Use Video to Create Marketing Magnets

Video might just be the most underused marketing tool sales people have in the toolbox. It’s free, it’s powerful, why not use it?

While the younger population is out making videos of everything from outdoor adventures to embarrassing family episodes, most of us are cranking out form letters and spam-looking emails. Video is a great tool to reach out to new prospects.

Making Video Work For You…

1. Make sure your company supports the use of amateur video. Put some pressure on your company to allow you to create videos for your marketing. For some reason larger resellers and manufacturers have these sales-inhibiting rules that force the sales team members to go through some long bureaucratic nightmare before they can create a YouTube video for a prospect or mass email. This is really silly if you think about it. What’s the difference between creating a video and writing a long sales letter – as far as content? Probably nothing.

2. Use expert interviews to build your list. List building is hard. I know a lot of companies are buying lists, and that’s okay for a start. But moving from a cold purchased list to a list of opt-ins is a whole lot easier when it comes to contacting them. I would much rather call someone who opted-in on a video offer than make a call to someone on a list who doesn’t know me, and who doesn’t want to know me.  This video (above) is a segment from an interview I did with some of my Peak Performers members over an hour discussion on Google+. It was easy to create.  It’s just one of the tools this reseller will use to grab the attention of the people they are targeting.

3. Withhold the Video Until They Opt-In. Rather than just sending out video – the idea is to advertise the video as something worth seeing. I’ve purposely grabbed just a short portion of this to give you an example. The actual interview focuses on the SMB market and security trends. We talk about transformational technologies like BYOD and Cloud, and how these changes will impact security. From here we will go out with a letter/email campaign offering this recording to a list of prospects. We’re basically creating a campaign here.

4. Make it Looks Great. The video was created on YouTube because it’s free. We set up an event using Live Events on YouTube, held a discussion inside the Google Hangouts On Air meeting room (Which automatically records the session), and then edited the downloadable MP4. You can do the edits online if it’s just a matter of clipping it (front and back). Or you can download the MP4, edit it, add music and a splash screen, and upload back into YouTube.  The latter gives you a lot more control over the final – but either way, it’s pretty easy to do. I recommend using iMovie or ScreenFlow on the Mac.  You can add some music if you really want it to look good.

5. Finally, I recommend setting up sequences of email and mailer events. You might go out with the video and then follow up with a special report, or drive toward a live event such as a lunch & learn.  Space things out, send out sets of three emails or post cards, and do it periodically with different topics that will capture your market’s attention.

Any sales person looking to build a territory could be doing this. It’s simple, inexpensive, yet effective. One thing you might need to do is invest in an autoreponsider application. This will help you avoid the delays in getting back to people who opt in. Constant Contact or Get Response are both good options. I personally prefer Get Response, although recently I’ve replaced it with a more powerful application called Infusionsoft.

Give it a try and let me know how it works…

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Do you have my Special Report on Turning Prospects into Customers? If not, get it here (CLICK).

 

IMG_2104What’s your value proposition?

How many times have you been asked, “What do you do?”

It’s a simple question. But the answer may prove more complex than you imagine.  Following is a excerpt from my House & the Cloud Update, where I eventually answer this important question.

 

Consider the following scenario:

You’re attending an association meeting, social gathering, or group event. You meet someone new—perhaps an executive with a large manufacturing company in town. After striking up a conversation, an event organizer indicates he’s ready to begin the meeting, and everyone is asked to be seated. Your new acquaintance quickly asks what your company does. You have only one minute before heading to your seat.

What do you tell him?

Take a moment to write your answer on a sheet of paper. Underneath your answer, write a second sentence that explains the value your organization brings to prospective clients like the one you hypothetically met.

Every day, you meet. But how many of these interactions actually turn into long-term profitable relationships? How often do you have a value proposition that resonates so strongly that your prospect wants to formally meet with you or schedule subsequent meetings? If you’re a manufacturer with significant market share, you may have a brand that gets you in. For resellers, it’s  a different story.

What Makes Your Brand Stand Out?

As a reseller, brand is associated with your product offerings. Perhaps you sell Dell, HP, Cisco or some other globally recognized technology. But in the eyes of a CIO, there are thousands of companies just like yours. When this happens, price becomes your differentiation—and it will eventually destroy your company if your business model was built like those of most resellers: high-touch salespeople supported by highly trained presales engineers or consultants. It’s an expensive model to run, unless you have a way to leverage all of that high-touch talent to close complex, margin-rich deals.

Selling commodity products does not offer a compelling differentiation story, unless it’s based on price and delivery—much the same way wholesale distribution is modeled. Consider the trends in nontechnical industries like supermarkets, hotel chains and bookstores. These industries are investing in experience to change the way people shop. Customers no longer want to shop in a basic grocery store. Instead, they demand cafés, prepared foods, banking services and a florist…

In Chapter One of My House & the Cloud Update I go on to show that…  Blog Subscribe Ad

Security has the power to transform your company’s offerings, if approached correctly. It’s not a product and everyone needs it…resellers who are spending their JMF money and other marketing funds on branding are wasting their money.  You’ll never have enough money to build the household name brand – unless you’re one of those rare multi-billion dollar resellers.  For the average reseller – focus on direct marketing efforts, and develop the intellectual capital to be great in your focus area. Market like crazy to attract the local businesses through direct marketing efforts, and demonstrate your expertise in the follow up process…

For more on this, look for my coming announcements when the book is finally in print!

© 2014, David Stelzl

While you are waiting – make sure you have my recently published special report on turning prospects into customers!

The Average Security Sale Is A Commodity Sale Too

Security is always in the news, and generally ranked high on the company initiatives list.

For ten years I’ve been encouraging resellers to put more focus on security – urgent security issues just seem to move people to buy faster than anything else…

Is SECURITY a good place to put more focus?

Most of the sales reps I know sell security appliances, but avoid higher-end security sales—a truism for both the manufacturer and reseller sides. Gross profits tend to be incremental and relatively low. Something obviously isn’t working on the reseller side.

Get The House & the Cloud – The eBook on Mastering the Security Sale.

Security Appliances Lead to Small Commissions

If you sell security appliances, you’ve likely noticed stiff competition can delay a sale by 9 or more months. You may be able to take your family out for a fast-food meal with your commission check,  depending on your brand name, the brands you carry as a reseller and your product lines’ margins. You’re frequently asked to place an evaluation product onsite, using free installation services to get it up and running. Either way, the manufacturer claims the product installs “in minutes,” so there really isn’t much consulting business for this product, anyway. This hurts both the manufacturer (on the channel development side) and the reseller, who lives on gross profit. You conclude this may not be the right place to focus.

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Early in my career I was a security presales consultant…whenever security came up in a sales meeting they would immediately call me. But too often the resulting meeting would turn into a feature/function battle over appliance brands. Months of debate to close a small appliance sale.

How to Multiply Your Commissions

The House & the Cloud – 2nd edition is a book of hope…and it’s almost ready for print. These issues are a symptom of treating security as a point product.

By the end of my book I hope you’ll understand why every client has a security need—and, by fulfilling this need, you can produce significant profits, regardless of your technology niche or the market you’re calling upon.  In my opinion, when security is approached correctly, it becomes highly profitable, a powerful door opener, and something that is definitely not a commodity sale.

On a recent trip to Chicago, I ran into Steve, an alumnus from one of my Making Money w/ Security workshops. When I say him, I could tell he was happy to see me. He simply said: “I just turned an 80K opportunity into an 800K sale using the principles you taught us in your security workshop!” Many of these principles are in the first edition…

It’s not hard to sell security, but it does require a different approach—one you may not be used to taking. In the end, The House & the Cloud will give you a winning strategy for selling virtually any product or service by tying it to security.

Get the first edition Free right here – and I’ll be sure to notify you when the next edition is finally printed!

Send me the First Edition of The House & the Cloud!

© 2014, David Stelzl

 

P.S.  Learn the Secret of Turning Prospects into Customers – get my latest Special Report Free (CLICK).

 

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How to Convert Prospects to Customers…

This is the big issue.  Sales managers constantly ask me, “How can I find more great  sales people?” While sales people continue to tell me, “Our company needs some marketing to attract new prospects.” Then I hear from marketing (speaking of their sales team), “They don’t use our stuff.”

Everyone’s pointing the finger – because technology sales, for the reseller, is getting harder every year, and no one has a solution.

Yesterday I addressed this issue on a Nationwide webinar sponsored and hosted by Cisco Systems, w/ Brian Avery. I covered three important points.

1. Marketing Has to Change!

It’s a new concept, but I believe sales people have to become marketing people. Reseller businesses don’t have full time people working in marketing who are able to attract a constant stream of new customers. Most of the marketing people are doing all they can to keep up with event planning, marcom, and marketing administration such as keeping up with business cards. Demand generation is clearly a different set of skills and one you won’t find in most technology reseller businesses.

I see a lot of resellers (VARS) spending time and money on branding exercises.  This is a total waste of time in my opinion. It won’t lead to one single sale for you. Instead, you need a direct marketing system that reaches out to the masses and attracts qualified buyers. Direct marketing and branding are totally different animals. Direct marketing reaches out systematically, using email, landing pages, auto responders, webinars, and marketing events. When done right, it’s measurable in it’s effectiveness, and can be tested and refined.

It’s the art of getting the right message to the right person, at the right time. And it results in a next step that is also measurable and well defined. In our session I explored the need to focus on a specific group, with a well crafted message designed for that group, and the right combination of media to reach that group.

I showed, in just a few minutes, how the average sales rep can apply a set of easy access online tools to build their own list building campaigns to attract buyers. Which can then be moved into a systematic sales approach.

2. Making the Conversion

The next step is making the conversion from FREE to FEE.  It would be nice if I could take a cold list from Hart Hanks, call them, get them on the phone, and convince them to take a meeting that would then lead to a sale. If you’re on that course, you’re destined to fail. It won’t work. There are thousands of people just like you doing the same thing. You might have a good message and you might be a skilled professional, but standing out in the masses of millions of other sales reps with the same skill just won’t cut it.

I proposed several ways to get your message out there. I talked some about the proper use of social media – which in most cases is not really working for you – but it can. I talked about deliberate content, designed to reinforce your message and drive the prospect along a specific path – toward an event. You can make that event call one-on-one, but that leads to long hours and lots of windshield time. The alternative is to set up lunch & learns using a process I laid out in some detail in my Special Report on Converting Prospects to Customers (Get it right here).

A Lunch & Learn meeting set up the right way can attract buyers – not IT. You’re probably inviting the managers, but in most cases it’s the IT, or what one channel manager recently called, The Hot Dog Eaters, that are attending. If that’s the case, I understand. But it’s not because executives wont attend. It’s your message. The wrong marketing approach will lead to the wrong audience every time. Get your message right and you’ll have decision makers in your next event.

3 . You Need Justification To Make a Full Conversion

Justification requires more than an unsolicited proposal. In fact, the conversion begins at the event. If your event doesn’t have a conversion process built into it – you’re wasting your time and money. Marketing events aren’t really marketing events when you refuse to move your guests toward some next step.

Now, I understand you don’t want to sound like a used car salesman here – however, the right message can move people to buy. We see this all the time when a motivational speaker gets on stage. More often than not, people are out buying their books and high dollar coaching programs right after the speaker speaks. There’s nothing “Used-Car-Salesman-Like” about this. It’s the natural result of a motivational message that shows people a true need – which is exactly what your event message should sound like. Do this and you’ll have the first step to conversion done.

The next step is using some type of offering in your event that gives you access to the key influencers. For years I thought IT people were influencers. In some ways they are, but more often than not, they’re blockers or neutral. The real influencers sit in the departments that use technology to make money for the company. If you want to see the power of influence, show a loan officer how he can process twice as many loans with a new application, and he’ll be influencing in ways you never imagined.

Get my 8 page Special Report on Making this Conversion.  You can get a copy right here (CLICK).

 

© 2014, David Stelzl

 

Marketing Success is a Formula

Not an Event…

My last three posts were videos describing different aspects of Marketing Events and marketing success. This Thursday I will be speaking to Cisco partners on how to Turn Prospects into Customers. That’s exactly what a marketing event is.  If you sell Cisco, you can sign up and join us online right here: (CLICK). - Thursday, July 17th, 9:30 AM ET.

Also, make sure you have my latest Special Report on Turning Prospects Into Clients…this special report offers some great insights on reaching out to qualified buyers and offering them a message that will move them to buy. Click Here To Get Your Copy!

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. You can check out the Making Money w/ Security Boot Camp Right Here! (Click)

 

You can’t close without justification…this short video explains how justification happens – when this doesn’t take place, the sale stalls or dies…

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Make sure you have my newly published special report – Turning Prospects into Customers! (CLICK to Get It Now).

What Message Works Best With Execs?

Having conducted dozens of lunch & learns over the past 10 years I can tell you what message works every time…there’s no question.  When I use the principles I laid out in The Event Marketing Success Kit – at least 50% of the the audience moves to the next step.  Here’s a quick refresher:

 

Also, make sure you have my recent report on getting more customers!  It’s free…

http://morecustomers.stelzl.us/specialreport

 

© 2014, David Stelzl