I spent a great deal of time researching various websites and landing pages...As a matter of fact, this is a part of my job. In my professional opinion, many companies, consumer and non-profit organizations alike, do not do a good job of combining their communications programs and aligning them with the sales process. Sadly, the failure to integrate sales, marketing and communications (both online and offline) invariably results in lost opportunities.
So, here is one of the best and most effective ways to increase sales...In a nutshell, you should always look for ways to leverage the existing content and re-purpose and incorporate your marketing programs into other initiatives.
Let me give you an example...
Quite too often, companies spend tons of money on a PR program that targets a handful of journalists, reporters and editors. What they forget to do is communicate this information to clients, customers or prospects. Also, you may design an effective advertising program...but even if your your advertising message drives people to your website, your visitors or prospects might lose interest if the ad is "out of synch" with your website.
Here are a few valuable tips and suggestions that might point you in the right direction:
1. If you write a press release, don't forget t tell your clients and prospects about it
Let's face it: a lot of businesses bury their press releases in a difficult-to-find news section of their website. Why don't you re-write your press release into an easy-to-read paragraph or two, and just post it on your home page...Here is another alternative for you: take the PR content and include it in your email newsletter designed for your clients and prospects. Long story short - be strategic and get the most out of every marketing piece you have.
2. Get resourceful
What concerns me is that, oftentimes, there is an artificial "demarcation" between sales and marketing, especially in B2B sales. So, let's consider a tradeshow...A lot of businesses invest thousands of marketing dollars into these important industry events. We all know that every salesperson loves leads. But you should figure out how you can integrate marketing with sales by sending each of your tradeshow visitors a "thank you offer", such as a free trial of your service or a complimentary download, or white paper. Furthermore, you can add your sales leads to your email newsletter list. Why not send them a re-written paragraph from your latest press release (see the tip #1 above)?
3. Put your best foot forward
If you are trying to attract a lot of people to your website, make sure you put your best face on. Some companies create expensive online and offline advertising programs to drive more traffic to their websites. However, all too often, the content of the site doesn't match the compelling promise of the ad. So, before you invest a fortune into advertising, make sure that the information you want people to read is easily available on your website. Read your website carefully, then compare it to the ad. You may decide to post some additional content...or perhaps re-purpose one of your press releases (once again, see the tip # 1 above...)
4. The significance of white papers
As you may know, a lot of time and effort goes into developing a white paper filled with important and valuable content. Offering a compelling white paper can lead to substantial numbers of downloads. While you are busy courting new leads and new prospects, do not forget about your existing customers, your partners, or even your employees. You can also offer the white paper to journalists. The media loves white papers!
5. A few words about your public speaking calendar
Quite frankly...I am not sure I understand why organizations do NOT spend enough time promoting their upcoming speaking engagements. Most people consider event promotion to be the job of the tradeshow or conference organizers. It is YOUR job and YOUR responsibility to promote your speaking schedule. You may publish an events calendar on your website or mention your upcoming presentation in your newsletter. Additionally, you may ask your salespeople to personally invite clients or prospects. You can even ask the event organizer for free passes and invite as many people as you can.
6. Follow up
The speech isn't over until you follow up. During your speech you may offer to send the presentation materials to anyone who wants them. Why don't you collect business cards at the podium after the speech and invite people to email you for a copy. That would be a smart way to initiate a business relationship...
I hope my simple suggestions above will come in handy and help you transform your marketing campaign and take your business to the next level. Good luck with your endeavors!
If you are ready to grow your business and need help with your marketing or Public Relations efforts, please call (516) 889-8636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org today.
As you may know, most B-to-B catalogs don't do nearly enough selling. Some industrial catalogs contain a myriad of product specifications, including weights, dimensions, model numbers or ratings. They are devoid of any persuasive reasons why you go ahead and place an order.
I am not saying that "nuts-and-bolts" copy is not important at all, however, a good catalog does more than present facts. It shows the business buyer how the products can solve the problem and why he or she should purchase your product.
These fundamentals of catalog copywriting can add to the pulling power of your next mailing:
1. Use colorful and descriptive language
Let me assure you that product spec or tech talk don't always move buyers to action. Persuasive language does. What you should do is paint a picture in the reader's mind of what the product can do for them or how it can make their lives easier.
2. Use precise language
Beware of the language that is overly "colloquial" or general. Your writing should be conversational enough to win the reader over. If you become too vague, you will not be able to clearly communicate your message or connect with your prospect.
3. Use specific language
According to one Hollywood screenwriter who spoke about the secret to her success, "Specifics sell! When you are abstract, no one pays attention." The same applies to catalogs. Specifics DO sell. Generalities don't. It's that simple.
4. Make it easy to read
Use short, familiar words. Don't try to impress anyone with your vocabulary. Also, you may want to stick in underlines, bullets, bodlface type and breakers to emphasize your point. Please keep in mind that a catalog crammed with too much technical data and tiny type is a bore and a strain on the eyes. Let me assure you that it is possible to make your business catalog effective and easy to read at the same time.
5. Stress benefits
What the product does for the reader is much more important that how it works, how you developed it, who invented it, or how long it took you to manufacture it.
6. Make it easy to order
If your catalog contains a lot of tables and product specs, make sure you explain these tables to your prospects up front. Tell them what's in the tables and how to use them. Provide simple procedures and formulas to aid in product selection. Don't forget to illustrate with a few examples. Also, make sure your reader knows exactly who to call for assistance or order placement.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level and need help with your Marketing or Public Relations projects, please call (516) 889-8636 or email: email@example.com today.
Whether you agree or not, few people bother to understand the rationale required for a good and compelling proposal. Let's face it: So many contracts are full of boiler plate language and legal trivia...Those agreements not only obscure the real issues but may even create a certain level of distrust.
It is helpful to understand that proposals are not inanimate documents which emerge at some point in a business deal. Those documents are tangible summations of the ideas being agreed upon. In the business environment, proposals are based on conceptual agreement between a service provider and a prospective client about what is to be accomplished, how it will happen, when and where it will occur, and who will be held accountable for the outcome...
So, here is a basis for an effective and brief proposal. I hope my suggestions below will come in handy and guide you in the right direction.
Blindly responding to RFPs (requests for proposals) is usually a waste of time. As I pointed out above, proposal is a written statement of the conceptual agreement already gained in prior discussions and negotiations with the buyer. It is a summation, not an exploration. According to a well-known and well-revered marketing strategist, if the conceptual agreement has not been gained, a proposal is not any different than "a spin of the roulette wheel". Always keep that in mind...
Explain the reason for a proposal. Your goal is to allow the buyer to:
a) reaffirm the conceptual agreement already generated;
b) learn about different options you have, to reach the objectives;
c) learn about the fee required for the value you have to offer;
d) formally sign-off and launch the project.
Please keep in mind that it is NOT a negotiating document and it should NOT be crafted in collaboration with a client.
Please note that your proposals should have the following elements:
Situation Summary - a restatement of the issues involved
Objectives - the results expected from the project
Measures - the indicators for determining progress and success
Timing - start, duration and ending dates
Joint Accountabilities - what you and the client commit to do together
Credentials - a brief citation of why you are the best source
Methodology - an outline of the steps required
Options - a choice of value options to meet the objectives
Terms and Conditions - fees and payment terms for each option
Acceptance - client sign-off opportunity
Your proposals do not have to be too long. They can run two or two-and-a-half pages. There is no need to enclose biographies of your staff members, unless specifically required. They are almost always irrelevant, poorly written, and take too much space and time. And let me assure you that there is no need to include any "legalese" about being held harmless or blameless.
Occasionally, a client will request that you sign a contract prepared by their legal department. The good news is that the request usually means you have won the business.
Last but not least...Proposals are not part of the sales process. They are part of the implementation process. The sale occurs before the proposal is ever written.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level and need help with your Marketing, Public Relations or Writing projects, please call (516) 889-8636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org today.
As you may know, most marketing and sales materials are banal, boring and indistinguishable from the crowd. Why? Simply because most business owners do not place themselves in their prospects' shoes, which is a big mistake. What they should do is read their literature from a viewpoint of a prospective client and determine whether it passes the "So What??" test.
Here are just some of the fatal mistakes business professionals tend to make:
1. They spend too much time extolling their virtues and stating how good, smart, creative, well-educated or charismatic they are, instead of explaining how the client might benefit from their input and expertise. See the difference?
2. They create sales materials that are TOO long and contain too much copy, which is not always necessary.
3. They develop copy that is hard to read, too fancy, too intricate or too boring. Perhaps, it might serve as an effective antidote to insomnia...
4. They put out promotional materials that are poorly designed and formatted, which might turn off potential buyers and reflect poorly on the image of a company.
These flaws may apply to sales letters, newsletters, websites, advertising copy, brochures, fact sheets and other materials.
No one goes through mail or searches the web in order to "uncover" promotional stuff. First and foremost, people are searching for VALUE - the value for themselves and their organizations.
So, here are five things you should do TOMORROW to dramatically enhance your sales literature and stand out in the crowd. 1. Use results not features
Don't talk about how well and how effectively you design your sales training programs. Emphasize the degree of increased business generated by graduates of your programs.
2. Use bullets instead of text
In most cases, bulleted items are more appealing and should be used to make your points about results, client engagements, benefits, products, etc.
3. Use a wide net
Believe it or not, it is not always necessary to be TOO specific. Some prospects may use promotional literature to "deselect", looking for evidence that they don't or can't use the service. You want your prospect to be open to the next step (i.e. trying to obtain more information or more detail about your product or services).
4. Use your client list
I suggest you cite the names of organizations which have engaged your services (unless some of your clients have specifically forbidden you to do so.) You may not be able to use their logos, but you can mention their names. Well-known or well-revered clients are crucial because their very existence provides a certain level of comfort to your prospects and leads to instant credibility.
5. Use third party testimonials
Everyone expects you to claim that you are the best, the smartest and the fastest of them all Obviously, it is far more credible to have someone else sing your praises. Therefore, the best way to go is obtain specific testimonials from your clients and incorporate them into your marketing communication materials.
I hope my suggestions above will encourage you to take action and improve your promotional strategies, which will ultimately lead to more inquiries, more business and increased profitability. Good luck with your endeavors!
If you are ready to grow your business and need help with your Marketing, PR or Copywriting projects, please call (516) 889-8636 or email: email@example.com today.
Considering all the excellent benefits that LinkedIn provides, you can no longer ignore this social networking platform. It is the professional background for professional connections. If you are serious about engaging the professional community and their decision makers, then LinkedIn is the place to play.
Given below are a few simple but crucial tips on how you should use LinkedIn, connect with other business professionals, and gain more exposure in a highly competitive marketplace.
2. Customize the anchor text on the links to your website and blog. For instance, instead of saying "Blog", say "Stock Investing Blog". As you may know, each profile can display up to three website links, and these links can be customized.
3. Make sure you optimize your profile for search engines by adding keywords to various sections, such as the headline or summary.
4. Use the SlideShare application to enable LinkedIn users to view your PowerPoint presentations.
5. Add an icon known as a Profile Badge to your website. It is hyperlinked to your public LinkedIn profile.
If you are being consistent and use your strategic and value-driven communications in a thoughtful way, LinkedIn can and will open doors. In addition, it makes it easy to add Twitter, your blog and other sites that all work together to effectively present you and your organization in a single page snapshot. So, are you using LinkedIn as part of your social media campaign?
If you are ready to take your business to the next level and need help with your Marketing or Public Relations campaign, please visit www.kambarian.com, call (516) 889-8636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As competition continues to heat up, it is never been more challenging to get, convince and keep clients. We all know it's true...Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner or a CEO of a large organization, you have to work hard to find qualified leads and solidify professional relationships.
Keeping the following points in mind may help you get more clients, improve your client retention rates and move your business forward.
1. Turn "No" into "Yes"
If a potential client has ultimately decided NOT to use your services, don't get discouraged or let this be the end of the relationship. Don't think of it as "never." Think of it as "not now." Needs change and you don't want to be shut out of a possible deal just because you never circled back to a potential partner.
I suggest you contact them in a week or so with a piece of advice or an interesting article that relates to their project. You can send them an email saying that you "Just happened to come across this information...Thought it might help." Please keep in mind that this should not be a solicitation for their business...just a friendly email. Your gesture can set the groundwork for a future relationship or keep you at the top of their mind.
2. During negotiations keep something in your back pocket
One of the best ways to impress a new client is to under promise and over-deliver. It's that simple. By under promise, I don't mean sell your skills and talents short. What you have to do is keep a little something in your back pocket - something you can give your client for free once the deal is done. By the way, there is no need to let the client know about these "extras" right away. You can use them throughout the deal to keep the client surprised and happy.
3. Get qualified customer leads
When a competitor goes out of business, I suggest you immediately call the phone company and ask to have their number redirected to yours. What better way to get qualified leads! You may want to train your staff to politely explain that the company they intended to reach has gone out of business and you will be happy to help them out and provide excellent service.
By the way, this advice holds for URLs as well. A competitor who has closed up shop may be willing to sell their web address to you at a reasonable price. You could even strike a deal to have their URL redirect to yours, in return for paying for leads that come to your site via that channel.
4. Never put down competitors
In my opinion, it is always a bad idea to put down your competition. I think most people are simply put off by it.
5. Improve your employees' phone skills
A smile translates over phone lines. Therefore, it is important for your employees - especially your receptionist or your customer service and sales teams - to smile, stay upbeat and be as helpful as possible when on the phone.
6. Don't underestimate the value of a handwritten card
In the age of voicemail, email and social media a handwritten note easily breaks through the clutter. It is a lot more personal and is a simple way to show the person you care. So, don't forget to write a brief thank you note after meeting with a new client or prospect or when you meet someone interesting at a networking event. Make sure you keep it short and to the point. A lengthy note is not really necessary and may even dilute the impact of the gesture.
7. Go on a listening tour
When things slow down in your business, take some time to simply speak to your clients about their needs, goals and challenges - without trying to sell them anything. Let me assure you that you will gain a lot of insight into what you can offer them in the future.
8. Find common interests with your client
For starters, do an Internet search to read up on your prospects and try to find some common interests, experiences or backgrounds. Or ask a mutual acquaintance. If you both love baseball, went to the same college or have three kids, it gives you an opportunity to bring up something you will both enjoy talking about. It is much easier and nicer to do business with someone with whom you have developed a personal connection.
I hope my insights above will help you overcome your challenges, build your network and grow your business faster. Good luck with your endeavors!
If you need any help with your Marketing, Writing or Public Relations projects, please call (516) 889-8636 or email email@example.com today.
As you may already know, the rules of PR have changed. While maintream media and the trade press remain critically important, your primary audience is no longer a handful of journalists, editors and reporters. Your audience is millions of people worldwide, with Internet connections and access to search engines and RSS feeds. Therefore, it is crucial that you alter your marketing strategy to use the press release as a direct consumer-communication channel.
Now I would like to share with you a few important strategies for levering the press release into one of the most essential direct marketing tools at your disposal and show you how to drive buyers to your products or services.
1. Let the World Know About Your Expertise
Fortunately for us, the Web has made it easy for organizations and individuals to publish their expertise in a wide variety of forms (including press releases) which allows businesses, institutions and non-profits to function much like traditional publishers. That is one of the best ways to gain credibility and loyalty with clients or customers, employees, suppliers and investors. Good content, even in the form of a mere press release might lead to success in almost any product or service category.
2. Reach Your Byers Directly
Remember the old rules of PR? Not long ago, the only way to get published was to have your press release picked up by the media. The Web has turned all kinds of companies into new publishers who create press releases that deliver useful and timely content, directly into the screens of their buyers.
So, what should you include into your press releases? Let me assure you that there is no need to wait for the big news. You can write about anything your organization is doing: CEO speaking at a conference; winning an award; adding a new feature to your product; expanding your service, winning a new customer or client, having a new take on an old problem; publishing a white paper, etc...
3. Publish Your Press Releases Through a Distribution Service
While creating compelling and valuable content is important, it is not enough. It has to reach interested readers. The best way to publish a press release is to post it on your website and send it to one of the press release wires. Why? Because the benefit of utilizing a press release distribution service is that your release will be forwarded to the online news services, such as Yahoo, Google, Lycos and many others. By the way, some of those services reach trade and industry websites as well.
Please note that many distribution services offer RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds of their press releases which they make available to other sites and blogs. What it means is that each time you publish a press release with them, it can be seen by thousands of people who have subsribed to the RSS content.
4. Focus on the Keywords and Phrases that Your Buyers Use
Here is what many successful publishers do: they understand their audience and set about to satisfy their informational needs. A great way to start thinking like a publisher is create a press release that drives action and focuses on your customer's major problems, issues and concerns, then create and deliver content accordingly. What you should do is use the words and phrases your buyers do. Think about how the people you want to reach are searching for information and incorporate those words and phrases into your release.
5. Drive Prospects into the Sales Process with Press Releases
An effective press release strategy drives action. In addition, regular press releases mean your company is busy, there is a lot going on, and your team is moving forward. Consistent quality press release content brands your organization as an expert and a trusted resource. Press releases are considered an important buying criteria in a highly-complex sales process. In fact, a well-crafted and informative release may dramatically shorten the sales cycle for any product or service.
The best PR and marketing pros know that web-based communication delivered directly to their constituents is highly effective. These days, press releases circumvent the media and appear in real time on millions of desktops around the world. I am not suggesting that magazines and newspapers are not longer important...however, the value of the media has shifted to adding content to the news and identifying trends.
If you need any help with your Marketing, PR or Writing projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
As you know, trade shows are an excellent opportunity to expand your visibility in the marketplace, meet face-to-face with industry leaders, impress potential customers, and gain media coverage. These are some of the most effective methods to grow your business.
Let's face it: Most exhibitors could be doing a better job of generating Public Relations from their tradeshow participation. To take advantage of the tradeshow PR opportunity, you must design a compelling Public Relations strategy and find ways to differentiate yourself amid all the clutter.
Why PR? Simple.
When done properly, PR can be a potent marketing tool that builds traffic, targets key customers or clients, generates sales leads, and increases profitability. There is no better way to boost your credibility and enhance your image, as competition among businesses continues to heat up.
Here are a few valuable tips and suggestions on how to leverage your participation in a trade show and take your business to the next level.
1. Utilize Free Promotional Tools Available Through the Show
First and foremost, you should find out what free promotional tools are available through the show organizer, such as media lists, a website for posting news releases,new product showcases, etc. Ask the trade show organizers about THEIR Public Relations plans. It would be nice if you could “ride the coattails” of the show’s promotional activities. If they are issuing a press release about the event, you may ask if your company can be mentioned as an exhibitor. You can even offer your participation as a case study for their marketing materials.
2. Initiate Media Outreach If you are launching a new product or service, make sure to reach out to the most appropriate newspapers and trade publications ahead of the event. In addition, you may review the editorial calendars of industry trade publications. Just keep in mind that most magazines have long lead deadlines, so be sure to make contact early. If the trade show management does not supply a media list, you can search for past articles on the event, simply because the same reporter may be assigned to cover the show again. There is no need to hold a press conference, unless you are introducing the next iPhone, as the cost may far outweigh the benefits.
3. Create a Standalone Website or Product Page
If you are launching a trade show-specific website, you should add a lot of interesting, valuable and relevant content and use your special event URL in all show-related correspondence, press releases, and invitations. Make sure you can update it quickly and easily. You may also include photos, fact sheets and marketing materials. Don’t forget to post a link to it from your main website. Remember: A well-managed website could be the difference in converting leads to customers.
One thing is for sure: The the most successful Public Relations practitioners don’t just distribute press releases and wait for the phone to ring. It doesn’t work that way…They take the time up front to develop powerful messages and communication strategies, initiate discussions, influence decisions, and ultimately lead to purchasing action.
I hope my simple recommendations above will inspire you to take action, get the most of each trade show and experience the success you deserve. Good luck with your endeavors!
If you need help with your writing, marketing or Public Relations projects, please call (516) 889-8636 or email: email@example.com today.
As you know, these days much of the talk in PR revolves around social media and search engine optimization. But how about traditional tactics and ideas that are still so crucial for marketing success? Why do so many business owners ignore them, leave them on the backburner, or no longer appreciate their value and their significance? By the way... are you one of those people?
So, if you need a boost for your company, I suggest you try one of the following PR moves for a change of pace. I hope the three strategies outlined below will have a positive impact on your reputation, your image, and your bottomline.
1. Photo Advisory
This is an old-school tactic that basically involves telling anyone with a camera to "stop by" your store or your office because something interesting or cool is going to happen. It could be a contest that's worthy of snapping a few photos...How about having a special guest showing up at your office? You can also organize an interesting event, make it visually appealing and create a photo collage...Not a bad idea, is it?
2. Send Out Product
People like free stuff. It's that simple. When the free stuff is worthwhile, they will definitely talk about it and spread the word. So, send your latest release to bloggers, radio hosts, your dentist, or whoever else you feel will "blab" about it, and see what happens. One thing is for sure - word of mouth remains a viable means of gaining momentum. 3. Hold a Conference
Let me assure you that it doesn't have to be something major (unless you are up to the task). It could be more along the lines of a webinar or press conference. You can talk about your area of expertise, share some valuable insights about your industry, discuss new trends, rather than sell or blatantly promote yourself. So, be prepared to do a great deal of research, writing and editing. If you pull off one or two of these conferences, the end result can do wonders for your reputation. Your audience will see you as an expert in your field which will give you a big head start (especially if you release a new product or add more services).
If you need any help with our Public Relations or writing projects, please feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 889-8636 today.
I am sure you have heard of Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Julia Child and other top chef masters...They are great chefs, but there are so many other great chefs out there, creating amazing recipes and concocting spectacular meals. So, why do we know these few better than others?? Here is why: they share everything they know with the public. It's that simple. They put their recipes in cookbooks and demonstrate their techniques on cooking shows.
As a business owner, you should also share your insights and expertise with others. In the business world this may seem a bit counter-intuitive, and many businesses are a bit paranoid when it comes to revealing their strategies and techniques.
Let's face it: It is much easier to copy a recipe than an important business strategy or business model. Shouldn't that scare Jacques Pepin or Mario Batali? Why would they go on national TV and show you (step by step) how they do what they do? Why would Paula Deen put all her recipes in cookbooks where anyone can purchase and replicate them? Because Jacques, Paul, Mario and Giada know for sure that those recipes and techniques aren't enough to beat them at their own game. Who is going to buy a cookbook, open a restaurant next door, and put them out of business? It doesn't work like that! Yet this what many in the business world think will happen if their competitors learn how they do things.
So, here is my advice to you. Ignore it at your own peril Start emulating famous chefs. They cook, so they write cookbooks. What do YOU do? What are your "recipes"? What can you tell the world about how you operate? Can you come up with something interesting, informative, educational or even inspirational? This blog is my" cookbook". What's yours??
If you are ready to grow your business and need help with your marketing, Public Relations, or writing projects, please visit www.kambarian.com, email: email@example.com or call (516) 889-8636 today.