Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

February 7, 2012 at 8:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Got your attention, huh? Do ya think I’m sexy?

Well, what’s sexy right now is SEM and SEO and all manner of social media involvement.

I’m not a luddite; I use and love them all. But folks…really…remember that PEOPLE execute and close business and with all this attention (and budget) being thrown at “getting to the top of Google” there isn’t anyone left with basic and fundamental sales competencies. (Don’t get me started on getting to the top of Google—that’s another story entirely.)

But back to the point that I am trying to make here.  All of this search engine and content marketing stuff is awesome. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not discounting the critical importance of paying attention to this seemingly ephemeral world of SEO but what I am saying is that you also better be paying strict attention to what happens in the “real” world.

People buy from people and unless you run an internet-based,  click only business you need to get your arms around:

  • Presentation effectiveness
  • Sales processes and procedures
  • Great hires in the sales arena
  • Sales competencies (fundamental to your success!!!)
  • Touch point management

And the list goes on.

We’re all working with tighter budgets these days so be smart. Before you buy into a SEO/SEM program that will pretty much wipe out the rest of your business development and marketing budget consider how and if you will be able to capitalize and monetize the visibility and potential leads that (might) be coming your way.  Apportion your budget wisely and you will get an even greater ROI from a totally integrated sales and marketing program

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The Importance of Selling

September 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Posted in sales, Sales Training | 3 Comments
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I never thought that it would get to this.

No, I never thought that I would be propelled to write a post about the importance of selling.

After all, it’s pretty obvious, right? If you’re in business, if you have a trade or a profession you must try to win new customers and retain and grow your existing ones.

Simple.  You…sell.

Fact: you shouldn’t develop a groovy new logo, create a brochure, procure some promotional items or dive deep into social media without thinking about your ultimate goal, the acquisition of new business.

And regardless of whether you have a transactional type of business or one that is very consultative, the desired end result is the same: increased business.

So before you march into the land of marketing make certain that you have:

  • Established a well-oiled sales process
  • Created your follow-up and touch point management program (for long-term ROI on the marketing initiatives)
  • Fine-tuned your sales strategies and techniques

Marketing is great but it’s not a stand-alone. It must be tightly integrated with your sales efforts and if it isn’t, all of your marketing efforts will simply cost you time, money and momentum.

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!

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.

B2B Online Marketing – The Direct Pipeline to Off-line Sales: 5 Simple Steps

November 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Adrian's Network, sales, technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m so very happy to be able to share this terrific post by Jasmine Sandler of Agent-cy Online Marketing. Jasmine is truly a pro and these tips are valuable for all of us trying to build our businesses in the brave new world of online communities.

From Jasmine:
What is important now and in the future to small business B2B Online marketers is how to grow brand awareness and client interest across moving and fickle (marketing) channels, where the ability to engage the audience grows thinner each day because of the millions of messages being pumped out every New York minute. One effort that will always remain a common thread is the act of creating real client relationships. And so, how do we use Online Marketing as our main vehicle and measure return in real off-line deals?

It is through leveraging online communities such as NING, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, BUSINESSEXCHANGE and more to supplement the “old” ways of making the B2B sale. These (online communities) make it possible for a B2B marketer to execute at all levels of the solution sale.

You will get off to a great start if you follow these 5 simple steps:

1. Develop a relationship through a warm connection. In Linked IN, you can gain a connect to someone who you want to know through someone you know. Further, you can research that person’s history and interests and so when you do get the chance to make your first impression, it is a great one.

2. Understand the company of your target customer. Company profiles on these social networks are filled with important information you need to know to create a real alliance with that company and the key decision makers. Further, you can see who you need to influence and how you need to sell by understanding the company and its employees’ online behaviors and who is a real force within a company page.

3. Follow up and communicate effectively with your target through the networks in which they are active.

4. Become a real resource. Provide necessary connections and valuable information to your target client at the community level.

5. Comment/become engaged in your target’s activity – this keeps you top of mind.

Of course, just like a normal 3-6 month sales cycle in the solution sales B2B world off-line, you need to stay visible through other efforts such as smart networking and personal branding and the like. Further, you need to stay pleasingly persistent as we used to say at IBM. For more information on how to use online marketing to sell, visit the Agent-cy Blog.

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business & Your Brand

December 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Long Island Entrepreneurs’ Group is running a very special networking & presentation event on 1/21:

Learn How To:
› Harness the power of digital technology
› Create and control your online presence
› Use social media to build your personal brand

The event is January 21, 2009, 6-8:30PM at Reckson Corporate Center, 68 South Service Road, Melville, Long Island.

The networking event will feature Shelly Palmer, a leading expert on electronic media. Shelly is the President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV. Shelly is also the host of MediaBytes, a daily internet news show and a technology commentator on CNN.com as well as an author of one of the most popular television business news blogs and a weekly columnist for The Huffington Post.

Shelly is our presenter; our moderator is Bill Sobel:

Bill Sobel, the Principal of SobelMedia and NY:MIEG/The New York Media Information Exchange Group, has been described as a media powerhouse and a master connector. According to Wendy Marx of Fastcompany.com “Sobel knows practically everyone who matters in the media and entertainment space. Recognizing that his ’skill set is who I know’, Sobel since the early 1990s has helped technology companies get into the media and entertainment space by tapping into his vast network.”

Sobel uses his massive network as a tool to both build his popular NY:MIEG events, which draw 150-200 per month and to connect others in the media and technology space. In two short years since it’s launch, Bill Sobel has grown NY:MIEG from a few hundred members to an active and vibrant community of over 3000 members of major media in New York, Los Angeles and around the world.

Register now. Registration will be capped due to size constraints and no kidding….this is an event you absolutely will not want to miss.

http://www.lieg.org/

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