I wonder if Sam Walton envisioned all of this:
Via: Home Loans
Saturday, July 03, 2010
One big mistake sales people make is they don't understand what their clients want to buy, or how they buy.
Here's 4 lessons from MarketingProfs.com:
Four Lessons from Posh Real-Estate Agents
If you're not in the market for luxury real estate, there's a good chance you haven't seen the glossy brochures that Christie's Great Estates and Sotheby's International Realty produce for their multimillion-dollar listings. "It is a shame that few of us do get to experience this world," writes Rohit Bhargava at the Influential Marketing Blog, "because when it comes to marketing there is a lot that anyone could learn from how luxury [real-estate agents] run their businesses."
Here are a few ways real-estate professionals excel:
They leverage strong personal brands to build credibility. "Often," Bhargava says, "you see the story of the agent's career and how he or she made it to that point." Agents also discuss personal histories and interests—especially those they share in common with potential clients. "All of this," he continues, "is designed to give you a sense of who they are before you consider working with them."
They know a thing or two about targeting their audience. If agents in the luxury real-estate market advertise in the wrong place, they know they'll only waste time with unqualified inquiries. "They don't care about reaching millions or even about reaching thousands," notes Bhargava. "They care about reaching the right dozen people, period."
They create desire with lust-worthy photography. There's no such thing as an amateur snapshot in their marketing collateral: instead, houses are presented as nothing less than a venue for perfect domestic bliss. "The imagery sells the houses," he says, "and encourages you to dream."
The Po!nt: When looking for marketing inspiration, don't limit yourself—you'll find great ideas in what seem to be the most unlikely places.
Source: Influential Marketing Blog. Click here for the full post.Sphere: Related Content
Daily Sales Tip: 4 Tips To Find Prospects Using Social Media
A recent blog by Jay Baer outlined ways to track down prospective clients by using Social Media. He recommends:
1. Hire a Spy
Flowtown and Rapleaf are two of the leaders in the emerging field of social anthropology. It's ingenious, and a bit freaky (like Cirque de Soleil).
You provide a list of your customers' email addresses, and these services figure out how (and who) among your customers are on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and niche social networks, what their "likes" are, and other important details.
Flowtown is perfect for small and medium businesses. Rapleaf is better for larger companies.
Perhaps the most obvious way of finding out where your customers are hanging out in social media is unfortunately the least utilized. Ask them.
3. Email Behavior
Have you added links to your social outposts in your emails? Have you added the ability for email recipients to share content on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and elsewhere? If you send email routinely, you need to integrate email and social immediately.
Most quality email service providers give you the option of easily adding sharing tools, and you can then run a report showing which of your subscribers clicked your Twitter link, and/or shared content on Facebook. Presto! Now you know that person is active on those social outposts.
4. Gmail Stalking
Twitter, Facebook and other social outposts have incorporated functionality that allows you to see whether your Gmail contacts are using the services, and invite them to connect with you. While this integration is intended for personal use, you can utilize it for your business, too. Here's how:
- First, take a list of your customers' email addresses, and create a .csv file (you only need email addresses, not names, mailing address, etc.)
- Next, create a free account on gmail.com specifically for this purpose (you don't want to be doing this on an existing account)
- Third, upload the .csv to your Gmail account.
- Now, go to Twitter and create a brand new account using your special new Gmail email address. On Step Two "Find Your Friends" of the Twitter sign-up process, select Gmail. Bam! Twitter automatically reads all of the email addresses of your customers stored in Gmail, allowing you to track the number on Twitter and/or follow them immediately.
- Now, set up a new Facebook account using your new Gmail address. On Step One "Find Friends" of the Facebook sign-up process, indicate that you have a Gmail account, and follow the simple instructions. Bingo! All of your customers on Facebook are presented to you, and you should be able to become their "friends" with a single click.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Yeah, it's early.
I'll continue to have updates over the weekend...
Sphere: Related Content
As a child of the 60's and 70's, I grew up without cellphones, cable TV and the internet. We got the news via Walter Cronkite (Google him!), and the afternoon newspaper.
My kids grew up in a different world, and my grandkids world will be vastly different too.
Here's an insiders peek into what is coming:
What Happens to Traditional Media When it Goes Digital?
At the ARF Audience Measurement conference last week, some speakers really got me thinking about what happens when all media becomes digital. Here are three forces that could produce profound changes in media and advertising both from a business and user experience point of view.
Everything Will Become Digital
Digital used to be synonymous with online but everything will become digital. Dave Poltrack from CBS predicts a huge increase in HD, 3D, and IPTV TV sales. David Verklin, president of Canoe Ventures, talks about the interactive TV advertising experience that will be nationally available. Video in Facebook? How about Facebook built into your new 55" HD 3D TV? The future of print media is being revolutionized by electronic readers like iPad. One can also imagine codes being inserted into print advertising or editorial pieces that, when captured by a smart phone, instantly leads to a multi-media experience or electronic coupon.
No longer is CBS a TV company or Time, Inc. a magazine; no longer is "media platform" the business organizing principle. Now, the media property is the organizing principle and it must live synergistically across platforms.
Data Will Always Trail the Media Possibilities
New touchpoints are emerging weekly, it seems. Advertising via the iPad was born so very recently. Apps for smart phones that create amazing location-awareness and shopper marketing options are emerging so fast it is mind-numbing. How can a manufacturer not want to put codes on packages that, via a reader on any smart phone, can now bring a brand's story to life with sight, sound, and motion at point of purchase? Digitization allows a marketer to guide a consumer along the path to purchase right to the check-out.
The point is, syndicated media research data bases, custom marketing research assessment can't possibly get ahead of this; they will always be playing catch-up, focusing on the most significant of the touchpoints that are attracting substantial funds.
The Importance of Understanding Audience Size Will Diminish
The most important things in traditional media, the stats we all understand, relate to audience size (GRPs, circ, etc.). However, imagine watching an episode of House on a platform that allows for selective ad serving. As soon as two different households start getting different ads served to them, measuring total audience becomes less important to the advertiser. Online, monthly uniques are a guide to which sites an advertiser should consider but they are paying for impressions served (or clicks). "Traditional" media could/should move to this model as it becomes digital.
If this comes to pass as traditional media become digital, imagine the implications for syndicated media currency databases, and media tools. While this will be traumatic to the existing infrastructure for "traditional media", the increased business value of advertising and the increased CPMs that advertising should command when it is made more relevant based on intelligent serving rules are potentially very significant.
(Source: Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer, The Advertising Research Foundation, from an article that appeared in Retail Wire, 06/30/10)
Is not to bore people to death.
Want to kill a sales presentation?
Do a boring Powerpoint.
I use Powerpoint to create handouts, have done it that way for years until last year when I actually used it the way it was designed, as an interactive presentation projected on a screen.
My first one lasted 40 minutes, included a couple of videos and had 87 slides. We actually did Q & A as part of the presentation.
Seth Godin has some advice to follow:
The next time you find yourself on the hook for a 40 minute presentation (with slides!) consider, at least for a moment, a radical idea:
A slide every 12 seconds. 200 slides in all.
You're used to putting three or four bullet points on a slide. That's at least four distinct ideas, but more often, each of those ideas has three or four sub ideas to it. In other words, you're cramming 32 ideas on a slide, and you're sitting on that slide as you drone on and on. Perhaps you spice it up with some reveals or animated bullets, but it's still 32 ideas going stale before our eyes.
What if you blew it up? Just one word on a slide. Or, perhaps just one image (no cheesy stock please). Maybe you write, "Cheaper" on one slide and, "More durable" on the next...
Slides create action. When did you decide that the appropriate amount of action was six or twelve times every half hour?
How would your pace change if you had 200 slides? How much better would the integration of slides and talk be?
I don't honestly expect you to do your presentation with 200 slides. I'm hoping this exercise will help you realize that you might not need any slides. Or that 50 or 100 slides will pick up your energy and make your argument more coherent.
But please, don't do that presentation you did last time.Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Click & Read:
Our weekly update from Amy:
Chicken. Beer. World Cup. That about covers it. Let's launch!
Heineken Light launched a series of light-hearted ads that follow the lives of Jamie and Gavin, two young lottery winners who relocated to a retirement community in Florida. The pair learn important life lessons from three older gents, Maurice, Terry and "The Judge." In "Poolside," Jamie learns about Lawn Mowing 101 when he hits on an older woman going for a swim. Maurice, the group's Lothario, swiftly replies: "Son. Don't mow my lawn." See it here. "Golf," the weakest of the spots, teaches Gavin to improve his golf swing by slowing it down. Watch it here. "Cetera" is my favorite ad. Maurice has an impressive wall containing pictures of women he's bedded. He also owns a Peter Cetera record. Huh? "The ladies love Cetera. And if you love the ladies, by default you love Cetera," says Maurice, as the ad closes with "Restless Heart," one of Cetera's many hits. Watch it here. Print ads feature Heineken Light bottles along with the tagline, "See the Light" and copy such as, "The good life requires a bottle opener" and "Not available in red plastic cup." See one here. Euro RSCG NY created the campaign.
Think it's easy to make Sapporo beer? Rethink your position while viewing this two-minute ad for the Japanese beer, which creates a colorful journey throughout history while the hypnotic sound of drums play throughout. Each level of history ascends like an elevator in "Legendary Biru." The brewing process of Sapporo beer is interspersed with scenes of Japanese culture, including rice gathering, sumo wrestling, and stacking beer barrels -- all ending with a view of modern-day Tokyo and a large glass of Sapparo atop a roof. Watch the ad here. Dentsu Canada created the ad, co-directed by Mark Zibert of Sons and Daughters and Gary Thomas of Crush.
Say hello to Genny Light's new spokesman, Chet Hammerton, a man similar to Genny Light's target audience of men ages 21-45. Chet takes on a bhut jolokia chili pepper in his latest video, which plays out like a reality TV show. His fridge is packed with Genny Light and the chili is packed with 1,041,427 Scoville units (the scale to measure the heat of chili peppers). He handles the initial chili contact well, but promptly gulps water and milk in hopes of relief. Listen for the camera crew in the background laughing while he's writhing in pain. See it here. The VIA Group created the campaign. Interestingly enough, Keystone bowed its new spokesman, Keith Stone, around the same time Chet launched. Check out an ad for Keith Stone here, and if you've seen "Rock of Ages," as I have, you will recognize Keith Stone as actor Mitchell Jarvis, the narrator in the Broadway musical.
Hunger takes precedence over everything else in a trio of ads for Bojangles' Restaurants. A man about to pop the question stops mid-proposal to announce, "It's Bo time." He leads his lady to a speedboat, where they Eskimo-kiss through their helmets and arrive at Bojangles wet and engaged. See it here. A woman has labor pains while her husband has hunger pains in "Horse." She makes it to Bojangles, holding her new addition. Watch it here. "Police Car" is the funniest ad. A cop pulls over a stocking-wearing driver when hunger calls. He and his partner whisk the criminal to Bojangles, hitting a mime en route. The spot ends with the robber getting tasered at Bojangles. See it here. BooneOakley created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.
Chick-fil-A launched two TV spots promoting its spicy chicken sandwich. The cows are happy. A bevy of bovines sound the alarm by mooing loudly throughout a city, working to inform passersby about Chick-fil-A's spicy chicken sandwich. Watch it here. A security guard working the night shift breaks up a warehouse party in "Celebration." A room full of cows, complete with DJ, is brought to a standstill. No tipping. See the ad here. The Richards Group created the campaign.
Nike has tweaked its global football campaign, "Write the Future," and added a social media and interactive twist. "Write the Headline, Write the Future," allows fans to submit a 57-character personal message through Facebook.com/nikefootball, Twitter, Mxit and QQ to more than 50 Nike athletes. Here's where it gets fun. Up to 100 headlines are selected nightly and projected across Johannesburg's Life Center building, which is outfitted with 90-meter-tall images of Nike footballers and an interactive LED screen that displays fan messages. Fans receive a personalized notification if their message is projected on the Life Center. In addition, Nike created "Write Your Future" on Facebook, which uses a person's picture and profile information to create a personalized football film starring the fan. See it here. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam created the campaign.
If you were a brand, would you encourage your target audience to be stupid? I wouldn't, either. Shows what I know. This line of thinking scored Diesel an outdoor Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The brand's "Be Stupid" effort encourages consumers to take a chance, or the path less traveled... like allowing a bear cub to rummage through your refrigerator. See the winning campaign here, here, here and here, created by Anomaly, New York.
Random iPhone App of the week: MGD 64 launched a pedometer app that does what you would expect: measure the number of steps you take in a day, how far you walked and calories burned, simply by adding your height and weight. The app challenges Facebook users to apply their burned calories and steps to strange goals, like "Walking up Mt. Everest 64 Times," (only 704,000 steps, kids) or "Burn Calories from 64 Pizzas." Thanks to this app, I know what I'm having for dinner tonight. Digitas created the free app, available in the App Store.
Daily Sales Tip: Communicating with Customers
Technology offers countless ways for salespeople to communicate with buyers: e-mail, cellphone, BlackBerry, text messaging, social networking, etc.
But the reality is most buyers prefer one mode of communication to all others.
Sometimes it's best to let the situation dictate what's appropriate. But in other cases, it may help to simply ask prospects, "What's the best way for me to contact you?"
It empowers prospects by giving them control of the process, but it also lets them know you're willing to handle things according to their preference.
Source: David Booth, co-founder and president of the business training firm Eloqui
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Click & Read:
Finally, some retailers are understanding how to use social media as a connector. This is from WonderBranding:
Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:46 AM PDT
The company realizes that social media is not the end-all and be-all of marketing strategy. (As I said on a panel discussion last week, if that’s the way you think, then you need to have your head examined.) They are using outlets like Facebook to do two things:
1) Research. Surveys and questions posed to fans of the page (yes, I still call them fans) in order to learn more about what kinds of clothing styles are hot now and where trends are going. (click on image to enlarge)
2) Conversation. Ann Taylor is working hard to answer comments left by fans, to let them know that the company cares, and to nip potential bad feelings in the bud.
Customers recently spoke up, saying that there was too much airbrushing of swimsuit models. Check out the company’s reply:
When customers questioned whether LOFT’s clothes might look as great on “real women” as they do on stick-thin models, LOFT began photographing employees of varying size wearing LOFT outfits.
This is how you use social media.
It’s not about the latest viral video, trying to drum up something wild to get attention.
And it’s not about direct selling.
It’s about conversation.
Conversation that will provide consumer research data you never could have otherwise gathered.
Conversation that requires you to be open, honest, and flexible.
Conversation that could make current and former customers fall in love with you all over again.
How are you using your company’s Facebook page? Is there a disconnect between what you want and what the customer wants? Maybe it’s time to review your strategy.
Daily Sales Tip: On His Way to Super Stardom
"Dining" alone at Appleby's last night I saw the future of a college-age waiter...one he has no idea of yet. (Appleby's because if you sit at the correct table you can watch at least three screens at once -- each tuned to a major sporting event).
A family of four was at the next table and young CEO-to-be came to take their orders. His waiters' garb was fresh and clean, as was his entire appearance. He squatted so that he was of the height of the youngest child and introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Albert. I'll be your waiter tonight. how are you all?"
The Mom, answered, "We're all fine and how are you this evening," to which Albert replied, "I'm well, and thank you very much for asking."
I rest my case. Albert is not only a listener, rather than an Appleby's trained automaton, he is also sincere and feeds back to his constituencies that what they say he hears, and it is important to him. I know, not guess, that Albert will spend his entire adult life listening and feeding back what he hears and its importance to him. He will earn the trust of those he calls upon because he makes it clear that they are important to him and that he will focus on their best interests and how he call help them exceed their goals.
As he begins his career calling on customers (and immediately begins outperforming his peer group and competitors) his interactions with bosses and colleagues will be consistent with his customer interactions. He will look to serve them as well and that will be noted by the executives that will inevitably promote him to management. And on and on.
Albert is a winner. A nice, well-bred, well-intentioned, clean-cut young man conscious of his ability to enhance the experiences of those he deals with if he shows interest by listening to them and acknowledging the importance of what they say.
One day, years from now, in the business section of the Times, you'll read about CEO Albert __________ and his most recent merger or sale.
Source: Veteran advertising sales executive and entrepreneur Bob Sherman
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I'm a Diet Dew Drinker, so if they want me to try any of their flavors, it better have a sugar free version:
Four Email Must-Do Principles to Boost Response
"I'm not going to out anyone (including a prominent technology analyst firm that refused for six months to remove me from its email database)," he notes, "but I would like to remind everyone of four simple principles that all businesses should work very hard to follow." Here are Kalehoff's email-marketing rules to live by, to show your customers you care:
- Act as if an email address is a living, breathing human being. The reason? If you treat recipients like data on a spreadsheet, they're liable to treat your campaigns like spam.
- Don't assume you have permission if you haven't asked for it. Do you want email messages from anyone who manages to get their hands on your address? Of course not. So send offers and newsletters only when you know they'll be welcome.
- Make it easier for subscribers to opt out than to opt in. Kalehoff advocates a prominent, simple unsubscribe button. "It's not OK to hide your opt-out links with gray text on white background," he says, "or [to] require tedious click-throughs and confusing forms in order to opt out of an email marketing program."
- If a subscriber wants off your list, let him or her go—for real. "I can't believe how many big, savvy companies violate this rule," says Kalehoff. "When recipients opt out, don't keep their email activated in your marketing program. [Honor] requests for opt-out immediately."
The Po!nt: Treat them like they're special—regardless of their numbers. A little common courtesy goes a long way with email subscribers—and is sure to generate better ROI.
Source: AttentionMax. Read the full post.Sphere: Related Content
Daily Sales Tip: The Higher Authority Close
A higher authority is a respected person known by your client who is willing to give third-party testimony. The higher authority will most often be a satisfied client -- possibly the one who referred you to the prospective future client.
To set this close up, choose your higher authority and discuss the situation with them. Tell him or her that you'll be meeting with "Jim Johnson" at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, and ask if they might be available around 2:30 p.m. to take your telephone call in case you need his or her input. Always offer to refer other business back to your higher authority in exchange for their involvement or to return the favor.
When you make the call, simply make the connection, do a brief introduction, and then let your higher authority tell your prospective client how great your and your product/service are.
If your higher authority is unavailable to take your call, ask for a testimonial letter and permission to use his or her name.
Source: Sales consultant/trainer Tom Hopkins
Monday, June 28, 2010
Did you know the Bluegrass State had an official sports car?
Just read it for yourself.
Posted: 26 Jun 2010 09:25 AM PDT
Over my career, I have worked with many companies and entrepreneurs to name their products, services and organizations. It's actually much more science than art -- you need to have a very good understanding of what you are trying to communicate.
It's much more about tone than the actual words -- that's the tough part to help clients understand. It's the feeling the name evokes -- not so much the literal translation of each word.
Take the product above -- Anti Monkey Butt Powder. Sure...they could have called it Chaff-B-Gone or something that was more clinical. But this company decided that part of its brand and its product was to have a little fun. They wanted it to pop off the shelf and for its packaging to be difficult to ignore.
I think they accomplished their goal. Now...why was this a good decision?
- Gives us an idea of how the product can help us
- Takes into account the attitude of their core customers (bikers, people that work outside in the heat, extreme sports enthusiasts...and now they have added, new parents with their baby version)
- Is memorable
- Differentiates them from the competition
- Gives us a sense of their corporate culture/attitude -- what will they be like to do business with?
- In today's world -- you can find the right URL. (Hard to imagine that someone else hadn't scooped up www.AntiMonkeyButt.com already!)
Many business owners get hung up on the wrong thing when they're trying to name their company. It's not the specific words -- it's the overall effect. If the folks at AMBP had worried about including the word "butt" in their name or debated if "anti" was a negative word....and they only wanted to create positive feelings -- they would have ended up with a boring and forgettable name like Chafe-B-Gone.
But...they let the attitude, tone and message of the name carry their decision. They didn't over analyze or get too far into their own heads.
They trusted their culture and their brand. And created a very memorable name!
And if you're wondering if the Anti Monkey Butt Powder is just a gimmick -- check out their testimonials. Pretty impressive.Sphere: Related Content
Sphere: Related Content
Are you using it? I am.
How to Use LinkedIn to Prospect and Sell
Podcamps are conferences held in cities around the world. Registration to attend is free, speakers give of their time, and participants enjoy learning and networking. Podcamp Ohio took place this past week and featured a session by Crystal Thies, Social Media Strategist and LinkedIn Consultant.
According to Thies, LinkedIn can be used to promote your business, brand yourself, and find new prospects and connect with them. She says 41% of LinkedIn users have found at least one new client through LinkedIn. If you are not using LinkedIn now, or not using it fully, you may want to incorporate these suggestions into your profile.
What's In a Name?
When creating your profile, use only your first name in the first field and last name in the last name field. Do not include additional words like your title or your company hoping Search will more quickly find you. The fact is Search will less likely find you when someone searches for you only by name, the most common method. Use Maiden or Former Name field to plug in your business name if you want it to appear between your first and last name.
LinkedIn gives you up to 120 characters for a headline. Don't simply put in your title. That will not help position you with prospects and clients. Instead, include at least 2 of these:
It is not helpful to include words in the headline that you think people may use to search for you or your services.
Do not use the dropdown choices to name your listed websites (My Company, My Blog, My Portfolio). Instead, click on Other so you can customize the title of your links. You may include as many as 3 websites. These are valuable.
Optimize For Search!
Choose a 2-3 word phrase to use throughout your profile. You may want to use Google AdWords keyword tool to pick a phrase that people often use when searching, but is not what you would think people would use. Your phrase should be in headline, summary, specialties, title of current or most recent position, title of at least 1 other recent past position; use as often as possible in position descriptions.
Summary and Specialties
Write your summary in first person. It is not your bio. It is your elevator speech or branding statement. Make it 200-300 words max. Try to build in some whitespace. It's all about "what you can do for me today and tomorrow"...not what you have done in the past.
The specialties area is for search engines only...use keywords, use common misspellings, think of as many as you can and list them all.
You can try to import your resume using the LinkedIn feature, but it won't accept bullets and formatting...so strip away formatting first then try it. If it still doesn't come out the way you would like it to look, copy and paste.
Ask for recommendations. They are important. Some groups require a minimum of 10 to enter. Ask a lot of people because most will not respond. It is best to balance both personal and professional.
Applications will give you a chance to take your profile to a whole new level. Common ones: Reading list (LinkedIn uses this feature to make money from selling books through Amazon -- don't use it if you want to link to Amazon to sell books through your own website), WordPress (to display your WordPress page within LinkedIn), box.net (to allow downloads of your one-sheets, brochures, packages, resume, bio, PowerPoints and other files), BlogLink (to connect your blog to LinkedIn), SlideShare (for PowerPoint presentations. Links in PowerPoints work, too, so you could link to a video. If you use this, set up to show only one video, not all the thumbnails of your shows), GoogleDocs (allows YouTube video to display in your LinkedIn profile).
Note: WordPress allows only one pull-through. Choose if LinkedIn is the best place for you to embed it.
Note: in box.net, use PDF format for everyone's ease of use.
In Groups, most of the time you will want to show the logo of the group on your profile, but there may be occasions, such as if you are in a competitor's group, that you will want to uncheck the box that allows the group logo to display in your profile.
Increase your functionality and help improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by often updating your LinkedIn profile and updates. Your profile should not be static. It should be a living document. And when you add something into your profile all of your contacts will get an e-mail saying you have made a change.
Beyond Creating Your Profile
Create a Networking Strategy. Do you want to be a closed networker or do you want to share all of your contacts as a LION (LinkedIn Open Network)? As a salesperson, you may think you want all your contacts open to anyone to view, but that may keep some advertisers from wanting to accept your invitation to connect.
Build your LinkedIn contacts by exporting your Outlook Contacts to a CSV file, clean all fields except name and e-mail address, load it into LinkedIn and LinkedIn will show you who is on LinkedIn. This is the fastest and easiest way to build your network.
Because of LinkedIn, you may never need to make a cold call again. Look at your list of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree contacts. See if there is a 2nd or 3rd degree contact you are trying to reach and ask your 1st degree contact to make an introduction.
Tags are a new feature you can use to sort connections. If you tag connections (like family, clients, auto dealers) you can e-mail up to 50 at a time sorted by tag. You can check a box to disallow displaying all e-mail addresses in your e-mails.
Advanced Search Capabilities
This is brand new. You get 100 search results with free membership. You can search by keywords, geography, industry. Additional filters and additional searches require membership. Business membership is $25 per month, Pro membership is $500 per month. Use search to find prospects: As an example, financial planners who want to sell 401k rollovers search on "in transition" that those out of work often use.
Save searches in your browser by running the search and bookmarking your results. It will save in your browser until LinkedIn makes a software change.
You can search on LinkedIn companies as well. You could run a search on all companies or companies where you have 1st & 2nd degree connections. You can get a ton of information, find common connections, and former employees. Start following the company and you will get notices of changes -- new people (connections), or people leaving...
Get Introduced Through a Connection
You can contact a connection and ask to be introduced to their connection (your 2nd degree connection). They then forward your request to their 1st degree connection. If they don't forward, you can "poke" your connection by sending a reminder if you don't get accepted by the 2nd degree.
You can belong to as many as 50 groups. You should join as many as possible. You want to be in groups with your target customers...not just your own industry. Selectively allow daily digest email or weekly digest email. You'll find some groups are heavy into spam, others are not. The owner of the group sets the rules. You may want to create your own group. Name it something that relates to your prospects, not your company name. Ex: Marketing Small & Medium Size Businesses.
If you ask a question, anyone can answer. If you answer someone else's question and are chosen as the best answer, you are considered an expert. Then you will be listed as an expert if someone searches that topic and LinkedIn puts an "Expert" badge on your profile.
(Source: John Potter, VP/Training, Radio Advertising Bureau. LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/potteradio)
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Posted: 16 Jun 2010 09:06 PM PDTHere's the challenge with most brand promises. They only live at the top of the org chart. It usually happens on a corporate retreat. The C-level gang gets together at a lodge or fancy hotel and they talk about vision, mission and maybe even a company pledge or promise. Then, they either lead themselves or hire a consultant to lead them through a 2 hour exercise and from that exercise emerges their new brand.
(cue the trumpets blare)
Now…the front line employees aren't involved or consulted. In fact, they first see the new brand promise as a tagline on the new ad campaign. They don't understand it's not just marketing spin. They don't get that it is a promise that THEY are supposed to keep. Because no one told them.
Let me tell you a story I heard a few years back. A concierge in a luxury hotel with an impressive brand name was working her usual shift. She was accustomed to handling requests and complaints from the most discerning and demanding of guests. But she was surprised when a first-time guest criticized the quality of the hotel’s complimentary combs.
“They’re horrible combs,” he told her. “They’re not like the combs at XYZ hotel. Now they have good combs. They’re heavier and you can't bend them like this," he said as he demonstrated.
The concierge apologized and asked what kind would meet his satisfaction. She promised him a better comb on his next visit. Sure enough, a few weeks later when he checked in, the guest found a selection of high-grade combs in his room. When he checked out, he left a note for the concierge. “Thanks for the combs. Much better. See you in a few weeks.”
The guest became one of the hotel’s most frequent guests. That one interaction, over a complaint most employees would not be aware that they should care about, created a loyal guest who has meant tens of thousands of dollars in annually recurring business.
All for a comb.
You see….that's the problem. While the C-suite can come up with a brand….they're actually not the ones who deliver (or don't) on the promise. Odds are, that hotel guest couldn't tell you the hotel's tagline. But he could sure tell you the comb story. Now that concierge was either just naturally gifted at customer service or she was well trained. She could make the brand come to life because she had been taught what it meant. She had been trained to look for opportunities to make it so much more than a tagline.
Think about how she could have reacted:
- She could have shaken her head as soon as the man walked away and declared him a pain in the rear.
- She could have given him directions to the nearest drug store so he could buy a better comb.
- She could have pacified him and then forgot all about it.
- She could have "written it up" in some notebook, assuming someone would (or wouldn't) do something about it.
So one guy loves the hotel. Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? You bet. The ROI of customer loyalty has been proven again and again. This isn't just touching-feely stuff. This is bottom line results.
It's not enough to say you have a brand. It's not enough to have a good brand. It's whether or not your employees know and live the brand. And that doesn't happen by happy coincidence or luck.
It happens when you involve them from the beginning and it becomes a part of your company's DNA thanks to plenty of reinforcement, training and best of all -- the "lore" that grows from customer stories. Whether it's the age old favorites of Nordstroms (who hasn't heard the tire story) or the latest example -- Zappos -- when you create story worth moments, the brand really comes to life.Sphere: Related Content