Olde School Marketing- Part 2
I'm back from Australia now and still processing the events of the trip. To say the least, it was a busy time- though incredibly enjoyable.
Like I mentioned just before I left for Oz, for as much of a major proponent I am for blogging, the good ole face-to-face Brand Evangelism is still my favorite. To me, there is no way to beat the power of speaking to a group of people or an individual person. For as effective as my blog has been in connecting people to the brand and displaying my passion for the brand, I know I am far more persuasive in person.
When thinking of a marketing plan or strategy, it is important to continue to incorporate the human element in those plans. What worked well for me in Australia was that many of the retailers I met with were already very familiar with me, thanks to the blog. Several of them were regular readers and already felt they had developed a relationship with me before I ever set foot in the country. Obviously, that is a huge selling point for the blog and how beneficial it has been. However, those dealers weren't beating down the doors of our distributor begging for Masi bikes.
Meeting the dealers, shaking their hands and then presenting the bikes, the company and our passion for our bikes (my passion for my bikes) was the missing piece that resulted in orders for bikes. I'm not saying that I am a phenomenal salesperson because I don't believe that to be true. What I am saying is that the mere presence of the Masi Brand Manager, talking about the the bikes, was what did the job. Truthfully, it could have been "any $5.00 an hour monkey" (direct quote from an old employer of mine) with a decent speaking ability... but don't tell my bosses that. Sure, I'm mighty passionate about what I do and really do love my job and therefore might be better at talking about my job than a lot of people might be, but passionate people are not hard to find. At least, people who look and sound passionate are not hard to find. Let's face it, a good spokesperson doesn't have to actually care about the product/ service if they are good at just conveying the message. It is always better if they are, but do you really think that all of those spokespeople you see/ hear really care? This might all sound very cynical, which isn't my point here, but the truth of the matter is that a face-to-face presentation can be highly effective.
I'm convinced that my blog laid the groundwork for a good sales trip in Australia and I am never going to stop blogging, even if my career path changes, but I will also always utilize a handshake and good conversation. If you've ever seen me in Las Vegas during Interbike, holding court with a bunch of retailers in my booth, you'll understand why.
For those of you who haven't seen me in action, the above picture gives you a little idea of what I'm trying to say here. I get a little animated... Donna, Jill, Tim and Chris have all seen me in my booth and know what I'm talking about. Brian Gillin, the National Sales Manager for the PacBrands cycling division, said that in all of the years he's been in the cycling industry he'd never met somebody so passionate about a bicycle. I obviously consider that a huge compliment (thanks Brian), but that could be said about you and your product/ service/ shop, etc. Shouldn't you be out there proving that point?
So, please read my blog and then come see me in Vegas. I promise I'll do what I can to get you to really understand just how passionate I am about my job, my bikes and my company.
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser
Posted by Tim Jackson at 7:25 PM