Friday, July 22, 2011

Tooling Up....

Like most guys, I like tools.

In fact, judging from Beth's collection of kitchen gadgets and cookbooks, women like tools, also. But they don't call them "tools".  A tool is just an item that makes a job easier -- or in some cases possible. 

In sales and marketing, we have tools, too. Each tool has a unique purpose. But, sometimes we don't have all the tools we need. Or we use the wrong tool and complain it doesn't work.

The other day on a houshold project I didn't have my tin snips, so I used a hack saw to cut a piece of sheet metal. It took forever. It wasn't the tool's fault, it was mine for using the wrong tool.

Likewise: a flyer isn't a closing tool and a salesman isn't a lead generator. They may be able do the job, but they aren't the most efficient tool for the job.

Want to boost sales? Perhaps it's time to retool your marketing...

Takeaway: How many tools are in your marketing tool box? Are you using them properly?

Tell us what tools you're using.  Take our survey.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Do you only communicate with customers and prospects when you're
selling something?

Think about that.

How do you feel about people who only call you when they need
something.  Can't they call you to congratulate you, catch-up or connect?

Here's an example: I pulled up to the drive-up window at my bank
yesterday and was surprised (I promise this isn't another bank rant).
Actually,  I  was pleasantly surprised...

"Hi, this is Susan. I'll be right with you," came a voice over the speaker.

After a minute or two the voice returned.

"Sorry about the delay Mr. Sasso," said Susan.

After another moment her pleasant voice returned.

"Thank you Mr. Sasso. Anything else today?"

"Uh, no. Thanks," I stammered.

"Have a great day!"

I drove away stunned. Lately every bank visit has included a flier or
a verbal sales pitch for another bank service or to request a referral.
Susan was just ... nice.

Are you always pushing for more sales with every customer encounter
(both in print or in person)? Upselling, cross-selling, and asking for
referrals are all very important aspects of marketing. But they aren't
the end-all-be-all.

Sometimes it pays just to take a moment to be friendly and wish your
customer well. Never underestimate the power of a real, genuine
human connection.

Takeaway: Sometimes the best sales pitch is no sales pitch at all. What
have you done to connect with your customers today?

Friday, July 08, 2011

(Baby) Food For Thought...

Baby food is not marketed to babies. It's marketed to mothers. If a
mom likes the marketing message -- and the taste, they'll buy it.
"Mother knows best", to turn a phrase.

Baby food is not the only thing that's not marketed to the end user.

Sometimes that's good. Sometimes that's bad.

For example, if you owned an automotive repair shop, your technicians
would be responsible for buying their own tools. But you are
responsible for supplying shop equipment (lifts, tire changers, etc.).

Yet, often shop equipment is marketed to the end user (the
technician), but not the final decision maker (the shop owner /
manager). Sometimes that's the same person. But  not always --
especially in larger shops.

It's best if you consider the person writing the check when you
create your sales and marketing messages. You may need to get a buy-
in from an influencer, but the check signer / decision maker may have
different priorities. You need to know who the final authority is and
connect with them.

In sales, you want to connect with that decider -- especially in a
corporate situation with layers of management to wade thru.

Takeaway: Sometimes it's easy to lose site of the opinion that's most
important. Who makes the decision on what you sell?  Are you
connecting with the right person or people?