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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

Position Your Dealership as a Team of Experts

Your prospects have a long list of business problems.  They also have many questions related to how technology could be used to solve these business problems.

Most business leaders are open to getting help in solving their business problems.  However, most people have been burned at one point because they have made a bad buying decision.  This is especially true in the area of technology where many promises are made but the actual results end up not delivering.  As a result, today’s buyer is very skeptical.

How do you earn trust in this skeptical environment?  

Why You Need Case Studies

As you grow new business areas like Managed Services, Document Solutions, Production Print or Wide Format one of the most valuable tools you can have are case studies.  Let’s face it -- everyone knows and trusts you as a great provider of copiers. And, the value proposition for a copier or printer is fairly simple.

The trust you have for office equipment may not immediately translate into these new business areas.  Just because you have serviced someone’s copiers for 20 years doesn’t mean they will trust you with their network support or workflow software.

At the same time, the value propositions for these new areas is more complex than a value proposition for a copier.  Your clients understand what they are buying when they buy a copier (for the most part...) but they may not understand the full value proposition of a cloud-based document management system or a managed network security package.  

These 2 Simple Steps To Connect Your Message to the Right People

One of the culprits of slower-than-they-could be sales is ignoring the many opportunities of social media. Every day, there’s an audience of millions consuming thoughts and ideas that help them choose products or get their jobs done more effectively.

This is an audience you can and should tap into. I’m going to focus on two simple steps you can take to leverage your sales reps’ LinkedIn connection. We’ve found that sales reps have an average of 500 Linkedin connections. So, if you have 10 reps, you have an audience of 5,000.

Today's Buyer: What Can You Do?

Last month’s blog Today’s Buyer: What Are They Thinking?, looked at the mindset of someone making a relatively calculated thinking.  To summarize, there were 3 progressive thoughts behind a decision:

  • Thought 1: I have a problem to solve or an opportunity to take advantage of.  
  • Thought 2 (days or weeks later): I need to start to think about taking action.  
  • Thought 3 (Days or weeks later): I need to take action

Given this thought process, what can you do at each step to ensure you have the opportunity to help those that you can help?

The New Way to Win More Deals: Sales and Marketing as Co-Creators of Value

Why do sales people win? Until recently, the primary points of differentiation for companies have been based on two factors:

  • We provide great products
  • We back them up with great service

While that may be true, the challenge is that these provide little differentiation in a marketplace where the great product you sell can be sourced from dozens of vendors online. And while great service is rare, the reality is that there are many companies that provide great service.

In order to win sales, we need to differentiate ourselves. How do we do that? We have to bring value beyond the product and service. 

Today's Buyer: What Are They Thinking?

You’ve probably heard this before: a CEB study revealed that buyers are 70% towards making a decision before they want to talk with a sales rep.

Whether you believe the number is that high given the product or service that you sell, unless there is a glaring emergency to make a decision to fix something that stops working, buyers go through a gradual process before reaching out to talk with a rep.

So, how can you become part of that process to increase your chance of winning? I’ll share a few ideas in a second post. Today, let’s get inside our buyers’ heads and see what they’re thinking before they pick up the phone or fill out a contact form.

Marketing Isn't a Brochure or Leave-Behind

True confession – I used to think marketing was a load of BS.

Yep, before I got into content and inbound marketing, I was an editor. Marketing to me was an endless barrage of crappy email pitches and product press releases.

My job as an editor was to separate the wheat from the chaff to educate my readers. Oddly enough, that's almost exactly what I do now when creating content for clients – with the additional goal of also driving the audience to take an action.

I saw more than my share of bad marketing, brochure-ware websites and other marketing “strategies” focused on the glory of the vendor.

We still see too much of that for copier dealers and managed IT provider sites. No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them solve their business problems.

Capitalizing on Convergence To Grow Your Dealership

If you want to grow your business, you need to look for areas of opportunity. These opportunities are typically found in areas of change. In our channel, we find change where things converge.

Where you find convergence, you find opportunity. Here are three convergence opportunities that could help you grow your dealership’s revenue and profits.

It’s Time To Face The Dial Tone - Cold Calling Doesn’t Work Anymore

Ok, that might not be entirely true. But it’s so true it might as well be.

Don’t believe me?

InsideView previously held a survey in an attempt to end the debate - is this the death of cold calling? The answers aren’t surprising to me as a millennial - according to the study, more than 90% of decision makers claimed they “never” responded to a cold call.

If you’ve read my previous posts, this isn’t a surprise -- I hate the phone. It’s true - I’ve written about cold calling before (and ignored four calls from numbers I don’t recognize today alone). My last post about phone calls - Call Me Maybe? Actually Please Don’t - detailed an undeniable personal fact : I literally will not answer my phone if I don’t know your number.

It’s easy to shrug that off, though, isn’t it? I’m one mid to late twenty something, surely I don’t speak for everyone, right?

Credibility: Building Your Critical Sales Success Factor

Do you want net-new business? Your buyers must see you and your company as credible.

When asked what behaviors a seller could exhibit that would increase the likelihood of meeting or buying, more than 1/3 of the responses were related to credibility as presented in the book, Stop Selling and Start Leading.