Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sales is about People, not Presentations

Your slide deck may be the best in the world.  Your pitch smooth as butter.  Your suit as fine as none other.  Yet, you continue to lose the sale to Alex, who uses no slides at all.  You better wise up and realize that sales is about people, not presentations.

Alex understands what sales is... and here is what he knows.

  1. If you can't engage with the prospect, and get them talking, they will never remember a thing you say.
  2. If you don't understand the needs of the prospect, both functionally in the business and personally, you will never be able to "show him the solution".
  3. No matter how much you love your solution and think its the best, there are always alternatives and selling is showing that your option is the one that best solves the prospect's need.
Where are your slides Alex?  I have some, but I'd rather send them to you after our meeting.
Why is that, that is odd?  Yes, I hear that, but I would rather spend the time learning about your problems than looking at my pictures...  if there is a fit, we'll find it together and I'll give you materials you need to sell internally.

Sales is about people.  Them not you.  Please, please, sales-people, stop with the slides already.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Holidays Unmotivates Us

The holidays are a time for family, fun, rest, relaxation, party, presents, remembrance, and faith.  What the holidays are not are a time of work.  We feel deserving of a break.  Even if we have to be "on the clock" we don't give much effort, and certainly can barely focus.  Why then do we force ourselves and our employees to punch in during these two weeks?  They aren't going to do their best work, and probably don't even want to be there.  My advice?  Go home.  Be with your family.  Come back in January recharged for success.

If only I could listen to myself...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Brand Evangelism

In Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter, there are a subset of people that are extremely vocal in their support of a brand, product, or company.  For some reason, this group of people (call them Social Brand Evangelists), find some pleasure in touting their love of a product (iPhones, iPads, graphics cards, TVs, XBOX, t-shirts, or whatever).  Here is the dirty secret...  I think most of these Social Brand Evangelists are "on the payroll" or "in it for something else".  The loudest proponents and evangelists are employees and especially marketing employees... they constantly blab about themselves, share links about their companies, and the like.  The second set are doing it for 1 reason: to try to win something...  a contest or a sweepstakes system (such as Karmaback's own system) prompted them to share to enter to win (this is not a bad thing).

But magic hour happens, in my mind, in the truly informal.  The Social Brand Evangelist who does NOT squawk off constantly about a brand, but who makes a subtle recommendation to a friend JUST at the right time!

How can you make your customers so delighted, that when no-one is looking (not contest, no sweepstakes, no employees)... they make the recommendation to a friend because they think it's the right recommendation?

If you can do that... you've won.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Measuring is different than Succeeding

Many marketing executives believe in measuring effectiveness.  From Google Analytics to Conversion Tracking to "Share of Voice", the importance of measurements is growing rapidly.  In order to succeed though, we marketers have to actually do something with the data.  Make more rational decisions.  Invest more deeply in the  things that work.  Why would any rational person want to invest in something they know doesn't work?  And without measurement, why would any rational person invest in something they don't know if it works or not?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why Social Marketing Works, and Sometimes Doesn't...

Did you ever wonder how Papa Johns Pizza got to 1.5MM Fans on Facebook?  Do you wonder if they make money on Facebook?  Why does Ford run TV commercials pushing people to their Fanpage?  Are companies making money with Twitter?  The short answer is: Social Marketing pays... usually.

Papa Johns:
  They are incredibly consistent on their Facebook and Twitter Pages.  1 Contest or Sweepstakes a week.  At least 1 coupon per week... and all involving their fans.  As a consumer, it PAYS to follow Papa Johns (discounts/contests/more).  This eMarketer.com study shows that 65% of daily followers want Deals and Sales! Papa Johns is capitalizing with REGULAR deals and sales... and it is working.

  Are 440,000 people following Ford on Facebook to get a deal?  Probably not, a cursory glance shows that most engagements on Ford's Facebook page are questions or comments for Ford.  Would Ford's fans enter a contest to win a Car... probably yes.  But Ford doesn't run such contests very often. If they did, they'd have a lot more fans.... but would they sell more cars?  Maybe.  But the direct line of sales success from couponing is not there for Ford like it is for Papa Johns.  So, is Ford making money on social?  Nobody knows... probably not even Ford!

I think companies need to wise up and realize that a small consumer purchase on Facebook (like Pizza) works only because it is measurable by coupons.   Cars, B2B, and other big purchases need to figure out a way to see if Social is worthwhile very fast!

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