Globe, www text and magnifying glass

Trying To Out-Google Customers: Why You’ll Lose At Web Search

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Sales, Social Media, Technology 2 Comments

At KEXINO we meet with companies and organizations of various sizes who, of course, all have different goals with their business marketing. But regardless of who we meet one thing remains constant: Everyone wants their content to be on the first page of a Google search result. Clearly, that’s not possible. If everyone was on Page 1 there wouldn’t be any other pages, right? Not only that, but Page 1 is going to be a REALLY long page! First-page placing on a search engine is the goal of pretty much every business. Appearing on the first page of a search engine result is the way that most business leaders judge the effectivity of their marketing. SEO Is My BFF Many organizations spend considerable amounts of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of their websites, or using services such as Google AdWords. Now while I’m the first to agree that these things have their place in an online marketing strategy, using such techniques as the ONLY way in getting and maintaining a high search engine ranking is going to fail in the long run. Why? Because you’re not just competing for first page ranking with your competitors. You’re competing with your …

shredded paper is gibberish

Customer Communication? Stop Talking Gibberish

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Business, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, Social Media 2 Comments

In case you weren’t aware, a communication revolution has been going on. To quote Clay Shirky, “A revolution doesn’t happen when a society adopts new tools. It happens when society adopts new behaviors…” And that’s exactly what’s happening. Consumer behavior has changed. The way that people buy things has evolved. Today, your customers already know who you are and what you do. What’s more, they know more about your competition than you do. Customers today are more demanding than ever before. They’re smarter than ever before. Because they have more knowledge – and therefore more POWER, than they have ever had. So why should they buy from you, as opposed to the company down the street, or the next town – or half way across the world? Word Of Mouse What’s key today is word of mouth – or, as I prefer to call it: WORD OF MOUSE. And it’s not just personal recommendations, but impersonal ones too. I don’t know about you, but today when I want to buy something – a computer, a washing machine, a car, whatever – I look on the internet for reviews. I am influenced as much by “official reviewers” as I am by …

risk vs reward see-saw

Risk & Assumption: Making An Ass Out Of U and Me

Gee Ranasinha Sales

“Assumption” and “risk” often go hand-in-hand. It’s like yin and yang, or whether the glass is half full or half empty. Salespeople are taught of the dangers of assuming something in business. To “assume” something, they’re told, makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. By assuming a particular intent, outcome, situation or interaction you are creating an illusion for yourself that you regard as fact. As a result, you are ignoring the potential risks associated with such a decision. I talk with many business owners who think that they have a handle on their customers’ wants. Not from research, mind you. Not from from actually talking with customers and prospects, or from observing how changes in the industry and technology may influence buying behavioral trends. But from what they would call their “gut instinct” – and what I call “risk-prone assumption”. These companies rely on assumption to build their business. “My customers liked it when I made a red version of my widget – surely they’re going to love it if I make a blue one, right?” Products or services get designed and launched. Expenditure is made – directly or indirectly – on marketing, promotion, human resources, service, support, …

Sri Lankan Curry

Cold Calling Over a Ruby Murray

Gee Ranasinha Marketing, Sales 0 Comments

Every couple of months or so I get together with a couple of ex-colleagues for what’s become known as a “Ruby Night” “Ruby”, short for “Ruby Murray”, is Cockney rhyming-slang for “curry”. After much research we’ve now found a fantastic Indian restaurant in the centre of Strasbourg that is happy to serve us what we all agree to be the absolutely hottest Lamb Curry this side of Mumbai. It’s magma-level, mouth-numbingly, sweat and tear-inducingly hot. In other words, it’s just how we like it. No pain, no gain… At the last Ruby Night the three of us got into a particularly heated discussion. I’m not talking about the meal (even though the chef on that particular night seemed to have a mission to defeat us in terms of how hot he could make the curry. Boy, was it a scorcher). I’m talking about Cold Calling. Cold calling, for those who’ve never been in Sales, is the soul-destroying process of calling-up people that you think could be sales prospects for whatever it is that you’re selling. I suppose you could think of it as the pre-internet version of spam. Every once in a while you’d get someone who’d take the call, …

non-trustworthy-looking person

Maintaining Credibility In The Eyes Of Your Customer

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Sales 0 Comments

Imagine that you’re in a sales situation with a potential client. The deal could be highly lucrative. Things are going well – you’ve done your research, they like your offering…but they also like the offering of one of your biggest competitors. From your perspective, it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s going to get the deal. Then something happens. The prospective customer shows your pricing proposal to the other company – or forwards them one of your emails, asking them for their take on it. What just happened? You lost the sale. For whatever reason your credibility, in the eyes of your customer, has been compromised. For all intents and purposes you’re no longer in the running. Of course you’re never going to hear that from your customer directly: they’ll continue to go through the motions of the sales process right up until they make the purchase – with the other company. There are 1001 reasons why you may lose the credibility of your customers. Maybe it’s the overly-pushy salesperson who needs to be the center of attention, dominate the conversation, or make it abundantly clear that they’ve been there and done that and (in the words of Stevie Wonder) you …

cheerleaders

Do you have Followers, Fans or Evangelists?

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Marketing, Sales, Social Media 0 Comments

Brands have three types of loyal customers:  Followers, Fans and Evangelists. “Followers” are the ones who buy your product or service no matter what.  Times can be good, times can be bad, but they’re going to stick with what they know – and they know you. You get to a point where you’re forced to raise your prices.  Perhaps the raw material costs have gone up, or maybe you can’t absorb spiraling distribution costs any longer.  “Fans” are the customers that continue to buy from you even when you’ve increased your price.  Fans see ‘value’ in your business offering, over and above the raw cost in producing it.  They buy into your company stance, your brand, whatever it is that (they think) you stand for. Finally, there are the “Evangelists”.  These are the people who will go out of their way to recommend your product or service to their friends, family – and even to their social media networks.  They are your ambassadors. Your brand has connected with them on an emotional level to the point that they are happy to put their reputation on the line by pushing your wares. However, not all customers are created equal.  Most of …