Monday, March 23, 2015

Emotional Intelligence In Selling - Understanding The Connection And Why It Matters

Background

Over the last twenty or so years Emotional Intelligence or E.I. as it is often referred to, has slowly but inexorably become one of the foundation stones to elite selling skills preparation for leading companies around the world who deploy representatives in formal, field forces.



This gradual acceptance has certainly been aided in no small part by the continued release of overwhelmingly positive data, highlighting the benefits of increasing E.I. regardless of the other demographic variables of the workers being trained.

Data

The data as I have said earlier is copious in size and yet unfailingly positive and demonstrates an undeniable relationship between better levels of Emotional Intelligence and better performance outcomes. Yet of all the different studies I am aware of, none have highlighted this point more dramatically than research conducted by the doyen of E.I. himself, Dr. Daniel Goleman.

In one study based on data collected from five hundred companies, Goleman was able to show that the level of E.I. is a greater predictor of performance than double the effect of I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) and technical skill combined. So OK then it is the real McCoy but how does it relate to sales?

Sales Model

The simple connection between the various stages of any reasonable sales model and emotional intelligence lies in applying the key precepts as laid out by Daniel Goleman in his globally recognised model that has in one half self awareness and self control and in the second half, awareness of others and relationship management.

Put simply, as the salesperson goes through their sales process, they will be focused on how they are felling and delivering the information at each stage and conversely from the point of view of the customer, they will also be  focused on their reaction as they progress through each stage of the selling skills process.

In this way the salesperson will be able to ensure that both they themselves remain calm, measured and in control of their sales presentation, whilst concurrently ensuring that the recipient of that sales message is remaining comfortable with what they are hearing, with any appropriate adjustments being made as required throughout its delivery.

Training

Naturally to remain competitive in the sales arena it is important to ensure that all your sales staff are adequately prepared and resourced to do battle against rivals that are often bigger, more established in the market place and better funded. 

Road Scholars is proud to be able to present specialised courses in both Advanced Selling Skills:
http://www.roadscholarstraining.com/training/advanced-selling-skills.html

as well Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace:
http://www.roadscholarstraining.com/training/emotional-intelligence.html

Both courses are of course fully Nationally Accredited and available on request. Fr any further information please also feel free to contact me directly on: admin@roadscholarstraining.com


So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Facebook Introducing Topic Data To Help With More Targeted And Personalised Communication

A More Complete Fit

In recent days Facebook has announced through its news pages that it will be introducing a new communication product called Topic Data that will allow Facebook marketers the ability to gain a deeper understanding of their audiences' psychographic aspects such as attitudes, opinions and beliefs around the key issues and aspects that pertain to their business, with the view of being able to formulate ever more precisely matching products and services that more fully and completely meet those customer needs.
 
 
 

Historical Approach

Typically up until now by observation an online marketer could deduce by the activity about what was being shared, commented on and generally spoken about, what the respective care factor was for any given issue, topic or challenge. Certainly behaviorally based and useful but at best this represented an incomplete picture about what people thought.

Subsequently Facebook have now communicated that the new Topic Data product will be available to a specified group of pre-selected Facebook partners which one would assume would be a first phase in a plan to eventually roll it out universally to the full 1.35billion globally users at a future time when the trial phase has concluded.

How Does Topic Data Work

Essentially Topic Data will provide greater clarity and therefore insight into what your target audiences are talking about online with respect to you, your product, competitors, upcoming and launch events, matters of importance and other general activities that may all provide your marketing team with addition information on what is needed, how it should be couched to best resonate with that group of potential customers.
 

Deidentified

Perhaps most pleasing is the fact that this information will be provided in a deidentified way where the identity and personal information of the person making the comments is kept secret thereby protecting their privacy and anonymity. Of course as marketers the key for our market research regardless of whether its online or using more traditional offline methodologies of focus groups and surveys, needs to rely on the accuracy of the data but not necessarily on who is saying it.
 

Decision Making

The end result of this being that product and brand managers will again have access to another useful data source that will help them to formulate better positioning, strategy and tactical implementation.
 
As a provided example fro the news source with Topic Data:
  • A business selling a hair de-frizzing product can see demographics on the people talking about humidity’s effects on their hair to better understand their target audience.
  • A fashion retailer can see the clothing items its target audience is talking about to decide which products to stock.
  • A brand can see how people are talking about their brand or industry to measure brand sentiment.
Ref: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/topic-data
 
Although such data has of course been available before, it may have been in numbers that were not statistically significant enough to  make meaningful business decisions.  Now utilising Topic Data, Facebook have amalgamated raw and unidentified data  from Facebook activity to provide insights on all the activity around any given topic or discussion area, which in turn provides a much more quantified perspective of what the target market is thinking. Facebook have made it clear also that the topic data provides guidance for marketers but it cannot be used to target ads directly as personal information is at no stage available.

In Partnership With Datasift

Facebook has announced also that it will partner with the Datasift organisation who operate within the data industry and will leverage their experience and technology to further develop and refine the Topic Data model and data accuracy and reliablity. 

Access

Facebook have also declared that for the time being at least, The Topic Data will only be available to a small number of Datasift’s partners in the USA and the United Kingdom. As well the resulting data will be limited to those countries as well. In time it is reasonable to expect a more refined product be made universally available to all.

If you would like to know more about any aspect of Facebook or social media, don't forget to register for any of the seven free, two hour Digital Enterprise Program workshops by signing up at this link:  http://www.vecci.org.au/business-solutions/digital-enterprise-program/workshops

By attending any of these workshops, all Australian SME's will qualify for a free four hour coaching session for their own business at a time and location of their choice.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.
 
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Not Such a Big Surprise That Social Media Now Drives 31% of All Referral Traffic



Social Edges Ahead

Based on a report released recently by content marketing firm Shareaholic, social media has now grown to be the number 1 driver of all website referral traffic overtaking search in the process. As measured to the end of 2014, marginally more than 31% of all referral traffic was from social media which had risen by an incredible 38% from a year earlier when it was at just under 23%.
These results have to say the least re-energised the debate over the relative importance of SEO versus social media in driving consistent, qualified leads to your digital hub to commercialise the sale. 


Ongoing Trend

This trend of SEO losing ground has been happening consistently over the last several months does not come as a complete surprise however as the Social curve briefly edged ahead of SEO around the middle of 2014 giving a clear indication as to possible future outcomes.   

From my personal perspective I don't want to enter the debate as to which is better or worse. I have always believed and still do that they both play incredibly important, different and fundamental roles in maximising your businesses potential in the current market place setting.   Where search is the ultimate way to raise awareness through the simple act of being found as distinct from social media marketing platforms that go a step further by taking that awareness and then adding validation and confidence around a possible purchasing decision.

Beyond these key top line findings the report went on to further elaborate on the incremental shifts that occurred to each of the key social media platforms throughout 2014.  Predictably Facebook dominance of social media continued with a share that grew to a staggering 25% representing a colossal annual rate of growth of around 60% for the year ending December 2014.

Not All Good News For Social Media Platforms

The other social media pillars had largely disappointing results as evidenced by: 
               YouTube’s decreased its share by 93.24%
               Twitter’s share decreased by 27%
               Pinterest increased its share by 6% increase
               StumbleUpon’s share dropped by 42%

Shareaholic went on to provide trend data of the key platforms over the last three years that showed a very insightful series of unavoidable facts. 



Namely:
1. Facebook continues to grow and must be used routinely if possible based on the target market.
2. Pinterest has continued to grow over the three years but in recent times has experienced a small retraction suggesting that the market is still not totally satisfied with it
3. The remainder of key platforms are essentially static in terms of market share and in real terms contribute only marginally to the total of leads being generated.

Planning For Your Digital Marketing

From a planning point of view then this indicates a compelling reason to integrate Facebook and Pinterest as directly as possible especially in B2C markets and the use of the other platforms more strategically to compliment the efforts of your other social media network.

Free Digital Training and Coaching

Naturally if you'd like to learn more about Twitter, any of the other Social Media Marketing platforms of digital media in general, simply attend any of the free Digital Enterprise Workshops listed here on:
and sign up for any of the seven free two hour workshops which will also automatically qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Regards,
Daniele.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blackberry and AT&T Form An Interesting Strategic Alliance



Alliance Of Two


Blackberry has made an interesting strategic decision to make its model BlackBerry Passport as well as the Blackberry Classic, will be available exclusively available only through AT&T within the USA.


These two new market entrants are in fact the first models Blackberry has released since the company's Q10 and Z10 phone models.

This release is clearly a crucial period in Blackberry's history coming off the back of poor financial results for both its Q10 and Z10 models. Since its halcyon days where it dominated the mobile space, it has become a mere shadow of its former market leading glory with a miniscule market share of less that one percent along with a rapidly declining sales top line against the continued growth of key rivals Apple and Android supremo Samsung.


Differentiated


Like all other aspiring brands Blackberry want to stand out from the proverbial crowd and have come up with a unique square shape that to date at least will not be mistaken for any other currently available model in the smartphone market. The key question of course is that being unproven, the American manufactures will  need to wait and see how well or otherwise the market responds to the shape.

Specifications

Structurally the new handset has a 4.5-inch, 1440x1440 full HD square touchscreen along with a  manual keyboard with a full QWERTY layout. The model operates on a quad-core 2.26-GHz processor and is equipped with 3 GB of RAM memory and 32 GB of disk storage, along with a micro SD slot for additional space, an impressive 13-megapixel camera and the BlackBerry 10.3.1
operating system.
Benefits to AT&T

From AT&T's point of view the alliance makes a lot of sense where by they can offer the complimentary handset, based on taking out new subscriptions to mobile plans starting at under $22 per month. Alternatively the users can also get the smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year agreement, or buy it outright without a contract for $649.99.Safety First

The Market knows that the Blackberry is a safe phone which was one of the key drivers for its success and the company is hoping that its long standing market position as a secure option, will help return it to a meaningful position within the commercial and business segment once again.

The O In SWOT

No doubt Blackberry's SWOT analysis would highlight malicious attacks on both Android and Apple phones as an unresolved need in the market space, and an intuitive positioning with a credible URL  becomes clear and logical.

The BlackBerry Passport is ideal for the mobile professional who wants an innovative wireless device focused on security and productivity," said Jeff Bradley, Senior Vice President of Device Marketing and Developer Services at AT&T.

So from a marketing point of view I believe Blackberry should be given a lot of credit for this creative and i believe logical approach to target likely users and provide value add through a strategic Alliance.  As always time will be the ultimate judge as to its success, but from a design point of view, Blackberry have released some very smart and sexy phones that will again put a third viable contender into the mobile ring.

So unitil next time, ggod luck and good marjketing
Regards,
Daniele.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turf War For Online Mobile Purchasing Heating Up


In past few days it has been announced that search engine market leader Google is partnering with Softcard who are a mobile phone payment business, in an obvious attempt to strengthen its position and power in the growing market space against the clearly established dominance of Apple with their widely used Apple Pay app.



This week Google revealed that their app Google Wallet will become a pre installed 'tap to pay' app on Android smartphones that are sold in the US market through: Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile  as a condition of the agreement Softcard.
The aim is 'to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay', said Google Payments vice president Ariel Bardin, vice president of Google Payments speaking on the issue said, "The aim is 'to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay" and went on to add: "We're also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better".

This strategic alliance provides Google and it's associated Android smartphones users a solid foundation to more evenly compete with Apple's the mobile payments system Apple Pay which was recently added to the iPhone 6 model in 2014.
Softcard Management speaking on the alliance said: "Today's announcement is a positive step forward for the mobile payments industry and wireless consumers".

Also worth noting is that in recent days Samsung's has also revealed to the market that it will also be buying buying digital payment business LoopPay further highlighting both the dynamic nature and growing competitiveness of this specific market space.

Samsung added that LoopPay technologys will allow around 90 per cent of retail terminals so that customers are able to simply tap their phones for payment with standard credit cards to facilitate purchases.
Beyond smart phones, LoopPay is also built into dongles and can send credit card data to point-of-sale terminals to facilitate electronic purchases.