Monthly Archives: April 2010

“10 By 10”


I am a relentless for citing authors of great ideas.   I picked this one up from a blog post in the past few days, but for the life of me, I can not find where I picked it up.  So my apologies to the author (I’ll keep looking and give you your kudos soon) – but the idea is too AWESOME not to share… 

Challenge yourself to complete 10 outbound client touches toward advancing the deals in your funnel by 10am each day.

Sounds easy, right? 

Try it for a week and get back to me when you hit 8 for the first time!

Enjoy.

Handouts, All But Worthless? —– I Think So…


In a blog post yesterday by HR Specialist Rebecca Masin in allbusiness.com, the author makes a great case that handouts are no longer worth it for a myriad of reasons including cost, economic impact, and efficacy. 
 
Her favorite reason, from a book called “Saving the World at Work” is that “Over the course of the last few decades, we’ve gotten into a habit: We print, then think. Instead, we should think first and only then print-maybe.”
 
I agree with Rebecca’s rationale – AND, I would add a sales and marketing twist to the list of reasons not to use handouts – handouts don’t work.  If you’re deal comes down to handing out (or mailing) a piece of paper to get your point across, you need to seek a fresher alternative.
 
I rely on social media, email, and voicemail combinations to get critical points across.  In rare instances, a customized slide show (not printed but distributed via email or USB drive) does the trick. 
 
For more information, please request a handout of this blog post at tim@salesandmarketingmashup.com KIDDING!
 
What are your thoughts on handouts?

The POTUS and PPC


Caught this from @EyeTraffic on Twitter…

Dallas Lawrence of BulletProofBlog reports in Forbes.com that President Obama and his team are leveraging social media to make their case for financial industry reforms – and they’re using social media (namely PPC advertising, Facebook and Twitter) to bring it to the people.  Check out his article in Forbes.com. 

Here’s a quote:  “…The strategy of going after Wall Street may seem obvious in a midterm election year dominated by economic concerns, but the tactics being deployed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are anything but–especially for issue advocates and corporate reputation managers, who have yet to fully embrace what our president and his aides learned some time ago, that the Internet is now the strategic high ground of the political battlefield, and that therefore whoever controls it controls the debate…”

Are you more like the POTUS and team or like the “slower-on-the-uptake corporate reputation managers,” who “…have yet to fully embrace [the internet and social media]?”

Wake up!

Focus on Your Clients


A mentor once told me that “Sick companies are internally focused – Healthy ones are focused on their customers.”  Wise words from a wise man.  Thanks, Larry. 

With the economy slowly crawling out of the funk, where are the leaders in your company focused?  It’s easy to become entranced with YOURSELF.  Think about it.  Do you spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy looking at your own company’s Operations?  Alliance Relationships? Cost Containment/Reduction?  Organizational Structure?  Market Segmentation? Inventories? Corporate Branding?  If so – STOP!

These are all necessary concerns.  But they are also a very  – dangerous distraction from your most vital area of  focus in this moment –           The Client! 

If you take your eyes off the client right now, you run the risk of buying your stock high and selling it low.  How so?  You burned a lot of calories keeping clients during the downturn (never worked so hard for so little myself).  If you focus internally now, you may have burned them in vain – only to have a competitor snatch the client away from you as you focus inward and miss the first signs of the recovery.

Instead…Spend as much of your time as possible with clients.  Have progress report meetings to brag about all that you did for them in the past year, hold peer-to-peer executive lunches with them, bookmark web articles of interest and share them with clients, make twice the cold calls than you did last month, do a speaking engagement, double your contacts at a given account this week…

…However you want to…

FOCUS ON THE CLIENT right now!

The NEW NORMAL…Buying Power Has Changed


In their great white paper, Selling in the New Normal, Jeffrey and Chad Koser (authors of Selling to Zebras) cite Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, coining the term a “New Normal” to focus and re-engage GE  in the economy we’re dealing with for the foreseeable future.  More on this white paper in future posts, but for now…

One of their more interesting points is that post Great Recession, the people you sell to don’t have the decision-making power they once had.  It’s dangerous for your sales if you don’t realize that.  What’s worse is, sometimes even they don’t know it.  “A decision that once required director-level approval now goes to the CFO.  Previous CFO-level decisions go to the CEO or board.”  

Not talking to C-level executives?  You’re going to need to change your approach.

3 Buckets…All That Matter


In his bestselling book, Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty, business guru Ram Charan says that during [and after] the world-wide business crisis  “…company executives are categorizing all expenditures into one of three buckets…” 

1. Keeping the lights on
2. Compliance (MORE than ever)
3. D
iscretionary Spend (LESS than ever)

If your solution doesn’t keep the lights on or help with compliance; you’ve got a fight on your hands for discretionary dollars. 

When is the last time you described your solution in terms of a business case 

You can’t kick these buckets!