Guerilla Sales & Marketing by Lori Turner-Wilson en-us No. 1 business killer - complacency While the actual activities take on different forms, at the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that I’m a change agent for companies dissatisfied with their current sales and marketing outcomes. I was taken back years ago by the clarity offered from an area CEO in this statement: “We can’t expect a different outcome if we aren’t willing to change what we’re doing.” We can surely all agree that his statement holds true. Why, then, do so many... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:53:03 -0500 Reviving prospects that go dark If you’ve been in sales, you’ve found yourself wondering about a prospect who was highly interested in your offering – and for whom you invested significant time -- only to find them suddenly incommunicado. While it can be frustrating, don’t give up. It’s worth some creativity to either revive the relationship or garner a “no,” allowing you to move on with certainty. Start by putting yourself in the prospect’s shoes. The reason for their silence... Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:07:41 -0500 Brand personality - channeling Pinocchio By Tricia Warren Why do some brands speak to us and ignite our souls while others leave us feeling … uninspired? What is it about a brand that makes us feel happy, excited or safe? The answer? Personality. Like Pinocchio turning into a real boy, a “real” brand has serious personality. These brands inspire the hearts and minds of customers and experience the effects of customer advocacy, but no brand gets there overnight or by accident. For any brand to thrive, it... Sat, 08 Jul 2017 00:16:24 -0500 Winning at Google By Catherine Knoll The coveted first-place ranking in Google’s search-engine results is every business owner’s dream. It sounds so easy--use the keywords your audience would use to find your site, set up great content, and then you are guaranteed top ranking in search engines. Right? The reality is that much of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex and created over time. Considering there are over 6.6 billion web searches performed every day with the goal of obtaining... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 23:48:42 -0500 Think like a CEO, marketing folks Many marketing professionals have found themselves at odds with their CEO, whether they are not on the same page, have competing priorities or have a different version of success. The same often holds true for marketing agencies and their clients’ leadership teams. The divide can be painful and, for some, impossible to bridge. CEOs, by nature of their responsibilities, can have priorities and pressures that vary significantly. Having never been in the CEO’s shoes, it can be... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:44:30 -0500 From LinkedIn amateur to pro ~Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series. LinkedIn is one of the few social platforms that still allows your network to see your organic, unpaid content. It also is the single largest social platform focused exclusively on the business sector. So, if all you use it for is accepting the occasional connection request, it’s time to stop playing and get serious. The size of your network is the most valuable part of LinkedIn and the key to leveraging the system. The... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 00:55:59 -0500 Stop playing and get serious about LinkedIn Would it shock you to learn that one out of every three professionals on the planet and two-thirds of working-age Memphians are on LinkedIn? Perhaps even more surprising is that only one-third of LinkedIn users report fully leveraging it. That’s an enormous amount of unproductive effort and missed opportunity. What’s more, of all of the social media giants out there today, LinkedIn is one of the few still offering solid readership of your unpaid content. While Facebook has... Sat, 10 Jun 2017 00:00:12 -0500 3 proven plays to inspire action **By Jenny Jo Conner **Marketing and sales strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy Marketing experts and sales pros alike know calls to action (CTAs) are essential. But simply including any CTA just doesn’t cut it in today’s marketplace. Take a moment to think about how much business you might be losing each day because prospective customers simply aren’t inspired by your message. Is the number too scary to imagine? A study conducted by the... Sat, 03 Jun 2017 00:54:57 -0500 No deal beats a bad deal ~Editor Note: This is part two in a two-part series. Suppose you have 10 ounces of red dye and your associate has 10 ounces of yellow dye. The assignment is for each of you to create 10 ounces of the perfect shade of orange. The fair solution: exchange 5 ounces of each color. Instead, your associate wants your five ounces of red for three ounces of yellow. Not going to happen, right? But negotiations like this happen every day. According to Tom Parker of Yukon Training, there are several... Sat, 27 May 2017 00:50:27 -0500 The negotiation game ~Editor Note: This is part one in a two-part series. Negotiations occur several times throughout the day. They may not be as major as buying a new car or asking for a raise but they happen almost every time you interact with another person. Tom Parker of Yukon Training, describes a handful of the most used negotiation tactics. By understanding these “tricks of the trade,” and how to counter them, you can begin making better deals. Nibbles: Ever heard, “give an inch,... Sat, 20 May 2017 02:16:43 -0500 2017 -- the year of video If marketers had a zodiac calendar, we might call 2017, “the year of the video.” Why is that? Online video is enjoying the spotlight, due in part to its increasingly crucial role in social media. Online video consumption is also at an all-time high, and that is a definite plus for video marketing. There’s never been a better time for businesses to take advantage of video’s popularity. In January, eMarketer estimated that 62 percent of the world’s internet users... Sat, 13 May 2017 01:21:02 -0500 Influencer marketing to dominate in 2017 I am part of Generation X – the last generation that ever scheduled their childhood evenings around when a beloved TV program was set to air. It was a time when television created celebrities that brands coveted as spokespeople to promote their products. Think of Michael Jordan for Nike, Suzanne Somers for the ThighMaster or Michael Jackson for Pepsi. Gen Y is wired differently. They spend notably less time watching TV programming -- regardless of the device -- and increasingly more time... Sat, 06 May 2017 01:44:43 -0500 Hitting the ceiling Nearly every growing company faces a phenomenon -- at multiple points in its growth trajectory -- where the leadership team feels stuck, growth stalls or halts, and everything starts to feel complex. The strategies of the past that served them so well are no longer working. Revenue has plateaued and frustration is creeping into the organization. This experience is called "hitting the ceiling," and it's perfectly normal though understandably nerve- wracking the first time a... Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:15:30 -0500 Avoid the 'me, me, me' trap It’s official — you are on the social media bandwagon. Your company has a presence on major social-media platforms because you want to drive traffic to your website, engage customers in conversation and learn their insights, build brand loyalty, deliver better customer service and manage your reputation. But just being on Facebook and Twitter won’t make those things happen. You have to work for it. Positioning your company as an information source can help you achieve those... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 01:14:57 -0500 Responding to bad reviews It’s a catch 22 type of situation. You need to put your business out there in this age of social media, but in doing so, you open yourself up to criticism, bad reviews and the like. Despite the risks, social media is a marketing tactic that is a must for most companies. If you aren’t out there, your competitors are, and that is riskier than the possibility of a bad review. Knowing you won’t please all of the people all of the time, understand that an occasional bad review will... Sat, 08 Apr 2017 01:02:22 -0500 PR is your fire department Public relations departments are like fire departments. PR folks would much rather prevent your organizational fire than put it out. So, why is it that PR is almost always brought in after a crisis occurs? It’s simple. Many executives only see PR playing a role in generating earned media or planning events. While it is that; it’s so much more.R is often underestimated until it is needed to manage a crisis – or ‘put out a fire.’ The best practice for any business is... Sat, 01 Apr 2017 01:49:47 -0500 Business survival lessons from Palm ~Editor’s Note: This is part two in a two-part series. When Palm Computing was in its heyday, many analysts thought they couldn’t be beaten. They had technology coveted by the market and an internal culture – dubbed Zen of Palm – which employees described as the best they’d ever experienced. It was a culture oozing with camaraderie, respect, collaboration and support. The biggest fear of leadership wasn’t that they’d lose their position in the... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 00:35:44 -0500 What is your team's conversational capacity? ~Editor's Note: This is part one in a two-part series. The secret to a successful sales team -- or any type of team for that matter -- is in their ability to perform when the pressure is on. That can only happen when the team is able to have open, non-defensive dialogue about tough issues. It makes all the difference between success or failure, and there are numerous examples of it in corporate America that prove just that. Craig Weber, in his book Conversational Capacity, defines a... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:08:00 -0500 Change-receptive cultures are winning As I reflect over the companies large and small that I have had the privilege to partner with over the past decade, there is a consistent theme across those who have consistently improved and grown. That common thread is a culture of receptivity to change that permeates from senior most leadership to the front line. Recruiting strategies are focused on it, and reward systems are based on it. These nimble companies realize that the ability for a company to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:36:58 -0600 The art and science of E-commerce sales The secret to inspiring visitors to purchase from your e-commerce platform is equal parts art and science. The science is your technology – how the e-commerce platform functions. Continuous improvements in functionality on your site are necessary to meet the growing demands of consumers. Beyond an e-commerce platform that works, consumers expect real-time inventory updates of available products. They count on the ability to filter products by several user-friendly criteria. If... Sat, 04 Mar 2017 01:04:16 -0600