Entries from November 2008 ↓

Thanksgiving sales special

Sales ThanksgivingThis time of year represents a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for.  In the spirit of our U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, here are five things that I’m thankful for – from a sales point of view anyway.

I’m thankful

  1. that my competition is lazy and follows the “show up and throw up” strategy.
  2. that my customers view me as an expert in my field and come to me for advice – even on things I don’t sell.
  3. for all the technological advances that allow me to have an easy to search database of my customers and prospects.
  4. that I had the courage to jump from engineering into sales.
  5. for all the readers of this blog.

Please feel free to add to my list and have a splendid holiday.

Exciting business announcement

Open for businessI try really, really hard not to mix personal sales efforts in with the posts (right now it’s below 1%) but I’m so excited about this new venture I’m involved in that I just can’t contain myself.  The success of this EngineersCanSell site has really opened some exciting new doors for me – thank you all for that.

I’ve joined forces with a few dynamite design and marketing partners to form aCreativeSource.com.  We are now in a position to offer services across all sales and marketing functions.  Our specialty is blending marketing and sales strategies in a cost effective manner.

As a new entity, we’ve already completed jobs ranging from designing logos, marketing brochures, and Web sites to developing full blown marketing and sales plans to executing a survey and cold call strategy to develop high quality prospect lists.

Oh, the point of this post.  Please check out our new site at http://aCreativeSource.com and if you have a need for our service and are one of the first ten people to mention “EngineersCanSell”, we’re offering 20% off in exchange for a testimonial.

I’ll warn you that I may have another exciting announcement in the months ahead!

Update: This offer has filled up and is now closed – thanks for the interest.

Should I use viral marketing?

In the previous post, we talked about exactly what viral marketing means.  That begs the question “Should I use viral marketing?”

This is an area that I am quite passionate about and think that we, as engineers, can gain a competitive advantage.  You need to tread lightly, however.

Depending on what you’re selling, a lot of your customers will look at you like you have two heads if you tell them that they should be following your every move on Twitter.  You run the real risk of alienating these folks – I talk from experience here.  I used to try to keep my marketing and sales methods on the cutting edge of social technology.  I’ve learned over the past few years that my customer base runs literally about two-years behind that curve, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

My point is that you need to know where your customers stand in this arena before you pummel them with zany invites and pitches.  You don’t want to try to sell an Xbox game to someone that is still using Atari.

Start small with simple things like newsletters and blogs and see how your base reacts.  Educate them as you bring them along the technology curve and you’ll be seen as an expert in two fields, and that can never be a bad thing.

What is viral marketing?

Happy Election Day everyone!  I fought my instincts and followed my peers’ advice and stayed away from talking politics and comparing the two campaign’s selling style.  I now regret that decision and wish I had put up some posts about how each campaign approaches selling their candidate.  I was worried about offending 1/2 of my audience.  In retrospect, I think I underestimated your understanding that I would be talking about selling and not politics (you can get that type of input from several other thousand blogs if you want it).  At any rate, we must march on – see me in four years.

I’ve gotten a few emails over the past several months asking exactly what viral marketing is.

I typically explain what it is and how it can help your sales efforts.  I’m finding an interesting pattern where the sales engineers get the concept and want to develop a campaign but upper management isn’t on-board.

We’ve all heard the term ‘viral’ before but it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to explain – until now.  The folks at VM People created this awesome video that we can all understand.

It walks you through the process of using viral marketing and selling to sell more soap.  The main point is to give your product advocates the tools and motivation to help you sell.  Pretty cool stuff.