The Screwtape Emails VII

    The Screwtape Emails VII

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART SEVEN:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Ads that SUCK

    My dear Wormwood,

    Ah, yes—we’ve now come to one of my favorite missives: How to make ads that suck! In our ongoing battle to prevent the Patient from prospering, we can prevail upon him to produce the sort of advertising that will make him invisible. Most side-slappingly hilarious of all? We can make him think his atrocious ads are something special (and when they produce the expected meager results, we will convince him that advertising doesn’t work.)

    So, my minion of mayhem, here is a primer on how to make ads that suck:

    • Make sure you stay “safe.” The steadiest road to “suckitude” is to never pass the competition by deviating from the well-worn rut. It feels safe to have your ads look and feel like everyone else’s. I mean, shouldn’t a real estate ad look like a real estate ad? The truth we must never let the Patient discover is that safe ads are the most dangerous kind to his ROI. Safe ads are invisible and do not distinguish one from the competition. At some point, a car insurance company made the move into the fast lane with ads featuring humorous characters, and the result was that Geico became a household name. The other insurance companies are still trying to catch up, but will forever be followers now that Geico has blazed a new trail. Old Spice put the pedal to the metal with a series of ridiculously hyperbolic ads that effectively tripled their sales in short order, and moved them from a musty, old-guy’s product to the most happening name in their market.
    • You’re paying for the ad space, so pack in as much as possible. Print ads that look like a mini brochure, video and radio ads that present a yard sale of features. Have the Patient pack it in like a big city bus ride to Sucksville. Nothing makes people flip the page, scroll up the thumb, hit the mute more than information overload. In reality, the brilliance is most often in brevity, and the greatest impact comes from simplicity. One core message conveyed through humor, shocking fact, tear-jerking seriousness or other emotionally-impacting techniques will get attention—and the purpose of ads is to grab attention, not to inform!
    • Try it for a little while, then pull it if it’s not performing. Don’t allow the Patient to define what “performance” means. Convince him that if people aren’t lined up at the door after running an ad for a week, then it must not be working. Get him thinking that the only thing that matters is short-term revenue resulting directly from the ad. If he should have the confidence to be patient as a brilliant ad campaign unfolds, then we risk him getting long-term results most companies only dream of. Most radically successful ad campaigns must be run and repeated long enough to catch fire and capture the imagination. They must have time to break through filters (which often takes repetition) and then generate buzz by early adopters. People cannot help but become fans of great ads, and once they start talking about their favorites, the flood gates open.
    • Talk about yourself. Too many small businesses owners want to see themselves on the camera—a fact we love! Talking about yourself and/or all the wonderful services you offer is like, as Roy H. Williams puts it, like making people watch home movies of your most recent vacation. In today’s sophisticated digital-media environment, nobody cares about you; they want to see themselves in your ads. It’s a cold, hard truth we can portray to the Patient as selfish and narcissistic on the part of his audience, and blind him to the fact that, by putting himself first, he’s playing the self-centered card perfectly. We know it’s only after you put your audience first that they will turn their attention to you…but let’s not let that get out, shall we?

    There are many other ways to make ads that suck, but this is enough for now. You’re a mere apprentice and I know your capacity for such things is limited. Besides, I’m waiting to see how you handle convincing the Patient to walk into these four traps first.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales
    The Screwtape Emails – Old School Pitching

    The Screwtape Emails – Old School Pitching

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART ONE:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Old School Pitching

    My dear Wormwood,

    In your glorious mission to sabotage the plans of the business owner, whom we are calling the “Patient,” let us focus on sales. Sales and marketing are the lifeblood of any company, and the greatest threats to your success (I need not remind you that you are being watched, and failure on your part has consequences). Let us discuss, then, the art of “closing the deal.”

    By all means, fill your Patient’s head with all sorts of outdated sales principles. You might be surprised to know that many sales trainers are still teaching old-school sales techniques, dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Tired, regurgitated and woefully out of date, these can be powerful tools in our hands! Convince the Patient that what worked yesterday will work today.

    I must emphasize that you must not allow the Patient to awaken to the fact that today’s consumer is much too sophisticated to fall for “push” sales techniques. Back in the day, companies spoon-fed their brand to the masses, shaping their thinking and perceptions. With online reviews, social media discussions and other information available today, consumers largely define brands. As author and marketing consultant Faris Yakob writes, mass media has given way to “the media of the masses.” Today’s sales prospect comes into the pipeline armed with a knowledge of what they want and don’t want, and they don’t want to be sold.

    We can use this reality to our advantage. Have the Patient focus on “pitching” their product. Convince him that prospects actually care about his product or service, rather than the problems he can help them solve. If the Patient peddles the wonderful features of his offerings, we’ve got him right where we want him—but be sure he gets just enough lukewarm response from this to feed the delusion that this approach will pay off in time. (In this case, we can use the “Power of Positive Thinking” to our advantage.)

    Under no circumstances can you allow the patient to begin with a customer-focused approach! If the Patient asks effective questions about the needs and frustrations of the prospect, our Cause may be lost (and you will be held responsible, my dear Wormwood, so let’s just not go there).

    Yet, there may be a way to salvage even this disaster by transitioning the Patient from customer focus to persuasion—and this is what I will cover in my next training email. The so-called “power of persuasion” can kill a sale faster than a moth flying into a flame (an apropos metaphor for you, if you should fail us.)

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.

    SalesFish B2B Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales

    Interviews with Top Sales Professionals VII

    Welcome to SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, the most strategically biased B2B Marketing Agency, telemarketing services, telemarketing companies (sales agency) and digital marketing companies, serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento and the Pacific Northwest (Bend, Portland, Seattle). We gladly serve California and all 50 United States!

    By James Rothaar

    Mel Stein Odyssey of a Philly Boy SalesFish B2B sales professional interviewMel Stein is the former Senior Vice President of Aetna US Healthcare, serial entrepreneur, and presently managing executive of Healthcare Executive Partners, LLC, located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

    Mr. Stein is also the author of Odyssey of a Philly Boy. A gifted storyteller and a talented humorist, his memoir is “Kramer vs. Kramer” without the custody battle – the story about becoming the father he never had, and the many unique experiences that shaped his life and his character.

    “Each of us has our own stories, but our most meaningful ones are not about the major accomplishments of our lives. Rather, the seemingly unnoticeable events of our daily existence become the true substance of our memories. It is the richness and color of the stories about our journeys that ultimately define our character and who we truly are.”

    How did you get into sales?

    My life has been a series of serendipitous events. Originally, I wanted to attend medical school, but my undergraduate grades were not high enough to gain entrance. In an effort to bolster my grades, I attended Temple University’s School of Pharmacy. As a pharmacy student, I answered an ad in the newspaper and was hired by a pharmacist whose name was Leonard Abramson. Len went on to found US Healthcare, the most successful managed care organization in the country at the time. The rest is history. I became a senior executive of the company, first as SVP of Medical Delivery and then Sales and Marketing. I never thought of myself as a “sales guy”, but part of Len’s genius was in seeing things in people that they didn’t see in themselves. After we sold our public company to Aetna in 1996, I became SVP of Aetna US Healthcare. My experiences led me to my passion for sales and the understanding along the way that this is exactly where my talents lie.

    Could you briefly describe what you sell?

    Healthcare Executive Partners is a healthcare consulting firm.  Our focus is sales and marketing for both privately held and public healthcare companies.  Additional services that my partners and I provide are strategic and tactical creative solutions, investor relationships and fund-raising, and interim management and board seats.

    How did you find this job?

    I think of myself as a “serial entrepreneur” who has not “found a job” in more than 20 years. I create my own opportunities, including my current company and position, through networking and creating services that the market needs.

    What are some of the rewards of selling?

    Making a difference in the healthcare marketplace, having fun doing what we do, and being rewarded for our efforts, including equity in our clients’ company.

    How about drawbacks?

    If you have confidence in yourself and have a meaningful product or service that you represent, there really aren’t any drawbacks. For others, the biggest drawback is the possibility of being negatively affected by rejection. Most people want to be liked, and not everyone is going to like you, or want to purchase what you’re selling.

    What do you think makes a fine salesperson?

    The ability to actively listen is what’s most important. Most salespeople are so anxious to deliver their pitch that they do so whether or not the prospect wants to hear it. Asking appropriate questions and truly listening to your prospects’ responses is essential, before any sales presentation.

    How are you compensated?

    There are three elements: a monthly stipend, a commission on what the company sells, and equity in the company.

    What type of sales training have you had, and how has it helped?

    I never had any formal sales training. I have read a lot of books on sales and marketing.  During my career I developed and conducted my own sales training for others.

    Every prospect or customer encounter builds upon my knowledge and understanding of sales and the sales process. Responding to and overcoming objections is probably the most valuable part of my learning.

    Does your job involve finding and selling new prospects or handling existing accounts?

    I do both; I develop new business and work with existing clients.

    What percentage of time do you spend on each?

    Only about 10% of my time is spent prospecting. We have a handful of select clients and at this point in time, new customers come to us through our broad network of relationships. Our major focus is spent on serving our existing client base.

    How do you prospect?

    Most of my prospecting is done through networking, connecting with other professionals, and letting them know about Healthcare Executive Partners. When I do cold prospecting, it is usually from reading business articles and trends in the healthcare marketplace. When I have an idea for assisting a company, I contact the firm’s CEO directly and talk about how he or she could benefit from our services. I have had a lot success in getting new business from this highly targeted approach.

    What types of research do you perform prior to meeting with clients or prospects?

    I do most of my research online. I do an Internet search on a company and learn about its products, services, history, vertical and horizontal markets and competition. I also get background information on my contacts via Google and Linkedin.

    Could you describe the typical selling process in front of a customer or a prospect?

    Before contacting, I make sure that I have a basis of understanding about their business. The biggest key is asking, “How do you differentiate yourself from your competition? How do you promote yourself? What is your value proposition?” I pretty much always know the answer to these questions, or at least having a sense of what response to expect. I also have an answer ready for how I could help them add value.

    Do you ever team sell?

    Yes, I do. My partners have expertise in different areas than I. When a situation arises that require our complementary skills, we collaborate in the sales process.

    What are some of the more common concerns you encounter?

    Cost is one major concern. Most businesses want to know that they’re going to get a return on that money. Timing is another one. We cannot request a meeting with a potential customer on behalf of our client until the story, including value proposition, pricing, operations, technical support, etc, is all in place and ready for “prime time”. The assets that my partners and I have – our contacts, our reputation and integrity – are on the line. You get one bite of the apple and you must be completely prepared.

    How do you handle that?

    I must demonstrate that the value the customer will get will be greater than the investment in working with us. I need to convince the customer that they need us more than we need them. My contacts, my knowledge and my time are really what I am selling. Some companies try to get free consulting. I will walk away from a potential client if they are unwilling to compensate us fairly.

    Describe your most satisfying selling experience, please. And was it also the most difficult one?

    When I worked at US Healthcare, in addition to my role as SVP of National Sales, I was given the freedom to also be an entrepreneur. I developed five companies within US Healthcare, all around customer engagement and expanding our relationship with our employer group clients. One of the companies I am most proud of was Managed Care Coordinators (MC2), which managed multiple health plans for large employers. I approached Nabisco, which had 100 sites located around the country. The coordination of health benefits for all of those locations and employees was a nightmare for them. Nabisco’s VP of benefits indicated that MC2 would be a great service for them, but that she had already started the process for the upcoming benefits year. She pointed to a mountain of file boxes piled in the corner of her large office. I asked her, “Do you have a hand truck? I can show you how our company could take all of this work off of your hands, and do it faster and more efficiently than you could in-house.”  She gave me a chance and I wheeled those boxes out to my car and loaded them into my trunk and back seat. I ended up showing Nabisco exactly how MC2 could put everything together and manage it all—including all of the premium payments to insurers—for one monthly fee. After the success with Nabisco, I also landed accounts with American Express, Hertz, Xerox and many others.

    My most difficult sale was getting GE to offer US Healthcare as part of its employee health benefits for the Northeast part of the country. The sale took over three years, including multiple RFPs, meetings, data requests, and practically everything short of bathing suit competitions. The next day when I returned from Connecticut and told our CEO, Leonard Abramson, that GE had finally signed, his response was “That’s nice, but what have you done today?”

    How has the selling environment changed for you?

    The advent of new technology has been the biggest change.

    How has the role of technology changed your job?

    Technology has made it easier to communicate with distant prospects and customers. However, the drawback in my field is that the real end users are not my client companies, but the consumers that they are serving. The user experience is a critical component to consumers, so it has become an attribute of what I am selling.

    How do you keep yourself updated on the changes in your industry and product line?

    I network and read a lot. Being able to “think outside the box” is important so that the disparate components can be put together.

    More importantly, how do you keep yourself motivated?

    Positive feedback from the people with whom I work is very motivational. The ability to take different aspects and create strategic partnerships that no one else saw those is exciting to me.

    What should I have asked but did not?

    I would say, give an example of how I actively listen. I used to do comedy improv, which was an experience that I felt was great training. It exercised my brain and taught me how to respond to feedback from an audience. In comedy, that feedback was immediate, and I had to be able to feed off it to keep the audience engaged.

    Another good question to ask would have been:Would you rather sell a product or a service? I would rather sell a service or a solution than a physical product. It requires conceptual selling, solving a customer’s problem, which enhances the seller-client relationship.

    Another question to ask would have been: How do I differentiate my product/service? I do that through the value proposition; all product attributes must be translated into value for customers. There are no exceptions.
     


     
    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class digital marketing strategies and B2B telemarketing sales strategies. We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

    Call today and our “high-touch” dedicated team will assist you in assessing your strategic sales goals to tailor our marketing and sales tactics to your specific needs.SalesFish Telemarketing Services

    SalesFish Net of Sales Services:

    • B2B Direct Sales, Channel Sales and Marketing Strategies
    • On-Site B2B Presentation, Negotiation and Sales
    • B2B Telemarketing and B2B Telesales Services
    • Cold Calls and Appointment Setting
    • Online Presentations and Webinars
    • Product Awareness and Announcement Calls
    • Primary Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Surveys
    • Experiential Event Marketing
    • Pre and Post-Event Calls
    • Audience Acquisition, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales

    Outsourcing Exhibit Sales & Sponsorship Sales

    Welcome to the blog for California’s most strategically-biased event planning, event management, event marketing, sponsorship sales, exhibit sales, and B2B event marketing.

    We serve Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Portland, and Seattle.  We are very much at home in all 50 United States. Partner with a client centric B2B Market Agency that puts skin in the game… from strategic Telemarketing Services to Experiential Event Marketing.

    If you’re planning an experiential marketing event whether it’s a trade show, user conference, workshop, road show or sales event, you, without a doubt, must decide how to SELL your event.

    If you’re a first time or fairly new event, how you sell is even more critical.  The old adage “build it and they will come” does not apply to any event.  You must gain the trust of your target audience over time by continuing to give them a world-class experiential event marketing experience.

    If you’re a new or mature event, it’s always a great idea to tie your event to a worthy cause and give a portion of proceeds to that cause (cause marketing).  It’s also a good idea to be prepared to give away landscape as well as opportunities to marquee brands and/or companies.

    In regards to audience acquisition, exhibit sales, or sponsorship sales are you trusting in your marketing alone? Learn first hand what an elite Telemarketing Services team can bring to your B2B Lead Generation goals.

    When selling an event it’s never a good idea to represent yourself.  There’s a reason Hollywood stars or professional athletes have agents: it isn’t just for negotiation purposes, but to further reflect how special they really are.

    There’s something about having an intermediary to “brand” target’s minds that your event is special.

    Our strong and strategically-biased encouragement is to not go it alone when selling your event, whether it’s for audience acquisition, sponsorship sales or exhibit sales.

    Stay tuned for future relevant Event Planning, Event Management, Event Marketing, Exhibit Sales and Sponsorship Sales content.

    We at SalesFish Event Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering Strategic Event planning, Event Management, B2B Telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales, B2B Inside Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Exhibit Sales, Audience Acquisition, Brand Marketing and Execution.

    Outsourcing B2B Telemarketing & B2B Tele-Sales

     

    Welcome to the blog for California’s most strategically-biased B2B Tele-Sales, B2B Telemarketing, B2B Inside Sales Agency and B2B Marketing Agency serving Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and all 50 United States. Partner with a client centric B2B Market Agency that puts skin in the game… from strategic Telemarketing Services to Experiential Event Marketing.

    In today’s virtual Sales 2.O world does it make sense to outsource your B2B Telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales or B2B Inside Sales activities?  The answer is YES though you still commit to the process of integrated marketing combined with your B2B Telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales and B2B Inside Sales activities.

    Outsourcing your B2B Telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales and Inside Sales requires an organization with strong internal marketing leadership to include strong sales acumen.

    Given that your organization has such strong leadership, it’s prudent to outsource your B2B Telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales and B2B Inside Sales activities to a proven B2B marketing agency partner.

    Carefully consider the decision to outsource.  The vetting of a qualified partner includes a partner strategic in their sales approach with a fundamental understanding of integrated marketing. Learn first hand what an elite Telemarketing Services team can bring to your B2B Lead Generation goals.

    Stay tuned for more relevant content on creating world-class B2B Telesales, B2B Telemarketing and B2B Inside Sales strategies.  We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales thank you for joining us in our commitment to unwavering strategic planning, B2B brand marketing and B2B sales execution.

     

    Portland B2B Telemarketing and Marketing Agencies

    Welcome to the SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales blog serving the Pacific Northwest as the most strategically-biased B2B Sales, B2B Telemarketing, B2B Telesales, Telemarketing Services and B2B Marketing Agency.  We gladly serve Bend, Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and all 50 United States. Partner with a client centric B2B Market Agency that puts skin in the game… from strategic Telemarketing Services to Experiential Event Marketing.

    SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales is happy to announce their Pacific Northwest office now serving Portland, Oregon. We’re excited to join the diversity of Portland businesses, assisting them with their marketing and B2B Telemarketing needs.

    SalesFish brings decades of proven experience and offers a unique blend of disruptive strategic brand marketing and B2B Telemarketing, B2B telesales and telemarketing services.

    SalesFish is committed to providing a return on investment (ROI) for every client every time.  The SalesFish brand promise is to “Improve your Net” by providing overall ROI for our clients through a goal-oriented, disciplined and integrated approach to sales and marketing.

    What differentiates SalesFish from other Portland marketing, B2B Telemarketing, B2B telesales, and telemarketing agencies is our FULLY integrated marketing and sales model.

    As a world- class marketing and sales agency assisting Pacific Northwest and West Coast B2B companies seeking world-class B2B sales, telesales, telemarketing services, B2B Telemarketing and marketing services, SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales has provided over 60 billion dollars in quantifiable sales for our clients.

    We know of NO other telemarketing, B2B telesales, B2B telemarketing or B2B marketing agencies serving the Portland area that can make such overwhelming claims.

    The rationale into why SalesFish Brand Marketing and Sales can make such claims is because as sales and marketing agencies go, we provide B2B telesales, B2B Telemarketing and B2B sales.

    We anticipate providing our disruptive sales model to other Portland B2B like-minded businesses, knowing that in a down economy, sales sell and clients are looking for a return on their brand marketing and sales investment.

    Stay tuned! We at SalesFish Brand Marketing & Sales, B2B Marketing Agency, Advertising Agency, Interactive Agency, Digital Marketing Agency, Web Design Agency, B2B telemarketing, B2B Tele-Sales and B2B Insides Sales thank you for joining us in the commitment to unwavering strategic B2B marketing and sales.