advertising needs ME to coach their sales reps

Like most business owner’s in our industry, my event planning website proves to be a solid sales tool to solicit potential clients. So when I receive an email that entitled New Client Inquiry through my web inquiry form (it also has this cute, bright green tag on it which of course = money), I won’t lie. My heart skips a little beat.

A potential client has taken the time to email ME! All a quiver, I move my mouse to open the email. My mind is racing…what could it be? A full service wedding (cha-ching)? Please, please, please, please, don’t let it be a wedding on a date that we are already overbooked for…..

(Mouse) Click.

It’s NOT a potential client (shoulders slump forward). It’s my sales rep from letting me know they have advertising opportunities. She obviously doesn’t remember the email exchanges we have done in the past few months discussing, at length, their advertising opportunities.

Now, I am irritated. Our business email is published on the website and yes, it would have taken a few more minutes to actually TYPE it in an email. And even a few more minutes to learn the name of the owner (um, I have whole page dedicated to myself) so the email is addressed personally. And then, just a FEW more minutes to cross reference the business name to her database to see if she has already contacted us.

You see where I am going? People want to buy from people. Our clients want to feel special and treated personally. Remember that when selling YOUR services.

And since this blog is read by many wedding vendors, keep in mind this principle when reaching out to network. Do not use someones Web Inquiry. Do not send out automated, impersonal emails. Take the time to review their site and their blog before you contact them. Make it personal. The door will be opened to you.

Now back to my sweet, Knottie Sales rep. I emailed her back and explained to her why it is not professional to solicit through a business Web Inquiry. I also explained why doing so it is not in her best interest to use that method for future cold calling. I UNDERSTAND her situation. Actually I have been “her” in a previous corporate life, scraping business websites to solicit and cold call to sell online advertising. It is as much fun as it sounds.

She is under a lot of pressure to sell online advertising in a super tight economy. I’m just going to assume that no one ever trained her on best practices. … call me!

Happy Selling!

Is your BRANDING stopping you?

There has been increasing discussion about branding; your company’s professional image so you may attract your target client. Very important strategic part of your business, I’m not suggesting otherwise.

However…. what happens when branding our biz becomes our obsession? Hey, this is a creative industry … we can all spend A LOT of hours lamenting over what font to use or how to round the corners of our blog photos. Or is it just me that does that?

Not having the right or perfect brand can easily become an excuse for a business owner. “I didn’t sell that new client because I didn’t buy letterpress business cards.”

Ask yourself, is it becoming an excuse for you not to move forward? To getting off your butt, heading out the door to look for new ways of networking and finding new clients?

My latest business crush has been with the UnMarketing guru Scott Straten (you should follow him on Twitter). His schtick? Stop marketing and start engaging. Isn’t that so simple?

People buy from people, not things. Especially when you are talking about the uber personal business of weddings. You will not miss your next sale because the loop on your logo isn’t perfect.

Quit worrying. Quit making excuses. Quit belaboring your branding decisions. And, in the words of a formidable brand, Just Do It!

Happy Selling!

yellow page advertising: does it work?

I talk a lot about sales (cause that what you want to hear), but if you have read my bio you know that I have a long background in (selling) advertising and creating marketing campaigns.

Around this time of year, many of us are getting calls from all potential advertising mediums. It is difficult to be able to decide where to put your (hard earned) advertising dollars to attract your potential client. I wrote a two-part synopsis about this on The Smart Planner which is now Think Splendid.

However, this blog post is about Yellow Page advertising. Instead of me giving you advice on how to spend your dollars with this medium, I would like to instead poll YOU for discussion.

So, please add a comment with your personal experience on this type of advertising. I’m sure it will be a good read for all of us. Please answer the following questions in your comment:

  1. What is your profession?
  2. Have you used Yellow Page advertising before?
  3. Did you purchases print and online?
  4. If yes, what type of ad did you take out (display or just your company name/number listing)?
  5. How did it work out for you? Did you track your calls and were they qualified potential clients or something else?
  6. Are you still incorporating this medium in your current advertising program?
  7. OR… you’ve NEVER done YP advertising and if so, why not?

You can answer anonymously or with your company information. I think the feedback will help others in our industry. Let’s find out if the “fingers do the walking” is working for our businesses!

Happy Selling!