3 hacks for psychological selling

Recently, I met Robert Cialdini at a conference and told him, “Your work has positively impacted my consulting business. Thank you.” He smiled as if it were the first compliment he’d ever heard. “Thank you,” he said and opened up a conversation asking, “What do you do?” We talked for 20 minutes. I doubt that conversation would have happened at a book-signing event or in a security line at the airport. What made it work was the situation.

Befriending the voices that matter most

Who are the influencers in your industry — the voices you seek out for trends and insights that help you shape your go-to-market or product development strategies? If these thought leaders are not employed by competitors, why aren’t you recruiting them to be influencers for your brand?

6 barriers that prevent revenue growth

When sales are flagging or the competition is taking some of a company’s market share, the knee-jerk reaction is to demand a better product from development, hire new salespeople or roll out a new marketing campaign. The first place to start is to ask two important questions: Are you making it too difficult for prospects to buy from you?

Evolve with your customers or get left behind

The only thing constant is change.
We are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day. With all of this noise, it’s becoming harder for companies to differentiate their message from competitors and stay relevant with customers.

Video tops list of marketers’ preferred platforms

Nearly two-thirds of B2B marketers polled by LinkedIn believe that video should be the primary platform of any creators. More than 200 European B2B digital marketers were polled in the UK and Ireland between February and March, and 62 percent saw video as the most important content format. This was followed by email, social media creative and infographics.

Helping small businesses level the playing field

Most small businesses don’t have the kind of money and personnel to quickly win a niche in a flooded market. That’s why having a creative and well-thought-out marketing strategy is critically important. Keeping up with the latest trends should be a vital part of the strategy, because customers appreciate brands that stay relevant and fresh.

5 Secrets to Channel Incentive Success

U.S. companies spend more than $17 billion on channel incentives annually. Distribution channel partners are vital to getting goods and services to market, bt the right program structure is essential to maximizing ROI. Here are five things you need to remember as you develop your channel incentive program.

Content marketing vs. marketing content

Content marketing is distinctly different than marketing content. Until the majority of B2B marketers recognize this, their so-called content marketing efforts will continue to fall short of objectives, says Frank Strong, founder of Sword and the Script Media, an Atlanta-based public relations agency.

Don’t forget the hype for new product launches

Too often, companies spend months or even years developing a new product or service only to come up short on promoting release. Many failed product launches are not a reflection on the quality of the product, but rather the marketing campaign behind it.

Size up sales skills during the hiring process

When hiring new sales reps, past experience is no proof of future performance. However, even if candidates have no formal sales experience, you can take steps during the interview process to evaluate a candidate’s current skill set and true potential, says Jordan Wan, CEO of start-up CloserIQ.

Heavy-handed sales tactics rarely work

The effectiveness of hardball sales tactics may have always been more hype than proven sales strategy, but it’s certainly an ineffective tactic in today’s sales environment, with prospects having access to so much information, says Heather R. Morgan, an economist and founder of Salesfolk, a provider of outbound email templates.

Perks that work

It’s always worthwhile to comb through the annual Fortune 100 “Best Companies to Work For” list to cherry-pick perks and other workplace culture-building ideas from these trend-setters. Promoting from within, tuition assistance, paid time off for charitable work and investing significantly in continued training were common themes among the recognized companies.

Absentee leaders inflict the most damage

The classic image of a bad boss is one who berates, blames and bemoans his team’s performance without offering any guidance on how to turn things around. There is a worse kind of manager, says Scott Gregory in a recent Harvard Business Review article: the absentee manager.

Make use of multiple contacts at prospect companies

“It takes a village to close a deal in this modern age,” says sales consultant Tony Hughes in his new book, “Combo Prospecting.” Hughes emphasizes the importance of “multi-threading” —  establishing numerous contacts across multiple divisions at prospect companies.

Sorry you’re mad —there’s the door

Years ago we had a client in the grocery business with a (not-so) crazy idea: He joked that he wanted to put a machine like an airport metal detector at the entrance to each of his markets that every customer would have to pass through to enter.