The world keeps getting smaller, the Internet keeps growing larger, and staying on top of it all keeps demanding more and more time. No matter how small our business, in some ways we all compete globally. Larger reach means stiffer competition, and so to be successful in business and widen our customer base we must continually pursue new ways to be found, seen, and heard - never mind influential! - in an ever-growing digital marketplace. It’s daunting, but it’s reality, so we work tirelessly to find an in, be the first, get a lead.
Cut throat and cutting edge.
But it was not always this way.
Modern marketers know that at the end of the day, if sales aren’t happening, neither is business growth. The best marketing in the world only matters if it results in sales. I learned that the hard way and it has become my personal mission to help sales and marketing work together for the benefit of the buyer. The next generation of sales and marketing leadership are focused on their value to the buyer.
It's a question that gets asked a lot. You meet someone new at a networking event, and inevitably they ask, "So, what do you do?"
What's the right answer? How do you distill that into something that won't immediately bore your new friend?
- How do I create urgency in my client?
- How do I get them to share their real budget?
- How do I get them to introduce me to the ultimate decision maker?
- How do I get them to return my voice mail message?
- How do I follow-up with Inbound Leads?
- How do I get my prospect to write my proposal for me?
- How do I follow-up if someone fills out a form on my website?
- How do I attract people to fill out a form on my website?
I had the pleasure of attending a great mini Inbound conference on last Wednesday in Portsmouth NH. Port Cities Inbound was a joint effort put on by the Portsmount HUG and Portland HUG. I normally try to do a pretty inclusive recap, but since Adam Zais was there recording the event, I'll let him share the inclusive video recap, and I'll leave you with some really great key takeaways from each presenter.
Some questions just get me thinking. A few days ago, I was asked, "How Does Inbound Work With Companies That Are Not Online?"
This months sales accelerators networking event at HubSpot featured Tim Bertrand (@TimBertrand), SVP WW Sales & Field Ops at Acquia. The focus of the session was how Acquia grew from zero to 100+ million in sales. Tim has lead sales at Acquia since 2009. Acquia was the fastest growing private company in the United States from 2008-2013 - as defined by Deloitte in their Fast 500 study. Tim was interviewed by Andrew Quinn, the Director of Training and Development at HubSpot. A big thank you to HubSpot for hosting and for providing free pizza and beer.
I am a huge Formula 1 fan. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. The most advanced cars, the biggest budgets, the fastest drivers are all part of the allure. The one thing F1 lacks, especially with the way the US covers the sport, is seeing the true personalities of the drivers. Sure, you see some candid moments from time to time, but mostly it’s a grand show. Driver interviews are usually conducted with the team’s PR person standing over the driver’s shoulder. For the most part, drivers are very politically correct about their feelings regarding on-track altercations such as collisions or crashes, disagreements with team decisions, etc…
I recently came across a video that transformed my impression of a driver: Fernando Alonso Documentary, Last Race with Ferrari.
I just read an article on SI.com about my friend Paul Rogers. Paul, was the goalkeeper coach for the US Women's National Team, from 2009 up until last week where he accepted a job as goalkeeper coach for MLS's Houston Dynamo. Normally, this sort of thing doesn't garner attention, but the USWNT is heading into a World Cup this summer in Canada, and their star goalkeeper (arguable the best female GK in the world) has infamously grabbed headlines for off-the-pitch activities. Solo was just suspended for 30 days by US Soccer so, according to the article, Paul's abrupt departure raised some eyebrows.
Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a great example of Inbound gone really right. They just crossed 25 million streams from basically all organic growth through social sharing. I love the shows and the whole concept in general, and during yesterday's episode with Amy Schumer, I actually learned a great networking tip too. Starting at the 13:55 mark - http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/amy-schumer-im-wondering-what-its-like-to-date-me, Jerry Seinfeld gives Amy Schumer some really sound networking advice.
One of the main principles of Inbound Marketing is to speak to your buyer's where they are searching for information. All car dealerships, from new car mega stores to small used car dealers, have their inventory's online. The cars are typically listed on the dealer's website, and Cars.com, Autotrader.com and the like. Those are obviously staples to any car sales operation, but what about social media? Your buyers are on social media everyday, yet most dealers fail to engage those buyers, and sometimes even restrict their employees from using social media at work. Crazy right?
There has been this recurring problem or complaint that I hear about from other businesses and I'm blown away because it just doesn't make any sense to me. The common issue is that the salespeople and marketers do not work together towards a common goal. Not only do they not work together, they blame each other for not reaching their set goals. Sound familiar?
Recently, while I was at the INBOUND 2014 conference, I was speaking with two other inbound marketing strategists about this recurring problem in their own companies. And during this conversation, I had an epiphany, these two groups are on the same team.
My 4 year old son was recently staying with my in-laws, and I heard this funny story about how he acquired a soccer ball. My father-in-law retired from owning a sports store and was preparing for an upcoming tag sale to try and unload some left over inventory.
My son had asked if he could have a soccer ball. Papa responded “Yes, but let me finish what I’m doing.”
15 minutes later, he asked again. This time, Papa (still busy) responded “Yes, but I have to find the right color.”
A while later my son asks, “Papa, did you find the right color yet?” Papa (still busy) responds, “Not yet, but I will.” Good consistent follow-up so far!