You Know It’s Time to Move On to the Next Prospect When…

I received this email from a sales rep I know. The names have been redacted to protect the guilty.

I need help with something…my boss is so anti- “this myface” (that’s what she calls it) that it’s hard to explain the benefits when her wall is up. If someone were to say to you… “why use FanTools when we can simply announce deals using wall posts?”… what would you say to that? thank you!


There are many things I would say to that, including beware when your boss does not believe in the value of the product or service you’re selling. (More to the rep’s point, there are several good reasons why using FanTools to deliver social promotions is far superior to simple Facebook Wall posts. Look for that post soon.)

For today, let’s examine the email in another light. It got me thinking about qualifying, especially in the context of selling social media marketing services and technology. Anyone who’s been successful in sales appreciates the art of qualifying. The best reps I know are ruthless qualifiers, and they put great faith in a set of warning signs refined over many sales calls.

I started to jot down the red flags I’ve seen (or collided with as the case may be) when talking to businesses about the value of social media and social promotions, and in particular the ROI available from using a platform like FanTools. Then I found a better list created by the folks at Brainzooming.

Granted, their list of 13 Signs is written from a slightly different point of view…a company self-assessing its own readiness to adopt social media. But the red flags will be on display in a sales setting, too.

My list overlaps theirs in the following areas. Quoting from their list…

  • A general fear of customers and the power they potentially hold over the brand
  • Slow and unpredictable approval times for traditional communications materials
  • A distrust of employees and the judgment they use
  • Inaccessible (or uninterested, uncooperative, etc.) content owners (i.e., subject matter experts)

I would add that an unwillingness to accept that today’s younger consumers have made different decisions about media consumption and how they choose to interact with brands — and worse yet, the belief that those decisions are somehow wrong or reflect temporary insanity — is a major red flag.

Sales execs everywhere, flee the flag. See if your next appointment can be available a little earlier than planned! There are many businesses embracing new ways to drive growth, build brand and connect with their next generation of customers. They’re eager to talk to you.





Social Marketing Packs a Punch at Punch

This is a bona fide trend. More spending on social, less on traditional marketing tactics. Punch Pizza explains its thinking in the email below. [Boldface added]


We are moving all marketing this yr to online & social media and not
printing new paper discount cards.

We have decided to focus our marketing in the future on email
electronic coupons and social media marketing through facebook and
twitter. Our promotions have grown exponentially over the last 2
years as social networks have literally exploded (in a good way).

We got feedback from many of you over the last few weeks about our
marketing programs.

There was some concern that we would end the super crazy, line down
the block free pizza promos.  No way!   We plan to continue the huge
promo days like the free mimi days, free margherita days when our
community needs it (like losing nfc championship games )and  fun days
like dead pizza day.  We take a lot of pride in how many pizzas we can
cook in these busy days and make to our high quality standard (in
operations, getting your butt kicked is fun)

We also plan to do more less crazy, but still nice, promos that last
over a few days so the lines don’t make it too difficult to
participate.  Like last week’s valentine promo where we gave away over
$100,000 of free pizzas over four days.  Other good ideas we got were
to do free upgrades on an ingredient or special pizzas for our
connected customers or complimentary wines or other beverages.  We
also plan to do some special tasting events this year for interested

One of the most powerful changes that social media has brought, is how
we can use our events to raise money and donations to good causes.
Last year, through our promotions with Second Harvest and Children’s
Cancer Research and “Bob’s Sleepout”,   we collected over 12 tons of
food for the hungry and over $10,000 in cash contributions.

We also heard customers lament the end of the punch card.  When we
introduced the paper card almost 3 years ago, social media was in its
infancy.  As the card grew in use and our online promotions increased,
it became apparent we could not do both.   Its seems pretty clear to
us that the future is lies with electronic and social media for
promotions. However, we will honor existing punch cards until June 1,

If you have any other questions, please email me at

To upgrade or not to upgrade: Pageflex 6

Neither Lynn Anderson nor I ever promised you a rose garden. What does that have to do with anything, you might ask. It reminds me of debates about technology upgrades. When encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of something, we (me included) are at times tempted to push back and say: I don’t want to upgrade. What I have works fine. The new version will undoubtedly have stability issues. And all my employees are trained on the current version, and now you’re setting us back. And so on. Ad nauseum.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Four51 Coupons Coming Soon!

There is excitement brewing in the Four51 Customer base as people anticipate the arrival of Coupon and Gift Card functionality. This functionality will provide a convenient way to offer discounts to buyer users everywhere – both current customers and prospects!

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