Archives from my sales and marketing blog part two
Archives from My Sales andMarketing blogpart twoBy Dan GalanteArticlesThe Best Day & Time to Execute an Email Campaign10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be SuccessfulWhat the New York Auto Show Can Teach Us About Trade Show MarketingHow to Deal with Difficult CustomersHow to Qualify and Close LeadsHow to Generate Leads for Your BusinessHow to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook PagesPersonal Branding on Facebook: The BasicsBuild your Brand and Spread Ideas Using @TwitterBuilding your Personal & Corporate Brand using LinkedInHow to Earn Customer Referrals and TestimonialsHow to Get Customers to Pay On Time While Keeping their Business
The Best Day & Time to Execute an Email CampaignMany people ask, what is the best day and time to execute an email campaign?Instead of trying to get the best day and time to execute an email marketing campaign, I would insteadfocus on the content. I would ask the following questions:1) What message do I want to send?2) What action do I want my customers and prospects to take?3) Is the content of my message relevant to my customers?4) Will customers see the email campaign as a value message or just another solicitation?For example, I write a blog on the topics of sales, marketing and social media. My readers can choose tofollow me through my RSS feed, through email, Wordpress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I use myblog to do my email marketing. As you can see my blog is seen by those whore receive it through emailand the other ways I mentioned as a value message. In fact, when you enter your email address tosubscribe to my blog, you will receive a confirmation email. This is known as an opt-in.It is important to note that when building an email list that you get the recipients consent through anopt-in. If you are building a list from your website you can use services such as Constant Contact. Whenexecuting an email campaign, make sure to protect the privacy your customers by blind copying them.When the customer receives the email, it should say sent to undisclosed recipients.To answer the original question, I would say that any day and time is a great day to engage consumersthrough email marketing; especially in today’s digital world. Consumers are on different schedules andhave different needs so it is hard to predict which day would be best to send out emails. If you wantedto obtain concrete data on which day would be best to email consumers. You would need to developand implement a survey that asks consumers what day they opened and received your messages.Services such as SurveyMonkey can be used to create the surveys. I use a widget on my site to obtainfeedback what content people want to see from me. . This information could then be compared withthe customer’s date of purchase to see how long it took them act on your message. (The sales cycle)If at first you get a low response rate to your survey, you may need to offer an incentive like a gift cardfor each completed survey or a chance to win a gift card in a drawing; this would be dependent on yourbudget.
10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be SuccessfulDeciding to go into sales management is a very big step for a sales person. Recently, I received an offerto serve as a sales trainer or de-facto sales manager; based on my time in field sales and my blog.What are a VP of Sales, Sales Director and Sales Manager?Well they are leaders.The first thing that a sales manager needs to do to be successful is to lead people and serve as anexample. During my time in sales, especially during training, I went to these sales leaders when I hadquestions and needed help. (Before taking the position, you should make sure that you can believe inthe product and that you can sell it yourself because when the sales team cannot do it they will lookto you for help!)The second thing that a sales leader needs to have to be successful is a successful track record as a salesperson. Did you notice that I said successful and not a rock star? This will take us to the next thing asales manager needs to have to be successful.The third thing that a sales manager needs to have is empathy and patience. This comes into play whentraining new sales people. They may go into the field and get shot down or they might be developingslower than you would like. The easy thing to do would be to say deal with it. Another easy thing to dowould be to fire them. This is the wrong thing to do. (At least the in the beginning.) The sales managerneeds to support their sales people by debriefing with them and communicating with them. (Think, BabeRuth was never a manager in baseball even though he was a star; he lacked the patience to do the job.)The fourth thing that a sales manager needs to do is to go around with their sales people to meetcustomers. The sales manager needs to do this directly when possible. Delegating this task sends thewrong message to the new person.It says that the sales person is not important. If you must delegatethis task, make sure the sales rep goes out with a seasoned sales rep that is successful so they can pickup their positive habits.The fifththing a sales manager needs to do is to teach sales people the following: sales planning, how tomake a cold call and how to handle sales objections.The sixththing that a sales manager needs to do is to make sure that their sales people have knowledgeof: the company’s products, how to provide customer service, how to keep customers paying on time,develop relationships with customers, how to up-sell and cross-sell, how to demonstrate value, notselling on price and how to handle difficult customers.The seventh thing the sales manager needs to do is to make sure that the team knows how to developand deliver a sales presentation that answers customer’s questions and objections.The eighth thing that the sales manager needs to do is to let the sales people to know its ok to ask forthe order after they make their presentation. The sales manager also needs to teach the sales people
the following: to generate leads, to convert these leads into sales, to follow-up on sales, earn referralsand testimonials and to make the quota. Only if the sales team makes their quota will the sales managermake theirs. The sales manager can motivate their team to sell with sales contests. This a great way topromote healthy competition among the sales team. (A side note, touch base with your team on aweekly basis. However, reduce the amount of sales meetings that you have. Especially if your teamhas to travel long distances to attend. The last thing that you want to do is take money away fromyourself and your team by keeping them out of their territories. I would recommend one to twomeetings team meetings a month. The rest of the meetings can be handled via conference call, emailand co-traveling. Sites such as GoToMeeting can facilitate meetings.The ninth thing to do is to assess your team’s strengths’ and weaknesses’; working with the team tocorrect them.The tenth and last thing that a sales manager needs to be successful is be able to repeat steps one tonine multiple times as sales people are promoted, fired and leave to go work for another company.When firing someone make sure to meet with them face to face and explain the situation. No one likesto hear this news over the phone or via email. You will need to learn how to interview and recruitpeople as well.These are the 10 things that a sales leader needs to do or have to be successful.
What the New York Auto Show Can Teach Us About Trade Show MarketingTrade show marketing is important for companies to build brand awareness. The purpose for tradeshows is to drive sales. As a Dental Sales Rep, I worked the Greater New York Dental meeting. This is ashow where Dental Manufacturers and distributors show off current and new products they have tooffer. Today, I am going to discuss how companies can drive sales at trade shows. I am also going to usethe New York Auto show to offer examples of best practices for trade show marketing.When planning for a trade show it is important to decide on the size of your booth. Also you need todecide on your message and theme. Are you going to offer free product demonstrations? How are yougoing to get customers? How are you going to mobilize your staff? What is the reason you are attendingthe show. Are you looking to build brand awareness? Are you looking to increase sales? What is yourbudget for the show? Also how much time do you need to set up your display?All of these questions should be handled before you can go ahead. Also it is imperative that you get theword out that you are attending the event. Let your customers’ know what your booth number is andwhere to find you. You can do this by delivering literature to customers during sales calls. I have donethis many times in the past. Make sure to share postings on social media sites such as Facebook,Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Advertise in your industry trade magazine and on industry related websites. The organizers of the trade show will do this as well but you as companies need to do your part.Make sure your displays’ dazzles your audience. All presentations need to be top-notch!The Automotive industry really does a great job with trade show marketing. I recently covered the NewYork Auto show as a member of the press. The show is going on through Sunday, 4/15/12 so I suggestyou head down there to check it out. At this show, I saw some amazing unveils of the Chevy Impala,Mercedes, BMW M6’s, Lexus ES350, Nissan Altima and the Dodge Viper which was my personal favorite.I saw a stunt driver burn rubber with the Viper! Ford also had an amazing display as well. The FordMustangs have their own place downstairs away from the main display. The auto show is shared onFacebook, and Twitter. The automotive manufactures also promote the show on their own social mediachannels. Many of the unveils were broadcast live on social media channels.What made these unveils so exciting was the showmanship of the executives along with the videos andin the case of the Mercedes display; a live band. You saw the cars on the TV screen then the executiveswould drive up with the cars. They engaged the audience! Every car had a story and you felt like youwanted to buy it. Every trade show could be enhanced by watching the techniques employed at thisshow.On the public days, professional spokespeople present the cars and trucks to the crowds. But don’t takemy word for it, go out and see the show. Still not convinced? Here are the pictures!
How to Deal with Difficult CustomersIn sales, we all have to deal with difficult customers. Today, I am going discuss how to deal with difficultcustomers. In a previous post, I discussed how to get customers to pay on time. Before I can discuss howto handle difficult customers, the situation needs to be put in context. In other words, why were thecustomers being difficult? Were they being difficult because you screwed up their order or service call?Are they just miserable people? Does the customer constantly cancel their orders? What kind ofrelationship do you have with this customer? How important is your customer to your bottom line ormonthly quota.Now I know that the first thing you want to do with a nasty customer is to tell them off and fire them.My answer is to resist this urge. You need to remain calm in order to figure out what is causing thecustomers hostility. If the customer is being hostile because you and your company screwed up, takeresponsibility and fix the situation. I always did this during my time in outside sales. If you have acustomer who constantly wastes your time having you order items only to cancel these orders, I suggesthaving a discussion with the customer to try and settle the issue at hand. If this goes nowhere then firethe customer! (Provided they do a small amount of business with you.)Should you have a customer that is nasty who has a long standing relationship with the company, withyou and is crucial to you bottom line/ making your sales quota, I suggest that you suck it up and find away to keep this customer happy. You do not want to cut your nose to spite you face.Handling collections can also create difficulty between you and your customer. However, this does nothave to be the case. Customers will usually not pay an invoice because of the following reasons: theproduct you sold them did not work, they lost their invoice, they are having cash flow problems, or thesales rep was too lazy to follow up with the customers. If the product you sold them does not work, fixthe issue immediately. If the customer lost their invoice, provide them with another copy and follow up.If the customer is having cash flow problems work out a payment plan. If you are the sales rep follow up.If you’re the sales manager, lean on the rep. Remember to be respectful to the customer. It is importantto keep in mind that you want to sell this customer items in the future; not just collect a debt. (I discussgetting customers to pay on time in a previous post.)Many difficult customers can be managed with great customer service and follow through. However,some cannot be dealt with and need to be fired. Firing customers should be a last resort.
How to Qualify and Close LeadsIn my last post, I wrote about the various ways businesses can get leads. Now that you have collected allthese leads, what do you do with them? In this post, I will discuss how to qualify and close the leads youget.Prior to calling on the leads you need to do the following:1 Read the business cards looking for notes you jotted down about where you met the contact andsomething about them. (A phrase or keyword)2 Enter this information into your CRM software.3 Do this for all the leads you receive.Next you need to plan a form of action. You need to decide your method of contact. Are you going tocall the people on the phone, email to follow-up, market to them through direct mail or make a cold callin person disclosing that the prospect contacted you about your product and services? The method thatyou choose will depend on the kinds of product you sell and the size of your business/territory.I am going to focus on the email follow-up and the in person cold calls.Following-up via emailYou should write the following:Dear Mr. Smith:Hi it’s Dan Galante. I hope you are doing well.We met at XYZ. You saw a demo of product xyz. /We discussed__________.I would like to speak with to know your thoughts. If you are interested or have any questions email meat Dan@dangalante.com or call 1-555-555-5555.Thank you for your time and consideration.Sincerely,DanDan Galante.This letter asks for feedback from the prospect without being too pushy.Based on the reception you get from this letter, you can qualify the prospect as a Cold, Warm or Hotlead. This activity needs to be logged in your CRM software. This letter could be followed-up with aphone call or an in person cold call.
Making an in person cold callI spoke about how to make a cold call in an earlier post.To do this successfully you would need to the following:1 Make friends with the Gate-keeper.2 Ask to speak with the decision maker.Being that you are following-up on a lead; you already know the decision maker and can ask for them byname. When the gate-keeper asks why you are here to see the decision maker you should say that theycontacted you about your product.If you get to speak the decision maker; build rapport and be ready to deliver your sales presentation.Make sure to ask for the sale. Also be sure to qualify their objections.If the decision maker is not around; try to get an appointment.Whether or not you make the sale, make sure to log this activity in your CRM software.It is important to follow-up on all your sales activities and to keep records!This is how to qualify and close leads.Until next time, thank you for reading.
How to Generate Leads for Your BusinessLead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interestedin their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your targetmarket. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used toobtain leads.Many mediums can be used to obtain leads. These mediums include: Direct mail, Email, Marketing,Surveys, Advertising, Social Media, referrals from current customers, business networking, trade showmarketing.You have to see what strategies will work for you. Your product and budget will help to determine howyou go about obtaining leads.Direct MailDirect mail can be a great way to find prospects. You can create a message with pictures and compellingcopy. The idea is to piqué the interest of your prospect and include a card with paid postage that theycan send back requesting more information. You can use CRM software to track your results and finetune who to target.Email MarketingEmail lists can be purchased from a list broker or self-generated from your address book. You can alsouse services like Constant Contact that allows people to enter their email addresses if they want emailfrom your business. This is known as allowing them to opt in. Before proceeding with an Emailcampaign make sure to get permission from people through an opt-in email. If you do not get peoples’permission to send them email it can be considered spam. Email is a cheaper item than mail. You canhave a wider reach to your customers. I would suggest creating a message that is compelling. Make sureto use pictures and colors that look appealing.SurveysSurveys can be a great way to get information about prospects and customers. You can ask specificquestions that can provide information on what the prospect is looking for. Also you can ask questionsabout when the prospect is looking to make a purchase. This information can be stored in CRMsoftware. Surveys can be done through direct mail, email or online through internet polls.AdvertisingBusinesses can advertise their products and services. The advertising can be a spot on the radio,television, Social Media, print and billboards. Television ads can be short commercials that appear on TVshows or they can take the form Infomercials which are at least a half hour in length. Television hasbeen a preferred method of advertising for years because television has a massive audience. Theinternet is also a great way to advertise. You can use pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and
Google. (LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords) This is an effective method because you canspecify who you want to see your ad by different demographics such as Geography, Age, and Profession.You can also use keywords to trigger your ads.Social MediaSocial Media is a great tool to get leads; specifically LinkedIn. You can explore the questions and answersection to look for potential customers. The questions and answers section is a great way to ask peoplefor information or to answer questions. Answering questions can allow you to position yourself as anexpert on a topic. Members who ask questions are allowed to choose which answers they think aregood and which one they think is the best. I was named a Sales and Marketing Expert in the areas ofLead Generation, Sales Techniques, and Direct Marketing by members whose questions I answered.PrintPlacing ads in newspapers can also help your business because newspapers have many readers.Newspapers are usually in print and online. Your advertising on this platform could take the form of aclassified ad or article marketing. Industry trade magazines also fall into this category. Billboards canalso help your businesses visibility.Referrals/Testimonials from CustomersReferrals and testimonials from your customers is one of the best ways to get leads because theyremove doubt from the prospects mind about your capabilities to perform. Referrals could take theform of a video, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a Slideshare presentation. I have the last two that Ilisted. Referrals and Testimonials should speak to the quality of your work.Business NetworkingAttending networking events at your local chamber of commerce or at a professional association can bea great way to meet potential prospects and to generate leads. At these events you can talk informallyand exchange business cards. You can briefly discuss who you are and what you do then move on;remember you want to network with as many people as possible.Trade show MarketingIt is important to attend industry trade shows either as an exhibitor or an attendee. Trade shows are agreat way to keep up to date with trends in your industry. This will allow you to hone your expertisewhich your customers pay for. Trade shows are a great place for you to get leads because customers goto them looking to make purchases either at the show or soon after. If you are an exhibitor, requireattendees to give you their contact information to see a demonstration of your product. This can be thestart of an informal conversation which you can follow-up on later.I have listed a variety of ways that businesses can get leads. The methods you choose depend on yourproduct and budget. You have to see which methods will work for you.
Next time, I will discuss how to qualify leads and convert them into sales.Until next time, thank you for reading.
How to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook PagesIn my last post, I discussed about how to build your personal brand on Facebook. Today I am going todiscuss how to brand your business using Facebook pages. Remember Facebook is the largest Socialnetworking site which means that your customers and prospects are on the site. Your job as a businessand a brand is to engage with fans, prospects and customers. The goal is to convert this engagement(marketing) to product sales. Facebook pages are a great way to do this.Facebook has greatly increased the kinds of pages that people and brands can create. Currently thereare six types of pages. These pages include: a Local Business or place page, a Company page, a Brand orProduct page, an Artist, Fan or Public Figures page, an Entertainment page and a Causes or Communitypage. Each of these pages has their own benefits. However in this post, I am going to focus on the publicfigure and the Company pages; using my public figure and company pages as an example.The first thing that you need to do before setting up a Facebook business page is to set up a Facebookaccount. The steps to set up a Facebook account addressed in my last post. Once you create an accountyou need to do the following:1 Log in to your account2 Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the create a page link3 Once you click on the link, a page will come up that will list all six types of Facebook pages. (For thispost we will focus on the Public Figure and Company pages.)4 Choose the type of page you would like which in our case is the Public Figure and Company pages.5 Once you choose the type of page you would like, you will be asked to select the category your pagefalls into.6 The next step will be to name your page. For the public figure page use your name or your band’sname if you have one. Use your company name for your company page. I started with a public figurepage and added a company page later.7 Agree to Facebook’s terms and click the get started button.Getting StartedI will start by discussing how to set up a public figure page. The first thing you will need to do is to fill inthe basic information section of the public figure page. The basic information section asks for thefollowing:1 The category of the page, the type of person you are public figure, journalist etc…2 Your name3 Your Address (This is optional for public figure and company pages)
4 Your affiliation5 Your date of birth6 An about headline which is similar to the headline feature on LinkedIn except you need to provide thecontent, where LinkedIn will let you use your job title and company as a default. I would use this spaceto briefly sell who you are and what you do. You should be brief. My headline is: Sales & MarketingMaven who is available to meet your sales & marketing needs Contact me for a free consultation Readmy Sales & Marketing Blog http://www.dangalante.me . As you can see my headline is short and to thepoint. You can elaborate on the headline in the Biography section.7 Use the biography section to expand on the headline. This is the place to describe yourself, yourcredentials and what you have to offer potential customers. Here is an example of my biographysection: I am Dan Galante, President, CEO, CMO, Sales and Marketing Consultant at Trend Setting Salesand Marketing. Trend Setting Sales and Marketing provides Sales, Marketing and Advertising services toclients across multiple mediums. Prior to my current role, I ran the New York City sales territory forDiversified Dental Sales Inc. During my time in this position, I called on Dental Professionals, selling themmy company’s products and services. I helped build my company’s brand by educating Dentalprofessionals who were previously unfamiliar with our offerings. I also hold a Master’s Degree inEducation. My knowledge of Sales, Marketing and Education, gives me the expertise to teach businessways they can produce more. My objective is to use my sales, marketing and education experience toprovide clients with sales and marketing consulting services. I am also interested in obtaining traditionalsales and marketing positions in New York City. I author a sales and marketing blog. Also, I publishseveral online newspapers which focus on the topics of: Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Technology, theautomotive industry and Dentistry serving as Editor in Chief of each.Specialties:Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Direct Marketing, Online Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, TerritorySales, Sales Techniques, Lead Generation, Route Sales, Dental Equipment Sales, Dental Sales, DentalMarketing, Outside Sales, Prospecting, Cold Calling, Cold Canvassing, Cross Selling, Brand Building,Business Development, Account Management, Customer Service, Customer Loyalty, CustomerRetention, Mediation, Social Media Marketing, Spokesperson, Trade show marketing, Event Marketing,EducationAs you can see I offer a professional summary along with my specialties. Listing your specialties is a greatplace to list what you have done along with what you would like to do.8 There is a section for awards, gender, personal information, personal interests, phone number andwebsites. I definitely would make use of the personal interests, and websites section to make your pagecome alive.Setting Up Your Pages Visibility
The next thing that you need to is to decide who will see your page. Facebook allows you to decide whatcountries are allowed to view your pages. You can get access to this setting by clicking the permissionstab. Depending on your content; you can set an age restriction. Facebook also allows you to decide thefollowing: if you want people to tag you in photos and videos, if you want people to write and postcontent on your wall and if you want to block certain people from posting on your wall. Facebook alsolets you block profanity from being posted on your wall. I recommend that you allow people to tag yourphotos and post comments on content you post. Also, I recommend that you allow others to sharecontent on your wall. I recommend this because this will give you the opportunity to engage with yourfans. Once you reach 25 likes, Facebook allows you to set a custom URL to your pages. I recommenddoing this because it will be easier for people to find your page and it will be easier for search engines toindex your page. Here are my custom URL’s.http://www.facebook.com/djgalantehttp://www.facebook.com/trendsettingsm I picked one name thatwas my name and one that is a shortened version of my company name Trend Setting Sales andMarketing. You should pick names related to yourself and/or your business so people will find your pagequickly and easily.Facebook also allows you to use insights to see who is talking about your page and who likes your page.Also make sure to upload a professional photo of yourself.Another thing you can do is to choose an administrator for your page. I would recommend doing thisyourself unless you have a professional moderator for your page because the administrator will have fullaccess to your page. You can also post your tweets to Facebook using the Twitter plug-in the under theresources tab.Getting LikesOnce your pages are complete, you want to get people to like your page. For a long time Facebook likeshave been Facebook’s social currency. Likes symbolize social approval from friends and fans. In order toget likes, you should do the following:1 Provide compelling content that engages Fans. (I share my blog posts with my fans.) Encourage themto share their stories using your product and services. This could be done through wall posts or videos2 Promote your page by inviting your Facebook friends and sending email invitations to people who arenot directly connected with you.3 Use Facebook ads to get people to like and interact with your page. (I will discuss this at a later time)4 Post content from your Facebook page. (Facebook allows users to switch between their personalaccounts and their Facebook page.)Remember that this takes work and it is an ongoing process.The company page on Facebook is similar to the Public figure page. The Company page is good topromote your business if you have employees. It is also good if you want to promote your company as a
brand. If you are a band or working by yourself, I would use the public figure page. I use both pagesbecause I am looking to get customers and I would like to grow my idea into a large business. Thedifference with the Company page is that you will not have to provide a date of birth. However, you willhave to provide a company description instead of a personal description. (About me) Also you canprovide a mission statement and describe your offerings in the products box. These are the keydifferences between the pages.Promoting your Facebook page on other Social Networks and other Platforms1 Share your Facebook page on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google plus by sharing your pages URL on thesesites; inviting your connections/followers to join you.2 Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature3 Include Facebook plugins on your website and blog4 Include your Facebook page on any printed materials that you give customers and prospects5 Include your page in any TV, Radio or print advertisements that you engage in.This is how to successfully build and promote a public figure and company page on Facebook.Until next time, thank you for reading!
Personal Branding on Facebook:The BasicsFacebook is the largest social networking site in the world. Facebook has about 650 million usersworldwide. Almost everyone is on Facebook. From teenagers to baby boomers, people from all walks oflife are using Facebook. In this post, I am going to discuss the basics of personal branding on Facebook.To sign up for an individual account you need to do the following:1 Provide your first and last name.2 Enter a valid email twice.3 Create a password4 Provide your date of birth to verify your age.To get started, you need to fill out the basic information section which includes the followinginformation: your birthday, your sex, your relationship status and if you prefer men or women.The next step is to fill out your contact information. In this section, you can include links to yourwebsites, blogs, and other social networks.Facebook also allows you to share your education and work experience. This is a great way to make yourprofile professional. To tell your story, make sure to fill out Facebook’s about you section. This is a greatplace to tell your story. You can sell who you are and what you do.You can also create a timeline to tell your story. This is a new feature on Facebook. Make sure to uploada professional photo of yourself. Facebook also allows you to create photo albums. Make sure to uploadphotos that contain nothing embarrassing such as drinking or nudity. Remember you are trying to buildyour image here. Here is the link to my Facebook profile for you to see an example of what I havediscussed so far. http://facebook.com/dgalantenyc Facebook allows you to pick a custom URL to make iteasier to find your profile.Now that your profile is set up, your next goal is to add friends to your Facebook account. You can dothis as follows:1 Do a manual search for your friends.2 Upload your address book to see which of your contacts are on Facebook3 Send email invitations to people who are not on Facebook.When you find a contacts profile, click on the add friend button. When you click the add friend button.Facebook allows you to specify how you are connected with the person. I would also include a messagewith your friend request. Try to connect with people who you know well because if too many of yourrequests go unanswered, you will be blocked from adding friends. Also if people flag your request asspam, you will be blocked from sending messages. If you want to add more people, make sure that you
share an interest with them. You can also subscribe to people’s updates even if you are not friends withthem.Now that you have friends on Facebook, the next step is to post status updates. I would recommendposting interesting content you come across. This is also a great way to share your own content. Next, Iwould use your Facebook wall. The Facebook wall allows people to publically communicate on Facebookwith one another. Also if you approve of a status update or comment, you can like them. Likes onFacebook serve as a social endorsement. You can look at my profile to see examples of my likes andpeople who have liked my content. http://www.facebook.com/dgalantenyc .Facebook pages are also a great way for people and brands to promote their products and services.In my next post, I will cover likes, status updates and Facebook pages in more detail.Until then, thank you for reading.
Build your Brand and Spread Ideas Using @TwitterTwitter is a great social networking site for people and brands to spread ideas quickly. Twitter is also agreat marketing tool for brands to promote products and services. Twitter has a few hundred millionusers worldwide. Getting started with Twitter is quick and easy. To get started using Twitter you need todo the following:1 Click on the join link.2 Provide your first and last name.3 Provide a valid email address.Once you join, you will need to choose a name for your account. I would recommend using your nameor your business name. You can also choose a name that relates to what you do. I have two Twitteraccounts @DanGalante and @TrendSettingSM. The former is my name and the latter is an abbreviationof my company name Trend Setting Sales and Marketing.Now that you have an account, you should fill in the bio section. Twitter gives you 160 characters todescribe yourself. I would suggest using the space to briefly sell who you are and what you do. Makesure to leave space to include a link to your website or blog. Although Twitter provides a place for a weblink, two links are better than one.The next step is to upload a photo of you. Make sure that the photo that you choose is professional andclearly visible to members. Remember, this is your image that you are sharing. Twitter provides userswith an option of uploading a custom background. To do this, click on the settings button and clickdesign. Here you can upload a picture from your computer or view different Twitter backgrounds.Now you are ready to tweet. However before you start tweeting away, you need know the following:1 Tweets are limited to 140 characters. At first, this may seem annoying, but this is a great exercise foryour creativity.2 Make sure you have something of value to say, nothing will turn people off faster than nonsense.3 Make sure to share articles and content that you create in your Tweets by including links. Doing thiswill help you gain followers. Twitter also allows you to share videos and photos in tweets. This can be agreat way to share experiences, ideas and to promote a business or a brand.4 Do not be afraid to make a mistake. Twitter provides a delete button with an icon that is a trash can.This is great if you make a typographical error.5 Make sure to change-up your message. No one likes the same message over and over.6 Leave 10 to 20 characters for your tweets to be retweeted.Once you start tweeting, your goals are to:
1 Get other users to share your content.2 Build a following3 Follow other users who interest you.The Retweet and The MentionWhen a Twitter user shares a message from another user, this is called a Retweet. Retweets are soughtafter because the more your content is shared, the higher your influence is perceived.Mentions are when a Twitter user references or quotes you in on of their tweets. Some users may usethis instead of simply retweeting because a mention shows up quicker than a retweet does in a user’stimeline.Retweets and mentions show up in the interactions and mentions section of the Twitter account.The Direct Message or DMThe Direct Message or DM as it is referred to, allows Twitter users to send messages to other users. Iwaited to mention this feature until now because Twitter only allows users to send messages to userswho follow them. This is a great way to send a private message to users on the site.Sharing Tweets with More than Just Twitter FollowersIn order for users to share tweets with more than their followers, users need to use hash-tags. Hash-tagsare a number bracket next to a word. For example, #business is a hash-tag. Hash-tags create an index ofinformation on a specific topic. A hash-tag reaches more people than a regular tweet or just getting afew retweets. Hash-tags are a great way for users to earn new followers. Follow Friday (better known as#FF or #FollowFriday on Twitter), is a way for Twitter users to promote other users they like. Jobsearchers also use #hire #hireme or #hirefriday to try to get their resume in front of potentialemployers.Integrating Twitter with other Social NetworksVarious third-party applications exist that allow users to share their Tweets on LinkedIn, Facebook, awebsite and a blog. Users will need to click on the application settings tab to do this. Twitter memberswill have to authorize these applications on LinkedIn as Facebook as well. I have included a link to mywebsite to show you how I integrate twitter with my site. http://www.dangalante.com/. (You will needto log in to see my tweets on LinkedIn and Facebook.) Integrating Twitter with other social networks cangive users a larger reach than using Twitter alone. Users will also get more followers from Facebook andLinkedIn. This has worked for me.Twitter has unveiled company branded pages to certain companies. This is similar to what Google+ andFacebook are doing.As you can see, Twitter is a great way for people and brands to share ideas
quickly.Brands can influence a large audience all around the world.This is how people and brands canuse Twitter.
Building your Personal & Corporate Brand using LinkedInUse of social media is essential in personal and corporate branding. The networks that brands should beon are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+. Writing blogs and having websites are alsoessential for building a brand. Today I am going to discuss how to build your brand using LinkedIn.LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows people to search for jobs and connect with peoplethey know. You can also make new connections on the site. Right now, 135 million people around theworld are using LinkedIn.The BasicsLinkedIn allows users to sign up for free. To get started you need to do the following.1 Click on the join today tab.2 Enter a first and last name.3 Enter a valid email address.4 Create a password.Creating a profileOnce you have created a password you, will need to identify your geographic location and provideinformation about your employment status. LinkedIn asks you to provide your employment historyalong with your educational history. The amount of information you provide is up to you but the morerelevant information you supply the better. This is because a complete LinkedIn profile shows up betterin search results. The LinkedIn profile is the digital resume.So what elements do I need to complete a profile?1 Provide information on your current position. If you do not have a position, create one on your idealcareer or position. There is no excuse to leave this blank if you are unemployed.2 Provide information on your previous two positions.3 Write a professional summary that provides information that describes past accomplishments alongwith what you can do for potential clients and employers. You should also describe what type ofposition or client you are seeking.4 Upload a professional picture that will make your profile look more attractive.5 Create a professional headline in 160 characters or less. If you leave this blank, LinkedIn populates thiswith your latest position. My advice is to create your own catchy headline to captivate readers to readyour profile; unless you have a great position and have achieved your career goals. The professionalheadline provides you with an opportunity to quickly sell and market who you are and what you do.
6 Fill out the specialties section with keywords related to what you do. Your idea is to use keywords tooptimize your LinkedIn profile to come up in searches on LinkedIn. Also fill out the skills section andinterests section.7 Connect with customers, colleagues, bosses and professors. To do this quickly, upload your addressbook from your email account into LinkedIn. LinkedIn will identify which members in your address bookare already members. You can then decide which members you want to invite to join your network.LinkedIn is based on a network of first, second and third degree connections. First degree connectionsare direct connection. Second degree connections are a connection of a connection or a friend of afriend. Third degree connections are friends of second degree connections. You can connect with peopleby entering an email address for them, indicating that you share a group with them, stating that they area colleague, stating that you have done business, together or by stating that you were classmates. Makesure not to abuse the contact form otherwise you will have to enter email addresses every time that youconnect with someone. Inmails are a premium feature that allows you to contact people anyone onLinkedIn. This is good if you are not able to reach a person through traditional means. Basic accounts onLinkedIn also provide a feature called introductions. Basic accounts allow five introductions. This featureallows you ask one of your connections to connect you with one of your connections.8 Get recommendations. Once you have first degree connections, you can ask them to recommend yourwork. To do this, click on the profile tab and click on the recommendations link in the drop down menu.This will allow you to choose the position you want to be recommended for. Once you have identifiedthis position you then can send out a request to your connection for a recommendation.Recommendations are social proof and are a great way to boost your credibility online. LinkedInrequires three recommendations for your profile to be considered complete. For recommendationsfrom non LinkedIn members, use the Slideshare and Box plugins.9 Use the three profile links LinkedIn provides in the website section of your profile. I would include thefollowing links, your website, your blog, your Facebook page, your YouTube channel and your Googleplus page. The sites you choose are up to you. LinkedIn also provides users with two additional Links forTwitter accounts. In other words, LinkedIn provides you with up to five touch points to connect withpeople and to showcase your work.10 Make sure to make your profile public. LinkedIn allows users to create a custom URL to make it easierfor users to find them. I would make the address one that easily identifies you. My public profile URL ishttp://www.linkedin.com/in/dangalante .These are the 10 steps to create a complete LinkedIn profile that will be optimized for search onLinkedIn. Also public profiles are indexed in search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. It isimportant to know that you can determine what activity that you share. You also have the option tohide your connections from your 1st Degree connections. The settings tab will allow you choose options.Make sure to share content and status updates with your network to engage them. LinkedIn allowspeople to like and comment on posts. Status updates can be shared on Twitter, with groups and withindividuals. Another thing that you can do to build your brand on LinkedIn is to join groups. LinkedIn
allows members to join up to 50 groups. I would target industry groups or groups that match yourinterests. Groups are great places to facilitate discussions. I would also recommend creating a group.This is easy to do. I have provided a link to my sales and marketing group to give you an example.Groups are a great way to make connections and to share and start discussions. You can also post jobs ingroups as well.Companies can also take advantage of LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows companies to create pages. On thesepages, companies can post jobs which are a premium feature. Recently, LinkedIn added the statusupdate feature for company pages. This is great to provide updates about your company along withpromoting your products and service. I have included a link to my company page as an example.As you can see, LinkedIn is a great place for personal and corporate branding.
How to Earn Customer Referrals and TestimonialsOnce you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow-up with a customer. As a Salesperson it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in withthe customer throughout the implementation of your product or service and staying in touch with thecustomer after the sale. In this post, I am going to discuss how to earn referrals and testimonials.During my time as an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of myday. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted toask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product andservices? However, once I made the sale my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral. Now manypeople would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and thisshows a sign of trust. But what did the customer really buy? Yes the customer bought you and yourproducts but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering.How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven?Yet many people do.Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise andyou will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationshipand that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Sales person is to buildrelationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating your products value to the customer.Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?I would ask the customer for a referral when you know the customer is happy with the implementationof your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offermore than one product or service try to cross sell or up sell the customer first. See if the customer willuse more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you.Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like andtrust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.I would ask the customer for a referral by first thanking them for the business that they have providedand trusted me with. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit frommy offering. My experience has taught me that the customers were always willing to offer themselves asa reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients orpass my name along to their peers.Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There is a testimonial letterand a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did awonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendationfeature on LinkedIn. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short videosegment. When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feelcomfortable with. Also be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus
on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you getnew business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give youanymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.This is how to earn a referral and testimonial in a nutshell.
How to Get Customers to Pay On Time While Keeping their BusinessWhen we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. Whata timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D orare they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the salescycle.What can we do to make sure that customers pay their invoices on time?Develop and nurture the relationship with your customer.Do the following:1 When you complete the sale, put all details in writing. Agree on a method of payment with yourcustomer.2 Follow through with the implementation of the sale and check in with your customer to make surethey a happy with their purchase.3 If the customer voices concerns or has an issue with your product, address it immediately.4 Make sure that you honor the warranty and be willing to look up the invoice for the customer if theydo not have this.If you do these four things, your customers will pay 95 %percent of the time.I did these things but the customer will not pay?In a large organization, the accounts receivable manager will handle the customer by sending past duenotices and charging penalties. However if you work for a small company as I did, this will be entirely onyour shoulders.In any case, you as the sales representative should call and/or visit the customer. When you follow-upwith the customer, you should speak to the customer to try to work out a solution to the get the invoicepaid. Remember before you go in with guns blazing that you want to keep this customer doing businesswith you. It is important to be polite and never raise your voice or swear. Should the customer get nastyand state that they are not going to pay, you should state the following: It is my job to get the companyoff your back. I am the last nice guy they plan to send. Take care. After you deliver this line, head for thedoor. This is a tip that I learned from Jim Cathcart and it works every time! I have used this as an outsidesales representative and the customer would say hold on what do you mean? I would answer well afterme, my manager has to get involved and he charged fees and refers this to collection and creditagencies. If my manager has to get involved it will get ugly. You are nice people and I would hate to seethat happen. So what could we do about this? Many would pay that day or within a week. In manyinstances, I was also able to keep customer doing business with the company. You should not be afraidto ask customers for money that you are entitled to. Your landlord and suppliers demands payment forservices rendered and so should you!
As a result of my efforts implementing the strategies above, my receivables (open invoices) were thelowest in the company! This allowed me to earn more commissions, make more sales and develop greatrelationships with my customers.
Customer Service Rules in the Digital AgeIn my post Building the Brands of Tomorrow, I stated that one of the things that companies needed todo to build the brand of the future is to listen to their customers. This means handling customercomplaints promptly. We are in the digital age. In this age, social networks are the wave of the future.Today’s consumer is an empowered consumer. A customer can quickly share their thoughts about aproduct or an experience on Facebook, Twitter, Google and many other networks. Brands need to bepresent on social networks to interact and engage with the empowered consumer. More and moreconsumers are consulting their social networks for product recommendations.Many companies are not fielding the empowered consumers’ complaints on social networks. In otherwords they are not providing customer service on social networks. Whenever we have an issue with aproduct, we have to call an 800 number which makes you listen to prompt after prompt. When youfinally do get a person, you have to relay to them all of your information. Once you do this, they in turntransfer you another person who is either a specialist or the next person up the chain of command. Itseems that no one can handle your issue. Heaven forbid you are waiting for 20 minutes or more; there isa good chance that you would be disconnected. This practice is wrong because it frustrates customersand they tell every one of their horrible experience with your brand. More and more consumers areventing their frustrations on social networks. As I discussed before, local word of mouth marketing hasbecome global marketing. A message shared on a social network can spread all around the world withina matter of hours. Ignoring customer complaints is just bad for business and will destroy your brandsreputation.A Product’s quality needs to be top-notch to cut the need for customer service. However, we know thatwith even the best products; issues arise. Customer service needs to be transformed. Thistransformation has to take place at the corporate level because as I stated before, people see brands asone unit and as a result; companies need to take each one of their brands and create a task force. Thistask force should consist of members from top management, brand managers and members of the salesand marketing departments. Customer complaints need to be fielded in real-time on social media sitessuch as Facebook and Twitter. Waiting time for customers on 800 numbers also needs to be reduced.Remember that meeting the needs of your customers is critical to keeping them buying your product. Itcosts more to earn new business that to keep the business your current customer base generates today.Resolving customer’s issues can lead to up selling or cross selling of products and services during theexchange! By providing a customer service experience that makes a customer sit up and take notice, youhelp to improve your reputation in this new digital age. As a brand, don’t you want to reap the benefitsor local word of mouth marketing or global marketing?
Contact InfoLike what you have seen here. Feel free to subscribe!Blog:http://www.dangalante.me/Tumblr: http://dangalante.tumblr.com/Email:Dan@dangalante.comWeb address:http://dangalante.com/LinkedIn: http://linkedIn.com/in/dangalanteTwitter: http://twitter.com/dangalante @DanGalanteFacebook: http://facebook.com/djgalante