Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

How & Why People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase.

What motivates customers to buy your technology products and services?

How do your customers find technology products and services?

Join the conversation.

Posted 42 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

How to Obtain & Leverage Customer Testimonials & Referrals

Once you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow up with them. In Sales, it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in with the customer throughout the implementation of your product or service. Staying in touch with a customer post-sale is also important to earn repeat business and referrals.

As an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of my day. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted to ask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product and services? However, once I made the sale, my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral.

Now many people would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and this shows a sign of trust. But what did the customer buy? Yes, the customer bought you and your products but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering. How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven? Yet many people do.

Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise and you will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationship and that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Salesperson is to build relationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating the value of your products to the customer. Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.

When to Ask

Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?

I would ask the customer for a referral when I know the customer is happy with the implementation of your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offer more than one product or service try to cross-sell or upsell the customer first. See if the customer will use more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you. Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like and trust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.

Ask the customer for a referral by thanking them for the business that they have provided. I would then ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit from my offering. My experience has taught me that customers were always willing to offer themselves as a reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients or pass my name along to their peers.

Testimonial Formats

Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There is a testimonial letter and a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did a wonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendation feature on LinkedIn and,/or uploading a letter to your website. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short video segment. This can be done by the sales or marketing team depending on if there are customer advocacy or referral marketers on your team.

When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feel comfortable with. Also, be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you get new business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give you anymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.

Customer Evangelism

Providing customers with great products and experiences is a great way to get customers to help market your products and services.

Below is an example of how Hyundai used customer marketing & testimonials to roll out Connected Care at the NY Auto Show.

Previously, I wrote an article about what the auto show could teach us about trade show marketing.

Hyundai made one of the best presentations of this particular show. They dared to be different. Instead of the traditional press conference, where journalists sit, take in the information and ask questions post-conference, Hyundai included a Q & A session right into the presentation. The conference was not a conference at all; it was a town hall. John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, used the opportunity to roll out Connected Care. This is a service that allows drivers to get help in case of emergencies. The service also updates owners on the health of their vehicles.

To back up their claims, they had customers provide in-person testimonials of how their lives were saved. One of their customers survived a head-on collision thanks to the service. Unable to contact his family, the service notified them of the customer’s condition. Now that’s a testimonial. If I need a new vehicle, I would strongly consider buying a Hyundai.

The live customer testimonials are worth their weight in gold. Prospects will believe what customers say over any marketing campaigns that brands create. This is a strategy that any business or brand can use. Offer quality products and a great customer experience. Serve customers in this way, and they will be more than happy to share their stories with the world! This is the best kind of advertising that anyone could ask for. Certain customers may even become evangelists.

Customer Appreciation

The easiest way to make sales is to earn referrals and testimonials from your customers. Customers are usually delighted to provide referrals and testimonials for products that work. However, you need to show your appreciation to your customers who put their name and reputation on the line for you.

How you show this appreciation could take many forms. You could bring them baked goods or take them out to dinner. Taking them to a sporting event or concert of their choice is a great way to build your relationship. Find out what type of gift your customers want and try to get for them if it is feasible. Remember to do a good job for your new customer!

Customer Loyalty & Reward Programs

Another thing you could do is to show appreciation is to provide customers a coupon for 15 percent off any item that you sell once their referral has been converted to a sale. I would also provide a thank you note with the coupon. Also, I would develop a point and reward system that encourages your customers to provide you with more referrals. Credit card companies use a rewards and points system when customers make purchases. This can be a model you can copy and implement; depending on your budget. Gift cards can also be an option.

Building Communities

Brands can create online and offline events for loyal customers to reward them. They can also create user groups on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Slack.

Brand Ambassadors, Referral, Affiliate & Influencer Marketing

Brands can also develop a brand ambassador, referral, and/or affiliate marketing program. Some brands use influencer marketing to help sell and market products. Some influencers are celebrities but some brands use micro-influencers that are known in a particular industry.

Remember, word-of-mouth marketing is a great tool to earn new business. Taking the time to say thank you is well worth the time and effort. Your customers have more weight with your prospects than you do! Let your customers help you earn new business. Your existing customers are one of the best sources of new business. Turn these customers into Apostles.

This is why you should reward your customers for providing referrals and testimonials.

How have you included your customers in your marketing?

Comment below.

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference.

I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News

The Future of AI

https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum

https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit

Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far

https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay

7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy

https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42

The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity

https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox

How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)

https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica

Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.

http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles

•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%

•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:

Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing.

Open on title, industry, company, location, and level. Reach out on LinkedIn or at dan@dangalante.com to start a conversation.

Posted 23 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

Strategies to Gain Market Share with Tech & EdTech Products & How & Why People Buy

During my time in field sales, I wanted to obtain the business of Dental Schools and Hospitals. After obtaining meetings and making presentations to prominent Dentists, I was informed that they could not buy from me. After handling objections, showing how my offerings were better than the competition, I found out why. The decision-makers explained that they were under contract with large manufacturers and distributors.

These competitors offered deep discounts to Dental Schools so their students would get comfortable using their products. When students would become licensed Dentists, they would use the products they trained on instead of the competitors. These competitors built lifelong customer loyalty.

When I called on certain Dentists, they said they liked a particular company’s product. I asked them why they liked the product and would they consider switching for something comparable with faster service. The Dentists said no saying that they learned on particular equipment in Dental School and it was the only thing they felt comfortable using.

The Technology Life Cycle

image

Image via

http://www.matthewsonmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/chap-1-fig-2-geoffrey-moore-tech-adopt-curve1.png?w=580

Geoffrey Moore discusses the Technology life cycle in Crossing the Chasm.

Dental manufacturers and large distributors used pricing to target the Innovators/Early adopters/which in this case was the dental students and hospitals. To increase market share, they offered discounted pricing in exchange for purchase and long service contracts. These manufacturers and distributors succeeded in targeting dental students right before they would become customers; earning them years of customer loyalty.

Here is how this SAAS marketing program could be executed on the Technology Life cycle curve.

Innovators Preparation Programs

Offer Preparation programs discounted pricing and free trials to try the product.

Have Pre-service Professionals get comfortable using the product.

Early Adopters Early Career Professionals

Offer them free trials and a lower discount.

Early/Late Majority Seasoned Professionals

Offer Trials and discounts to targeted staff and managers

Laggards Senior Staff Members

Continue to innovate the product and messaging to show how the product is being used.

Obtain Testimonials from satisfied staff and managers.

Show how the product exceeds competitors.

When appropriate, offer free and discounted trials to all appropriate prospects.

This is how Tech companies can improve their market share and generate life-long customer loyalty.

Tech Companies have the chance to improve business and generate life-long customer loyalty. This opportunity can be seized by offering discounted pricing and free trials to Innovators/Early Adopters which in this case are the preparation programs.

How this applies to EdTech & E-Learning

This strategy can be applied to the EdTech/E-Learning market because many companies serve this space but only a few companies dominate the market. The opportunity to target Innovators/Early adopters as I described above presents itself as the United States Department of Education is asking for Education Technology to be embedded into K-12 teacher preparation programs.

image
image

EdTech/E-Learning companies have the chance to improve the Teaching profession and generate life-long customer loyalty. This opportunity can be seized by offering discounted pricing and free trials to Innovators/Early Adopters which in this case are the teacher preparation programs.

Here is how this marketing program could be executed on the Technology Life cycle curve.

Innovators Teacher Preparation programs

Offer Teacher Preparation programs discounted pricing and free trials to try the product.

Have Pre-service Teachers/Admins get comfortable using the product

Early Adopters Rookie Teachers/Admins

Offer them free trials and a lower discount.

Early/Late Majority Seasoned Teachers/Admins

Offer Trials and discounts to targeted staff and Administrators, Lead Teachers, and Instructional Coaches.

Laggards Senior Staff Members

Continue to innovate the product and messaging to show how the product is being used.

Obtain Testimonials from satisfied Teachers and Administrators

Show how the product exceeds competitors.

This is how EdTech/E-Learning companies can improve the Teaching profession and generate life-long customer loyalty.

What EdTech/E-Learning product do you want to try?

Additional Market Research

Why & How People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

How Buyers Find EdTech & E-Learning Products & Solutions

image

I asked my audience how they find Education Technology products and solutions. According to a survey I conducted on LinkedIn, 58% used google, viewed product demos, and read reviews. Next was Social Media and word of mouth at 33%. This suggests that the education technology buying cycles are customer-centric. A great product demo is only as good as product reviews, word of mouth, and the customer experience for established brands. Only 8 % found products from seller-centric activities such as seller calls emails and catalogs. Customers are educating themselves and seeking out sellers at the end of the buying process, not the beginning.

When marketing and selling an EdTech or tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy your tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace. Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create, and, position offerings people want to purchase.

Why & How People Buy In General

When marketing and selling a product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

image

People buy a product or service for many reasons.

2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

image

People find and buy products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create, and, position offerings people want to purchase.

Additional places to find my content and blog

WordPress: http://dangalante.me/

Tumblr: http://www.askdangalante.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/DanGalante

Medium https://medium.com/@DanGalante

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/trendsettingsm

Anchor https://anchor.fm/dangalante

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation, and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference. I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned, and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News

The Future of AI

https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum

https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit

Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far

https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay

7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy

https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42

The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity

https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox

How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)

https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica

Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.

http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles

•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%

•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:

Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing. Reach out to start a conversation on LinkedIn or email me at dan@dangalante.com

Posted 15 weeks ago