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This Just May Be Your Biggest Growth Opportunity
On Sept 18th Ingram Micro invited me to to present a security update to resellers. This is one of the most important messages you’ll see this year as you consider what to do to prepare for 2016. Don’t let the Q4 rush keep you from doing some serious planning. The next 5 years of your business depend on it!
Replay the webinar right here (CLICK). << Access the webinar replay now…
- Don’t forget, Ingram Micro, along with numerous security manufacturers including Websense, Bit9, Cisco, Fortinet, and more, are offering free seats from my Security Sales Mastery Program! You can contact my team through this blog to find out if you’re business qualifies for these free seats.
- Both Check Point Enterprise and Check Point SMB resellers may also qualify for Check Point Sponsored seats in the Security Sales Mastery Program – Contact us through this blog if you are a reseller, or are considering Check Point as a partner.
- HIPAA Compliance! Do you work with businesses that must become and maintain HIPAA Compliance? This may seem out or reach, but it’s not. If you’re interested in learning how you can build a strong HIPAA practice, contact my team. We have recently partnered with The Compliancy Group and can help you make the jump into this lucrative market!
- Marketing Events Are More Successful Than Ever! Next Wednesday I will be presenting to 30 business leaders in the Mid Atlantic Area. The sponsor, a local reseller, was able to attract 30 business leaders in about 4 weeks using our Marketing Success Kit.
© 2015, David Stelzl
This week I’ve had the opportunity to work with several clients in person and through my coaching program on building their event marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter what size company you call on, or what verticals you might be focused on, mastering this process will help you take your business to the next level…rethink your marketing strategy for 2013!
0. Don’t let the irritated, over-worked executive frustrate you or stifle your marketing plans…
1. Marketing, while considered to be very artsy, is very scientific. Learn what motivates people, what turns them off, what causes them to be judgmental, and what creates open-mindedness.
2. The goal is to gain permission to continue the sales process. Study Seth Godin’s book Permission Marketing for more insight on this. Godin does a great job of explaining why marketing cannot be interruption driven, using mailings and billboard type selling. This fits well with a consultative selling approach. Events like we are describing here are just one step in gaining permission to consult and advise with decision makers.
3. Persuasion is an important concept. I like the definition from our home school curriculum, “Guiding truth around other’s mental road blocks.” Truth implies honest delivery of a client’s situation and your ability to improve it. Roadblocks exist simply because the 95% you call on don’t really understand the issues like you do. Demonstrate a need for risk mitigation or operational efficiency and you’re on your way to helping them.
4. Finally, remember that executives need your input. Don’t shy away from communicating value. Thousands of incompetent sales people have addressed this group in past meetings and phone calls, so don’t be surprised if there is some convincing to do up front. If you have prepared properly, you are doing them a favor by contacting them.
© 2011, David Stelzl
My son asked me the other day, “Daddy, what happens when you run out of people to call?” What a great question for a 15 year old to be asking…this is the problem every sales person has at some point in their career. That’s what marketing is for! But how many companies really have their act together when it comes to marketing? In most cases it is up to the sales person to generate new interest – it would be great if marketing and sales would get together on this…
There are three primary platforms for marketing consultative and high-tech solutions; customer events, one-on-one seminars, and social media. But using any one of these platforms for something other than education builds distrust with the prospects you call on. In other words, effective marketing (in B to B high tech sales) must be founded on education, not hype.
Its through this well-thought-out process that a continuous stream of new names will continue to come through your office giving you a growing source of new people to call.
While I have you here – I wanted to point out that the pizza on the left is one of the best homemade pizzas I’ve ever had! This one comes from the Charlotte North Carolina area where the average pizza consumer is happy with Pizza Hut…however, if you’ve been following my pizza posts from all around the world, you know that I hate Pizza Hut. Christine, one of nieces, was kind enough to make me this pizza last night since my family was traveling (meaning all of the cooks where out). Thanks Christine, it was a real treat!
© David Stelzl
With the right presentation you can sell to hundreds of people at one time. Just this morning I met with nearly a hundred CIOs and executives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Most sales calls target one company, and most lunch-and-learns can hardly be considered sales calls. But in this case we are combining the two to create a more efficient sales effort. How does it work?
First, lunch and learns are generally done by inviting existing IT-level clients. This is a great way to express appreciation to your clients while providing technology updates with the hopes of discovering new projects within the group. In my experience, most of these efforts produce immeasurable success and rarely lead to anything you wouldn’t have found just be staying in contact with your customer base; still, not a bad thing to do for your best customers.
Educational marketing is different. It targets a group of buyers using educational presentation material relevant to the executive audience; people who can buy. It’s like casting a wide net to capture a large group of potential buyers. We market the event much like you would a wedding, including professional looking invitations with an RSVP. It’s “invite only” in order to limit lower level attendance, and generally done over a meal to encourage a networking sort of event. Creating a place for executives to network within their circle makes this type of event work.
The keynote I gave this morning was designed using the marketing concepts I teach and continue to talk and blog about; mainly, knowledge gaps, commitments, interruptions in thinking, and other, to create an Aha! moment. I want my audience sitting their asking themselves, “Are we addressing these issues?” If the issues I bring up are urgent and credible, I can move my audience to the point of believing, it would be foolish not to at least check! Educational content that leads to urgency – followed by an investigation. This process is then used as the discovery aspect of the sales process, which then creates opportunity for remediation or other project efforts. In the case of liability issues, these sales lead to recurring revenue or annuity. In many cases we will motivate seventy-five percent of our audience to move to an assessment, and many of my clients experience up to ninety percent of these moving to projects and managed services.
This is the power of presentation. Every sales person should be capable of delivering this type of program, or perhaps putting this type of event together with an outside speaker and following up. The results far out perform traditional selling efforts.
© 2011, David Stelzl
Social networking is a great marketing tool; no doubt. Marketing events are equally as good…both require precise execution. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to 40 decision makers in Richmond VA. These are largely new prospects – how did we get this audience and what will make tomorrow a success?
- Practice! The sponsoring company and I have done this seven times in the past two and half years. They’ve been coached on the process, practiced it, and know how to execute. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, underscores this point – get a process that works and perfect it. Trying things once and moving from method to method is destined to fail.
- Provide valuable information to your prospects. Product pitches are cheap, and most lunch and learns are just that…a free lunch if you’ll sit with us for an hour and listen to a product pitch. No one likes to tour time-shares with a free night stay, and no one wants to hear about your product. This goes for both manufacturers and resellers. I will not mention product tomorrow…not even once.
- Sponsorship. This event will be professional, held in an upscale establishment, and has been well orchestrated from it’s inception. We plan to succeed in turning attendees into clients, so we’ve made the proper investment. This requires marketing funds (JMF, MOU, Co-op, or whatever your partners call their marketing support money) and support from distributors and manufactures/partners. If you’re partners don’t help with these types of events, consider eliminating the partner. Note: Zenith Infotech is a primary sponsor of this event and to my knowledge, they are the only managed services company with marketing support dollars (correct me if I’m wrong).
- We have an effective follow up program that actually delivers value to the client regardless of whether they buy anything. Because there’s value, we’ll end up building relationships with most of them. Some will have immediate needs, others will return when the need arises.
- This event is invite only. It’s been specifically designed to deliver value to higher level managers and business owners. It won’t be about technology, speeds and feeds, or t-shirt give-aways. Our topic is educational and offers value to those who have responsibility over the success of the business.
Old school marketing programs are out – people want education, knowledge, and understanding. Success means making wise decisions in the coming months and quarters, and that means they need sound advice. Be the best one to give it and you’ll find the relationships will come.
© David Stelzl, 2010