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Real People Connections in an Automated World — and a Salesperson’s Dream Tool

Business-Building Action Steps From Terry Brock

I love automation. When you can leverage technology to help people more and increase your business, you’ve got something very useful. Software, at its core, is about automation to make life easier. When technology really purrs, it makes like easier and business more enjoyable.

Yet, we can go too far with the automation thing. For instance, I’ve seen many examples of new technologies that salespeople will embrace hoping that they get some “black box” which will give them an advantage over others. Through the years, I’ve seen these devices and new tricks come and go only because they ultimately don’t work.

What matters most is Relationship Marketing — connecting with people in a real, genuine, helpful way. Whatever technology you have now will be laughable and out of date in a few years. What lasts — and what really matters —- is the genuine, true connections of people to people.

One of the latest tools being used by many salespeople is a service called Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com). They have a good idea initially. It is a service that allows you to type a message to someone, include a customized picture, if you’d like, and send it as a postcard or letter to one or more people. They claim they can even send it out in your handwriting.

You might have seen this before. I’ve received many cards from people —- some I’ve never met — who are inviting me to use SendOutCards and get into their multi-level organization. There is nothing wrong with that. However, the challenge comes when the public (that would be you and me) get 100 billion of these cards each week (or it seems like that many!) and each one is designed to be “pseudo-personal” in that it really wasn’t the person signing them.

Like email marketing a few years ago, we’ve all learned the process. Since email didn’t cost anything for the sender (still doesn’t in most cases) recipients knew what it was meant to do and eventually we had too much (still do today). A personal card you get in the mail is nice but when you get 100 billion a week (okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating just a tad here!) it loses its relevance and significance.

Nothing against the good people at SendOutCards. I embrace and applaud much of what they espouse in their marketing. Every person I’ve encountered in their organization has been both professional and courteous. However, I’ve just found that sending a real, personally hand-written card is often the preferred marketing tool. I’ve also found a lot of success with personal audio and video email messages. The person receiving it knows it is me because they can see me or hear me.

The key is to make sure all your marketing is personal-based. Connect with people in a more personal way (even if you have to do it with a large group) and you’ll succeed more. I recommend trying SendOutCards if you haven’t seen it yet. They have a good service. But be creative in how you send it so you don’t look like just another mass marketer. Relationship Marketing is about connecting with people on a real, one-to-one basis. And yes, postcards can be a part of this. Connect with real people in a real, genuine way and you’ll not only send out cards but receive back warmth, care — and profits!

A Salesperson’s Dream Tool

When you’re a salesperson on the road, you encounter lots of information that you need to retain. You see a poster or hear about a new idea. A great way to capture that is through a video camcorder. Yet, even wonderful camcorders like the Kodak Zi8 or the Flip can be difficult to carry.

Enter the Swann PenCam DVR-421. It is a tool that looks like a writing pen — because it is. You can write with the ink cartridges contained in it. But the real advantage is that you can also use the mini video camera and recorder to capture still pictures and/or movies with it.

The camcorder captures up to 90 minutes of audio and video in an AVI file. The quality I found to be fair. Don’t expect it to be the highest HD quality. But, that’s not its purpose. It is designed so you can carry it easily and capture that video you need because you’ll have it with you. Even as a back-up camcorder it is great. Some might use it as a concealed camcorder but that is usually illegal and borders on the ethical. Let everyone who will be recorded know what is happening.

You charge it for 2 hours through a USB connection and then reconnect it like an ordinary pen. Turn the device on by holding down the button on the top. Then one quick tap on the button engages the video recorder. You can change the setting to capture still shots as well.

The unit I was given by Swann retails for $95.00. You don’t need a battery as it is charged on your computer and the videos can be up to 90 minutes before you use the USB to send them over to your computer.

This is a salesperson’s dream tool in many ways. Capture names, business cards, document information— even pictures and video — all with one device the size of a pen. Yes, technology is great and a tool like this makes selling so much better!

(Swann PenCam Mini Video Camera & Recorder, $95.00, www.swannsecurity.com)

Copyright (c) 2010, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at www.terrybrock.com. Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: @TerryBrock. Join Terry’s Facebook Fan Page at: http://www.facebook.com/SpeakerTerryBrock

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