Podcast: Tips on How to be a More Effective Salesperson

Today we’re talking with Alan Sipe to get some insights about selling in the Industrial/Commercial fields, especially to distributors and the big box chains.

Alan is President of Toolbox Sales and Consulting and has over 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of KNIPEX Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable.

Visit, Toolbox Sales and Consulting for more information and to contact Alan. Enjoy.

Thankful for You

As the Thanksgiving weekend approaches, we’d like to say thanks to you. We have had the good fortune over the years to work with so many great friends and clients. You enrich our lives and make our work enjoyable.

We’re running in several different directions all the time, and this time of year we need to slow down a bit to appreciate the things around us.

So this weekend, don’t take your briefcase home, and your emails will still be there Monday morning when you get back in the office. Recharge your batteries this weekend. Play with your kids or grandkids, visit an old friend or watch some football and of course enjoy a great meal. We take a lot of things for granted sometimes – our Families and Friends.

Enjoy the weekend. We can get back to the grind next week.

Make Sure Your B2B Communication is Still Human

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

481_3818326When it comes to B2B communication, sometimes we get a little too caught up in the 2 Bs (business and business) that we forget about the Hs, Humans. Your organization is made up of human beings and the business that make up your target audience are also made up of human beings.

When you recognize that your audience is made up of humans, you’re already one step toward more effective communications. Communicating with humans means you need to take into account emotions as well as logic and make an effort to connect on a personal level.

Be Human

Mike McDougall gave a presentation at the PRSA International Conference on using the HUMAN method  to connect with B2B audiences. Here’s the model: (more…)

Tips on Developing Effective Marketing Programs to Reach Contractors

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

When trying to gain new contractors, “the ready, fire, aim mentality doesn’t work. Neither does “a wing and prayer” method.

Developing new customers is entirely different from trying to sell more stuff to your existing ones. Marketing needs to work closely with sales in not only developing a message, but a plan on delivering it. You also need to take into consideration that a lot of new contractors won’t identify themselves until they’ve done some homework on your company.

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Podcast: “What Makes a Qualified Lead a Qualified Lead?”

Today we’re talking with Russ Hill, Founder and CEO of Ultimate Lead Systems. Russ has 3 decades of experience helping companies with their B2B sales lead management and CRM programs.

Sales leads are the lifeblood of new business development. As important as leads are, it is still common to hear reps complain that “the leads I get are unqualified.” People have different views on the subject of lead handling, qualification and follow-up. Listen to what Russ has to say.

Are You Maximizing Your B-to-B Blog?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

If you’re a manufacturer and you don’t have a blog, you should. Why? because 4 out of 5 B-to-B marketers use blogs. B-to-b blogs aren’t new, but manufacturers are finding out that they are a good way of setting themselves apart from the competition, and according to the Content Marketing Institute, over 50% of marketers expect blogs to be critical in 2017 content marketing.

Challenges of B-to-B Blogs

Even though marketers expect blogs to be critical in the coming year, most B-to-B bloggers have some challenges … here are 3 of them: (more…)

How to Repurpose Content for Contractors

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

For those of you who might be looking for ways to generate more awareness and conversations, generating new content may not be your only option. It makes sense to use other social media outlets as a way to get your existing messages out.

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To achieve higher reader engagement you need to know your audience, their habits and pain points. Different social media outlets reach people differently. So whether you’re looking to repurpose existing data or convert outdated info, consider delivering them in smaller bite size pieces using alternative avenues.

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Social Media: More than an Excuse to Employ a Millennial

1284_5052019By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

How to Keep and Generate Business with Social Media

So, you’ve got a social media presence. Congrats, but if you’re just looking for likes, and pushing out press releases, all you’re doing is pushing out.

How do you also use Social Media to pull in potential customers? Utilize a two prong strategy.

Part One – Tell us How We Messed Up (more…)

Do you have Relevant Content to Support Your Sales Team?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

Sales and marketing need to work closer together make the selling process better. Marketing departments that create great content but don’t share it with the sales force are missing opportunities. Yes, it’s important to get it out on the blog and other social media avenues but your sales force doesn’t always have access to or are aware of what’s up there.

Sales is looking for support in the selling cycle no matter how simple or complicated the sales funnel is. This chart from emarketer.com illustrates that point.

Well-produced and -managed marketing content sets up awareness, creates demand and enables sales. Here are some key takeaways on how marketing departments can use content for sales support: (more…)

Run Social Media The Way Your Grandfather Ran His Business

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect

social media business winHow should you run your social media? 

To answer that question, perhaps you should ask instead, “How would my grandfather have run his business?” Or at least that’s the question Mark Schaefer asked. Mark is a globally-recognized speaker, educator, business consultant, and author, he blogs at one of the top marketing blogs of the world.

One of his recent videos, “Social media marketing lessons from my grandfather, the plumber,” dug into the attributes that made his grandfather successful in the plumbing business and how they can be applied to social media. For those of us marketing to the trades, his example is even more important.

How did Mark’s grandfather, a plumber from Pittsburgh, grow a successful business? (more…)