Start conversations faster

with the Spark Selling sales prospecting technique

The leading cause of sales email template failure
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. There is one problem I see over-and-over in sales email templates: Talking about benefits of products and services too soon. It's the most common cold sales email hurdle to clear. And for good reason. “What else is there to talk about anyway!?” “I don’t know where to start.” That's why we take the easy way out. The lazy way. We fall back on talking about solutions to customers' problems. We look at marketing materials and web sites for messaging ideas. But that's where you’ll probably go off track. Instead, talk ONLY about buyers’ problems—not your solution. Not yet.
The truth: Email newsletter effectiveness on sales
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Email newsletter effectiveness. It's a taboo issue for many marketers. They don't want to discuss[...]
Don’t cancel your Sales Navigator account (until you read this)
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. When at the gym do you only work on your biceps? Curl after curl after curl—all[...]
How to get a response from a sales email
Time to read: 3 minutes. To get response from a sales email make sure your message does NOT ask for[...]
Canadian anti-spam law: A compliance guide for sales pros
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Canadian sales professionals are confused and frustrated. Rightfully so. The Canadian Radio-television & Telcom Commission[...]
3 of the best InMail and email subject lines I’ve found
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Why aren't your email or InMail subject lines working? They're probably too long, too specific and[...]
Making Sales Navigator training pay-off
  Time to read: 3.5 minutes. LinkedIn Sales Navigator training can be great investment. But it's easy to get lost.[...]
A Linkedin profile for sales: Spark leads in 3 steps
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Tired of getting so few sales leads from your LinkedIn profile? I dare you to[...]
How to write an effective InMail: 7 of my best templates
Time to read: 3 minutes. Frustrated with LinkedIn InMail prospecting? Emails going un-responded to? I recently discovered how to write[...]
3 Ways to waste time on LinkedIn and feel good about it
Time to read: 3 minutes. There's no shortage of LinkedIn tips for sales professionals. But most do more harm than[...]
LinkedIn InMail Best Practice: Don’t ask for the meeting
  Time to read: 3 minutes. Is your LinkedIn InMail response rate a problem? LinkedIn 'gurus' won't tell you the[...]
How to Pick the Best Social Selling Training
Time to read: 3 minutes. If social selling training is on your to-do list you're not alone. Choosing the best social selling[...]
LinkedIn Sales Navigator review: It’s worth it, but only if …
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. LinkedIn Sales Navigator IS worth the money. But only if you have an effective, repeatable way[...]
Content Marketing Experts: Are they ‘dumbing things down’ at your expense?
Simple products, simple services. They help us get things done. Simple words help sell them. I love simple. But many[...]
How to: Business blog writing to create sales leads
Time to watch: less than 3 minutes. Learn from this free video short, "How to: Business blog writing to create[...]
How to unknowingly sabotage your LinkedIn content strategy
Time to read: 3 minutes. Are you posting your blog articles in LinkedIn Groups? You may be doing more harm[...]
How to avoid hiring the wrong social media sales consultant
  Time to read: 3 minutes. Everyone is a social selling consultant. But how can you tell the real experts from[...]
How to sell on social media: Where to start, step-by-step
Time to read: 2 minutes. Wondering how to sell on social media? Here's where to start, step-by-step. Just follow these[...]
LinkedIn training for sales: 3 Steps to more response & leads on LinkedIn
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Why are so many reps and dealers failing to generate leads on LinkedIn---using profiles, InMail and Groups? We're[...]
3 effective lead generation ideas (that nobody is talking about)
Time to read: 3 minutes. I discovered 3 of the best, most effective lead generation ideas out there: #1, Update the[...]
How to hire a social media manager: 4 ‘red flag’ phrases to watch out for
Time to read: 2 minutes. Time to hire a social media manager, freelancer or agency? Here's are 4 phrases to[...]
Social Media for Sales Teams: Stop Waiting on Marketing & Start Selling More
Time to read: 2 minutes. So far social media for sales teams has been stagnant. That's because we've been waiting on[...]
Social Media in B2B Sales: Success is About Confidence, Not Engagement
Time to read: 4 minutes. Social media in B2B sales is filled with bullshit ideas that don't work. Successful B2B[...]
Social Media in the Steel Industry: How Steelmaster Gets Leads on Facebook
Time to read: 3 minutes. I've uncovered a remarkable social media steel industry success story. Steelmaster is netting leads and[...]
Make More Direct Sales From Your Blog by Posting LESS
Time to read: 3 minutes. If you're blogging for direct sales---wondering why sales aren't showing up you're not alone. But[...]
How to create a social media sales strategy that actually works
Time to read: 4 minutes. It's easy to fall into 3 traps when setting out to create a social media[...]
3 Lessons Learned After Years of LinkedIn Spam (and what to do now)
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. In 2008 LinkedIn introduced its Group functionality. Since then those of us using LinkedIn for[...]
Successful Content Marketing Plans do 1 Thing Really Well
Time to read: 2 minutes. Does your content marketing create action? I’ve been using LinkedIn, Facebook and blogging to generate[...]
Psychology of Selling: How Engaging with Customers Can Hurt Sales
  Time to read: 3 minutes. If you're busy engaging with customers on Facebook or using LinkedIn for sales prospecting[...]
How to Avoid Getting Off the Sales Track with Social Marketing
Time to read: 4 Minutes. "Jeff, where do most  marketers go wrong with social media marketing... how do they lose[...]
How to Align Social Marketing and Sales to Create More Leads
Time to Read: 6 Minutes. Is it important to understand the sales process before applying social media? Absolutely. Regardless of[...]
How to Be Sure Content Marketing Produces Sales
Time to read: 2 minutes. Most content marketing speakers, social media experts or social selling speakers are proclaiming, "engaging content[...]
What Social Media Experts Don’t Want You to Know
Time to view: 90 seconds. The social media revolution is a lie. Yes, this new phase in marketing is exciting[...]
The Amount of Time You Invest in LinkedIn is Irrelevant to Results
Time to Read: 2 Minutes. “How much time do I need to devote to LinkedIn per day?” Stop. Behind this[...]
How Much Time You Invest in Social Media Does Not Matter
Time to Read:  3 Minutes. Wanting to know how much time to give LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging (etc) per day[...]
How Energy, Manufacturing and Technical Businesses Sell with Social Media
Time to read 3 minutes. Is social media relevant to the thermal processing industry? Or how about appliance manufacturing? Pollution[...]
Here’s How I Define Social Media ROI:SALES
Here's my definition of ROI: A sale. Period. You can engage with social media or you can sell with it.[...]
Content Marketing Plans Cannot Be Outsourced: Here’s Why
Time to read: 2 minutes. Should you outsource your content marketing efforts? Don't---unless you want your blogs, white papers, videos[...]
How Associations Can Recruit Members on Facebook
If everyone else jumped off a cliff would you? When it comes to acquiring new members using social media most[...]
How to Sell Home Furnishings and Textiles with Social Media
Time to read 3 minutes. Selling home furnishings, kitchens, appliances, sofas, beds, mattresses and textiles using social media can be[...]
The 3 Habits of Successful Social Media Sellers
Time to read: 2 minutes. You've probably gotten your feet wet with social media marketing by tweeting or creating a[...]
Free Tips on How to Sell with Social Media
Time to read/listen: Less than 2 minutes. It's true. I'm finally done with a year's worth of researching how today's[...]
A Popular Twitter ‘Best Practice’ That Does More Harm Than Good
Time to read: 3 minutes. Remember the first time you saw a “walking stick” insect? “Wow THAT is not what[...]
How to market on TwitterStep one: Change the question
Time to read: Two minutes. How should you market your small business on Twitter?  You are not alone in asking. [...]
Make Facebook sell, starting tomorrowin 3 steps
Time to read: 3 minutes. Which answer would you rather have?  "How to measure the true value of a Facebook[...]
White paper:Social media & mobile in financial services
Time to read: 1 minute. The social media and mobile opportunity for financial services organizations (especially banks) extends beyond account[...]
Start capturing demand with ‘social’STOP ‘branding conversations’
Social media leadership means creating DEMAND not preference. CEO's should be pressing marketers to put sales and leads before tweets[...]
How AnchorBank creates social leadswhile Chase struggles
Time to read: 4 minutes. Unfortunately, people don't trust banks much these days -- nor turn to them for financial[...]
USAA bank uses social media to deliver meaningful, profitable outcomes
Time to read 3 minutes. USAA is one of today's best examples of social media and mobile device use in[...]
Case study on Moosejaw: Improving social media marketing outcomes
Time to read: 7 minutes. Today, Abercrombie & Fitch announced flat Web and declining store sales.  But they have well[...]
How a Ben Franklin craft store is using social media to sell
Time to read: 7 minutes. Experts say "building community,"  "buzz" or "engagement in the conversation" is joy.  But crazy people[...]
A shortcut to finding what works in social media marketing
Time to read: 5 minutes. You need to create sales and leads with 'social' media/marketing.  That means finding "what works." [...]
How Adagio is beating Bigelow Teato the social media punch
Time to read: 8 minutes. Bigelow and Adagio Teas are two competing "tea-commerce" brands.  But Adagio is a clear category-leading[...]
Social media: creating improved outcomes in medical practices
Time to read: 4 minutes. Exceptionally successful doctors and medical professionals are applying social media tools to create more meaningful[...]
Why marketing on Facebook may nothelp your business
Time to read: 5 minutes. Like many marketers, 1800Flowers is intoxicated by excitement over "social media" and the supposed revolution[...]
Why business Twittering deservesa second look, a strategy
Time to read: 4.5 minutes. Social media:  It's so important that "it will change everything..." so broad that it includes[...]
There is no such thing as ‘social media’
Time to read: 3.5 minutes. The sooner marketers realize "all the Web is a social media" the sooner they'll improve[...]
Are merchant selling networks the birth of’Social eCommerce?’
There's an endless amount of silly and illogical hype around Facebook and Twitter -- their ability to create a new[...]
If customers hate search adswhy do we put all our money in them?
How does your digital marketing team invest today -- and why?  How will this change given the failings of search[...]
Can Affiliate Marketing Work Better for Brands?
I sat down with John Ardis, Valueclick's VP of Corporate Strategy (who's company owns affiliate network Commission Junction) to talk[...]
How to Choose a Social Marketing’Expert’ or Agency
Time to read: 6 minutes. In a digital advertising world filled with hype, spin and flat out lies it's hard[...]
The Bad Habit that is Display Ad Spending
For over a decade now we digital marketers have been suckin' down that cool, refreshing, painfully outdated advertising strategy --[...]
I’m Calling Bull on Twittermania
Twitter.  The world cannot stop talking about it -- so it must be important right?  It's been a fun ride[...]
How do You Make Social Media Decisions?
When it comes to making decisions about your business and the Internet nothing is easy especially when it comes to[...]
Deciding if Affiliate Marketing is for Your Brand
There are 2 approaches to managing affiliate programs these days:  affiliates as high-maintenance assets or as low-maintenance "let them wither[...]
Shopping Comparison: Working Profitably with a Necessary Evil
Comparison shopping is a "necessary evil" for retailers. Now... with that as our backdrop Brian Smith gives you the straight[...]
Web Marketing Mentors Score D-
Are you hiring Internet business advisors or data reporters?  Most small businesses are hiring all the wrong help when it[...]
Can You Align Your Interest with Google’s?
Have you ever questioned the alignment of your Web advertising interests with that of Google's?  Have you ever found yourself[...]
How to Balance eCommerce Biz and Family Life: Lisa Papageras
If you've ever wanted to meet a self-made, behind-the-scenes e-commerce superstar here's your chance. Watch this interview with my good[...]
Twitter: With What Purpose?
Think about it: Despite the popularity of social media, the world remains remarkably unknowable.  Extracting value from tools like Twitter[...]
Hard Core Soft Selling with Rok Hrastnik
Here's a guy who's hard core when it comes to soft selling.Meet Rok Hrastnik, International Web Director for Direct TV[...]
Affiliate Marketing: Where’s the Value?
"I think there's going to be a revolution this year," says Tim Ash, landing page optmization expert, CEO of SiteTuners[...]
What RSS is & Why You Should Care
RSS is a means to transport information across the Web -- just like how HTTP works with browsers to publish[...]
Affiliate Marketing: What’s Working, What Isn’t?
I recently assembled and moderated 2 panels of experts to answer this question -- including my trusty side-kick-always-there-to-tell-me-I'm-not-necessarily-right-colleague, Lee Gientke. [...]
Customer Acquisition Using Social Marketing & Consumer Empowerment
| View | Upload your own This presentation was given to the Business Networking Chicago IT S.I.G on June 16,[...]
Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment
The Web is all about interaction... and interaction forces experience. More than anything else customers are experiencing through their interactivity.[...]
Consumer Empowerment: Social Marketing’s Secret ‘Success Sauce’
Jeff Jarvis of agrees. The sense of empowerment that consumers receive when participating in a "crowdsourcing" model feeds on[...]
Web 2.0 Mindset: Let Supply Find & Create Demand
The key to success in today's digital, multichannel shopping world is a bold, new mindset. This foundation is rooted in[...]
Experiment with Social Media Fire (without getting burned)
Back in March, I discussed how experiential marketing is changing the game for Web marketers of all colors. Now that[...]
Using Experience to Capture ‘Social’ Web Shoppers
Attention Web Marketers: Intercepting customers during buying processes is no longer enough! Fundamental elements of the customer/marketer relationship are changing.[...]
Customer Acquisition on the Social Web
Selling on the web is quickly becoming less about marketers' supply meeting up with customers' demand, and more about customers[...]
New Professional Education Resources for Web Marketers
Vintage Tub & Bath, GoToWebinar and I are hosting the May 2008 Paying for Performance Webinar next week! "Professional Education[...]
Should Marketers Use Multiple Affiliate Networks?
"To Be In Multiple Networks or Not to Be -- That Is The Question" Should you be involved with multiple[...]
Social Marketing “Acquisition 2.0” Webinar Panelists Announced
I'm beyond excited to reveal our expert panel for next week's Vintage Tub & Bath Paying for Performance "retailer only"[...]
How to Acquire Customers On The Social Web
What's next for customer acquisition and affiliate marketing? The social, experiential Web. But what exactly is the social Web and[...]
Should You Invest in Social Marketing & Media?
How can marketers go about assessing social media/marketing and the potential opportunities it holds? I tackle this question in this[...]
How to Balance Search and Affiliate Marketing Strategies
DMA Virtual Seminars Presents... Integrating Search and Affiliate Strategies to Maximize ROI March 25, 2008 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET[...]
Where’s Jeff?
I'm excited to report my participation in a handful of conferences over the next few months and hope to see[...]
Best Practices In Affiliate Marketing Teleconference: PART ONE
Today, it's called the 'Paying for Performance Teleconference' call but it's been around for a while. This 'retailer only' discussion[...]
How eMail ROI Becomes Over-Stated
Email is great... but the cost is not free... and the true sales are typically a fraction of what people[...]
The Benefits of Pay Per Click and Affiliate Marketing Audits
Have you checked the health of your online pay-per-click advertising or affiliate marketing program lately? Why should you? It could[...]
The Ironic Future of Affiliate Marketing: MLM (Part II)
Can marketers practice "social marketing" in a responsible manner within realms like Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn et al? As discussed in[...]
Affiliate Marketing Case Study:
In this piece at Target Marketing Magazine I uncover how Web marketers and affiliates are addressing the "channel crossover" issue.[...]
What’s Behind’s Affiliate Marketing Globalization Strategy?
You've got to ask yourself, do Valueclick (VCLK), Linkshare, DoubleClickPerformics, Think Partnership's (THK) Kowabunga, Digital River's (DRIV) OneNetwork and Shareasale[...]
This Week in Digital Marketing & Media
Amazon's Kindle Bypasses Affiliates and Then Some Andy Beard asks if Amazon is looking to bypass its affiliates with its[...]
The Ironic Future of Affiliate Marketing: MLM (Part I)
The following is part of a MULTI-PART SERIES (see Part II here). Where is online affiliate marketing (a la Linkshare,[...]
Why Marketers Fail at Web Analytics (and what to do about it)
Web marketers are failing to leverage this thing called "Web analytics." Heck, marketers aren't even sure WHY they use tools[...]
“Should I Buy (Outsource) or Build Search Marketing?”
Sara Holoubek hits it out-of-the-park with a bold piece that helps Web marketing executives decide on either owning search or[...]
How to Net Incremental Sales Using Affiliate Marketing Efficiency
Just when you thought it was impossible to balance healthy doses of affiliate-generated sales while maximizing incremental revenue and avoiding[...]
Social Media Experts Agree: No Marketing Allowed
Social media experts like Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and Converseon's Rob Key agree: Marketing, as we have known it, isn't much[...]
How to Optimize Web Sites for Universal Search
Lee Odden submits a great primer on how businesses can and should be leveraging what is widely known as the[...]
Web Retailers Won’t Hold Credit Card Data in Future
Google (GOOG), the National Retail Federation and Canada's Privacy Commissioner (just to name a few) all seemingly agree -- Web[...]
This Week in e-Tail: October 8, 2007
Search Marketing Search Engines Continue to Re-Invent Search via 'Universal' Concept This time it's Yahoo launching a revamped search engine[...]
Will a Site Drop Out of Search Engines if Not Paying for SEO?
One of Jill Whalen's readers asks a common question and, in giving the correct answer, Ms. Whalen points out how[...]
This Week in e-Tail: October 1, 2007
Social Media Success Story:'s Social Media Internet Retailer asks, "Does participating in social networking sites translate into ROI[...]
This Week in e-Tail: September 24, 2007
Performance Marketing Responds to Advertisers' Demands Shopping comparison engine,, is first among the major engines to share useful[...]
Innovations in Web Selling: PopShops and Shopster
What's the latest trend in the area of building an online business that "sells stuff?" Find out in this short[...]
Guide to Recruiting Web Affiliates
How should a retail marketer approach recruiting affiliates? I've spent over ten years gathering up industry best practices. This short[...]
Top Brands Discuss Affiliate Strategies:Incremental Sales
It's finally official and word is out on the street... not just behind closed doors. Retailers engaged in Web affiliate[...]
ACCM MultiChannel Merchant Show Presentations: 2007
2007's Annual Conference for Catalog and Multi-Channel Merchants (ACCM) featured a dynamic panel like no other I've pulled together... and[...]
How to Attract the Best Web Affiliates: Part II
(20 minutes) In this segment of a two part series (Part I here) 12 small, medium and large brands (and[...]
How to Attract the Best Web Affiliates: Part I
(31 minutes) Twelve small, medium and large brands discuss the ins-and-outs of affiliate marketing in 2006. Discussants range widely from[...]
Intersection of Web Affiliates & Search Marketing
The following is a transcript taken from the May 25, 2007 edition of Weekly Insight that discussed a recent "state[...]
Big Changes for Affiliate Marketing – Again
On a recent Weekly Insight show we discussed the dramatic shifts going on in Web-based cost-per-click and cost-per-action (sale or[...]