Sales

Good Old Fashioned Sales Letters Still Work

The venerable sales letter is somewhat of an anachronism these days. With all these newfangled electronic gizmos, apps, FaceThingies, LinkedIns, utilizing sales letters seems sort of…well…quaint. But the reality is that a good sales letter (snail mail, delivered online or as a landing page) can generate high value sales leads. The secret lies in the concept of “good”.  A bad sales letter not only gets a fast, one way ticket to the trash bin, it can actually damage your brand. Writing is one of those skills/arts that everyone thinks they can do. “I done learned it in grade school. I forms words with letters and strung ’em together….” And while that is true for most people (I hope) writing for sales and marketing purposes is different from writing a comprehensive review of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Let me show you how the right approach can make the register ring.

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Don’t be a Saleshole. The Five Attributes of Poor Salesmanship.

The last few weeks I have been subjected to a lot of bad salesmanship. It got me thinking. Surely people don’t mean to be rude, pushy or full of proverbial bovine excrement. But somehow, they still excel at being a total saleshole. So, in the interest of enlightenment and relieving my frustration, I share my top five saleshole attributes. 1. If you never take no for an answer and instead resort to stalking prospects with repeated calls, unannounced visits, hanging out at the bar next to the prospect’s office, lurking around his yard at night – you might be a Saleshole.

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Don’t Think Too “Small”

By David Sandler Simple as it may sound, many small companies stay small because their owners never dare to think big. It’s true: Negative or defeatist thinking is the greatest obstacle to business success. As long as the entrepreneur thinks of himself as a nickel-and-dime operator, his company will never be more than a financial midget scratching around for subsistence earnings. It is an easy trap to fall into. You may, after all, run a small venture with relatively few employees and limited capital. Accepting the role of a small-time business owner is an inexcusable business mistake. It is like drawing a circle around your company and promising not to grow any bigger than these artificial borders. All you really need to do is to change your way of thinking. Set your sights high. The world can be your oyster if you just stand up and dare to take it.[…]

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What first impression are you making?

At the risk of sounding a bit judgmental,  (as businesses we are being judged constantly) but I feel a need to share some thoughts about a disturbing trend that threatens to destroy us all! Sorry, got carried away for a minute, but in the context of sending a message that you can be trusted and are a credible and reliable resource – the way you make your first impression is critical to winning customers. So often people seem to get first impressions wrong.

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

I’m reading a very good book that hits the nail on the head when it comes to the sea change that is happening in marketing. “Trust Agents” is a NY Times Best Seller written by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith that lays it out clearly and if you plan on being in business five years from now you better pay attention. If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, you already know that I advocate building credibility and trust as a core principle of marketing strategy. Brogan and Smith’s book not only agrees but it takes the concept to a more focused level (I’ve never been accused of being focused…). What I really like about this book is that it doesn’t just tell you WHY it shows you HOW to leverage social media and other digital tools to achieve the holy grail of marketing – trust. If[…]

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Nasty Networker – “Vomitous from the mouth”

This is a great article by a friend of mine – Recently I asked my network through LinkedIn: “What are the visible attributes of a ‘Nasty Networker?’” I’ve boiled the answers down into some common categories ranked by the frequency of their appearance Signs of a Nasty Networker Selfish. Not interested in helping others. Doesn’t ask questions. Talks too much. Bashes or otherwise acts inappropriately towards competitors. Uses high pressure and other bad sales techniques. Abuses contact information. Sends spam and other unwanted communication. Ignores business card etiquette. Social climber. Always looking for somebody better to talk to. Not open. Naive and needs education (about proper networking). More interested in the quantity of connections, not their quality. Disrespectful. In the end I think that “Nasty Networking” is driven primarily by either naivete or desperation. I saw a quote recently that suggested that the selfish type of taker networking is not[…]

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web site hurting your sales effort?

by Pete Monfre When many companies talk about marketing, they inevitably end up focusing myopically on their company web site.  Do a search in any search engine for “marketing” and the vast majority of topics will be on-line marketing. It’s as if the web has become the singular representation of  of marketing and sales tactics. While your web site is important, it is a mistake to consider it as the only factor in reaching prospects and converting them to customers. For most companies the web is a critical focal point during the early stages of your sales process for prospects. The trouble arises when the we attempt to make the site everything to everyone. I’m not saying there are many different uses for a corporate web site (service, support, education, social interaction, etc.) but most of my clients expect their site to primarily help drive sales. Whatever you are trying[…]

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What do customers really want?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your customers don’t really care about the latest whiz-bang feature of your new whatchamathingy. I’m also willing to bet they don’t really care that much about how big you are, how small you are, how nice your office is, what your vision or mission might be or how awesome your last ad campaign was. Over the course of doing many surveys and focus groups with executives and physicians, one thing has been absolutely consistent. Customers want you to solve their problems. This could mean reducing costs or hassles (which usually incur added costs) or increasing revenue. But promising these broad concepts isn’t good enough. You need to understand your prospect’s and customer’s problems on a case-by-case basis. And you need to be up front about whether you can truly solve these problems. For some of you, this might[…]

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The Way Not To Sell

I got this email today. It’s important that you know I’ve never talked to this person. I have heard of the company (who’s name has been changed because I’m feeling charitable at the moment) but this was sent to me cold. I’ve added my comments. The original email is in yellow. (I’m just sharing this with you – I didn’t respond to the email. Yet.) And, before you comment, yes, I’m a big jerk. Dear Pete, Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you regarding Acme Business Services. I haven’t given him the opportunity – I’ve never spoke to him or heard of him. Nice trick though. I’m happy to introduce myself as the Regional Director of Business Development for your area. Good for you. I’m glad you are happy. Do you want a cookie? I have been serving the market research industry for over a decade[…]

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