Years ago the great sage John Naisbitt coined the phrase “high tech and high touch” in his classic work, Megatrends. The idea was that we should embrace both.
Fast forward to today.
Now we have an abundance of technology that is integral in our lives. Most independent manufacturers’ reps today use mobile technology to get more done from just about anywhere. Most reps and manufacturers wouldn’t think of trying to get through a business day without employing some sort of touch points with technology.
So, how can a rep use the technology today and still maintain the sense of “high … Read the rest
If there is one thing that ticks me off more than anything with social media it is the people who are abusing it. I’m sure you’ve seen the type.
They take their “stuff,” whatever that is, in the form of text, video, audio or whatever blather they have, and they simply broadcast to a list of as many people as they can buy. When the message is sent, they don’t care about the needs of those receiving the message. They only want to get their ideas sent to as many people as possible.
This “broadcast approach” demonstrates such a … Read the rest
Activities don’t matter by themselves. Results matter.
Losers like to engage in feel-good activities. They think that they are “doing something” and that is the final goal. They (erroneously) think that just by checking e-mail, sending a few Twitter Tweets, posting a message or two or saying “Hey!” to some friends on LinkedIn, they are getting results.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In Social Media — just like everything else in life — what matters is not the activity, or even the effort expended. What matters always is getting the results you need.
This is a principle that … Read the rest
Today’s market is different than anything we have ever seen before. To succeed requires being innovative in some fun and clever ways that go outside what has been done previously.
Pace Robinson, Dottie Ramsey and Joan Hatcher from Modern Supply in Knoxville, Tennessee, recently gave me an interview where I asked about what they were doing that is working so well.
Founded in 1949 by Pace Robinson’s father, the company had been successful by following a more traditional format of appealing to contractors and plumbers who were predominantly male-oriented, conservative and established. Modern Supply’s success came from providing quality kitchen
… Read the rest
Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other tools are changing the way business is done. This is not because of their technology.
Yes, the technology of these and other tools is pretty amazing. The ability to connect with, say, all your friends who like baseball in Centerville on Thursdays provides a sense of community. Yes, we’ve had that for centuries, but now we have a way to do it faster, easier and in a cost-effective way. Even better, we can have that community world-wide at very low or no cost.
Courtney Boyd Meyers recently wrote an article for the … Read the rest
In 1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was posing a major threat to the powers that existed in Europe. The Austrians, the Russians, the British and probably a bunch of others didn’t like this uppity Corsican who had turned the French military into the dominant force.
Austrian General Karl Mack von Leiberich was determined to stop this pesky little Napoleon and do it the right way. He knew from years of training and battle experience what was right and “proper.” He knew he would stop this menace to his known world with a massive amount of force (combination of the various powers) and … Read the rest
Which is the best social media tool for you and your business — Twitter or Facebook? Each has its pros and cons for business-building. Which is the best tool for cultivating solid relationship marketing for your business?
Well, there are a lot of considerations. If we look at Twitter there are these factors:
• Twitter is great for sending a “broadcast” message to a large number of people.
• Twitter is very fast communication.
• You can link to a webpage for more video, audio, sign-up and other materials for moving customers up the relationship ladder.
• Twitter is … Read the rest
The days of relying on hard drives to keep your data safe are over; this smart option not only protects you from hardware malfunction, but it allows you to access your info from anywhere.
As a mobile professional, salesperson, entrepreneur or over-achiever, you have to be able to move quickly today. General Patton would have considered it silly to depend on a big computer fortress for your data. That means having the right kind of technology established to support you and help you serve clients. A big trend now is having your software loaded “in the cloud” vs. on the … Read the rest
Whatever your delivery style, you must be able to project your competence while genuinely connecting with your audience.
Jimmy Carter had one style. Reagan had another. I’m not talking about politics here (we’re getting enough of that already in this mid-term election year). I’m talking about their marketing style.
Yes, they both were marketers when they were in the White House serving as President. Politicians market wholesale (via mass media, large gatherings, etc.) and retail (one-on-one and in small groups). You and I market in a similar fashion to both large and small groups. With the Internet, most any small … Read the rest
Develop an appropriate presence on the major social media sites and get the most out of your connections.
Social media is growing so fast because it addresses needs people have in real life. Businesses that meet the same requirements can also grow. By leveraging the communication and connection abilities of prospects and customers, your business can grow — but you have to do it right.
Social media has its own “Big Four.” If you have a successful presence here, you should do well. If you fail to make a connection on at least one of these sites, you will miss … Read the rest
With the volume of information available today, your message can get lost in the shuffle. Follow these tips to grab the attention – and keep it.
Read this! Listen to this podcast! Watch this cool video! Click on this link! Tweet this. Friend this person (yes, “friend” is now a verb)! Buy this from me!
Ugh, it never seems to stop. We are inundated with messages, all trying to get our attention. All of these wonderful marketers (okay, I’m being generous) are vying to get our attention and get us involved with them, their products and services. Sometimes you just … Read the rest
Keeping your employees to a strict script when helping customers can prevent them from actually solving the problem in a logical way. You must allow for personalized service,or your customers will likely not be satisfied.
The other day I had another one of “those experiences” with my cell phone carrier. You know the kind: they do something stupid and then put up brick walls to avoid helping you.
I won’t say which carrier it is, but I’m using an Apple iPhone legitimately. I have been using voice and Internet access since December 2007. Suddenly last Sunday, my Internet access was … Read the rest
Learn how to balance social media marketing with the rest of your business strategies so you’re not wasting time or opportunities.
Okay, okay, okay! Enough already! Have you had it with all the “You’ve got to be on social media” advocates incessantly reminding you that “Twitter is the new e-mail,” or how much you need to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.? Many reps (and manufacturers) are confused at what to do regarding the massive change driven by social media and social networking.
What about the rest of us who have real jobs? A rep can’t spend all day “tweeting” instead … Read the rest
Tending to the Task of Business-Building
Relationship marketing is much like keeping a water bucket filled. The bucket has holes in it, and it is your job to keep the water at the “full” mark. That requires three kinds of activities: 1. Putting water in the bucket; 2. Keeping the holes patched and 3. Preventing new holes from appearing. As a relationship farmer, it is your job to tend to these never-ending tasks.
You want to keep your business relationships fresh and current. Stay in touch with important people. This also means that you have to prioritize among those who … Read the rest
Business is all about building profitable relationships with customers, suppliers, team members and other stakeholders. To facilitate those relationships, we use tools and apply time-honored principles. This is what relationship marketing thrives on today.
In this article, I’d like to share with you some tools that can help you in your work to build and maintain profitable business relationships. These tools enhance your communication with customers and other stakeholders, putting the power of human connections to work for you.
Connect Wirelessly — Amidst the Noise
Cell phones are a way of life now. We are using them for most calls. … Read the rest
“So many fail because they don’t get started — they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” — W. Clement Stone
It is time for a new beginning — in many ways. This marks the end of an era for many. This country has elected a new President with a new vision and a different way of doing business. And in my opinion, this is a great time to begin anew.
So, here are some business tools and tech tips to help propel you forward.
Contact Management Systems (CMS)
This is the most important element for any sales-oriented … Read the rest
What is going on with this social networking buzz? Well, for marketers and businesspeople serious about making money — a lot!
If you’re like the bottom-line focused businessperson that I am, you might have questions about this whole social networking rave. Yes, it is nice to see people connecting. And yes, it started with college kids sharing about things that normally don’t pass the “So what?” test in business.
But the world has changed.
It has changed in a big way. Social networking is a prime way to reach prospects, suppliers, vendors and colleagues today. Television isn’t what it used … Read the rest
Social networking, open source, and your business success.
Social Networking is a logical extension of relationship marketing or what I call R-commerce. It is the desire for people to connect with others who share similar interests, values, ideas and who can help each other. It is also a sign of how marketing has changed.
In the old days (not that long ago), marketers would craft their message and push it out to the masses. Delivery vehicles included TV advertising, radio advertising, newspapers and other tools. These worked well for taking your message and sending it to the masses.
But today, … Read the rest
Small Recorder Gets Results
Recently I had the opportunity to review the H2 Handy Recorder from Zoom. This diminutive professional recorder is designed for on-the-go professionals who need studio-quality audio. It is used a lot with recording artists and for capturing group singing (think choirs, social gatherings, etc.).
However, this device also has some serious capabilities for mobile professionals who want to tap into the power of the net for relationship marketing. For example, you can record audio of satisfied customers and then post those testimonials to your website. You can also use it to record instructions. (Chances are, you … Read the rest
Those of us who use Apple’s iPhone find it increasingly useful for many applications. I use mine for phone calls (of course) along with checking my email messages more frequently and on a more regular basis. I can get a lot done from just about anywhere I am using it.
However, my objection to the iPhone initially was battery life. If I use it for listening to music, surfing the internet, reading books, etc., the battery tends to drain quickly. And if that happens, making those late-in-the-day phone calls when I can’t get near a charger (think airplane rides and … Read the rest
As an independent manufacturers’ rep, you need a competitive advantage. Okay, okay — you’ve been in the field for 1,000 years, you know your stuff, your persuasive powers can coax a hungry dog off a meat truck, and you’re good-lookin’ on top of that! However, to get that extra boost, you need technology. Not just a bunch of gadgets and contraptions but the tools that will help you leverage your ability to increase productivity and profitability.
In an economy that is going through struggles, you want to be able to turn on a dime, change course and operate from anywhere … Read the rest
Being relevant is one of the most powerful ingredients in building successful business relationships. If you become — here’s that horrible word — boring, you are toast in today’s world. Stay alive. Be relevant for others and find ways to make their lives better.
“Stop it already! I don’t have time for yet another blog, news story, article, podcast, video on the internet, social networking meeting, blah, blah, blah. Yikes! I am inundated with so many choices that it drives me nuts.” Maybe you can relate.
We’re all swamped with so many things going on. Your customers are in the … Read the rest
Technology is a great enabler when it works. We can accomplish more with good technology than we can without it. However, when the manufacturers of technology think they have a better way and try to force it upon the rest of us, the rest of us have a way of responding that is not always good for sellers of technology.
I had the opportunity, recently, to review some new technology that I use a lot in my business. There are good and not-so-good features pertaining to each, which I will share with you in this article. I welcome your comments.… Read the rest
Bam! Wham! Kersplat! Did you hear that cacophony of noise? It is the shotgun fire and the falling of the old way of marketing. That old way of marketing is dead — or on the resuscitator and gasping for its last breath.
Relationship marketing is what rules today. If you still think you can win the hearts and minds of people by shoving a bunch of stuff at them, you belong back in the 1950s with black-and-white television. Welcome to the new way of marketing where Consumer Generated Marketing (CGM) is the way to do it.
YouTube is an example … Read the rest
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard about social networking as it applies to technology. And since I’m focused on relationship marketing and how to build communities, this has been a subject of particular interest to me.
Much of what has been done with many networks has emphasized the signing-up part with little practical business value. Everyone wants everyone else to sign up and “friend” each other. However, nothing much happens in most cases after you’ve signed up and have been “friended.” It reminds me of the off-line model of going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting where … Read the rest
“Life is tough. Life is tougher when you’re stupid.” — John Wayne
Well, the Duke said it right, even if it is a bit rough. Life can be very tough. It’s not that “they” are out to get you. Frankly, “they” don’t care about you. Others are interested in their own problems and life. However, if you get in their way, they will do whatever is necessary to see that they succeed.
Relationship marketing encompasses key principles for success, that work. These principles embody helping others meet their needs. That is how true success happens. When you can help others … Read the rest
Earlier this year, while in attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I found some particularly useful business tools amidst all the consumer gadgets that you can use to increase your competitive advantage in business. You’ll be able to read about them here and, through the wonders of technology, watch some videos of them as well — but more on that later.
DYMO File to Organize Your Office
If your office is like that of most small businesses, you probably have a lot of paper that needs to be organized. Even with the much-touted “paperless office” talk of … Read the rest
Boost productivity and gain a competitive advantage.
Enhancing productivity is what much of the technology revolution is about. When you can find the right tools to boost your productivity in business, you gain a competitive advantage. When you can find tools that also stretch your mind, you have a viable advantage that leapfrogs over the competition.
Lenovo Laptops — X61 And T61
Lenovo has some laptops which continue to dazzle and provide a solid competitive advantage. You’ll find the new X61 to be very lightweight (less than 4 lbs.) and powerful. It comes with 3 USB ports, one IEEE1394, (Firewire) … Read the rest
Remaining Profitable in a Consumer-Driven World
Here’s a recent experience I had that may serve as a tool for determining how your customers will respond when faced with a similar challenge. Learn how you can profit from thinking this way for a new world and a new way of doing business.
Maybe something like this has happened to you on an unsuspecting day. So there I was, just minding my own business when suddenly it happened. I wasn’t thinking about much of anything when I suddenly had the desire to hear a particular song. The song started going through my … Read the rest