The Competitive Advantage

January 19, 2021

It’s a New Year… What Are You Going to Blog About?

blogHere are two methods to make sure your blog posts hit the mark!

About this time each year, many firms are looking at their newly minted marketing plan and getting excited about the upcoming possibilities. Then, they look at the plan’s timeline and it reads, “Write the January blog post.” Instantly, that excitement turns to fear.

“Oh crap… what do I write about?” Don’t laugh, we’ve all been there!

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December 29, 2020

The Top 10 Most-Read Blog Posts of 2020

blogAccording to Google Analytics, there were more than 10,000 Page Views of our blog this past year. And as I do every year at this time… I wanted to do a count-down of the most-reads topics. But I did the measurement a little differently this year.

Instead of looking at the most popular posts that were written in 2020, I looked at which posts were the most viewed in 2020, regardless of when they were written. Interestingly, these “hot topics” spanned the entire life of our company… from as early as 2012 (the year we were founded) up to several from this year.

We hope you enjoy them…

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December 15, 2020

Selling is a Solo Act… But It’s Also a Team Sport

sales repIn the world of sales, connecting with a prospective buyer, establishing a relationship, building trust and then finally asking for the business is very much a 1-to-1 endeavor. It’s just the sales rep and the sales prospect.

But that doesn’t mean you can just send your reps out into the market and expect them to fend for themselves. Sadly, that’s the strategy used by far too many firms in our industry.

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December 8, 2020

Lead Nurturing for Seven Years? It’s True!

lead nurturingI first met with the founder of this particular MR services firm in early 2013. After his initial interest and a few phone calls, he said he was not ready to move forward.

A year later we reconnected… similar interest, a few more phone calls… same outcome.

And again, two years after that.

But now, it looks like it’s finally coming around and will actually happen. The interest, the need and the urgency are all higher than ever before. So, what happened? How did a sales prospect from 2013 finally come to pull the trigger (we think) more than seven years later?

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November 24, 2020

Generating Sales Leads is a Waste of Money… If You Don’t Follow-up

Sales leads are the lifeblood of any growing business. In the good ‘ol days… they came from networking at a conference, meeting visitors at your trade show booth and cold calling. Today, they come from hosting webinars, leveraging LinkedIn connections and creating downloadable gated content.

But here’s the problem (today and back then)… the vast majority of those sales leads are never followed-up on. It doesn’t matter if the guilty party is a full-time sales rep or a part-time seller-doer… this is where the sales process breaks down. Happens all the time! I don’t know if it’s because the sale rep gets lazy, gets distracted or gets busy.

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November 17, 2020

Your Sales & Marketing Focus Is All Wrong!

current clients

When you think about sales & marketing, what comes to mind? For most business people… it’s about acquiring new clients – about building awareness in the markets or industries they serve, then generating sales leads that lead to new business.

And that’s wrong!

The fact is, when you think about sales & marketing, your first priority – the primary focus of your strategies and planning – should be to maintain and grow your current client base.

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November 10, 2020

The Hardest Thing To Do When Selling

proof sourceWhether you’re a professional, full-time salesperson or a newly-minted seller-doer, it doesn’t take long for you to figure out that the hardest thing to do when selling is convincing a company to do business with you the very first time. That is, to acquire a brand-new client.

Think about it… first, you’re ‘stealing’ them from a competitor, one where they presumably have had a pretty good relationship for a period of time. And two, your sales pitch – by definition – is basically, “I know you’ve been working with my competitor for a long time and have a good relationship with them, but I want you to forget about that and take a chance with us… a company you have absolutely no history with!” OK, I’m exaggerating… but not by much.

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November 3, 2020

How to Define Sales Territories for Larger Sales Teams

sales territoriesI started my career as a technical sales rep for the DuPont Company (a long, long, long time ago). Back then, the de facto way of structuring a sales team was to give each sales rep his/her own territory. And those sales territories were almost always built around geography… whether the company was selling regionally, nationally or globally. It made it easy for ‘road warriors’ to visit a lot of clients and prospects on a single road trip.

But today, with so many geographically-dispersed companies working virtually – and so much selling being done by phone and on tools like Zoom™ – defining sales territories by geography is not your only option. It’s also likely not your best option.

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