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4 Steps To Create A Perfect Marketing Strategy

The 4-step marketing strategy - How to stand out from your competition in the minds of your ideal customer  

With the current obsession around marketing tactics, it has become increasingly harder to figure out the best marketing strategy for your business.

From hacks and quick fixes to the next big idea and new trending platforms. It is harder than ever to decide the right direction for your marketing. 

In order to help alleviate some of the marketing confusion, I’ve created a definitive outline for you in this post, 4 concrete steps to the perfect marketing strategy. You can use this article to help you create a clear marketing message, direction, and plan.

The 4 steps needed to create a perfect marketing strategy in 2022;

Want to get all the worksheets you need to complete your perfect strategy?


Customer Focus

First, you need to narrow your focus to somewhere around the top 20% of your clients. This doesn't necessarily mean that you chuck the other 80%, but experience tells me that if you are working with customers and clients today, some percentage of them are not profitable for your business. 

The majority of your customers are actually detractors from your business because they didn't have the right problem or they didn't have the right business situation for your product to solve. 

Think about your client base today and rank them into groups by profitability with your most profitable customers at the top. You want to think in terms of profitability because profitability is linked to an ideal client fit.

profit-referrlas-quadrant-chart

Typically a client is a profitable client because they received value, they had a great experience, their problem was solved, and they referred your product to others. If you understand who your profitable clients are you can start to do two things;

First, you can generate more business from that top 20% of customers because that top 20% want to do more business with you. It is far easier and less costly to continue to do business with people who already trust you vs trying to gain a new person's trust. If you focus your efforts on creating an amazing experience for those clients who already trust, get value, and are referring you to others. You could actually build our business around serving and attracting them and no one else. 

Second, if you know who they are and what brought them to you, you can begin to build the ideal customer persona for your business based on historical data and profitability. Then you can design your marketing around that customer persona and attract more of the ideal customer, more of the top 20%.

When building your customer persona you want to organize your customer base into three customer groups; must-have, nice-to-have, and ideal.

For example, a remodeling contractor must-have customers who own a home that they want to remodel. Imagine that same remodeling contractor works with his wife who is an interior designer. Now customers who are looking to remodel and redesign their home go in their nice-to-have bucket. Next, that husband and wife decide they want to focus the business on high-quality materials and modern home design. Now their ideal customer owns a home they want to remodel and redesign with a modern theme and is in the top 10% income bracket.

Ask yourself, what are those ideal customers for you? Who are your must-haves, nice-to-have, and ideal customers? My ideal customer workbook contains the same tools and worksheets Duct Tape Marketing uses to create our ideal customers. 

Ideal-customer-behavior-worksheet

Ideal Customer Behavior worksheet from "How To Create The Ultimate Marketing Strategy" workbook

Solve the problem

Now that you know who your ideal customer is, the next step in creating the perfect marketing strategy is to figure out what problem you are actually solving for your customers. 

The truth is, nobody wants what you sell. They just want their problem solved. So instead of just selling a product, communicate to them that you understand and that you get their problem. Help them see that your product or service is the solution to their problem. That is when they will start to listen to you and begin to trust you. 

So how do you do this?  

- You create a core message that promises to solve that problem. 


For example, public universities have a problem. In many cases, their funding is dictated by their graduation rates. How many students graduate is directly correlated to the funding that universities receive and therefore what they must charge for tuition. They are constantly looking for ways to curb tuition rates. So we have a client that provides scheduling software for universities. We went and talked to the universities that used this company's software. They confirmed that the software worked well, but what they really loved was the great data and analytics the software provided. It allowed for more efficient scheduling and ultimately made tuition more affordable. We discovered that this software company makes great software, but they also make tuition more affordable. Tuition cost was the differentiator, the problem that they were solving.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, how do I do this for my company? How do I know the problem I am solving? What you need to do is get on the phone or in-person and talk to your ideal clients and ask them; how did you find us in the first place, what made you hire us, why did you stick with us? 

Those are some questions you can start with, but be sure to go deeper in your line of questioning. Have your customers go into detail with their answers. Don’t just ask, “Were you happy with my service?” Instead ask, “Can you tell me a specific time when we provided good service and what we did to make it such a positive experience?”

After enough of these informational interviews, you are going to start hearing themes that are addressing the real problems that you solve. 

Another great resource is Google reviews. But instead of just paying attention to five-star reviews, read the actual reviews line by line. When people voluntarily turn to a third party like Google and leave a glowing review it is an indicator that they have been thoroughly impressed. You have exceeded their expectations. You have solved their problem. 

What is the real problem that you are solving? That is what you need to uncover. And once you know it needs to be what you lead with for all of your messaging, it is your core message.

strategy forms

Create an end-to-end customer journey

A lot of people talk about the customer journey like it's a funnel. As if we create demand through this funnel. We shove them through this funnel process, they pop them out the other side, and voila that's the end of the journey. Well, that is not at all true, at least not anymore.

In just the last five years, marketing has undergone many changes. The thing that has changed the most about marketing is how people choose to become customers. That marketing funnel and that linear path no longer exist. The customer journey today is holistic and nonlinear. You no longer see an advertisement for a product, visit the store, and purchase that product. The steps between awareness and purchase are diverse and varied and oftentimes intertwined. People make decisions about the products and the services that they buy out of our direct control. Marketing today is less about demand and more about organizing behavior. 

This obsession with funnels and funnel hacking and tactics is really driving a lot of challenges for small businesses. First and foremost, we have to understand how to guide people on the journey that they want to go on. 

I know it is hard to keep up when it seems like there's some new thing that we have to do as marketers every single week. There is so much we have to do across so many platforms just to stay relevant, look at the data.

61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact the local business if they have a mobile-friendly website. So we've gotta really look at our websites and all these different devices.
87% of potential customers won't consider a business with low ratings. Now there are all these sites where people are able to go and leave reviews about our brand. And we have no control over that narrative.  
64% of consumers say watching a video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision. So not only do we have to be on all of these channels. Now we have to mold all of our content to the exact same way or to the specifications and algorithms of the platform of the month.
92% of consumers will visit a brand's website for the first time, for reasons other than making a purchase. Our website is not there to just take orders. It provides a service as well.

So I get the obsession with tactics and channels, but with this constantly changing landscape how can you possibly stay up to date? The answer lies in rethinking the customer journey. 

86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience and 83% of business owners claim their main source of new business is referrals. These stats prove that the customer journey does not end at the point of sale. There is profitability in focusing on what happens after somebody becomes a customer.

This leads me to the third and linchpin element of the perfect marketing strategy; the marketing hourglass. 

If you think about the hourglass shape the top of the hourglass borrows from the traditional sales funnel idea. After all, you have to get some percentage of the market out there to know about you and an even smaller percentage to realize that they are an ideal client for your business.

For so many businesses, that's where it stops right at the throat of the hourglass. But with the marketing hourglass, the excitement really needs to happen again, after the sale. 

The marketing hourglass consists of seven stages or behaviors. The seven stages are; know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer.  

marketing-hourglass-journey

The Marketing Hourglass - Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, Refer

The first three stages are where you create the relationship. By guiding people through these stages, showing up, educating them, and building trust. That's how you attract your ideal customer and show people why they should pay a premium to do business with you.

Know

If we have a problem we want to know who's out there. What are the answers? What are the solutions? 

We run advertising and we show up. When somebody goes out and searches we have our content out there. We are participating in social media and building communities.

And then once we land on somebody, what do we do? We immediately go to their website and investigate. We assess if the site looks out of date or tacky. It might load really slowly or the forms might not work. All of those small moments contribute to our larger assessment of whether we like the company or not.  And we ask ourselves, is this a company that can solve my problem? Do I think they have the answer? All of these are things we take into account when moving people past that first impression threshold. 

Trust

Next comes trust. We start looking for visual cues. We start asking ourselves, who else trusts them? Who else have they delivered results to? We start to look for familiar logos and referrals from companies we know. Do I see people who are really smart and reputable? Do I see the company being featured in publications? Is there social proof? Are there reviews? Are they working with people that I know? And most importantly, are they working with people like me, people that have the same problem as me? 

The next two stages, try and buy, build the bridge for long-term success. Scaling and growing a business with your ideal customers does not happen after you get the customer, it happens at these two stages. 

Try

The try stage does not just include a 30-day free trial offer. It is much bigger than that. Every time a potential customer picks up the phone and calls your business they are given a trial run of what it might be like to work with you. So what does this stage look like for your business? What is your inbound caller process and what trials do you offer? Do you offer a free quote, free evaluation, or introduction call? Do you provide forms or worksheets for them to try? What are you giving them that allows them to try before they buy? If you can offer value in your free or low-cost options people will be more likely to invest their money in you because they have seen what you can deliver already. 

Buy

Next is buy or how the transaction happens. Most of us have been let down at some point when we've bought. Buyer's remorse is a real thing. We want the buying experience to be just as great as all the other experiences leading up to it. 

So you have to think about how you deliver your product? Do you have onboarding? Do you have an orientation? Can you communicate how you're going to communicate? What is the actual content?

Content is not just created to get an order or customer. In fact, one of the best uses of content is after the sale to teach people what they purchased, show them how to get more value, show them what else you sell. 

The final two stages of the marketing hourglass lead to scalability. Learn to scale with your clients, as opposed to constantly relying on going out and getting more clients. 

Retention

What does your retention process look like? Are you continuing to educate? Do you have special offers for existing clients? Are you cross-promoting? If you focus on discovering what else they need and consistently delivering value even after the sale those customers will stick with you.

Refer

Texas Tech just surveyed 2,000 consumers and 86% of them said they had a business they loved so much that they would happily refer. But only 29% said that they actually made that referral. So maybe there's some money in closing that over 50% gap of those customers of ours that love us, but never tell anybody about us.  

What are you doing to stay top of mind with your clients? What are you doing to nurture those champion clients? There is a huge amount of business in co-marketing and developing strategic partners outside of your client base. 

These all have to be intentional processes that you build into your overall marketing plan. Marketing doesn't stop after running a couple of Facebook ads and delivering some free content. It is the entire process. It is the entire end-to-end customer journey. If you really want to build momentum, if you really wanna scale your business, then marketing doesn't end until someone else is telling other people about your business.  

marketing strategy

Content 

The last stage in creating the perfect marketing strategy for your business is content. Are you tired of constantly creating and delivering new content? What if I told you that you did not have to.  

So many people, like myself, stood up on stages 10 years ago and said, content is king and everybody believed it. The content was like air, you needed it to survive. You could not play in the marketing game without a fair amount of content or a real focus on content. 

People started to try to create so much content, so quickly that there was just a content dump without any real strategic goals. Content is not a tactic. It is the voice of strategy. 

Content is not just blog posts. Your emails, videos, case studies, referral events, what you do and say when networking; it is all content. And content needs to be focused on guiding people through each of the stages of your marketing hourglass. Content is a tremendous lever to help you guide people through the stages. 

Landing pages, blog posts, core web pages, free tools. These are the types of content that people are going to consume when they're doing initial research and getting to know your business.  

content-strategy-quote

Next, when they go to your website what happens? Are there tip sheets or how-to videos? With this type of content, they will decide if they like you and if you know what you are talking about. 

Then in the trust category, the content is a little more segmented. Your customer is starting to ask themselves if you understand what their needs are? The content strategy here is case studies, webinars, comparison guides, and engagement. 

 The next question they will ask is, is there something I can try? Do you offer communities to join, free assessments, or samples as part of your content strategy?

 At the buying stage do you have content created for demos, audits, FAQs? 

 When it comes to producing content for the repeat stage, how do you go about it? What do your social media content, cross-promotion, and user roadmaps look like?

Last but not least, your referral content includes reviews, referral training, strategic partnerships, and co-marketing among others. Ask yourselves where are you leading your customers after they purchase? 

Each one of these stages has a need for a specific type of content. As a marketer, you need to consider every piece of your content that you're thinking about producing and make sure it focuses on a stage of your end-to-end customer journey. Your content will become the voice of your strategy. Your content will be useful instead of just another tactic. 

Duct Tape Marketing is a big part of my firm's success! First it was the books, then an assessment and then a long-term coaching relationship. I would not be where I am today without their insights and focused counsel. Most importantly they are just a pleasure to work with and I wouldn't hesitate engaging them. 

Jack McGuinness

Relationship Imapct

"Working with Sara and the Duct Tape Marketing team has been beyond what I could have hoped for! As a doctor who is very busy dealing with patients and trying to run a business, I can't say how much I appreciate how organized, efficient, and goal-specific they are. I truly had NO idea what went into building a brand, a website, and marketing a business.

Dr. Elizabeth Turner

Fox Point Dental

5 The New Rules of Sales and Service

Marketing Podcast with David Meerman Scott

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is my friend David Meerman Scott, author of the longstanding best seller New Rules of Marketing and PR and the more recent, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business

Scott and I have been closely aligned since our first books on marketing came out in 2007 so it’s no surprise that we are both back with book on sales and selling around the same time.

In our conversation for the show Scott confirms a theme I’ve been promoting for some time now and I think it’s the driving force in most of conversation around what’s being called “modern selling.” Sales and marketing have changed because buying has changed![Tweet “Sales and marketing have changed because buying has changed!”]

When you fully grasp that idea it’s not hard to understand why sales today looks a lot like useful marketing.

Check out Scott’s amazing 100+ slides below to get a full read on his new book.

3 We Don’t Need More Relationships

Okay, I know that title of this post may seem like a harsh way to make a point, but things have changed a bit.

There was a time when marketing was about creating the message and sales was all about creating relationships – you got to know a prospect, maybe a lunch, then golf and now we can talk business.

But, who has time for that kind of thing anymore. I mean, now we’ve got 25,439 Twitter relationships we have to get to and please, you just left another voice mail?

I’m not saying that human contact and relationship building isn’t essential, I’m saying that things have flipped around to a large extent.

Make a business case first

Today you must prove your value, make a business case for why a prospect should take your call, email or connection request, before you earn the permission to go deeper.

Test this out – did you wake up today with the hope that you would meet a new entrepreneur or salesperson hoping to come tell you about their products. I’m guessing no, but you may have woken up today and thought, “I sure need to figure out how to get more from my marketing efforts,” or something of that sort.

So now you might actually be receptive to an article written by someone that addresses that very subject. And upon reading that article you might start thinking – “I wonder what it would be like if this person consulted with our business?”

Perhaps your next move might be to Google the author of that piece and jump on over to LinkedIn to see what others are saying about her.

You may indeed move to email to invite her to answer a specific question you have and that may very well lead to a meeting where you walk through a case study of a business just like yours getting the precise result you’re hoping for.

Then a relationship can happen

At this point you may be convinced that this person has the experience and talent to help your meet your objectives.

Once that conclusion is drawn you may become very interested in a full blown relationship where other elements of your business are on the table, things unrelated to your business are discussed and ultimately your hopes and dreams can be explored.

Maybe that point in a relationship never forms, but the experience and relationship that grows from that experience is what makes you stay and what gets you talking.

Relationships for relationship sake or, worse, as a tool to convince someone to buy from you, are a thing of the past and have little place in a world driven by technology connection points.

You must work to earn the opportunity to connect by providing business value early on. You must figure out how to connect others, share insights, prove that time spent with you will be worth it.

I know that sounds harsh, but I believe it’s a reality. Unless and until you build such a strong personal brand that people want to spend time with you for the sake of doing so, you need to think in terms of delivering value first and building relationship as a product of that.

Personal relationships in business matter, perhaps as much as ever, but they come as a result of building trust by making a solid business case first.

15 Why Teaching Is Such a Sexy Way to Sell

Okay, I’ll admit it, I was trying to get your attention with the inclusion of the word sexy in the title of this post, but before you cry foul, sexy as an adjective simply means desirable, interesting, appealing – all good things when it comes to attracting clients.

Teaching Sells

photo credit: theirhistory via photopin cc

Everyone knows that today you must educate if you want to build trust. But, may I suggest that teaching what you know how to do is also a powerful way to go beyond trust to closing more deals.

I’m not simply suggesting that you demonstrate your expertise. I’m talking about going to the point where you show someone, anyone, precisely how you do what you do.

Now, some might propose that this is a sure way to put yourself out of business. I mean, if you show someone how you do your magic tricks, they won’t need you.

Here’s the deal. Some people may actually take the information you share and figure they can take the DIY path, but I’m guessing those folks aren’t your ideal prospect anyway.

What I know is that some other people will conclude that you actually do know what you’re talking about and further, what you just explained is a whole lot harder than they imagined and would you please now charge them a premium to do it for them.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is sexy!

I have a client who came to this brilliant conclusion in this manner.

She is a photographer that specializes in taking infant and child portraits and candids.

Her competition is every other photographer and every parent with an $800 camera. Let’s just say there’s some significant price pressure in this arena.

So what does she do?

She starts holding free classes to teach all of those parents with their new $800 cameras how to take better pictures of their babies.

What, you say, that makes no sense at all.

Turns out the demand for this type of teaching is huge and she fills up class after class.

But, what you might not have guessed is that about 30% of the participants also hire her to take photos of junior for her full studio price.

Also turns out people had no idea how hard it is to take really awesome pictures and now the only person they will trust to take really awesome pictures of their child is my photographer client.

Oh, and now she charges for the classes too and still generates significant business from students.

So, what can you teach that will make your business more desirable, interesting, and appealing.

See, it turns out teaching is a pretty sexy way to sell.

3 Success Is Often Mostly About Context

This post and podcast are drawn from Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar on sale globally May 15th.

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

Duct Tape Selling

Image credit: Ellen Jantsch

On a cold January morning in 2007, a hidden video camera captured thousands of commuters simply walking past violinist Joshua Bell as he played some of the most complex music ever written, on an extremely valuable Stradivarius violin. Most didn’t seem to notice the difference between Bell’s virtuosity and the skill of an everyday subway musician.

Just days before, and then again after this experiment, Bell performed to sold-out theaters filled with ticket holders willing to pay top dollar and ready to deliver thunderous standing ovations.

In the context of the subway station, ordinary people did not recognize Bell’s genius.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Every idea we have, song we hear, or sales pitch we connect with is filtered through a number of elements, including our mood, the environment, and our unique understanding of the world and our place in it. All of these factors affect the value and importance we place on what we believe in, what we deem worthy of our time, and what we buy.

In the same vein, while sales people’s mastery, skill, or point of view may be important and well thought-out, the context in which their ideas, introductions, and pitches are delivered is equally—or sometimes more— important.

In many ways Duct Tape Selling is about changing the context of how you, as a salesperson, are received and perceived.

So let me ask you this: Are you ready to hone your virtuosity as a sales- person and put it on display in the places where people willingly pay a premium to engage such work or are you content to hang around in the subway hoping for the scraps of interested passersby?

Change Your Context, Change Your Results

In Duct Tape Selling I show you, first, how to reframe your own mindset about what it means to sell in the world today. From there, we look at how to vastly alter the way prospects, customers, and competitors view your professional brand. To accomplish this, you need to think of yourself as a guide in the customer’s buying process rather than an information source, re- search data point, transaction catalyst, or whatever other trendy term people have assigned to the act of selling.

Duct Tape Selling shows you how to change the context of selling by teaching you how to:

  • Ask what you can give your clients instead of asking what they can give you
  • Form and lead an industry group instead of mindlessly joining every one you find
  • Make education-rich sales pitches to rooms packed with engaged potential clients instead of cold-calling prospects
  • Get yourself invited to speak in front of audiences instead of simply attending events
  • Earn the trust to be introduced to referral prospects instead of given leads?Interview industry luminaries instead of simply downloading their podcasts
  • Build a strategic-partner network instead of waiting around to be asked to partner
  • Write for respected industry publications instead of just putting them in your RSS reader

When you reframe any relationship, you often change the way you are heard, received, and perceived. In sales, by reframing the selling process as a journey that you and the client are on together—and that you are guiding him through—you can become a valuable and necessary part of your client’s team.

1 5 Key Ingredients In an Integrated Selling World

The term “integrated marketing” has been with us for many years. I’ve written about it in the classic sense and about how it’s evolved in the digital age as I believe integration is the key to consistency, momentum and systems thinking – all good things.

integrated selling

photo credit: fdecomite via photopin cc

While integration is a concept that is often applied broadly to a companies’ strategic approach, I believe it can and should be applied specifically to the more individual process of sales and selling.

On the organizational level sales and marketing must be fully integrated and the individual salesperson must become adept at using an “integrated selling” approach.

While terms like integrated marketing and integrated selling are often so abused they come to have mixed or confused meaning, the real power of this view is that it allows you to focus on making the sales experience a personalized extension of the marketing experience in a way that benefits the customer – and that’s what is so lacking in the traditional marketing and sales funnel world.

Today the term “social selling” is all the rage, but simply bolting on more tools or looking at social media as some new extension or tactic is as misguided in sales as it was several years ago in marketing. (I can picture the social selling experts lining up as I write this.) It’s all just fodder for creating the best possible customer integrated experience.

Below are five key ingredients to an integrated selling approach

Define ideal leads

Today salespeople must get very good at defining and attracting leads that are ideal or perfectly suited to receive the value of the products and services that offer. This is not a market or even a segment, this is a prospect with the right characteristics, behavior and needs and this may differ from salesperson to salesperson.

Focus on insights

If a salesperson waits to be invited to solve a problem they are essentially going to be asked to bid some work. An integrated approach calls for getting involved in a prospect’s world long before they have identified and quantified their problem. In this approach you’re job is to demonstrate your value rather than sell.

Guide the journey

Sales and marketing today is less about demand creation and conversion and more about organizing buyer behavior – buyers embark on journeys today that have no straight path or funnel. In order to guide a journey like that you have to be prepared to focus on creating awareness, educating and building trust over selling.

Personalize content

You’ve heard it a million time – content is king – but the king has been overfed and is bloated. An integrated selling approach looks for ways to filter, aggregate and personalize content to the level of the individual client or prospect. An individual salesperson may see blogging as a way to build authority but simply extracting and sharing golden nuggets from the companies’ blog, research and white papers is an equally powerful way to use content in sales.

Always be connecting

I know salespeople have been taught, measured and compensated for their ability to close, but superstar salespeople seem to close more business without the focus on selling at all. The master sales skill has always been one of connecting – connecting networks, stakeholders, opportunities, referrals and influence. The toolset available for mining and making connections gets better with each passing day.

Yes, the act of selling has changed dramatically because the act of buying has changed dramatically and business owners, marketers and salespeople alike must adapt their approach accordingly.

My friend Mark Schaefer author of Social Media Explained kindly pointed out in a review of my book Duct Tape Selling that I had indeed written one of the first books on integrated selling. So, if this post resonated – you might have a look – Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar goes on sale May 15th

1 Duct Tape Selling Launches This Week

When my first book, Duct Tape Marketing, finally went on sale I told my readers that it felt like I’d given birth. A number of women were quick to point out that I knew not of which I spoke. I’ve been careful ever since not to make the same mistake, but certainly somewhere in nature there is an appropriate metaphor to describe a book launch. (Please feel free to suggest one.)

Just fair warning – To celebrate the occasion of the launch of Duct Tape Selling I’ll probably be extra promotional this week so hopefully you’ll allow.

Below is a very short book trailer produced by the talented folks at Simplifilm. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll share its message with others.

You can also find lots of other great information about the book and some fun stuff to share by heading over to my Duct Tape Selling Social Objects page.

In addition, I want to share the best of this week’s guest blog posts from the Duct Tape Selling Blog.

3 Simple Elements To Test To Perfect Your Twitter Messaging

When it comes to social media marketing, you can spend all your time studying up on the best methods and practices and still not feel totally confident.

Are you posting at the right times? With the right content? Could your message be connecting better

Enter testing. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Buffer

Tips On Setting Up Your One Question Testimonial Machine

When setting up your one question testimonial, it’s easy to focus on the customers who would refer your product or service to friends and ignore the ones who wouldn’t. But this would be a big mistake. The customers who wouldn’t refer you to a friend are a great source of information to help you find out what went wrong and what you could do better. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Wufoo

Get on the Infographics Movement

Infographics are increasingly being included in a marketers’ arsenal. Deceptively, they look like something made for pre-schoolers with its bright clip art and playful copy. Even so, infographics are increasingly being used in boardrooms, notice boards, blogs and social media. Here’s why you need to get on it too. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Piktochart

Two Secrets to How Small Businesses Can Win More Sales

Selling at a small business isn’t easy. The bigger companies have brands that help them open new doors and win competitive sales. They have strong marketing support. And often they have deep pockets and aren’t afraid to use them. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at RainGroup

Week Two Roundup from the Duct Tape Selling Blog

As part of the lead up to the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling I asked some of the organizations behind the resources I note in the book to contribute guest blog posts. The result of that request has produced some truly awesome content. For the next few weeks I’ll be rounding up the best of the best and amplifying it here. Enjoy!

How to Use Twitter Search to Generate Leads

How to generate leads from twitter searchSales teams are increasingly using social listening to generate leads and find business opportunities. While every social channel plays its role, Twitter is often the best vehicle for this.

Known as the ‘thought’ channel, users are much more likely to speak openly about a problem on Twitter than they would on Linkedin or Facebook. This provides a direct line into the needs, concerns and loyalties of a prospect which, when used right, can be a great foundation for connecting with them.

From the folks at Twilert Read the rest . . .

3 Things You Can Do to Maximize Your Moments In Front of an Audience

How you perform in the fleeting moments when you have the platform to speak in front of others is pivotal to your chances of success. This is true for every industry, but for anyone in sales, it’s at the very heart of the experience. Getting on stage in front of a crowd of potential customers, contacts, and influencers is the best way to build a reputation and become a credible, respected authority. But for some, it can be a bearpit where bad first impressions are left ingrained in the minds of unforgiving audiences.

From the folks at PreziRead the rest . . .

6 Ways to Reap the Benefits of Popups Without Annoying Your Readers

Popups are one of the most controversial tactics in the online-marketing arsenal.

On the one hand, readers sometimes find them intrusive. On the other, they are incredibly effective at engaging your audience and building your (incredibly valuable) email list.

From the folks at PippityRead the rest . . .

The Not So Obvious Reason You Should Have a Podcast for Your Business

There are many blog posts out there on why you should podcast. They cover the typical reasons:

  • Brand Building
  • More time in the day for someone to listen to Audio then read a blog or watch a video
  • Higher level of engagement with your customers / audience
  • Conveys a higher level of authority then a simple blog

From the folks at LibsynRead the rest . . .

Recording High-Quality Interviews

callrecord240Online interviews with experts can captivate and inspire. Using Skype and Ecamm Call Recorder makes recording as easy as placing a phone call. With just a few quick steps, and a little practice, conducting an inspiring interview can be just as easy.

Nothing detracts from an interview quite like bad sound quality. Fortunately, it’s easy to achieve professional sound quality with just a few simple steps. Perhaps most important is keeping audio isolated. When recording a call, you’re actually recording two things: your voice, picked up by your microphone, and your guest’s voice, which gets played out of your computer’s speakers. If your microphone picks up sound from the speakers, your guest’s voice may end up getting recorded twice. During playback, this will give the guest’s voice an annoying, unprofessional echo.

From the folks that make Call RecorderRead the rest here . . .

11 Best Books on Sales and Selling

best sales booksI believe books are still one of the greatest values available when it comes to learning new business thinking. There’s certainly a place for courses and videos and workshops, but for about $20 and the time to read, you can gain access to another person’s ideas, systems, processes and tools that may have taken a lifetime of experience to craft.

I’ve been doing a lot of extra reading and writing around the topic of sales and selling in advance of the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling, so I thought I would ask my followers to suggest their favorite books of all time on topic. The list below is the start of that request.

The only thing missing are your suggestions.

Feel free to vote books up and down and add your favorites to the list.
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1 Week One Roundup from the Duct Tape Selling Blog

As part of the lead up to the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling I asked some of the organizations behind the resources I note in the book to contribute guest blog posts. The result of that request has produced some truly awesome content. For the next few weeks I’ll be rounding up the best of the best and amplifying it here. Enjoy!

selling has changed

Learning How to Share at Work

If busy managers could have one superpower, they’d probably wish for X-ray vision into everything that’s happening with the business and the people they manage. Some all-knowing ability would sure make the job of juggling people, projects, content, strategies, and relationships easier. From the folks at  iDoneThis

Read the rest . . .

Structuring Your Presentation to Sell

Over 90 million people in the US watch online videos every day, and over 50% of consumers say that watching online product videos allows them to be more confident in online purchase decisions. What does that mean for business owners? As online video becomes more prevalent and relevant, so does the need for your business to start producing video. From the folks at Screenflow.

Read the rest . . .

5 Google Results That Can Ruin Your Business (And What to do About Them)

If you Google your business right now, what shows up? Your company’s website? Positive reviews? A mention in a local newspaper? OR, are the results less than stellar? From the folks at BrandYourself

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3 Tips for Building and Managing Your Twitter Community

Customers of all kinds often turn to Twitter to reach out to their favorite businesses with questions, compliments and complaints. Once your business establishes a Twitter presence, you have an opportunity – and an obligation – to market your brand to your followers. From the folks at SproutSocial

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Don’t Buy an Impression, Make One

As a former Digital Brand Manager at Pepsi, I know first hand what it’s like to win the advertising budget lottery. When we bought media around big tent poles like new product launches, Grammy’s or the Super Bowl, budgets were huge and making an impact could be guaranteed solely by the ability to buy share of voice. From the folks at RebelMouse

Read the rest here . . .

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