Archive for the ‘blogs’ Tag

Reaching decision makers…how to find them, how to sell them…

 

Got a question recently regarding how to get to the decision makers.

One is, just ask for them. When asked what it’s in regards to, answer! Its not always that easy though; sometime you have to plan it out a bit…here’s some thoughts on how to start finding then getting to, then selling them.

Who are my biggest targets that I want first? Who has the best reputation that will help me tell the rest of the marketplace, “I have earned XYZ, Inc.’s business and have already helped them increase their business by XX% or they made X amount of dollars recently by using my service to increase their sales or lead gen.”

Once you’ve gotten that list it’s time to do your research on who runs the show and how they do it. Are they Methodical? Spontaneous? Humanistic? or Competitive? These traits will let you in on how to get their attention. It will also tell you how toaddress them when it comes time to sit with them and present your product or service.

Whether it’s doing a simple connections program to start sending a news letter about mobile media and what it does for businesses, or if you choose to give good marketing and sales info that a decision maker can really sink their teeth into. (be aware that doesn’t mean email the heck out of them or send them huge sales emails) Simple short relevant to their industry stuff will suffice. You will begin to earn their trust. Then you can begin to reach out to them. If there’s a Gate Keeper, sell them on the benefits of why the decision maker needs to get back with you.

Gate Keepers have a job, and it’s not just keeping the gate. Many operators and receptionists are regarded as trusted advisors to what is good and what’s not to invest time into. They won’t allow anything they view as ‘salesy’ through the gate as it does nothing really for the company. You could have the best thing for that company but if the GK sees it as ‘just another sales call’ it ain’t happenin. Make it relelvant to the company’s needs, you may wish to look in the news to see what trends or challenges the industry is facing and offer that up as a means to present your solution. ‘You know I just read that normal radio and magazine ads just aren’t driving as much traffic as it used to…have you heard of mobile marketing and what it’s been doing for many of these kinds of businesses now?’ Get the pic?

Your best bet to reach the decision makers is using a targeted approach. Buying a lead list may not be in your best interest. You may have to go work out at the gym to find out who the decision maker or decision makers are. If it becomes a maze make sure you get to as many of them as you can and see who has the most interest and invite them out to coffee or lunch. Explain to them the trends of their industry and what you know about them. This gives you credibility as a ‘solution bringer’ not just a salesman. Then begin to bring together what your solution offers and make your case from there. Teams are now more trusted than in days of old. Make sure you get them on board if there is one, if you’re dealing with small businesses you should be able to just call and get the appointment.

It can be hard when everyone is away, sometimes it takes a lower level to sell you first. I’ve done it on many occassions to get to the main person I sold the receptionist on it. I didn’t always get the sale, but I got the appointment. That’s your goal for now. Make that list, begin to reach out, and then get the appointment. Once you’re in there demonstrate expertise on their industry, then yours.

I have a friend that has a motto for Sales people…”Sum Tertius”. It means, “Me Third” First the great one above, then you (my prospect) and then me third.

Work it like that and you’ll have a recipe for success.

 

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PP what?

So I have been having a conversation with a new friend on facebook that related to how PPC and online marketing works. With how fast everything is moving and how much innovators are getting ahead, there are a lot that are being left behind.

He chooses attraction marketing for his online business and I have to admit it has its merits to a certain degree. I have had that conversation with a few marketers. The conventional ones like the new stuff and want to figure out the latest and greatest. Seemingly though the rest of the world is slowly catching up and certain “outdated” methods are just now beginning to take effect. (it boggles me that it takes so long for many to realize and accept what marketing is bringing to the table and then to respond to it taking even longer…oh well, human kind)

Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Media buying in the “Google” realm can be a bit daunting to some. I am certified with my company in PPC, and it works well provided you take the time to learn the intricacies of it and then use it creatively. It’s truly the only way you can get ahead, and if you do it right, it can turn out a real profit.

SEM / SEO is a different beast even though they are keyword driven as well. They can prove to do some real justice to a business owners bottom line, but can get really pricey. Together they work hand in hand to create relevancy and freshness in Google’s realm and it can really help drive traffic…again, IF you take the time to learn it right.

There are some good tricks that you can use that the attraction and affiliate marketers use to get into the right spots on the content networks that have proven on more than one occasion that Google is still the way to go.(this is a given by most that Google is the only way to go, heck they created this whole PPC thing right?)

Attraction marketing is the “long funnel” marketing model that can be really effective when done with diligence and persistence. As you have found, it can be a great help in generating the kind of traffic you may be looking for. As for the honesty of pics, be assured you will run into a few that are not so open about who they really are, even business owners sometimes are a bit shy to let out their identities on facebook, linkedIn, etc.

Don’t want to get into a long drawn out blah blah about online marketing, but this is where everything has headed, and will continue to head until someone comes up with something else.

What do you think?

Consumers are in control…you just figured this out when?

Just read in Yahoo Business News today that Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers, not capitalists, not republicans, not democrats, not international business, not anything other than “CONSUMERS” are in control of things. Right here, right now, we are standing in the midst of a transference of wealth. What shall we do to make it effective so we, the “market consumers” can benefit?

Many will see an opportunity and will find a need and fill it. The economy is about to return to a service base rather than a product or “latest advanced toy” basis. We have become so comfortable with ourselves, that our innovative nature took a back seat to comfort creature mentality and has set us back about ten years.

Here’s the point; if Wall Street is finally acknowledging that consumers are in control and many of the “big boys” are the ones that are the most affected, we have a chance to say, “Ok. No more crap. Let’s get this country back on the road by making sure you’re producing things that are smart. Not just the latest toy, but the latest innovations that prove we can produce just as well just as inexpensively, and let’s make sure we support the ones that do.”

Enough of being led like blind sheep as consumers we have a choice in where the money flows, let’s make wiser choices and effect the right change.

Here’s an example; Hyundai came to this country with a product that was cheap and built pretty cheaply by my standards. They banked…quite well. They turned around and took that and now produce a luxury vehicle that rivals our old friends BMW and Mercedes, and are competing. We as consumers told the other two that rest on their reputations and history, it no longer matters about your name, I want a car I can enjoy and I’m not paying huge bucks for it. I mean really, $400 for a brake job? and only the fronts? Sorry, I’ll go with a well developed smart car that gets major mileage and is light on my wallet.

Since the consumer market is holding a lot of its discretionary income close to home, businesses have to find new ways to market to us to get us to come spend. Else not we will continue to watch the downward spiral of the economy til well into the next decade.

We have Wall Street’s attention, I say we keep it and make something of it by showing them through our voice…our wallets…that we will only support those that will support us wuth better services and products. Now is the time, make it count.

Business Development…what is it?

Ok. So ‘ve had this presentation for a bit and felt it was time to put it out there both as a refresher course and a “newbie” course for those that don’t quite get what Biz Dev is.

Here isa link to a presentation that is fairly simple to understand, once I get audio put to it we will do more to get it out to everyone in the business world.

Many think this is elementary stuff, but I’ve been running into too many people that just don’t understand that when times are slow that is when you make your best investments in your marketing, and TRACK THEM! Then you follow your sales through and make sure your conversion ratios make sense, then you do it again. (you know; wash, rinse, repeat as necessary)

Here’s the link: Click here

Once you’ve gotten here,  comment and give me your thoughts on what you think are necessary steps to making business deveelopment really work in our now economy…and be careful, there are a lot of emotions running right now, be critical in your thinking, find facts not feelings.

Where’s the money flowing…

Seth Godin makes a real interesting point on his latest blog; where the money is there you’ll find the people working.

Interesting to me that it starts as an end still and then the means justifies it. (almost sounds like the torture debate going on right now)

Here’s a tag to Mr. Godin’s point; if there is money to be made you can well believe that someone is going to be searching for it.

He wrote that things change around once there’s money to be made in any particluar field. He related it to writers becoming publishers which is the reverse of what was. (When the Writer Becomes the Publisher / Seth Godin – 05/2009)

It would seem pretty logical that once the public wants something, they are willing to pay for it, so what is it that you have that they are willing to pay for? What message can you get across to them to tell them what you have is what they need? Many times I see “the best blah blah” or “Number 1 blah blah in the state” C’mon, do you really think that is going to attract attention? If it does, I’d be pretty surprised. Nowadays it’s just not enough. Mr. Godin back in 2003 made refernece to being remarkable(the purple cow). If you have a pizz,a shop fine, so does almost every other coner strip mall, what makes yours so different?

Here in Las Vegas, NV , a local pizza chain by the name of Metro pizza decided to become the “purple cow” of the valley by holding pizza making classes. Their pizza is great, but now they are the teachers of pizza making, and it’s doing very well. People are paying for classes and more are hearing by word of mouth how great their pizzas are. Do you think they can charge a bit more because of that?

Here’s the bottom line: You have to find the flow of money where it is moving and get in front of it. It’s the one time you want to get run over by the flood. Even if you can’t handle it you’ll have known what is was like and can most likey prepare for it better next time. Pizza makers to pizza making teachers,writers becoming publishers, what else can you think of that would set you apart and find you more income for your business through the right marketing message?

Keep it rolling!

The Power of Green Marketing

Green marketing is no longer just for the “deep Eco aware” kids that only buy green anyway. (which by the way is less than 15% of the populace in the US). It’s become an awareness that is definitely growing but has its limitations due to lack of creativity. This is where the marketers come in. That is by the way you and I. It takes all of us to really come up with new ideas to drive this new awareness. So consider yourself a part of the marketing crew now.

Marketers have the creativity to produce new and exciting concepts that excite the consumer, and ultimately get an Eco friendly product out to market that everyone will at least be interested in. Example: http://tinyurl.com/ak9kqt

Read through this (http://tinyurl.com/czq8tl) article and you will see the process that has to occur in order for a truly “eco friendly” product can emerge. Then to think that a chemist is creative enough to come up with what is necessary to market that product is pretty far fetched.

In come the young creatve types that are ready to put a good spin on everything that is “green”. Here’s an example of one company going green with its product line. (no fillers no artificial this and that etc.):

www.ogilife.com

By returning to the ocean, and utilizing ingredients that are proven through scientific study and have approvals by the FDA, (you know how they get when you start talking about anything healthy) they have come up with some really good Eco friendly products that are also packaged Eco friendly and of course they have a non profit that contributes to the ecology.

Point: they have taken a “whole approach” to green marketing and have simply cut out a niche market that is not overly specialized, and yet not over diluted either. One way or another they will drive the “Green” awareness through their efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Bottom line, Green marketing is in its growth phase and is on the grow and yet it will need us the public to continue driving the economy towards more Eco friendly awareness as well as buying green. After all, we are the marketers…

…and by all means, Keep It Rollling!

Losing its Lustre Part Deux

So anyway, I was having another thought provoking conversation with my friend Jean up in Chicago again…(boy she’s gonna be mad at my bill), and we were still talking about how does one keep motivated on their “baby” that they took the painstaking time to get into, because they wanted to live a better life through their idea.

What came about was a strategic planning and idea mind mapping kind of deal.  It (the conversation) was interesting.

My question was, “What happens when you become bored with your idea that you created and decided to put into an activity that would make you money?”

Her answer ran along the lines of, “Well I would diversify into something that is still within the specialty that I am most comfortable with.” Basically this meant to me, “I’d get a little uncomfortable but not too uncomfortable just to keep things fresh”. Ok I think I could understand that.

She also said that if she absolutely had to, she would learn a new skill. Ok, this is good too. Why not? If you can pick up a new skill in art, or sales, or marketing that you normally wouldn’t use in your daily mode of operation, of course you would be excited again..it’s fresh right? BOORIING…(she’s gonna kill me I know…she reads these before I put them up)

So what happens if you’re the guy that opened a “fill a need” kind of business, and it’s not quite there yet (not profiting) and you just figured out you didn’t really want to do this for a living? What happens to your baby now? I have a friend here in TRCB.com that wrote me about the four “D’s” of business.

Do it / Delegate it / Date it / Dump it

Good thing to do when you’re an entrepreneur that can do start ups really well. There are quite a few of them out there. They can find a need fill it get it rolling and that is their motivation…the drive to create something new, get it profitable and get it gone! (and collect royalties on it for the next ten to twenty years unless, it is a copyright or patent then it’s forever until some jerk decides to innovate on it take your original idea and screw you out of a fortune…LMAO)

So let’s go back to the little guy that started this idea of his, and now has no idea what is next and how he’s to stay motivated enough to get to the second “D”. (Delegate it) What does he do? How does he stay inspired that this is the right thing to do?

Ok start here:

1. Revisit why you started this business in the first place. Start remembering the feeling of nervousness of filing for your business license and in some cases had to really fight to get it…remember that? Remember what it felt like just to conquer that phase of getting open? Good ok next…

2. Figure out when you started to feel bored or your inspiration and motivation started falling off. Don’t focus on it, just realize when it happened and why. What did you do to let it slip like that? Was it a realization that you created something that wasn’t what you really wanted? Was the idea just a passing fling? Do you feel like “Delegating” this business now? (there are dangers in selling a business too early, or giving up on an idea too early…case in point Microsoft’s Windows was Xerox’s idea…hmm)

3. What will it take to get you back to that feeling? Revisit the excitement and joy of owning your own baby. Get in front of a mirror, and start telling yourself, “I got into this because…blah blah blah. I feel GREAT about doing this because…blah blah blah. Point: Retrain your excitement to become a reality in your mind and your body and mentality will follow. Keep the inspiration!

What I have found to be boredom, is merely a phase of “buyer’s remorse” settling into the minds of entrepreneurs that thought the ride would be quick to the top. Well they bought into it, and after having to deal with the MWA’s, they realized that they got into a bit more than they may have bargained for. Well, you’re in. So stay in! Don’t let a phase of boredom steal your thunder…LET IT RIP! Get white Lightning hot about what you’re doing…whatever that is.

I know a guy that sells medical screws…wait let me say that again…MEDICAL SCREWS! What the heck does he have to be excited about? He’s the only guy “selling” them. He’s the one that loves his business! He’s the only guy people like dealing with. Why? He’s excited about what he does, he’s enthusiastic (good salesmanship) and he does whatever he can do keep everyone happy so they do the same for him…ummm duh?

A true entrepreneur takes their idea to the max until they can find no other way to make it work and they are literally forced to stop or quit. (Which with any real entrepreneur is rare to nil…they ALWAYS find a way!) But this is also the means to keep them motivated. Now, they are thinking not so much of “Why did I do this?” but more like “Ok. I want out…how can I get this thing to grow its own legs and get it to run on its own so I can move on….You’d be surprised at what your mind can come up with when it’s challenged like that. (actually some of the best innovations of our era came because of boredom and the will to move on to something else. Don’t believe me? Go look at Fast Company’s latest Innovators honors.)

Don’t forget too, the medical screw guy? He’s banking…any wonder why?

I’d like to conclude this and get back to marketing talk, but I get the feeling I’m gonna get grilled on this a bit more…so be it, this is my motivation; “I love to be challenged, contradicted, told I’m full of it…it’s what makes a great conversation!”

Keep it rolling!

Losing it’s lustre?

So, I was talking with my friend Jean in Chicago. Illinois of course.

She is excited about going back to school and getting back into the market place as a specialty Faux and Mural painter. Not to mention she does fine art too. (I’ve seen a lot of her work and she is extremely talented!)

She has a concern that came to her just recently regarding all the work that goes into a business and how she’s supposed to “do it all”. I told her, “you don’t.” She went silent for a moment… then of course the response came, “What?”

This is where I get to get up on my soap box and tell all you wonderful business owners the fun thing about being in business is…BEING IN BUSINESS! You started this as a means to “live the dream”. You figured that getting paid for something you love to do anyway was a means to an end. The end of having a boss! The start of financial freedom! After working with, or for your closest friends you relaized there’s more needed to find new customers or get more in to your store…so now what?

Once you’ve found out that there’s more to running a business, you begin to find out about MWAs. (What the?) Minimum Wage Activities. If you are doing that most of the time, you are not profitting and you’re certainly not feeling excited about your baby!(business) You have two types of activities and that one every business owner hates but has to do or get done. Well, those kinds of activities tend to take away from the joy of beinig a business owner. But why do it all yourself?

Here’s my point; there’s always a way to get things done by others who’s dream it is to do what you don’t want to. Find them, seek them out, and get them to work with you! Be it a budding book keeper, a college marketing student that can do your marketing research for you. Someone ini your town can run errands for you…whether cheap or free.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying use people for your own purposes. I know people like that too, and they never get anywhere in life or business. Point is plan it out and get to it! If you don’t have to do the MWAs, DON’T!

My friend and I talk a lot over the phone. She taps me for information on marketing planning, and business strategy simply because she doesn’t have the time or the desire to learn all the University Mush I learned. (wait til she gets my bill) Why should she go through all that when she has me to help? This is what I’m trying to share with you; STAY EXCITED! You have to. If you don’t you’ll do what no business owner should do…give up, get down, lose confidence in your business, and feel like,”Am I really doomed to do this for the rest of my life?” if you fall into that category, you’ll have nothing to offer in your product or service, and certainly nothing for your successor(s).

Stressed? Find a way to break away when absolutely necessary. Find a place to get back to the reason you started this whole thing in the first place. You were Excited!

Be the little kid with the new toy…don’t worry about how it works, just work it!

There are those that love to start businesses just to start businesses….ok they fall into a different category of human…”non”. Actually they are the ones that find joy in finding a need and filling it, then letting someone else buy it and run it. (franchises, and business starters, etc.)

You created your business because you believed you could fill a need, be excited about it!There’s a joy in growing a business and watching it grow its own feet and letting it roll!

(By the way, if you do need marketing services, but cannot afford the services, there are other ways to learn how to market your business inexpensively. www.CorporateRainiMakers.com/powermarketing)

Look, whatever you do, just stay excited and motivated however you need to so your progress doesn’t slow down. Keep it rolling!

Christmas is Over!

With all the bad statistics of how everyone is worried about how the economy is doing and how the decline in shopping was due to everyone worried about their “Job Security”, hey gang here’s a hint…IT’S A FALSE SECURITY! Anwyay, I wanted to drop thisin for everyonr to think about…wrote it today.

Well, the hardest time of the year is now done!

 

New projects can begin and we don’t have to deal with executives wondering what we’re gonna come up with to drive Black Friday. Not that it was going to help much anyway…We’re in a recession! DOH!

 

I had a couple of really interesting conversations regarding our economy and where they thought things were headed regarding the market and its condition. We all were of the same opinion that if things don’t change soon, we are teetering at the edge of a depression. We also all came to the same conclusion, this particular country is beginning to get out of its comfort zone, and beginning to realize that we are a lot more responsible for our actions than we thought. It was a friend that made me realize that even my meager decisions affect others around me. Guess we all need to take a better perspective on life. Start recognizing that we have a responsibility to the rest of the world, even though we don’t want it, we got it. We need to take care of it.

 

Sure, we don’t want to have to deal with everyone else’s crap, but we started it, we need to finish what we started. This means that the next nuts we vote into office will understand this “bi=partisan” stuff has to end, and they need to do things to the people’s satisfaction. I don’t mean just for the blue collar, or just the white collar, not just the rich or the poor. They need to get it together for the good of the greater not the one.

 

This brings a big “yeah right” on from everyone…ok so, do you throw your hands up and stop fighting to make it right? At the same do we revolt? C’mon, think logically already.

 

I took a Critical thinking class once and our instructor was a trial lawyer…this was an interesting class…believe ye me…the fights that almost started in this class because of what someone’s brother or sister or mom or dad went through with a certain situation, WHOA! The emotions ran deep in this class!

 

I got to speak up in the class one day and nicely explained that not a single person in that room was going to make it in the corporate world simply because they were making choices and decisions in their own lives by their emotions rather than doing their homework and finally coming to a real conclusion…one that was driven by information and “Critical thinking”.

 

The response was kinda interesting. Many sat there in kind of disbelief that I spoke for one. For two, what I just said basically threw all of their opinions and rationalizations right out the window. So, some of them wouldn’t talk to me anymore…LOL! Some chose to think before they did say anything to me. My instructor? He loved me! (not literally) He and I had some great conversations over the phone about the subjects after class about how to think critically and take the point of view that had no view…

 

What da heck does that mean Mike?

 

Here’s what it means;

 

Nothing makes sense until you have all the facts, and to make it make sense you have to have all of the facts. If not, you are taking an uncalculated risk that will cost you in the short and long term.

 

Don’t let emotions and traditions and any other emotional based information permeate into your head or heart for that matter to cause you to decide too early. Take the time to research your thoughts, and sort them out. I have a friend that is so deliberate in his thinking, that when you ask him a question, he will literally say..” uuuummmmm…maybeee, you should try this….ok?” What he does is while he says “ummmmm”, he is thinking how would this work out the best for this subject? Then he makes his suggestion according to what he has figured out. His decisions are usually spot on. Others in that company I cannot vouch the same.

 

Point: Take the time to do your homework, find out, and if you run out of time, see if you can delay the answer. If not, go with the best you can come up with, or find others that have more info than you, and utilize them as a resource. Take the time to take the time…sheesh.

 

Don’t rush…here’s another thought, “If you have to rush, You’re late! Take the time to be early, make it easier on yourself.”

 

Next round I will talk more about how to manage projects when they get dumped on you.

Hydroelectric Power Goes Greener, With In-River Turbine | Technomix | Fast Company

Hydroelectric Power Goes Greener, With In-River Turbine | Technomix | Fast Company

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