Where Social Media Fits in Your Marketing Plan

Selling was so much easier when I first hit the streets nearly forty-five years ago. At my first sales job, I didn’t even need to do any prospecting. Telemarketers unearthed all of the leads. In most cases, they even made the appointment for me.  My task was to make the presentation and close the sale.

At later sales jobs, I did my own phone prospecting. Direct mail also helped me developed leads. I even learned a few surefire tricks for talking my way past a receptionist. I got pretty good at using these different sales tools and techniques.

Since then, times have changed. I blame it on technology. With voicemail, few people answer calls anymore – me included. Most direct mail goes in the garbage. I can’t even charm the receptionist to find out who to talk to because many businesses don’t have receptionists or secretaries. And at some companies, the doors are locked.

A shoe shine and a smile doesn’t cut it anymore in B2B selling anymore. The internet changed the way prospects buy. In most cases, buyers research products online and have made their buying decision long before speaking to a sales person. That means that if you want to succeed at selling in the 21st century, you need to include social media as part of your marketing strategy. While social media may not be most important part of your marketing strategy, it can play a significant role in complementing your other efforts and delivering your message.

So what should that message be? The challenge for most companies is that their products and services are viewed as commodities. Buyers believe that what one sign company can provide is not that much different from what another can provide. Your challenge is to change that prejudice. The only way that you can alter that mindset and differentiate your products and services is to provide added value in the way of useful information. I would contrast this with old school, chest-pounding marketing extolling the features, benefits and advantages of products.

Your goal is to establish yourself as the authority or expert in your field by providing this valuable information online.  Building an online presence is akin to building your personal brand. It not only sets you apart from other sales people, but it increases your value to your employer. The goal of this story is to provide you with a social media blueprint to build your company’s brand, get more followers and engagement and ultimately grow your sales. Read more »

Breaking Through the Communication Barrier

Selling today is much more difficult than it was forty years ago, when I started as a salesman. Back then, people would actually answer their phones, and in some cases, even let you in their buildings before they booted you out. The business culture has dramatically changed since then. Now many companies have restricted their […] Read more »

Why Start Your Own Business

Even with all of the risks, the rewards of owning a small business such as a sign shop or Tee-shirt business often outweighs the disadvantages. From a financial standpoint, if your current employer pays you much less than you think you can make on your own, it may be time to start your own business. […] Read more »

What You Need to Know About Air Purifying Respirators

Identifying Airborne Health Hazards Depending on the type of products that you manufacture, you and your employees can encounter a variety of airborne hazards. Most of us know that we should wear some type of air respirator in many of our work environments. What can be difficult  is identifying the particular hazards and determining what […] Read more »

How to Improve Email Marketing Readership and Response Rate

For years I have used email marketing to introduce products, generate sales leads and complement other marketing efforts, such as telemarketing, social media and face-to-face selling. While I have had good luck in using email to deliver my message, success is far from guaranteed. In fact, most emails are never opened, even if the reader […] Read more »

What Motivates a Buyer

People make their buying decisions based on a number of different motivations.  If you can discover what makes a buyer tick, you can craft your sales proposal to satisfy his particular needs. This makes all the difference when you are in a highly competitive situation. When you are wearing your sales hat, a big part […] Read more »

Selling Banners

Banner sales represent a significant segment of the sign industry. As well as durable outdoor promotional banners, other opportunities include lightweight vinyl banners, synthetic paper banners and printed fabrics for general purpose interior applications, such as Point-Of-Purchase banners and tradeshow signs. The smooth finishes of vinyl banner materials and top-coated fabrics are perfectly suited for […] Read more »