Win Jill Konrath’s book: Selling to Big Companies

October 5, 2007

Picture_2 Boy, this is a sweet deal. 

Jill Konrath e-mailed me right around the time we were celebrating the blog’s first anniversary and generously offered to give me a copy of her book as a giveaway during the anniversary hoopla.  But, I just couldn’t pull it all together so she graciously let me wait a week or so.  Here we are.

I just finished it and it is excellent!  I found some take aways that I know are going to make MMG more successful.

In the comments section — leave a sales tip, horror story, lesson learned or struggle.  That’s your "entry fee" for being put in the drawing.  If you’re too shy to comment, e-mail me.

Here’s a little about the book:

Stop struggling to get into big companies. Learn practical strategies to crack into corporate accounts, shrink your sales cycle and close more business in Jill Konrath’s new book.

In Selling to Big Companies, you’ll discover how to:

  • Target accounts where you can succeed.
  • Find the names of corporate decision makers.
  • Create breakthrough value propositions.
  • Develop effective account entry campaigns.
  • Craft enticing voicemail messages.
  • Overcome obstacles to getting in.
  • Have powerful initial sales meetings.
  • Differentiate yourself from other sellers.

Don’t forget that Jill is also throwing the sales conference that’s a not to be missed for women who want to take their sales skills to the next level.  Minneapolis. November 5-6.   You’ll learn enough within the first hour to cover the investment and more.

So come on….share your sales savvy or angst.  Either way, you can be the big winner!


Come mix and mingle

September 30, 2007

Conversations One of the things I love about big cocktail parties is the mixing and mingling.  It's a smorgasbord of conversations and you can drift in and out, sampling a little bit of each one.

So, imagine all the Age of Conversation authors standing around, drink in hand, chatting.  Wouldn't it be fun to flit from group to group, engaging with each author?

Well, until we can make that happen, David Brazeal of JournaMarketing (and an AoC author) is doing the next best thing.  He's vowed to create a podcast with each author and share them with all of us. 

He's got three done and you can check them out on his site.

Gavin Heaton
Becky Carroll

This will be a series worth watching for.  Thanks to David for putting the spotlight on each author!

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My next cover? Rolling Stone.

September 28, 2007

Picture_1 I've always thought of myself as cover boy material.  But I was okay with starting small.  Not any more!

Thanks to Age of Conversation and Arun Rajagopal, Gavin Heaton and I have hit the big time!  Stealing straight from Arun's announcement:

We are the cover story of the Dubai-based Khaleej Times ‘Weekend’ magazine today! What an awesome way to celebrate ‘AOC’. KT’s feature writer Pratibha Umashankar pulled out all the stops to write ‘Mind Blogging’, a brilliant story on ‘AOC’ that also explores the following questions:
o What are the advantages of blogging?
o The implications of ‘blooking’ both commercially and from a readership point of view vis-à-vis conventional publishing
o The future of blogging and citizen journalism
o Implications of blogging in terms of news value

Several of the other AoC authors are also shown, holding their copy of the book. 

The lesson?  Never ever underestimate the power of collaboration and the spirit of giving first.  Thanks to all the AoC authors and especially Arun for making this possible.  Hopefully it means we will break a new milestone for our Variety donation!

What do you think I should wear for the Rolling Stone's cover shoot?

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Harry Beckwith’s genius x 40 (part 2)

September 14, 2007

Picture_1 A couple days ago, I shared with you the first installment of Harry Beckwith’s 40 conclusions about what motivates people.  I said, if you liked it I would share more.  Well, you sure liked it (I knew you were smart!) so here’s a few more.

Remember, to sign up for Beckwith’s newsletter Invisible Ink (subscribe here) so you don’t miss any more of his observations.

  • Never take seriously what people say they think, because people are never sure. Trust only action.
  • The more similar two things appear, the more important their tiny differences. Accentuate the trivial.
  • Your most valuable salesperson is the person who answers your phones.
  • You must improve constantly, because people’s expectations rise constantly.
  • People don’t care how good you are. They care how good you can make them.
  • The best companies don’t make the fewest mistakes; they make the best corrections.
  • You cannot convince someone you have a superior product at a low price. Make up your mind.
  • We call them "premium prices" because a higher price represents insurance that your product will perform.
  • Despite all the warnings, all people judge books by their covers.
  • People hear what they see; you must communicate visually.
  • The more complex our society becomes, the more valuable your brand becomes.

So what do you think?  Ring true for you?  Had you forgotten some of these truths?

Related posts:
You need to read You Inc.
Check out my bookshelves
Are we playing the wrong role in our stories?
Stop selling!


Harry Beckwith’s genius x 40 (part 1)

September 11, 2007

Picture_1 If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I believe Harry Beckwith to be a modern day prophet.  Or at the very least, quite brilliant. 

Beckwith has mastered what I stumble with every day.  He tells stories that illuminate

He does it in plain language that everyone can grasp and apply to their business. 

In his most recent newsletter, Harry Beckwith's Invisible Ink (subscribe here) Harry talks about his fascination with what motivates people.

He goes on to say that he's come to 40 conclusions surround this question.  I thought I'd share some of them with you.  And maybe if you like them, I'll share a few more tomorrow. 

  • Your biggest competitor is not a competitor; it's your prospect's indifference.
  • Your second-biggest competitor is not a competitor; it's your prospect's distrust.
  • Your biggest obstacle is whatever stereotype your prospect has formed about you and your industry.
  • Prospects decide in the first five seconds.
  • Prospects don't try to make the best choice. They try to make the most comfortable choice.
  • At heart, every prospect is risk-averse, and risks are always more vivid than rewards.
  • Beware of what you think you know or have experienced; memories fail people constantly.
  • For the same reason, beware of what others say they know or have experienced.

So what do you think?  Ring true for you?  Had you forgotten some of these truths?

Related posts:
You need to read You Inc.
Check out my bookshelves
Are we playing the wrong role in our stories?
Stop selling!

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Be the $10,000 buyer!

September 9, 2007

Conversation_cover_2 Less than 2 months ago, 103 hopeful authors and two neophyte publishers (yours truly and the always brilliant Gavin Heaton) launched Age of Conversation.

Our goals were pretty simple:

  • Get exposure for all the authors
  • Provide quality content
  • Explore what the "age of conversation" meant
  • Do something together that would eclipse what any of us would do alone

and the biggie — raise money for Variety, the Children's Charity.  We set $10,000 as our first target for funds raised.

<60 days later….we have sold 1,274 books and raised $9,997.60.  WHO will put us over the top?  Can we get to our $10,000 goal before September 16th, the 2 month anniversary of the launch?

Whoever buys a book (e-mail me the receipt) between now and September 16th will be profiled on the Age of Conversation blog and no doubt, will get plenty of link love from the authors.

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What goes around…

September 3, 2007

Picture_1 I've always believed that if you give first, without worrying about what you will receive — you always get more than you expected.

I explore this notion in a guest post over at Emerging Customer.  The two authors of that blog, Michelle Lamar and Christine Wright have given me the perfect example of this theory.

They heard about Age of Conversation and our goal to raise money for Variety, The Children's Charity as well as creating exposure to the ideas of 103 authors.  They came up with an amazingly generous offer. Any (or all) 103 Age of Conversation authors have been invited to be a guest author on their blog.

Michelle and Christine made the offer, asking for nothing in return.  But according to my theory…very good things will happen to them.  The first being that the readers of this blog will check out Emerging Customer and enjoy its content enough to subscribe.

Thanks again to Michelle and Christine for helping tell the world about Age of Conversation and giving all 103 authors an opportunity to introduce themselves to EC's readers!

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Bad customers, branding, chasing cool and babies

July 25, 2007

Arrows If you're looking for me today, you're going to have to look all over.  It's a little like "where in the world is Carmen San Diego" but with a twist.  Check out my posts on these blogs:

Marketing Profs Daily Fix:  No one believes in branding more than I do.  But have we gone a little too far when we hire professionals to help us brand our baby?

IowaBiz:  Everyone wants to be the iPod of their industry. What gets in the way of being a company capable of creating that kind of cool?

Small Business Branding:  Everyone's had a bad customer.  Guess what?  That's our own fault.  Branding done right can help us avoid those potential customers who in the end, just aren't for us.

Come catch me if you can!

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The Age of Conversation is off and running!

July 17, 2007

Conversation_cover 103 authors from 10 different countries across the globe  One theme.  103 different perspectives and insights.  That's the Age of Conversation.  And it's on sale right now

Lots of smarts.  And lots of heart.  All the proceeds will be donated to Variety, The Children's Charity.

In 48 hours, we have sold 382 copies and made $3,071.91 for the charity.  Now that's news worth spreading!  Our goal for this project is $10,000. 

In the coming weeks, I hope you're going to hear a lot more about this book and the insights contained between the covers.  I also hope you'll be following along with your own copy of The Age of Conversation.

Read about the book's launch here and here and here….UPDATED!

Social Computing
Media Post's Marketing Daily
Media Daily News
Marketing Profs Daily Fix
Fast Company
Des Moines Register

Stay tuned for updates here!

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Age of Conversation collaboration doesn’t end with the writing

July 15, 2007

Conversation_cover As we inch towards the official launch of the Age of Conversation tomorrow morning, I'm struck by the enormity of the project.  When Gavin and I conceived it, it was a bit of a "jump and THEN look to see if there's water in the pool" adventure.  But along the way, many people have stepped up to take on part of the load or to create a new aspect of the book.

This is my thank you note (otherwise, my mom gets very uptight) to all of them.  If I've missed someone, I apologize and would love to update my list.

The authors.  Without them, as we said in the very beginning, the book is just Gavin and myself.  While Gav's pretty entertaining and smart, I think adding the other 101 was very good thinking on our part.

Many of them have already posted about the book several times — driving more authors in the beginning and now, more sales.

Some early buzzArun Rajagopal took time to visit every author's blog and give us an introduction to their work and the person behind that work.

The dedication. Thanks to CK for allowing us to dedicate the book to her momma, a woman who understood the power and responsibility of conversations long before it was the rage.

The mapMatt Dickman gave up a lot of free time to create a google map (it's included in the book) of all the authors' locations.

The cover. David Armano brought his vast skills to bear on capturing the essence of the book.

The printerRoger Anderson gave Gavin and I a "behind the scenes" tutorial on printing options and was very willing to get his hands dirty in the process.  He saved us a ton of time and heartache.

The official buzz.  One of the great things about writing a book with marketing people is there are lots of people with skills you can use.  David Reich has been a preeminent PR pro (say that 5 times fast) for years.  He wrote releases, made pitch calls, scored AdAge and other media's attention and is working with all the authors to identify who in their local market to pitch.

And of course….my biggest and deepest thanks to my friend Gavin Heaton.  He is about as rock solid of a human being as I have ever met.  He's brilliant, warm, giving and never got ruffled by any of the ruckus and workload that Age of Conversation brought along with all the good stuff.  I am honored to know and partner with him.  I lucked out.

Thanks to everyone who is a part of this in any way.  I'm honored to be in this with you.

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