How Customer Objections are Sales & Marketing Tools

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Many people who are new to Sales think that if a Customer does not ask questions or raise Objections during a Sales call; the Sale is moving forward. They find themselves surprised when the customer does not want to buy when they ask for the order. This assumes the Sales person has the courage to ask for the order.

Why Customer Objections are Sales Tools

When the Customer does not ask questions about a product or service it demonstrates a lack of interest. Sales objections are sales tools because the customer shows interest by asking questions. These questions allow the Sales person to build rapport and trust with potential customers. They get to demonstrate their product knowledge and expertise. Without any customer objections or questions, reps have no way to measure their progress during the sales call; making it impossible to pivot. This makes it hard to make sales and build a relationship with the customer.

Why Customer Objections are Marketing Tools

There are certain things that come up when customer raise objections. Over time, Sales people will be able to see patterns of these objection. Objections are raised about pricing, bad past experiences, budgeting, being happy with a competitor and product inferiority. While Reps need to be able to handle objections; if they keep losing the sales for the same reason, they need to share this information with the marketing and product development teams.

How Marketing can Help Sales

Based on the feedback from Sales, Marketing Teams can Create and improve Sales/Marketing Collateral to address potential objections.

On issues of one product being better than another, the product team can: see how the product can be improved, or help provide Sales with Market researchposition materials to illustrate how the product is better.

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Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools because they provide customer intelligence that can be used to sell more/improve products.

Do you think Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools? Comment and share how you have handled and used customer objections.

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How Businesses will Increase Sales by Improving How they Hire Marketing Staff

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image via http://www.slideshare.net/NashvilleTechCouncil/the-power-of-smarketing-40266445

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales Reps need support from marketing in the cross functional organization of tomorrow. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

image via Salesforce.com

Many people that get hired in marketing, lack a sales background and have no idea on how to handle customer objections.

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result marketing is not as effective as it could be. Practitioners are especially underrepresented in the Marketing function of many EdTech companies and this needs to change. Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers and Industry practitioners in the marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers, knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining , qualifying and converting leads to Sales ie Lead Gen/Demand Gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job

This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

Case For hiring ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them they educate their customers

Why it is not Good enough to just place them in Sales

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and product.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

Has all of the above in their background or at least a Sales background at a minimum.

My background

I have Marketing experience along with all of the above in my background.

In the EdTech Industry, I hit all of the above and I am qualified for a job in marketing especially being the industry practice expert. In healthcare I have two out of three. For all other verticals, I have two out of three because I was in Sales, I taught and understand how people learn.

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing? Your sales teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increase Sales by improving messaging? Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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How Brands Can use Cultural Diffusion to Sell & Market Products Abroad

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image via marketing 91.com

The United States is an established country with a built up infrastructure. Depending on the product and industry, brands may see product sales hit a plateau based on a high market saturation rate.

Go to Market Strategy

One go to market strategy that brands may use to increase product sales is to sell into new markets. Chances are that brands have exhausted all markets and customers based in the United States. Upon reaching this conclusion, brands need to decide if they want to sell and market their products abroad based on the principle of cultural diffusion.

Cultural Diffusion

Cultural diffusion is the spread of one civilizations ideas, customs and beliefs from:

1. one nation to another

2. from another area or region to another.

To see if international marketing makes sense for brands, they must list the positives and negatives of this go to market strategy. Positive benefits include the chance to increase sales and gain revenue from a new source. A negative of this go to market strategy is that it will require a large outlay of operating cash to implement and execute. This may drain resources from other programs in the organization.

Contacting Local Authorities

Before brands can start selling products abroad, they need to check with the commerce division of the Foreign country’s government. The Commerce division of the government can guide brands on the proper procedures needed to sell and market products abroad.

Market Research

image via smartdraw.com

New Market research needs to be conducted for the international markets brands intend to sell into. This research includes, new buyer personas, competitive analysis, cost of customer acquisition, pricing, promotions, understanding local laws and customs.

Product Development

Product specifications need to be aligned with the customs and laws of the country. These products may need to be re-branded with a different name. Outside of the US, product measurements need to be converted to the metric system; triggering a change in the product packaging.

Examples of International Brands

A few examples of Global brands are Starbucks, McDonalds, Auto makers and Oil companies.

Starbucks

image via http://chinaexpat.com/wp-content/uploads/u659/starbucks.jpg

Starbucks operates stores abroad and follows local customs.

McDonald’s

A McDonald’s in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Businesses as well as people can exemplify cultural diffusion.

Image via http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geoimages/Image16.gif

McDonald’s uses local ingredients to make its food. For example, in Greece they fry french fries with olive oil. McDonald offers alternative sandwiches in countries where citizens are not allowed to eat beef and pork.

Exxon Mobil

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Exxon Mobil, operates under the brand name ESSO in Europe and uses the metric system to measure gasoline.

Auto Makers

Image via Dan Galante

Global Automakers , use the metric system when making cars and trucks. Also, these cars and trucks are made to the specification of local laws. Vehicle models made for foreign markets have different brand names. In England and other UK countries, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of vehicles made for the US market.

Deciding What an International Go to Market Strategy will look like

Once brands have an understanding of customer needs and competitive analysis, they need to decide what channels to use to sell their products. Brands can set up stores and offices that sell direct to the end-user. They may decide to partner with distributors who sell to the end-user directly or through licensing and/or use an e-commerce model. Brands may decide to use a combination of the above channels. They also need to decide how many people will need to be hired to execute the go to market strategy.

Using Data to Make a decision about whether or not to Implement an International Marketing Strategy

All the numbers and projections need to be calculated to see if International marketing is right for Brands. Each brand need to examine its financial health, and come up with an investment amount needed to execute an international go to market strategy. This amount needs to be measured against: financial health , potential sales, revenue, profits, cost per customer acquisition, market research, procedure to enter the market and opportunity costs. Based on these numbers, brands may decide to enter the market or use their operating cash for other programs.

CMO’s are you selling your products abroad? Why or Why not?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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10 Ways to Build an Audience & Grow a Customer Base

There are many ways to grow an audience and build a customer base.

Here are 10 strategies for you to grow your audience and build a customer base.

1. Starting a Blog based on Buyer Personas

Create a blog within your website focusing on customer pain points discovered in your buyer personas.

Image via http://www.garrisoneverest.com/inbound-marketing-2/how-to-implement-inbound-marketing/

2.Use Social Media to share Blog Content

Share the content of this blog on Social Media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc….

3. Employees LinkedIn Company Pages & LinkedIn profiles

Start publishing on your LinkedIn company page. Also, encourage employees publish and share content to their LinkedIn profiles if you are not doing so.

4. Content Repurposing

http://bluepolointeractive.com/ 

Repuropse blog content in the following ways: On SlideShare,

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YouTube videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, webinars etc…

5. User Groups

Create a user group on LinkedIn, and Facebook to facilitate discussion of your product and service.

6. Twitter Chats

Host Live Twitter chats on topics that are important to your customers

7. Using Groups to organize and announce off-line events

Use LinkedIn and Facebook groups to organize off-line events such as trade shows; invite customers to provide in person testimonials to prospects.

8. Stay In front of Customers

Be where your customers are, share a value message based on Market Research,Customer Analysis, Big Data Analytics and Competitive analysis.

https://marketingtruth.wordpress.com/category/analytics/

Image via http://smartdraw.com

9. Content  & Customer Retention

Create content to keep current customers engaged; share new features and ways they can get the most out of your product or service. Use the content to stay in the mind of customers.

http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/

Use your blog and product check out to ask customers to opt in to your marketing messages. Once you obtain permission, you can create email marketing campaigns targeted to subscriber needs and interests.

10. Develop Marketing Partnerships & Relationships

Strength comes in numbers. It helps to have other noncompeting businesses with complementary products promoting your product and services. These businesses can have a similar customer base and audience that can help your business.

Cross promote partner content/offerings on Social Media and at events to facilitate a reciprocal relationship.

Bonus Tips Statistics & Related Content

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How have you built an audience and customer base?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

7 Takeaways from My Paper.li #Bizheroes Chat

7 Takeaways from My #Bizheroes Chat

I recently lead a discussion on building and maintaining a LinkedIn audience on Paper.li’s #Bizheroes Chat.

Here are 7 Takeaways in case you missed the chat:

Q1. How do we start building an audience in LinkedIn? What are the first steps?

The first thing you can do to start building a LinkedIn audience is to have a complete LinkedIn profile. People need to trust you before they will listen. Connect with people and build up your network. As people are more likely to read an article from someone with connections as opposed to someone with zero.

Q2. What kind of content delights LinkedIn users? How is it different from a regular blog?

Content that delights LinkedIn users are How to articles, articles on News and Industry Trends.  It is important to have a great headline that will catch the reader’s attention along with content that supports it.

LinkedIn is different from a blog in terms of SEO because users can only use three tags where as a blog user can use an unlimited amounts of tags. Also, the user owns their blog in terms of branding and content where LinkedIn owns the content on their platform. However, LinkedIn has over 400 million users and is the largest business publishing platform.

Q3. Are there any rules we should follow when trying to attract an audience on LI?

When trying to attract an audience, it is important to write with your audience in mind.

Ask the following questions:

What is your objective for writing and publishing content?

Who is your target audience?

What types of content do they find valuable?

Also, curate content from people in your industry, influencers & non influencers. This will help to build a relationship where they will share your content if they think it is valuable.

LinkedIn provides suggestions when you share a post. It is a good idea to check the channels for your industry as LinkedIn has many specialized channels for content.

Q4. How do we make sure we’re attracting the right audience?

See who is sharing/engaging with your content. Is your target audience sharing it? Examine content that gets shared in your industry.

Q5. How can you use LinkedIn to market yourself or your business?

Users can create business pages, groups and most importantly keep creating and sharing content/relevant insights. Remember the audience determines what is relevant.

Q6 Is there a way to share your own work without being too self-promotional?

Use SlideShare for content repurposing as it is great to embed in posts, use videos along with text, pictures etc… This will allow you to put a different spin on your work; changing things up with your audience.

In my posts, I share links to relevant articles I wrote on the topic.

At the bottom of each post, I create an about the author section. This gives the reader a choice if they want to learn more and does not compromise the quality of my work.

Q7 How can we try and build relationships and then take them off of LinkedIn?

Users can use LinkedIn groups and messages to share relevant insights, conferences and networking events with connections.

How have you built and maintained an audience on LinkedIn?

Share and comment below.

Related Articles

How to Build an Audience on LinkedIn Pulse

How to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Storytelling

How to Build a Brand on LinkedIn

How to Integrate SlideShare into a Content Marketing Strategy

How to Integrate a Blog into an Inbound Marketing Strategy

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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