Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sales 2.0 Trade Shows

I recently saw a posting on the LinkedIn Business group, starting a discussion about Trade

Shows. The person who started the discussion was interested in the effectiveness of trade

shows as a marketing vehicle. In this Blog I will talk about trade shows as one element of

the Sales 2.0 process.

What is a trade show?

Trade shows are meetings held in most major cities around the world. They are usually held

in large venues like convention centers and auditoriums, where exhibitors set up displays

showing their products, demonstrating their services. Over the last 28 years I have

attended or exhibited in hundreds of shows across the world. I have been to shows that have

focused on many diverse industries and fields. Some of the shows I have attended have

focused on:

Industrial Automation
Material Handling
Industrial Sensors
Motors and Controls
Surgery and Orthopedics
Embedded Computers
Vision and Inspection
Boston Local Businesses
Cell Phones

As you can see from the list, the shows focus on many diverse topics. How do you select a

specific show and why should your company attend one?

The Primary goal of any trade show is to meet people.

I will repeat that again. The goal of the show is to meet people. Anyone who thinks that

the goal of exhibiting at trade show is to make sales either does not know what they are

doing, or is that Sham Wow guy.

The Secondary goal is to give people your 30 second commercial.

You do have a 30 second commercial don’t you?

This is one of the secrets to trade shows.

You need to think of a trade show as a way of delivering a very small message to a targeted

population. It can either be the people that are attending the show and walking around, or

the people exhibiting the show when they take a break. An example 30 second commercial may

go like this:

Good Morning! Do you use controls?

My company, Brand U, sells Programmable Logic Controllers with an integrated color touch

screen and 32 Inputs and Outputs all for less than $1200. And we give you the programming

software for free! But wait there's more! It can even handle analog inputs and outputs and

be expanded up to 156 Inputs and Outputs.

What brand of PLC do you use now?

Notice that I start off with a friendly greeting, and then ask an open general question. I

determine if this person is a potential customer based on their response. If they are a

potential customer I continue with the 30 second commercial. If they are not a potential

customer and are just walking around the show, I wish them a nice day.

Take a look at the 30 second commercial again, and notice that I have only said the basic

minimum amount of information with the key marketing messages I want to convey. I am not

trying to teach Surgery to the person walking by, just tell them enough to get their

attention. (Yes, I have been to surgery shows. Yes, they do have teaching displays with

real body parts. Yes, it was gross.) If you try to tell someone more information than they

want to hear, they will lose interest in you and your message, and then just walk away.

Prepare your message when you are selecting the trade show at the beginning of the process,

not while you are standing on the trade show floor shaking hands.

OK, so you have said your 30 second commercial, now what?

I ended the commercial with a question. How did the person answer? Based on that answer,

you can now take the next set to follow up on your quick discussion. Ask another question:

Can I send you more information?

This is really a lead in question.

Does this person standing in front of you have a need for your product?
Is this person the decision maker who will approve the spending of money to purchase your
When do they need your product? Immediately or are they thinking of the future?
Do they seem to have a grasp of reality or are they in Dream Land?

I ask these questions as I am walking the person over to the lead collection machine.

Always rent the lead collection machine. Always get the option to download the leads as a

CSV file. Always back up the leads in multiple locations. Swipe the person’s bar code or

mag card badge, and enter the answers to the questions you just asked. Save the data.

What I have been doing very subtly is prequalifying this person as a lead into my Sales 2.0


Remember back to my last Blog about Sales 2.0 where my best rep Dominic followed up on a

lead within a few minutes of the person looking at the web site?

In this Blog I am at a trade show, and talking to a new potential customer for the Rosie

Robotic Work Cell who is in Dominic’s territory. The potential customer mentions that he is

at the show to select a robotic cell to dispense sealant on a mirror that will be used in

the 2010 Cadillac CTS. He just had his budget approved for $50,000 to automate the process

and would like to have two work stations delivered within 4 weeks. Wow!

I swipe the person’s card, into the lead collection machine, and thank him for stopping at

the booth. At the first opportunity I have, I make a backup copy of the CSV data file from

the lead collection machine and import that file into my Sales Force Automation system, and

synchronize my local data with my main database. My good friend Dominic checks his system

regularly, and since he knows that I am exhibiting at a trade show, he does a search of the

“Source of Lead” field for the name of show I am attending. Up pops the prospect

information and Dominic calls him the next day to set up a face to face meeting, where he

closes the sale if the two Rosie systems.

What a great trade show!

Seth’s Trade Show Trips and Tricks

Know your target population. If you have not exhibited at a specific show, attend the show

and walk around to get a feel for that show. Then exhibit the following year or at a

different venue. Notice the people walking around. Who are they? How are they dressed?

Where are they stopping? What is attracting them to a booth?

I watch the people's eyes as they walk past my display. You only have 5 seconds to catch

someone’s attention. People are overwhelmed with information and tend to filter things in

their brain. Displays that try to put all the technical specs about their product in size 3

font do not convey any information. Only put key points that will get people's attention,

and stop them. Then the human can do the 30 second commercial.

Think again about the target population. What problem do you solve for that target

population? What is your key point?

You are not that Sham Wow guy. Don’t overwhelm people as they walk by.

The majority of people that attend trade shows that focus on industrial products are male

engineers, and they are generally introverted. They tend to focus on tech stuff or give

away items as they walk around. Pens, flashlights, or squishy balls with your company’s

logo may sound like a great way to get your brand out there, but they all cost money.

The goal of a show is to meet people.

I bring bags of high end individually wrapped chocolates to shows. Everyone that walks by

my display, I greet, I offer them a chocolate, and then I ask the leading question. I talk

to more people than the booth next to mine who is giving out flashlights and pens. I engage

in conversations with more people than my neighbors, and I finish the show with a lot more

qualified leads to send to my sales channel. (Sorry for seeming self-centered.)

Wear comfortable shoes. Your feet and back will hurt at the end of the day.

Take breaks and walk around the show.

Drink water.

Eat lunch.

Summary of Seth’s Guide to Trade Shows 2.0

1. Chocolate
2. Meet and greet everyone
3. Ask your leading question
a. If they answer yes, then 30 second commercial
b. If they answer no, thank you for stopping by enjoy the chocolate
4. Ask follow up qualifying questions
5. Capture leads
6. Backup leads
7. Send lead to the field sales team for follow up
9. Have fun

Do you need help with your trade shows?

Sales Management Consulting can help you develop a 30 second strategy or manage the

complete show for you. Call us to talk about how we can help your company grow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comparing Sales 1.0 to Sales 2.0

Traditional sales channel development has been based around the company hiring a Sales Pro to set up the company’s sales team. The typical structure for a manufacturing company would be to have a VP of Sales, then Regional Sales Managers, and then either direct or independent sales agents selling products in a defined territory. There usually is a Marketing Manager who would place advertisements and set up trade shows. These advertisements would generate leads into the company which the sales team followed up. This concept seems to have worked for a long time, but its effectiveness has dropped off dramatically in the last few years.

Some of the trends that I will be talking about in this article have dramatically changed the focus of the selling process. Companies that are able to adapt to the change will survive. The companies that can not adapt will perish. I call this concept “Seth’s Theory of Business Evolution”. Just as Darwin postulated that Natural Selection caused animals to adapt to their environment or perish, business must also adapt to changes in the business environment or perish.

One of the problems with the old sales model, is the disconnect between a customer seeing your marketing message in a print advertisement, and the sales person making a face-to -face presentation. During the 1980’s the company I worked for would run advertisements in magazines showing their latest Servo Motors and Controls. When a potential customer, Bob the Engineer, saw the ad, he would circle a Bingo card and mail it back to the magazine publisher. At the end of the month, the publisher would compile a mailing list of all the people that were interested in my company’s motors, and mail them to us. We would take that list and type up letters to add to a printed catalogue, which was mailed out to the prospect. At the end of the second month we would send a pile of papers to independent sales reps across the country, with the names of the people who received the catalogues. When the sales reps actually called to follow up on the literature request, most often Bob the Engineer, who originally requested the information, had forgotten why he requested it! This system had a two to three month time delay between initial inquiry and the follow up by a local sales agent with a customer.

As time progressed the concept of mailing out printed literature in response to a request had been replaced with the Internet. It has become the Infinitely Big Catalog of Everything. Unfortunately there are a lot of companies that still have sales teams and management concepts that are based on the old outdated Sales 1.0 model.

New! Improved Sales 2.0! With extra power!

Let’s think about Bob the Engineer again, but now he is interacting with a company that is using the Sales 2.0 business model. Bob has a problem he needs to solve for his company who manufactures gears. He needs to increase the rate of his gear deburring, while lowering his cost per part. Let’s break down the sales process into a series of steps, that are focused on Bob the Engineer’s problem. I have included references to my prior Blog entries to highlight prior discussions.

1. Bob gets called into his boss Mr. Spacely’s office. The boss wants to reduce the cost of each gear and asks Bob for ideas.
2. Bob returns to his office, sites in front of his trusted computer, and types some keywords into Google: Gear, Deburring, Automation, Increase Production, Reduce Cost. Notice that Bob’s keywords describe his problem and are not the buzz words most manufacturers think of. This is the SEO, and Keyword Selection which I wrote about in a prior Blog.
3. Google then searches its index of web sites which have these keywords and comes up with some recommendations. At the top of the list are some highlighted listings. These are really paid advertisements using the Pay per Click technique I outlined in a prior Blog.
4. Bob sees a listing for a Robotic Deburring Cell and clicks on the link. It is really a very cleverly placed Pay per Click advertisement. Good job with that Google Ad placement!
5. Bob’s Firefox web browser opens up a new tab showing George Jetson’s Robotic Deburring Cells. He looks over the different sized cells and thinks the larger model, Rosie, will meet his goal of reducing costs and increasing throughput.
6. Bob clicks a contact request box at the bottom of the Rosie Robotic Work Cell page, fills in his contact information, and presses the enter key. This relates to discussions on Web Site Design in a few of my Blogs.
7. Immediately George Jetson receives an email with Bob the Engineer’s contact information. George also has set up a link which imports the data from his web site into his Sales Force Automation System.
8. Dominic the Rep, George Jetson’s best sales agent, who also happens to be in the same city as Bob the Engineer, logs into his web based Sales Force Automation system four times per day. When he logs in, he sees that there is a new inquiry for the Rosie Robotic Work Cell from a Mr. Bob the Engineer. Dominic calls Bob right away to set up a face to face meeting, and visits Bob later that day.
9. Dominic reviews Bob’s needs and goals, and then confirms that Rosie Robotic Work Cell will solve Bob’s problems. Bob and Dominic present Rosie to Bob’s boss, Mr. Spacely.
10. Mr. Spacely likes Bob the Engineer’s idea to use the Rosie Robotic Work Cell and is so impressed with Dominic’s presentation, that he approves the capitol expenditure while Dominic is in his office. The sale is made, and the order is booked using Dominic’s laptop on the spot!
11. Everyone goes home happy at how much that have accomplished that day.

Reviewing this story, we have seen how our efforts using Search Engine Optimization techniques, Web site design with customer data collection, and the integration of a Sales Force Automation system have dramatically shortened the sales cycle. Compare the immediate solution to Mr. Spacely’s problem and Dominic’s presentation that same day to the Sales 1.0 Company. These techniques have also boosted the perception by the customer and his boss about our Robotic Company. We have also improved the perception of our company by our sales agent Dominic. He happily follows up every inquiry he receives from George Jetson’s Robotic Company, because he knows that they are all hot leads. The sales leads he receives are from his other principals, who still are following the outdated Sales 1.0 business model, and are usually 2 to 3 months old by the time he receives them. Even with all of Dominic’s efforts, the Sales 1.0 Company has a low closure rate and often complains about how bad the economy is. The typical Sales 1.0 Company response is to cut their advertising budget to save money for their company, rather than look at ways to improve their operation, shorten response times, and close more sales.

I hope that this story has given you some ideas of how Sales 2.0 techniques can provide your company with measurable improvements in the sales process which will lead to increased sales of your products.

Sales Management Consulting is available to partner with you to grow your sales. Please call or email.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If Facebook Was A Country, It Would Be The World's 4th Largest

This is a link to a really interesting video, which shows how fast social media has progressed.

If Facebook Was A Country, It Would Be The World’s 4th Largest

Video: UMID shows off faster, cheaper, Windows 7-packing mbook M2

This is a link to a hand held Windows computer. The form factor is smaller then a Netbook, and is more like the HP 95 LX. This size is great as a communications device and for keeping contact info up to date while on the road.

Video: UMID shows off faster, cheaper, Windows 7-packing mbook M2

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Friday, September 11, 2009

SEO, Web site tools and Blogs, are they working to drive traffic to my site?

In this week’s article, I will review the effectiveness of the tools that I have been Blogging about for the last 4 weeks. I outlined some of steps that I am following in the prior Blog. My goal is to drive traffic to my web site,, connect with new prospective clients for my Outsourced Sales Management Company, and grow my company.

I used Microsoft Office Live to set up my web site last year. I selected Microsoft Live based on the low cost of entry and the easy development tools that Microsoft provided. At this time I feel that I need a more complex web site with embedded HTML codes. When I embedded Google’s tracking code into my site last week, Internet Explorer could not open the site and crashed. I am sorry to any readers that had a problem. When I tried to contact Microsoft for support, I found that the toll free phone number was no longer available. I am planning to switch to a different host next month that supports embedded HTML codes for tracking. If anyone has suggestions, please post them in the comment section.

When I set up my site, I filled in the Keyword section with every possible key word I could think of. As I started to monitor my site, I noticed that only a few of the Keyword were driving traffic to my site. Website Grader also recommended that I reduce the quantity of key words. I also set up Google Adwords with an advertisement for “Outsourced Sales Management”, as a test to look at which keywords are effective, and to drive traffic to my site. Based on a very short test I was able to review which Keywords were generating traffic for me. I then went back to my site and modified the Keywords. Following these changes I have noticed an increase in the daily web traffic.

It has been about 4 weeks since I added Google Ads to my Blog at this Blogger site. Google Ads provides me with daily information showing how many people have read my Blog. In the last 4 weeks, over 1200 people have read this Blog. I also look at the Microsoft Office Live Reports. So far in about one week, almost 200 people have read the Blog on the web site.

I mentioned last week . It is a tool to review your web site which recommends improvements to increase your ranking. I have used this tool for a few potential clients who were unhappy with the effectiveness of their web sites. I very quickly was able to suggest modifications to the potential clients which should improve traffic to their sites.

Overall I have found that these simple SEO techniques have been very successful expanding my brand, increasing web traffic on my site, and driving client to my consulting company. I welcome any questions or comments your may have.

Thank you for reading my Blog!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reviews of SEO Tools

For a small business the goal of your web site is to promote your brand and company identity, generate interest in your product or service, and then drive your customers to close more sales. In the last article, I talked about using SEO tools to drive traffic to your web site. In this article I will expand on those ideas, and review some specific web based tools. Let’s review the steps that are involved in a web site development and deployment from the last Blog:

Set up web site
Enter keywords
Set up Google Adwords
Select keywords to trigger your advertisement
Monitor results and web site traffic
Adjust your keywords and pay per click amount
Monitor traffic to see effect of changes made
Add more pages and start all over

This week I will focus on the tools to monitor your web site. I have been using these techniques in real time as I have been outlining them on the Blog. Since August 1st over 1000 people have read my Blog, with the readership growing following each entry. I have also seen a steady growth in the traffic to the web site, and an increase in leads for my Business Develop and Outsourced Sales Management Consulting services. There is a clear connection between my Blog postings and activity on the web site. Thank you for your support.

I use these web sites evaluation tools on a daily basis:

This is a free tool from Hubspot. You enter your web site into this tool, and it will review your web site automatically. It gives a clear review of your site in a simple to understand format. You can then make changes to your site and see how your ranking improves. I found this tool after talking to a very helpful sales person at Hubspot about their complete fee based offering, and I have used it a few times already this week. It very quickly evaluated why one of my clients was not generating any hits on his web site, and I immediately made recommendations to him for improvements.

My web site is hosted by Microsoft Office Live, which has a selection on your home page of Web Site Statistics. I use this feature on a daily basis to look at the traffic on my web site. One of the tools that I think is extremely useful is the “Add an event” box. When ever I do an activity that I think will generate traffic to the site, I enter it into the event log. This puts a red line on my daily traffic graph, and allows me to correlate specific events to changes in traffic. As I mentioned at the beginning of this Blog, I am constantly looking for measureable results. This report gives me the feedback I need to generate more web traffic and grow my company.

There is a Google tool that your can use to monitor web traffic called Google Analytics. I have set up an account for this tool but have not yet used it. Google requires you to insert a HTML code into your web site. If you have access to your site and are comfortable copying and pasting HTML code then Google appears to be a great tool.

This is a very useful site that brings up info on any web site. It shows your sites clicks per day and also reviews the keywords. It is real strength is to compare your site to a competitor’s web site. Spyfu reviews your ad words and gives pay per click information. It provides a lot of feedback which allows you to make informed decisions.

This is an add-on to the Firefox browser. I added it in a few days ago and have only just started to use it. It seems to have a lot of very useful functions. I recommend that you just try it out.

I hope that these reviews of SEO tools are helpful. I welcome any comments or feedback on my blog, and any recommendations you may have for future articles.

Seth Frielich, principal of SMC has over 28 years of experience in industrial sales. Sales Management Consulting was formed in 1998 to bring that experience to clients and help them to grow. His business plans and management techniques have resulted in consistent growth in sales for his clients since SMC was formed. We are looking for new partner companies. We act as the Sales Manager for your company on retained basis, to set up a highly focused team of professional sales agents across the United States, at a fraction of the cost of an in house sales staff.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You Are Not Your Customer | The Newsletter Guru Video Site

You Are Not Your Customer | The Newsletter Guru Video Site

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Tough love for Foreign IT companies that want to come to America

You are the third IT company that is looking to expand into the US market that has contacted me today, so I am sorry if I seem a little blunt.

You have put together a mission statement below, that has a lot of Buzz Words. No on cares about buzz words.

What problem do you solve?
Who is your target customer?
Who is your target customer’s target customer?
Why should that person hire you and not any of the other million web site developers?

How are you going to connect with the person in the United States that will make a decision to use your company, and sign a check to pay you?

Once you have answered these questions, you can then start to look at expanding your market.

U.S. Manufacturing Finally Turns Around : Industrial Market Trends

U.S. Manufacturing Finally Turns Around : Industrial Market Trends

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Driving Unbeatable Sales Numbers! | SalesBlogcast

This is an interesting article about setting priorities and managing your time.

Driving Unbeatable Sales Numbers! | SalesBlogcast

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