Kristin Zhivago

How to be successful marketing online

In some ways, everything about marketing has changed. In other ways, nothing has changed. How can you make decisions about digital marketing without knowing which is which? How can you make good decisions about hiring, processes, applications, systems,...

Your business is now an app

Customers are now assuming they can and will have a digital relationship with you. The more you make that possible, the more likely they are to buy from you. If you are truly making all that possible, removing all the barriers, your customers will be…

How the Web Works (for Business Owners and CEOs)

What is the first thing people do when they hear of your business or find you in Google?  We all know the answer: They go to your site. If you are a service business, they will probably also go to LinkedIn to see more about…

Go Digital or Die: Advice for Baby Boomer Business Owners

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s true. We are seeing more and more baby boomer business owners who are like deer in the headlights. Why? Because they are overwhelmed with the digital and technical aspects of their business, which has stifl...

Why you’re not Steve Jobs: He was the ultimate Customer Experience perfectionist

I first published this article in 2012. But it was time to publish it again to address an unfortunate trend. Lately I have had several CEOs tell me that they had read the Steve Jobs book and, frankly, they are using his jerkedness to...

Why I’m Buying from John

I’m in the market for a business-to-business software product. I’m pretty far along in my buying process and I have narrowed down my choices to three vendors. I contact them all. Two of the three salespeople who get back to me are what I would...

Managing individual salespeople

Is managing salespeople one of your most difficult tasks? If so, you're not alone. CEOs who have few problems managing people in other positions still struggle with their sales department. Part of the problem is the kind of person who is put in charge...

5 Ways to Blow the Sale with the First Contact

I recently posted a freelance web development project on a web development job board. Most of the responses, unfortunately, were perfect examples - of what not to do. Since a lot of sales these days start with "virtual" contact, it's instructional to see how...

The salesperson’s first test: Making an appointment via email

We all use email to agree on a meeting time. Unfortunately it's terribly inefficient, especially when it's done incorrectly. A salesperson who is sloppy about it will drive the new, potential client nuts and make the client wonder if she really wants to do...

Metrics can tell you what, who, and how, but not why. And why is...

Thanks to site tracking, cookies, and A/B testing, you can monitor and analyze what any person does on your website, and how they respond to your content. So why are companies still struggling to produce content that helps them sell? Because metrics can tell...

Comfort is your real product; your character is where it comes from

The entertainment industry tends to portray people in business as greedy, selfish jerks. I spent a number of years in that industry, and I can understand why they think that way. Most of the people in power in that particular industry really are greedy...

The single most important thing you need to focus on in 2013

What is going to matter most to all companies in 2013? Only one thing, whether you are a MomPopoly (great new term - thunk up by Carlos Dunlap et all at Colloquy) or a Fortune 50 corporation. Not the news, the wars, the disasters. Not...

“Why Aren’t You Selling Us the Other Stuff We Need?”

I just finished interviewing a very smart customer for one of my clients. He's a high-level manager in a tech company, a buyer of my client's business services. During the interview, he explained how there were always two forces working against my client's services:...

How Customers Want to Be Treated: Debunking Common Marketing Myths – Part 4 of...

CEOs and entrepreneurs tend to pay very little attention to the customer's experience, as I mentioned in a recent article about Steve Jobs. They focus on product development, managing the people, business relationships, regulations, financials, and marketing. And yet, it is the customer's experience...

How Customers Want to Be Contacted: Debunking Common Marketing Myths – Part 3 of...

Comments (1)Share: The majority of CEOs and entrepreneurs still think that yesterday's aggressive, cold-calling, hard-sell methods are still working. The truth is, using these tactics is more likely to irritate and repel your customer than to make them want to buy from you. How do...

How Customers Choose a Product or Service: Debunking Common Marketing Myths – Part 2...

Interviewing thousands of customers about their buying process has convinced me that while the buyer is attempting to buy something he wants, he is also determined to see through any deception or manipulation. Sellers are often convinced by gurus that manipulation is the right...

How Customers Decide to Buy: Debunking Common Marketing Myths – Part 1 of 4

Comments (0)Share: Sales and marketing gurus assiduously spread the self-serving myths that you can manipulate a customer into buying; that you can create the need; that it's all about "persuasion" and "conversion." CEOs and entrepreneurs can be fooled by these myths, to their great detriment....

Your very own demographic: The power of “Quirks in Common”

"What I do is call my client's customers . . . " I said, in a dinner conversation with a marketer, at a conference. "And they all say something different," he interrupted, proudly, and laughing, because this was his own favorite rationale for not calling...

Why you’re not Steve Jobs: He was the ultimate Customer Experience perfectionist

One scene, described in Isaacson's book Steve Jobs, sums it up perfectly: "As usual Jobs focused on making the product as simple as possible for the user, and this was the key to its success. Mike Evangelist, who worked at Apple on software design,...

Content Management Company CEO Calls 100 Customers. Learns What Customers Want. Gives It to...

Frank Dale is the CEO of Compendium, a fast-growing content management company. Just before he became CEO, he did something all CEOs should do: He interviewed customers. But he didn't just interview a few; he interviewed 100. In my mind, this puts Frank in...

New Posts