Posts Tagged ‘good marketing’

The Real Problem with Social Selling

Let’s stop with the Naked Emperor and speak the truth about social selling.  It isn’t selling. I repeat it isn’t selling. Now for some this is considered heresy.



Social selling or social media selling whatever you want to call it is marketing using social media channels to deliver the message. This entire get on the band wagon for social whatever is sales quick sales fix for some and a quick opportunity to make fast bucks for others.

I will return to Peter Drucker who believe and said a business has essentially two functions:

  • Marketing
  • Innovation

He also said when marketing is done well, selling becomes almost effortless. (paraphrasing)

Yesterday I saw a social media post about “how to develop a social media strategy.” None of the answers went to the heart of the problem.  No one asked “Do you have a strategic plan?”  If so, then it is from that document you derive your marketing strategy.

Short cutting the strategic planning process is a proven recipe for failure.

This individual was confusing strategy with tactics as many do.  The strategy comes from a comprehensive strategic plan that looks at both internal and external strengths, limitations, opportunities and threats.  From this data another result is the completion of the ideal customer profile or profiles.

Whatever social media channels are selected (tactic) is based upon where the company can find their ideal customer.  Of course with all the data about the traffic and deliverables about social media, no wonder people can get easily confused.

The best analogy is fishing. Those who successfully fish go to where the fish they want to catch are not vice versa.  One doesn’t go to the ocean expecting to catch a walleye pike or one doesn’t fish a mountain stream looking for red snapper. Also one doesn’t use a fly to catch a sunfish.  The bait is your message.

Fish Where The Fish (Sales Leads) You Want Are

Use the Right Bait (Message)

I understand all the hype about social selling.  I also know a lot of SMBs have spent lots of profit dollars with little results.  Yet they are “sold” this lie that social selling will increase sales.  No good marketing will increase sales provided you have the right message and use the most effective channels.

P.S. There are no quick fixes in sales, leadership or success.

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Click to Download This List, Cheap, Bad Marketing

If good marketing is to attract attention and to begin to build positive relationships, then bad marketing is just the opposite.  One very common bad marketing strategy is to build a list such as Top Salespeople and then have others click on the list to download.



Several of my colleagues were recently recognized as being in the top 100 sales people (I did not make that list). Those who downloaded the list were immediately called or received a generic email.

Jeb Blount, founder of Sales Gravy, identified this as a lead generation campaign to get these top salespeople to share this so called recognition and status award with others so this lead generation tactic would capture more sales leads.

“Pure click bait!” Jeb Blount

Many SMB owners, sales professionals and entrepreneurs invest tremendous time in content marketing and building their own lists.  These lists should be guarded and not randomly shared with lazy SMBs that fail to understand the essence of marketing and look instead to the quick fix solution.

And for heavens if you are going to email someone who downloaded your click bait list then at least use that person’s first name.  To send out generic emails only reaffirms you are 100% into bad marketing.

These individuals who did click to download and left their email addresses will be continually bombarded with additional sales pitches even though they may not be the ideal customer. Each day I receive easily an hundred emails to which I never subscribed.

The use of permission based marketing through double opt in feature is rare these days. Those who are marketing appear to believe as long as I have your email address I can email you my sales pitches.

If you want to increase sales, then engage in good marketing.  This may mean you may actually have to pick up the phone and talk to someone directly.

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Is Social Media Pie in the Sky Marketing or Just Good Marketing?

good-marketingMany small business owners retreat their corner of the world each day or a couple of times a week to put their thoughts down with the goal to share with others. This marketing channel is usually called a blog or a syndicated column. Then they broadcast their pearl words of wisdom through other social media marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Over time people start following their advice to agreeing or even disagreeing with their observations regarding small business, sales, leadership to even business ethics or corporate ethics.  Suddenly or rather not so suddenly they are noticed by others and eventually they become recognized as experts in their particular industries.

Now some same social media is pie in the sky marketing.  I contend social media is good marketing provided the following has taken place and continues to take place:

  • Ideal customer has been clearly identified
  • Keywords both short and long tail are integrated into the marketing copy
  • Niche area has been carved out such as sales, thought leadership or business ethics or corporate ethics
  • Content is relevant and emotionally engaging
  • Writing is without spelling errors, grammatical errors, etc.
  • Consistency of writing is established
  • An attitude of giving is prevalent instead of just taking
  • All social media marketing is interconnected to allow for maximum reach and influence including the use of automation tools
  • Time is scheduled to promote the social media marketing as well as to promote others

This past weekend I received two honors. The first honor was to be recognized by Sales Gravy as one of the top 10 women in sales to follow on Twitter. Additionally, the NYDLA asked me to be a member of their talent team. In both instances, these results are directly because of my good marketing actions.

Over the years I have had other recognitions.  Each of these acknowledgements is a direct result of having a strategic plan from which research was conducted to determine the:

  • Ideal customer
  • Market trends
  • Internal strengths
  • Competition both in terms of strengths and weaknesses
  • Key differentiators for my small business coaching and talent management consulting firm

From this research I established good marketing goals (both inbound and outbound), sales goals to even innovation goals. These goals are reviewed on a regular basis.

Good marketing is the result of a solid strategic plan that is reviewed on a monthly if not weekly basis. For some all this may seem like pie in the sky marketing when in actually it is all about having predetermined goals, stabilized by balance, purified by belief and aligned to one’s passion, purpose and plans.

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Good Marketing Prepares for the OOP$

Being an ardent believer of preparation for business and life, a recent post about Keurig’s belief about good marketing and preparation caught my eye. Crystal King, Social Media Manager for Keurig at the Social Media.orgs Blog Conference in Boston explained the reason behind a recent “delight and surprise” marketing campaign. In this campaign, Keurig delighted and surprised three different neighborhoods ( New York, LA and Miami) with brand new Keurigs.

good-marketingMs. King then went on an further discussed how when customers are venting on social media they are already very upset. Also, she noted to keep loyal customers loyal, it makes sense to give them more reasons to be loyal. Her final point was to be prepared when those OOP$ happen by discussing all the possible worst case scenarios.

What Ms. King said makes perfect sense because when businesses are prepared their responses to their customers and potential customers are viewed more positively than negatively such as “those guys are just covering their butts.”

Even though Ms. King’s remarks were directed to good marketing specific to social media, her observations are true any business in general.

Venting Upset Customers

How many times do customers or potential customers become upset when they cannot reach someone in a business to answer a question?

No answer may results in taking to social media through Tweets or speaking to friends and family through negative word of mouth (WOM) advertising. Either action can be disastrous for any business.

Keeping Loyal Customers Loyal

Just as the cost to hire a new employee is more expensive than keeping an existing one, the same is true with customers. The problem is some businesses provide incentives to new customers while forgetting their existing ones.  Rewards programs such as by Family Express, FE Perks, continue to strengthen those loyal customer relationships while simultaneously reinforcing good marketing.

Anticipating Problems

Wouldn’t it be great if all businesses ran without problems? Unfortunately, problems are part of the daily experience. By investing the time to anticipate known and unknown (what if) problems, provides a competitive advantage. Good marketing can leverage that advantage along with sales.

Good marketing happens with planning and should begin within the overall strategic plan.  What happens for many small businesses is they lack a strategic plan and consequently fall into reactive behaviors, putting out fires.  This type of behavior drains the limited resources of time, energy, money (profits) and emotions by all involved.

Oh and if you are wondering about the dollar sign in OOP$, OPP$ always cost money, somewhere, somehow.


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