Posts Tagged ‘permission based marketing’

Your Social Marketing Reflects Your Leadership

Have you ever considered how your social marketing may be a reflection of your leadership?  For example,  do you add people to your email list without asking permission? By taking this action what does it truly say about your leadership as well as your  business ethics?

Each day I must unsubscribe or mark as spam dozens of emails.  Many of these come from so called “experts” on sales, marketing, leadership and even business ethics. I guess they believe it is okay to add my name to their email lists.

Permission based marketing still exists and should be the best practice for professionals engaged in social selling or social marketing.  However given the increase in social selling, it appears permission based marketing has taken a bad seat to sales pitches.

When professionals regardless of their role ignore common courtesy and respect, this is a reflection of their leadership skills. Their actions only reaffirm my belief not to purchase from them or make any recommendations.

Additionally when SMB owners and sales professionals fail to identify identify their target audience, they may unintentionally send emails to recipients who would never, ever buy from them. I belong to several communities where we share similar solutions. Members on one community never ever add me to their email lists without permission and yet members in another community do so all the time.

When I email those members who add me without permission, I usually receive a contrite reply of “sorry for the inconvenience.”  No, they really aren’t all that sorry.

Leadership is the ability to secure the desired results using clearly articulated positive core values. This means no social marketing or social selling spamming and no sales pitches.

Yes any SMB owner or sales professional wants to increase sales and therefore hopefully profits. However, it is imperative that all behaviors reflect consistent and outstanding leadership otherwise the goal to increase sales will be much harder to achieve.

Share on Facebook

Email Marketing Works Provided You…

Once again another email entered my In Box from someone I did not know who had subscribed me to her email marketing list without permission. Worse yet this was someone who claimed to be a social media marketing expert.

email-marketingHow often does this message require repeating?

Email marketing works with permission based marketing!

Great salespeople know to ask permission before asking a question. This behavior is ingrained in them.

Great marketers also know to ask permission through a double opt in list.

Bad to poor small business owners who are both salespeople and marketers just add names of suspects, prospects, anyone and his or her brother to their lists without ever asking permission. These folks believe a business card or a name from a bought list gives them permission to invade the email In Boxes of unsuspecting suspects to prospects.

Another equally deplorable email marketing behavior has been spawned through LinkedIn. What I am now observing is these many professionals (I used that term loosely) using LinkedIn contacts to spew their sales pitches.

The next several years will further unite marketing with selling because 97.7% of all businesses here in the US are under 20 employees. These small businesses cannot afford a separate marketing department.  With over 75% of all US businesses being sole proprietors, this ignoring of permission based email marketing will probably only get worse instead of better.

Now some will probably disagree with me that a double opt in email marketing process is not necessary.  Yet if you as a sales professional have high business ethics and find yourself sorting through a lot of unrequested emails then why would you engage in any email marketing that is not permission based?

If people buy from people they know and trust (First Sales Buying Rule), then the last action you as a salesperson want to take is to violate that trust. Not having permission based marketing ingrained within all marketing efforts is a violation of that trust. Note:  Paid advertising is different that permission based marketing.

Yes email marketing works provided you engage in permission based marketing.  Failure to do so may have some intended customers quite upset and beyond reporting you to the SPAM officials may be sharing privately with your other prospects about your lack of marketing knowledge to business ethics.

If you are seeking some calm to your social media craziness, the consider this one page social media action plan.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.,  is an executive coach who takes an heuristic approach to personal and professional growth. Her task is to support you in bridging the gap between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals. She can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Is Your Email Marketing Creating Distrust?

In life and in sales, people buy from people they know and trust.  All a business professional has to do is to commit some untrustworthy action as perceived by the buyer and years of trust go down the drain.

email-marketing-trustSo why do so many email marketing experts fail to teach this one trust building action in their hyped up, get thousands of sales leads email marketing programs?

One would think this small and almost innocuous action would be as they say a “no brainer.”

Possibly if they taught it, they could not tout all their expertise?

Sp what is this one trust building email marketing action that creates trust and not create distrust?

Unsubscribe

By including an unsubscribe link, you are providing the recipient the option of  “opting out” of your email marketing. Additionally, you are giving the impression you are engaged in permission based marketing. By having not only the unsubscribe link, but a double opt in feature, you have virtually eliminated those less than ethical business professionals who are using the email addresses of others.

With so many sites requiring an email address, there are some unethical business professionals who use the email addresses of others so they are not included in future email marketing messages.  All of a sudden the ethical small business professional is bombarded with emails from sites he or she never visited.

Unfortunately, there are many unethical professionals who may include the unsubscribe link to make their email marketing look above board. However when you hit the unsubscribe link you are either taken to their main website or some page where you are asked to enter your email address. This is another scam to confirm your email address is real thus allowing you to be bombarded even with more email marketing messages.

Email marketing is still considered the number one social media channel. Given its popularity, then all actions should be focused on building trust.  By using an ethical list builder such as AWeber you can build trust and Be the Red Jacket among all those other untrustworthy gray suits.

 

Share on Facebook

Can You Answer the One Question Being Thought By Small Businesses?

Each day small businesses are thinking this question both consciously and more often than not subconsciously:

small businesses

Do I know you?

This question surfaces with every ring of the unfamiliar phone number on the ID screen to each unsolicited email to every piece of snail mail.

Lately for my own small business sales research I have been responding to these unsolicited marketing and sales messages with  this question:

Do I know you?

The answers are unbelievable from the mundane “You signed up for this” to almost righteous indignation for me to even dare to ask this question.

In many instances, this question revealed the following about the small businesses:

  • Cluelessness about me
  • Cluelessness about how the contact information was received
  • Cluelessness about my executive coaching and talent management consulting small business
  • Cluelessness about permission based marketing and double opt in feature for email marketing

The “Do I know you?” question is a great way to place an obstacle in front of the unsuspecting salesperson.

Also this question acts as a filter to discover those unethical companies that will not admit to spamming or buying lists.

If sales is the “transference of feelings” (Zig Siglar), then those who reach out should be looking to establish the most positive feelings from the very first contact. Given the marketing bombardment by small businesses seeking other small businesses to larger businesses in their efforts to increase sales, if the first contact is creating negative feelings including this question of “Do I know you?” then maybe it may make sense to rethink your overall marketing and sales strategies.

Share on Facebook

Marketing Madness Virus of Presumptions

Do you ever receive those emails that make you shake your head and wonder about the marketing madness behind the message? Why in the world (you think to yourself) would you ever finish reading these messages less alone reach out for more information or worse yet buy the “stuff?”

marketing-madnessWhat I have come to realize is behind all this marketing madness from emails to social media postings to even paid advertising is this one word – presumptions. For clarification, a presumption is based on some probability while an assumption is supposed to be without any proof.

Probably, bought or sign up lists are one of the main resources for those engaged in this spreading this marketing madness virus.  These individuals presume because you downloaded a paper or some other information you are their target market or worse yet “ideal customer.”

Beyond the lists many of those infected with this marketing madness also suffer from a severe case of “ego me.”  Of course “you want what I am selling because I am me and for that reason alone you should at least listen to me.”  If you politely respond and request to be removed since they did not include an “opt out” option, you may receive an irate message about “how dare you” challenge their business ethics or credibility. After all,  they are the experts!

What is beyond understanding is many of those behind these messages are alleged experts who are being paid to infect, oops, I mean teach others about presumption marketing. The concept of permission based marketing would be an antidote to their virus.  This is why these individuals never have “opt out” as a recourse and if they do, the “opt out link” is another scam.

For those with high business ethics and a written strategic thinking plan that covers business growth through separate marketing to sales to customer loyalty actions plans, these small business leaders market to their for real target audience and provide the opportunity for that target audience to disengage if they have made a mistake with their presumptions. They do not engage in unrealistic presumptions meaning anybody on the Internet or anybody in the room is their target audience (sales leads).

Yes there is a lot of marketing madness out there through the various messaging channels. Most of it provides lessons learned on how not to attract attention and build relationships.

Share on Facebook

What Does ‘I Know You’ Mean in Small Business?

Each day busy small business executives and sales professionals receive an influx of marketing messages pitching products or services from people they truly do not know.

small-businessFor me, when this happens I have adopted this new strategy of:

“Thanks for the outreach. Do I know you?”

Of course, I do check to make sure we are not connected via LinkedIn.

The responses I receive back are interesting with many taking some umbrage or what I call “tight shorts” with my communication.

For example earlier this week, I received an email with the following subject line:

Appropriate person?

Then the email went on as follows:

Good Morning Leanne…

I’m writing in hopes of finding the appropriate person who handles the sales in your company.

I returned this query with my now standard reply of “Thanks for the outreach. Do I know you?”

The response back was “Hmm, interesting reply and I know you thru (a sales website).”

Really?

You know me through a website?

We have never communicated and you send me an email seeking the appropriate person.

Had we actually communicated you would have know that I was that person.

There is a big difference between “knowing” someone and “knowing of” someone.

Given this person as many others had a burning desire to pitch to me instead of getting to know me and build a relationship, his initial marketing message began to establish distrust. Also the format of the marketing message suggested I had been massed emailed and hence this individual probably did not engage in permission based marketing.

The several emails that followed only reaffirmed his desire to sell to me and that only further deepened that distrust. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Always provide the ability for individuals to opt out of your email marketing messages.

People, especially those in small business, buy from people they know and trust.

To  really know someone beyond what is available through the Internet or social media sites (meaning I know of you) requires actual outreach in the form of “I saw your name on this website and what you do sounds interesting. Do you have time for a short conversation?”

This short conversation should not include making any sales pitches, but wanting to truly get to know the other person. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Relationship marketing when done well leads to relationship selling and it always requires more time.

Amazing results happen for those in small business who are engaged in authentic relationship building instead of the all too frequent marketing messages that establish the roots of distrust.

P.S. If you truly want to increase sales, then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of your current sales process

#2 – One business growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.

Share on Facebook

No Wonder Marketing Gets a Bad Rap

I am still shaking my head in complete and utter disbelief! Over the years I have received a lot of email marketing much of it mediocre to bad, but this one takes the cake for being the worst given the person who sent it considers himself to be a “measurable-marketing” specialist.

marketingHow would you respond to the following email?

Subject:  Appropriate Person Please

I’m writing in hopes of finding
the appropriate person who handles
the sales in your company.

If it makes sense to talk, let me
know how your calendar looks?

This so called marketing specialist is after questionable sales quantity using questionable sales leads and definitely not quality.

Worse yet by not including my first name he has demonstrated he has not down any research outside of paying for a list of names.

He has no desire to build a relationship.

All he wants to do is to sell.

Marketing is not selling, Mr. Measurable Marketing Guy!

I did some quick LinkedIn research and found his name in my first effort.

These four (4) questions came quickly to mind.

What type of quality marketing is this?

Where is the establishment of any type of relationship?

Has this measurable marketing guru ever head of permission based marketing?

How many other uneducated small business owners and sales professionals has this person tainted with this type of marketing?

Given this email and some other content within the email, I can definitely state he is spraying and praying his marketing efforts in large enough quantities that something sticks (increase sales leads, increase sales, etc.) and he counts that as measurable.

This type of impersonal numbers driven marketing does not work in relationship selling; does not create long-term sustainable results and does create immediate distrust. If you are seeking a one time transactional sale, then this might work for hungry more likely desperate salespeople who are looking for the quick fix. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  There is no quick fix to increase sales.

However if you want to build sustainable relationships, have repeat customers or quality referrals, then please do not ever engage in an email marketing campaign where you have failed to secure permission and use the person’s first name.

P.S. Remember, people buy from people they know and trust, this marketing maven has revealed to me why I do not want to know him and why I could never, ever trust him.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in career chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

 

Share on Facebook

Is Your Marketing Demonstrating Emotional Intelligence?

Yesterday I received an unsolicited email from a so called marketing expert.  The name was not familiar to me so I confirmed we were not connected on LinkedIn or through some other social media platforms such as Twitter. Additionally I learned this expert only had a few articles over at Ezine Articles.

emotional-intelligence

What I found fascinating was his unsubscribe message which was at the very bottom of his message. I  had to scroll down otherwise I would have missed it.

“NO, I don’t need help selling and never contact me again”

The words “need” and “never” demonstrated a lack of emotional intelligence.

Additionally, in this unsubscribe sentence he included these words:

“this exclusive list of successful business owners and sales pros,”
Exclusive list, really?

“When did I give you permission to add my name to your exclusive list?”

Again by adding my name to his list without permission also demonstrated a lack of emotional intelligence.
Permission based marketing is all about emotional intelligence in that you as the sender recognize the emotions of the receiver by allowing him or her to make a decision as to whether he or she wants to be added to your list.
The words you write in your marketing copy from emails to newsletters to even blogs all reflect your emotional intelligence.  When a LinkedIn profile begins with the word “I’m” or “I,” this is a red flag or early indicator of a strong ego.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Good egos are required respective to sales, business and emotional intelligence.  Strong egos not so much because your emotions become the focus and you may ignore the emotions of others.
By being aware of emotional intelligence in your marketing efforts keeps you from being like all those other gray suits (so called marketing experts) and you may indeed Be the Red jacket.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in chaos.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

Share on Facebook

Permission Based Marketing Reflects Your Business Ethics

Again, another email cluttered my in box from a contact who believed I wanted his weekly newsletter.  As I never signed up for his email newsletter, he failed to understand that permission based marketing truly reflected his own business ethics.

permission-based-marketing

Between face to face business to business networking events, online connections through social media such as LinkedIn, every small business owner and sales professional has hundreds if not thousands of contacts.  Unless these contacts have signed up for a small business email distribution list such as through an auto responder with a double opt in feature, adding these contacts to one’s email data base without permission violates not only permission based marketing but more importantly reveals the true business ethics of that individual.

Giving you my business card or connecting with you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook does not give you permission to add me to your email distribution.  If you wish to take that action, then let me know up front. When you have added me to your list without permission, you have violated my trust.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  People buy from people they know and trust.

Now some of these unethical small business owners will have an unsubscribe or opt out button. Thank you for that feature. However, now I must invest my time, even if it is seconds, to opt out.  Why must I take this action when I did not ask to be included?

Permission based marketing is not really new. Ethical small businesses to even large ones have asked in the past, “May our firm add you to our mailing list?” Now with all the SPAM, permission based marketing has become more important.

In sales, the last thing you want to do is to tick off the potential customer.  Failure to integrate permission based marketing into your daily, weekly or monthly email marketing activities not only can have your actions reported as SPAM but may decrease your credibility because your potential clients now have begun to distrust you.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in chaos.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

Share on Facebook

Email Etiquette and Emotional Intelligence Are Essential

Emailing etiquette is essential regardless if you are the sender or the receiver. This past week I had the opportunity to witness first hand how one in particular small business professional is all about:

  • Himself
  • Confusing marketing or networking with selling
  • Being unprofessional
  • Somewhat clueless when it comes to emotional intelligence
  • Poor business ethics

What prompted this revelation was politely asking to be removed from a private email list.  If one sends email messages, one should be prepared for people to ask for their names to be removed. Services like AWeber.com and Constant Contact provide an opt out option. Additionally, when those emails are sent directly from the private email lists or address book, one must be prepared for those requests.

Here is the email I received the following (name has been removed to protect the guilty):

Subject Line: LinkedIn connections ~ Just sharing information with you ~~~

“Being tired of paying high wireless cell phone costs I cancelled my limited Verizon service in favor of the service through (name removed) ~ $49/month for UNLIMITED 4G phone, text, data, web, international texting and more ~ they will soon be adding international callilng, as well. NO CONTRACT !!! I found no down side to this. I kept my old number and phone…….. Let’s share information to help each other.”

(Yes the word calling was misspelled and not sure the grammar is correct with “Being tired”)

My response, subject line remained the same:

(Name withheld) – Please remove my name from your lists. I am not interested in receiving these types of mass emailings.

Thank you for using the bcc on your email to keep my address from others, much appreciated,

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

After sending what I believed to be an email that was within the  proper protocol and email etiquette guidelines, I did expect something like “thank you for our request and your name has been removed.” Yet the response I received was one I could not believe when I read it. By the way, this individual is someone who owns a professional recruiting and searching firm:

“I am KICKING you out of my connections on LinkedIn …. if you don’t want to network then get the hell off of LinkedIn … life is not all about just you ~~~ what a _itch!!! “

My heavens! So what does that say about someone’s professionalism, email etiquette, emotional intelligence, networking ability and not to mention business ethics?

What is even more ironic is I had already removed him from my LinkedIn contact list because several months ago I received the exact same message. He didn’t know it because he had used his private email account for this message.

When the second email came through, I pondered whether to reply. After about 30 minutes of taking care of other action items, I decided to return his message as I was curious as to what new path this might take.

Good afternoon to you as well (named removed). Thanks for taking that action of removing me from your LinkedIn connections, as well as demonstrating your professionalism by reverting to name calling even though you did not provide an opt out opportunity in your soliciting email.

No you are right life is not about me and neither is it about you.

Make it a great day,

Of course, I realized I probably would receive a return email as my sense was I was now a burr underneath his saddle. And shortly, my inbox was rewarded with the following:

Subject: You SUCK at networking

I have let EVERYONE in my network know to steer clear of you and your company …. You have NO permission to address me as “John” …. I wasn’t “name calling” …. I was correctly categorizing you. You are now OFFICIALLY BLOCKED from being to e-mail me.

Hmm, name calling is no longer name calling, but categorizing someone.  Interesting perspective. Personally I am glad he told his network because I truly do not want to be associated with people who think like him and more importantly behave like him.

In business today, demonstrating proactive email etiquette including permission based marketing along with emotional intelligence is very essential.  Just because we as small business owners to sales professionals have someone’s contact information, that does not give us permission to market to them without their permission.

P.S. There are many languages in life.  One of them is DISC. During a FREE webinar, you may secure some greater understanding of this language when it comes to the buying behavior signs of your potential customer. Register at Eventbrite as tickets are limited.

Share on Facebook
RSS Subscribe!
Coaching Tip
Aim small, miss small.
What’s Happening?

Check out this podcast on value creation between David Brock and Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Listen to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at Sales Scenario podcasts

Another list of top sales bloggers

Pre-order this great book How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. You may recognize a familiar name.

Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers Honored this blog is included in this impressive list.

Best Sales Blogger Award for 2014 Third place awarded to Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

NWI SBDC awarded Small Business Journalist of 2014 to Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Awards.

Expand Your Business Horizons
Sign up to receive monthly newsletter devoted to small businesses and busy sales professionals Beyond the Black
Be the Red Jacket
Seeking an easy and practical book on marketing, selling and sales? Read the reviews at Amazon and then order your hard copy or eBook.
Sustainability Expert
The Institute for Sustainability
Ezine Expert
Blogroll – Leadership, OD
Contact Coach Lee

Leanne Hoagland-Smith
219.759.5601 Main Office CDT
219.508.2859 Mobile CDT

Office located near Chicago, IL

www.processspecialist.com Main Website

Sales Corner

Tracking by The Sales Corner
Blog Rankings
Business Blogs - Blog Rankings
Blog Top Sites
Plazoo
RSS Search
Blog Log