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Friday, September 30, 2016

10 steps that make relationship marketing work

We now are all in the marketing and persuasion business.

When potential customers contact you, it’s not like they haven’t even thought about what to do. They probably know more about you than you know about them.

Marketers now must figure out how to influence potential customers where and when they are doing pre-purchase research. You have to be there in an authoritative way providing help and answers.

If you’re not there, you miss the chance to influence pre-purchase considerations and decisions.

Building relationships is more important than ever today. Relationship marketing has always been critical for business success. You just have to do it in a different way than before.

Golf outing? Going to the big game? Those traditional tactics are nice. However, today you’ve got to be part of the decision-making process when your potential customer is initially gathering information. You’ve got to practice relationship marketing from the beginning of their inquiries right through the entire customer journey.

What’s a savvy marketer today? Here are some steps that help successful organizations make relationship marketing work in today’s environment:

1. Fine-tune your search engine keywords and criteria

Develop strong, informative (not sales-y) content that answers the questions they are asking. Poll your sales people for what pain customers are going through. Develop a system to track customer pain points and then leverage that into solutions-based content that you deliver in educational, sometimes fun and even funny ways. We’re human beings! Be real and human.

2. Make sure it is available in a mobile-friendly way

Most content is now consumed on your smartphone and/or tablet. Think video, backed up with PDF reports, interactive websites, and more.

3. Integrate your digital practices

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Best Question For Salespeople?

Business-Building Action from Terry Brock

terrybrock_freedomfestThe best salespeople are continually focusing on how to build quality relationships. They make it their habit to get rid of activities that take away from relationship building and focus on building key skills which help them succeed.

This is all about Relationship Marketing. You are constantly in the process of searching for opportunities, finding ways to develop and hone those skills which help you grow, and producing value for those wonderful people we call prospects and customers.

We also know that the quality of your questions determines the quality of the results you get. If you ask the wrong questions, you’ll never achieve the results that are most valuable to you and to those you want to influence. For instance, many times when sales are low, sales people who aren’t achieving the best results, will ask “How come sales are so low?”

Wrong question to ask.

A better question might be, “What are our prospects looking for now?” An even better question might be, ”What pain are our customers going through now?” An even better one might be, “What is the single biggest pain that our beloved customers are going through now?” Simply by asking a series of questions which probe deeper and deeper into the real issues, you get better answers. Don’t stop with the first question you develop. Be willing to pay the price and ask more pointed and appropriate questions.

So what is the best question for sales people overall? What will help you build better relationships for your marketing?

That reminds me of an experience I had this past week. I was doing a program for a well known technology company that you would recognize if I told you their name. This multi-billion dollar company asked me to put together a special program for some of their top partners on how sales and marketing have changed. They wanted to know what is working for the contemporary buying process. Social media is a critical factor and we addressed that specifically to their needs.

I have some rather good ideas based on my experience working with many clients, particularly from my experience as Chief Enterprise Blogger with Skype and the Editor-in-Chief for AT&T’s most successful and largest blog.

The environment today has change for sales and marketing. What worked before is not necessarily working today. However, there is one strategy that is stronger than ever today and it has worked for the best salespeople for centuries. The best sales people throughout history have been those who demonstrate the ability to help others. Today that is more important than ever.

The best question for salespeople today? “How can I help you?” Is arguably the best. That question works best when you follow up with the research necessary and the due diligence to sincerely help in a meaningful way. This helps you to connect with people more. This is what real relationship marketing is about.

It is simple, but it is not easy. Remember it is only a start to simply ask the question. The most successful people are willing to pay the price and find out the answers when someone tells you where they need help. You either help directly the way they asked, or do even further research to share with them where they need help in areas they might not have considered.

Keep asking those important questions. Most importantly keep helping.

Please share this with your community as we work to spread the message of helping others. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions or comments about this, please let me know.

All the best,


Terry Brock, MBA, CSP, CPAE
Member, Professional Speaker Hall of Fame
Certified Speaking Professional



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Friday, September 23, 2016

Drop your excuses and tell me what you did

I remember years ago when I was in my master of business administration (MBA) program taking a particularly difficult class in quantitative analysis.

We had a rather arduous test one time, and I remember the painful feeling I had when I saw that I got a B- when I was hoping to get an A.

As I was in class contemplating how I would need to improve before the other tests in that course, a lady on the front row of the class raised her hand with a question.

When the instructor called on her she pleaded with him for a higher grade because she said she had studied very hard. I’ll never forget the answer that the professor gave her which applies to much of life.

“You don’t get a grade based on how hard you study. Your grade is a result of your test answers.”

Results are what matter

Life is like that. You don’t get paid in life — and definitely not in business — based on how much effort or trying you put into something.

I don’t care how many hours it takes to make a car that I would purchase. What I care about are the results of what the car manufacturer is offering. Those results consist of the quality of the car in key areas that are important to me, as well as the overall price that I will pay.

It is too easy in life to make excuses rather than do the work. Many people think like my classmate cited earlier did, that she should get a grade based on the amount of time she studied.

Many people feel that because they have a great need that somehow they are entitled to something.

I remember a friend of mine telling me years ago some profound words of advice; “Your needs do not constitute a demand on my resources.” Just because someone feels they have a need for something does not give them the right to take what I have worked to earn. Ultimately in life, you don’t get value based on need, but rather on what you produce and earn.

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