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@ginidietrich True. It further astounds me that they are almost always wrong. I guess when you look at the sky, you can want to see the cloud or you can want to see the silver lining.
2 years, 6 months ago on It’s Lonely At the Top
Great article, Gini; I couldn't agree more. I love the "it must be nice" comment...sure it must be nice to: make your own schedule (which has me working more than I ever did working for someone else, even though back then I was still the first person in the office and last to leave,) find the client that makes you feel as though you have "made it," only to have them somehow screw you over, think sometimes that working in McDonald's would have put more money in your pocket, understand that the people you work with (no matter how entrepreneurial) will never care about the business like you do; but most importantly...know that you are doing something that will somehow, in a small way, change the world.
Thanks Howie! With your experience, I'm sure you have a lot more to say on this topic and I'm sure the readers would like to read more from you.
2 years, 8 months ago on Are You Marketing-Focused or Sales-Focused?
Howie, so what made you make the change from sales to marketing? Have you found that your sales experience has been helpful in the integration of sales and marketing in your current role?
We say it all the time, our job is not to get you an opportunity, it is to find THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY. X number of leads does not matter, X number of good leads does.
We have a client that asked us to develop a PITA score for them as we develop new relationships on their behalf. They don't want to waste their time with a seemingly good prospect who is not going to appreciate what they bring to the table so having us determine that someone is not a good fit is equally important to them as is finding the good ones.
Exactly Keith. Both sales and marketing should be playing roles in building brand awareness and doing something about it. The sales team builds brand awareness by leaving thoughtful messages for prospects while marketing efforts provide a call to action. Other times the marketing is building brand awareness while sales follows up on the leads it generates and closes deals.
The whole, when working together, is better than the sum of its parts.
Josepf, I'm not sure if I would call it "resorting" to cold calling.
Although inside sales efforts often get a bad rap because people think of the guy who calls to interrupt their dinner, professional inside sales efforts, in my sales oriented opinion, are still the most cost effective way to develop a relationship. Heck, I have had clients that I left messages for every other week for 2 years before getting an opportunity. When they did finally call back to take the conversation further, they talked to me like they were my best friend (although I had never actually spoken to them live) and mentioned how much they appreciated the follow up.
Most said that with so many people wanting their business, they knew it mattered to us because we didn't give up and always left information they found helpful in their message..
Gini, I think all of us need to gain that energy from the alone time now and then. I just wish it wouldn't come at 4 AM when there isn't a whole lot I can do about it!
Let's chat more about the new business development efforts for Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks Pro.
Gini, you are so right. Marketing is typically relegated to being the internal Kinko's for the sales team OF A SALES ORIENTED COMPANY. They simply do not understand the value of it.
Conversely, in the marketing oriented company, they figure anybody can take an order that was generated through their marketing efforts. For example, we worked with a very marketing oriented company where we uncovered $350,000 of lost revenue IN THE FIRST WEEK because their "order takers" did not know the right questions to ask or simply didn't follow up at all.
Hopefully we can work to better educate the sales company on the value AND EQUALITY of marketing, and educate the marketing oriented company on the value AND EQUALITY of sales!
James, you are so right. Too many small companies combine the two, usually because they do not truly understand the difference between the two. They get lumped into "stuff we do to get people to buy from us," and inevitably they focus on one or the other, depending on the culture of the company.
If a company only has the budget for one resource, I'd rather see them split that into two part time positions with experts in each doing what they do best and working together.
Raj, tell us more. Under what circumstances did they change their approach?
Unfortunately, too few companies look for the right balance, let alone find it. It's like the company who spends $30,000 going to a trade show but then never follows up on the leads. Some call it a success because they "got their brand out there." I still don't know what that means. Isn't the goal here to actually turn those prospects into clients?
@KenMueller@Anthony_Rodriguez@ginidietrich When I refer to those I have worked with who took the "Field of Dreams" approach, they generally put too much stock in the ability of their marketing efforts to close the sale. That is very similar to the sales oriented companies who set up a "boiler room" of salespeople who call and call, but the company has no marketing to help develop the brand they are out selling and they do not differentiate themselves.
The more marketing and sales work together, the better chance of reaching the buyer in a way he wants to be reached.
Anthony, that's not a car, that's a classic!
Anthony, good point. I saw Jeffrey Gittomer many years ago and loved his pholosophy of "people hate to be sold, but they love to buy." That comes with building trust.
Much like the kid who gets an "A" on his report card, but the teacher GIVES him a "C," People buy things they like and are sold things they don't. Ever notice how most people were sold a car?
Here is why I like outsourcing. Often times small businesses will spend the money to hire a salesperson and have them also handle other jobs to spread out the cost. Now they are spending part of their time hearing no from potential clients (I wish it didn't happen, but if this stuff was easy, I'd be out of a job) and part of their time doing things that offer less rejection. Where do you think they are going to spend the majority of their time?
By outsourcing, you can hire a sales team to work 20, 40, 60 hours a week (depending on your budget) and only focus on sales. 100% of their time selling. The outsourced company provides the salespeople and the management of their team so all you are paying for is relationship development time. If you have a big project coming up or a trade show you are going to, ramp up your efforts with more hours then when things get back to normal you can go back to the normal amount of hours.
The added benefit is that you also do not have to pay for vacations, employee taxes, or other employee benefits.
Gini, First off, thanks again for allowing me to be your guest today. I would have replied sooner but I got stuck on one word in your post. Does introvert mean something different than I have thought it meant all this time? :)
I'm with you that nobody likes getting those unprofessional cold calls that unfortunately it seem dominate the industry. When I think of a good inside sales approach, I want the call to be less "Hello Ms. I Don't Know You, I'm now going to tell you what you need and how I am going to sell it to you" and more about developing a relationship. The people who call me and want to share knowledge with me about how they helped someone similar to me and want to learn more about my business to see if they can help will get more of my time than the ones who try to "push product" on me.
As for finding the right salespeople for a small business, there are a few ways to go but in my mind, outsourcing is great for a small to mid sized company. (Full disclosure, this is part of what we do at Randolph Sterling,but then again, we wouldn't offer it it I didn't believe in it.)
I agree completely Gini! I run every other morning (for me, it was the opposite, I used to ride all the time but I found running is actually better for my back) and on pretty much every run I have to dodge people who decide stop signs are optional or in other ways just figure that I don't have any rights and I should just get out of their way. I can understand somewhat when I was out running at 6AM in February when it was still dark and people were probably still asleep; but it is late June, the longest days of the year. The sun is bringhtly shining and I'm pretty easy to spot!
3 years, 2 months ago on Rules of the Road
I think the big thing here is what, exactly is being disagreed with; is it the person or the idea? Professional disagreement of an idea or opinion is good debate and quite frankly, in those sitations I always learn something even if I do continue to disagree. I'm a Taurus (or at least I think I am, still not sure what's going on with the Zodiac) so I tend to be a bit stubborn in my opinion. I also try very hard not to open my mouth unless I feel somewhat strongly about what is gong to come out of it.
Personal attacks and unprofessional disagreement just takes things off topic and lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and, quite frankly, a ton of garbage.
Keep the good, lively debate going strong!
3 years, 8 months ago on Never Dedicate a Blog Post to Disagreeing with Someone
Last Christmas, my dad was walking out of a store where he had just bought my mom a Christmas present when his phone rang. It was my mom asking him what he was doing at Yankee Candle Company.
He looked around, wondering if she was also shopping there; however she happened to be checking their credit card online from her office. The purchase had just posted so she called him to give him a hard time.
Now they joke about this, but it made my dad feel strange that his own wife knew what he was purchasing (especially since he was buying a present for her and wanted it to be a surprise,) so I wonder what people would think if a stranger (celebrity or not) was closely following them.
3 years, 8 months ago on Why Brogan’s Bigger Ear Marketing Is Wrong
Great article Gini. Interesting spin on the research. I expect people I interview to have some understanding of what we do, but I also want them to ask questions so they can better understand. If you've done your research and act like you know everything there is to know about us, you will definitely turn me off. Heck, I started the company and like to think I have my hand in most of what we do and I don't even know everything there is to know!
I look for people who are interviewing me as much as I interview them. My biggest problem is being in sales, my job is to develop relationships for a living. It is tough sometimes to sit back and let someone develop a relationship with me; but I want to see how they build rapport. I also want them asking me questions and really listening to the answers. Too many people ask questions to sound prepared, but then get into the job and really don't have a feel if it is actually a good fit for them.
Finally, I hate being late and hate when people are late. If you are 10 minutes late for an interview, you will wait 15 for me to come out to talk to you. Of course, things happen beyond our control. I interviewed a candidate for a sales position in our Raleigh office a few weeks ago. He had a sales meeting that ran a little long so he called me to say his GPS showed that he would be arriving about 5 minutes late so he wanted to apologize for making me wait for him. I told him to take his time and that I appreciated his respect in letting me know he was going to be a bit late. What I didn't tell him was that by doing that, he started out head and shoulders above the other candidates before we had even met.
3 years, 9 months ago on First Impression: Eight Ways to Avoid a Bad One
Gini, great response to the question of % of budget. I think that the breakdowns will definitely change based on industry and how much attracting clients plays a part in growth compared to a company that is more sales oriented.
We are also finding that more clients are looking closer at return on investment for their particular form of marketing; although some are easier to track than others. It is relatively easy to see who downloaded a white paper from your website, for example (and hopefuly they are following up on these leads, but that's a different conversation entirely,) but a little harder to track the client you cold called who then Googled the company to find your website, facebook page, etc. and based their decision to even talk to you partially on what they read there.
3 years, 10 months ago on How Do I Split My Marketing Budget?
I hope your readers found our question worth while. We have been talking a lot to our clients and prospects about this being budget time ( http://www.randolphsterling.com/?p=592 ) so I figured you would have something valuable to say, and, as usual, you did not disappoint!One of the challenges we are seeing though, is that as a relatively small sales solutions company, we have more of a sales culture than a marketing culture, and sometimes struggle to determine what areas to invest in and what areas we can leave alone for now. And, when we do decide on an area to invest in, we have some difficulty deciding between internal and external resources. For example, we have an internal social media director who handles our social media efforts and some website stuff, but we had outside companies actually redesign the website. I guess if I was to rephrase the question, I would be interested in your opinion (and the opinions of your readers) on what marketing efforts they feel have gotten the best ROI in conjunction with their sales efforts.
3 years, 11 months ago on How Much Should I Budget for Social Media?