Entries tagged with “sales”.


Wow! It seems like I had stopped for just a moment to catch my breath and months have disappeared. Well…it’s time to take a deep breath, exhale and jump in and resume sharing my Viewpoints. So here goes…

It’s again the start of a new year. Many people take this time to begin new advertising and marketing campaigns, or at least take a closer look at where they are with their business. An article I read hit the nail on the head for things to take a look at. Although it’s mainly direct towards trade show marketing, the basic rules still apply.

Planting Sales Seeds by Mike Mraz via Skyline Trade Show Tips

“My nephew Andy is a farmer.  He’s wanted to be a farmer since he was a little boy.  For Andy, there’s something so special about tending the crop to harvest.

Spend a day with him and you’ll learn that farming is very hard but rather simple work.

Of course technology has made a significant impact on the farming process. Fields are now charted by GPS, seeds are engineered to withstand hardship and chemicals assist in maximizing output.

But, the process is still pretty simple; turn the soil, plant the seed, water the field and harvest the crop.

Imagine if Andy farmed like many organizations marketed.

Here are 5 lessons that farmer Andy could teach marketers today:

  1. Choose the right crop for the right field.  Market segmentation and targeted messaging allow us to focus our efforts and leverage our marketing dollars like never before.  The proliferation of smaller more targeted events, allows exhibitors the chance to tell their story to a very qualified audience.
  2. Remember where you planted your seed.  What’s the point to randomly handing out or letting people help themselves to your literature a trade show?  When that brochure gets stuffed into a show bag, it’s one step closer to the trash can.  Just like the farmer controls his seed, the trade show marketer must control his information.
  3. Nurture your seed as it grows.  Focused follow-up and relationship development after the show is CRITICAL!  The farmer would never toss his seeds to the wind and expect the crop to harvest itself.  Why do exhibitors think that they can show up at a show, hand out literature, give away a few pens and expect a harvest to follow?  The harvest will belong to the marketing farmer who works the field.
  4. Know when to harvest your crop.  Experienced marketing and sales people know when it’s time to ask for the business.  They take a very strategic approach to developing the prospect into a customer and know when the time is right to close.  And, close they must.
  5. Be a good steward of the land.  Give back to your industry.  Get involved with the associations you belong to.  Put your “knowledgeware” (your smart people) on display by getting them on the speaker’s platform and presenting at your big conference.  To be seen as a thought leader you need to act like one.

If farmers behaved more like the average marketer, this country would starve.

With the exception of field sales (interesting use of words), the trade show floor is the only marketing field where we are face to face with our market.  In this field we have the opportunity to nurture a good crop and grow your business like no other.

So put on your overalls, grab your pitchfork and get to planting. You’ve got mouths to feed!”

I make a lot of phone calls and am always surprised at the number of times I call the number listed for a business where the person simply answers “Hello?” with no mention of the company name or providing any other identification.

The problem…

1) If I am a potential client, I should not be left wondering whether or not I called the correct number; and

2) It doesn’t portray your business as being very professional.

Your greeting can be as simple as “WebSight Designs, this is Anita” or “Thank you for calling WebSight Designs, this is Anita, how can I help you?” Either way, go with what feels natural to you, and smile when you answer. Believe it or not your voice tone actually changes. You should sound as if you’re NOT overworked, tired or under pressure for a deadline. The only people that exist when customers call are you and the customer.

If you are not in a position to take a few minutes to talk, DON’T feel compelled to have to answer the phone at that moment. Let your voicemail take a message, BUT by all means be sure to follow up promptly.

Also, if you own a home-based business NEVER allow your children or even your spouse to answer your business line unless they have been schooled in proper business phone etiquette.

Make your first impression with your clients a positive one!