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Kiwi's Coaching Corner

By Paul Kiewiet

About Paul

Useful tips to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. Paul Kiewiet, MAS is an industry veteran providing business and life coaching, industry consulting and facilitation, and professional development services through BrandKiwi LLC.
 

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
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Jeff's Rant

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I could easily title this commentary “What’s Really Important,” but instead I am going to drill it down to just...



Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
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Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Worst Part of Waking Up
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If you're a caffeine addict, there is nothing joyous about getting out of your cushy bed to cope with the...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
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From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
What Creates Customer Loyalty?
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Did you know that April is International Customer Loyalty Month? Think about the businesses you consistently patronize. What have they...



Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
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If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
My Best Promotion: Infusing Bold Solutions & What We Do Do
Mar 4, 2015

This year, the Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable blog postings will have a common theme. Promo Marketing has asked...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
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Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
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The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
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Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
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Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
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Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
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The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
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Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
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Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



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Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
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Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
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What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



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Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
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It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



Tell Your Story by Answering Four Questions

 

Get more opportunities by staying focused on solving problems instead of on selling stuff. We are so "me-too" in this business and then we complain about being price shopped, not given a chance to compete, being ignored, or worst of all—not even noticed.

Your problem may not be that you don't have any value to add. Your problem is more likely that you don't tell your story in a compelling way. If you will concentrate on always answering FOUR questions in all of your marketing and selling communications, you should get more attention, more interest, more opportunities and more respect.

1. What do you do? I'd like you to answer that question without using these words—sell, product, find, price, quality or service. Can you do it? Can you get three words put together without making someone's eyes glaze over? "My promotions helps organizations improve their profits, performance, people and position in the marketplace." Boom! It's what your company does.

2. What problem do you solve? Your job is to solve problems. Period. End of discussion. Find the pain. Be the aspirin. If you don't solve problems, quit wasting other people's time. This takes research into your clients' and prospects' businesses, industries and markets; and it is a never-ending quest on your part to be more relevant. "Organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources in a changing world. Reaching the right people with the right message at the right place and time requires new thinking and new solutions." Boo-YAH! You've identified a problem that you might be able to solve.

3. How are you different? If you want different results, you better start being different. That means speaking differently, acting differently and setting yourself apart from others who are chasing the same dollars. "Other promotion companies focus on selling you products or distracting you with the shiny object. They focus on finding cheap substitutes to tough problems. We take a different approach. We make recommendations based on what you need to accomplish and building upon successes." YES! You have just pointed out how your approach and world view differs from 20,000 other companies that are chasing an order. Don't chase the order. Chase the solution.

4. Why should I care? This is the most important answer that you must provide. Can you tell someone why what you do, why you do it and how you do it really matters to them? If you don't tell them "what's in it for them?" then you haven't told them any thing that matters. If you only have 10 seconds—make sure that you answer this question. "We create a strong return on investment and powerful results around sales, marketing and engagement challenges. We also like to make our clients look good." UH-HUH! They get it! You're going to help them add good details to their résumé!

Memorize these four question. Think about your answers to them. If you ever have the opportunity to answer one of these, answer all four of them instead. You must remember to set up the problem by going into very clear detail of the pain point. It is up to YOU to set up the problem. You are telling a story. It's a story where you are the hero. You will ride in on your white horse and solve the problem. Remember that no one has a promotional products problem. No one cares about your stuff. People care about solving their problems. Find the pain. Be the aspirin.

What I have described is classical storytelling. Introduce the problem and then reveal yourself as the conquering hero.

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