Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Give the People What They Want

Many eminent entrepreneurs and businesspeople, present and past, have answered the "how did you do it"? question verbatim from this postings Title: They simply gave the people what they wanted.

There are thousands of books published on the various "how to's" of effective sales and marketing. For the hell of it, I looked at the index section of several of the top sellers on Amazon this morning. People...they're all saying the same thing and it ISN'T necessary GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.

The hard part, of course, is these very people (consumers/B2B etc..)take action when they figure out what they want. Which means if your job is to find new business, you need to find them before they marry-up with somebody not named you.

Business networking,affiliate marketing, social media and all the other ways to find people who know what they want...I say "HorseBleep". Yes, we all have success stories from networking. Keep this important fact in mind, however: Your old and new network contacts...and all their "valuable" contacts- Unless you have something they want or need and your timing is impeccable, you're just another person who apparently is pitching them something while they sip their Sam Adams.

We're not talking about Account Management here....whole different animal. We're talking about finding new customers and, as much as you may try, you can't escape the numbers game element to it.

(If your phone rings because your organization cares about smart and effective marketing, you're in a great place. That represents considerably less than 1% of all jobs and companies that fall under the "New Business Development" umbrella )

Give the People What They Want...and ya gotta find them. I, personally, have a methodology different than anyone I've ever met and it VERY MUCH includes me the person. Beyond that, however, is the time and effort that I must put in.

I forget which famous deceased person said that "Success often presents itself disguised in overalls". Amen to that.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Going In..

Pity the poor SOB whose job it is to call people at home and ask them to buy something. The only thing more extreme than the task at hand is how ill-prepared the people required to do the job are.

Let me emphasize that if your employer REQUIRES you to cold-call telemarket people, managers, executives in the middle of the work day, you are in a BRUTAL situation. But let's have a little fun here. In the past, I've been required to make thousands of these calls. I've also been required to physically knock on doors and I was very good at both. This is the WORST, most unprofessional way to find qualified buyers.

But let's get back to the task...and how it can be done effectively without wanting to dive off a skyscraper.

First of all, if you begin a cold call solicitation with- as I call it- "Name, Rank and Serial Number", you are utterly doomed. Name, rank and serial number being your first name, your last name and the organization you are calling from. DOOMED I tell you. Hospitals, Law Enforcement and telemarketers do that.

A couple of years ago, a cold call telemarketing person called me at home near dinner. I looked at the Caller ID...I thought it was someone else....I picked up. You're expecting a horror story of some script-reading carbon based automaton. WRONG.

It went something like this: (WUTM= WAY under-employed Telemarketer)

Craig: Yallo

WUTM: Craig?

Craig: Yeah..

WUTM: Hey Craig...I'm John..calling ya from the heartland..out here in Iowa (SILENCE)

Craig: Hey John...what's cooking? (I knew what was happening but his approach afforded him me not ending the call abruptly.)

WUTM: This and that...listen, you're probably not too far from the dinner table...just wanted to toss a 45 second infomercial at ya..It's good stuff, but timing will need to be on my o'kay with that?

Craig: Yeah...o' got ONE MINUTE though...what is it?

WUTM: The siding on your's that looking these days?

Craig: Not good...but I won't spend a dime on it until I absolutely have to.

WUTM: What are ya thinking??...two years?? year...six months?

Craig: No way I've got two years left...I hope to God I've got one.

WUTM: O'kay...fair. If I may do this. It sounds like you'll be at least THINKING about it in six months...fair?

Craig: Yup..

WUTM: I'm going to put some glossy stuff, U.S. Mail, tonight and six months from now. The Company I work for is U.S. Fiber Cement Siding. Strong company, strong products...can we re-visit?

Craig: Yeah, John...we can. I got hideous vinyl on the side of my house. Very good....I'll look em' up. Now I do need to tend to my young son. Nice job, though. I'm not screwing around with you. I'm going to have a need in a year or're on my short list.

WUTM: Craig...thank you...thanks for the window, here. I'll be in touch.

And that, my friends, is the difference between a professional and the rest of the poor souls out there required to cold call strangers.