Posts Tagged ‘Sales’
**Note: This is a guest post written by one of our readers. For more information on how to submit a guest post, please read ourguest posting guidelines.
Advertising is an important requirement for any business. This aspect of business caters to informing the consumers of a product and its benefits. No business can be successful without meaningful advertisement. There are different kinds of business advertisements and these can be altered to fit the requirement of a company, irrespective to its type and size.
Different types of business advertisements have different advantages and so business owners must choose and use those advertising options that cater to their individual requirements. Here are the different kinds of business advertising and the advantages of each one of them.
[image by AKZOphoto on flickr]
It’s ironic: I sell telemarketing software for a living, and I’m scared of calling people. I don’t often admit that, since as someone working in the telemarketing world, this should be second nature to me. But despite years of cold calling for everything from sales to fundraising to voter education, I still get scared when I start to dial. But, despite my anxiety, I can now make calls without hesitating.
To the regular consumer, there is very little difference between a “marketing expert” and a salesman. And with so many “experts” on the Internet, it is often difficult to differentiate between who is selling you a genuine product versus who is more concerned with their bottom line.
The dictionary defines a market as the following:
an open place or a covered building where buyers and sellers convene for the sale of goods; a marketplace: a farmers’ market.
Over time, this idea of a “market” has changed. While there are still physical markets around (such as your local farmer’s market), more people have now turned to a virtual market- more commonly known as the Internet. And as Dave Evans points out, consumers are the ones who are really in charge of how successful the marketplace is. They can turn a blind eye to the things that they want more easily on the Internet than anywhere else.
Would you believe that there are actually some people who avoid going to the mall nowadays because of the vendors at the kiosks in the middle of the mall who try to sell you things as you pass by? How nice is it -how convenient it is to not have to deal with salespeople harassing you to buy their product! However, there is sometimes a fine line between being a salesperson versus being a marketer. Sometimes marketing experts are sneaky. They don’t tell consumers right away that they are marketing a product, which is a huge mistake. After all, one of the ways to build up trust with consumers is to be honest and up front. People will be more willing to purchase a good or service as well as tell friends and family about it if they believe that the marketer’s intentions are clear and justified.
It’s Not Always Easy
Being in marketing and/or sales isn’t always easy. I, personally, find that the most successful marketers are those who truly believe in the product or service that they are selling. They are honest with their customers and go out of their way to ensure that their customers are satisfied with the product. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of trial and error to reach this point though….Take a look:
Part 3 of 4: An experienced sales executive, Christine, became sold on the value of on-line networking when she asked a newly-acquired client worth several million dollars in total sales what the final factor was that influenced them to work with her. The client replied that Christine’s profile on Linkedin that included endorsements was the tipping point. It enabled them to pre-screen her and her business, as well as showing that she was web savvy. This enlightening feedback prompted Christine to have all her key employees develop a profile on-line and she arranged to spend time learning how to fully utilize internet networking resources.
One question that arises for everyone who steps into on-line networking is what to do when someone says something unfavorable about you on-line, since it can be an anonymous posting and you may have no idea who made the comment. As Andy Beal, owner of an on-line reputation management company (Trackur) says, “Not all bad press is bad. It can be an opportunity for you to show how well you handle real customer concerns that the world can see.”
Keep in mind that the internet is too big for you to control all the conversations that might arise. What is relevant is being aware of the ones related to you, your business and your industry, and learning which comments and conversations are worth responding to and which are not. A bona fide crazy person attacking you will show up like that to others too. Just as top sales professionals view disagreement and objection as a doorway to new opportunities if they handle them in the right person-to-person way, the same applies to the internet.
How do you handle a negative posting? Imagine a restaurant owner finding a bad comment on a blog where her restaurant was reviewed. It might read: “I had to wait too long for the food and the server had an attitude!” A good responsive post would be, “I regret that you had anything less then an excellent experience. We are committed to providing great food, at a fair price, with friendly service. If you are ever having a problem, just ask for me or my shift manager.” Give a simple apology, state your commitment, and provide a guideline for future problems.
Part 1 of 4: Are you puzzled by the variety of new places to represent yourself on the Web? Concerned about finding the time to create and manage your on-line presence? Blogs, podcasts, Linkedin, Twitter…it’s time for another leap in our technology knowledge! Except for the lucky generation that grew up with computer technology, we are all a bit overwhelmed together. The key is to start learning to use at least one of the many internet networking tools, choosing one that has the value for you.
The Global Profile
Linkedin (www.linkedin.com) is a professional networking site with 25 million users who re-connect with business associates and schoolmates, make career connections and pose questions to experts. Networking on Linkedin and similar sites is a way to show you are a whole person, more than just your job. This applies to management and employees equally, giving you a chance to build real credibility by the quality of your employees who are associated to you on-line, and through the endorsements of colleagues and customers.
Interestingly, the word is out that managers are now turning to job candidate’s Linkedin profiles in addition to resumes to compile a more comprehensive picture when choosing who to hire. In fact, there are employers who actually require an applicant to have at least 5 real endorsements from an online group such as Linkedin in order to be considered for the job.
Two easy ways to get started with Linkedin are to give endorsements to people you admire from your past and to use the Answers section to ask and answer questions, which can build positive connections in the process ( see my Linkedin profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/martinbrossman ) .
How It Works
Whitney Hill and I created an in-person networking group called Professional Networking on the Web. It is a team of business professionals sitting around a table with an internet browser projected on a big screen. At a recent meeting our goal was to help Judy in the group connect with someone in a specific company we will call Acme Medical Supplies (changing the actual names here for obvious reasons.) We signed in to her Linkedin account and found she is three hops away from a person she would like to meet in Acme Medical, though she had not realized it. Three hops away means she knows someone (or several people in this example) who knows someone else that she does not know, who is linked to her target person. I asked: “Which one of these people have you invested time in or have a good enough relationship with that they would help you in your pursuit of an introduction?” She said that she knows Debra Jones, the best for this connection, who is directly linked to her Linkedin group. We next look at Debra Jones’ contacts and see who she is connected to. In the process, we find Gary Smith, a better contact into this company and John in the group calls out “I play golf with Gary Smith on a regular basis. Judy, I would be pleased to introduce you to Gary Smith.” Now Judy is closer to this goal with two new opportunities.
To learn more about this group: http://bit.ly/ukPS