All posts tagged: Marketing

Attract Quality Candidates by Thinking Like a Product Marketer

No comments

Talented people are bombarded with opportunities. So many that yours could easily be lost in the crowd. There’s a simple way to make your opportunities stand out—package your jobs as if you’re marketing a product.

I was reminded of this method when I was in the tea aisle of Whole Foods Market. If you’ve never been in their tea aisle, it’s a plethora of color, size, and shape. It’s quite a sight…and a potential sales nightmare for individual suppliers.

Manufacturers have learned to compete in this cornucopia by packaging their tea in boxes, tins, and containers of all colors, sizes, and shapes to attract your attention.

There was a woman standing in the aisle gazing at the wall of tea. As I watched her consider her options, I noticed that she was scanning the shelves, occasionally picking up a box or tin, checking out the back and then either placing the item in her cart or putting it back on the shelf.

I watched a bit longer, curious about the system she had going. Eventually my curiosity won out and I approached her.

“Excuse me, I hope I’m not intruding. I was noticing how you were looking at tea. I’m a consultant. My clients are always interested in how people make choices. I noticed you’re very particular with what you’re looking for. May I ask why?”

“Well,” she started, “I’m bored with my current brand of tea. I’ve decided to try some new flavors and brands. Maybe there’s something better than what I was buying before.”

“Okay, and how are you going to pick?”

“Well, I like a robust tea so I’m looking for cues—pictures or words—on the front of the box that tell me it might be full-flavored.”

“Okay. I noticed that when one grabbed your attention, that’s when you picked it up and checked the back.”

“Right. The front of the box is what captures my attention. Then I look at the back to finalize my decision. Simple as that.”

Tea Lady reminded me that packaging matters. How something is packaged either grabs or repels our attention.

This is why good jobs are often overlooked. They’re poorly packaged.

To get the attention of top talent, you must think like a product marketer. Your packaging (ads, posts, and verbal communication) must quickly grab people’s attention. This is the “front of the box.” Only after you’ve gotten a candidate’s attention will the details matter (the “back of the box”).

Take these steps to improve how you package opportunities.

Step #1: Next time you’re in a retail establishment, notice how product marketers package their offerings. Note the colors they use, the pictures they choose, and how carefully and sparingly they use words on the front of the box.

Step #2: Imagine your jobs were in a store competing with other opportunities. Each job is in a box, waiting for top talent to come down the aisle.

Step #3: Design the “box” with the jobseeker in mind. What pictures, words, and colors can you use to grab people’s attention?

Step #4: Test out a few designs with internal staff or an external focus group.

What’s this look like in action? A tech company with great opportunities was drawing in a trickle of talent. Using these steps, they created colorful images and short videos (under 10 seconds) of current employees sharing brief soundbites about how working at the company has improved their lives. They used these same soundbites as the opening content for written postings and conversations with candidates. Today, the company draws in a strong steady flow of highly qualified people.

Your jobs are important. They’re a product as important as what your company provides to its customers. Package them so that they stand out and get the attention they deserve.

Scott WintripAttract Quality Candidates by Thinking Like a Product Marketer
read more

Noise Canceling the Competition

No comments

Scott's Monday Morning MessageCompetitive golfers and dancers keep their competition top of mind, knowing their influence can undermine them at any moment. Just the noise from these competitors can cause them to slice a drive or miss a step, creating a lost opportunity which ends up losing the match. The competition ends up stealing their trophies, their winnings and even their self-confidence and pride. The real power of these competitors comes from where they live—right between the ears. That’s why we often hear people saying they are competing with themselves, as they know that the only real competition, the thing that can get in their way, is their own thinking.

Just like these athletic professionals, competition for customers and candidates is not on the outside, but in our own competitive thinking. The other companies who provide similar services are not competitors, but merely potential distractions. What they do, how they do it, the price they charge and any games they play only matter if we let it.

There is enough noise that comes from the critic that lives in the human head. Isn’t it best not to add to the cacophony by simply ignoring what other people do?

“You can allow the noise from the competition to fade into the background. You can choose to act as if you were the market of one for the people you want to serve.” – Bernadette Jiwa, Marketing: A Love Story

Scott WintripNoise Canceling the Competition
read more

Why Skill Marketing Isn’t a Best Practice

No comments

Customers don’t buy candidate skills or experience; they benefit from what these individual ingredients will achieve for them (ROI). A clearer focus on telling a candidate’s story, especially their top accomplishments, shifts the conversation away from the typical battle over price and reframes it around ROI. This approach, called Front of the Box Marketing, doesn’t just attract buyers (which skill marketing sometimes achieves), it consistently increases margins by at least three or more points.

For example, a candidate who helped prevent a $4.5 million loss offers significant ROI potential for the next company that hires him. By leading with this accomplishment, he’s not only more attractive, the first impression is that he’s worth more to the buyer.

Contrast this with how Tara was recently marketed by the firm representing her. Tara’s featured attributes included her tenure and being responsible for “revamping a proprietary computer system in one of her previous positions.” This experience is pretty dull without the rest of the story – what that did for the company. I’m betting it either saved money, made money, improved efficiencies, or possibly all of these things. That’s the real lead story. This type of focus, used in marketing content and sales conversations, enables you to get buyers to focus more on ROI. They receive better value, candidates land better jobs and assignments, and you earn higher profits

Front of the Box Marketing combined with effective selling is like a tag team duo that pins the competition, making them irrelevant as a result of the attention you gain. Even Hulk Hogan sized competitors can’t win that battle.

Scott WintripWhy Skill Marketing Isn’t a Best Practice
read more

Super Sales and Marketing

No comments

Fans were surely pleased, engaged, and even surprised during the Super Bowl. I refer not to the game itself, which was a stunning upset, but the much anticipated commercials. Millions of tweets, texts, emails, and Snapchats provided an ongoing commentary on these carefully crafted sales pitches. All this excitement focused on companies wanting us to part with our money in trade for their products and services. Shows what a compelling approach can do to create a buzz, name recognition, and increased sales.

Sales and marketing by your company must also grab attention to break through all of the competitive noise. No, this does not mean you have to hire the Muppets, recruit Stephen Colbert to use his quirky humor, or get David Beckham to stand by your logo in his briefs. It does require consistently finding ways to stand out in the eyes and minds of buyers while remaining top of mind for when they are ready to buy.

Are buyers talking positively to one another about your sales and marketing message and methods? Probably not. This is your next opportunity to up your game.

Ready to Stand Out?

Are buyers clamoring to buy from you, seeming almost inspired to buy? Or are many of your sales efforts met with resistance, roadblocks, and even, at times, derision? The Inspired Sale will show you how to engage Sales Flow to create opportunities where buyers feel a compelling need to buy and buy from you. Learn more

Scott WintripSuper Sales and Marketing
read more

The Art and Science of Asking Powerful Questions

No comments

Next time someone asks you to repeat a question, count the number of words. Chances are it was more than ten. I’ve often noticed this happening with salespeople talking with prospects and clients and executives speaking with members of their team. What’s the issue? Our brains process questions of less than ten words much more effectively than those that exceed ten.

Each time we pose a question of more than ten words, the listener spends more time focusing on the question and less on their answer. Even if they don’t ask you to repeat the question, which often happens, he or she is still too focused on your question.

Questions using ten words or less are understood more quickly and answered more thoroughly. This generates lots of details, a richer conversation, and even more buy-in.

Our Sales Mantra in Sales Yoga reminds us to:

Say little, ask a lot.

As we ask lots of questions to understand the thoughts and needs of those around us, it benefits everyone if we use less words in questions, prompting the listener to give lots of details.

Are you ready to Open More Door, Close More Deals? This new weekly video series starts the week of January 6th. Learn more

Scott WintripThe Art and Science of Asking Powerful Questions
read more

But Wait, There’s More

No comments

“Act now, this offer won’t last”

“Limited time only”

“You get what you pay for”

“Quantities are limited”

Slick lines like these are met with derision, as they should be. Effective marketing is credible, concise, and compelling by making clear the value the client will receive. As the marketing evangelists for their companies, salespeople must avoid suave approaches, canned responses, and feature-benefit laden speeches that only serve to put off customers instead of turn them on to what’s in it for them.

Recently I watched a pair of salesmen at the Birmingham, Alabama airport thoroughly plan everything they were going to talk about in a meeting later that day. For 45 minutes, they focused on all of the points they were going to make, not once referencing any questions they would ask, fixated as they were on their beloved talking points. At one point one them actually said, “If he says that, here’s how we’ll talk him into changing his mind.” They clearly had a gift for gab, and were gleefully planning to use it.

Just like “Come here often?” is a terrible pickup line in a bar, planned, canned sales pitches are a horrible way to conduct a conversation with a buyer. The new ABC’s of selling—Always Be Collaborating—require salespeople to be completely present, hear the buyer thoroughly, and concisely respond to what they hear with the truth the buyers need to hear. Instead of “but wait, there’s more,” good salespeople are saying, “please tell me more” to thoroughly understand their customers and what would be of value to them.

My new book, Sales Yoga: A Transformational Practice of Opening Doors and Closing Deals, can now be pre-ordered at a 20% discount.

Scott WintripBut Wait, There’s More
read more

Does Selling Lack Common Sense? – Scott’s Sales Yoga Thought for the Day

1 comment

Why did the man in business attire suddenly drop his pants in the middle of the “B” Concourse at Atlanta’s international airport? That’s a question many of us in the terminal were pondering yesterday. I decided not to stick around to see the outcome of his odd choice as there are some things I just don’t need to see. And this was one of them.

Most of us avoid engaging in this type of public display of awkward behavior since our common sense guides us in making choices. This same common sense should be our guiding light when selling, as well. For example:

  • In conversations with prospects and customers, who should do most of the talking?
    Common Sense Answer: the prospect or customer
    So why do salespeople still dominate most conversations?
  • Who best knows how to overcome a potential buyers objection?
    Common Sense Answer: the buyer, since they are the one objecting
    Makes me wonder why so many salespeople still rehearse and blurt out witty lines to counter common issues.
  • Is it better to compete on price or value?
    Common Sense Answer: value
    Unless salespeople enjoy working hard for little money, common sense dictates that they sell the value versus engaging in bidding wars with the competition.

Am I accusing sales organizations of lacking common sense? In some cases, yes. In others, it is merely a lack of application of this trait. What I’m suggesting is if you have it, use it when you sell. If you don’t…well, never mind. I highly doubt anyone lacking common sense kept reading when I brought up this issue at the start. Maybe they’re related to Mr. Dropped Drawers in Atlanta.

Scott WintripDoes Selling Lack Common Sense? – Scott’s Sales Yoga Thought for the Day
read more