AccountHUNTER

The Daily Journal for Ad Agency New Business Hunters

The Discount Trap

Posted by Shane Murphy on Thursday, November 2, 2006

scared.jpgLast night, I had coffee with a friend who is working to start up a business here in Central Ohio.  He’s a good guy with a great personality, and he’s selling widgets.  A lot of what he’s going to have to do is network his butt off and get some word-of-mouth marketing going.

And, like so many of us, it’s going to be a long road, but one he can navigate pretty well if he exercises some patience.

But midway through our conversation, the red flags started flying.  Before he’s even started — before he’s ever made his first sale — he’s already talking about discounting his products to “get things off the ground.”

He’s PLANNING to discount!

After choking on my coffee, it was time to get serious with him.

What signal does a discount send to a prospect?  That you overpriced your widgets from the start, planning to drop the price?  That your widget isn’t worth what you’re asking, and only the unsavvy are stupid enough to pay that price?

Or is it that you just don’t have the guts to sell it?  After all, it’s easier to just drop the price, isn’t it?

Have a look at this short article over at Solo Business Marketing, where they pulled three critical tips from “Sales and Marketing Magazine” that will help any salesperson — no matter what you’re selling — to avoid the discount trap.

Posted in Closing, Pitching, Planning | Leave a Comment »

Want To Make Your Customers Angry?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

annoyed.jpgI was doing my daily RSS round-up earlier, and came across a short post from Dan over at LandingTheDeal — an entry that I missed the other day. Is was regarding TicketMaster and their “TicketAlerts.” Like it’s not bad enough that they charge outrageous “service fees” for ordering concert tickets, they’ve gotta keep clogging our inbox as well?!?

(Case in point with the fees… I bought two tickets for my daughter and I to see a show in Columbus last week. Face value of the tickets? $20. Total cost after fees? $60. Absurd.)

Anyway, Church of the Customer is following this situation with unsubscribing and continuing to get unsolicited emails. It’s a good discussion worthy of your time.

Keep this in mind, all of you who build Email lists of clients. It’s a great way to connect, but it can burn you.

Posted in Organizing, Planning | Leave a Comment »

Think ‘Digital Marketing’ Is No Big Deal?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, October 30, 2006

Dove | Evolution

The above 75-second viral video was placed on YouTube by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto on behalf of Dove. In less than a month, this thing has been viewed nearly 2 million times.

It has garnered significant media time on several talk shows.

It has caused a “traffic spike to CampaignForRealBeauty.com, three times more than Dove’s Super Bowl ad and resulting publicity last year.” (AdAge – October 29th)

Sitting there every day reading all of this ‘new media’ hype and just dismissing it as another fad?

Ignore it at your peril…

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

Posted in Planning | Leave a Comment »

Struggling to Cope With Failure?

Posted by Shane Murphy on Saturday, October 28, 2006

listen.jpgIt’s a disgusting weather day here in Central Ohio, so instead of heading outside to wrap up the autumn lawn work, I spent some time this morning working on my sales skills. Part of that work took me to a relatively new destination out there — RealWorldSelling — which is a new podcasting venture that includes Brandon Hull of SalesTeamTools.com.

I had a listen to a podcast by Steve Martin (not the comedian) that discussed “coping with losing” a sale. Martin’s advice was good, and his voice lent itself well to the podcasting format. I’ve found many a podcast that I had to fight myself to get past the first two minutes. Not so on RealWorldSelling.

Podcasting is one of those things that’s not just wonderful if you have an iPod and a long commute time. It’s something that you can take advantage of instead of listening to music or some wacky talk show while you work.

Enjoy it.

Posted in Etc., Organizing | Leave a Comment »

Turn Away That New Business

Posted by Shane Murphy on Friday, October 27, 2006

no-thanks.jpgSay ‘No’ to new business? That’s what Noelle Weaver is advocating over on the AdAge Small Business Blog…

No, she’s not crazy. Her approach is very well-reasoned and may get you focused on the accounts that will make your firm money… and make you a bit less crazy. From the article…

I can’t tell you how many times, in an effort of transparency and honesty I’ve told a prospective client that 1.) we don’t’ have the staff bandwidth to serve them 2.) the timing of the pitch didn’t work with regards to other current client production that was happening in the agency 3.) the budget for the type of work that we would do plus the amount of energy we would spend doing it, just wasn’t there. More often than not, the client was not only appreciative of the truth, but called us back at some point later with another opportunity.

Maybe she is crazy… crazy like a fox.

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »

Attract Customers with a Free Consult

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, October 23, 2006

chalkboard.jpgThere are many ways that we all go about looking for new business in this world.  Some are effective, others not so much.  But one idea that seems to work in nearly all cases is the idea of giving something away.

No, not pens with your name on them or some silly mouse pad.  Instead, give away information.  And not information that simply promotes yourself, but information that’s meaningful to the potential client.

I’ve been in the midst of creating a free public seminar in the past week to discuss my specialties with the general public, mostly to help my potential clients understand the options that are available to them.  The intent of this for me is to give away enough information to show that I am an expert… and who better to talk to for more information than me when the hour is up?

But it doesn’t just have to be a public seminar, does it?  There are many ways to position yourself as an expert without setting up a seminar in a coffee shop.  One such way is discussed very well by Gail Goodman over at BizTools.

“Publish your short case study in your e-mail newsletter or via a separate e-mail marketing campaign. Alongside it, run a sidebar offering a “free consultation” (or “complimentary assessment,” “project evaluation,” “service overview,” “introductory consultation”–whatever language works best for your business). The case study should be the main feature while the sidebar extends your offer.”

Get over there and read this thing.  It’ll give you some good ideas to start the week off on the right foot.

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »

Cold Calling for Business Owners

Posted by Shane Murphy on Thursday, October 19, 2006

telephone.jpgWell, a few weeks after the “get a real job” debacle, I’m back in the saddle. I’ve done more cold calling in the past week than I ever remember doing in my life. Cold calling can very easily become a monotonous, horrible experience that drags you to the depths of the world. Or, of course, it can be a bit less horrific if you just do it with a smile.

So I wanted to link you up to a solid podcasting website out of the United Kingdom — The Cold Calling Podcast — which appears to offer a weekly short podcast that gives you some ideas of how to improve your abilities to hit the phones. I’d recommend it highly – it was just what I needed to find after a 10-hour calling marathon with a bit of positivity today.

Posted in Closing | 1 Comment »

The AccountHUNTER Returns

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, October 4, 2006

I appreciate the Emails of support (and the ones asking me what on earth was going on) that I’ve received in the past weeks. There are times when you blog that you don’t know if anybody is out there reading your thoughts, but the past weeks have shown me that there are.

Six weeks ago, I last made an entry into the blogosphere, preparing for what was to be a “week-long junket” of 15-hour days in a classroom. Today, I’m back in my home office after what was likely the most difficult six weeks of my professional life.

There are times in life that we make mistakes, those times when we either misjudge or misunderstand a project that we’ve taken on. The last six weeks have consisted of an abundance of the former.

And for one of the few times in my professional life, I’m thrilled that a project is over.

The life that I lead as a training consultant / freelance commercial writer is never a boring one. It seems that I’m in a constant state of account hunting, looking to make that next sale and keep the business growing. I’m sure that the majority of you who read this blog are of a similar mindset. That’s why you read this.

So for me, it’s back to the hunt. I hope you continue the ride with me.

Posted in Etc. | Leave a Comment »

On The Road Again

Posted by Shane Murphy on Sunday, August 27, 2006

student.jpgThe next few weeks will be interesting ones for me.  As I write this, I’m sitting in an airport cafe preparing to depart for a weeklong training junket that will see me not training — but learning in a classroom for about 15 hours per day.

Of course, that will limit the time that I have to blog here at AccountHUNTER, but I will make attempts to blog things as I learn new methods of selling, since that’s why I blog here in the first place!

If you have ideas for things that you would like to see me blog on, I’d love to hear your suggestions.  Drop me a line anytime.

AccountHUNTER will be back in full swing as soon as time allows, with some new ideas to implement.

Posted in Closing | Leave a Comment »

Gitomer on Success

Posted by Shane Murphy on Tuesday, August 22, 2006

victory.JPGI just finished reading part four of an answer given by Jeffrey Gitomer on his website – Gitomer.com – from a reader who asked him a simple question: “How long did it take you to become a good salesman?”

In typical Gitomer style, part four comes in a list format – 7 things detailing what he refers to as the big picture elements of success.

  1. Book or Business Card
  2. Remaining a Student
  3. Succeeding and Failing
  4. Attracting mentors and finding role models
  5. Loving myself
  6. Loving my family
  7. Selling everyday

I can attest to the validity of his list (what a shocker) and have found that in my life, as I’ve focused on several of the things listed above, my world has become clearer.  From Gitomer’s .5 in the piece…

“My secret weapon is staying sharp. I don’t mean ‘sharpening my saw’ sharp, I mean scalpel sharp. Alert, open, looking for opportunity, and communicating value to everyone I come into contact with.”

It’s a quick read, but if you take it in, it can have long-lasting impressions.

Posted in Planning | 1 Comment »