Category Archives: Copy Writing

How to Build Email Drip Campaigns that Convert Sales

How to Build Sales Campaigns that Sell Ebook

When a prospect says “No”, they are often saying “No, not right now.” As a result, it is important to find a way to stay fresh in the prospect’s mind so that they will think of you when the time is right for a purchase.

Email drip campaigns are one of the best ways to stay connected with your contacts and this ebook will show a complete methodology for how best to do that.

 

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Michael Halper

Michael Halper, founder and CEO of SalesScripter and author of “The Cold Calling Equation – PROBLEM SOLVED, is an expert on how to penetrate new accounts, get meetings with executives, and generate leads. His mastery of this area began while working in hunting roles selling technology products to large corporations and took it to the next level while building and managing an inside sales call center.

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How to Build Sales Campaigns that Sell

How to Build Sales Campaigns that Sell Ebook

Every company has something to sell. And there are usually teams of both sales and marketing resources that are tasked with trying to figure out the best ways to increase sales. The more coordinated these resources work in terms of the strategic direction and what is communicated, the more successful the organization will be as a whole.

One way to get everybody on the same page is to build and launch a sales campaign. In this ebook, we will outline some principles that can be applied to improve the effectiveness of  your sales campaigns.

 

You may Download a FREE copy. Fill in the below form and get a download link


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Michael Halper

Michael Halper, founder and CEO of SalesScripter and author of “The Cold Calling Equation – PROBLEM SOLVED, is an expert on how to penetrate new accounts, get meetings with executives, and generate leads. His mastery of this area began while working in hunting roles selling technology products to large corporations and took it to the next level while building and managing an inside sales call center.

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David Still Slays Goliath in Content Marketing

With egocentric buyers ruling the buying process and behemoth corporations wooing them with great gobs of enticing content…it can make a small to mid-size provider (SMB) feel helpless. It is hard to find the secret to driving sales growth when you don’t have teams of marketing staff dedicated to attracting buyer attention.

Traditional advertising methods no longer work at all. SMB owners stay up at night trying to find what will work better. Trying to follow the example of big corporations is a good way to go bankrupt. So what can be done to win???

David and Goliath
The Biblical story of a small man using a slingshot to slay the giant seems inappropriate for this discussion. We won’t go into the things David had going for him, but clearly he had advantages that allowed him to win the battle. SMB organizations also have advantages and can quickly learn how to use them.

While a short time ago the way to succeed was about pushing harder and screaming louder, the fist fight to get attention does not work anymore. Large companies have realized that pouring loads of cash into the marketplace no longer works and have adapted to the internet-enabled buyer demands.

SMB companies generally have better products and services. They know their customers better. They really care about the way clients are served on a deeply personal level. Yet way too many of them are on a downward spiral because they have not adapted to the impact of techno-savvy buyers.

How David Wins Today
The ability to focus on a narrowly focused niche is essential for success. While big corporations are chunking down their audience to reach the enviable “highly targeted niche”, the “Davids” (aka SMB) are too often wringing their hands and have no idea how to leverage their advantages.

Small companies enjoy a level playing field when it comes to earning a buyer’s trust. The natural advantage is the fact that they are already close to their customers. When the owner of an SMB thinks of their best customers, they can remember faces and names. They know the age group, profession, hobbies, gender and many other characteristics of their “ideal client”.

Big Company Methods
Corporations use technology to gather the kind of data an SMB already knows. Company employees are hired to sit at computers to gather, analyze and massage all the numbers. They organize focus groups to get to know the customers of each narrow niche. Meetings are called to sit around a conference table and guess at the data that a savvy SMB owner knows without any effort at all.

The Future of SMB Marketing
Corporations are quickly gaining a foothold in every narrow niche out there. They have developed a techno-image of your best customers and are luring them in with content that informs, educates and gains the client’s trust. Ask any small shoe store owner what Zappo’s has done to their business. (Are there any small shoe stores left?) What happened in shoe stores will happen to your company if you let it.

Instead, you can commit to using what you know about your customer base and engage them with good content. If content marketing is a totally foreign concept to you…don’t be embarrassed…don’t get discouraged…and certainly don’t give up.

Learn how to beat the big companies. You instinctively know the hard part. I hope that you will reallocate part of your advertising budget to creating content. Please consider Kate Writes Right to help you. Our team has the skills to assist in planning ways to reach out to your customers on a deeper level than any corporation could ever do. Even with their big budgets and big data, they don’t have a chance competing with you.

How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads

How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads

Marketing today is all about content. It is no longer acceptable to talk about your product and the great things that it does. Now you need to provide content around what your products do, the industry you are in, the challenges that your prospects have, and more.

In this training video, we will show you exactly how to identify what content you need to produce in order to consistently generate leads. We will also show you how to use that content to get the leads coming in as well.



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Michael Halper

Michael Halper, founder and CEO of SalesScripter and author of “The Cold Calling Equation – PROBLEM SOLVED, is an expert on how to penetrate new accounts, get meetings with executives, and generate leads. His mastery of this area began while working in hunting roles selling technology products to large corporations and took it to the next level while building and managing an inside sales call center.

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Copywriting “Mad Scientists” Affect Sales Growth

Crazy Mad Scientist InjectingThe goal of this five part guide is to connect the dots between good copywriting principals and sales growth. It may seem like a bunch of unnecessary rules to follow. In fact, everything in this series is scientifically proven.

The same technology that is learning new things about black hole gravitational waves and what our brain to flushes during sleep is also offering copywriting guidance. There seems to be no end to what these geniuses are able to reveal.

Sales growth is the result of implementing what has been learned about readability, usability and adapting to the reader audience. The good news is that only a small number of web content is using a fraction of what we know about the science of web content.

You have no reason to be intimidated by all the guidelines. Instead, just be aware that each move you make toward improving your written message to prospective customers increases your opportunity to grow your business.

Part 5 of the 5 Part Guide

Principals of Writing Effective Web Content
In this final part of the series, I will skim the top of some of the science of web writing. If you find the concepts interesting, I will point you to resources that will allow you to learn more. We will not go into much depth in this brief article.

Usability
The most knowledgeable usability expert I have found is Jakob Nielsen. He defines usability as “…a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.” That sounds pretty simple. When you dig into the research done by his firm, the Nielson Norman Group, you will see it is far from simple.

This group of specialists is discovering:

• Specific eye patterns of the people who read your content
• The growing aversion to colorful, over-designed text boxes on web sites
• What can cause cognitive strain on the reader and decrease sales

Psychology
You can find a lot of education about the psychology of buyers. My favorite site for learning about content psychology is Sean D’Souza’s www.PsychoTactics.com. The headline on his home page says it all: “Are you losing customers because you don’t know how the brain works?”

Clearly, Sean has harnessed knowledge about psychology that will lead to phenomenal sales growth. I must warn you…his site is addictive. You will learn things you never thought you would ever want to know about your customers and how they respond to your content.

 

Typography
Many principals of typography are intuitive – like limiting the number of colors and fonts used on a page. Other typography principals can become more complex.

• The self-described Usability Geek outlined his 12 Typography Guidelines here.
• An article in Smashing Magazine goes into detail about 11 different aspects of typography – from vertical rhythm to using a grid and more.

Like I said earlier, this level of knowledge is not at all required to experience sales growth in your business. In fact, if you let this type of thing stop you from trying to create sales conversion content, you will most surely lose.

Although copywriting is my profession, I am not able to incorporate everything in this series at all times. It is simply too much to remember …AND… unless you are a big corporation with deep pockets, it probably does not benefit you enough to even try to use it all.

The goal of this series is to give you an overview of what principals in copywriting can do to add to the sales growth of your company. Go back to Part 1 and begin working on powerful headlines. Contact me if you want more resources for learning about headlines. I have been a student of copywriting for more than a decade and I have a bunch of resources I use almost every day.

There is one thing that you can do best…much better than me. You know two things about your business that leads to writing for sales growth.

1. Your business, your industry, your products and services
2. Your customers, your sales leads, your prospects and their preferences

Use your knowledge of these two things you already know and start building your copywriting expertise from there. Let me know if I can help.

3 Proven Ways to Make Your Body More Attractive (The Body of Your Content)

Good content has one goal…to engage the reader.

A secondary goal is to deepen the “know-like-trust” equation in customer relationships. Good copywriting using the principals outlined in this guide are a proven contribution to sales growth. Avoid the high cost of hiring a professional copywriter when you learn these copywriting lessons well.

Part 4 of the 5 Part Guide
Principals of Writing Effective Web Content

The first two posts of this guide were about the importance of good headlines, bullet points and white space. The third segment covered topic selection. This post is about the body of the content. Sales growth comes when you move the reader toward a purchase…let’s keep them reading the body of your content.

Without Emotions You Will Miss Sales
You are interested in sales growth. You know that people “Buy with emotions, then justify with facts.” Countless copywriting studies have tested this concept over and over for more than a century. It never fails to ring true.

Learning what emotions lead to sales in your business is not easy. You must spend time getting to know your ideal customer to speak to them in a way that evokes emotion. Try this online tool to find emotional triggers that will lead to sales growth.

Revise and Re-adjust so Your Message is Clear
A friend of mine is a PhD in English and former professor at LSU. She claims that “There is no such thing as good writing. There is only good re-writing.” Even when you draft a short email, take the time to read the email one more time before you hit send. When you are succinct and clear to make the message fully understandable, it saves time and aggravation in the long run.

Anything less than a carefully crafted message leaves room for misunderstanding…or the reader may click away. Use bulleted lists, or better yet, make emails short and only cover one topic. Otherwise, in our busy world, the recipient may fully intend to respond.

However, if they perceive your multi-topic email time-consuming and they put it off for another time. You may think you are saving a little time by shooting off a quick email. Instead of sales growth, your rushed message will often result in a total waste of time.

Use a Golden Thread
Have you ever listened to good friends chat? They will often flip and jump from subject to subject. They leave other participants clueless about the topic being discussed. While good friends can get by with this manner of discussing lots of topics – YOU CAN’T. Good friends have a powerful “golden thread” and it is the deep relationship and time-proven history.

When you are talking to prospects, you cannot afford to wander off your very specific sales path. When you re-read your content like suggested in the section above, look for anything that strays away from the point you are trying to make in your content.

Be ruthless in eliminating information that does not lead the prospect through your sales process. A great way to keep from wandering from one topic to the next is to start with an editorial calendar for your content. With a copywriting plan, you accomplish two things.

1. You will have a global vision of how you will guide your prospects into becoming customers.
2. It is easier to stay “on topic” when you know that you will be covering a subject in another content piece.

Many things are involved in copywriting that leads to your desired level of sales growth. Take the principals and apply them one-at-a-time. Soon you will see an increase in revenue and it will be worth it.

3 Pro Copywriting Tricks for Sales Growth

EyeDelivering sales growth in today’s buyer-centric marketplace is not easy. No one can give you a simple mathematical formula for success. Many entrepreneurs depend heavily on SEO. Others expect to win the market with clever, unique, sharable content. Yet, at the foundation of any solid content strategy is simple, good copywriting that engages readers.

• Constant evolution of technology is having an effect on your customer. They feel empowered to chose based on what they find on their own and in your content.
• The sheer volume of information available makes it hard engage new buyers.
• Google is shifting its algorithm to favor high-quality content over high-volume content.

The time has come for every business to gain a basic knowledge of copywriting (or hire a pro). With the ability to gather data about what type of content your reader wants, everything you need to know is available for learning the skill. This series is a tiny, little bit of what you need to know to compete in the race for quality copywriting and sales growth.

Part 3 of the 5 Part Guide
Principals of Writing Effective Web Content

1. It’s Not About YOU…
Sales organizations have been talking about what they offer for centuries. About 50 years ago, sales trainers succeeded in convincing the sales professionals to talk about the ‘benefits’ to the buyer rather than the ‘features’. It’s time for another big shift.
You must invest time and attention into defining your ideal client and speak directly to a single entity you have identified. Copywriting to an ideal client is the focus of Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero. She calls it a ‘Tarket’. Get access to her 3-Step Tribe Defining Template here.

2. Telling Stories and Other Tricks…
In the battle for your customer’s attention, there are a few tricks to being noticed. Telling stories is one of the best. Believe it or not, a personal story – particularly one that shows how you messed up – can be one of the most powerful ways to engage readers.
A copywriting genius from New Zealand has mastered the art of storytelling. It is part of what he teaches at PsychoTactics. Master the art of storytelling and you will win over readers in a way that certainly leads to sales growth.

Another copywriting trick is using current events and trends to capture attention. I have written articles about fifty shades, sales leads that suck, Lady Gaga vs Madonna and many other current topics. I don’t write for any media outlets. These articles were about sales growth tactics.

Pay attention to hot topics and search for a way to twist them to fit your message. Pay particular attention to the language of your ideal client. When your written content mirrors the way your customer talks, it will lead them to trust you. Trust equals profit for your business.

3. You Gotta Have a Hook…
Big companies invest a ton of money developing very professional looking games, info-graphics and interactive maps. If you have the money or time and skill to follow their lead – do it. The result may be phenomenal sales growth when your content is shared. It might even become viral.

For most small businesses, that type of content is a budget-buster and a big gamble of resources. The Content Marketing Institute defines: “A hook is, quite simply, a unique content concept that is designed to ensnare and trap your unsuspecting audience into consuming and sharing your content.”

The most common ‘hook’ is your headline. We talked about that in Part 1 of this series. The headline is simply not enough. Begin watching for moments that your reader will recognize. When they identify with a self-deprecating remark, they see you as human. That level of customer relationship is a big hook in today’s overwhelmed environment.

Find humor, incite curiosity. Ernest Hemingway got lots of attention when he wrote a short story in six words, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Another hook that will always be remembered is the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.”

Your hook may not be immortalized like these. However, if you know your ideal client well enough, you will know how to ‘hook’ them into what you have to share. Once you set the hook, you are on the road to sales growth.

Good Copywriting uses White Space for Sales Growth

Sales Growth Frog

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 90% of B2B-focused organizations use con

tent marketing for sales growth. Although much of the content is video, infographics and other ways to engage visitors; the largest portion of content is in written form.

With the plethora of choices of what to read, it is critical that your content be created in a way that is engaging, easy-to-read and informative. Improving the quality of your writing can have immediate and profound effect on sales growth.

This series is designed to help you learn a few skills of a professional copywriter, or at least learn what to look for in any copywriter you hire.

Part 2 of the 5 Part Guide – Principals of Writing Effective Web Content

To impact sales growth, the goal is to make it really easy for the reader to consume your content. There are a ton of tools you can use to determine whether your writing is easy to read. My favorite is the Flesch-Kincaid tests. The tools can be installed directly into your MS Word program.

When you are competing for the attention of today’s information-overloaded reader, you want to keep the grade level score below the 8th grade. Last week’s post tested at 7.5 grade level and had a readability score of 65.2. If I spent a little more time on it, I could get the grade level even lower and the readability score higher. Content that is easily read takes a whole lot more effort to create.

My Clients Are More Sophisticated

I cannot tell you the number of times I have had clients tell me that their clients are too smart to read something written for middle-school reading levels. Believe me, content that is easy to read is NOT an insult to your client’s intelligence. Instead, easy reading respects their time-crunched schedules.

If your content is dense, full of facts, statistics and big words, your prospect will see reading your content as hard work. If the reader has to struggle reading your content, it will not lead to sales growth. Which would you rather have…?

1. Simple, easy to read…where you get the facts in bullet points?

2. Or, dense content that is supported with facts and figures?

Duh…simple will do for most content. If the reader wants more information, they can click on a link you provide or call you to get more information. This is particularly true when you are presenting deep, information-rich content like case studies and white papers. A well-written case study has text boxes, bulleted lists, headlines, sub-headlines and all the reader-friendly tactics of good copywriting.

How to Create White Space

The easiest way to create more white space is to create more paragraphs. Each time you begin a new paragraph; the reader gets a little break in concentration and can relax a bit. The reader is more receptive to your message if it is easy for them.

Another tactic is to insert images, text boxes, quotations, etc. We will talk about the science of eye movement in the 5th part of this series. For now, just trust that inserting something for the eye to consume other than just text increases the chance someone will read what you have to say.

When to Create Bulleted Lists

Anytime you have a series of statements, a bulleted list makes it easier to read. To demonstrate this principle, here is a paragraph from earlier in this post:

“If your content is dense, full of facts, statistics and big words, your prospect will see reading your content as hard work.  Which would you rather have; simple, easy to read (content) where you get the facts in bullet points?  Or, dense content that is supported with facts and figures?”
Even though it was only a two-item list, it becomes much easier to read when it is part of a numbered list. It also creates more white space.

Until you get used to creating content like a copywriter:

  • Reread your first draft of any content you write
  • Look for things that can be broken down into lists
  • Pay particular attention to any action items that can be used as a checklist
  • Vary your bullet points and numbered lists. In MS Word, you have the option of using at least 6 different bullet styles with the click of your mouse. When online, like in a blog, you may have fewer choices, but you can still mix it up.

We have now covered the first three components of good web writing. I put them first because they are, without a doubt, the most important to your sales growth goals. You must get these three things right or you are losing business. Your goal of creating content is sales growth…not a big yawn from your readers…or worse yet, a click away.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. My contact information is right here on the Sales Growth Hub. I want to make your content a source of huge sales growth and increased bottom-line profit. That is why I am here.

BTW: Congratulate me. This time the post FK scores are 71.9 for readability and 6.7 in grade level. Did you feel insulted by the easy reading? I didn’t think so.

5 Part Guide to the Principals of Writing Effective Web Content

CopywritingYou’ve heard it.  “Content is King” You know full well that one of the most cost-effective sales growth strategies is creating high-quality content.  Yet, if you are like most business people, you have no training as a copywriter.  The skills for copywriting are very different than you were taught in college composition class, but that is probably the best training you have ever had in writing.

This article series is a “quick and dirty” overview of the elements of good copywriting for the internet.  Each week I will share the components of good web writing.  If you are already an excellent writer, you may be able to apply these 12 fundamentals to your content and see a noticeable improvement.

If your content does not meet the high quality standards your prospects expect, think carefully whether it might be cost-effective to hire a professional writer to assist in content creation.  What good does it do to spend money driving people to your website if they do not get a good impression of your company when they arrive?

First Impressions Last

This old adage has never been truer than it is today.   “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Our first 3 principals are about making a good first impression.  If you don’t grab their attention quickly, everything else you give the prospective reader is a waste of time.  You must nail these first three principals before moving on to the rest.  Today, we are only going to cover one of them.

Over the next few weeks we will add:

Week 2:  Two more aspects of making a good first impression.  Readers respond well to empty space and check lists.

Week 3:  We examine who you are writing for and how to tailor your message.  I will cover three aspects of writing that engage people who see your digital messages.

Week 4:  Learn three reasons why people will read what you have to say.  Most of you will be a little surprised by what you learn in this portion of the guide.

Week 5: The science of copywriting.  You already know that gathering data about your internet empowered customers dictates what you offer them.  In copywriting, the science of language, word values and usability are critical to the ever-increasing demands of the skill.  These final three principals separate the average writer from  excellent content developers.

Headlines Say it ALL

Even professional copywriters struggle with headlines.  We put great effort into crafting this short string of words – because we fully realize the importance of this primary attraction device.  Without doing this one thing right, our client does not get results.  If the client does not get results, as a copywriter, I am out of business.

The digital world is full of headlines.  You find them at the top of articles and in the subject line of emails.  You also find them on your web pages, presentations and eBooks.  In each situation, the headline can make or break your opportunity to communicate.

I am writing an entire eBook devoted to headlines right now.  Few people do an adequate job of mastering this critical step in copywriting.  Keep an eye on the Sales Growth Hub blog where I will announce when the eBook is available.  Until the eBook is ready, take advantage of one of the first things we are taught as professional copywriters.  Novelists use this statement to put us down…while we find pride in doing it every day.

Writers Write and Copywriters Copy

What they don’t tell you is that copywriters support the work of other businesses.  We almost never see our names as the author.  Novelists revel in the glory and financial gain of their own writing.  Copywriters revel in the glory and profits of our clients with almost no recognition or profit-sharing as a result of doing it well.

Start copying today.  Notice what headlines and email subject lines grab your attention.  Save the words, headlines and phrases in a place of easy access for inspiration when you start to write.  I keep a MS Word document open at all times.  When I see a headline that I find funny, interesting, timely, juicy or really edgy – I copy it and put it in what is called a “swipe file” in the profession.

Swiping is an honorable pursuit in my line of work.  Having a library of good swipes is one of the most prized possessions of a seasoned pro.  However, we have a code of honor – just like other thieves.

  • We do NOT plagiarize.  There is a huge gap between stealing another writer’s idea and stealing their content.
  • We validate other writers.  When another copywriter swipes one of our ideas, it is much more valuable than a ‘like’ on Facebook.
  • We look for ways to recognize really good copywriting with a backlink to articles we find valuable to our clients.
  • We comment on fellow copywriting blogs and like what they say on social media outlets.
  • We encourage each other because copywriting is a crazy, ever-evolving industry that gets little recognition and is often misunderstood.

Next week I will write about the need for lots of white space and bulleted lists.  Without these visual tools, your content appears too dense.  Remember your reader is lazy and will click away if it becomes a little hard to read your content.

Let me know what you think.  I really want to know.

 

 

3 Great Reasons Why Email Will Boost Sales Growth

E-mail Marketing word on puzzle in man handsLook around at the companies who are racking up enormous sales growth numbers and you will almost always find a company who implements an aggressive email campaign. At its core, it is as simple as the old comeback given by Willie Sutton when asked about why he robs banks, “That’s where the money is.”

You may be resistant to using email in your business. We understand. You have visions of ‘spam’ dancing in your head. None of us want to be spammed with unwanted emails – and – we certainly don’t want to be guilty of spamming.

The companies who successfully implement email campaigns are not perceived as spam by their recipients. Here are a few of the secret and not-so-secret reasons why.

Buyers Control the Sales Process

Successful sales processes are truly a cycle that involves the buyer in every step along the way. Since prospects are rarely ready to purchase when they become aware of your company, email provides you a way to engage in a conversation with them in a personal way. The buyer actually determines what they feel is spam and what is useful information they want to receive.

Novice email marketers will use email as a way to deliver promotions. When the recipient only sees promotional material, they will assume there is no reason to open the email unless they are looking for a discount. The business thinks that giving a coupon for their products or services is generous. The buyer thinks it is self-centered.

Buyers want information. That is why they spend endless hours on the internet before making any purchase. Buyers feel total responsibility for being well-informed before they spend a dime. This is true in both the B2B and B2C environment. Send them information that is useful whether they buy from you or not and they will welcome hearing from you in emails. A recent study found that 62% of internet users start their day with email. Be there to help them gather the information they want.

Email marketing ROI

Few investments in marketing provide the measurable results of email. In fact, according to a study done by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing gets a return of $39.40 for every dollar spent. Since this level of sales growth is remarkable, it makes sense to learn how to leverage it for your business.

Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), email can be set up in an automated campaign that is delivered after certain triggers from the customer. That way the buyer remains at the center of the email marketing campaign. Whether the automated email is for the purpose of nurturing a new sales lead or developing customer loyalty in current clients, the reader’s behavior gives you feedback on what they want to receive from you and what is unwelcome.

Email is a Privilege

While it is really easy to acknowledge that being invited into someone’s email inbox is an honor, many companies don’t recognize it can be a reciprocal privilege.

Think about the information addiction of your buyers. A huge percentage of the people who make buying decisions for your product/service sit in front of the television at night to gobble up more information. It seems that a simple human interaction is too much bother. Meet them where they are every day.

If they are so eternally focused on learning more about the products and services they consume, don’t you owe it to them to provide a little of what you know? Build a relationship with your prospects by sharing stories, showing trends, educating them on the pitfalls of making a bad choice, explain why you have made certain choices in what you offer them.
Connect with prospects using email and communicate like you would to a friend. After all, deep customer relationships are what can drive your sales growth.


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Michael Halper

Michael Halper, founder and CEO of SalesScripter and author of “The Cold Calling Equation – PROBLEM SOLVED, is an expert on how to penetrate new accounts, get meetings with executives, and generate leads. His mastery of this area began while working in hunting roles selling technology products to large corporations and took it to the next level while building and managing an inside sales call center.

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