The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 12, 2015 • Issue 15:01:01
GS Book Notes:
Conquering content marketing, scaling sales summits
As the payments industry evolves, so do payment professionals. The Wild West days of lucrative POS terminal leasing and selling on price are long gone. And the roles played by ISOs, merchant level salespeople, payment processors, equipment vendors and purveyors of value-added services take a back seat to their new role as consultants whose expertise can reduce merchants’ headaches and improve their economic fortunes.
A variety of books can contribute to payment professionals’ ongoing education by discussing emerging trends, providing new information, reinforcing best practices, and more. Two books that came to our attention recently include one devoted to content marketing and one about how to achieve peak performance in sales, which remains crucial to any ISO or MLSs business no matter what changes are occurring in the payments biz.
Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business
Written by brothers and entrepreneurs Arnie and Brad Kuenn, Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business explains what content marketing is and why it is not only good for growing a business, but why, according to the Kuenns, it is critical to having a competitive edge in today’s business environment. "The best time to start content marketing was five years ago, the second best time is now; it's the time to get ahead of the competition and make content marketing truly work for your business,” the Kuenns wrote.
The authors provide the following three-point definition of content marketing:
- Content marketing is the art of providing relevant, valuable content to your customers without selling or interrupting them.
- Instead of pitching your products or services, you deliver information that makes your prospects more informed before they buy.
- If you deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to your prospects, they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
The book’s eight chapters correspond to the eight steps devised by the authors for implementing an effective content marketing program. These steps are: 1. Strategy development; 2. Ideation; 3. Content creation; 4. Optimization; 5. Content promotion; 6. Distribution; 7. Lead nurturing; and 8. Measurement.
The book also addresses such issues as the importance of Internet search and social media, and working in the mobile sphere.
Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business is available for free download at http://info.verticalmeasures.com/content-marketing-works in advance of the book’s print and Kindle launch slated for early 2015.
Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales: From Everest to Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance
This book doesn’t appear to offer any truly new information in terms of how to achieve peak performance. However, that does not mean it isn’t worthwhile. Indeed, it is an invigorating read that could be just the thing to get a flagging ISO or MLS reenergized and on course in the new year. After all, when we fail to reach our goals, it isn’t usually due to a lack of information; most of the time it is because we do not have the conviction to apply what we know to get results.
The authors of this book, Susan Ershler and John Waechter, are uniquely inspiring. They belong to an elite group of people who have summited the tallest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents. While training for these arduous feats, they were also reaching high echelons in corporate sales.
What they have done is collaborate to apply what they learned in climbing mountains to sales and leadership in business. Believing that achievement in any sphere is an acquired skill and that anyone can achieve peak performance, they teach people how to overcome perceived limitations and attain new levels of success. They go into detail on how to clarify your vision and define measurable goals, commit to your project, prepare yourself with in-depth knowledge, and then persevere.
The authors also include harrowing vignettes from their climbing experiences to illustrate their points. And they use some climbing terminology instead of typical business language. For example, “choose the right Sherpa” for build the right team, “travel light” for manage your time, and “measure the mountain” for track your progress.
So this book could add thrills to your sales library, especially if you enjoy physical challenges or extreme sports, and motivate you to reach for what might appear right now to be unattainable.
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