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@Janet Huey it's a techie phrase, but it fits :)
1 month ago on Bouncing Back: Overcoming A Paradigm Shift
@Paul Emond Thanks Paul. You have a great story to share, and it's impressive to see how Versature is growing. Vonage demonstrated that slick marketing isn't enough. It takes a company with a clear commitment to the technology, customer service and owning the category to win. Great job.
2 months ago on Challenging Giants
@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. Good think the Sticky Branding Stories are for mid-market, private companies vs. the faceless monoliths :)
You raise a very valid point. The way a mid-market grows a brand and a big company maintains a brand are very different. A business owner has to make purposeful investments to challenge the status quo to stand out and differentiate the company. Where as a big brand works to control input costs and maintain the status quo as the market leader.
Mike's approach to staffing is inline with a mid-market company challenging the faceless brand model of the big box retailers. And it works so well that the big boxes avoid entering his territory, because he has such a strong presence and community engagement.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Personal Touch Counts
@Debbie Ouellet Thanks Debbie. That's a great question. It can lead in so many directions. Do you have a favourite story you've received from the question?
3 months ago on A Culture Of Curiosity
@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. I definitely agree with your second point. I focus on 4-5 streams at a time. I can't handle much more than that. Since time and budget is limited, I have to be very selective where I invest my time to deliver the best lead generation results.
3 months ago on 100 Ways To Generate 1 Customer
@PaulChato every company has the ability to differentiate and create a unique brand. The company may not be able to differentiate on the products/services they sell, but they can differentiate on their personality and point of view.
An interesting Toronto example in the news right now is Honest Ed's. You can get the same products at any Wal-Mart or Dollar Store, but Honest Ed's is an experience unto iteself. From the gaudiness of the storefront, to their turkey drive, to how their founder was a showman.
Growing a unique brand is a choice. Some companies make that choice and take the necessary risks, and other's don't and wind up being zombies (brains!!!)
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Showcase Your Brand Personality
@Complex2Clear thanks Paul. You raise an interesting point. It's like companies are getting caught up in perpetual navel gazing, and losing sight of what's really important -- their customers.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on It’s Not What You Sell. It’s What You Deliver
@jbarnet thanks Jim. A big part of DECO's success is location. Alberta has the 2nd highest incidents per capita of windshield damage in North America. They are only slightly behind Denver. In Ontario a driver may go years without a chip or cracked windshield, but in Alberta you're lucky to go 3 months unscathed.
This high frequency of incidents means consumers in Western Canada value convenience. I spoke with a colleague in Edmonton, and she loved that she could get her windshield repaired while grocery shopping.
As you point out, it's about servicing your ideal customer (and knowing what your ideal customer needs).
5 months ago on First They Ignore You, Then You Win
@Colin Joseph thanks Colin
5 months, 1 week ago on First They Ignore You, Then You Win
@Ed Ross thanks Ed. You raise a very valid point. Education builds upon itself, and we definitely don't forget the history.
Are you finding any institutions or researchers that are re-evaluating the sales reserach, and updating it for 2013? I am seeing some activity from Cranfiled School of Management in the UK, which was featured in the Harvard Business Review in 2010.
But in general, the research seems stunted and slow to adapt to the major structural forces brought on by the major advances in globalization, telecommunications and social media over the past decade.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Sales Training Programs Are Outdated
@jbarnet I dunno Jim. I'm pretty sure T-Rex is a raspberry aficionado. Those short arms and big mouth made it genetically predisposed to raspberry greatness.
I agree with you. Brand trumps distribution. If a sales person doesn't have the right value proposition, it doesn't matter how they introduce their services.
I also think you're pointing out the heart of the cold calling debate. The firms that are drawn to this form of lead generation are lacking a well defined value proposition. They need to get in front of a prospect and pontificate, because nothing else is working.
So I claim, "voice of reason." :)
6 months ago on Cold Calling Is Still Dead
@Alberto Gonzalez MBA thanks Alberto. I will work to post some more content on demand generation over the coming weeks.
There are fundamentally 2 parts to demand generation:
1. Path of Search: be in the right place and the right time when your clients are looking for services. (Usually driven by search marketing or referral marketing.)
2. First Call Advantage: build and scale relationships so you are your clients' first call when they're ready to buy. (Usually a content marketing and database process.)
It depends on the industry, but choose the tools and programs that best fit your business and your clients.
@kwlinc you are nailing it. The difference is the brand. If you have a compelling brand it's a lot easier to capture a prospect's attention, and engage them in a conversation.
Your comments all resonate with advice I give to rookie sales people, "choose brand." The best products to sell are the ones with a well defined brand, positioning and value proposition.
@MichaelTingle great point Michael. If the sales process is driven by a trigger event cold calling will be very challenging. I like your mention of warm calling. Sometimes a call is that required tool to take a lead from the digital realm to the real world.
@isitjust1 You've got a tough challenge Oscar, and I'm not in a position to advise you. I suggest you speak with people you know and trust, and solicit an external perspective on your opportunity.
The challenge I hear in your message is "make or break." I would be wary of any opportunity that could put you into a serious financial predicament. You hold all the risk, and there MAY be an upside IF all the stars align in your favor.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on What Motivates You? Pay, Prestige or Process?
@Complex2Clear Thanks Paul. I'm finding a degree of social media fatigue. Even B2C companies jumped into social media without a clear strategy. For example, the average Facebook Page posts is seen by less than 20% of the followers. The only way to cut through is to use sponsored posts. As soon as you start paying to distribute content it changes the reason to use these platforms.
Whether B2B or B2C I find ROI of social media is derived from the application of a strategy.
7 months ago on Social Media Is Boring
@phone services I agree price is an important factor to business, but a distinct issue in branding and brand strategy.
If your prices are too high because the company is inefficient or not keeping pace with the competition, it won't win in marketing. The value proposition for the offer compared to price won't be in line with alternative products/services.
But if your prices are low because your overhead and infrastructure is well managed, what do you communicate to your market and your customers? Do you lead with price, or something else?
7 months, 1 week ago on There Is Only One Low-Cost Brand
@RebeccaTodd I follow the mantra, "Your customers won't buy from you unless they LIKE you, TRUST you, and find you CREDIBLE." Like and Trust are essential in any purchase. If someone jeopardizes them, it's unlikely they'll win the deal.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Sales Quotas Aren’t Hit On The Golf Course
@RebeccaTodd I like it. Your personal brand enhances the products and services you sell.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Sales Training Programs Are Outdated
@RebeccaTodd I like that, "Don't jump to provide." That is an excellent selling mantra. I agree with your approach. Problem solving trumps selling. Do you find the small issues your resolve create trust and rapport to work on bigger problems?