My Top 10 Sales, Marketing & Social Media Articles of 2014

As the year is winding down, I wanted to share with you the top 10 articles from 2014 my blog. Based on the readership the honors go to:

Why Brands Should Use Visual Story Telling

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth 10,000 words. Telling a story with words alone puts the burden of visualization on the prospect. As words mean different things to different people based on life experience and culture, it is possible for your message to be misinterpreted. For brands to truly engage potential buyers, they need to tell stories visually with the use images, videos and words together. (Visual Story Telling) Using all three together can help brands to craft and convey their message to their audience. Many brands like Coca Cola have photo/video sharing contents where customers would engage with their products. This is based on the old adage that people are more likely to believe the claims of your customer (testimonials) than traditional advertising.

Effective presentations need…

Increase Sales by Firing your Worst Customers

Everyone has that customer that is a late payer, nasty  and/or a time waster that they wished they could fire. In previous posts, I have discussed how to deal with difficult customers, sociopaths and how to get customers to pay on time. However, there are some customers that need to be fired. The question is how to determine which customers to fire. As Dr. Tony Alessandra puts it, the good, the bad and the ugly. He goes on to describe how companies rank their customers and fire the bottom level of customers. You want to keep the good, try to convert the bad into the good group and fire the ugly.

But how do you determine which customers need to be fired?…

Did Mobile Kill the TV Star?

Everyone remembers the popular song Video Killed the Radio star, which was a song about how the technology of television made radio and the radio star obsolete. As mobile devices and social media have become more prevalent worldwide; access to video content via video search engines/sharing services such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix have disrupted how content is accessed. Prior to this shift, television/cable networks have controlled how video content was shared and distributed. Today the alternative content sharing methods I described above, have changed the format of television. As more and more advertising dollars are being shifted to mobile from television, the way television is run has to change.

Back to my original question, will Television suffer the same fate as Radio?…

Selling to Sociopaths: What to do when you can’t Walk Away

Have you ever had a prospect and/or customer from hell? I am talking about a customer that seemed charming when everything in the transaction was going well and did a 180 degree turn when they didn’t get when they want. I have had several experiences like this during my time in outside sales. What about those prospects that smile to your face and then actively try to undermine you behind your back? I have dealt with these kind of prospects and customers as well. Behavior like this is clearly the work of a sociopath. For our purposes here, a sociopath has two definitions: 1 A person who has no conscience and is incapable of feeling emotions of any kind. 2 A person who gets pleasure from making other people miserable.

How to be your Own Manager of Sales

In a previous article, I discussed how to deal with difficult customers. The customers/prospects I described above, are extremely difficult to deal with. People who are sociopaths are in places of power and authority. In sales, I have had to deal with sociopaths from time to time. From the customer who demands what they are not entitled to and abusive customers who got pleasure from seeing me sweat.

Now you are asking how to deal with these people?….

Anyone who is in inside or outside sales has to meet sales quotas/sales goals of a certain type. The role of a Sales Manager is to hire, mentor, train and motivate the Sales Team. A Sales Manager is also accountable for setting the sales goals of their team and making sure that these goals are meet and exceeded. Sales Managers are provided with salary and an override of the teams total sales. Each Sales Reps goals make up a piece of this total sales goal. A Sales Manager’s duties will vary by the size of the organization and it’s structure.

Now you are asking ” How could I be my own Manager of Sales? Why would I want to be?

Sales Reps: Want to Boost your Sales? Study your Sales Data & Do the Math!

Math and Sales Data are essential to improve the sales efforts of Sales Reps. The use of Math and Sales Data can provide a wealth of insights in terms of how effective a businesses sales campaigns are doing. In my previous post, How to be your own Manager of Sales, I detailed how Sales Reps could track their own sales numbers using a Closing ratio.

“Closing ratio is calculated by…

Close Sales during Cold Calling with the Colombo Technique

In previous articles, I have discussed how to overcome objections and make cold calls successfully as referenced below.

“In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.”

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away to much information on their bosses business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision maker but many times they were not in the office; or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Colombo technique to get the information that I needed….

The Power of The Screen Shot & The Hash Tag: How Marketers Can Connect with Customers & Amplify their Reach

Screen-shots and hash-tags are an invaluable tool for marketers to reach and sell products to their audience. The old adage is that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As the fields of Marketing and Advertising shift to digital and mobile formats, the power of the image to tell stories and get your message across are the new tools of the 21st Century.

Hash-tags are also valuable tools because they…

Poor Customer Service Costs Businesses Sales

Poor customers service costs businesses sales. I observed this first hand yesterday.

I was in the supermarket yesterday and I observed a man who was wanted to buy mussels (seafood). These mussels were packaged in bushels. As you can imagine, there were long lines in the supermarket. There were scales to weigh food items both at the Deli counter/Meat Department and at the checkout lines. After a long wait on the checkout line, the cashier was ringing up the items. When it came time to charge the customer for the mussels the cashier said, ” the mussels have to be weighted and priced by the Meat Department”. Mind you there was a scale right at the cash register!

As a result, the customer stormed out of the store in frustration leaving a large order behind. Clearly, the store should have done one of two things:

10 How Dating Reminds Me of My Time in Outside Sales

Dating reminds me of my time as an Outside Sales Rep in New York City. When looking for prospects, I cold call on women at various social venues Bars/Clubs at night, Parks, Stores and the Subway. I network with friends for leads on potential single women and networking. I use various online social networking/dating sites for dating along with singles networking events. First dates are like sales interviews and networking events; you need to sell yourself to get the next step. This next step can be a first or second date another appointment or a commitment.

As you can see like selling their is plenty of hit and miss. In efforts to find the right person;…

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the readers for their support during 2014! Feel free to contact me with topics that you want me to cover in 2015.  See you in the New Year!

stand up shot

How Dating Reminds Me of My Time in Outside Sales

Dating reminds me of my time as an Outside Sales Rep in New York City. When looking for prospects, I cold call on women at various social venues Bars/Clubs at night, Parks, Stores and the Subway. I network with friends for leads on potential single women and networking. I use various online social networking/dating sites for dating along with singles networking events. First dates are like sales interviews and networking events; you need to sell yourself to get the next step. This next step can be a first or second date another appointment or a commitment.

As you can see like selling their is plenty of hit and miss. In efforts to find the right person; I stand tall in the face of rejection especially when you want the customer and date that everyone wants. Knowing your competition along with prospects is essential for sales and dating success. It all boils down to being yourself.

My ability to persevere, has lead me to a lot of dating and sales success. Although I haven’t met the “one”, I have met a lot of great people along the way. My goal is to meet women who are as attractive and intelligent as me in their 20’s. I know that it is a only matter of time before this happens. Just to give you a little idea about myself, I am a Native Yorker and Italian American with an Athletic build. I have attached some pictures of myself.

If you would like to date me, send an email with pictures to Dan@dangalante.com.stand up shotprofile picturegq posestand up pose

Why Brands Should Use Visual Story Telling

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth 10,000 words. Telling a story with words alone puts the burden of visualization on the prospect. As words mean different things to different people based on life experience and culture, it is possible for your message to be misinterpreted. For brands to truly engage potential buyers, they need to tell stories visually with the use images, videos and words together. (Visual Story Telling) Using all three together can help brands to craft and convey their message to their audience. Many brands like Coca Cola have photo/video sharing contents where customers would engage with their products. This is based on the old adage that people are more likely to believe the claims of your customer (testimonials) than traditional advertising.

Effective presentations need to have visuals and videos to emotionally engage prospects to buy. In a previous article, I discussed the power of the hashtag and the screenshot where I discuss how hashtags and screenshots allow messages to go beyond the traditional reach of social networks. I have used photo/video sharing services such as InstagramPinteresttumblr and YouTube to upload screenshots of tweets, Facebook posts, head-shots, videos etc…

Visual story telling allows brands to connect with many more people on an emotional level. This will ultimately lead to higher product sales numbers.

Increase Sales by Firing your Worst Customers

Everyone has that customer that is a late payer, nasty  and/or a time waster that they wished they could fire. In previous posts, I have discussed how to deal with difficult customers, sociopaths and how to get customers to pay on time. However, there are some customers that need to be fired. The question is how to determine which customers to fire. As Dr. Tony Alessandra puts it, the good, the bad and the ugly. He goes on to describe how companies rank their customers and fire the bottom level of customers. You want to keep the good, try to convert the bad into the good group and fire the ugly.

But how do you determine which customers need to be fired? During my time in outside sales, I was faced with this very dilemma. I had the slow payer, the nasty customer, the customer who always ordered something and returned it. To properly assess which customers to give the ax to, you need to determine how much business they provide you with and how much of your time they take up. As a Sales Rep, or Business owner, time is money. You want to spend most of your time with your good clients, try to improve the relationship with the bad customers and fire the worst customers or the ugly ones. Once you have this list, you want to get to work on firing the worst customers by removing discounts and giving priority to your better customers. I always asked my good customers if they had colleagues who might need my services. However, I would wait until I have them delivered value with my products and services before asking for referrals.

By focusing on the best customers, improving your relationship with the bad customers and firing the the worst or ugly customers; your sales will increase dramatically. My numbers improved a lot when I used this method.

How has firing your worst customers increased your sales?

 

Close Sales during Cold Calling with the Colombo Technique

In previous articles, I have discussed how to overcome objections and make cold calls successfully as referenced below.

“In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.”

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away to much information on their bosses business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision maker but many times they were not in the office; or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Colombo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down because they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Colombo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

How have you employed the Columbo technique?

Did Mobile Kill the TV Star?

Everyone remembers the popular song Video Killed the Radio star, which was a song about how the technology of television made radio and the radio star obsolete. As mobile devices and social media have become more prevalent worldwide; access to video content via video search engines/sharing services such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix have disrupted how content is accessed. Prior to this shift, television/cable networks have controlled how video content was shared and distributed. Today the alternative content sharing methods I described above, have changed the format of television. As more and more advertising dollars are being shifted to mobile from television, the way television is run has to change.

Back to my original question, will Television suffer the same fate as Radio? Well not exactly.Television has embraced new technology. Content has been made available on mobile devices, Tablets Laptops and PC’s.Television networks have developed a strong presence on social networks. Every Television network and their shows; have their own branded social media channels. Video content is made available instantly via on demand programming for premium cable subscribers.

Dual Technology is used by television networks by allowing viewers to live tweet with characters of their favorite shows and television personalities via computers/mobile devices. Television networks use of Twitter is an example of dual technology. Live tweeting has proven to be a successful engagement strategy for television networks; engaging with millennial and baby-boomers alike. An example is tonight’s live Blue Bloods Actors chat via CBS’s branded BlueBlood’s Twitter handle.

Another marketing strategy, employed by television networks is to make the actors in their shows use products from advertisers. This is a shift from traditional advertisements; as most people are turned off by many traditional ads. Many Auto, Telecom, Clothing, Luxury Brands and even educational institutions use this form of advertising. It does not seem like an ad if it is part of the show. This is what television networks and advertisers are banking on.

Did Mobile kill the TV star? Not exactly but it killed a culture of television and cable monopolies. Although television and cable have changed to adopt to the shift to mobile, they still face threats from Apple, Intel, Google and Sony who attempting to offer television content via internet TV delivery platforms.

All of these changes that I mentioned above, will shift the power from the Television and cable networks into the hands of advertisers by driving down rates. The general public will also be able to access programming much cheaper but this is a discussion for down the road.

Did Mobile kill the TV star? You decide.