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Tribology and Lubrication Technology December 2012 : Page 92

SeLLiNG POiNTS Jerry L. Kennedy Selling in the Digital Age The rules are changing—and so must your approach if you want to succeed in the new game. NO MATTer wHAT APPrOACH we TAKe TO SALeS, I think we can probably all agree on one thing: The times, they are a-changin.’ The massive amount of information available online has created a generation of customers who often know our products better than we do. More and more frequently, instead of picking up the phone and ask-ing for our input, our clients are seeking their own answers. Instead of loyally sticking with the same supplier year after year, many are treat-ing each purchase as an opportunity to save a little money by shopping around. Our products are quickly becoming— gulp —commodities. What can sales folks do to get back in the game? This is a question I’ve spent a fair amount of time pondering and researching on in my own business, and the results have been pretty satisfying. A few months ago, I approached the editors of TLT with an idea for sharing my experiences and the solutions I’ve found through this column. They agreed, and we decided to create something new. Thus, it’s with some small sadness that we say farewell to Selling Points, and with a fair amount of enthusiasm that we introduce its re-placement, Selling in the Digital Age. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing tips, tools and techniques for finding and connecting with your best prospects using many of the new tools available to you: blogs, podcasts, online video, social networks and the like. We’ll even spend some time on what you might need to do to give your company’s Website a refresh. Sample topics will include: • • • • • • What you can do to improve the odds that your Website will be found on Google. How to use social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with your best customers. How to create an internet radio show that attracts new clients. Using online video to position yourself as an industry expert. How to determine if blogging is right for your business. How to use customer forums to solve some of your trickiest customer service issues. One thing that remains the same: People buy from people they know, like and trust. techniques might not work for you in your business. That said, if you have questions that you’d like to see answers for in this column or feedback on what’s working (or not working) in your business, please share them. The plan is to make this column and the message contained in it as interactive and relevant to your business as possible. With all of the changes in the marketplace, there is one thing that remains the same: all things being equal, people buy from people they know, like and trust. Much of what we’ll be discussing in the coming months will be about how you can use digital media to create a space where your existing clients and new prospects can get to know you, decide if they like you (sadly, not everyone will, and that’s a good thing!), and where you can earn their trust. I’m looking forward to your feedback and questions. Here’s to a fantastic new year! I have one favor to ask of you, the readers of TLT—I’d like your input. The one thing I’ve learned over the past several years is that, while some may have more experience using these tools, no one can claim to be an expert. I know what’s working for me in my business, but those 92 • DE CEMBER 2 012 Jerry Kennedy is owner of Inside Out Business Solutions, a sales and customer service training organization. To learn more sales strategies, visit Jerry’s blog at http://jerrykennedy.com or you can reach him at jerry@jerrykennedy.com . WWW .S TLE. OR G TRIB OL OG Y & L UBRIC A TION TE CHNOL OG Y

Selling Points

Jerry L. Kennedy

<br /> Selling in the Digital Age<br /> The rules are changing—and so must your approach if you want to succeed in the new game.<br /> <br /> NO MATTER WHAT APPROACH WE TAKE TO SALES, I think we can probably all agree on one thing: The times, they are a-changin.’<br /> <br /> The massive amount of information available online has created a generation of customers who often know our products better than we do. More and more frequently, instead of picking up the phone and asking for our input, our clients are seeking their own answers. Instead of loyally sticking with the same supplier year after year, many are treating each purchase as an opportunity to save a little money by shopping around. Our products are quickly becoming—gulp—commodities.<br /> <br /> What can sales folks do to get back in the game? This is a question I’ve spent a fair amount of time pondering and researching on in my own business, and the results have been pretty satisfying. A few months ago, I approached the editors of TLT with an idea for sharing my experiences and the solutions I’ve found through this column. They agreed, and we decided to create something new.<br /> <br /> Thus, it’s with some small sadness that we say farewell to Selling Points, and with a fair amount of enthusiasm that we introduce its replacement, Selling in the Digital Age.<br /> <br /> In the coming months, I’ll be sharing tips, tools and techniques for finding and connecting with your best prospects using many of the new tools available to you: blogs, podcasts, online video, social networks and the like. We’ll even spend some time on what you might need to do to give your company’s Website a refresh. Sample topics will include:<br /> • What you can do to improve the odds that your Website will be found on Google.<br /> • How to use social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect with your best customers.<br /> • How to create an internet radio show that attracts new clients.<br /> • Using online video to position yourself as an industry expert.<br /> • How to determine if blogging is right for your business.<br /> • How to use customer forums to solve some of your trickiest customer service issues.<br /> <br /> I have one favor to ask of you, the readers of TLT—I’d like your input. The one thing I’ve learned over the past several years is that, while some may have more experience using these tools, no one can claim to be an expert. I know what’s working for me in my business, but those techniques might not work for you in your business.<br /> <br /> That said, if you have questions that you’d like to see answers for in this column or feedback on what’s working (or not working) in your business, please share them. The plan is to make this column and the message contained in it as interactive and relevant to your business as possible.<br /> <br /> With all of the changes in the marketplace, there is one thing that remains the same: all things being equal, people buy from people they know, like and trust. Much of what we’ll be discussing in the coming months will be about how you can use digital media to create a space where your existing clients and new prospects can get to know you, decide if they like you (sadly, not everyone will, and that’s a good thing!), and where you can earn their trust.<br /> <br /> I’m looking forward to your feedback and questions. Here’s to a fantastic new year!

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