Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Does Social Marketing Work In B2B?

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

by Mark from Gentle Rain Marketing LLC

Interesting article in the latest edition of BtoB Magazine about social marketing and Twitter specifically, as a marketing channel. According to their survey of nearly 400 marketers four of five said they could not directly attribute revenue to the Twitter micro-blogging platform.

The whole area of social media is one I’ve been discussing with many clients, colleagues and other marketers. While Twitter and Facebook have obviously received a lot of press, the more important question is-how does social media fit into the overall marketing strategy?

Here’s my view.

I think the benefit from social media comes when you move people from Twitter and Facebook onto your main website AND when they opt-in to become a member of your list.

Then (and only then) have they become a true “prospect” since you now can communicate with them via your newsletter, blog posts and ongoing email messages.

However it is a HUGE funnel from being on your Twitter or Facebook list and opting in on your house email list and only a very (very) small percentage of people will travel down the path.

(It’s my belief-and that of a lot of other marketers-that until you get people to opt in to your main website list, the odds of them actually becoming paying clients is somewhere between the proverbial slim and none.)

Let me share some statistics with you from a couple of clients whose names I must keep confidential.

Internet services provider. 25,000 people on his Twitter list. 86 people opted-in on his website. Zero sales. (This is over a 11 month period.)

Coaching services to executives. 38,000 people on Facebook. 127 opted-in on her website. One client. (Over 14 months.)

As the article in BtoB points out, whether you decide to do anything on Twitter and Facebook or not, you need to think of them as a channel, not a marketing strategy. (Other “channels” would include advertising, direct mail, article marketing, direct sales, ect.)

What about the “other” social marketing tool-LinkedIn? Actually that turns out to be far more effective. I’ve been sharing with a few coaching clients (and I’m doing this myself) on a specific strategy that moves people to your list. As a non-scientific statistic, I have 750 people on linked in-and a whopping 227 have opted in to my Gentle Rain subscriber list after they first joined me on Linked In.

I’ll be interested in your thoughts on social media and how it is working for you. For readers who operate in the B2C space, are you getting different results?


The Five Steps of Discovery With Your Prospects

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 11:54 am
by Randy Fried
As you know by now firehosing your prospects wont build your residual income! To reach the success you seek there is more to it than throwing your deal in everyone’s face, people join people not companies! The following are some brief guidelines to help you build your relationship with your prospects.
There are five steps in the beginning conversations with your prospects that will help you to find their needs and learn more about them, that will help you to see whether you can help them, remember IT’S ABOUT THEM NOT YOU!!! YOUR the problem solver!! Listen carefully without judgment, prejudice or personal interpretation.
1. Background
2. Needs Development
3. Solution
4. Consequence
5. Qualifying
God gave you 2 ears and one mouth, that should be a good clue on which one’s to use!! Listening to them will give you a good idea of their needs, if it doesn’t then ask.
1. Backround;
· Are you presently working?
· What kind of work do you do?
· How long have you been doing that?
· What drew you into this kind of work?
· What were you doing before that?
· If you could start all over again, would you
take the same path or do something
· How long have you been unemployed?
· Do you travel to work?
· How long does that take?
· Do you have a family?
· Plus – Background to other information
· Have you spoken with any other companies
yet or is this the first?
· You have. What kind?
· Have any of them interested you?
· What was it about them that interested you)
· What kind of business would you like to get
· What Interests you more… the products,
business or both?
· What’s your criteria for having your own
· What does a home based business look like
to you?
· Anything else you’re looking for?
· Why is that?
· Have you had any past experience running
your own business?
· Tell me about it.
· What do you know about the personal and
professional success development field?
· Is that of interest to you?
· Are you looking to do this part time or full
· What does “part time” mean to you?
2. Needs awareness
*Do you enjoy your present work?
*Do you like where you live?
*Do you like commuting?
*If answer is “Yes”
· What do you enjoy/like about it?
· Why is that?
· What else do you enjoy about it?
· Which of those things is important to you?
· Why is that?
· (Tell me more… tell me more… )
· Is what you’re doing right now fulfilling your
dreams or allowing you to achieve your
· Is there anything you would change if you
· What else would you change about…?
· Why is that…?
· (Why) is that important to you?
· How does that affect you?
· So imagining in your mind’s eye that you had
that… how does that feel right now?
**If answer is “No”
· What is it you don’t like?
· Why is that?
· What else is there that you don’t like…?
· Why don’t you like that?
· What would you change if you could?
· What else would you change about…?
· Why would you change…?
· (Why) is that important to you?
· What would that mean to you?
· How important is it to you to make a change
to get what you want?
· So imagining in your mind’s eye that you had
that… how does that feel right now?
· What would see making a big difference in
your life if you could do or have anything?
3.  Soloution;
What Have They Done About It?
· What have they done about
getting what they want?
· What are they doing about
getting what they want?
· What would they do if they could
get what they want?
· Have you ever done anything about changing
your present circumstances?
· How did it work out? (What worked/didn’t
· What would you do about it if you could?
· What do you see as the answer to your
· Have you looked at anything else that would
give you what you’re seeking?
· What would you rather be doing?
· Have you thought about what are you going
to do about it?
· What would you do if you could do anything?
· If your life depended on taking action, what
would you do?
· Let me ask you – if you could do anything
else other than what you’re doing, and
money and failure was not an option – what
would that be?
· If you could start all over again and nothing
was in your way – would you do the same
thing or something different?
· Suppose you could…, what would that mean
to you?
· How would that change things?
· If you could do that, what would that enable
you to do?
· If you found “it” – what would it mean to you?
· How would you feel about that?
· So, how do you prevent yourself from getting
what you want? Can you give me an
· What have you been doing so far to find a business of your own?
· What did you look at?
How does it feel now when you imagine you won’t get
what you want?
· What if you don’t do anything and nothing
changes – what might happen?
· Would that concern you if…?
· What will you do if you cannot…?
· What if your new idea doesn’t get you what
you’re looking for?
· Does that worry/concern you?
How does it feel to imagine you will get what you
Ongoing Qualifying Questions
· Can you see yourself making a change to get
what you want?
· Is this what you’re looking for?
· Does this make sense?
Income Qualifier
· Have you thought about how much would
you like to make each year?
· If there were no limits on you as to what you
could make, what would that be?
· How would you feel if you were making a
much larger income?
· How do you see your life being different if
you had this kind of income?
· Not having this kind of income… what has it
prevented you from doing?
· Have you ever made that kind of income
· You have! Tell me more about that
· You haven’t! Do you know what it will take to
make what you want?
· Are you prepared to do that?
Main Qualifying Questions:
· How important is it for you to be able to (work
together at home)?
· Is it important enough for you to do that as
soon as you can?
· You said you were unhappy about your
current job because of the (repeat the
negatives)… If you could change all of that
and do something different, would you do it?
What if there was a way…
· …you could replace your present job over the
next 1-4 years, what would that mean to
· …you could get rid of all the things you don’t
like, such as (repeat the negatives)…
And receive all the things you DO want, such
as (repeat logical & emotional dreams), are
you prepared now to change to get what you
· …you had an opportunity to do just that –
Would you do whatever it takes to do the
things you want?
· …you could find something that has the
same level of fulfillment and yet gave you the
money you wanted, would it be appealing to
· On a scale of 1 -10, 10 being “absolutely you
would”… what would you rate your desire to
change your present circumstances… no
matter whether you did something with us or
with someone else?
These are important questions to ask and know about the people you work with, if they have a good line on the questions they will be good business partners.
This IS NOT ABOUT A COMPANY OR PRODUCT THIS IS ABOUT PEOPLE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM REACH THEIR GOALS. I would be happy to introduce you to all of our free training and to help you build your business so you can reach your goals…WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO TO REACH YOUR GOALS?

Recommendations for Effective Business Networking

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

Posted: September 16, 2010 by Mohit Goel

  • Start to build Business Network todayBusiness networking will be requirement of future if you don’t start to get and enhance your business network today than it will be very difficult to get it when you actually require Business Networking. To get relevant and strong network of prospect is not a overnight process; if you try to do this [by sending invitation to other unknown members without doing any activity], you will be treated as spammer and your account/IP may be banned for that Social Media.
  • Network Creation Strategy: When a professional start to expand his professional / Business Network online than he should not send invitation to un-known guys or network members like a blind spammer; if anyone try to do so, his membership may be de-activate or his IP may banned at the platform.

I recommend following tactic for network expansion (this is what I do)

    • 25% of those members who know you directly
    • 50% of those members who either have same interest/objective that you have or members from your business/social prospect segment.
    • 25% of those members who may help you to be more visible at network or those which highly active at that network so that you could reach/connect to your actual audience.
  • Regular Activities: If you have Business / Social network profile and really serious about branding through online Business Networking than you have to manage time for daily activities; like, updates, knowledge sharing, question answers etc; in other words; you have to make you live, active and visible most of the time.

The large connection you have, long time you have to spend at network for betterment and growth.

Build Network Trust: Next step is get network trust; get maximum positive recommendations and feedback. Best approach for same is to be more involve in question answers section, group activities, forum and to attained conference or events.

  • Interlinking of multiple Social Networks: Although online Networking is cyclic process; when you feel that you have enough presence at a network than you have to expand yourself horizontally; expend presence over multiple social / business Networks. When you feel regular presence over every network is difficult to manage than you may go for interlinking of multiple social / business network; with this approach your status update, discussion, threat, question – answers, comment, tweet etc will be display every where.

Social Networking and Business Networking is requirement of today’s competitive scenario and it will be essential in forthcoming future. Business Networking is booming with its maximum pace, if we don’t take initiative today or don’t accelerate our current SMO process than we will be far behind in industry. After the launch of “Google caffeine”, “Google Realtime” and “Google Instant” back to back; Business Networking has been major attribute for organic search as well.

Using Dr. Oz’s Info on Circadian Rhythms to Our Best Business Advantage

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

By Vicki Wrona, PMP

In September, Dr. Oz had a show on the best time to do anything. In it, he discussed several things that we can use to our benefit at work. This information centers around working with our natural circadian rhythms.

From a business perspective, I found the following information useful:

• Mundane tasks: Our analytical brain is slower on Monday, so Mondays are best for the more mundane tasks. And you thought it was just YOU who had a hard time getting into the work week. As it turns out, we all naturally do, to some extent!

• Issues: In general, morning is a better time for us to naturally deal with issues. Cortisol levels are high in the morning, which helps us deal with stress and think more clearly. Our brain function peaks in the mid-morning, so 10am is the time our natural body rhythms allow us to be most organized and able to deal with complex issues. I know those of you who are not morning people are thinking this can’t be true. But if you think about it, our internal circadian rhythms have developed over thousands of years from ancestors who better followed natural daylight. Due to lack of good lighting and the reality of their work, they didn’t typically stay up as late into the night as we do now. But that’s a topic for another time.

• Confronting problems: People are more willing to compromise at the end of the week, so Thursdays are a good time to confront those difficult problems.

• Brain Power: Our brains are most focused and rested on Sundays, which can be a good time to try a Sudoku or crossword puzzle…or study for the PMP exam!

• 2pm slump: our bodies naturally make more epinephrine at this time, which is a relaxing hormone. This is when we experience our natural slump. My takeaway here is that if I schedule a meeting at this time, I need to either keep people actively engaged or bring a snack. If I am working alone, I may need to walk or move around or stretch to keep myself awake and more alert.

Now that I know this, when I have a choice, I will choose options which work better with my body’s (and other’s) natural internal rhythms.

How do you work with yours or other’s natural rhythms or preferred patterns?

The 11 Harsh Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

There’s always talk about the end game in the form of an acquisition, funding announcement, or eventual flame out. Hollywood has even made a movie about the founding of Facebook that glamorizes startup life instead of showing what it really is: a day in day out marathon of work with very little glamor. We rarely hear about the harsh realities that entrepreneurs face and the journey that this entails. This isn’t meant to be a downbeat and negative article, but actually quite the opposite. By knowing the harsh realities that lie ahead, you can be prepared when they come about so you can solider on. Here are some of the harsh realities that come with the territory of being an entrepreneur.


Your First Iteration of an Idea Will Be Wrong

The first iteration or implementation of your idea will often be wrong. That’s not because you’re not smart, not doing the right things, or some other reason to come down hard on yourself. As it turns out, this is actually a good sign. No idea survives its first interactions with its customers and requires you to synthesize feedback to adapt to the customer. You could be prideful, not listen to what your customers are telling you, and keep things the way they were. In the end, that just leaves you with no customers and a product you may not even use yourself. It’s okay if things change up a bit when it comes to your idea and its implementation.

Your Friends And Family Won’t Understand What You Do

"You’re an entrepreneur, so that means you’re un-employed?" or "Oh that’s nice." are some of the many reactions you will get from close friends, family members, and others over the course of starting your company. Even if you achieve milestones that are worthy of praise (customers, fundraising, new traffic levels, press,etc.) and denote success in the entrepreneurial world, people still won’t understand what you do. Unless you build one of the few consumer success stories that come around every few years, things probably won’t change here. The b2b space is even more difficult to explain as most people aren’t your customer, especially if it’s a niche workflow. This is okay and sometimes even a relief to know there is more outside in the world than just techies and entrepreneurs. Just because they don’t understand it, doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or unacceptable. I doubt Larry Ellison can have most of his family understand Oracle (that database company that stores information), but things turned out pretty well for him at the end of the day.

You Will Make Less Than Normal Wages For A While

If you got into entrepreneurship first and foremost for the money, then you are in the wrong business. Sure you may one day sell your company, but that day is probably far far away. Even then, there are usually earn out clauses, vesting still in tact, and a whole lot more. Even if you raise a good chunk of cash, your money is better spent on hiring the best talent than paying yourself a higher wage. There’s nothing wrong wanting to make money, but in the beginning it’s going to be rough. You will make less than most of your friends, especially the ones doing the "normal" paths of things like finance. It’s a litmus test in its finest form though. If you truly love what you’re doing, the capacity to have a large bank account takes a back burner to completing your mission. Sure you need some basic creature comforts, but luxury items almost seem silly as you will not have the time to truly enjoy them.

Everything Takes Twice As Long…If It Even Happens

Multiply everything by two, including the things inside of your control. When things take longer, you sometimes think that you’re doing it wrong or no one really cares. In reality, everyone else has multiple deals and responsibilities on the table. By factoring this into the expectations of your startup, it makes a lot easier to prepare for launching products, closing deals, and more. Also, be persistent and get the other party what they need as soon as possible. On the flipside, most deals just never work out. It may be an acquisition all the way down to a simple business development deal. There are always many moving parts and excitement that can just fade. That’s okay though. If you’re building your company upon one deal or a silver bullet (more on that below), then you need to re-evaluate things. Don’t be depressed when a deal falls through as that is just the nature of the beast.

Titles Mean Nothing. You Will Be a Janitor

Hey there Mr. CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder! As a co-founder of a < 10 person company with a product that doesn’t have customers, titles really don’t mean much. Everyone will be doing a little bit of everything, including cleaning the toilets. Don’t try to mask the grind of being an entrepreneur with some superficial title. In reality, you should love and embrace the nitty gritty of those first days. Business cards are nice to hand out, but they really shouldn’t say more than co-founder or something else. Maybe someone inside the company plays more of the CEO role (speaking and being the face of the company), but that doesn’t really matter in the early days. You have to be humble and you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. You don’t have a staff of 50 to throw the task on to either. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done. Sure you could also try to optimize for efficiency, but that’s almost counter productive as the early days of a startup requiring doing so much, that it’s hard to just cut something out.

There Is No Silver Bullet

There shouldn’t be and usually never is a single deal that can make your company. Certain deals or customers can take you to another rung on the ladder, but there are still many more rungs to climb along the way. You shouldn’t look at a deal as the end game to the startup, but a means to a specific milestone that is in the near future. A deal can be taken away far faster than it can be given to you. By training yourself to diversify your risk and the milestones that advance your company, you control the destiny of your company, NOT one single partner. The success of a startup is the compilation of luck infused with many little wins along the way.

Customers Will Frustrate You

Having customers is a great thing, but dealing with support is a whole other ball game. If you’re in the consumer world, expect to deal with customers that don’t notice the obvious even with your fancy pants UI/UX in place. You will also get an influx of feedback that is often contradictory. One customer wants it in red, another wants it in blue, and a third wants it combined to become purple. The key to dealing with customers is to respond to everyone, but have a strong rule of authority. If you succumb to customers frustrating you and do everything you say, you quickly end up in a far worse position.

You Can’t Do It All Yourself

Some entrepreneurs have a superhero complex that they feel they can do everything themselves or with just one co-founder. They think that it’s possible to scale the company with just two to three people. This just results in being overworked and unfocused. Know when to let go of your pride and bring in people that are often smarter than you are. By bringing in others to work with you, there’s also an ability for each team member to be laser focused on what they’re best at.

There Is No Such Thing As An Overnight Success

In some cases you may be able to find out that your idea just won’t work or that you are one of the lucky few that get acquired early on. Other than that, be prepared to work on your startup for many many years. The press often makes it seem as if success happened overnight, but the entrepreneurs themselves spent a lot of time with the company over the course of many years. Startups aren’t a 5k, but an all out iron man competition.

Building A Team Is Hard

Finding co-founders by themselves is very hard just by itself. Finding a group of individuals smarter than yourself across a broad range of skill takes up way more time than you would ever think. In the early days, you may be super excited about your company, but it’s often hard to get a large group of others equally excited. They may have their own ideas they want to work on, be comfortable with a cushy salary, or generally just not interested in what you’re doing. Just because you’re excited does not mean others will be excited. If you’re lucky enough, you will hit a certain period of growth explosion that requires you to hire rapidly and be a great judge of character on the fly. This is a dangerous period for a startup as the company is still small enough that the wrong DNA can make things take a turn for the worse, but you cannot be as granular with hiring these employees as your first 10.

There Are Forces Outside Your Control

Last, but not least, you have to understand that you cannot control everything in the universe. Markets collapse, the government intervenes, tragedy strikes, and other unforseen circumstances. You don’t let this make you quit. It’s like a roadblock on the way to a concert, sports game, or party you want to get to. You may have to sit in traffic or take an alternate route, but as long as you are determined to get there, you will end up at the event. In the words of the late Randy Pausch "Brick walls are there to show you how bad you want something." Once again, this isn’t a deterrent to becoming an entrepreneur, but just a reality check to make sure you’re prepared. Many companies die because people just give up . Hopefully this article does some small bit in helping preventing this. Life as an entrepreneur is hard, but if you really love what you’re doing and have the determination, you WILL do it.

What are some of the harsh realities you have faced as an entrepreneur and what have you done to overcome them? Leave your responses in the comments.