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Finally, some retailers are understanding how to use social media as a connector. This is from WonderBranding:
Posted: 29 Jun 2010 09:46 AM PDT
The company realizes that social media is not the end-all and be-all of marketing strategy. (As I said on a panel discussion last week, if that’s the way you think, then you need to have your head examined.) They are using outlets like Facebook to do two things:
1) Research. Surveys and questions posed to fans of the page (yes, I still call them fans) in order to learn more about what kinds of clothing styles are hot now and where trends are going. (click on image to enlarge)
2) Conversation. Ann Taylor is working hard to answer comments left by fans, to let them know that the company cares, and to nip potential bad feelings in the bud.
Customers recently spoke up, saying that there was too much airbrushing of swimsuit models. Check out the company’s reply:
When customers questioned whether LOFT’s clothes might look as great on “real women” as they do on stick-thin models, LOFT began photographing employees of varying size wearing LOFT outfits.
This is how you use social media.
It’s not about the latest viral video, trying to drum up something wild to get attention.
And it’s not about direct selling.
It’s about conversation.
Conversation that will provide consumer research data you never could have otherwise gathered.
Conversation that requires you to be open, honest, and flexible.
Conversation that could make current and former customers fall in love with you all over again.
How are you using your company’s Facebook page? Is there a disconnect between what you want and what the customer wants? Maybe it’s time to review your strategy.
Daily Sales Tip: On His Way to Super Stardom
“Dining” alone at Appleby’s last night I saw the future of a college-age waiter…one he has no idea of yet. (Appleby’s because if you sit at the correct table you can watch at least three screens at once — each tuned to a major sporting event).
A family of four was at the next table and young CEO-to-be came to take their orders. His waiters’ garb was fresh and clean, as was his entire appearance. He squatted so that he was of the height of the youngest child and introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Albert. I’ll be your waiter tonight. how are you all?”
The Mom, answered, “We’re all fine and how are you this evening,” to which Albert replied, “I’m well, and thank you very much for asking.”
I rest my case. Albert is not only a listener, rather than an Appleby’s trained automaton, he is also sincere and feeds back to his constituencies that what they say he hears, and it is important to him. I know, not guess, that Albert will spend his entire adult life listening and feeding back what he hears and its importance to him. He will earn the trust of those he calls upon because he makes it clear that they are important to him and that he will focus on their best interests and how he call help them exceed their goals.
As he begins his career calling on customers (and immediately begins outperforming his peer group and competitors) his interactions with bosses and colleagues will be consistent with his customer interactions. He will look to serve them as well and that will be noted by the executives that will inevitably promote him to management. And on and on.
Albert is a winner. A nice, well-bred, well-intentioned, clean-cut young man conscious of his ability to enhance the experiences of those he deals with if he shows interest by listening to them and acknowledging the importance of what they say.
One day, years from now, in the business section of the Times, you’ll read about CEO Albert __________ and his most recent merger or sale.
Source: Veteran advertising sales executive and entrepreneur Bob Sherman
I’m a Diet Dew Drinker, so if they want me to try any of their flavors, it better have a sugar free version:
Four Email Must-Do Principles to Boost Response
As email becomes ever more prominent in the typical marketing mix, we can expect a few slip-ups and oversights. According to Max Kalehoff—writing at the AttentionMax blog—telltale symptoms of lax email practices include an ignorance of basic etiquette and less-than-rigorous spam compliance.
“I’m not going to out anyone (including a prominent technology analyst firm that refused for six months to remove me from its email database),” he notes, “but I would like to remind everyone of four simple principles that all businesses should work very hard to follow.” Here are Kalehoff’s email-marketing rules to live by, to show your customers you care:
- Act as if an email address is a living, breathing human being. The reason? If you treat recipients like data on a spreadsheet, they’re liable to treat your campaigns like spam.
- Don’t assume you have permission if you haven’t asked for it. Do you want email messages from anyone who manages to get their hands on your address? Of course not. So send offers and newsletters only when you know they’ll be welcome.
- Make it easier for subscribers to opt out than to opt in. Kalehoff advocates a prominent, simple unsubscribe button. “It’s not OK to hide your opt-out links with gray text on white background,” he says, “or [to] require tedious click-throughs and confusing forms in order to opt out of an email marketing program.”
- If a subscriber wants off your list, let him or her go—for real. “I can’t believe how many big, savvy companies violate this rule,” says Kalehoff. “When recipients opt out, don’t keep their email activated in your marketing program. [Honor] requests for opt-out immediately.”
The Po!nt: Treat them like they’re special—regardless of their numbers. A little common courtesy goes a long way with email subscribers—and is sure to generate better ROI.
Source: AttentionMax. Read the full post.
Daily Sales Tip: The Higher Authority Close
A higher authority is a respected person known by your client who is willing to give third-party testimony. The higher authority will most often be a satisfied client — possibly the one who referred you to the prospective future client.
To set this close up, choose your higher authority and discuss the situation with them. Tell him or her that you’ll be meeting with “Jim Johnson” at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, and ask if they might be available around 2:30 p.m. to take your telephone call in case you need his or her input. Always offer to refer other business back to your higher authority in exchange for their involvement or to return the favor.
When you make the call, simply make the connection, do a brief introduction, and then let your higher authority tell your prospective client how great your and your product/service are.
If your higher authority is unavailable to take your call, ask for a testimonial letter and permission to use his or her name.
Source: Sales consultant/trainer Tom Hopkins
Did you know the Bluegrass State had an official sports car?