Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Webinars and thought leadership: Are you providing valuable information, or just giving a sales demo?
Thought leadership is all about creating, providing, and publishing very valuable content about a specific area of business that others will benefit from and appreciate. The key is providing it free with very few strings attached. This should be true of your webinars as well. Webinars are in reality web-seminars and seminars should provide valuable content that your prospects can use.
If you start thinking of webinars as funnel builders that nurture prospects closer to being buyers you will then have embraced the proper intent for doing them. Here is the payoff: If you really provide valuable information in a way that appears that you are not looking for a sale in return you make the prospect feel as though they can trust you to help and be helpful to them. This will build up a generous amount of good-will and will translate into the prospect being willing to receive email, news-letters and warm calls. Providing valuable free content is a very sound way of building a lasting rapport.
Think of the amount of times you have attended a webinar only to have it end up seeming like a sales demo. You are not very likely to attend another in the future are you. What's the old saying? "fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.
Time is a very valuable commodity and you should realize that people are inundated with cold calls, email, and snail mail. They are on guard of their time and they don't often like intruders. If you get a director or an executive on the phone these days you are lucky to get a minute and a half of their time. You have thirty seconds to get their attention. Believe me I know. I work on the phones as an outbound marketing consultant a lot. In some cases cold calling is really the only answer for quick results.
What I am sharing here is a form of consultative selling whereby you establish yourself as a trusted thought leader that can nurture prospects and over the long run gain a larger chunk of their valuable time.
When is the time to begin? the answer is right now. The sooner the better. But realize that you are doing work that will yield rewards much later on. Let's give webinars a good name. Let's make them something that people are really interested in attending.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
In this post I want to help you think about your planning as you consider starting a business. Many entrepreneurs are very good at a specific skill but may not have marketing skills. Added to the problem is the fact that Marketing is changing greatly and has changed at this time in business history. One has to consider questions like do I want to do outbound marketing or inbound marketing? What is the cost of each way of marketing my product or service? What will drive the most potential customers to my business the fastest? What do I need for outbound marketing? What do I need to do inbound marketing?
Let me take a minute to explain the difference. Outbound marketing is traditional marketing that has been done for years. It is distributing flyers, making cold calls, sending out mailers, putting an ad in the yellow pages or a paper. The problem with this is that as the years move on these kinds of marketing efforts become less and less successful. Buyers, whether consumers or businesses are more sophisticated and a lot less tolerant of outbound methods of marketing. There is a do not call list for consumers and violating it can be expensive.
On the other hand, inbound marketing uses the internet, networking groups, word of mouth, email and it all starts with providing valuable content. Websites, blogs, social media can bring customers to you if you provide them with content that they want. The content can be in the form of blog articles, e-books, and whitepapers. What matters most is that it is content that will be helpful to people and will establish you as a though leader in your field. The way it works is content will bring people to your website and when there they can find out what products you sell or what services you offer. If over time you have provided great content you will find that potential customers begin to trust and respect you and all the while you are building your brand.
The drawback to inbound marketing is that it takes time. You cannot establish yourself as a thought leader in a short period of time. It has to be over time that this naturally takes place. Start-ups often do not have the luxury of time. Therefore they are forced to do some type of outbound marketing.
The best way to do outbound marketing is phone, flyers and mailings. It does take time and tenacity and is not for the faint of heart, but if you do it diligently it will produce fruit. I think that the best approach for a new business is to have a strategy that includes both inbound and outbound marketing. If you do both you will achieve two ends. One, you will get more clients, customers and thus revenue right away and two, you will begin the kind of activities that will drive customers to you over the long run.
You can find help with both from rijMarketing
Friday, January 8, 2010
Demand Metric has developed several tools designed to do exactly this. Whether you are a marketing person trying to develop a business case to implement or expand your social media strategy, a business owner attempting to put together a RFP for social media consulting or, a marketing executive trying to develop a job description for a social media marketing manager, they have developed the time saving tools specifically for you.
I really like the Social Media Readiness Assessment. It is an already prepared Excel spreadsheet with five tabs, instructions, weighting, self assessment, results and, recommendations. The formula’s are built in so that all you have to do is put in your evaluations on a scale of 1-5 and it will flow from tab to tab. It makes a series of statements like;” Senior Management is interested in leveraging Social Media as a new marketing channel.” You then can score that statement on the 1-5 scale 1 being strongly disagree to 5 being strongly agree. The recommendation tab gives actionable solutions to improving the score in a specific area. For example, if senior management is found to be not interested in leveraging social media then the recommendation is to “obtain survey results to help analyze senior management’s lack of social media sponsorship.”
- Social Media Business Case Template
- Social Media Channel Map
- Social Media Posting Schedule
- Social Media Strategy Scorecard
- Social Media Policy and Guidelines Template
These templates are another indication of the growing interest in social media marketing within all businesses today. I know that these templates and tools are developed because one of their clients had a need for it. This points to the fact that more and more companies are pursuing social media marketing. Once the templates are built, they can be rebranded and used by a variety of companies. These templates are available for a reasonably priced annual subscription and member clients have access to all of the templates and tools they have developed and the number is well over 250 and growing.
I appreciate any comments or questions so feel free to interact or email me. I will get back to you for sure.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
- Establishing Rapport (building relationship)
- Needs Probe (discovering motivation, wants needs and desires)
- Presentation (presenting the features and benefits with the emphasis on the benefits)
- Trial Closing (asking for a commitment)
- Overcoming Objections (refining rephrasing and offering new information)
- Reaching Agreement
Monday, December 14, 2009
In most of the jobs that I have worked over the years, much of the email writing was left up to the sales person or business opportunity development person to do. You may reach a contact on the phone only to have them tell you to send them an email and then… if they are interested after reading it, they will set up a meeting. This puts a lot of pressure on writing the email. It is imperative that it communicates the value proposition in a clear and concise way and, that it spurs the person on to action.
Give it a compelling subject title
It is important that you promise an important benefit in the title. This has to be an obvious benefit that you are certain the prospect will be interested in. I recently read an article that explained that small businesses were trying to save money by outsourcing their IT networking services. Here is the subject title that resulted in action from the recipients. “Many companies are outsourcing IT services to save money; We can help you take advantage of this trend.” The article cited a study that showed that there was a forty percent increase in IT outsourcing to save money. The email was targeted toward small business that provided IT services and, it was designed to encourage them to take advantage of this trend in a marketing campaign.
Make the body of the email clear and concise
Again, remember that you are emailing people who are busy so you should respect their time. They will appreciate it. Make the writing conversational. Write it as though you were carrying on a conversation with them and make it as simple and short as you can while still getting your message across. Use a bulleted list to break up the copy. Here is the example of how the email went forward:
"An AMI Partners study shows that there is a 40% increase in companies seeking to outsource IT to save money.
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