Tag - sales

Building sites that sell

I’ve been thinking lately about marketing sites: sites that sell. I’ve built more than a few of them, and I’ve been musing about the process.

After a bit of doodling, this is what I came up with:

It starts with story, brand, imagination. The components I’ve put here are:

  • Goals
  • Vision/feel/brand/story
  • High-level strategy
  • Name
  • Claim (social space, usernames)

Then you start building something real, actual, tangible.

  • Design: UX & UI (all platforms)
  • Technical: coding
  • Content: content/social/SEO (technical and content), languages
  • Digital collateral: for sharing & partners (content, images, exclusives, links, videos)
  • Marketing tactics: earned/owned/shared/paid
  • Mobile: web, apps, SMS

You don’t build an isolated castle … you connect it to key communities. You build in links for more information. You build in hooks for marketing automation, and to the organization.

  • Social: FB, Twitter, YouTube/Vimeo, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr
  • Info/follow: email, RSS, newsletter, white papers, reports
  • Connect: site & social
  • Integrate: client channels (sales)
  • Lead automation: Hubspot or similar

Carry out
Then, having planned the work, you work the plan. The job is not done when the site/service is created … that’s when it actually starts

  • Implement plan across all properties
  • Integrate marketing automation (Hubspot)
  • Adjust as needed

This, as all things, is draft. I’m sure I’ll want to update it tomorrow … and I’m sure others have more and better ideas to add.

Social media is word of mouth written in stone

Why does social media matter?

I was recent speaking at a small gathering of sales people. And one of them asked me this question.

They sell marketing services to small businesses – mom and pop shops. Places like your local pizzeria, drycleaners, plumbers, doctors. Why should those busy business owners care about social media?

It’s not like they don’t have enough to worry about. Small business owners, after all, are probably some of the busiest people you’ll meet. Running the business, hiring staff, training, pitching in where and when needed, doing the books, planning marketing, dealing with unhappy clients … the list does not end.

The answer’s really, really simple. Of course, it also happens to be a question. And the question is: does word of mouth matter?

That’s an obvious one to anyone in business or marketing. Or anyone, actually. Word of mouth drive more business (sometimes away) than most major marketing campaigns. Good word of mouth means solid business and increasing client lists. Bad word of mouth means lonely, slow days with dollars flying out but only dribbling in.

Well, social media is word of mouth. But, this word of mouth lasts forever.

Thanks to Google, thanks to rating and review sites, thanks to the internet … everything is saved. Even the idiotic tweets of a horny politician. Certainly the passionate raves and rants of your customers.

And not only is it saved … it’s shared. And spread. WOM 1.0 usually died after a person or two. The words were spoken, they hung in the air, the sound faded. And that was it. WOM 2.0 is much different. They’re saved, they have a life of their own independent from their author, and they can be shared by the author or anyone else to an unlimited audience.

That means everyone in your town, potentially. Everyone who is on your client list, possibly. Maybe even all your friends at the gym.


Word of mouth is a big deal? Social media is a bigger deal. What are you going to do about it?

More on that later …

I'm not in sales, but …

Everything is sales.

When you’re telling your boss what you think should be done, you’re selling. When you’re explaining to your spouse what big-ticket item you want to buy, you’re selling. And when you’re talking to a client and negotiating new features, you’re selling.

So, don’t you want to be good at it? I do, and this article is good enough and a big enough help that I wanted to remember it by posting the key points here:

8 Sales Questions You Can’t Live (and Sell) Without!

  1. The Who Question
    Who’s deciding?

  2. The When Question
    When are you deciding?

  3. The Scenario Question
    Find the needs

  4. The Net Impact Question
    Understand the impact of the needs

  5. The Explain Question
    Get input

  6. The Make Sense Question
    Get feedback

  7. The Removal Question
    Trial close

  8. The Try Question

There’s a lot here, and some of it I’m not sure how I’ll use. But I love (and use) the “make sense” question a lot, especially since I’m often working with people whose native language is not English. And many of the others are great tips.

If you have five minutes, I highly recommend checking out the entire article.

Time for futility and insanity

I have been reinvigorated lately by following Hugh McLeod, the Limey-turned-Texan artist, idea vendor, marketer, and self-described CDF (CrazyDerangedFool).

In this economy and in the overwhelming crush of ideas and messaging, you have to be a little crazy, you have to be a little off-the-wall … you have to STAND OUT from the deafening crowd in order earn the attention necessary to tell your story.

That’s why this recent cartoon of his really speaks to me. George’s first plan better be to re-name himself, jump out of line, change clothes, and break out of the ordinary. But – here’s the key – George’s new George needs to not be another mask marketers wear, but a return to what makes George unique. This level of authenticity, coupled with a real eccentricity, gives George a chance.

Perhaps the crazy ideas are better just because they’re crazy. Perhaps the ordinary plans and ordinary ideas will die just because they’re ordinary. As Seth Godin said a week or so ago, the problem is that you are boring. I am boring – we’re all boring … when we’re simply repeating the party line, doing the standard thing, following the company protocol, going through the motions.

What’s going to make people sit up? Pay attention? Work with us? Hire us?

Here’s a big clue: it won’t be boring. It won’t be standard. It won’t be average. It won’t be a commodity, and it won’t be something you can buy at Wal-Mart.

This, from Hugh’s own experience, is remarkable:

Now. What am I doing that is futile and crazy?

What are you doing that is futile and crazy?

Let’s start.

Amazon marketplace: sorry, your purchase has been sold

Yesterday I bought 27 books from Amazon – mostly from the marketplace. Why not? The book are almost new, and they’re easily half off or less.Today I got a notice that a book I bought via the marketplace was previously sold.amazonNo biggie – I just went back to Amazon, chose the next available seller for the book, and bought it again.Here’s the deal: when Amazon sends out that kind of email, they should include a link to re-purchase. That would probably increase their sales from people whose purchases are no longer available.And would make an already very usable store even more so.

Verisign is hounding me …

Verisign is driving me nuts emailing me and phoning me. Just to make it perfectly clear:

  • I don’t want your PDF white papers on internet security.
  • I don’t want your SSL certificates.
  • I don’t want your emails.
  • I especially don’t want your phone calls from “sales executives.”

Hrm … now that’s off my chest I feel marginally better. Until the next call starting off with “Hello, this is $salesguy calling from Verisign. How are you?”Worse than I was before you called.