Stop Using Content Marketing to Sell

March 20th, 2018

I’ve been a subscriber to INC. magazine for years. I take away a nugget or two from every issue. In this most recent March/April issue, I started to read an article about a concept called the “active office.” It looked interesting.

The article began with what appeared to be an interview with the CEO of VariDesk, a manufacturer of sit/stand workstations. As I read further, I realized it wasn’t an article, but a well-written sales pitch and ‘advertorial.’ At the top of the page was the tiny header, “Branded Content.” And right next to the article was a full-page VariDesk ad.

It really angered me (both VariDesk and INC.)… trying to hide their advertising under the guise of editorial content, even designing the page so that it looked like a standard article. Now, whenever I read any article in any magazine, I look for the “Branded Content” header at the top of the page. Kind of sad, huh?

It was the perfect example of a lesson we share with all of our clients and emphasize during conference presentations…  Stop using content marketing to sell!

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3 Simple Sales Tests to Use When Hiring a New Rep

January 16th, 2018

sales testsWe’ve all seen that scene at the end of the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, where Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character is presenting a sales training workshop and asks a few of the attendees to, “Sell me this pen.”

Are sales tests like that a good idea when recruiting and hiring a sales rep in the market research industry?

A test like that? Probably not. It’s a bit contrived, unrealistic and not in any way tied to your business. However, because so much of the future success of your firm will be tied to this new sales rep, some testing before you make them a job offer is entirely in order.

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Want to Be Successful at Sales? Then Change your Mindset.

November 21st, 2017

salesI hear these kinds of statements all the time in our industry:

  • “I don’t like selling.”
  • “I’m no good at sales.”
  • “I don’t want to sell.”

I think one of the reasons I hear those things is because of the perception of the profession of selling. Consider this… when I say the word, ‘salesman,’ what sorts of images comes to mind for you? The stereotypical used-car salesman? That guy near Disneyworld selling time shares? Or (for those of you in my generation) maybe Herb Tarlek, the radio ad salesman from the late 70’s sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati?

I get it. No one really wants to associate with “salespeople” like that.

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Bad Salesperson… or Bad Sales Manager?

September 26th, 2017

bad sellingTrue story… earlier this week, I was the recipient of bad selling – a “cold call” email from a sales rep in our industry pitching his services.

It started with “We’ve never met, but…” Immediately, my defenses went up! I knew what was about to come – a sales pitch of some kind.

Then, at the end of the pitch, the email went on to say, “I have no idea if this is relevant to you.” Which, of course… it wasn’t.

This kind of amateurish sales effort – very common in the Market Research industry – drives me up the wall! AAARGH!!!

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The #1 Sales Activity You’re NOT Doing… or Doing Badly!

July 18th, 2017

network67 Ideas for Improving Your Follow-up Process

See if this sounds familiar… you attend a conference where you, once again, prove your ability as a networker. You meet a number of potential clients (a.k.a. “sales prospects”), have several solid conversations and collect a pocketful of business cards. All-in-all, not bad!

Then you return to the office and are diligent about sending out the “nice to meet you” emails as soon as you can. And then… crickets! No one responds or says they’re looking for a new vendor. At best, you get a few “nice to meet you, too” responses – but nothing more.

When that happens – and it always happens – what do you do?

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Using webinars for marketing? Follow these 4 guidelines.

April 11th, 2017

webinar1Webinars can help you achieve a number of marketing objectives… building awareness for your firm, positioning you (the presenter) as a Subject Matter Expert and, of course, generating sales leads. We like webinars so much, we started our own program this year.

And as we’ve gotten into this program, we’ve learned 4 key lessons that can be helpful to anyone with webinars in their marketing & sales plan.

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Hey Sales Rep… Your Manager Should be Fired!

February 28th, 2017

I receive “cold call emails” all the time…. I guess as President of the company, I’m a magnet for salespeople. Fine… it comes with the territory.

But this past week, I received a sales email so bad that I had to share it (names are being withheld so they don’t die of shame!).

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Stop Setting Stupid Sales Goals… Think Small Instead

October 26th, 2016

big-smallI had a boss (the company Founder) several years ago who would set the annual sales goals for our company… without much regard for what was really happening in the marketplace. The trouble was – and no surprise here – that he set ridiculously high goals (think 50%+ growth or more). Then, the rest of the team would jump through hoops to re-do all of the plan and budgets… all the while knowing that there was no way in hell we would come close to achieving those goals.

That’s NOT how to do it.

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