Common B2B Marketing Myths, Marketers Need To Stop Believing

Marketing getting more and more popular with the growth of content marketing marketing and it’s just not B2C companies following content marketing B2B companies are marketing through content marketing.

As a result, many people consider themselves to be specialist; they come up with their own ideas of what B2B marketers should and shouldn’t be doing.

There are a lot of myths, assumptions and misconceptions about what you can do and what you should do in order to get the most out of your marketing efforts, so how do you sort it all out, especially when in B2B industry.

Well, it looks like you’re in the right place, because in this article we’re discussing some popular myths about B2B Marketing.

Myth #1 – B2b Marketing is Considered Boring

B2B marketing can be really fun and creative. Many people feel that it must be carried out in a formal, lengthy, boring and stereotype way of giving formal presentations, brochures, pamphlets, leaflets & power point presentations. It must evoke emotional response yet can be entertaining and funny while delivering a pack of information content. The vital goal of B2B marketing is to recognize that marketers are human and transport content that espouses functionality with entertainment.

Myth #2 – B2b Marketing is Reaches out to Companies but Not People

Although true to an extent. The basic point is to generate a B2B marketing that identifies the customer problems and necessities and how your product/service can solve them. Businesses are people, too one must try to appeal passionately to their audience but in a professional manner. B2B marketing does have its differences with B2C marketing but the basic strategies, tools & resources are the same irrespective to the nature of industry. The bottom point is to surge website traffic and sales.

Myth #3 – Video Marketing is a Waste of Time in B2b Marketing

Studies have shown that researchers are found watching 30mintues or more of B2B marketing related videos. B2B researchers watch video during the entire path to purchase today growth has surged through online videos. B2B influencers today should reach out to the younger generation and deliver content of what they are seeking. The key to success is by providing rich, useful content through graphics, apps, mobile experiences and videos.

Myth #4 – Customers Don’t Know What They Want Marketing Has to Make Them Realise

One of the most ridiculous myths, that B2B customers don’t know what they require. In this fast paced world customers know exactly what they require. They are well cognisant about their business and industry. Executives and C-levels of a company are not unwise to convince them to purchase something that they don’t really need. When B2B influencers assume that customers are imprudent it creates more work for the sales team as they tend to isolate prospective customers.

Myth #5 – Promotion Makes B2b Marketing Easier

Word of mouth and content writing creates value and rules as information channels. Today most of the buyers look out for recommendation before making the actual purchasing decision. Lesser number of buyers are looking up to social media for purchases. Print is dead with the maximum number of people owing a PC or laptop information is mostly delivered through emailing, word of mouth. To make sure your information is shared to a maximum number of people the content should be relevant, informative and educational.

So what do you think? Did we cover some misconceptions you had about B2B Marketing? Do you have any questions? We’d love to hear them – just comment here or find us on social media and throw some at us there!

There are a lot more B2B Marketing myths out there, but these are the ones we encounter the most. What are your myths? What did I miss? Drop a comment

Be an Informed Marketer!

5 Ways to Remind Yourself How Powerful You Really Are

You, yes you, are far greater than any problem or disappointment that may be present in your life.

I don’t care who you are or what you have accomplished, we all go through disappointments in life and struggle from time to time with coming to the realization just how special we truly are.

Think about it: let’s say you have a goal that you desperately want to achieve, but three months down the road you find out that you didn’t reach your mark. What happens? You quickly rush to blaming yourself and questioning your abilities and talents. You start to listen to the negative voices that keep rolling in and out of your head. You feel powerless, and like a victim instead of a victor.

What you have to understand and never lose sight of is that you have more power and control inside of you than you think you do. Some people get hit so hard by the outcomes of life that they lose complete sight of their uniqueness and wonderful talents they have been blessed with.

Failures and disappointments aren’t present to degrade our confidence and love for ourselves. You can experience so much more in life when you don’t look at disappointments and failures as some terrible mishap. Learn how to make it “OK” to fail and mess up every now and then.

Look at Abraham Lincoln. How many times did he fail before he actually was elected president of the United States? Look at Steve Jobs. He was a remarkable man who went through disappointment after disappointment before he actually achieved success. When he achieved success, he was fired from the company he founded! Look at Albert Einstein. How many times did he fail before once and for all breaking through?

These are three remarkable men who achieved remarkable success and went through very difficult and tough times. What they didn’t do though is let the hits they took from life keep them down. When things went wrong, they didn’t go with them!

They never forgot how powerful and special they truly were. If you make the decision to tell yourself daily how special you are and list all of your unique qualities, no setback or failure will ever be able to hold you back.

Here are five ways you can start to remind yourself daily of how powerful you really are.

1. Write in a gratitude journal.
When things go wrong in life, being able to sit down and start listing all you are thankful for will rekindle your happiness and give you a sense of accomplishment. Even small successes will serve to remind you of your past successes and that you will be successful in the present and future.

2. Continually review and look at your long-term goals.
Short-term disappointments are less likely to derail your well-being when you pay mind to all you wish to accomplish in the future.

3. Strive and work to dig deeper in your spirituality journey.
We all have different beliefs, but working to strengthen your spirit will help reinforce how powerful you are. Going to church every Sunday, reading scripture throughout your day or tapping into the power of meditation can help paint a positive picture of yourself.

4. Find time to read 10 to 15 pages of something motivational, inspirational or uplifting.
Just spending 10 to 15 minutes a day reading uplifting material can help renew your mind and enlighten your day. It alone can take your life to the next level.

5. Keep a note card filled with powerful and moving quotes.
Whenever I feel down or upset about something, I take my note card out and repeat over and over to myself the positive quotes that I had written on it. This habit helps to interrupt all of the negative thoughts that are trying to take control of your thinking.

You are powerful. Don’t ever lose sight of how powerful you really are. Life will knock you down and derail your path, but you don’t have to give in! Don’t let the tough times demoralize your beauty. You have a unique skill set that no one else possesses.

You are here to make a difference and make this world a better place. Just remember, you are far greater than any problem or circumstance that stands in your way!

3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lead Your Business

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has said in interviews, “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself.”

Long after the thrill of starting a business is gone and you are immersed in the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur, it is easy to lose the motivation to keep going. Being a business owner has its indisputable benefits, but it is a grind and you constantly need to remind yourself why you decided to become an entrepreneur.

Long-established business mogul Branson may have it easier than most entrepreneurs, but here are three ways to keep yourself motivated, regardless of the size of your company:

1. Remind yourself of your desire to achieve.

A successful entrepreneur’s number-one asset is perseverance. When I asked around to learn about what keeps entrepreneurs motivated, ambition and perseverance are two words that kept coming up. The need to achieve and succeed prevented them from giving up after every failure and fueled their drive more than any other factor.

If you find it challenging to maintain your morale in the long run, look around you and identify the people who make up your success team. Whether it’s an older mentor who keeps you in line with your goals, or a younger entrepreneur who inspires you and fuels your energy, surrounding yourself with business cheerleaders helps turn every setback into a lesson, not a disappointment.

2. Set realistic goals.

If you are running a startup and your goal is to make a million dollars this year, then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, set several smaller, measurable milestones so that you can track your progress.

Create a big-picture strategy for your company, and set realistic business goals on how to achieve them. Everything from creating useful partnerships, networking, marketing, ramping up your social media, or even hiring good employees takes time. Establish a plan and be prepared to tackle it one day at a time.

When you achieve the smaller goals, pat yourself on the back.

3. Take care of yourself.

Woman-MeditatingYes, having your own business means you’re invested 24/7, but invested and overworked are two different things. There is nothing more daunting than spending your day alone in your home office. Make time to take care of yourself.

Business owner Sharon Middendorf says what keeps her motivated is “ambition, exercise and meditation. This inspires and guides me through the days.”

Set regular times during the week to unplug, hang out with family and friends, sign up for a gym, take walks, read or watch TV. If possible, take a vacation! This gives your brain time to rest, recalibrate and be ready to run a successful business.

Ideo’s CEO On How To Lead An Organization Creatively

It comes as no surprise that Tim Brown, CEO of the design consultancy Ideo, believes that all organizations should be run creatively. This philosophy has brought Ideo success in both developing new products and fostering a global business. The company, which recently sold a minority stake to the Japanese-owned Kyu Collective, has been a pioneering force in design thinking—a methodology of building ideas that many companies have folded into their own repertoire.

“The traditional way we’ve thought about leadership—which I would describe as leading from the front, this idea that someone is at the top making all of the decisions—is not the most effective way of unlocking the creativity of an organization, whether it’s a traditional design organization, like an Ideo, or a company that’s trying to be more creative in the future,” he says. “The pace of change, the level of volatility, and the level of disruption across every industry requires that all organizations either constantly evolve, or they get out-competed by someone that’s fitter than they are.”

To Brown, successful leadership is like a dance. “It’s about the effective playing of a number of different leadership roles depending on the moment and the circumstances and having the skill to move between those stances as needs require,” he says. We spoke with Brown about the essential leadership roles needed to run a business creatively in advance of a new course that Ideo University—the design consultancy’s for-profit education program—is offering on the subject.

While Brown believes that leading from the front—the traditional way a business is run—is essential, he frames that role as an explorer.

“There are moments when you as a leader need to point to the horizon and say let’s go explore in that direction, but that’s mostly about asking the question rather than having the answer,” he says. “The most effective way of leading from the front in an organization if you want to be exploratory is to ask the best questions. Sometimes that’s a question about what our purpose is. Why are we here? Sometimes it’s about a particular opportunity. In traditional design terms, it’s about setting the brief.”

Ideo believes that a company “gardener” is one of the most important hires for creating a culture of innovation. While the “explorer” leads from the front, the gardener leads from behind.

“It’s about nurturing the conditions in which creativity is most likely to happen,” Brown says. “That’s really about culture, environment, rituals—the sorts of things that give people permission to explore, that encourage open-mindedness, collaboration, experimentation, and risk taking. Those sorts of things that we know are important for creativity.”

Brown believes that many leaders begin to think about company culture and environment when things are already amiss, but the trick is to set the right conditions before a company is broken.

“The most effective creative leaders are the ones who think, do I have the right circumstances to make the team successful?” he says. “Have I set them up? Is there something about our culture and this organization that’s getting in the way that I have to compensate for? Do I need to make the conditions and constraints different for this team?”

The process of design thinking involves building up ideas, prototyping them, learning from the prototypes, and feeding the lessons back into the idea to hone the concept. To do that successfully, Brown believes a third leadership style is important, that of the player-coach.

“The best coaches today in sports are often ones that played themselves,” Brown says. “They understand what the players are going through. They can empathize, and we think that’s pretty important.”

Brown’s role, and that of the other senior people at Ideo, often falls into this category. It involves advising teams on whether or not they’re asking the right design questions, assessing if they have the right resources to design experiments, and offering feedback on next steps in the cycle of experimentation.

“I was speaking with the CEO of a German tech company last summer who believes in this approach, and he said, ‘The interesting thing is I need to know more about my business and our actual products and services today than I ever have in the past,'” Brown says. “It used to be that people would bring me a decision for me to bless, but now I actually have to help them with the thinking, and to help them with the thinking, I actually have to know about stuff.”

“Wherever one can shift people from a process mentality to a project mentality can make a huge difference whether those projects are large or small,” Brown says.

This strategy encourages creative problem solving and empowers employees—thereby unlocking more creative potential, Brown argues.

“Say you’re running a restaurant and the project, rather than having everyone turn up for their job every day, is how do we make the restaurant a better experience for our customers?” Brown says. “You have a team with a chef, a waiter, and another person could be from front of house and they work together on some ideas. That shift from ‘I do my job’ to participating in a creative project is hugely empowering. We’ve seen it time and time again.”

Brown also cites a scenario from his book, Change by Design (HarperBusiness, 2009). While working with the health care organization Kaiser, he enlisted the opinion of nurses and union reps in design-thinking exercises. The employees were dedicated to their work, but felt disempowered because of regulations and management practices. This helped boost engagement and ultimately devise stronger solutions. “It’s not just about your creative and technical people in R&D coming up with the future of the products and services of your company,” Brown says. “It’s how do we make the sales channel more effective? How do we make the customer experience better? There are so many places.”

6 Habits Of Creative Managers

Managing teams is tough enough. But when you’re managing teams of people who need to be highly creative to fulfill their job functions, a new level of complexity is added, says Michael D. Mumford, PhD. He is a professor and director of the Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma and author of Pathways to Outstanding Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders.

Effectively managing creative teams requires the good skills necessary to manage most teams, but also requires technical expertise and an understanding of the creative employees’ work—and the culture necessary to foster it best. “If they perceive risks in their environment, people will refuse to be creative,” he says.

Are you faced with managing a creative team? Keep these six tips in mind.


Peer support and management support for creative ideas is important, Mumford says. While creative people are not, by and large, delicate flowers—rejection usually comes with the territory—if they feel that they’re not being managed by someone who’s looking out for their best interests, they often won’t do their best work. Mumford says that providing professionally challenging and intellectually stimulating work is also essential for creative teams.

“Feeling safe does not mean that the leader is necessarily nice,” he says. “It is respecting the ideas and the competence of the person as a creator.”


The best creative leaders are technically quite good themselves, Mumford says. If the idea or work is bad or off the mark, they have enough experience to evaluate it and either reject it or fix it. They are able to identify weaknesses both in the work and on the team and either deal with them or compensate for them, he says. They inspire trust because the creative people on their teams know that they make the work better.


When you’re asking creative people to come up with solutions or ideas, you need to give them the time to do so, says Karen L. Mallia, associate professor of advertising at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Jamming up the schedule with back-to-back meetings isn’t giving them time or space to do their best work, she says.

“Creative people need a venue for quiet thinking. That’s often not permissible in an [open-floor] office,” she says. And working remotely isn’t always possible when you need time to collaborate with peers. Therefore, it’s important that managers be good at helping team members strike that balance for their best performance.


It’s a common perception that creatives work best in a totally unfettered environment, Mallia says. Give them a task and let them have at it, without constraints or direction. The reality is much different, she says. Creative people typically work best when they have clear direction and understanding of the goals, Mallia says. To just set them loose is too overwhelming. She quotes former Ogilvy Creative Director Norman Barry: “Give me the freedom of a tight strategy.” So, providing clear direction, creative briefs, and specific feedback helps improve the work and avoid frustrated team members.


Creativity is stoked when new ideas and influences are present. And while human nature typically “drives us to like the like,” Mallia says that diversity within teams is an important component of creative work. Strong creative leaders seek out people who are different from each other and are able to build enough trust and credibility to unite them, she says. While people typically think of gender, race, ethnicity, and age as some of the primary areas of diversity focus, Mallia says it also extends to life experiences and skill sets, which can add breadth to the collective team’s understanding.


In addition to the day-to-day skills necessary to manage the team, you also need to be able to manage up and laterally. You have to sell the creative program to either investors or the organization. It’s not just selling it to get resources, you also have to sell the program to other departments and stakeholders to get their buy-in and support, Mumford says.

“If you’re building, let’s say, a driverless car, and you don’t get manufacturing and IT involved, it’s toast. That leads to mistakes. Frequently, creative leaders don’t try to sell their projects. They think the idea will sell itself,” Mumford says. That leaves too much margin for error. If you don’t sell your team’s ideas to the organizational entities they need to succeed, you’re undermining your group’s work.

Phone Analytics Are Changing the Future of Marketing

Big data is growing bigger every day. It’s so big, even the U.S. government is putting it to work, with an extensive plan investing millions every year. By 2020, our digital universe is expected to grow to 40 zettabytes (one zettabyte is ~1 billion terabytes) up from 3.2 zettabytes in 2014. About 85 percent of that data is coming from new sources.

Data is important for business success, but without the right tools for analysis, it becomes a double-edged sword. Unless you can understand what the data means and then use it to improve the business — it has no value to you.

There are countless web analytics tools available to help you see how well your online marketing campaigns are doing — but what about phone analytics? With a deeper understanding of what happens with customers on the phone, your business can gain more of a competitive edge.

1. Nextiva analytics: phone call insights

Launched in March 2016, Nextiva Analytics offers the ability to harness the big data hiding in calls into and out of a business. Using the platform, it is possible to get an overview of all the call activity within a certain timeframe, see the activity for a select group of people, and compare real-time and historical data.

“As a data-driven company, we understand the importance of data for deep business insight and agile decision-making,” says Tomas Gorny, Nextiva’s chief executive officer. “Nextiva Analytics provides critical data and analysis to foster growth in businesses of every size. Stakeholders can now view, analyze and act like never before and get exponentially more value out of the NextOS platform.”

While those in the call center industry would likely find the product most useful, the beauty is all businesses will be able to use it to make adjustments to strategy and processes. With more than 225 report combinations and the ability to customize reports and dashboards, it’s easy to turn data into actionable insights.

For many small businesses, workforce management and analytics tools are costly and just don’t fit into the budget. Nextiva’s platform is priced at $50 a month for up to five users, and $5 a month for each additional user, making it an affordable way to tap into what big data has to offer.

2. How businesses will benefit

With phone-call analytics, call centers can keep an eye on quality and customer experience. Nextiva Analytics built-in gamification tools can help keep employees engaged and performing well.

Phone calls are a vital part of marketing campaigns, particularly for the business-to-business market, where calls are scheduled after lead information is entered into a web form. But, without call-tracking data, there’s no way to know how well the sales team is doing with those follow-up calls. Learning how well the calls are working allows you to see where adjustments need to be made.

Which days of the week perform better? Which times of day perform better? Are there trends in the lower performing days and times you could make adjustments to for better results in the future?

Maybe a simple change of script could be enough to boost the conversion rate? Maybe certain agents need more training to effectively convert customers? Maybe you’re spending too much of your marketing budget driving calls early in the sales funnel, when customers would be more responsive to hearing from you after they get information via other channels.

Go beyond analyzing the length, date and time of the call. Conversation analytics allow you to search conversations from keywords, to understand which ones are being used, how they’re used and their impact on the conversation. Find out if agents are using the correct language on calls and how well customers are responding to it.

3. What this means for the future of marketing

As Nextiva Analytics works to add more integrations to their software, it has the power to change the way marketers do their jobs. The more data we have available, the more precise and targeted campaigns can be.

Marketing is already focused on personalization and the mobile shift. Research shows U.S. businesses earn an estimated $1 trillion in revenue with “click to call” commerce. Using the analytics data, businesses can take steps to improve hold times and customer service response, reducing the call abandonment rate and boosting profits. The future of marketing remains reliant on the data we have available — and what we can learn from it.

If your business uses the phone to communicate with customers in any shape or form, skipping an investment in phone analytics could mean missing a major growth opportunity.


Digital marketing is constantly changing with new innovative ways of marketing techniques and tools. In 2016-17, it is expected to evolve even more than past years, the key reason for the remendous growth is credited to digitally globalizedera. Below are the top 3 choices for 2016 marketing growth, which marketers needs to consider for effective marketing strategy.

• Content Marketing
• Real-Time Marketing
• Optimal Formula

Strategic Content Marketing:


Content Marketing has always been important module of digital marketing era., this would increase in 2016. Marketers would be required to be smarter and customer oriented to make an impact with their products and services. Recently, studies have revealed 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Storytelling is the
new way of content marketing followed by trending topics
to create a buzz.

Real-time Marketing:


Customers share, subscribe etc. on various social platforms.
Marketers need to keep a track of these clients and generate
data on the basis of real-time topics. Companies following
real-time marketing for their product have a better chance
of getting noticed than using old data and topics.
Understanding the real-time metrics is important for
increasing client engagement.

Optimal Formula:


There is no perfect optimal formula for digital marketing.
However, there are many ways to form your own optimal
product formula. Every product has a different targeted
audience and therefore require unique segmentation

An optimal formula is to do that work best for you.

• Measure
• Learn
• Test
• Measure again

Any marketing activity done online for promotion of the product should be monitored carefully to understand the outcomes, which lead to better conversion rates. The implementation of optimal formula helps in reducing the bounce rate and build channels for potential leads. Promoting the content on social and consumer platforms while following a proper timeline is important.

Tools like Mixpanel, Similarweb, KISSmetrics, Pingdom and Google Analytics give you the ability to segment your traffic and user behavior based on different attributes.

6 Ways Businesses Benefit From Seminars

SeminarsPlenty of workers see seminars as ways to get out of the office for a few hours, but the truth is that conferences, seminars, and other industry-oriented events do quite a bit to help a business succeed. Everyone involved in business, from new entrepreneurs to entry-level employees to booming business moguls, has something to gain by attending appropriate gatherings of industry professionals. No matter what you do, there is an upcoming seminar that can help you do it better in these six particular ways.

Learn About New Trends

All industries change, and it is integral to the survival of your business that you change, too. However, anticipating the shifting tides of your industry can be difficult, and a misstep could drown your business. Though reading blogs, whitepapers, and books on your industry can help keep you informed, you will learn more, faster, by attending a seminar.

In-person lectures and round tables usually foster a deeper level of understanding because you are more likely to pay close attention and take notes. Plus, they require less time than digesting the miles of written material published every week. Giving up a week or weekend to a conference every few months is akin to devoting a few years to an advanced degree in terms of what you can learn to benefit your business.

Meet Industry Experts

Every industry has its superstars, and those icons usually congregate at conferences and seminars. The industrial mogul you have always admired will probably speak, giving you the opportunity to learn from your business idol directly. Even if you don’t have a particular role model, there will be dozens of experts willing and eager to share their trade secrets and make connections with promising up-starts. Your business definitely could benefit from others’ success gleaned during an industry seminar.

Receive Feedback for Ideas

Nearly everyone in business has had at least one phenomenal idea to enhance productivity, but sometimes, those phenomenal ideas aren’t as effective as you expected. At industry events, you can workshop your ideas before you put them to work, receiving feedback from peers and experts to improve your likelihood of success. Backed by their own experiences in business, visiting experts and fellow attendees will be able to provide different perspectives on your plans, mitigating the danger of failure and increasing efficiency and profitability.

Find Potential Clients

The networking potential of seminars goes far beyond industry peers and experts; you could easily find new clients by discussing your business in such a setting. B2B businesses are usually most successful at securing leads at industry events, as every attendee is looking for ways to improve operations. Still, B2C companies can spread awareness of their products and build an audience at any gathering of people. Face-to-face interaction is an intensely powerful sales method, and at a seminar, you can demonstrate your passion for your business and answer any client questions while you make sales.

Become Inspired and Motivated

Seminars are good for the imagination. Hearing others’ stories of success will make you hungry to reach new heights with your business in new and exciting ways. When you return to your daily grind, your mind will be buzzing with new ideas to increase sales and improve morale. You might even host your own seminar for your employees. You can use Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau to find and hire engaging speakers in your industry. Work becomes monotonous quickly, but a seminar with relevant guest speakers can motivate you and your employees to push for bigger and better success.


Most immediately exciting, seminars are full of SWAG: stuff we all get. B2B booths usually force small goodies on attendees; items like reusable water bottles, phone chargers, tote bags, and T-shirts are everywhere at conferences. As a result, you go home with a bunch of free, practical items, and businesses get to spread their brand message long after the event ends.

Your business can benefit from SWAG by producing a few handy items and distributing them at seminars. If you don’t have a booth, you can hand out smaller items like pens and flash drives, but you should remember that the more memorable and useful your SWAG, the better. Ideally, attendees will spread news of your business for you in their excitement over your amazing SWAG.

7 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Is One Of The Fastest-Growing Job Skills

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020.

The awareness that emotional intelligence is an important job skill, in some cases even surpassing technical ability, has been growing in recent years. In a 2011 Career Builder Survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 71% stated they valued emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ; 75% said they were more likely to promote a highly emotionally intelligent worker; and 59% claimed they’d pass up a candidate with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence.

The question, then, is why companies are putting such a high premium on emotional intelligence. Here are seven of the top reasons why highly emotionally intelligent candidates are so valuable.

Dealing with workplace pressures and functioning well under stress demands an ability to manage our emotions. People with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more aware of their internal thermometer and therefore better able to manage their stress levels. They tend to have better-developed coping mechanisms and healthy support systems that keep working effectively even in tough situations. The increasing rate of change in the workplace is likely to increase work-related stress and boost the value of those who can manage it.

People with highly developed emotional intelligence are less defensive and more open to feedback, especially when it involves areas of improvement.
As teamwork becomes increasingly important in the workplace, people who are able to understand and get along with others will become ever more sought after. Highly emotionally intelligent people have well-developed people skills that let them build relationships with a diverse range of people across many cultures and backgrounds. That’s an asset in an increasingly globalized workplace.

Everyone wants to be heard and understood. The ability to listen well and respond to others is crucial for developing strong working relationships. Many of us, though, aren’t as good as we could be at really listening to what others are saying. Because of their ability to understand others, highly emotionally intelligent people are in a better position to put their own emotions and desires aside and take others into account. Their ability to pick up on people’s emotions, through tone of voice and body language, come in handy in team settings.

Open, timely, and honest feedback is essential to job performance—especially at a time when annual performance reviews are in decline. People with highly developed emotional intelligence are less defensive and more open to feedback, especially when it involves areas of improvement. Their high level of self-regard lets them look positively at areas where they can do better, rather than taking feedback personally.

Highly emotionally intelligent people are in a better position to put their own emotions and desires aside and take others’ into account.
Collaboration doesn’t just present logistical issues—it also comes down to responding to teammates’ feelings. People with high emotional intelligence are able to use their sensitivity to where others are coming from to build trust and cohesiveness. This allows teams to focus on the task at hand rather than become embroiled in internal bickering and politics. Their sensitivity to the needs of others acts as a lubricant that helps team members work together.

Highly emotionally intelligent people don’t get easily flustered when things don’t go according to plan. And their knack for getting along with others makes it more likely that others will take note and try to emulate them. That’s why high emotional intelligence is a key to influencing people in an organization regardless of official title. An ability to rise above daily irritations earns people with high emotional intelligence the respect from those above them as well as from their colleagues.

Because of their ability to see things clearly from another’s point of view, highly emotionally intelligent people are able to make better judgements about how their decisions will impact others. Not only does this result in better decision making overall, but it also helps manage damage control when certain decisions lead to negative consequences. Being able to judge the outcomes of their choices lets highly emotionally intelligent people behave more proactively.

People who show an enhanced ability to adapt to change, manage their emotions, and work well with a diverse range of people are already valuable in most workplaces. But with the rates of change and pressures in the workplace rising, they’ll become even more sought after than ever.

How To Market A New Product

So you’ve invented the next great gadget, and you’re sure it’ll be a hit. In fact, you’ve got cartons of inventory stored in every room of your house that you’re itching to sell, sell, sell. Your test market said they love it, but how can you reach the legions of consumers you’re sure will want to buy it?

Welcome to Sales 101. While there are countless books you can read about sales and marketing, here’s a relatively simple, proven strategy that’ll teach you how to market a product and grow your sales.

Create a Sales Plan

First, define your market as accurately as possible so you have a deeper understanding of exactly who you’re selling to. For example, instead of all women, it may be working women with above-average incomes and kids under age 5. Instead of all men, it may be divorced men in their 40s with six-figure salaries. The more specific you get, the more accurately you’ll be able to target your sales and marketing efforts, choosing the sales channels most receptive to your product.

Next, you’ll need to develop a sales plan. Before you groan, “Another plan,” understand this can be a simple document for your eyes only that’ll help you organize and think through your sales strategy. Write it in a way that makes sense for you. Typically, it should include the following:

  • Sales goals: These goals should be specific and measurable, not something like selling a million units. Base them on the nature of your product and try to break them down into manageable parts. For example, sell 50 units to end-users in 30 days and sell 100 units to local independent retailers in six months.
  • Sales activities: These are your tactics–how you plan to make the sale. You may say you’ll sell direct-to-consumer through a website or via craft shows, for instance. Or this part of the plan may include activities like developing a sell sheet to send to independent retail stores.
  • Target accounts: Your sales plan should also include the accounts you want to sell to. If it’s end-users, for example, plan how you’re going to reach them through eBay, classified ads or your website.
    Timelines: Put dates to all of the above elements so you can define your steps within a realistic timeline. Don’t forget that your timelines should be fluid–if you’re underachieving, your sales plan can help you figure out why and define the corrective steps you need to take.

Finally, follow a proven process for growing sales over time. While it would be fabulous to have Wal-Mart carry your product right out of the gate, it may not be realistic. Most large retailers want to see a track record of successful sales before agreeing to take on a new product.

Build Your Market

To learn how to bring a product to market, begin by selling directly to end-users. This’ll give you confidence that there’s demand for your product and will also create referenceable customers that you can contact for product and packaging feedback before you hit the bigger leagues. So where can you reach your end-users?

The web is one highly effective channel, and you can reach your market through your own website or via a site like eBay. You can also tap into your own personal network as you begin. Host a home party to share your product with friends and friends-of-friends, sell through local community groups and e-mail your network.

Once you get feedback directly from your customers, refine the packaging and price point before approaching your next market–wholesalers. You’ll probably start with small, independently owned, local stores. It’s a good idea to start with them before hitting larger chain stores because it’s easier to get in touch with the direct decision-maker, and they’re more inclined to take on new, unique or hard-to-find items to differentiate themselves from larger stores. To sell to these retailers, be prepared and bring a product sell sheet, photos, product samples (if possible) and a succinct introductory letter to explain what’s in it for them, highlighting your product’s profit margin, features and benefits, and proven sales record.

Expand to New Markets

Once you’ve established sales strength with independent retailers and are ready to support new markets, it’s time to sell to the big guns. Of course, exactly who those big guns are will depend on your product. For some, it’s powerhouse general mass retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, while other products will fit more specialized but equally powerful retailers, like Williams-Sonoma, The Sharper Image and Sephora.

Note that when dealing with these major accounts, the sale is just the beginning of the deal. Handling fulfillment, returns, rollbacks, slotting fees, advertising and more will require strengthening your business’s infrastructure and resources.

But back to the sale. What’s the best way to approach a larger retailer? Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  • Get the correct buyer: One of your biggest challenges is finding the right buyer within a large organization, so do your homework. If you’re experiencing roadblocks, consider hiring a distributor or manufacturer’s rep who already has established relationships in your industry.
  • Be prepared: Develop a presentation and have professional-looking sell sheets ready. Your product should also have packaging that’s ready to go.
  • Know your target: Understand what products they already carry and how yours will fit in. Don’t waste your time pitching to a retailer who’s unlikely to carry your product.
  • Take advantage of special programs: Some mass retailers, such as Wal-Mart, have local purchase programs that give managers authority to try local items. And other retailers may have different initiatives, such as minority business programs.
  • Be patient: It can take up to a year or longer before you see your product on store shelves, so don’t get frustrated. And if the final answer is no, try to turn it into a learning experience.

Finally, remember there are other sales channels besides the traditional brick-and-mortar retail store. Catalogs, TV shopping networks and online stores can also be excellent methods to enable you to learn how to market a product online.