your presentation time by shortening or altogether omitting your startup’s history or founders. Keep them wanting more – share details later.

5. Fudge the numbers

It can be tempting to bluff data in your pitch deck, but it’s important to resist this temptation. This is a very poor business practice that misleads investors and wastes everyone’s time. Getting caught exaggerating in your pitch can ruin your reputation and lead to lawsuits down the road. Before you even pursue funding from angel investors and venture capitalists, gather concrete data that supports your business case. They’ll come knocking at your door!

6. Leave out your mission

Many startups fail because investors can see that their ideas are great, but their founders lack a compelling vision. When pitching to investors, your goal is to convince them that they’re going to make it big by investing in you, and there’s no better way to do that than selling them on your mission. If you don’t get much traction at first, don’t be discouraged. Rethink your vision and make sure it’s grounded in reality.

7. Forget to mention your story

Everyone loves a good story, especially one with a happy ending. For investors, that happy ending is when their investment pays off! Make your business story relatable and weave it throughout your deck for a compelling presentation. However, be careful not to overdo it – make sure your story relates to your overall business model.

8. Involve disclosures and NDAs

You know your ideas are worth a lot, which is why you’re protective of them. Many people think that the best way to avoid having their ideas stolen is by asking investors to sign an NDA before pitch presentations. The hard truth is that investors have probably heard a variation your idea before. Legitimate investors who receive pitches all the time will rarely sign an NDA. For best practice, have an attorney who specializes in your space review your pitch deck to make sure it’s legally compliant.

Remember that investors aren’t your competition. They’re not going to invest in multiple competing businesses. So while you may be intimidated by the fact that they have the money and resources to build a better product than you, resist the urge to ask for an NDA.

9. Forget about your exit strategy

This one might be counterintuitive. Venture capitalists don’t want their money sitting in the bank. They want it to be used to create a high return on investment. One of the best ways to get their attention is to show them how high their ROI will be in a few years. When you present a good exit strategy, you’re showing investors that you’ve done your homework, you’re credible, and their money is in good hands.

10. Leave off your value proposition

At the end of your deck, your audience should be able to answer the following questions: Why are you better than your competitors? What makes you special? Why should they invest in your company?

Your value proposition should be relevant to your business’s market, present a clear solution to a problem, have tangible and specific benefits, and differentiate from your competition. Focus on your product’s benefits, not its features, and use your value proposition to craft your story.

As you’ve read, there’s a lot that goes into building a successful pitch deck. If you want to earn investors’ funding and respect, focus on your story, stick to the facts, and explain your value. If you are looking for a marketing team to help build your pitch deck, Geraci Media is your expert in the private lending space.

Schedule a call with Ruby today to discuss how Geraci Media can make you an outstanding pitch deck.

Building Better Products Through Collaboration

How to Build a Collaborative Team to Build Better Products

Most significant projects are not undertaken by just one individual; They require a team effort to conceptualize, strategize, and successfully manage tasks so that a stellar product can emerge.  Even activities that may seem like a personal endeavor almost always require some form of collaboration.

Collaboration brings together a diverse group of talents and minds all focused on achieving a common goal. Working within a collaborative team provides you with the assets needed to reach your project goals faster while creating a more dependable end product. 

Aligning Your Goals

Selecting the right team is a crucial component in creating a successful team. You should bring in individuals who have fully developed skills, such as motivational, organizational, and imagination, to be utilized fully for the creation of a value-added product.

It’s also important to assemble your team with members who are aligned with the goals of the project. Establish the ground rules and pass along clear guidelines for how your collaborative process will operate. Only after everyone is on the same page, can you continue with the process and work towards the common goal of solving the task at hand.

In establishing the rules early and by clearly defining goals, team members can join knowing they can freely offer ideas and provide feedback that ultimately contributes to a successful product.

Removing Roadblocks

The enemy of collaboration is roadblocks. A roadblock typically occurs when employees don’t see eye-to-eye on specific aspects of a project. Anytime you get multiple personalities together in a room, there is generally some level of disagreement. However, limiting the differences to just that, and not letting them evolve into animosity or open conflict, is key to preventing time-wasting roadblocks. For collaboration to happen, a leader must emerge that has the strength to enforce it.

Finding a way to foster strong employee relationships helps reduce friction and leads to a more fruitful collaboration effort on behalf of the entire team. Building trust between all team members assists in driving initiatives such as floating ideas, facilitating change, meeting milestones, and fostering in-depth collaboration.

Increase Productivity

Writers get “writer’s block,” professional athletes fall into slumps, and employees sometimes suffer a creative block. Falling into a creative slump is frustrating and a waste of time. Collaboration can help solve the issue by getting a fresh set of eyes on incomplete work, followed by team input and suggestions that help get those creative juices flowing again.

The goal of most projects is to produce the best end-product for your customer. Whether that customer is internal or external, is immaterial. Through collaboration, you can harness the skills and ideas of many to propose, critique, and ultimately solve the problems that prevent the best product from emerging.

With strong leadership, and by keeping your team members looped into the progress of your project, you can eliminate conflicts, reduce overlap, and foster the creative instincts of your team members to produce fabulous results.

Tools such as Dropbox, Slack, or Google Docs help keep all your team members on the same page and engaged in the effort. By promoting open conversation and critique, you will gain the trust of your team while receiving an honest review of your efforts.

Setting Up For Success

A critical factor in creating a successful collaborative effort is nurturing the environment that fosters a culture of collaboration. Here are some factors that can help you define and promote a culture of cooperation.

Lay down the law – setting up ground rules for all employees, even if not part of a team, sends a message that the company promotes and welcomes collaboration. Established practices, protocols, and guidelines will demonstrate your willingness to facilitate cooperation and empowers individuals to lead those efforts as part of a team

Become a leader – nothing motivates better than leadership. Leadership starts at the top, with the executive committee, and trickles down to employees through all levels of management. By clearly defining your leadership role and empowering employees and team members to also embrace leadership roles, you’ll convince employees that they can openly share ideas that contribute to not only the growth of the company but to their personal growth, as well.

Open communication – through efficient communication, collaborative teams prosper. Whether its holding team meetings or sending out updates and group emails, transparent and open communication are critical to a collaborative culture. Providing an organized structure with collaborative tools to your teams will also help spur information sharing across platforms and between team members and supporting departments.

Building trust – open communication fosters a certain level of confidence, but your employees must also trust their ideas and critiques. Empowering employees to conceptualize and present new ideas will build trust in leadership and better facilitate a more open and constructive collaborative effort.

Collaboration not only provides an excellent strategy to produce the best products possible, but it offers employees a chance to shine. With a culture of collaboration, employees will feel more comfortable participating and contributing new ideas, suggestions, and the motivation to bring their very best.

With the right leadership structure in place, open communication, and team members that clearly understand their defined roles, your collaborative effort will lead to a faster and more successful effort to develop the best possible final product.

Geraci Media Group is a national private lending agency, which specializes in marketing and design needs. If you are looking to grow your business and expand profitability, let Geraci help you with your marketing today.

Know the Essentials on Gathering Qualified Leads

Before the age of technology, a salesperson would travel about their territory to meet personally with individuals, to get a “feel” on their sales leads. As is today, when they came across a person ready to buy, it was considered a “hot” lead. By comparison, a “warm” prospect is a person merely browsing for products or services, and a “cold” lead is someone who may not even know what you’re selling.

Qualified leads generally received more attention. Lunches, rounds of golf, or maybe a happy hour together would give the salesperson a chance to address their prospects needs and expectations to close the deal. On the other hand, warm leads maybe got a phone call as a follow-up.

With the Internet, much of that personal sales approach has nearly disappeared. Today, when shoppers are considering a service or product, they immediately go online with their smartphone or computer and browse for what they want, read reviews, and decide. This stage of engagement is regarded as a warm lead; but how do you best identify that prospect and convert it into a sale?

What’s critical to understand is how to capture that lead.

Many companies today have turned to automated software that helps identify and analyze a prospect’s engagement behavior and determine what stage they are in the lead qualification process. Technology helps, but you still need some key components in place to take advantage of the process.
To successfully qualify leads, you must have three critical fundamentals in place.

A Clear Definition of “Lead”

Defining what a lead means to you is a crucial step in determining whether they are qualified enough to move onto the next sales stage. Typically, anyone who is in the “buying stage,” meaning they are prepared or preparing to purchase a product or service, is considered a qualified prospect. In the age of the Internet, this could mean following your social media account, subscribing to a newsletter, or being a frequent visitor to your website.

Each business should have a unique process for identifying what defines a lead for them. In differentiating the types of leads you collect, you will be in a better position to determine who is worth pursuing, and who is not.

To define the types of leads your business pursues, first sit down with your team to discuss your target market. Next, identify who is in your current database and review their buying habits. It would be best if you also considered how your team determines when a lead advances from a warm to hot prospect.

Establish a Scoring System

A lead scoring system will also help you better assign values to prospects based on actions they take, their buying behaviors, or even their browsing habits. By doing this, you will have a clearer vision of which leads are ready for nurturing.

Here are the four categories for a lead scoring system:

Lead fit – This category includes collecting demographic information on your prospects, such as title, role, and location; collecting info on their business, such as industry, company size, and brand, and collecting BANT information on company purchases, such as budget, authority, timeframe, and inventory requirements. Much of this information can be captured through a simple registration form on your website or a survey.

Lead interest – By following your prospects’ engagement with your website and analyzing what they browse and how interested they are in your products and services; you can gauge their interest level to decide how much attention they need to turn them from a warm lead to a hot lead.

Lead behavior – A prospects behavior online often sheds light on their immediate buying stage. Signing up for a newsletter or catalog is an early stage prospect but browsing a pricing guide or product listing can indicate a prospect that is further along in the lead stage. By taking advantage of this information, you can nurture a prospect along, until the sale occurs.

Lead buying stage – Timing is everything. Understanding what stage your prospect is in and if it’s the right time to sell, will be dictated by the information you gather. Start by sending them information on your products or services and evaluating their response. By analyzing their response and assessing their interest, you’ll get a better idea of what stage they reside within the buying process.

Testing and Optimization

Now that you have a clear definition of your leads and have established a scoring system, it’s time to test and optimize. Testing should be a regular activity of checking your marketing plan to see what techniques are working and then optimize your website to take advantage of those systems.

You want to ultimately develop a system that delivers an engaging customer experience and allows you to nurture leads and drive sales. So, the best bet is to test everything to ensure it aligns with those goals.

Some of the things you can do to optimize your systems are:

  • Assess how different subject lines result in a different response
  • Check to see the difference in response rates for short or long emails
  • Check click-through rates to see how prospects respond to varying content
  • Change the designs of your email messages and gauge customer response
  • Change the frequency of your sends and keep track of audience response

Through testing and optimization, you can coordinate between sales and marketing to determine which approach results in the best conversion strategy.

As you work towards utilizing these three techniques to turn warm leads into sales conversions, keep in mind that with the Internet, marketing is always evolving and as such, you must always stay on your toes.

By using proven strategies and keeping an open mind to new and emerging approaches, such as AI-driven marketing platforms, you can ensure that your marketing efforts will result in a steady stream of qualified leads converting to sales. If you are a private lender looking to enhance your marketing, reach out to Geraci Media Group today.

Designing the Perfect Pitch Deck

If you are looking to start a mortgage fund and decided it’s time to begin raising capital, a good pitch deck is critical for introducing your business to potential investors. 

Some pitch deck preparers like to go heavy on the details, but this approach may overwhelm potential investors with too much of the minutia.  It’s better to strike a more balanced approach, between just enough information to get potential funders interested, without bombarding them with operational details.

Here, we provide some pointers on how to design a pitch deck that pops yet is focused on delivering only concise and succinct answers to a fund manager’s most critical questions.

1.    Choose a Visually Appealing Template or Theme

You can design your pitch deck from scratch or utilize a template, but keep in mind that you’ll want to use colors and designs which are appealing to the eye and consistent with your brand.  Your slides should be uniform in color and layout, while taking a modest approach with the use of images.  Headers and footers should match on each page to project an overall consistent appearance.

In most cases, you can use a simple PowerPoint template to start with and improve upon some of the elements to fit your tastes or brand.  The best option is to use darker text on a light-colored background.

2.    Incorporate Your Branding

Not all startups have an established brand, however, you should at least have a simple brand conceptualized with which you can build around.  Before you start your pitch deck, make sure to have a ready-made logo or wordmark and a color scheme that you can use to represent your company.  Also, create a list of keywords that best describes or promotes your business.

Keep your color scheme and branding consistent throughout your pitch deck.  A consistent style guide will help keep your business and branding consistent as you grow and expand. These design elements could leave a lasting impression on the viewers of your deck and stick with people during future conversations.

3.    Use Professional Images

As you’re putting your deck together, spend some time creating a portfolio of professional images of your team members, funded deals, or products and services.  Images resonate with readers, and prospective investors want to see real photos of your business rather than stock photos downloaded from the Internet.  The right image will stay fresh in a person’s memory long after they’ve forgotten about the text they may have read.

4.    Include Charts and Graphs

Many times, business owners feel the urge to provide a bevy of numbers in their pitch decks.  However, providing too much data can result in the reader being turned off by having to calculate your business performance.

Instead of drowning your readers with statistics, offer visually appealing charts and graphs that simplify the data and provide prospective investors with an easy way to see and digest the information you’re presenting.

5.    Picking Icon Sets

Using small icon illustrations is an excellent way to organize complex ideas and provide flow throughout your entire presentation.  Choose an icon set that matches your theme and palette, use them to create groups of data, or break up copy to give your slide a more detailed appearance.

6.    Use Tiled Layouts

When you have large chunks of complex information to include, break it down with tiled layouts.  Tiled layouts can help organize the information and minimize to be easy to read portions. They can also be categorized by color blocks, which separate them into different locations within the slide.  

7.    Use Professional Headshots

When including photos of your team members, use professional headshots wherever possible.  Investing the extra time and expense to obtain professional photographs will help you remain consistent throughout your pitch deck and represent your brand well.

Some companies choose to use cameo-style shots instead of the “mugshot” variety to add a little personality to their presentation.  Before creating these headshots, think about the type of investor you are pursuing. Tailor the photographs around those you believe would appeal to that group of investors.

8.    Choose Consistent Typeface

It is essential to choose your typeface hierarchy and establish it throughout your pitch deck.  Different components such as titles, headings, subheadings, body text, and header and footer text should be set within your document and remain consistent throughout.

9.    Use Contrasting Elements

While remaining consistent is recommended, use contrast against a variety of backgrounds or other elements.  This technique will make it easier for the reader to view when printed or projected.  You should always balance your design between readability and functionality.

10.    Get Creative

There will be some slides that will need to be content heavy, which may include an abundance of information or text.  Some of these heavy-data slides can become somewhat overwhelming for the reader to comprehend.  Instead of just dumping significant chunks of data onto a slide, consider using graphics or timetable formatting to break it up into more easily discernable information.

As you create your pitch deck, place yourself in the shoes of the investors you hope to reach.  Remember to keep your business goals in mind, while directing potential investor’s attention to the essential aspects of your company and business model that add the most value to the investment.

A professionally designed, well packaged, and easy-to-understand presentation will ensure that your deck reads well, is visually appealing, and focuses the potential investor’s interest in the opportunity and not on the appearance of the presentation. If you are looking for help creating or redesigning your pitch deck, Geraci Media would love to be a resource for you.

The power of relationship selling

In today’s competitive marketplace, your product benefits and the services you provide matters. However, your market, like most others, is probably crowded with competitors that offer similar products or services. Ask yourself, what are you doing to differentiate yourself from your competition?

One way to stand out is through building relationships. Selling through personal interactions has been an American tradition since Pilgrim days. Moreover, that same old-fashioned, press-the-flesh approach still drives results in today’s multi-platform marketing environment.

In a 2017 LinkedIn report, trust in a salesperson was noted as the number one factor impacting a customer’s purchase decision. Relationship selling focuses on putting the customer first and building trust over the long term, which results in brand loyalty that can drive business for years.

The effect of relationship building on business growth is apparent, with more marketers now employing the use of account-based sales development (ABSD) and account-based marketing (ABM) in their marketing strategies.

Account-based marketing strategies concentrate on letting the customer drive the marketing and sales approach. By customizing content to a customer’s information needs, marketers can encourage them to make a purchase that is the best fit.

This strategy allows marketers to build relationships with buyers or those influencing the purchasing of products and services within the organization. Even after the sale is completed, marketing can follow up with emails that are even more tailored to their client’s needs or tastes.

Selling Without Selling

1. Offer Value

Relationship building is about nurturing trust but can also provide value. When a customer knows you are only a phone call away to answer their questions or fulfill their requirements, they will come to rely on you for more of their business needs. This value you offer must be reinforced over time to ensure them that you are there for them in the long-term.

Selling doesn’t have to be about flashy sales pitches; it should be more about presenting value to your customers and reaffirming your commitment to giving them what they want with the service they deserve.

2. Be Upfront and Honest

Everyone has experienced a pushy salesperson. They set up the sale by alluding to scarcity or the possibility of future price spikes, but this tactic typically breeds a feeling of hostility from savvy buyers.

Instead, being honest and upfront with your customer adds a level of authenticity that is empowering for your clients and prospects. If your relationship selling is honest, prospects and customers will respect it and remember how your company approaches sales calls.

3. Communicate Organically

Your prospects and clients don’t want to be talked to like they’re a faceless drone that’s a line item on your ledger sheet. Begin by crafting your email communications with a personal tone that comes off as more authentic and human.

During phone conversations and follow-up face-to-face meetings, casual two-way communication goes a long way in helping your prospects or customers feel more like an old friend rather than a sales target. Listening as much as you talk will also lend that personal touch and demonstrate how you care about their business and what they require to grow.

4. Listen to Your Customers

It’s great to explain your products in services in detail, but don’t forget to listen. Sidestep the 70’s salesmanship, and instead, concentrate on listening to their needs and respecting their views. An essential skill that is sometimes hard to learn is how to step back from a sales pitch and simply listen, fostering a consultative sale rather than a push sale.

5. Show Respect

If you visit business review sites such as Yelp, you can read real customer reviews where a common thread seems to be a complaint that a salesperson “chased” or “harassed” them to get the sale.

There’s no need to chase a sale. Instead, work with your prospects and clients to identify their needs and address how you can solve them. On subsequent calls or meetings, demonstrate that their time is as valuable as yours and that you are reaching out to offer a solution. Listen to your customer’s concerns, be honest and authentic, and be mindful of their time and organizational limits.

If you follow these suggestions, your contacts will think of you more as a trusted partner, and when that happens, it generally translates into a valuable long-term relationship.

Why Private Lenders Need Up-To-Date Website Content

In today’s fast-paced business environment, having a website is a must. It provides not only a way for borrowers, brokers, and investors to find you but promotes your brand to thousands of potential business partners. So why do so many lenders, let alone companies, build a site, just to leave it to stagnate for months, or even years?

Most businesses have a web developer that either designed their site or manages it. However, some still lack a designer who can create a content management system to ensure their website’s content is updated regularly.

If you haven’t already, here are some top reasons you should invest in keeping your website content and design up to date.

Old Website Content Turns Off Potential Costumers

There’s plenty of competition online. There’s no need to inadvertently send them your business leads because your audience can’t find the information they want on your outdated site. Phone numbers should be active and easy to read, along with a contact form for those to submit an inquiry. Remember, make it as easy as possible to get in contact with you.

The products or services listed on your website should be updated to reflect what’s current in the marketplace and your business. Remove employees who are no longer with your company, post content monthly, make sure all your contact forms go to the “right” email. Old, irrelevant, or outdated information can cause visitors to leave and look for what they want elsewhere. Today’s customers want instant gratification. Studies show that most website visitors rarely venture beyond the first couple pages, so if they don’t find what they need immediately, they’ll leave, and most likely won’t come back.

Ensure Your Website has a Modern Design

Website designs are continually changing. Start by looking at some of your competitor’s websites to see what’s trending. In the private lending space, many companies are seeing the need to enhance their website from what it was 5-10 years ago. As time goes by, your design may become unattractive or unappealing to your visitors. The layout of your homepage is the first thing visitors see, and it represents your public image to the masses. As it is in most cases, first impressions are everything. Don’t overcomplicate. Find your tagline and use it.

As time goes on, website features and designs change to keep up with modern trends. Your web designer should look at competitor websites and evaluate them to see what is useful and what will make yours stand out from theirs. Your developer should also know top websites in your industry; they should analyze them and provide feedback to their client as to what works and what needs refreshing.

Update Links and Alternate Image Text

Nothing turns off website visitors more than broken links or image files. Consider swapping out image files with more relevant or up-to-date pictures, while updating your alternate text to provide sight-impaired visitors to get the most out of your website. Links should be updated to ensure they go directly to the content that is referenced on your site. A good-looking site can still become unappealing if your links don’t work and visitors can’t properly view images.

If you want to beat out the competition, you need to take the little steps that prepare you to compete for an online presence. By updating your web content and site design features, you can get the upper hand on competitors and make your site far more attractive for prospects looking for your goods or services.

If you put in the work, the results will come. If you need assistance with your web development process, schedule a call with Ruby Keys or submit an inquiry to the Geraci Media Group team.

How to Control Rising Unsubscribe Rates

So, you think your email marketing campaign is going well, and then you notice something: unsubscribe requests start appearing in your inbox. The first thing that you tell yourself is that everyone loses subscribers – it’s nothing to worry about. However, what do you do when those unsubscribe numbers start to pile up and affect your delivery rate?

Well, first, don’t ignore it, and don’t blow it off as an acceptable loss. Unsubscribe requests can not only affect your ability to reach potential customers, but it can have a negative financial impact on your business.

If you catch it in time, you can fix the problem before it becomes systemic. Ask yourself: why are so many recipients of my emails choosing to hit the unsubscribe button? Checking the trends of opt-out requests can generally provide a good indicator of a consistent issue or help determine if it is merely stemming from a faulty message structure.

Let’s identify some trouble areas and learn how to fix them.

Segmenting Messages to Stem the Tide of Unsubscribers

If you continue to lose subscribers, it may be because you aren’t relating to your audience. Studies show that 50% of the time, consumers unsubscribe because they feel an email is irrelevant. It could be that your message sounds off or that it is too far removed from your business, but you should never send out messages that don’t relate to your customers.

Keeping an audience engaged is a challenging endeavor, but ensuring your messaging is directed towards the needs and desires of your audience is crucial.  Learning to segment your email list can help better tailor email messages that are relevant or interesting for the reader. Then, using real-time metrics, you can monitor the engagement and spending of your clients in response to your email campaign.

Segmenting messages is more than just dividing campaigns between age and demographics. You can drill down into customer engagement, retention, their type of business, the industry or market they operate in, and the clientele with which they interact.  This segmentation will allow you to prepare and send content relatable to their staff and tailor emails around specific areas of interest.

Personalize Every Message

You’ve already spent the time dissecting data to better segment your marketing campaign, now use that same customer data to personalize each email you send out. Research shows that people overwhelmingly respond positively to personalized emails. You can’t be sure they’ll read every word, but the chance that they will open and view your message increases, and more importantly, you reduce the likelihood you’ll receive an unsubscribe request in return.

Personalizing your messages with a client’s name is fine, but including the real-time customer information in your message, such as the last time you spoke, asking about their industry, and mentioning their business can build engagement and drive a response.

Statistics show that the average click-through rate on personalized messages is 2.5 times higher than non-personalized campaigns. Personalized messages tell your clients that you are actually engaged with what they want, which adds to the impression that you are adding value to their operation and not just wasting their time.

Diversify Your Marketing

Lastly, if you are receiving too many unsubscribe requests, it may be that you are sending out too many email messages. Try diversifying with alternative marketing techniques. You can reduce the number of emails you send, but still utilize other marketing tactics to engage with your clients and drive results.

Email marketing is a fantastic way to build a brand.  However, like any marketing, you have to know when enough is enough.  By eliminating irrelevant content and sending out messages that are personal and relatable to your customers, you’ll keep them engaged and continue to drive results while doing more to lower your opt-out rates.