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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

One Man Wolfpack

In entrepreneur, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, relationships, Sales on June 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Remember the scene in The Hangover when Allen claims to be a “one man wolfpack”? Sales and entrepreneurship is not much different. Yes it can be lonely, but it does not have to be.

I love working with new or inexperienced sales and marketers. There is a twinkle in their eyes and a burning desire in their hearts. But when that fire starts to flicker and that twinkle dims a little, it can get lonely. I try to be that person with an open ear for these young professionals. Not because I think that I am just that good, but rather because I have empathy for them. More times than not, they just need someone to voice their frustrations to. I’ve been in sales and marketing for almost 20 years and have been an entrepreneur for nearly 6 years. I find it helpful to have someone I’d like mind to talk to when times get tough, and if you do this long enough, you will see tough times.

Start adding members to your wolfpack today.

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The Competition

In Image, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, Sales on June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

You know them well. It’s that company that offers the same products and services that you do. The athlete wearing the other team’s colors. Yourself. 

Whoever you have identified as the competition, flip the script. Think of yourself as your competitor’s competition.

Are you the type of company, athlete, or person that the competitor looks at and says, “they’re easy they do ‘xyz’ we can overcome that”. Or are you the type of competitor that they do not mind losing to. 

Over the years, I have had several competitors in business and in athletic arenas. A few stick out in my mind. You knew when you were up against them that you had to bring your “A-Game”. But the ones that truly stand out are just good people to their core. When you lose to them, you say, “I get it, people like them”. It reminds me of that scene in Firgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segal’s character is surfing and bumps into Aldos Snow, his ex-girlfriend’s current lover and says, “…you’re so cool. I can see why Sarah likes you”. 

I long to be that competitor to my competition. I like when I run into a competitor and they have “heard of me”. I like when my competition is “job searching” on my behalf because they know the impact and the relationships I have and the ones that I foster. It means I’m doing something right. I’m competing without malice. Doing my job serving others. Not going down the path so commonly traveled by others which is to trash the competition. 

My challenge to you is be that competitor that takes the high road. Be the competition that your competition wants to introduce themselves to. Be that competitor that others talk about in a positive light. Be that competitor that the competition does not mind losing to. 

Content Experts

In Marketing on July 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Experts in content creation, social media, and SEO seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Here’s a few quick tests for you:

If you’re looking for a content manager, are they creating content for themselves or just pushing other people content through sharing?

If you’re looking for a social media person, are they using social media regularly across all platforms?

If you’re looking for an SEO firm, can you find them by googling “SEO?”

Find yourself a practitioner, not a dabbler.

I Can Hear You Smile

In Communication, Marketing, Sales on July 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm

And so can others. I used to work in durable medical equipment sales as a marketing director. My office was located with the billing department. They have the difficult job of fighting with insurance companies to a) make sure that the customer’s insurance will cover the equipment at a minimal cost to the patient and b) ensure that the company is reimbursed according to the reimbursement schedule provided by the insurance companies.

I’ve always believed that you attract more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar. To this point, I would walk by and hear the billing clerks speaking with whomever they had on the other line and thought to myself, “I would make it as difficult as I could on this person because of the tone they are using with me on the phone”. When the clerk would hang up the phone, I would tell them to smile while they are speaking, even if it is a fake smile, because it would change the tone in their voice. A few of the clerks would take my advice and guess what, those clerks ended up having better reimbursement numbers and shorter reimbursement times. On bad days (let’s face it, we all have them), I would write the word “SMILE” on a sticky note and place it on their keyboard. They would usually hang up the phone and tell me how evil I was. Regardless, it worked.

We all conjure up what we think a total stranger looks like when we speak to them on the phone. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing (or at least thinking) the person on the other end of the line was smiling while they were speaking with you. Give it a try. Smile while you are talking on the phone. I can hear it on the other end of the line.

Business PEDs

In Generosity, Image, Marketing, Personal Development, Sales on July 23, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Performance Enhancing Drugs. Chances are, if you follow sports you have heard of PEDs. More and more athletes are turning up positive for their use as tests are becoming more advanced. 

While I do not condone the use of PEDs by athletes, I understand the temptation. These athletes have to ensure that they keep their job and their job is dependent upon their performance. And let’s face it, as we age, we do not exactly recover the way we did when we were in out teens and 20s.

As an entrepreneur there is no magic pill or injection that will make us better at our job. If there was, would you take it?

This got me to thinking today: maybe generosity and gratitude are indeed the PEDs of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs that I know that give the most (either financially or of their time) seem to be the ones that are the most successful. Maybe generosity and gratitude ARE indeed business PEDs.

So the question stands, would you take them?

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

In Advertising, Marketing, Sales on July 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

How often do you collaborate with clients? And by collaborate, I do not mean that you are trying to sell them something in the process. I mean a true collaboration.

I will be honest here and tell you, that even though I’m sure that I have collaborated with clients before, I do not think that I have planned and executed a true mutually beneficial collaboration.

I have begun the planning stages of a collaboration with a couple of clients / prospects that I think will serve to benefit both of us though. A joint marketing effort utilizing social media. I will keep you updated on the progress, but as for now I challenge you to do the same. Think of some ideas where you can collaborate with you clients / prospects. Then execute them ASAP. Let me know the results. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

The SEO Paradox

In Advertising, Interactive, Marketing, Sales on July 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm

I get phone calls, emails, Twitter follows, and web form submissions from SEO experts all of the time. I get it, really I do. Like myself, they are in sales too. 

I just don’t really follow the logic behind why they contact or attempt to contact me. If they are indeed the SEO experts they claim to be, and if they can produce the results for me that they claim they can; shouldn’t I be able to find them in the top organic slot or at least on the first page of a Google search?

When your marketing is struggling, go back and refine your operations.  

Audience of One

In Marketing, Sales on July 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm

There are times in sales and marketing when you wonder if anyone is listening to anything you have to say. Persistence is the key.

You could change up your approach, your messaging or your frequency. When I worked for Pfizer, we changed up our messaging once per quarter. The core message was the same, but we changed up the visuals and sometimes the order of the details. This kept the message fresh considering you would see the same doctor between 12 and 24 times per year. 

Though you may feel that you are merely repeating yourself to an audience of one, the prospect may be tuning some of your message out. On average it takes a prospect 9 times of hearing the same message to truly know what it is you are trying to sell them. It is one of the reasons that the B2B sales cycle is so long. 

Be patient, be persistent. What are some ways that you try to keep your message the same?

“I Know You’re Busy, But…..”

In Marketing, Sales on June 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Stop right there! These words must never be uttered. Not on a face-to-face sales call, not on the phone, not in an email.

Yes everyone is busy. Time is valuable and we can never get it back. When someone says this to me, my exact thought is: “Then why are you interrupting me / wasting my time?”

The major problem with the statement for a sales person is that it discredits you instantly as a sales person. The prospect immediately sees you as an interruption and not a resource. 

In fact, I find it more beneficial as a sales person to avoid mentioning how much time you will take at all. Better to say something like: “3 quick points about my widget”. Get them thinking about it your product or service. Get them hungry for more. When using the “3 quick points” language, you allow the prospect to track along and know there is an end in site without being attached to aclock or some arbitrary time constraint. 

Advanced tactic: say you have 3 quick points but only give them two. Follow up the two points with an uncomfortable silence. See how many want to hear the third point. 

We Are A Mobile Society

In Interactive, Marketing, Planning on September 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I love my smart phone. I love mobile friendly web sites. Last Saturday my wife and I were at my daughter’s volleyball tournament and were discussing how uncomfortable the seating was. We’ve had this conversation many times before, but for once we were empowered. She broke out her iPhone and we started shopping for portable stadium seats. Problem solved.

I then poured over email as we waited for the match to start and came across a Mitch Joel blog post discussing…you guessed it, mobile marketing.

I then jotted a few ideas in Evernote for future blog posts (this one included). All from our iPhones. And we didn’t make one single phone call. I love my smart phone.