Have you ever wondered how big the web really is? Are you curious to what in the world could be filling up all of those vast corners of the internet? Look no further. Take a ride on www.stumbleupon.com. This cool invention will bring you the nooks and crannies of the web. Here is how it works:
"Using a combination of human opinions and machine learning to immediately deliver relevant content, StumbleUpon presents only web sites that have been suggested by other like-minded Stumblers. Each time the 'Stumble' button is clicked, the user is presented with a high quality web site based on the collective opinions of other like-minded web surfers."
You can personalize your browsing or you can just freely stumble (my preference). I dare you to give it a try. You will find yourself addicted in no time at all. Happy stumbling.
I have carried a bag to earn a commission, and I have also managed sales teams as an executive. In both experiences,I can honestly say that there are six basic things a sales person needs to follow to be successful. So, beyond the old adage from Thomas Edison of "the harder you work the luckier you get", here is what I would suggest that every sales expert should try to adhere to.
Your quota is not your goal.It is what you need to attain to maintain your employment.Your goal should be what you want to make financially – which should be well above your quota.
There are no cold calls – only warm ones.You need to do your homework on the client before you call them.There are a ton of resources these days – from hoovers.com to linkedin.com.If they exist, they are online.Find out about them and determine your conversational path BEFORE you call.
Understand who you are speaking to and craft your value proposition accordingly.A CFO wants to know about ROI.A COO wants to know about efficiencies and production.A CMO wants to know about return on marketing dollars spent.
Know the answers and the questions for every objection.You should be able to concisely reply to any issue in a relaxed and convincing manner.
Be an expert of your territory / segment.You should be up to speed on every customer in your market, and be ready for any inquiry from a superior or competitor.
Sell like a consultant, not like a car salesman. You must establish credibility first. From there you can develop a true business relationshion. From that point, you can earn trust - and you can't sell effectively without trust.
A buy-one / get-one free campaign has allowed RIM to surpass Apple's iPhone in sales during Q1 of 2009. According to a recently released press release from NDP, "an aggressive “buy-one-get-one” promotion by Verizon Wireless helped RIM’s BlackBerry Curve move past Apple’s iPhone to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S. in the first quarter (Q1) of 2009. RIM’s consumer smartphone market share increased 15 percent to nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market in Q1 2009 versus the prior quarter, as Apple’s and Palm’s share both declined 10 percent each." Read more.
There are tons of small companies out there working to change the playing field in the industry you compete in. Are you aware of them? Are you promoting similar R&D in your own firm? Have you asked yourself lately, "What is the next marketing paradigm shift in my industry?" These shifts will change the way your industry is viewed and how it does business. Here are a few recent examples:
CD's and Radio to iTunes
DVD's and TV to Tivo
Classified ads to Craig's List and eBay
Traditional Networking to Linkedin / Myspace
amazon.com to blingdaily and woot.com
I have been chatting with a few folks lately who have been targeting some real cool evolutions for the retail technology space. If they pull it off, it will be yet another paradigm shift. If you want to know what ideas are being incubated these days, then check out the incubators themselves. Here are two sources to wet you appetite: Capital Factory and LaunchBox Digital.
So my last post prompted a few more suggestions of outrageous shopping sites like blingdaily.com. The two that rose to the top of the heap are gilt.comand woot.com.
Gilt Groupe "provides access, by invitation only, to Men’s, Women’s and Children’s coveted fashion and luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail. Each sale lasts 36 hours and features hand selected styles from a single designer."
Woot is "an online store and community that focuses on selling cool stuff cheap. It started as an employee-store slash market-testing type of place for an electronics distributor, but it's taken on a life of its own."
I have not been inside Gilt yet as I need to be invited (hint hint), but I did take a peak at Woot. It has a bit more cluttered feel than blingdaily.com, which is somewhat surprising considering they only sell one product a day as well. This is partly due to their quirky copy on the product. It's also because they have integrated their blog (which is an experience to read in its own right), along with some ads.
But, more importantly, woot.com has two other dedicated "woot" sites they promote - shirt woot and wine woot. I am all over the wine!
Everybody likes a little bling. Maybe a high end watch or perhaps a new Burberry purse? Well, look no further. Blingdaily.com is your answer. Even better, the site is addictive. Its a perfect blend of the most effective and simple sales and marketing tactics on the web:
Each offer only lasts for 24 hours, and stock is limited
There is only one product a day
All products are desirable high end items like jewelry & accessories.
Big brand names only - no cheep stuff here.
There is a big ticking clock to let you know that time is short
The retail price and your savings are posted very clearly
There is a concise product description and set of specifications
I know several people who just cant get enough of this site. It is a nice twist to the old Amazon.com Gold Box concept from a few years back. But rather than burying the idea on a busy shopping site as a cute sales module, blingdaily.com decided to make their entire website around this simple concept.
The website screams, "HURRY! Buy this now or you will NEVER see it again at such a ridiculous price." It is so simple and powerful its scary. If you don't like the item of the day, you will be back each day thereafter to see what comes next. A few days ago it was a Bulova watch for $99 that normally retails in the $250 range. The next day it was that Burberry purse I mentioned, also for $99. Today, it is a Maurice Lacroix Pontos Grand Guichet GMT automatic men's watch for $999....which normally retails for about $3,600. They claim their price is at least $1,500 cheaper than any other price listed on the web.
There is always a way to turn lemons into lemonade. So how about a built in way to save on marketing expenditures during this downturn WITHOUT cutting your budgets? According to a recent article in the Wall St. Journal,
"Americans changed residences less often last year than at any time since the Census Bureau began keeping track in 1948, the latest sign of how the recession and falling house prices are keeping more people in place."
This translates into less returned mail due to the lack of a forwarding mail address. It means less data spit back at you from your quarterly NCOA audits. It means your response rates could tick up. All of that means less costs and more sales. So rejoice all you direct marketers - the downturn has a financial upside.
There are lots of definitions given throughout history for the acronym SPIFF.Many believe it started in the 1900’s within the furniture industry as an acronym for Sales Performance Incentive For Furniture.Today, it is applied to a new set of words - Special Pay Incentives For Fast Sales.Regardless of how you play with the words, here are three quick rules to abide by when building a SPIFF.
Short Duration:Treat the timeline for your spiff just like you would treat a special offer for a customer – for a limited time only!You need to create a sense of urgency.The longer it runs, the worse it will perform.
Cash is King:Yes, you can build them around a cool gadget, but it better be a really cool gadget like the iPhone.Otherwise your sales force will dream up tens of hundreds of other items they would prefer other than your gadget. Solution – give them the cash, and lots of it.
Align With Financial Goals:There are two primary reasons to do a spiff – to push units or to drive quick margin dollars.
In certain situations you may want to move inventory to reduce carrying costs or to get rid of last years items.Or, you may be falling short of your unit targets for Wall St. - a common reason SPIFF’s are used in publicly traded companies.For example, Dell used SPIFF's to push PC and Laptop models if they were short of targets at the end of the quarter.
The second reason is to generate more margin dollars quickly.This can be done by cutting a high margin product down to get a pop in volume while still preserving a healthy spread. If you move enough units you will more than surpass the break even in the short run.
All I can say is, wow. WOW. WOW! Warning up front, if you dont like to be shocked by risque advertising, then this is not for you.
I just stumbled upon this article via CNBC.com, and I am still in shock! Nike has launched a new viral running campaign called "Butte." Net, its about getting back to basics and running. The kicker is the way they convey the message via the creative theme. Net, its about running naked.
They launched the campaign on You Tube (this link will require you to verify age before you view) as well as on their own website called nikerunning.com. See for yourself. I can only imagine the responses that will be coming in from this via various watchdog groups. But I can tell you this, it will be a viral home run.