Ten Big Sales and Marketing Concepts To Grow Your Business

by David Meerman Scott

1) Buyers are in charge

The idea of mystery in the sales process is over. There is no more ‘selling’—there is only buying. When potential customers have near perfect information on the web, it means salespeople must transform from authority to consultant, product narratives must tell a story, and businesses must be agile enough to respond before opportunity is lost.

2) How to generate attention

You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (old school PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, blog, research report, infographic, Twitter feed, Facebook Live stream.

3) Educate and inform instead of interrupt and sell

You have the power to elevate yourself on the web to a position of importance. In the e-marketplace of ideas, successful salespeople educate and inform. They highlight their expertise by sharing videos, content-rich websites, social streams, blogs, e-books, and images rather than using the old sales playbook of information hoarding and letting it drip it out.

4) Convergence of sales and marketing

I’m fascinated by the convergence of sales and marketing. Marketing is when an organization uses content to reach many buyers at once while sales is curating that same content to one buyer at a time. Continue reading

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Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

by Laura Stack

“Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”—William Buell Sprague, 19th Century American clergyman.

Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

One theme I’ve emphasized repeatedly in my writings is that “busy” doesn’t necessarily mean “productive.” Just because you’re staying busy doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything important. Checking 30 tiny tasks off your to-do list may not prove nearly as significant (or as profitable) as completing one high-priority project.

To boost your productivity, work hard and constantly on the high-priority tasks that matter the most.  Multilevel marketers are fond of the term “massive action.” I find this a handy synonym for good, productive work, though some observers disparage the term, assuming it refers only to staying busy, rather than staying busy with intent. I see this as an over-simplification based on false assumptions.

The naysayers seem to assume you take massive action without planning ahead. That’s like assuming a traveler will just take off on a long trip without planning the route, putting gas in the car, and checking the oil and tire pressure. While some people really are this spontaneous, smart travelers always take a few moments to prepare before they start driving. Action should take place only after you’ve decided what target to hit and how. You do have to take action, though; sitting around and expecting the universe to reward you for happy thoughts won’t work.

Of course, you still have daily “housekeeping” tasks that must be done, including handling email and attending meetings, especially if you can’t delegate everything else at this point in your career. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take massive action on what’s most important once you get the small tasks out of the way or even in between.

Here are five reasons to take massive action in your work life:

1. To forestall the paralysis of analysis. Despite the old saying, knowledge isn’t power until it’s ignited with action. Sit and think too long, and you’ll never complete anything. Once you decide to do something and have enough ducks in a row, just do it. Handle the details on the fly. Even if they seem a bit sketchy when you begin, you can flesh them out as you go. The final result may not be perfect, but at least it will be done. If necessary, you can fix it later.

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Why Augmented Reality Is Much Bigger Than Pokémon Go

by Daniel Burrus

3D City Buildings On Smartphone And Man Hand

The increasing use of virtual reality (VR) is a Hard Trend that will continue to grow, and with the release of several high-profile VR systems, 2016 was supposed to be the year that VR finally went mainstream. However, users around the world queuing up to immerse themselves in a virtual world have yet to materialize. The less fancied augmented reality (AR) consists of using your smartphone camera or smart glasses to overlay virtual elements to the physical world. AR is not immersive and was dismissed by many as just another tool for tech enthusiasts only. For those of you who read my 2016 annual list of 25 Hard Trends shaping the future, augmented reality was listed, and the revolution has now started.

The problem is that widespread adoption of any technology is crucial to its growth. Early adopters typically only represent 10 percent to 15 percent of potential customers. Launching new hardware is good, but having engaging and viral software that brings it to life is even better.

Assuming you already have a high-powered PC, the entry fee for Oculus Rift will set you back $599. In addition, it’s easier for video game developers to create a large-scale video game than to design and develop a more complex virtual reality game that can scale quickly. Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised that VR has yet to hit the mass market. Alternatively, if you mentioned the words augmented reality to anyone outside of the tech industry, they would probably have had no idea what you were talking about. However, in just over a month, the game-changing Pokémon Go has been downloaded by over 100 million users.

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The New Rules of Sales and Service Now Out in a Revised and Updated Paperback Edition

by David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

July 5, 2016, the revised and expanded paperback edition of The New Rules of Sales and Service releases in bookstores and online in North America. It will be available in other parts of the world in the coming weeks.

I’m so excited that after a year of work, the new edition is out. Like the first edition published in 2014, in this updated work I show how to use agile selling, real-time customer engagement, big data, content, and storytelling to grow your business

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Improved Communication: 3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Team’s Productivity

by Laura Stack

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter F. Drucker, Austrian-American father of management theory.

One of the things separating us from the animals is our ability to communicate easily and clearly. If fact, communication has helped us greatly widen that gap in the millennia since the first meaningful words left a human throat.Improving-Communication-carrier-pigeon

We’ve even adapted to speech biologically, with a special bone (the hyoid) that exists mostly just to support the tongue. If a clear communication method had never come about, we might never have invented writing, and our culture would have stalled in the Neolithic—if not earlier.

Every day, communication methods continue to improve, in ways both cultural and technological.  In this blog, I’ll suggest three basic ways to improve your ability to get your point across with increasing precision.

1. Hone Your Team Communications Skills

I can’t overstate the importance of open communication with your team. Unless you work for a corporation where client confidentiality requires compartmentalization, keep all team goals, imperatives, initiatives, and strategic alignments as transparent as possible. This helps your teammates find reasons to own their jobs and increase their engagement and discretionary effort. Learning which communication methods work best for each team member; using simple, clear language; listening to what others have to say; creating and maintaining a receptive atmosphere; and avoiding repetition will all save time and ensure productivity.

Encourage all these concepts among your team members, as well; and needless to say, act as a role model. Along the way, focus tightly on what you’re trying to say, say what you mean—and never let your body language undermine your verbal message. If you have a nervous habit or tic someone might construe as negative body language, get it under control. Continue reading

Four Training Tips: Maintaining Your Team’s Competitive Edge

by Laura Stack

computer-libraryRegular training for your employees is integral to productivity and profitability, meaning it’s something you should never take for granted. Among other things, training:

1. Improves Confidence and, Therefore, Performance. When people know they’ve been equipped to do their jobs properly, it boosts their spirits and reassures them they can achieve levels of competency and productivity they haven’t realized in the past. Further, when employees understand why their work matters and how to do it, they’re more likely to hit the mark or go above and beyond.

2. Saves the Company Money. Well-trained employees make fewer errors and require less direct supervision. Furthermore, they spend less time thinking about problem solving, because they already know what to do. Consistent training also decreases employee turnover—a big drain on corporate costs.

3. Earns the Company Money.
While money saved is equivalent to money earned, directly fattening the bottom line makes people sit up and take notice. A few years ago, Nations Hotel Company invested heavily in coaching and saw an ROI of 221 percent.

4. Increases Employee Productivity. Motorola long since realized that every dollar invested in training can yield as much as a 30% gain in productivity within three years. That let the company cut costs by $3 billion and increase profits by 47 percent in 2000 alone. According to another report—”The 2001 Global Training and Certification Study” by testing firms CompTIA and Prometric—as little as a 2% increase in productivity can result in a 100% increase in training ROI.

Researchers have consistently observed this effect over the years since. For example, Dillon Consulting, an inter¬national consulting firm, quadrupled its profits by 2009, after instituting a Project Management Training Program four years previously. Similarly, in 2013, BSkyB, a pay TV service in the UK and Ireland offering broadband and telephone services, reported a significant ROI after delivering 850,000 hours of training to its customer service representatives over a twelve-month period.

Big-Time Payoff

Good, consistent training more than pays for itself in terms of employee confidence, performance, productivity, reduced turnover, and dollars earned on the bottom line. Rather than view it as a necessary evil, treat it as a positive expense—just as you would any initiative that promises to increase profits and benefit everyone all the way down the line.

Connected Objects Will Become Your New Problem

By Daniel Burrus

Blue-Glowing-Magic-Connections

Just as we have started to get used to the idea of ourselves always being online, it seems that many of our homes and an increasing number of objects inside them will soon be connected and have the ability to talk to each other. Although there is a growing realization of our responsibilities around our lifestyle choices and the environmental carbon footprint we leave behind, we are only just starting to think about the impact of our digital footprint and how it could affect our future selves.

The threat of terrorist attacks has led to heightened security and it seems that the dirty secrets of both the good and bad guys online could be exposed at any moment. We seldom stop to think about the internet itself and that your phone, laptop, and tablet always connected to your home Wi-Fi actually represents four connected devices when including your router.

This is just one person with a conservative number of connected devices to the internet, but a quick look on your routers settings will quickly reveal just how many devices now connect to your internet family plan, and we just expect it to work. Try to imagine the world’s four billion devices for a moment and how many are probably connected to the internet right now and how many are insecure or are broadcasting information publicly.

How many connected devices are broadcasting YOUR information publicly right now? 

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