The Discovery Institute in Seattle has published a new book, Darwinism, Design and Public Education, by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, encouraging schools to teach both sides of the controversy over Darwinism vs Intelligent Design.The Darwin Party’s spin doctoring that students should be protected from the controversy over Darwinism is unpopular and unsupportable, and should be exposed for what it is: political and religious bias. If it were about science, well then, science thrives on controversy. Science is about pitting evidence against evidence and logic against logic. Wouldn’t that be a healthy science lesson? Read this testimony and see what you think.(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Once the details had been finalised and the scheme was ready to be rolled out, Nyanda said consumers would be informed of the criteria for qualification and the application process. “[The] government has already made a decision to support poor TV-owning households, and we are in the process of finalising the details regarding the implementation of the support scheme,” he said. Source: BuaNews “These features enable the disconnection of stolen boxes and will reduce the possibility of an influx of boxes not manufactured or approved in South Africa flooding the market,” Pule said. Speaking in Johannesburg this week, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said the Cabinet had approved R400-million to subsidise around five-million households, with subsidised set-top boxes expected to cost around R300. 23 October 2009 The set-top boxes that many South Africans will need to watch television when broadcasting goes digital-only will be available at stores throughout the country in the first half of 2010. The government is expected to subsidise 70% of the R700 cost of the units for poorer households. Deputy Communications Minister Dina Pule said that the set top boxes for free-to-air services would have standardised operating systems prioritising security features, interoperability, addressability and inter-connectability. South Africa is currently in a “dual-illumination” period, with both digital and analogue TV signals available. The digital signal was switched on in November 2008, and the analogue signal is due to be switched off on 1 November 2011. In order to receive the digital signal after that date, households with analogue TV sets will need to purchase set-top boxes that convert digital into analogue signals. Nyanda and Pule were speaking at a two-day summit aimed at discussing a set-top box manufacturing strategy that will pave the way for local companies to manufacture the devices. Standards, security features
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Beware of anyone who tells you that you can have what you want without doing the work necessary to have it. If the price you have to pay doesn’t match the promised result, the promise is a lie. The person selling the lie is a charlatan. Seek instead the guide that calls you to adventure and tells you that you are going to have to transform to have what you want.Avoid advice from anyone who doesn’t already have what you want. There are more people who can tell you what to do without ever having done what it is that they are advising you to do than real models.Ignore advice not to compare yourself to others. If there is a gap between the results you are producing and the results someone else is producing in some area, recognizing that gap can provide a vision of what is possible for you. More still, the person producing the result is a model for the beliefs and behaviors necessary to producing the results you want.Shortcuts are almost never worth taking. You can get a degree without attending college by paying for it online. You will very quickly have a piece of paper, but you will not be any better educated without doing the work to acquire knowledge. If you want a certain outcome, investing your time, energy, and resources in obtaining it is the fastest way to get that outcome.Seek ideas that frighten or repel you. If an idea scares you, the emotional response is a reaction that you recognize something in that idea that conflicts with what you believe to be good and right and true. If it repels you, then there is evidence of conflict. Most of us carry around beliefs that represent a partial truth, and there is value and improvement found in discovering the other parts of the truth.Science is the only human endeavor that continually corrects itself over time. We come closer to the truth because we are willing to admit that we were wrong and take in new information. If you haven’t changed your beliefs about the things you hold as true for years or decades, you are not getting closer to the truth. If you haven’t been wrong or if you are not skeptical enough about what you believe now to question your beliefs in the face of new information, you are not growing. Don’t fear making mistakes.Wasted hours lead to wasted days. Wasted days lead to wasted weeks. Wasted weeks lead to wasted months. Wasted months lead to wasted years. Wasted years lead to a wasted life, and the only one you will ever have. Busy yourself living the life you want now.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links. Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
do Originally published Jul 2, 2008 9:13:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 on September 8 in Cambridge, MA. : Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs Seems I’m not the only one that liked the book. “Tuned In” climbed the charts to #1 last week and is New Rules of Marketing and PR . That’s impressive. David recently co-authored a new book: 16. Ask yourself: Is the problem you are solving urgent? Is it pervasive in the market? Are buyers willing to pay to have this problem solved? For those that follow this blog, you know we’re big fans of David Meerman Scott. We think his best-selling book ” David Meerman Scott useful 12. Nothing important happens in the office; the answer you’re looking for is outside your building. Go talk to potential buyers. you increase your chances of building a runaway success of a business? in the Amazon Top 100 bestsellers. Not in the business category, but 15. Data trumps opinion every time. 1. The tuned in company constantly listens, observes, and understands the problems that buyers are willing to pay money to solve. So, my advice is to go read ” 13. Don’t use your salespeople for conducting buyer interviews. Great sales people are great at sales — not necessarily figuring out what How In the meantime, I have captured some of the key points from the book that I found particularly useful. Apologies if some of them don’t make the most sense out of context (did the best I could while still being reasonably pithy). 6. Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant. 8. Communicate directly with your potential customers. It’s hard to get “tuned in” if there’s someone in the middle. . And, it addresses a question I have struggled with for years: will Tuned In 5. Existing customers frame their view of your future based on incremental improvements to their 2. From the makers of the market-leading “Victor” brand of mouse-trap on the failure of a new “better mouse-trap” they launched to beat the Victor: “We should have spent more time researching housewives, and less time researching mice.” Tuned In Building A “Tuned In” Business 18. Tuned in companies think like a publisher and create compelling online content. speak live at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketing Summit 11. Semantics can make a difference. Disney does not build rides, it “creates adventures”. It calls employees “cast members”. They wear “costumes”, not uniforms. They serve “guests”, not customers. 3. Focusing on your competitors is a tit-for-tat game that rarely produces a market leader. 4. Your existing customers represent a small percentage of your opportunity, they have different market problems than non-customers. “. sell. 14. Absent any real data, conference rooms are just full of opinions. experiences. You can see still 7. Don’t assume that because you’re an expert in a market or industry you know more than your buyers about how your product can solve their problems. overall 10. You don’t have to be the first to identify a market opportunity. The founders of Intuit (makers of Quicken) joke about having had the 47th mover advantage. 17. It is too easy to build marketing programs around what the organization wants to say rather than what the buyer wants to hear. If you’ve read the book or have comments on some of the above points, please leave a comment and extend the conversation. — ” is a must-read for all modern marketing mavens. past I had the opportunity to review an early draft of the book several months ago (I read it on my last trip to Mumbai, India). It was riveting. And, I’m not just saying that because David is an advisor to HubSpot (which he is) or because he mentioned HubSpot in the book (which he did — thanks David!) but because the book is insightful and 9. Most businesses try to buy their way in with expensive advertising or beg their way in by convincing media to write about them. Be different. Say something useful and interesting.
Topics: Originally published Nov 19, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Salesforce.com Salesforce’s homepage includes three distinct calls to action above the fold: one that attracts people to their conference, another that gets people to a landing page, and yet another that places people in front of a demo of the software (a great example of secondary and tertiary offers.) One of the remarkable things about Salesforce’s calls to action is the simplicity of their design. Each one is a simple rectangular button with rounded corners, red outlines and simple text – and that’s it. This post contains older information, but has been left up for historical reasons. For more up-to-date information, please see our Lead Generation Hub . Calls to action are the gateways that your visitors must click through to become leads. If your calls to action aren’t optimized and attractive to your visitors, they are less likely to complete the actions you want them to on your website. Creating a great call to action isn’t simple of course, as it takes work to figure out exactly what to offer and how to portray that offer on your pages.As you begin to think about how to handle creating calls to action for your website, keep in mind that simple calls to action are often the most effective . By keeping it simple, you should be able to brainstorm and design some calls to action that really work.Whenever I start any creative project, I typically look at what other people have done for inspiration and ideas. If you’re stuck and don’t know how to portray your offer to your visitors, have a look at some of the examples below. These companies have nailed it down to a science; their calls to action convert their visitors into leads (or customers) and you should use their ideas to your advantage. Mozilla What I like about Mozilla’s call to action is that it gives a clear indicator of what a user can expect when they click on the button.The offer is laid out in front of the visitor; They get 1 Firefox download and it’s free. Clear. Easy. Attractive. The other remarkable thing about Mozilla’s call to action button is its size. It’s BIG! It sticks out on the page and draws your attention. Basecamp – 37 Signals The calls to action that 37 Signals feature are a little over the top. Check out the homepage of their Basecamp product and you’ll see what I mean. Basically the entire page, or at least everything above the fold, is a call to action. Their text is hierarchical, they employ lots of attractive images (of their products), and they top it all off with a big, fat button for the user to click on. Notice that on the button there is some text that indicates what the users can expect: a free, 30-day trial of the product and a super fast sign-up process. Remember, an effective call to action is always visible, attractive, and matched to a compelling offer. Regardless of how much time you decide to spend designing calls to action, always install the end product above the fold so that you can convert more of your visitors into leads and customers. Creating effective calls to action are a crucial piece to achieving inbound marketing success and often the most overlooked. What calls to action do you think are the most effective? What are your biggest questions about creating calls to action? Tell us in the comments! Commercial IQ The nice thing about Commercial IQ’s call to action is that it’s action oriented and attracts the visitor’s eye. They also follow other call to action best practices by placing the button up high on a page on a background that contrasts with the color of the button. The user can see the button really easily and they know exactly what to do. Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack BarackObama.com Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admire the marketing effort of the Barack Obama team during the 2008 campaign, most notably their inbound marketing efforts. Check out their calls to action. First of all, there are 3 above the fold (visible) on the front page. One of them rotates which incorporates 2 more into the mix. All the calls to action are well-optimized, too. They begin with a verb, are action-oriented, and each of them are simple and concise. You know what you’re getting and what to expect when you click on any button on BarakObama.com
This guest post is written by David Siteman Garland, the founder/host of Download the free kit Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. SEO strategy Let’s assume you are taking advantage of all the great Justin See Inbound Lead Generation Kit for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. . You are making connections and bringing in visitors from Facebook and Twitter. Your There is often only a slight difference between someone entering their email address to subscribe and someone clicking away from your site, never to come back. In this video, you’ll learn 5 keys to boost your subscriber base and create a killer list to boost your business. Originally published Feb 26, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 is top notch. Your blog is booming (or sizzling…or waiting to sizzle). That is all fantastic, but how do you turn traffic into subscribers that you have permission to stay in contact with? Photo Credit: hub of amazing content Ah, your email list: precious gold for inbound marketers, especially if you are looking to continually bring current clients (and hopefully future clients), customers and fans to your website. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack (If not, what are you waiting for?!). Your website is a The Rise To The Top inbound marketing tactics Topics: Keyword Optimization . The Rise To The Top is the #1 non-boring resource for building your business smarter, faster, cheaper, which features a daily Web show for entrepreneurs.
Oh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.”Sure,” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral?According to Dictionary.com, to go viral means to become “very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.” And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, “Remember that old jingle that went like … ?”Free Guide: How to Create Video to Increase Engagement So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — we’ve also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to maintain evergreen popularity, you’ll notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?6 Viral Video Marketing Examples1) Dallas Zoo & Bob Hagh: Breakdancing GorillaThe VideoWe start off with a bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pool. Check it out: Why It WorksLet’s face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. It’s a taboo topic — but it’s one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.This brand’s products were created to solve a problem that people typically don’t like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~Pourri created video content that says, “Hey, we’ll address and talk about it, so you don’t have to.”What are some of the discomforts/uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a conversation about them — the one that your customer wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.And guess what? It doesn’t have to pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. That’s the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, “Quit your job.”So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could keep people talking about it far down the road.What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.Want more tips for creating video content? Check out this data on the state of video marketing.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN, Maxim, and ABC, to name a few — just have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla maniac.”Why It WorksHow many times have you watched a video and thought, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.After Hagh’s “enhanced” version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start observing those fleeting moments when I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if … ?” And while there’s no guarantee that acting on those thoughts would have viral results — and we wouldn’t recommend investing a ton of time in something that isn’t likely to pay off — Hagh’s experience makes us say, “You never know.”So start paying attention to what you normally think of as silly ideas, and if there’s a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but don’t just do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that you’re able to pull around performance. See who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”The VideoThe video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brand’s most popular, with over 24 million views. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun,” the video’s description reads, explaining that, to make the video, “IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules … all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.” Today, it holds the Guinness World Records™ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.Why It WorksRe-read the first part of the video’s description. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun.” Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The question is, “How?”It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those “Wouldn’t it be cool if … ?” thoughts, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to create remarkable content. That’s especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging way is a reported challenge.So, we’ll say it again: Write down your ideas for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.P.S. Want to see how this film was made? Check out that bonus footage here.4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”The VideoTrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brand’s most popular YouTube video. Video Marketing Topics: Why It WorksThis example is an interesting case of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isn’t mentioned until the end, when the story being told in the video is largely over. It’s as if the video says, “Ha ha, don’t you hate it when that happens? Here’s a company that can provide a solution,” and then quietly exits.What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is “no,” then, well … you have some work to do.But if the answer is “yes,” find the humor in those problems. They say that “art imitates life,” so don’t be afraid to act it out, and use these common frustrations to create engaging content.6) Poo~Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”The VideoPoo~Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while we’re a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, here’s another one — which has earned over 13 million views — that’ll give you a general idea of what the brand is all about. I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh) June 22, 2017 But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed that the gorilla’s “choreography” bore a striking resemblance to a routine from the movie Flashdance, which was performed to the song “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick laugh, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track. We’re not crying. You’re crying.Why It WorksLet’s think about some of the ads that have given us “all the feels,” as the kids would say, like Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc. called “the All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad.” They’re popular, and people continue to talk about them long after they’ve aired. That’s because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when there’s a story involved.This video tells a story. It follows the tale of a man who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, repaid when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isn’t until the end that TrueMoveH’s general business category — communication — arises.Start with your industry. Then, think of a story you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that story ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.5) Tripp and Tyler & Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”The VideoThen, there’s the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of life’s biggest annoyances and applies humor to them. That’s exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to illustrate what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life. Why It WorksThere’s something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, it’s Dollar Shave Club’s founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the engagement. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.That’s exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasn’t disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Club’s videos.We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They make the time. By publicly making that investment in their respective brands’ content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasn’t let its success change her character. It’s a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Club’s growth and popularity is any indication — it works.3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”The VideoHere’s another video that you can file under: “Oldie, but goodie.” Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBM’s data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Today, Twitter announced an exciting new partnership with media measurement and analysis company Nielsen.Aside from the fact that this partnership totally makes sense — social media marketers are constantly struggling with showing the ROI of their social media efforts, and social media platforms are struggling to show it to them (especially when it comes to advertising) — this partnership will also deliver a pretty groovy new Twitter feature: Twitter Surveys.This feature is still in beta, being tested with a select few advertisers before it rolls out to more brands in early 2013. But here’s what we can tell you about Twitter Surveys before it rolls out on a larger scale — that way you’re prepared, and know what the heck you’re looking at if one of those surveys pops up in your own Twitter feed.What You Need to Know About Twitter SurveysTwitter surveys may be popping up in a news feed near you, and they’ll look just like Promoted Tweets if you’ve jumped on that bandwagon. Here, take a look at an example from Twitter’s blog post announcing the surveys: Originally published Oct 3, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 What’s really cool about this is that “1 of 3” questions part; that means you don’t have to limit the length of your survey … although it’s not clear if there’s an upper limit, or what the suggested upper limit is. After all, Twitter users likely have a much shorter attention span than those completing a survey on, say, your website. But I guess these are the questions they’re trying to answer in this beta testing, eh?This new feature is meant to help companies measure their brand impact on Twitter, something Nielsen has been called on to do with Facebook in the past, as well. Twitter said, “Building on Twitter’s mobile heritage, we’re giving brands the ability to deliver and measure the impact of mobile and traditional desktop campaigns through these surveys. This is a native experience for the user, and we believe it will give brands better insights to determine purchase intent, overall awareness, and other advertising metrics and analytics that can lead to greater engagement on Twitter.” Hey, any tools out there to help marketers better measure some of the softer and fluffier metrics we deal with — brand impact being at the top of that list — is a welcome addition to our social media toolkit.What applications do you see for these Twitter surveys? Would you use them when they come out of beta?Image credit: BeauGiles Twitter Updates Topics: The tweet shows up within a user’s timeline, on both desktop and mobile devices. Notice that the tweet doesn’t come from the brand itself — it comes from the Twitter handle @TwitterSurveys. Twitter’s blog post seemed to imply they might allow these tweets to come from brand names depending on the results of the beta testing, because they were quoted as saying, “Users may see a Tweet by @TwitterSurveys.” Or maybe I’m just reading into that “may.” Anyway …What’s pretty cool about this is that, in the past, most brands would include a link within a tweet to have someone fill out a survey — one that lived on another web page hosted off of Twitter. One could still do that, of course … and it’d be free to boot. But with this survey feature, a user is invited to fill out the survey right in the Tweet itself. And less clicks means more people submitting their answers and opinions! The survey looks a little something like this: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The sales connect is the most transferrable skill to master. If you master the connect, you can begin mastering so many other important life skills — sorority rush, dinner party schmoozing, networking events, and even the first date.In sales, the connect is your opportunity to make that first impression on your prospect — the first time that you’re catching someone live on the phone. And the last thing you want is for it to be the last time. So, what should you say?Free Download: 101 Sales Qualification QuestionsA connect call is about getting to know your prospect. Think about when you meet someone new at a dinner party — the first conversation you have is about introductions and learning the basics without being overbearing or creating a tell-all confessional too soon. Similarly, in the sales world, we use a connect call in order to begin understanding whom we’re talking to, what she cares about, and whether we have anything in common that we can get value out of discussing. We ask questions to find out what she’s working on, how that fits in with her company’s greater business goals, what’s tough about her day, whether that’s something we can help with, and whether she even wants anyone’s help in the first place.The goal of a connect with any person is to strike up a good conversation, get to know what makes them tick, and walk away knowing whether you want to continue that conversation at a later point in time. The goal of a sales connect call is exactly the same, with an added emphasis on determining whether there’s any way you can help a prospect with a need that her business has prioritized addressing.A Few ClarificationsBefore we jump into the methodology for running a sales connect, it may be helpful to describe some common pitfalls that should not find their way into your connects. OR … before discussing what a connect actually entails, let’s highlight what it should never become.The connect is NOT an opportunity for an elevator pitch. Remembering this takes discipline, because many times the prospect will insist that you provide one. If the prospect asks you for a high-level sale, give them a high-level overview instead. Resist the urge to talk about your product for 20 minutes straight. Practice conveying what you do in 2 sentences or less; then learn how to pivot back into your intended playbook.Secondly, this is NOT an opportunity to budget-qualify someone as quickly as possible. There are no shortcuts in a strong and thorough sales process, so I’d encourage you to over-invest in the front end of the sales process here. The last thing you want to do is to pass on a potentially qualified opportunity because you’re trying to cut to the chase too quickly. How would you feel if you met someone at a party and they asked you what your salary is within the first few minutes of conversation? Keep that in mind, and don’t jump the gun.The Connect Call PlaybookThe art of the connect is to uncover a prospect’s pain points and determine whether there’s any way you can help address these struggles. This is achieved through a combination of expressing genuine interest, active listening, and abiding by the guidelines in the following playbook:1) SalutationsKeep your introductions short and sweet: “Hi, this is Dannie calling you from HubSpot.” (PAUSE)A brief pause after stating your company name allows you to gauge your prospect’s reaction to/familiarity with your company. Does he sound happy to hear from you? Does he recognize your company name? Does he sound like he’s anticipating a sales pitch?2) Address ResistanceWhen you’re calling someone who’s not expecting your call, her natural reaction is to feel guarded. She is assuming you’re calling with an agenda, and will often be eager to get off the phone. Addressing resistance allows us to earn permission to continue the conversation, despite this initial reaction. Try the strategy of ‘going negative’ on a prospect from the very outset of the phone call by saying something like “sounds like I caught you at a bad time.” Nine times out of 10, they’ll swoop in to save you and insist that now is actually an okay time. At that point, you’ve earned yourself permission to continue the conversation.3) Leverage Past Prospect ActivityHow did you find this prospect? Had she downloaded a whitepaper from your company’s website? Use the prospect’s recent actions as a conversation starting point: “I noticed that you downloaded our ebook on XYZ best practices. What were you looking for help with when you stumbled upon that ebook? What’d you think of it?” By referencing something the prospect has done, you are creating relevancy and are showing her that you’ve done your research and reminding her that she was, indeed, looking for help with something your company created content around. 4) Build RapportBe a human first, and a salesperson second. Your prospect’s day may be extremely monotonous, and your phone call should be an opportunity to liven it up. Spend some time building rapport by bonding about anything you can find in common (and do your very best to find some unexpected commonality that’s more creative than today’s weather). If you have your prospect’s website open, look at what city they’re located in. Have you traveled there recently? Did you go to any fun restaurants while in town? Did you notice anything particularly charming about the architecture? Did your prospect grow up there or relocate for work? Have some fun getting to know the stranger on the other end of the phone. The more you can establish some sort of commonality, the easier it will lower the prospect’s guard and ask some probing questions down the road.5) Gather ContextNow that you’ve built some rapport with the person on the other end of the line, take the opportunity to naturally segue into some questions about their business and their job role. Here’s an example: “So like I said, I’m on your website, and now I’m checking out your services page. Looks like your company specializes in XYZ services, is that right? What’s your role at the company? How long have you been there? Are you liking it? Interesting — so what does your day typically entail? Does your company focus on selling to any specific industry verticals? Interesting — how’d you choose those?”The more context you have, the better you can paint a picture of the world your prospect is operating in. Who do they like doing business with? Can you help get them in front of businesses like that? You need to be able to visualize as much of their business context as possible in order to choose which positioning statements have the best chance of resonating with them — and in order to keep the rest of our conversation as relevant as possible to their priorities.5) Introduce Positioning Statement(s)The purpose of a positioning statement is to make your prospect say, “That’s me. How did you know?”Positioning statements help you show your prospects that you understand their pain points. You’re showing them that you’ve been around the block and that you’ve seen similar companies go through similar struggles. The implication is that you’ve found a way to help them through that struggle. This should pique a prospect’s interest and convince them that they could learn from you. Here’s an ad-lib example: “A lot of time, when I talk to companies like yours, they’re really good at ________, but they struggle to ________ for the following reasons: _____, _____, or _____.”Positioning statements are not one-size-fits all, and it’s all too possible that the one you tried out doesn’t resonate with the prospect. Have a list of three to four different positioning statements on hand, and use them as a chance to do two things: 1) show active listening by paraphrasing their current situation as they described it, and 2) determine whether they can relate to scenarios you’ve helped similar companies address. Use tie-down questions at the end of a positioning statement to determine whether you’ve successfully identified a pain point worth digging into. For example: “Can you relate to that? How so?” Now it’s time for the prospect to do some more of the talking.6) Dig Deeper Into Pain PointsWhile positioning statements may lead the prospect to certain conclusions, short, open-ended follow-up questions allow prospects to continue the conversation and articulate their struggles in their own words. The shorter the question, the more freedom you provide your prospect for putting things in her own words. Here are some good ones: “How so? Tell me about which part of that statement resonated with you. Is that a big problem? Do you have a plan to fix this? Do you think that’ll work?”Asking an open-ended question after you hear a prospect affirm that a positioning statement resonated with her allows her to open up and do some talking about her challenges. This helps paint a picture of the context they’re operating in, and allows you, the salesperson, to start getting a better idea of how you may be able to help the prospect.7) Validate Desire for Help”That’s something that I’ve helped a lot of similar companies overcome. If that’s something we could give you some guidance about, would you be open to receiving and implementing our help?”Use a soft tie-down to make sure that you’re not about to spin your wheels providing unsolicited advice in follow-up calls or meetings. You will be using different forms of tie-downs throughout the sales process to confirm that whatever you’re about to help the prospect with is a top priority to invest time and money into, and this is your first shot at getting this affirmation.If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can even ask the prospect what’s held him or her back from getting any help up until now. This will begin to help answer the critical question: “Why now?”8) Suggest Concrete Next StepsBe specific here. Set expectations properly. If you operate on a monthly sales cycle, encourage the prospect to take a follow-up call that same week. If you’re going to set up a GoToMeeting for your next phone call but don’t intend to demo your product, make sure the prospect knows what you do plan to cover during the next call and why that will ultimately be valuable for him. Try this: “I hope this conversation was valuable to you. Do you want to schedule some time on Thursday of this week to dig a little deeper into what you’re hoping to achieve within this facet of your business? That can give us a better opportunity to mutually assess if and how we might be able to help.”See what you did there? You reminded the prospect that this conversation was about him, not about you. You set expectations about what you’ll cover during the next call. And even more importantly, you pointed out that sales is a two-way street, and that both parties should be mutually assessing one another to determine if it’s a good fit.Practice Makes PerfectThe more you practice the connect playbook, the more you’ll realize that every connect call can really follow a similar methodology. If you’re nervous about trying it out on a prospect first, then try applying the connect playbook to a real-life situation as you’re making new friends or forging new business connections. When you’re ready to practice the connect in a sales setting, use this methodology to structure your notes. Are there parts that you find yourself repeatedly leaving blank? That’s probably an area that feels a little less comfortable for you, and therefore an area that’s worth doubling down on during practice. No two connect calls will ever be exactly the same, but mastering a repeatable structure should make every new sales job a little bit easier.Have some tactics that have worked for you? Disagree with any part of this methodology? Share your comments below. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 21, 2013 6:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Inbound Sales (Marketing) Topics: