Guest post by John Naples, Encore Consulting Group WHEN I FIRST STARTED in sales, I was as green as they come. I entered the field directly after graduating from college and went to work for Lanier Worldwide in the highly competitive telecommunications industry. I was trained to hit the streets in San Diego’s Mission Valley and knock on at least 25 doors each day. Success was determined by the number of calls I made, rather than by their quality. Once I secured an appointment, I was taught to deliver a “feature dump” on anyone would listen. I quickly saw that this method of listing and describing features was all wrong; I wasn’t seeing good results and my competitors were winning. It took some experience and additional knowledge, though, before I figured out how to correct it. The fact is, I was missing a key, critical step in the selling process and…
Category Archives: Marketing communications
A company’s brand is undeniably one of its greatest assets, and some of the best-managed companies of the world devote considerable resources to their brand management. A strong brand makes a difference in the marketplace and can separate your company from the competition. Strong brands, regardless of the actual size of the company, take time to make, as well as effort to perfect and maintain. To ensure the brand’s growth, companies need to invest time and resources into increasing their brand’s awareness and interest among present and potential customers, improving customer communication across all available channels, and optimizing positioning of the brand in the marketplace. In order to achieve these and other similar branding goals, many companies concentrate their efforts on outbound advertising strategies and campaigns that usually do not offer any sort of success guarantee. Additionally, social media proliferation, as well as numerous machinations and scandals that have surfaced…
What Does Your Brand Promise? How branding impacts your ability to retain assets in a rough market. Recently, a client asked us for our thoughts on a puzzling business issue — assets in their mutual funds are falling — but at a much slower rate then their competitors and the industry leaders. While good news, on the face of it, our client rightfully wondered if there was more to this.
The Investor Expectation Conundrum Most mutual fund companies and 401(k) providers have historically relied on the industry’s cadre of brokers and financial planners to sell their products. And wisely so: we know that investors’ use of financial expertise and personal advice is increasing, not decreasing. The Investment Company Institute estimates that nearly 80% of all mutual funds are sold through an intermediary.
Marketing Materials That Make the Audience “Care” Whether it’s the one person firm or the largest organization, we often get asked to review, enhance or create marketing materials to better tell the story for the firm. We’re blessed with clients who are doing great work, who know their business and who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their clients happy. Why, then, so many times when we review what’s being presented do we walk away feeling “blah” about what we have read? For us, it’s as if we are reading the same presentation over and over again with a different firm name appearing on the front cover.
Product “Storytelling:” A New Focus on Differentiation Today’s competitive environment is defined by a mind-boggling array of products and services, and prospects and intermediaries who are on information overload and are themselves struggling to manage their workloads. If you are trying to increase your firm’s sales in this environment, you will need what many firms have begun to create for themselves, a clear, compelling, competitive product “story.”
Marketing Materials Audit: Do You Have What You Need and Need What You Have? Marketing materials and client communication and information are critical components of any successful business. So many firms, however, spend enormous amounts of time and money for the “wrong” materials and communications. Many firms that solicit our help offer the multitude of information and materials as “proof” that they are communicating with their prospects and clients. Yet, the recipients of the information often offer that they feel uninformed, uneducated and not respected or listened to about their issues and concerns.