Archive for November, 2013

The Trends Moving into 2014

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

by Susan Novicki

When talking to decision-makers in various industries, it is important to understand the economic drivers that are inherent in that specific category of business.  Many times, how the category is trending is indicative to how people are going to spend.

While the overall business climate is far from robust, there are areas that are very healthy and growing at a significant rate.  For categories that are not strong, businesses in the category need to set themselves apart from their competition and gain as much market share as possible with their target consumers.  Understanding all of the trends both within a demographic as well as with a category of business is a key to a seller’s success.

As I have discussed so many times, based on meetings with key decision-makers at Fortune 100 companies, customer engagement continues to be the dominant trigger for many companies.  For this reason social, mobile and digital videos are surging.  Demographics are also important in understanding who is important for companies to reach and how we can help engage these people for our clients – from the largest ethnic minority group in the US, the Hispanic Millennial, to the size and spending power of the Baby Boomers, to the increasing economic influence of women.

2014 should be the year that automotive sales surge ahead past the current record sales number set in 2006.  Yet the automotive aftermarket industry is sluggish.  The percentage of smartphone and tablet users will continue to grow yet the overall consumer electronics market is somewhat stagnant.  Retail is strong in certain areas yet weak in others.  Where people are buying consumer packaged goods and health and beauty products are causing a shift in how many retailers are approaching marketing.   We need to be on top of these trends to talk intelligently to a decision-maker and create a program designed to engage consumers and drive them to purchase.

There is so much opportunity for all of us moving into 2014.  It is up to us to be on top of the trends and understand the economic drivers of any industry.  We also have to remember that every company is in constant competition to garner market share and increase profitable revenue.  What are you doing to be the “go to” media seller for your current clients and new prospects?

If you are interested in a Trends 2014 webinar, please contact us to schedule a session with your group.

Mining Your Current List

Friday, November 8th, 2013

by Ginny Speaks

Seems like lately most of my conversations have been around leads and how to find them and what makes them solid. One of the easiest and best ways to generate a good lead list is right in front of each one of us - your traditional lead list.This list is a solid foundation for building future business.

So, how do we mine our current list? Well, first and foremost there are three pools of money to tap into in every business: advertising, marketing/brand and sales. Take your top three accounts that spend the most money with you and ask yourself this question. Do I know who is in charge of each one of these areas?  If you do not, you just uncovered a new door to open for potential revenue.

Then continue this exercise until you finish your entire list. By the time you finish this list, you should begin to see patterns in your selling skill set — where you are strong, where you need work and categories you do well in.Take this information and begin your new lead list with three accounts you are going to develop deeper.

For example, let’s assume you are strong in auto and you do a ton of campaigns with the local Ford dealers and mainly work with the General Managers.While doing this exercise you realize you do not work with regional marketing and/or the other divisions such as certified pre-owned or parts and service managers.See how this works?We just identified three new doors to open within auto!

As always, the better prepared you are, the better the conversation will go.Always do your homework ahead of time and find out the following facts about your prospect before you call:

· Headquarters contact information

· Fiscal year

· Background information

· Organizational structure

· Marketing practices

· New and major products or services

· Sponsorships and corporate interests

You are now armed with relevant company information and product/service knowledge to pick up the phone and conduct a thorough needs analysis and sound like an expert. Put this practice into motion and you will see your business grow.

For those of you with interest in having this work done for you, Morrison and Abraham offers Company Profiles as part of our website subscription.

Contact us for a website demo or click here for a sample company profile.

Are You a True Leader?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

by Susan Novicki

True leaders are the key to solid management and success for a company. Every leader should be developing their team to get their people to the next level.  A strong leader is also working on his/her replacement in this development.

The definition of a leader is someone who has the ability to get people to want to do what you think is necessary for success.

Working with sellers to close business is the key and this all starts with the “one on one” meetings. This meeting cannot be a rundown or “laundry list” of pending and new leads.  How is that developing a person?  Instead the meeting has to be about asking the right questions – getting deep in how the sellers are working with their accounts.

Are they doing their homework so that the conversations with the decision-makers are about helping them with an issue that they have – maybe even before they know they have one?  Are they focusing on the client and not pushing their products?

If a manager is just asking about the leads and what is pending, how do they know if the rep is pitching an appropriate program? Here are some questions that can help to develop your staff and work with them:

  1. What is the title of the person that you are talking to?  What is their area of responsibility?
  2. How many people have that title in the company? Who does this person report to?
  3. What have you learned about the company?  What is their focus right now?  When is their fiscal year?  Are they in the planning stages right now?
  4. Have you seen something that they are doing that we could help them with?  What would that be?
  5. Have you prepared questions to ask the decision-maker for the needs analysis conversation?  Let’s review them.

Of course there are many more questions but these questions get salespeople to think more about the client, get them more prepared for their call, and it gives them the confidence to talk intelligently and have a successful conversation with the outcome being a homework assignment.

If they can’t answer the questions you are asking, get on the phone, get online and work with them on preparation.

This is also an appropriate way to work with your sellers, a positive do with way.