AccountHUNTER

The Daily Journal for Ad Agency New Business Hunters

Archive for July, 2006

Presenting via Sticky Note?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Friday, July 28, 2006

sticky.jpgHow many times have you sat there in your office, knowing that you were going to need to develop a Powerpoint-type presentation for a sales presentation?

If you’re anything like me, those powerpoint lightbulbs don’t exactly go off in your head, followed by a stream-of-conciousness type creation of the pitch.  Rather, I tend to beat my head on the table a lot, some muttering under the breath, all that sort of silliness.

I expect that at least some of you know what I’m talking about.

Today, I stumbled across a very interesting idea on SellingPower.com.  Using sticky notes to get your mind right, then plowing through the actual creation of your presentation.  It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s a different take on a simple brainstorming concept.

Not to mention that they do it in very simple list format, which translaters wll to my way of thinking.  I hope you find it helpful…

Posted in Pitching | Leave a Comment »

Compose That Elevator Speech This Weekend

Posted by Shane Murphy on Thursday, July 27, 2006

elevator.jpgI’ve discussed the importance of your “elevator speech” more than once here on AccountHUNTER over the past few months.  The elevator speech… you know, that little 30-second ditty that you really need to burn into your memory so that you can explain to anybody exactly what how it is that what you do can be of help to them.

So as the weekend approaches, have you actually taken the time to sit down and either write yours or attempt to improve it?

This week, I decided that I need to revamp mine considerably.  But before I got started on it, I found myself wondering if there was any good advice about this on the good ‘ol internet.

What a silly question…

I came across an article on a job hunting site (makes sense, right?) that explains in pretty good detail a great exercise in constructing your elevator speech.  This piece gives multiple processes that you can use to make your speech sing.

Take a little bit of time this weekend and work on yours.

Posted in Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Developing Loyal Clients

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

handshake.jpgDeveloping loyalty in your client base.  Sometimes, it can seem as far away as the next universe over.  But it doesn’t have to be, right?

Of course, we all dream of a day when prospecting is but a limited part of our days.  When the business comes to us, not the other way around.  It seems like a pipe dream much of the time.

But it doesn’t have to.

Your day, if it’s anything remotely close to mine, consists of a good amount of prospecting, with a much smaller percentage of selling to existing customers.  So how do we build up that loyalty in our existing clients?

It’s all about relationships, of course.  I came across a short blog post today citing the words of a research psychologist.

When people feel like they’re being recognized as a human being on the other side of a transaction, as opposed to being the transaction, then they have a more positive response.

On it’s face, that seems like a pretty simple concept.  But sit back and take a look at your daily activities.  When you call on an existing client, what is the interaction like?  Not for you… for the client…

I challenge you to take a few moments to consider that question.

Posted in Planning, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Stop Worrying About The Competition

Posted by Shane Murphy on Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ever feel like you’re spending more time worrying about what your competitors are doing, and not enough time working on your own planning?

Sure you do.  We all do.

What makes me better than my competitor?  How do I stand out from them?  What do they do that I don’t?  What do I do that they don’t?

And the handwringing goes on, and on, and on…

Today, I came across a great piece over at MarketingProfs.com that breaks this common calamity down pretty succintly.  Four points of coverage:

Mistake #1: Beaten-to-Death Research

Mistake #2: Market and Service Offering Reluctance

Mistake #3: Cliché Competitive Differentiation

Mistake #4: Unique Methodology

It’s a great read… take the time.

Posted in Planning | Leave a Comment »

From Cold… to Gold

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, July 24, 2006

telephone.JPGIt’s a rare day here on AccountHUNTER that I consider blogging something related to cold calls, but this piece from RainToday.com certainly seemed worth your time.

Face it, we all hate the dreaded cold call. One day, a magical fairy may appear to take care of all those prospecting needs (oh, how I long for that day!). But until that fairy arrives — no matter how organized, how smooth, or how sharp we are — cold calling will always comprise part of our lives.

Oh, how I hate it…

But today, as I read the linked story, I realized that maybe it’s me that’s causing some of my own angst over this time-honored method of account hunting.

All too often, service professionals go into a cold meeting expecting the ultimate – an immediate sale. If they do not get the sale from that first meeting, they consider the entire exercise a waste of time and effort. As a result, they do not plan to succeed over the long-term… and thus they fail.

I know that I have been guilty of the above more than once in my time, and I’m sure you have as well. I’ve picked up the phone, gotten in front of a prospect, got pushed off… and given up. Long term, that’s not the way to do this!

Seriously, take a few moments to read the RainToday piece. Hopefully, it’ll get your mind thinking a bit differently.

Posted in Prospecting | 1 Comment »

Honest Abe’s Take On Customer Relationships

Posted by Shane Murphy on Friday, July 21, 2006

lincoln.jpgHow do you perceive your relationships with your customers? Just as important of a question… how do you perceive your prospects?

It’s easy to look at a prospect — and at face value, simply dismiss them for a variety of reasons that you may swear up and down you would never consider.

Dan Tudor over at LandingTheDeal penned a pretty strong blog item last week discussing the customer relationship philosophy of Abraham Lincoln. Specifically, Lincoln’s simple understanding that it is indeed your attitude that defines your relationships with others… including your customers and prospects!

“Hey, guess what: This isn’t high school. You aren’t passing notes in your home room, and your customer isn’t going to ask you to the prom. It’s a professional business relationship, and you need to grow up and act your age when it comes to being patient with your customers, even when they don’t return the favor to you at first.”

That couldn’t be more true. Sometimes in life, and in selling, we have to get past our personal issues and biases and realize that when we decided that we don’t “like” somebody, it very well may be our problem to overcome.

To simply write that customer off may seem logical in the short-term… but what about long-term? Think about it…

Posted in Prospecting, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Who Should You Be Selling To?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Thursday, July 20, 2006

shrug.jpgEvery day, as you sit in your office trying to figure out how to get more potential clients onto your prospecting list, what are you actually doing? Are you actively prospecting and then qualifying those prospects, or are you spending the bulk of your time trying to convince people who, quite frankly, don’t want to be convinced of anything except that it’s beer-thirty?

I was over at SalesTeamTools today and saw this a blog posting about this very issue. How many times have you done your prep work, been dead-on prepared for a major pitch, then found yourself in front of a person who, plain and simply, has very little interest in talking to you at all?

So when you prospect, are you just filling up your database of potentials, or are you taking the time to actually qualify those leads before spending your valuable time preparing for the next frustrating pitch? From SalesTeamTools:

It’s finding out, quickly, who recognizes they need to make things better because they’re broken, or make things better because they can. And spending time only with those prospects. It’s telling them in brief, easy-to-understand, engaging language what you do, why you do it, how it could help them, and finding out if they get it.

If they don’t, then move on.

Prospecting without qualifying, many times, is simply an exercise in frustration. Take that extra time to do your research on your prospects, find out who you need to talk to exactly, and be sure you’re talking to people who are difference-makers… people who can make decisions.

And always be ready to help them. Always.

Posted in Planning, Prospecting | 2 Comments »

Little Blue Book of Advertising

Posted by Shane Murphy on Tuesday, July 18, 2006

advertisings_blue_book_1.jpgIt’s been a few weeks since I put up a book review on AccountHUNTER, so today I was looking for new titles that may either be out or are coming out in the next few months. In my searching, I came across a title set to be released in late July / early August — “The Little Blue Book of Advertising” by Penguin Group.

Before preparing my request to Penguin for a review copy of this book, I came across a pretty detailed review of it on Brand Autopsy. After reading their impressions of the book, I still sent my request letter but also wanted to link up to it because their synopsis is quite detailed.

The premise of the book is quite simple — 52 tried and true ideas culled over the years by the authors, both of whom are advertising veterans.

The review on Brand Autopsy is impressive to me, in that they don’t just give their singular impression of the overall book, but they break down several of the tips and actually review the tips individually. A unique and time consuming effort for sure.

I’ll do my own review when my copy arrives, of course…

Posted in Planning, Researching | Leave a Comment »

Can You Master the ‘Science’ of Selling?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, July 17, 2006

science.jpgBecoming good at selling — heck, becoming good at anything — is not easy. Rather, it’s a process, almost scientific in the approach. It’s dedication and commitment, it’s desire and hard work.

As my father used to tell me (and still does), “nothing worth doing is easy.” When I was a kid, I thought he was crazy. But he’s right.

Which is why I’m a devoted reader. I read all the time, it seems. New ideas, analysis of existing ideas, and a lot of motivational-type reading. Which explains why I like what Jeffrey Gitomer writes so much.

Gitomer has a great piece on his website regarding how he became good at selling — and he is good. I’d recommend taking a look at it, it’s well worth your time.

Posted in Planning | Leave a Comment »

Three Common Closing Errors

Posted by Shane Murphy on Sunday, July 16, 2006

As another wonderful weekend draws to a close, it’s time to get revved up for another week of making sales. And speaking of closing… how about three common closing errors to get your Monday off to a rollicking start?

From a blog called “The Sales Guru” comes the three errors in question:

  1. lightbulb.jpgNot Asking for the BusinessI’ve talked about this a little bit since starting up this blog, but it’s still something that I think gets woefully too little discussion in the grand scheme of things. Many a sale has been lost because the seller just didn’t have the guts — or the wisdom — to just ask for the sale.
  2. Not Paying Attention to the Prospect’s Signals – A few years ago, I was working as a sales trainer for a major mobile tool company. One day, I was on the road with a struggling salesperson, and watched him lose sale after sale because he just wasn’t paying attention. To wit, a customer was in the truck (the salesperson’s store) just ogling a $6,000 toolbox. Opening drawers, looking at it from different angles, asking what kind of payment options there were… but the salesperson was too busy trying to sell the guy a $50.00 wrench to read the signals.After the customer bought the wrench and went back into his shop, I pulled the salesperson aside. We discussed what I had been seeing, and he went into the shop to talk to the customer about it. First words out of the customers mouth? “I just figured you must have it sold to somebody else!”
  3. Getting Jaded – This is one that’s actually incredibly relevant, but easily overlooked when wondering why you may be struggling. Attitude is everything! Regardless of how things are going today, you’ve got to keep your mindset positive. Letting a crummy day — or crummy quarter — drag you down just dooms you to a self-induced failure. Don’t get caught in this trap!

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »