Archives from My Sales andMarketing blogBy Dan GalanteArticles•My review of The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis•Building the Brands of Tomorrow•How to Develop and Market a Product•How to Overcome Sales Objections & Stalls•How to Develop and Deliver a Successful Sales Presentation•How to Make a Cold Call•How to Develop and Implement a Sales Plan•Are Sales People Product Marketing Managers?•Confidence Drives Sales•The Basic Principles of Marketing have changed or have they?•Four Basic Things Every Person in Sales needs to do to Be Successful
My review of The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis27DecI highly recommend The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis. I received a copy of this book whileattending the Pivot Conference which the author runs. It was great meeting Brian. I wanted to build onwhat I learned at the conference which examined the social consumer; this is why I decided to read thebook.This book is a must read for anyone who works in the fields of Sales, Marketing and Advertising. Anyonewho is looking to build a great brand should also read this book. The book is packed with case studiesand hard data about The Consumer Revolution. The Consumer Revolution is the shift from brands thatare built by companies, to the co-creation of brands. (Where companies and their customers worktogether to create the brands of the future.)Brian provides the reader with a blue print of the steps to take to embrace and predict the changes thatare taking place in this new business climate. (The Consumer Revolution.) Brian’s book is the bestbusiness book of 2011 and would make the perfect holiday gift for the business person in your life. Thisbook has forever changed the way I look at Sales, Marketing, Advertising and Business today.
Building the Brands of Tomorrow22DecPreviously, I discussed about how to develop and market a product. In this post, I am going to discusshow you can build a brand for tomorrow. While attending the Pivot Conference in New York City, Ilearned that whether you are a start-up company or a large fortune 500, it imperative that you react andanticipate changes in your customers’ needs. For a brand to be successful today and in the future it hasto be customer focused. In the past, brands would create content that consumers had to like. Todaybrands are co-created through shared experience with the consumers. This co-branding effort ishappening on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Customers are sharing theirexperiences with the use of different products. They are liking their products on Facebook, sharing theirthoughts on Twitter and posting YouTube videos. Brands such as Coke and Pepsi are great examples ofthis. Consumers want relationships with brands, they want to be part of the story.It is imperative for brands to field consumer issues promptly. On Social Networking sites, everyconsumer has a voice. Social Media had enhanced the power of local word of mouth marketing andturned it to Global Marketing. With a few keystrokes, a message could be spread to the masses as thespeed of sound. It goes without saying that if you a building a brand, you need to be where yourcustomers are. So where are your consumers on social media? Social media is a place to share ideas andfind information. The first generation of the internet was the era of the search engine. (Google) Thisgeneration of the internet is going to Facebook. When people make buying decisions, they are askingtheir network for advice. People also post product reviews on these sites and ask for advice. Anotherthing people are doing is friend sharing. Friend sharing is when people take pictures of products and asktheir friend’s opinion. Friend sharing can also take the form of just asking your friend’s opinion aboutwhether to buy a product. Earlier this evening, I purchased a book on Amazon.com. After I checked out,the site asked me if I want to share this purchase with my network on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a brand presented with this information, you might be thinking this is great but how can Icapitalize on this information? Here are the steps that every brand should take.1 Do research on your target market. How do they buy the products that you are selling? How do theyinteract with brands? I spoke about this in my last post. Is this group using social media? If yes, thenhow? What purpose are they using it? Where are they dominant, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTubeetc…?
2 Make sure that your products and services are top quality. Nothing will sink you faster than productsand services that do not deliver what they promise.3 Have your products tell a story. The brands of today and tomorrow are co-created as I said earlier. Inother words brands no longer own the content created. Your brand has to be focused on the needs ofyour customers. Make sure to engage your audience and have them create the content with yourbrand. Customers are engaged through experiences. Your brand has to be focused on the needs of yourcustomers. When content is co-created, there is more engagement. This higher level of engagement willlead to more sales of your products and services.4 Be sure to engage industry influencers of the products and services you provide. Provide these peoplewith free sample products. Allow these people to try them out and share their thoughts with theirnetworks.5 Make sure your brand is on Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter, YouTube and Google+ allocating youradvertising budget based on how your target market uses these sites. Have multiple pages on these sitesthat are culturally relevant to each country and part of the world your brand does business in. Yourbrand should also have multiple websites with blogs that are informative and user-friendly. These sitesand blogs should provide links to social networking sites.6 Handle any customer complaints and issues immediately. If the complaint is voiced on a socialnetworking site address it and do not ignore the concern. As a brand online, you can set your reputationin this new era. Local Word of Mouth Marketing has become Global Marketing. Content can be sharedon social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook. What is your brands reputation online? You can usereputation management tools such as Google alerts to see the kinds of things people post about yourbrand.7 Consumers see brands as one entity and not a series of department. Sales, Marketing CustomerService, Engineering and Product development need to be structured into specific product task-forces tobe able to meet customers’ needs and ultimately anticipate future needs. Members from topmanagement need to be a part of these task forces.Anticipating customer needs and wants is what will determine what brands survive this era of SocialDarwinism. This is how to build the brands of tomorrow.
How to Develop and Market a Product18DecDeveloping and marketing a product, requires a lot of planning. You need a vision for your product.Whether you are a start-up company or a product manager launching a new product, there is a lot ofresearch that has to take place. Your budget will dictate the size of your marketing campaign. However,you are in control on how to allocate that budget. I touched on some of the questions that should beasked in a previous post. I will focus on them in more detail. The research should focus on the following:◦ What is the product designed to do?You will need to be able to answer this question in writing (product literature) through creating andimplementing product demonstrations that tell a story. This story should demonstrate a need that is notcurrently being met. Once this need is identified, it is your job to show how people will benefit by usingyour product. If your product is an improvement on an existing application, you should demonstratehow they can get a task done quicker, with less effort and with results that are better or at least thesame to the current product. (Your product should be patented or in the process of being patentedbefore showing it to the public if applicable.)◦ What are the demographics of the people using the product?In other words, who is your target market? Who could benefit from your product? What motivates themto buy? How is this group prone to spend their disposable income? How have they made purchases inthe past with a similar product if you are new to the market? Traditional e-commerce etc… How do theyinteract with brands? You will need to answer these questions in order to develop a successfulcampaign.◦ How long is the sales cycle between purchases?I would examine your sales data on a similar product if possible. If your product is a completely newcategory you will not be able to do this.◦ What channels are the product sold through?If your product is a completely new invention you will need to decide on how you will market it. Are yougoing to hire a direct sales force to sell it directly to consumers? Are you going to call on distributors andretailers to get them to sell it to the end users? Are you going to use e-commerce as the main way yousell your product? Are you going to advertise on TV? SocialMedia? Trade shows? This strategy will needto be determined based on the demographics of your target market that I mentioned above. (Once youbegin your campaign, sales data from each one of these channels need to be studied to see whichchannels are the most effective. This data can be used to make adjustments in the campaign.)
◦ What offerings does the competition have?How do your offerings measure up compared to the competitions? In other words, is your productbetter than competition? Where is it weaker?So where could you find this information? (This applies only if your product is an improvement on anexisting application.)◦ Product literature from your company and the competition◦ Reading industry trade magazines and journals◦ Attending industry trade shows where products are readily on display◦ Viewing product training and demonstration videos by experts in your field◦ Talking to prospects and existing customers about how they use the productsIf your product is completely new, you will have to create and organize focus groups. These groupsshould be made up of people who fit the demographics of your target market. I would try to targetinfluencers as well, letting them try the product for free to see what they think. Then I would take thisdata, analyze it and make improvements. (Depending on your offerings an engineering team may needto be involved in the process.)You now need to decide on how to price your product. If your product is an upgrade on an existingproduct, you can look at price points of competitors and your sales data to set a price. If your product isnew, you need to calculate your margin; specifically the cost per unit to determine what is the minimumprice needed to sell your product at make a profit. The next step is to figure out how much profit youwant to make versus how much you can make. This information can help you to decide at which pricerange to price your product. Next you need to test out your product at different price points in testmarkets to see at what price the product sells the most.Once you have done all of this, your product is ready to be sold to your target market.This is how to develop and market a product in a nutshell.Until next time, thank you for reading.
How to Overcome Sales Objections & Stalls14DecIn Sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way toovercome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentationthat covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you addressany questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Someof these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, youneed to be able to tell the difference. This will come with experience and by reading situational cues ineach selling situation. Remember the prospect is buying you. In other words, you are part of theoffering. Below, I have put together a comprehensive list of objections that I encountered and overcameas an outside sales representative in New York City.Handling Objections & Stalls from ProspectsI am happy with my current supplier.When you call on a prospect they say we are happy with our current supplier, this can mean one of twothings. The first is that they are truly happy and the second is that they want you to get lost. (A stall)Obviously you need to be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell by a prospects bodylanguage and level of attention. If it is the first scenario, you should find out what supplier they currentlyuse. When the prospect tells you it is your job to demonstrate how you are better. (I mentioned this in aprevious post. Once you feel that you have demonstrated how you are better, ask for a commitment ora small order. By asking for a small order, you provide the prospect an opportunity to take a chance
onyou with minimal risk. I have had a lot of success with approach. If the scenario is the second one, theprospect will not provide you with any information or say that they deal with a company or person for20 years and they do not want to change. In this case, I would still ask for the order. Should the prospectsay he is not interested again, I would thank them for their time and leave. You should call on thisprospect a few more times and then only call on them every two months. You need to focus your timeon prospects that are receptive to you and your offering.I want to think it over.When you hear this, what the prospect is really saying is I am interested but I am not totally convinced.You should ask the prospect what specifically about this offer do you want to think over? You goal hereis uncover the real objection. If the prospect gives you a specific answer, you are in business. Addressthe objection and ask a closing question. Say if I can handle xyz, is there any reason why you would notpurchase this product. Should the prospect say, no you covered everything, this means that they areeither stalling, not interested in your offering or will not tell you the real issue they have with yourproduct. If this is the case, ask when they plan on making a decision and follow-up with them in thattimeframe.I need to consult another party.This can be a stall to put you off. You will need to determine this by the prospects body language andthe level of attention you receive. When the prospect tells you this, you should ask for a meeting withthe prospect and the person they need to consult. Should the prospect agree to this, you have a chance.If they will not agree to a meeting, it is a stall and they are not interested in your offering. However, Iwould still call on them a few more times. If you have no success, call on them every two months.Your price is too high.Emphasize the quality of your product along with the level of service you will provide. Next, you shoulddemonstrate to the prospect how your offering’s total cost is less than the competitors over the life ofthe product. Testimonials from loyal customers can also help you here. By taking these steps youdemonstrate that your product is valuable and increase your chances of making the sale. (Provided thisis the real objection.)We spent our budget.I covered this in my last post. If they say the money is not the budget, ask if I can offer delayed billing ora payment plan would you be able to take delivery? If the person needs approval from another person,ask to present your product to that individual with your prospects endorsement. Should the companyreally want and need your product, they will find a way to pay for it.
I am not the decision maker.Present your offering briefly and ask who makes the decision. If you present your offering in a way thatdemonstrates value and this person really is the decision maker; they may show interest and make apurchase.I had a bad experience with your company.I would apologize to the prospect about the experience. Tell them you are the new rep and that you willnot let anything bad happen on your watch. Ask them to give you a chance. This will not work all of thetime.This is how to handle objections in a nutshell.Feel free to send me your questions.Until next time, thank you for reading!
How to Develop and Deliver a Successful Sales Presentation10DecIn my last post, I covered how to make a cold call where I described about how to make an on the spotsales presentation. Now I will cover how to develop and deliver a sales presentation to a decision makerwhen you are on an appointed call.Developing Your PresentationWhen you start to develop your presentation, it is important to have knowledge about your prospectsbusiness. It is imperative to know your products and services; specifically how the prospect can benefitfrom them. As a sales person, it is your responsibility to uncover what the prospects needs are. The nextthing that has to be done is to know how your company and your products compare to the competition.Product knowledge is a must. (You should also know what motivates the prospect to buy.) Based on whoyour prospect is currently using as a supplier, you can use this information to show how you are betterthan who they are currently using. Only after you have done this research are you ready move forward.Make sure the information in your presentation is thorough and can answer as many questions aspossible. Your goal is prevent objections and questions by prospects by covering them in yourpresentation. Make sure to have testimonials from loyal customers with you. (Many times prospects willask who else you have worked with before considering you.) Make sure to include product specificationsand an ROI analysis if the product you are selling is a big-ticket item. You should also practice yourpresentation to make sure it sounds polished. Get your manager and colleagues to watch yourpresentation and critique it. Filming yourself and watching your presentation will help you improve.Remember to not be nervous and to convey your enthusiasm through your tone of voice and bodylanguage. Do not cross your arms and make sure to make eye contact with your prospect. Make sure tospeak slowly, clearly and in a loud voice.Delivering Your PresentationYour presentation should include a demonstration of your product whenever possible. You shouldcoordinate with your prospect to make sure there is a projector available if you are going to use visualaids. Also if you are going to use PowerPoint or any visual aids, make sure to use them only whennecessary to supplement your presentation. Remember you are conducting the presentation, not thevisual aids. Make it a point to get prospects involved in your presentation. It is about engagingyourprospect. Have them plug things in, play with the buttons etc… You want the prospect to developan attachment with your product.Address any questions or objections that your prospect may have. Once you have done this successfully,ask for the sale! If the prospect says no or they want to think about it, find out why. If they say themoney is not the budget ask if I can offer delayed billing or a payment plan would you be able to takedelivery. If they say they are happy with their current supplier be sure to show how you are better than
they are. I will further explain how to handle objections in my next post. (It is important to note that inbig-ticket sales, you will have to make multiple presentations to multiple decision makers. If that is thecase make sure you are there to present your product, do not leave this task to the prospect!)After you leave, be sure to follow-up with a hand-written thank you note. Even if you did not make thesale, it is important to be grateful to the prospect for their time. You want to stay in front of theprospect because things always change. There is always a next time!Thank you for reading!
How to Make a Cold Call7DecWhether you are a veteran or if you are new in sales, you will have to make cold calls to build yourcustomer base. Many sales people dread making cold calls.However, if you approach it the right way; cold calling can be a great way to develop your selling skillsand forge great relationships with your future customers.When you first call on an office or business, chances are that when you enter, the first person that youwill have to speak with is the gate-keeper. The gate-keeper can have the title of Receptionist or PersonalAssistant. The gate-keeper’s job is to act as a screener for their boss. Their boss uses them to screen orqualify people who attempt to contact them.As a Sales Representative in New York City, I have first-hand knowledge of how to engage them in thecold calling situation. I would always sell myself first. When I made a cold call, I would first go into theoffice and speak with the person at the front desk. I would smile at them and introduce myself. I wouldsay the following:Hi my name is Dan. The Gatekeeper would then reply with something along the lines of hi Dan what canI do for you. After a bit of engagement and small talk I would tell them the company I was with and askhim or her if they were the decision maker of the product or service I was selling. (It is always importantthat you are in front of the people who can say yes to you.) I asked this question to validate the person’simportance. Usually the gate-keeper would reply that they were not in charge of that. I would then askthem who was in charge. My goal was to make the gate-keeper a friend. Friends’ help their friendssucceed. (There were times in which this frontline person was very nasty to me and I was not able toobtain this information on the initial call. If this occurs it is imperative that you keep your cool if you everwant to have a chance to sell that business your products and services.)Now if the decision maker was not available to speak to me, I would inquire about what was a good timefor me to speak with that specific person. I would then offer them my card and product literature.(Again the cooperation of this person will vary.)Once in a while the decision maker will make an appearance asking the gate-keeper about who you areor they may question you directly. It is imperative that you are prepared to engage the prospect andready to answer any questions they ask you. (Objections) When a decision maker made an appearance, Iwould engage them in a bit of small talk; trying to make them a friend. I would introduce myself and myproducts. I would ask what supplier they were using and use that information to give a brief on thespotsales presentation. Once I gave this presentation, I would ask for a commitment. I would ask aclosing question. Sometimes I made a sale. Many times, I had to obtain their business card and call onthem again. (It is important to note that if you are selling a high ticket item you will have to close theclient on the next step in the process and not the sale of the item.)
It is important to keep a record of information that you obtain during the call. This can be done on a logsheet or by updating your crm software. This information can be used on future calls. (Sometimes youwill get thrown out of a business during a cold call.) This happened to me on occasion. Remember to nottake it personally and to keep pressing on. They are rejecting your offer and not you! As time goes onyou will have to make less cold calls because you will gain customers and hopefully earn referrals; moreon this in later posts.In my next post, I will cover how to develop a compelling sales presentation that will turn prospects intocustomers.Feel free to send me your questions.Until then, thank you for reading!
How to Develop and Implement a Sales Plan4DecIn my last post, I spoke about how to identify your target market and how to build a prospecting list. Inthis post, I will cover how to develop and implement a sales plan. Also I will cover how the sales funnelworks and how it relates to sales success.Now that you have your prospecting list, it is now time to add up how many total prospects are in yourtotal territory. Once you have this number, you need to divide it by a two to three-week sales cycle. Inmost sales positions, you are required to be on a two to three-week sales cycle. In other words, youshould be able to see all of your prospects and customers at least once in a two to three-week period.My sales plan was built on this cycle. The only exceptions to this, is if you have an extremely largeterritory such as several states or if the item you are selling is a high ticket item; where multiple decisionmakers have to approve the sale.You have now come up with the number of customers that you must call on each week. Now you mustdivide the weekly number of calls by the amount of days that you work, which is five or six. Now youhave the number of calls you must make per day. It is important to either put the names of theprospects into a daily spreadsheet or log sheet. When I was in sales, I had to fill in prospect names andinformation on a log sheet my manager printed out for me. Also your monthly sales goals can be brokendown into weekly and daily goals. Simply take your monthly goal and divide it by four to get your weeklygoal; to obtain your daily goal take your monthly goal and divide it by the number of days you work in amonth.When you use your spread sheet or log sheet, it is important to collect information on the prospects youcall on. The sheet should contain the following: (CRM software such as ACT! OR Salesforce can be usedto keep this information)1 The names and addresses of the prospect you are calling2 The date and time of your visit3 The person in the office that you spoke with4 The name of the decision maker5 The service provider that they use
6 Notes on the call and what the next step in the process should beIt is imperative as a sales person that you keep records so that your calls with customers are organizedand focused. This information will also help you forge relationships with your prospects and customers.If you are new to sales, you will fill in the above information as you make calls.I would recommend getting some kind of CRM software that I mentioned above to help with the recordkeeping and creating a Sales Funnel.As you keep making calls, the information you collect on prospects and your customers will provide youwith a great deal of insight into developing your sales process. This information can also be used to builda sales funnel.Sales FunnelNow I want to touch on what a Sales Funnel or Sales Pipeline is. A sales funnel is an analysis of your salescycle. It takes a look at every customer and prospect you call on; examining where you stand with eachone. This will allow you to categorize them into groups to distinguish where to best spend your time andresources. As you will learn, not all prospects and customers are created equal when it comes to hittingyou sales goals. It is important to note that this analysis should take place when you are done makingcalls for the day. As a salesperson, your time is best spent in front of prospects and customers. Youshould examine your sales calls once a week or two to three times in the sales cycle.Your Closing Ratio and Your Work LoadYou can easily examine your performance in the sales cycle by taking the number of sales you made forthe day and dividing it by the number of sales calls you made for the day. This is what is known as aclosing ratio. Simply stated the closing ratio = #of sales per day/#sales calls per day. The closing ratio canbe expanded to examine your performance for the entire sales cycle. As a sales person it is important toknow how many calls you need to make to earn a sale.As you can see, your sales plan, sales funnel/sales pipeline and closing ratio can provide amazing insightsinto your performance; allowing you to identify the specific steps you need to take to become a salessuccess. In effect, this information can allow you to be your own sales manager.In my next post, I will examine how to get past the gate-keeper and discuss how to make a cold call.Please send me your questions so I can start my ask Dan section.Until then, thank you for reading!
Are Sales People Product Marketing Managers?29NovPreviously, I spoke about prospecting and identifying your target market. I will cover this topic in moredetail in this post. I stated that it is important to know who would be a good fit for your offering. Forexample if you were selling Dental equipment like I was, you would look for Dental professionals in yoursales territory, you would not call on other medical professionals and offices that do not have a need.When I was selling Dental equipment, I sold devices that any Dental professional could use. However, Ialso sold items that only specialized Dentists could use. As a result, I had to do research to distinguishbetween my offerings. For example, I would not present a general dentist an implant hand-piece thatonly an oral surgeon would use.However, if you are selling a consumer product or one with widespread applications more research isrequired; you will have to do extensive market research thinking like a product marketing manageranswering the following questions:◦ How is the product being used?◦ What is the product designed to do?◦ What are the demographics of the people using the product?◦ How long is the sales cycle between purchases?◦ What channels are the product sold through?◦ What offerings does the competition have?◦ What channels do the competition use to sell?◦ How do your offerings measure up compared to the competitions?So where could you find this information?◦ Product literature from your company and the competition◦ Reading industry trade magazines and journals◦ Attending industry trade shows where products are readily on display◦ Viewing product training and demonstration videos by experts in your field◦ Talking to prospects and existing customers about how they use the products◦ Examining your company’s data on sales and the sales cycle of your products
If you are a new sales person, you will do all of these things I mentioned above as you gain moreexperience. If you are working at an existing company, they will have data on your competition andproduct information. However, if you are starting a business you will have to do this research yourself.All of this information can be used in your sales presentation to convince your prospects and customersthat you are an expert. This is the cornerstone to the consultative selling approach.Once you know who your products are a good fit for, you can come up with a prospecting list based ongeography. If you work for a company as a sales representative you will be given a territory with a list ofnames and addresses. The only exception to this is if you are selling life insurance and financial services,in these professions you can call on anyone. You are not limited by geography. If you are starting yourown business you will have to come up with a prospecting list on your own.So how do I build a prospecting list if one is not provided?I would do internet searches that focus on certain professionals that are a good fit for your offerings andorganize it by zip codes. You will be able to build and improve on your prospecting list as you call onprospects. Your prospecting list is a building block you can use to develop a sales plan. I will talk aboutthis in a later post. This is how you prospect and identify your target market.In my next post, I will discuss how to create and implement a sales plan. I will also explain the salesfunnel and how you can implement it to build a solid sales pipeline.Please send me your questions so I can start my ask Dan section.Until then, thank you for reading!
Confidence Drives Sales27NovIn my previous post on the basic selling skills needed for success in sales, I listed four basic things thatsales people need to do to be successful in sales. These four things are: belief in your products andservices, knowing how to prospect/knowing your target market, knowing how to engage prospects andcustomers with a message that is compelling and the ability to persist in the face of rejection andknowing how to get past objections. This post will focus more specifically on belief in your product andservices.Previously, I described belief in your products and services as follows:Believing in your product means that you think it is the best on the market and that you would buy it.Belief in your product is key because your presentation will fail to impress the prospect if you do not.Before you enter the field of selling, you need to decide on products and services that you want to sell.Once you identify products and services that you want to sell, you need to do research on thecompanies that have these offerings. When choosing a company that you want to work for, it extremelyimportant that the company is reputable and that is stands behind its offerings. In other words, makesure the customer service and product reliability is top-notch. (I will explain about customer service inmore detail in later posts.) This is important to establish because this will allow you to believe in yourcompany.Once you believe in your company along with their offerings, you now have to build and constantlyrefine your product knowledge. Your company will help you do this by providing you with productliterature schematics, presentations and diagrams on how the products are used. However, you mustcommit to doing the work that it takes to develop this knowledge. Over time, your constant study ofyour products will enable you to become an expert. Your mastery of product knowledge will enable youto develop the self-confidence needed to make a successful sales presentation and forge long-termpartnerships with customers.In sales today, the prospects and customers are looking for someone who is an expert. It is importantthat you approach prospects and customers as an expert while at the same time employing aconsultative selling approach. In other words, you need to do what it takes to be perceived as someonewho can and will help customers with their business needs. When offering prospects and customers asolution, it is important to keep their needs in mind and to not sell just to make a commission. You needto be confident that your offer is best for your prospects and customers; if your offering is wrong forthem it is your responsibility to not force it on them because you will lose their business. Your goal as asales person is to help as many prospects and customers as you can with your offerings. Customersshould have confidence in your expertise so they consult with you first about products and services inyour industry. In my next post, I will cover how to prospect and identify your target market inmoredetail. Please send me your questions so I can start the ask Dan section. Until then, thank you forreading!
The Basic Principles of Marketing have changed or have they?22NovMarketing in the digital age has shifted from content to context. Up until recently, many brands createdthe content that was used to market their products. Consumers were expected to like their products justbecause they looked cool or were hip. With the rise of social networking with sites such as Facebook andTwitter, this started to change. People began to express themselves online more and more. Ultimately,this led to sharing their experiences online. Noticing this trend, many brands immediately launchedFacebook pages, this lead to the shift from content to context marketing. Instead of creating content,many brands Like Coke and Pepsi had their consumers create content for their marketing campaigns.Customers would upload videos of the products and they would like the brands Facebook pages.Consumers have access to more information about products and services than ever before so brandshave to have a compelling message.Last month, I attended the Pivot Conference in New York City. This conference examines marketing andthe social consumer. One theme rang true throughout the whole conference. This theme was thatconsumers own the content that is created by brands. However, consumers alone and brands alone donot create content. Instead content is co-created. Today a brand is not just about selling and marketingproducts; it is about creating experiences that both the consumers and brands create. People engagewith brands and vice versa.However, although the tools of marketing may have changed, the basics have not. When marketingproducts and services it is important to do the following: Identify your target market, create acompelling message that makes people want to buy your products and services, engage yourconsumers, have your products and services tell a story and promote your content using both traditionaland digital platforms.1 Identifying Your Target marketAs I explained in my previous post, it is imperative to identify who is a good fit for your offering. Youneed to make sure you are sending your message to people who will be receptive to your products andservices. Depending on your industry, this may be heavily focused or very broad. Consumer productstend to have a larger potential customer base than other industries.2 Creating a compelling messagePeople today are bombarded by marketing and advertising messages. When we see pop up ads andbanner advertising we tend to click off them. The results of all this advertising whether it be a televisionad or billboard is a severely shortened attention span. As a result, a message has to really compelling tomake it through the filters. This objective can be fulfilled by thinking like a copy-writer. You need to crafta headline that will grab the reader’s attention immediately. This headline could take the form of athough provoking question. Something that will make the reader uneasy and have them think I better
act now to either gain a benefit or avoid losing one they care about. Life insurance is marketed in thisway.3 Engaging consumersIt is important for brands to engage consumers. Now that brands create experiences in our lives it isimportant for brands to stay connected to their customers and fan bases. This could be achievedthrough social media. Many brands use their Facebook page walls to allow their fans to comment, shareexperiences, like their products and to upload videos of their products being used.4 Having your products tell a storyMany successful brands have their products tell a story. It is imperative that your brand tells a story thatits customers can relate to. The Old Spice and Dos Equis campaigns are great examples of this. Earlier Isaid the consumers own the marketing content created by a brand. Now content is marketing in thecontext of a consumer’s life. Brands call on their customers to help create the story of the brand thoughthe sharing of videos, thoughts and ideas.5 Promoting your content using both digital and traditional platformsThe digital age is here. Social media is the marketing tool for the 21st century. It is tempting to focus allof our marketing and advertising resources on digital media. However, when marketing products andservices a one size fits all approach does not work. Many people are on Facebook, Twitter and othersocial networking sites but many people are not. As a result, marketers need to make sure these peopleare included in their marketing messages and that these messages reach people who are not on socialnetworking sites. This is why using print, television and radio ads are still important. In order to reacheveryone, brands still need to use traditional means to reach the people who are still not connected andthe ones who choose to connect with them on digital platforms. One thing that television is doing tostay relevant is using social media. Almost every show that is on TV is using social media. Specificallythey are using Twitter and Facebook to connect with their audience. The stars of these shows haveTwitter and Facebook accounts. They tweet live with their fans during and after the show. These showsuse hash-tags. A hash-tag consists of a numbers bracket and a word. This is used to create an index ontopics on Twitter. These hash-tags allow fans of these shows to share thoughts and ideas that will reachfar beyond their followers. Facebook is also used by television to allow their fans to comment, like andshare ideas on their favorite shows. Twitter and Facebook is even used by the TV news in the manner Idescribed above.As you can see, the tools of marketing have changed but the basics have not. It’s about engagement. Iwill be talking about marketing and social media in later posts. In my next post, I will further explain theskills to be successful in sales. Feel free to send your questions to me. I will include them in the ask Dansection.Until then, thank you for reading!
Four Basic Things Every Person in Sales Needs to Do to Be Successful20 NovSelling is a very detailed process. There are four basic things that every person in Sales needs to do to besuccessful. These four things are: belief in your products and services, knowing how toprospect/knowing your target market, knowing how to engage prospects and customers with a messagethat is compelling and the ability to persist in the face of rejection and knowing how to get pastobjections.1 Belief in your products and services ◦ Once you decide that you want to go into sales, you need to pick a product that you want to sell. Theproduct should be something that you use yourself or if it is a technical product the product should beone that after doing some research that you could stand behind. When you make a sales presentation toa prospect, it is imperative that you believe in your product. Believing in your product means that youthink it is the best on the market and that you would buy it. Belief in your product is key because yourpresentation will fail to impress the prospect if you do not. Believing in your product or service willenable you to speak about them enthusiastically. This will give you a chance to get the prospect excited.2 Knowing how to prospect and identifying your target market ◦ When you decide on the product and services you are going to sell, it is important to know who woulda good fit for your offering. For example if you were selling Dental equipment like I was, you would lookfor Dental professionals in your sales territory, you would not call on other medical professionals andoffices that do not have a need. ◦ Once you identify people who are a good fit for your products and services you need to obtain aprospecting list. This list should be created or generated by zip code and should include the names andthe addresses of businesses in your area.◦ Once you have this list, you should develop a sales plan that determines: how many calls you will makeper day and the specific businesses you will call on and how often you will see them. For example, Iwould call on customers and prospects every two to three weeks.◦ Knowing how to get past the gate-keeper and finding the decision maker3 Knowing how to engage prospects and customers with a message that is compellingIn order to engage prospects and customers with a message that compelling it is important you have thefollowing:◦ Build rapport with prospect when you call on them and get to know their needs
◦ Develop and maintain a strong knowledge of your products◦ Develop and maintain a strong knowledge of your competitors ◦ Know what areas your company beats them and what areas they beat you and develop a sellingstrategy based on this ◦ Know current trends and happenings in your industry these details can be obtained by attending tradeshows and reading industry trade magazines.4 The ability to persist in the face of rejection/Knowing how to get past objections◦ In selling you will face a lot rejection. I was selling in New York City where I was thrown out of officesand told to not go back to certain places. Rejection is tough to take at first but it is important to keep inmind that the prospect is rejecting your product offerings and not you.◦ In order to succeed, you need to keep making calls and keep a stiff upper lip.◦ Getting past objections.◦ It is important to know what customers true objections are to uncover what motivates them to buy.◦ Objections in many cases are buying signals because if you do not get asked any questions by aprospect, it means they are not interested.These are the four basic skills you need to be successful in sales. I will be covering these skills in moredetail in later posts.Please send me your questions so I can start my ask Dan section. The next post will cover the basics ofmarketing products and services.Until then, thank you for reading!
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