Saturday, October 30, 2010
Teens are a unique audience. They have their own needs and social drivers that are unique to their stage in life. Many marketers assume that, because teens are young, their needs are the same as Millennials and that they will interact with brands in the same way.
New research is showing that teens have their own needs and behaviors that are different from other generations. If you're a marketer looking to reach teens, it's vitally important that you always have your finger on the pulse of the teen audience. As technology evolves, teens are finding their own uses for it that are unique to their personal and social needs.
There are some myths about marketing to teens that every marketer can learn from.
Myth #1: All teens want smartphones
While it is true that teens want phones, smartphone adoption has only reached 31% as of 2010. If 90% of teens own a cell phone, why aren't they buying smartphones? The answer is actually pretty simple: texting. Teens send an average of 3,339 texts per month, and typing that many messages on a touch screen is a lot more difficult than typing on even the most basic phone keyboard. That's why BlackBerry is one of the most popular phones for teens.
Myth #2: Texting is the way in
We already know that teens love to text. What some marketers fail to realize is that teens only love to text with their friends. Only 10% say they want companies to contact them via text message. There are some instances where a brand can use a texting campaign to engage this audience, but most teens see texting as "too personal," and aren't inviting brands into their personal space.
Myth #3: Teens use Facebook the way we use Facebook
Don't count on just your Facebook page to reach teens. Teens interact with brands on Facebook if they feel there is a real benefit to them for doing so. They're not "liking" every brand on Facebook that they purchase, and even if they do, they're not likely to come back to your page after the first visit.
Myth #4: Teens are going to join Twitter
Recent findings from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project show that only 8% of teens have embraced Twitter. Other studies also show that most teens don't have any interest in joining Twitter in the future (76%). By the time they decide to use Twitter, they probably won't be teens anymore.
Myth #5: If you build it, teens will come
Great ideas go to waste when no one knows about them. Many marketers believe that creating a social experience for teens will spread itself through word-of-mouth and online sharing. A good social media activation can always benefit from a mass-media driver.
Myth #6: Teens are online all the time
Teens spend roughly two hours per day on the Internet, and almost half of that time is spent on entertainment. Teens don't need the Internet to interact with their friends -- they see them all the time, and if they're not with them, they're texting them. If you want to reach teens online, you have to find a way to bridge their online and offline experiences.
Myth #7: Teens don't watch TV
Teens watch over 100 hours of television per month -- most of which is not viewed on TiVo, Hulu or Netflix. They may be texting or playing games while they watch TV, but they're definitely still watching it.
Myth #8: Teen word-of-mouth happens online
Teens do not spend most of their online time communicating with their friends. In fact, over 80% of teen word-of-mouth happens offline. If you want to tap into teen word-of-mouth, find a reason for them to talk about your brand offline.
Myth #9: Teens love online video
Teens use the Internet for entertainment, and online video is an important component of that. Branded video can be a great way to engage with teens as long as it doesn't come off as one long commercial. Teens aren't going to be tricked into thinking that your "viral video" is anything more than an advertisement.
|David Trahan is a strategist at social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, which was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Marketing Companies in the World by "Fast Company" magazine.|
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Watch Your Time With Presentations
Have you ever had a key decision-maker leave in the middle of your presentation because he or she was out of time? You aren't holding the attention of a prospect who is looking at the clock!
At the beginning of the call, ask how much time the prospect has set aside. Then adjust your presentation to take no more than 60 percent of the allotted time.
Why only 60 percent? Because your prospect's decisions to act typically occur at the end of a meeting, so you want to allow enough time to resolve any remaining issues and reach an agreement.
Source: Sales consultant/trainer Kevin Davis
Friday, October 29, 2010
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Roy Williams wrote this a few weeks ago:
We're Getting Mall-ed Again
- Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, Wired, Aug. 17, 2010
Anderson and Wolff are talking about app-driven* destinations like Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, the New York Times, Netflix streaming videos and virtually anything that appears on an iPad or an iPhone.
Not only is Facebook more than just another Web site, but with 500 million users it’s “the largest Web site there has ever been, so large that it is not a Web site at all.”
- Yuri Milner, the investor that bought 10 percent of Facebook
Today’s top 10 Web sites account for about 75 percent of all US pageviews**. This leaves just 25 percent of pageviews to be the web traffic coveted by websites number 11 through 80 million***.
Forty years ago we quietly abandoned Mom’n’Pop businesses on Main Street America and went to the malls, semiclosed worlds that “had it all.”
Sites built on semiclosed apps are the new malls.
Facebook is its own semiclosed little world. But so was America Online, remember? AOL offered ease of use and a walled garden. But their lack of diverse content soon made the walled garden feel like a prison. AOL lost subscribers by the tens of millions.
Thirty years ago we saw the rise of the category killers, superstores like Circuit City, Toys’R’Us, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble and Home Depot. Category killers aggregated our choices to a single location and offered us convenience.
Amazon.com is one of these. One out of every four online transactions occurs on Amazon.com. Yes, you read that correctly.
Malls and superstores are back again. Go figure.
You’re probably not going to build a semiclosed, app-driven destination this year and neither am I. And few of us have the connections to become worldwide aggregators. So how does all of this new information affect your business and mine?
1. Monitor the web for mentions of your company.
“The internet makes you transparent whether you choose to be or not,” says Jeffrey Eisenberg. “Your only remaining choice is whether to be authentic, that is, to deliver on your promise.” What you say about yourself in your ads will be accelerated or obliterated by what your customers say about you on Facebook and Twitter and Yelp and Angie’s List. Are you delivering what you promise?
2. Be available through Social Media.
The single greatest deficiency of Wizard Academy right now is our lack of a Vice Chancellor, someone to stay in touch with our alumni, to know them and be known by them. It's a full-time job. Who in your company is the relationship development officer?
3. Don't troll for customers on Facebook.
Social media is about connecting on a personal level. If you think of it as an advertising medium you will damage your company's reputation more than you will help it. Searching for customers using social media is like trying to sell insurance at a dinner party. You may sell the occasional policy, but everyone will think you're an ass.
4. Pay attention to your status on Google Maps.
Type a business category into Google and it will show you the locations of about half a dozen area businesses in that category.**** The listing hierarchy for Google Maps is completely different than the hierarchy in basic search and these map references appear ABOVE the balance of the search results. Becoming one of those half-dozen businesses isn't as difficult as you might think.
5. NEVER write phony testimonials.
(A.) They don't work and (B.) you will get caught. Phony testimonials are detected by the reader a high percentage of the time.
NOTE: This is why Wizard Academy posts unscripted videos in our course descriptions that let you meet our students and our faculty “unposed.” DISCLOSURE: The video firm that does this for us is owned by my sons. SECOND DISCLOSURE: To avoid any taint of self-dealing, I pay for these videos from my own pocket – as a gift to the Academy - rather than from Academy funds. THIRD DISCLOSURE: The classes with course descriptions that feature these SUNPOP videos always fill up quicker than the classes whose course descriptions don’t yet have them.
Take a look. You’ll see what I mean.
Roy H. WilliamsSphere: Related Content
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Closing Quickly
When the buyer gives a buying signal, close the sale and leave. It's simple, yet we as salespeople allow our egos and our pride to get in the way. Let me share two rules I have regarding sales presentations. They're not complicated rules, but many times are overlooked.
Rule 1: Close the sale as early in the call as you possibly can. The only exception is if the price or quantity the customer wants is not within the range of your objectives. If the buyer's requests are in your range of expectations, then get the order.
Rule 2: Close the sale before you run out of presentation. I tell salespeople with whom I am working that the measure of success is to not have to go through your entire presentation to close a sale. This rule is extremely important. You always want to have information and questions you can share with the customer. I like to view it as always having a "back pocket" presentation -- information I can share with a customer, but only if it is necessary. This gives me more flexibility and helps me close the sale earlier. My ego is saved and the buyer is not subjected to information they don't necessarily want to hear.
The final benefit of keeping some of your presentation in your back pocket is it subconsciously gives you confidence and determination. You will have confidence in knowing you have more information if you need it, and you will have determination to close the sale with the initial round of information and questions.
Source: Consultant Mark Hunter, "the Sales Hunter"
Thursday, October 28, 2010
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- Your regular prices are too high
- You're lazy and uncreative
- You are a new business
- You are a shyster
- You have problems retaining customers and building a loyal following
I know, it sounds pretty harsh.
Maybe 1 of the above is true. Like #3.
The "New Economy" has consumers demanding value for their money, not the cheapest price.
My group of radio stations is going to be launching a 1/2 price gift certificate program next month. We have studied others, looked for problems, found solutions and are confident that the version we kick off will have a better than average chance of success for the businesses we allow to participate.
Check out this report from Mediapost:
Social couponing, in which online coupon offers go active once a minimum number of registered users sign on to them, has become a hot new promotional platform, at least for Groupon and Living Social. But new research finds that about a third of the merchants extending those discounts may find them a very mixed blessing.
According to study of 150 businesses by Rice University's Jones School of Business, of a coupon promotion by Groupon, those coupon campaigns were unprofitable for 32% of the businesses that ran them. And more than 40% of the response group said they would not run another social coupon promotion again.
According to Jones School associate professor Utpal Dholakia, the author of the research, the profitability of a coupon promotion can be measured by two main criteria: whether customers redeeming the coupons spent more than the coupon amount, and what percentage of those customers came back again to shop without a coupon offer.
Those survey respondents who said the campaigns had not been profitable for them reported that only about 25% of redeemers spent more than the face value of the coupon. They also said that about 13% of those coupon holders came back a second time to shop at full price.
The 66% who reported these promotions as profitable said that 50% of redeemers spent more than the value of the coupon, and 31% returned to become customers again at undiscounted prices. But even some of those businesses who reported successful promotions said they would not be likely to run another campaign on the platform, because the offers did not draw the right customers.
Dholakia found that marketers who set a ceiling on the number of coupons offered through the platform tended to see more demand. However, only 11% of the businesses studied in the survey imposed such coupon caps, and those that did set them relatively high at an average of 2,190 offers.
Foodservice businesses sold significantly more coupons than other types, the survey found:
· Restaurants made up the largest single business category in the response pool (32.7%)
· Educational services (14%)
· Salons and spas (12.7%)
· Tourism (8%)
Dholakia writes in the study that "... there is disillusionment with the extreme price-sensitive nature and transactional orientation of these consumers... they are not the relational customers that they had hoped for or the ones... necessary for their businesses' long-term success... "
The report concludes that coupon promotions can draw large customer surges into a business, but many of these will be either new users or price-conscious shoppers, unaware of the need to tip service employees or to tip based on the undiscounted price. Businesses need to consider that these consumers are bargain hunters. By nature they are frugal.
For additional information about the report, please visit Promo Magazine here.Sphere: Related Content
Can you disconnect from social media for one day? Emergen-C crafts a telenovela and a country song. Let's launch!
Adidas launched a pair of shoes for NBA's Derrick Rose. Helping to promote the adiZero Rose is none other than actor Ken Jeong from "The Hangover," playing the role of "Slim Chin," an outlandish self-made billionaire because of his speed. Slim Chin jet-skis in a pool of caviar and stands atop a lady pyramid. Freaky. A brief appearance by Rose refreshes viewers' memories on what the ad promotes. See it here. The spot, created by 180LA, is airing on ESPN, TNT, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network.
Google launched Demo Slam, a web platform that promotes Google's search engine, along with other Google features, like Google Goggles and Google Translate. Demo Slam encourages consumers to create their own Google techie videos that will then compete against other consumer-generated videos. Two sample videos were created to give consumers creative inspiration. The first video promotes Google Goggles. A group of friends recreate Mount Rushmore with the hopes that Google Goggles will recognize it as such. The first attempt is unsuccessful, but the addition of fake shrubbery does the trick. Watch it here. Another video highlights how a skateboarder 23 feet in the air was able to successfully complete a Google Voice Search. See it here. Google Creative Lab and Johannes Leonardo created the campaign, Hello Monday built the Web site and Mediacom handled the media buy.
Keeping with Google, the company wants individuals, schools and companies to spread the "Go Google" word with a global contest, running through Dec. 15. "Go Google" began with one billboard in four U.S. cities a year ago. The campaign now runs in 20 cities in 10 countries. Ads promoting the contest are running in airports and train stations in 11 major cities in nine countries. Google wants to hear from companies using Google Apps about why said organizations should be in the brand's next campaign. Winners will be selected from the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. Outdoor ads will run early next year. Contestants simply download one of Google's template ads, insert copy and send to Google along with a questionnaire detailing why the organization should win. See submitted work here, here, here, here and here.
Walrus created a pair of teaser videos for Emergen-C drink mixes, posted to the brand's Facebook profile. The videos are part of an effort to encourage fans to post a personal Emergen-C story on the brand's wall. Emergen-C is taking select stories and turning them into videos, songs and even cake decorations! A pineapple, pomegranate and orange go country when they sing the praises of Emergen-C. See it here. The telenovela is great. A man and woman are tired from hiking, in "A walk through the Everglades." A sharply dressed, hungry alligator confronts them. The duo drinks Emergen-C and high-tails it away from the gator. Watch it here.
SapientNitro Australia partnered with the Australia-based AEIOU Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides therapy for children with autism, to launch Communication Shutdown. The campaign aims to raise awareness and benefit autism charities in 40 countries by asking social media users to shut down their Facebook and Twitter networks on Nov. 1 and make a $5 donation. This small step is to illustrate how difficult social communication is for people with autism. Users can purchase a charity app online for $5. The CHAPP enables users to place an official shutdown badge over their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter and sync their Facebook pictures to the campaign's global mosaic of supporters on the campaign's homepage.
This "Happy Baby" gets around in a TV spot for HP's ePrint line of Web-connected printers. An adorable baby takes to the road in his walker, traversing dirt roads and highways, until the he zooms through the front door of a house. In reality, the baby's mug is being sent to a printer from a mobile phone. EPrint-enabled printers allow users to send pics to their printer from any mobile device. See the ad here, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and directed by Noam Murro.
And now for some scary faces for Halloween. This movie theater ad promotes the King Kong 360 3-D ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. Slow-motion shots show petrified people screaming, getting wet, and with their hair flying around, for reasons unknown. The end of the ad shows 3-D glasses flying off heads, but not before revealing what's scaring these people: King Kong. Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.
Random iPad App of the week: Rodale's Runner's World has been formatted for the iPad. Available in the App store for $4.99, it's essentially the print version of the magazine, along with bonus content like video reviews of the latest running gear, shoe reviews and step-by-step instructions of training regimens, polls, quizzes and slideshows.
|Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at email@example.com.|
Take 100 percent responsibility for everything that happens at all times.
This is the first law of business and personal success. Nothing will transform your life faster than your faithful observation of this rule. The clarity and power you will gain will propel you to unimaginable heights.
"Steal" good ideas.
When you see a really good marketing concept or hear a compelling sales pitch, adapt it to your own use. This does not mean you should plagiarize, but simply adapt the concepts to your needs. I used to go to the post office on Saturday mornings and load up on dozens of unopened direct mail pieces which I would "steal" from the waste bins. I would then take them home and analyze them. I stole a treasure-trove of brilliant ideas from America's leading direct mail experts.
Go a little crazy from time to time.
Think of the most audacious, unexpected and exhilarating thing you can do to increase your sales.
What are you waiting for?
Get the fix in.
Play like the big boys and get the fix in. I'm not talking about bribing politicians or public officials. (There's enough of that already going on.) I'm talking about doing your sales research and marketing homework. Don't waste your time and money searching for sales in the dark. Turn the light on. Get the fix in.
Quite often, their interests are exactly the opposite of yours. You want a resolution of your problem. They want to bill for lots of hours. Most are professional and honest, but some will manufacture complexities to delay resolution for as long as possible. Since dealing with lawyers is stressful and expensive, have a plan to avoid them. Obviously you will need attorneys to review contracts along with a wide range of other legal "housekeeping" tasks. However, you can greatly lessen the need for litigation attorneys by simply having clear up-front written agreements. Don't forget an arbitration clause.
The mentor learns more than the protégé.
Be a mentor. Find a protégé who will value your advice and experience. You'll learn a lot.
Don't manage for the sake of management.
Some managers feel compelled to bring their authority to bear on virtually every element of the job. If your input is necessary, by all means give it. If not, get out of the way of your really effective and creative people. Your "management" may be slowing them down and they'll secretly resent it. A sure-fire way to lose good people is to over-manage them.
Set unreasonably high goals and find ways to reach them.
Shaw said, "Nothing was ever accomplished by a reasonable man." I would rewrite George's quote to read, "Nothing great was ever accomplished by a reasonable person."
Gossip wastes time and diminishes you. There is an old Turkish saying, "He who gossips to you will gossip of you." Dismiss gossips and find a higher use for your time.
No deal is infinitely better than a bad deal.
Avoid bad deals both in your personal and business life. How many times have you said, "I should have known better."? The fact is, you did know better! Before entering into a time and energy-draining bad deal, there is invariably a voice inside your head warning you. Learn to listen to it.
Hit small problems between the eyes.
Ben Franklin gave us the folksy saying, "A stitch in time saves nine." Unfortunately many small problems are harder to spot than Franklin's stitch and have the potential for rapid growth. What may take you an hour to fix now can take weeks to handle later. Learn to recognize little problems and handle them right away.
Michael Dalton Johnson is the Publisher and Founder of SalesDog.com. His new book, Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets, gives you 80 invaluable lessons on recession selling from 50 leading sales experts. Click here.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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They either have their own cash or they control and influence:
New Survey Examines Teens' Preferences as Consumers
In Addition to Fashion, Piper Jaffray Study Also Identifies Dining, Electronics and Personal Care Choices
Piper Jaffray recently published its semi-annual, proprietary "Taking Stock With Teens" survey, results of which indicate a clear bias toward value brands and lower overall prices paid for fashion products at all levels of household income.
"For upper-income households fashion budgets continue to decline but sentiment is improving," said Jeff Klinefelter, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. "For average-income households, teen fashion budgets remain relatively stable. In aggregate, we continue to believe teens will spend for differentiated merchandise, but significant discounting and an unstable employment environment remain key themes in teen budgeting decisions."
Key findings from the survey in fashion, beauty and personal care, restaurants, digital media and video game categories include the following:
The "Taking Stock With Teens" survey is a research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 6,000 students with an average age of 16.3 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through a combination of geographically diverse high school visits with teens in seven states and as well as a wider group of teens from 31 states through an online survey in partnership with DECA (an international association of high school students).
(Source: Business Wire, 10/06/10)
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Words to Avoid
When salespeople start a sentence with "no," "but" or "however," no matter how friendly the tone, the message is, "You're wrong." It's a good idea to avoid using these words when talking with a prospect or customer.
Source: The Forum Corporation
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
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I'm 50 and married.
Between my wife and I we have nearly a dozen single friends ranging from 45 to 70. Here's some insight on marketing and advertising to them:
As Single Becomes New Norm, How to Market Without Stigma
When Selling to This Growing, Aging Group, Don't Assume That They're All Focused on Getting Married -- or Must Be Singled Out
They are a growing -- and graying -- force.
Never-married single people ages 25 to 34 now outnumber the married crowd by 46% to 45%, a stark reversal from just a decade ago, when couples held a 20-point edge in the age group, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Population Reference Bureau. In essence, selling to singles no longer means just targeting teens and those in their early 20s.
Some marketers are taking notice: More ads are featuring singles and some companies are reaching out to them, such as Coldwell Banker and Norwegian Cruise Lines. But for the most part marketers are only slowly adjusting to the new normal. And in some instances it doesn't make sense to exclusively target singles, according to interviews with multiple ad agency executives.
"We see many examples of brands -- from soft drinks to cellphones -- who talk to the traditional 18-to-24 year-old single. But the new single, the single parent or the more affluent, later life-stage single is a segment that's still emerging and expanding," Adam Bowen, VP-strategic planning director at DraftFCB Chicago, said in an email interview. "We'll need to spend more time with this group, gaining a better understanding of their unmet needs."
It's a coveted group, for sure. Freed from the restraints of family life, singles have a reputation for splurging.
"They have more money to spend on themselves and they're more willing to indulge on things that might seem frivolous or [a] non-necessity," said Ann Mack, director of trend spotting at JWT.
In 2009, singles of all ages spent a higher share of income on alcoholic beverages, clothing, shoes and tobacco products compared with other households, but less on housekeeping supplies and insurance, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Still, several ad agencies contacted by Ad Age said they do not have a dedicated unit studying the single market. One reason is that some goods are marketed the same no matter the consumer's living situation.
Beauty products, for example, are "purposely nebulous about marital status," said Denise Fedewa, an exec VP-strategy director at Leo Burnett. That's because married or not, when a woman is dressing up to go out, "I think she always goes back to that vision of herself as that 25-year-old single woman," she said.
But some companies are aggressively targeting singles. Coldwell Banker Real Estate, for instance, touts its YouTube real-estate channel as a way to reach singles ages 25 to 34. And video will be prominently featured in an iPad application the company is planning.
"Video is a stronger, better way to communicate with this age group," Coldwell Banker Chief Marketing Officer Michael Fischer said in an interview. "You can't ignore the single buyer because they make up such a big portion of our target market."
Single women accounted for 21% of all homebuyers in 2009, and single men made up an additional 10%, according to the National Association of Realtors.
In the travel industry, Norwegian Cruise Line is reaching out to solo travelers by offering single-occupancy rooms on its new Epic ship. "In the past, single cruisers have had to pay a double occupancy for traveling alone, but these new accommodations ensure affordable and an alternative way of traveling for singles," spokeswoman Kristine McGlinchey said in an email.
In the restaurant industry, communal tables are hot -- making it easier for singles to mingle -- and more eateries are offering breakfast and staying open all afternoon as a way to cater to singles on the go, said Clark Wolf, a New York-based restaurant and hospitality consultant. Also, singles are behind the surge in trendy food-trucks that "allow for a lot of standing around in line, which is where people like to meet and talk," he said.
Dating sites such as Match.com that have long targeted singles are seeing an uptick in business. Match reported an 8% bump in subscribers for the second quarter, excluding irregular transactions, according to parent company IAC. And slowly but surely, more ads are featuring singles to keep up with the trend, said Adrian Fogel, VP-planning director at Leo Burnett. "We always put families on because families made you feel better. But the reality is more people are living alone for whatever reason," she said.
Ms. Fogel pointed to McDonald's ads, which she said had reliably featured families enjoying a Happy Meal or sharing fries but now include more singles, such as recent spots featuring solo diners enjoying Quarter Pounders with cheese. McDonald's "is about family, but they've found the balance of understanding that there's a single population within their adults that they are targeting," Ms. Fogel said.
Ms. Fogel said ads that work for singles are "not about making them being single a negative. I think it's about trying to connect them with what they do or love." She cited a recent Bud Light ad that features a group of men and women browsing a garage sale.
One caution: Singles expert Bella DePaulo said too many marketers engage in "matrimania," assuming that all that singles want to do is find a mate.
Conventional wisdom is "all singles want more than anything is to be coupled, so that's what we should sell them is a ticket to coupling," said the psychology professor at University of California Santa Barbara and author of "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After." But the reality is singles are "leading full, meaningful, happy lives, and they don't need to be patronized or stigmatized."
(Source: Advertising Age, 10/11/10)
from my email:
Daily Sales Tip: Great Sellers Are Courageous People
How early in your last sales presentation did the subject of price come up? And please tell me that you were not the one to start that part of the conversation. How soon in your next sales presentation will you and your buyer get around to a discussion of price?
Here's the deal: The decision should never be about price. It's about what? It's about why? It's about when and who?
When all the above questions are answered after a forensic look by a partnering buyer and seller, it's time to negotiate the equities. Before then, for both of the parties, it's a pig in a poke. That's because before the work neither have a reality-based clue about what the maximum opportunity to further the buyer's interest might be. So without serious examination, it's clear what the risk is to the buyer. And the seller? A one-time sale, a disappointed seller, another one who "tried it and it doesn't work."
So, what do courageous sellers do? They suggest at the beginning of the conversation that their intention is to help the buyer probe all of his critical assumptions regarding pathways to success. Together they need to compare experience, learnings and be willing, each of them, to bow to greater wisdoms or logic. "Mr. Jones, these are tough and confusing times. The information flow is all but overwhelming. There used to be a time when I felt I was completely on top of the marketing of goods and services. Now I'm convinced that no one is. Not me, and not you -- even about your own business." Do you dare? "Together, Mr. Jones," you continue, "we have a shot."
A friend of mine who manages several billion dollars of institutional investment funds, and whose intelligence and wisdom is beyond question, said to me recently that he believes most thoughtful people feel guilty these days about their inability to stay on top of everything. That's a real change for many and how could it be otherwise? Today, there's almost nothing we can't get answered within minutes using "search." And yet, there isn't nearly the time available to search all the new bits of information that pop up every 10 minutes of every day.
"Don't you think that's true, Mr. Jones? Shouldn't we get started digging in and prioritizing what you believe are the obstacles to continued or renewed growth? Will you remember when I challenge you and question your assumptions that I'm here to help?"
"The real question is, how much truth can I stand." -- Nietzsche
You can do this work.
Source: Media/advertising executive Bob Sherman
Monday, October 25, 2010
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