About Tom Martin

Tom is a no nonsense, straight-talking 25-year veteran of the sales & and marketing business who favors stiff drinks, good debates and helping companies grow their businesses. As an internationally recognized digital marketing keynote speaker, blogger, founder of Converse Digital, and Author of The Invisible Sale, Tom marries his two passions, marketing & technology, to teach companies how to leverage digital marketing channels to achieve and sustain sales growth, enhance brand perception and painlessly prospect for new customers. His book, The Invisible Sale, is available for sale at Amazon & Barnes & Noble. Follow him on Twitter @TomMartin or contact him at http://ConverseDigital.com

How To Use Online Content And Marketing Automation To Lift The Digital Fingerprints Of Invisible Client Prospects

Accurate prospective client intel, in the hands of a skilled business development team virtually guarantees a successful outcome. But clients today prefer to remain invisible, talking to Google instead of your agency directly. That's why successful agencies are leveraging the power of Content Marketing, Marketing Automation/Website Tracking Software and 2nd-Click Content to focus their business development efforts on truly qualified leads. Finding Today's Invisible Clients Requires A New Business Development Approach Once upon a time, agencies treated information about their approach to marketing as sacred. After all, information was power — it differentiated them from the competition. That’s why so many agencies created “proprietary” approaches and some went so far as to name and even trademark them.  Agencies believed that if they could force prospects to call and talk to a member of the agency team one on one, the agency could control the prospecting experience by carefully disseminating information in a way that would convince the prospective client to ultimately hire the agency or at least invite them to a pitch.  But, agencies, we have to abandon that point of view to stay competitive in the modern age of The Invisible Pitch. That systematic hoarding of information made sense once upon a time, but it’s totally obsolete in the search engine age, self-educating client age. Research shows that over 70% of these clients turn to Google or another search engine to begin their next agency search and they are more than 50% of the way through their hiring decision before they ever make contact with any agency.  But all is not lost. This new DIY agency search approach is actually a huge opportunity for smart agencies looking to replace their RFP habit with a [...]

Are You Reaching or Connecting With Potential Clients?

  "Thanks for joining my network, Tom! I noticed you work for a recruiting agency. Have you heard about the NEW LinkedIn lead generation?? Let us bring recruited prospects to you on auto-pilot. If you would like to receive an infographic on how it works, please let me know and I'll send it your way. I look forward to talking to you in the near future, Tom, and hope you have a great day!" Have you ever received a LinkedIn Message like the one above? Don’t you love when people ask for the sale either as a first or second touch? Arggg. I hate those. People don't realize that you only get one chance to make a LinkedIn impression. But beyond that, it shows that so many people still don't understand the difference between Reaching and Connecting. More importantly, they don't understand how the difference is costing them potential sales. So let's talk about the difference and how it can power up your agency’s biz dev efforts. Reaching vs Connecting With Potential Clients The person who sent me the message above, who must be using his/her fancy pants software, has reached me five times in the last month. But he/she hasn't connected with me even once. Which begs the question, what do you really get when you reach a potential client? Nothing. Sure, you get to check a box in your CRM. You get to report that you reached that client the agency has always wanted to work with at some point. But if you reach them and they don't respond, did you really reach them? Did you make an impression? Did you start moving them down the Propinquity Pathway? I'd argue no. Chances are [...]

8 Lessons For Entrepreneurs (That I May Have Learned the Hard Way)

Happy Anniversary to me. Yep, eight years and two months ago  (May 1, 2010) I re-entered the world of entrepreneurship by starting Converse Digital with a mere two weeks notice, no money in the bank, no investors, no credit line, a wife, four kids, a big mortgage payment and lots of private school tuitions. I’ve learned a lot along the way and today I wanted to share some of those lessons for entrepreneurs with you. 1) You Need an Entrepreneurship Runway The common rule of thumb for starting a business is to have at least a few months income in your bank. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. I didn’t have the luxury so many of my fellow entrepreneurs have, where they don’t take a salary out of the company for months or years, instead reinvesting all profits to quickly grow the business. Nope, Converse Digital had to be cash flow positive from day one. But this lack of runway has been a blessing and a curse. It’s been a curse because I’ve never really had the chance to strategically grow the company. Sure, here and there we launch little initiatives like our Social Reconnaissance Products…or our CIBER product (that I don’t even have a full webpage live for yet – just a quick landing page), usually after they’ve been on the drawing board for months or more. But on the flip side, that lack of runway makes you scared. Every day you wake up expecting the other shoe to drop — for a client to fire you or cut their budget, or for that big project you were counting on to NOT come through, or my "favorite" — a client falls way behind [...]

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