Have You Abandoned Your Social Media?

September 12, 2011 at 7:58 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training | 2 Comments
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I truly appreciate the following blog post by Julie Levitch, of SayCurrent but I feel the need to chime in with another “must-do”.

Even WHEN you have ongoing execution of your social media campaign and have captured the eyes of readers on Facebook, Linkedin, your blog and more, you MUST have a follow-up sales program in place or you will surely not recognize the ROI that you should be getting.  Sales is a people game. The social media cocktail party tees you up but YOU have to hit the ball!

From Julie:

Social media continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Multi-national corporations, local restaurants, and retailers of all sizes are setting up Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs to engage their audiences and hopefully increase their sales. This is all good stuff!

But, what we’re seeing over and over again are businesses that have gone through the efforts to start social media campaigns, only to give up after a short while. We’ve even happened upon several large-scale companies that have all but abandoned their Facebook pages and blogs. What’s going on here?

We think we have the answer. Businesses spend the time and money for the initial setup of their online marketing efforts, but don’t consider the ongoing investment in maintaining them. Social media is not a one- time project! It’s a process, and the longer you keep it going, the more successful it becomes.

Part of developing a social media plan is figuring out who is going to execute it over months and years. If you have someone in-house to do this, then consider yourself lucky, and give them the time to get the work done! If you don’t know who is going to do it, find an outsourced social media provider who can become part of your team to generate the copy and manage the flow.

Neglecting your already established social media efforts is literally akin to paying for a space at a tradeshow and not showing up. There are huge opportunities in social media for those who take the time to generate fresh content and keep their online communities engaged. So, if you haven’t updated your blog in months and have no idea who is “liking” you on Facebook, it may be time to regroup and start again!

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Getting Your (Business) Groove Back

September 2, 2011 at 8:28 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training | Leave a comment
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Summer’s over.

OK I know the warm weather is going to (hopefully) hang around awhile longer but officially and with the Labor Day weekend upon us, it’s over.

Back to school. The start of holiday planning.

And, yes that all important 4th quarter when you will know (for sure) if you are going to be able to make your “numbers” for this year.

Are you?

It’s not too late. Shed off the slower and more relaxed pace of summer and kick it up a notch.

Network more. Prospect more. Make it a point to call  2-3 existing clients each day with the intent of taking the pulse of the business. Make it an even bigger point of reaching out and connecting with dormant accounts. Can they be reactivated? When?

And, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Not shopping for clothes or cars or tech toys but shopping for more new clients.

Assertive, hungry and smart. That’s how you should be starting this Fall.

Shed the tan, grab the phone and get things going.

It’s not too late to pull through a few new clients or reactivate some old ones.

What are you waiting for?

Why Social Media is Ruining Your Business

August 25, 2011 at 11:15 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales | 8 Comments
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I love social media and have a solid appreciation for all of the marvelous things that it does for our businesses including the following:

  • Helps to build awareness of our company and brand
  • Creates visibility and can generate and register attendees for events
  • Provides a (free!) tool for the gathering of business/marketing intelligence
  • Offers access to prospects and reconnection with dormant accounts

And yes more.

But, can social media do it ALL and by all, I mean bring in business. Now lots of you are shaking your heads and thinking that I am a bit nuts for even thinking that there are companies out there that believe that social media can save the day in their acquisition of new clients.  But here’s the truth…I am saying this because I hear it and see it each and every day as I go about meeting new prospects, working with clients and speaking with business people at networking events.

Business people are doing their status updates, scrolling through the news feed, engaging in “conversations” with Linkedin contacts and are actually neglecting things like picking up the phone and calling, yes calling, prospects and dormant accounts alike. Rather, they’re using social media and email (hey, it’s fast and convenient, right?) and forgetting the personal touch points that really do matter.

People like to buy, they don’t like to be sold and they like to buy when they have a relationship built on trust and respect. Social media can help lay the foundation but that’s all.

At the end, social media is part of an INTEGRATED marketing plan. It doesn’t stand-alone, it won’t save the day and it won’t close business. That’s sales. You close sales and unless you’re an internet business with no brick and mortar and not a human to be seen on the org chart, then you need to take a look at your marketing and sales programs for the remainder of 2011 and make sure they’re positioned correctly to bring in the business you want.

How to Make the Sale After Your Fling With Social Media

June 23, 2011 at 7:29 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Marketing, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, social media | 1 Comment
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We are all aware that social media plays a huge role in our current sales and marketing landscape. Creating visibility, softening the market, starting and/or maintaining a dialogue with customers and prospects alike, well, I think we can all agree that’s it’s a pretty terrific tool.

But…and this is a VERY big but, if you have anything other than an internet based business you had better become reacquainted with the importance of old-fashioned sales skills, the kind that existed well before Mark Zuckerberg made his mark or Linkedin became the darling of business prospectors.

Yes for most businesses it is people that woo, wow and win clients and if you forget that fact and get lost in the land of facebook, linkedin and twitter, you might find yourself with less business that you might have had if only you had deployed sales best practices.

–Make sure that you know the value and improvements that your business provides to customers so that you can present these benefits concisely and coherently when engaged in your business prospecting efforts.  To that end, embrace your points of differentiation but be sure that what makes you different is truly what your prospects “want” and need.

–Understand the critical importance of effective probing and seek to uncover everything that you possibly can about your prospects and clients. Asking questions helps to gain rapport and is always more insightful than simply checking their status update.

–Be prepared for pushback and hesitancies. This is always true but especially so during our current economic situation. People are nervous and conservative and it takes extra sales ability to help them to pull the trigger and say “yes”.

–While ABC (always be closing) is a cliché, it is certainly important to be proactive when leading your prospect to a “next step” for that is what closing is, simply a next steps scenario of which both you and your prospects are aware

–Don’t lean on technology instead of the “personal” touch.  Make it a point to reach out and call your prospects and customers on a regular basis. Too overwhelmed and busy to make the calls? Break them up into very small allotments. You CAN make 1-3 calls per day, can’t you?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to underestimate the power of social media. As the owner of a small business, I thrill at the fact that, to a certain extent, it has leveled the marketing playing field. But people do business with people and when companies forget that fact, all the social media in the world won’t save the day.

The Great Big Social Media Party…Or, How I Lost My Way in the Land of Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter

May 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, New York Sales Trainer, Sales Training | 4 Comments
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Now, don’t get me wrong. I like social media with the best of them, appreciate it’s power and reach and can certainly see how and why it should play an important and integral role in a organization’s marketing and sales endeavors.

I mean, social media is good, right? It has leveled the playing field for small businesses and helps build visibility and credibility at little or no cost. All that can’t be bad.

But here’s where things begin to go a bit awry.

The small to mid-sized firms that are deploying social media with amazing zeal and enthusiasm are doing so with one major—and ultimate—goal in mind. They want, no need, this new found visibility and credibility to lead to NEW BUSINESS. Nothing else will do.

And this is exactly where I believe that many of them might be sorely disappointed.
You see increased visibility and credibility are awesome but they don’t…close…business. Repeat after me, they don’t close business. People do.

Prospects can get wooed into your sales world but then a carefully deployed process must ensue. What’s required? Well, screening and qualifying, presenting value, probing for wants and needs and ultimately leading that prospect to see you and your business as a solution, an improvement, to their situation. Specific steps that DO lead to that ultimate goal of new business.

Social media doesn’t do any of that. Even social media “conversations.”

Then why is it that so many companies are positively gleeful when jumping into the social media swimming pool? I’ll tell you why. It’s because they believe that social media is going to turn their business around. And it’s going to do it all by itself. And sure it can open the floodgates to new prospects and opportunities but unless there are sales reps that are adept at taking prospects through the buying process and internal processes in place to manage the relationships, well, social media isn’t going to yield the desired long-term results.

So jump in and add social media to your marketing mix. But don’t forget about sales processes, follow-up and follow-through and good old-fashioned customer service to turn the fun and games into revenue.

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