How would Walt Disney Market in 2009 – in a down economy? Harvard Review writer John Sviokla provides 6 points worth noting. Marketing is one of the first things to be cut when sales are down, but if you’re in sales, you can’t afford to let this happen. If nothing else, market your own brand – keeping your message in front of those with spending power. If your offering makes sense, your sales will survive down times. Here is a quick summary (6 points from Sviokla with some of my own commentary to apply this to our business – high tech sales):
- 1. Leverage stories – people read stories, Chip and Dan Heath (Authors of Made to Stick) point to stories as one key to “Making it Stick! And Bill Whitley’s recent sales book – Art of the Rainmaker explains how to build your own “Client attraction story.” As a side, Bill and I are working together on building my attraction story; something I am extremely excited about. Check out his book on Amazon.com.
- 2. Be Creative with Technology – My opinion, brute force cold calling is great practice in handling rejection, and people do need to learn to grab the attention of asset owners without an in-person meeting; however, successful branding requires the use of technology. If you can’t communicate through all types of media, you may be missing the boat. Use Webex, podcast, blogs, e-letters, self publishing, article servers, Idea Letters ®, etc.
- 3. Message Coordination – this is key. Setting up warm calls with webinars, e-letters, Idea Letters ®, etc. makes prospecting much easier. Coordinate marketing events that build the messaging across various forms of media – this is easy to do with the tools now available to us. Learn to use them.
- 4. Innovate – step out and try new things. I am getting ready to do one of my first training classes via TelePresence. This should be fun! Be creative with messaging, technology, etc.
- 5. Uniqueness – Selling technology is not new, and building a unique brand is becoming more difficult. I recently worked with a company that has taken Security Technology to a new level, focusing on smaller banks, handling all the compliance red tape for them, and providing the 24/7 security oversight required to meet SEC and GLBA regulations. Anyone can sell firewalls, so they’ve taken their business to a new level.
- 6. Stay on the Message – in other words FOCUS. In a recent podcast I quoted Montoya, author of The Personal Branding Phenomenon. He says, It’s tempting to diversify, and in some cases product sets are too narrow; however, your message and value must be focused to deliver instant recall (paraphrased). A watered down message won’t be remembered.
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