calehawley

Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

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. 

Getting to Know You

In Personal Development on April 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Self-awareness seems to be somewhat of a hot topic these days. Whether or not someone directly comes out and calls it self-awareness, I have heard it no less than a dozen times in the last two weeks.

To be honest, I never really thought much about it until recently. I know there are certain things that I am good at, people who I gravitate towards, and tasks that I enjoy more so than others. When you look at the big picture, identifying why I am good at these certain skills, or why I hang with the people who I do, and why I enjoy certain tasks really does come down to my personality type.

How does one become self-aware? The simple answer: pay attention to yourself. The difficult answer (which really isn’t that difficult) survey yourself. Make notes. Understand the “why.”

Years ago I worked for the drug manufacturer Pfizer. We participated in the DISCovering Yourself and Others personality inventory. I’m sure it is called something different, but you can Google DISC personality and find a number of resources. In fact, you can even take a free survey online that will give you a brief synopsis of your personality tendencies. The synopsis is shockingly identical to the results that I saw during my Pfizer days. I encourage you to do the same, but don’t focus on your perceived weaknesses revealed in the survey. Instead, focus on the positive and improve on that. Go with your instinct.

As for me and my self-awareness, I have and I guess will always be the type of person that likes to get things done and will typically do them myself. I like fast paced activities and high energy, positive people. It is no wonder then that my DISC profile is “DI,” and specifically I identify as a “persuader” and an “implementer.” Makes sense if you know anything about my personal and professional background.

Let me know what you DISCover about yourself.

Full Disclosure–There are many other personality inventories and they all say pretty much the same thing about you. I am in no way affiliated with DISC or any of its entities, and I’m sure that the others are great. I just happen to have experience with DISC.

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.

Excel at Your Strengths

In Personal Development on July 26, 2016 at 5:04 pm

There is irony in that statement. One of my software weaknesses is indeed Excel. I can use it as a simple spreadsheet with text, but have difficulty using it for much else. I know that Excel is a weakness, so I tend to stay away from it. Instead, I find it more beneficial to myself and my business to focus on what I am good at and excel there. I am great at presenting. I am great at marketing. I am great at sales. I am great at networking. I choose to focus my attention in continuing to develop myself in those areas where I am strong and outsource the rest.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got some personal development to continue.

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?

The Networking Ladder

In Communication, networking, Personal Development, relationships on July 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I’ve been asked why I spend so much time networking at the bottom of the ladder. First of all, I really do not see networking as a proverbial ladder, but I understand where the question is coming from. In other words, “if you are trying to get to the CEO, why are you spending so much time with the subordinates?”

Clearly the question comes from someone that does not understand the nuances of networking. It takes a strong base to reach the top. If your base is strong, you do not have to worry about tumbling down, loosing momentum while ascending, or the wind blowing your ladder over. Again, this is looking at networking a company, purely as a proverbial ladder.

Yet another example of why to do this is the old Walter Mizner adage: “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you’ll meet the same people on the way down.”

I have spent a great deal of my career in medical sales. Calling on physician, nurses, executives, etc. In my days of calling on doctor’s offices, I learned very quickly that my access to the physician was dependent on the way that I treated the staff. While the physician held all of the prescriptive authority, the receptionist, nurse, and business manger held the power to “pencil me in” to the doctor’s schedule (or not). I became better friends with the staff than I ever did with the physicians that I called on. And as a result, I had better access in the clinic than many of my competitors.

But truthfully, if you really want to know why I spend time networking with individuals that have no control over my business or my sales success here is the answer: BECAUSE IT IS THE HUMAN THING TO DO. I do not talk to people only because they can “do something for me” today or tomorrow or twenty years from now. I do it because people interest me. If it happens to benefit me or my business, great. If not, I still see it as a victory.

People are human regardless of title, maybe it’s time we recognize that. Happy networking.

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.

 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

In Communication, Sales on July 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm

…but really, I don’t. Over your sales career, you are going to run into clients / prospects that want you to be there with them every step of the way. You will receive calls from them almost daily requesting status updates and expressing their uncertainty of the purchase that they just made. 

You have a choice. You can pander to their every whim or you can manage their expectations. Really there is a third option (firing them), but let’s not go here yet.

If you decide to indulge their every call, text message, email, fax, snail mail, Pony Express message, etc. you are going to have to do this for the rest of the time that they are your client. Make sure it is worth it. Your time is valuable.

If you manage their expectations correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry about calls at all hours asking you for status updates. Provide them when you say you are going to provide them. Give them the facts of the transaction proactively. Let them know that you will update them as soon as updates are available and not before. Under promise and over deliver.

The more you focus on managing expectations, the less stress they will cause you, and the less likely you are to feel like you need to go to the third option of firing them. There are valid reasons for firing a client, but don’t let “high maintenance” be one of them. Just manage expectations properly.

I think you understand.