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April 29th, 2015

Myth #6: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #6: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #6

“Prospects want loads of technical information”

Of course you need to have complete details of all the products, services, platforms and customizations you offer available on request. But there is no need to bombard prospects with complex tech details from the get-go and risk scaring them away. Sharing vast volumes of technical information, specs and customization details with prospects early in the sales cycle does not close the deal any faster, and could actually deter potential customers.

 

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April 17th, 2015

Myth #5: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #5: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #5

“Prospects love to hear from you, and listen to everything you say”

They may be prospects to you, but to other people they are employers, employees, colleagues, partners, peers, investors and more. Your prospects are busy people and are not hanging on your every word, however carefully sculpted those words might be. So don’t shout more or louder; say more interesting things and be ready to share content that interrupts and disrupts. Linking PR activities with sales wins in your communications provides the best chance to engage and excite prospects sufficiently to get the chance of a fuller conversation.

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April 15th, 2015

Myth #4: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #4: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #4

“Buyers are rational and will do the right thing”

Different prospects are motivated by wildly different sets of drivers, goals and concerns. If you try to sell your products and services solely on the basis that they present logical solutions to common problems, you will inevitably fail to push the buttons of many prospects with different agendas. For years the technology sales process was purely based in ‘rational’ thinking of the flow, structure and steps that vendors believed prospects ‘should’ take to buy complex technology. Today it is smarter to influence diverse business situations with more varied, subtle and sophisticated messaging.

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April 13th, 2015

Myth #3: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #3: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success.  Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #3

“Fear (FUD) is an acceptable way to engage prospects”

Fear, uncertainty and doubt – or FUD – is a well-established tactic used in sales, PR and marketing. It attempts to influence the decisions of prospects by exposing their pain-points and appealing to their predominant concerns. While prospects will always appreciate genuine empathy and understanding of the common business challenges they face, it is no longer acceptable to play the FUD card without also offering real-world, practical advice for identifying and counteracting these same issues. Your PR, messaging and sales communication should be about possibility – not fear.

Missed the previous myths? Check them out here.

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April 10th, 2015

Myth #2: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

Myth #2: Prompt’s ten technology sales myths

At Prompt we know that PR complements sales to drive influence, impact, and financial success. Our PRISM methodology delivers the steps and processes involved in planning and executing PR programs in line with sales objectives. And our free webinar series ‘How to use PR to drive sales’ shares content created specifically for technology companies. We’ve gathered this content from working with global companies including Adobe, IBM, and Oracle, and hundreds of early-stage companies. This means that we’ve covered every level of complexity, type of technology, and (we think) almost every kind of sales process.

However, in our dealings with hundreds of technology companies, we are also aware of a number of sales ‘myths’ that we believe may be holding back technology entrepreneurs and technology  marketers from making the smartest decisions for their own business futures.Over the next few weeks, we’re setting out to share ten of the most common myths – some of which may be familiar to you.

Myth #2

“Complicated technology demands complex communication.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to help marketers and entrepreneurs in high-tech businesses communicate effectively and authentically with core audiences, it’s vital to create messaging that is clear, honest, uncomplicated and presents practical solutions to real-world business problems. It doesn’t matter whether you manufacture MPLS routers, secure mission-critical applications, have software that delivers phenomenal online transaction processing speeds – the simplicity of the message is not just possible, it’s essential.

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April 1st, 2015

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015

The Prompt Byte: April 1, 2015




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The how-to newsletter from Prompt PR

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London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111


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Welcome…

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Welcome to a mid-week edition of the Prompt Byte! We hope you’re soaring through the days productively.

Today, spare a few seconds to learn what you’ll need to ask for in your upcoming crowdfunding campaign and when it’s right to use an apostrophe. Also keep reading if you’ve ever wondered exactly what a PDF is and why the format exists in the first place.

Here for the answer to last week’s Geek Speak? It was said by actor and writer Al Boliska. Got it right? Then go grab yourself a treat and don’t forget to let us know your guesses this week.

Oh, and have a great week!

Hazel

Hazel Butters

CEO

Prompt PR

Twitter: @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston

Facebook: Prompt London and Prompt Boston

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How to
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How to work out how much to ask for in a crowdfunding campaign

The main point of crowdfunding is, well, to raise funds from a crowd. So you would think that every team heading towards a crowdfunding launch would have carefully done its math. However in our experience this isn’t always true. Every crowdfunder seems to know their financial goal, but the supporting calculations are rarely as strong as they should be.

Some things to consider:

  • It’s important to be very clear not only about how much money you need, but also why you need it, how you will justify the figure to potential backers, and how you plan to spend their money to reach your mission
  • Be very clear about your vision. You need to communicate the core of your ambition so that potential supporters understand precisely which part of the world you want to change and how you intend to achieve it
  • Have a good mix of rewards or perks, and make sure these support your goals. Don’t have too many rewards and don’t do that ‘annoying wedding list’ thing by which you either (a) only have an overwhelming array of cheap low-priced items, or (b) only have options for the big spenders (fridge-freezers, hand-engraved crystal glasses from Paris, grand pianos…)
  • Give insight and details into any operations and finances to date. What have you raised or created so far? How have you spent and managed that money? And how has this past investment helped you to get closer to your mission?
  • Don’t over-ask, however tempting. Because you are fully committed to your campaign you might almost feel like you have to ask for as big a bucketful of cash as possible. But over-asking can make potential backers wary
  • Calculate all the costs of any rewards and add in at least a 20 percent buffer. We’ve seen campaigns slip up on the sudden unexpected costs of a backer event – even on t-shirts
  • If you are offering rewards or perks that must be physically mailed out, be very deliberate and clear about who is paying the shipping costs. If it is you, then be sure you have a buffer for any unexpected changes in delivery charges. For example, we worked on a project with physical perks in which the first items sent backers required an additional piece to be shipped out – at the vendor’s expense
  • Calculate every single manufacturing cost. If you are going to manufacture after crowdfunding, you may be working off estimates, so add in a further 20 percent buffer to ensure you are ready for any nasty surprises
  • Have stretch goals at the ready. Factor these in at the planning stage, so if/when you reach your campaign goal, you are not left scrambling to plan

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Rising stars
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Melius

Prompt works in technology hubs on either side of the pond, so we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in both Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about the technology and inspiration that can be found at home. Recently we chatted with RJ Irving, co-founder and CEO of Melius. This Boston-based startup develops an application that collects your basic financial information and identifies inefficiencies to help improve your money planning for the future.

1) Tell us a bit about Melius.

Melius helps financial advisors with the front-end of their business. Most of the technology built for the financial space is geared toward making existing businesses more efficient. The trouble is that most people cannot build a business. That is where we come in. Melius is a simple tool that advisors use with their prospects to educate them about the building blocks of a strong financial plan. Built into our tool is a direct link between advisors and prospects to accelerate the on-boarding process. Most other fintech companies start with the idea of replacing the advisors all together. Melius is designed to enhance the human relationship, not replace it.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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Scanner Pro 5


Network Toolbox

Until you actually try and do it, you probably think that you’ve got scanning covered on your smartphone or tablet. Just take a photo, save it and mail it right? But actually doing this for multiple documents in a slick business-class way is another story entirely. The day you actually need this to go well and you find yourself hovering over a scribbled Moleskin on the ‘T’, you’ll remember that you could have bought Scanner Pro5 for less than three bucks. Developed by Readdle, the creators of PDF Office, Scanner Pro 5 transforms your device into a fast and capable scanner that quickly turns any paper document into a PDF ready to upload, mail or send to Dropbox or Evernote. It even does all the tricky edge-detection and geometry stuff for you – very handy for all your crumpled expenses paperwork!

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Copy corner
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Its versus it’s

Ah, yes, the all too familiar confusion of its and it’s. The error is incredibly common and crops up in places one would never imagine, including many corporate websites and brochures. So how do you avoid a mistake that’s so easy to make? Well, it’s easy: Use it’s only when it is a contraction and you mean ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. But always use its and not it’s to mean belonging to it – the word it never takes on an apostrophe when it gets possessive.

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Copy corner
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It’s hard for anyone to buy anything off you if they don’t (a) know you, (b) like you and (c) trust you. One of the best ways that your prospects can get to know, like and trust you is PR. That’s why we think that PR should support sales, and we know that great PR is sales-led. We’re always keen to share our views on PR and how it should support and drive sales.

So we are holding a free 50-minute webinar on Friday April 3 at 11am ET (4pm BST) called: ‘How to drive technology sales with PR’. We’ll repeat the webinar (again, live) on Friday April 10, again at 11am ET. Please register at: http://bit.ly/technology-PR-sales (April 3) or http://bit.ly/tech-PR-sales-April10 (April 10).

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App of the week
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PDF

“On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot – it is a silly place.” Unless of course, you happen to be John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems. Back in 1991, he outlined a document file format that he proposed to be independent of hardware, operating systems or application software. His idea was to make sharing documents easier for users amid a computing scene that was becoming increasingly disparate and fragmented, and relied upon people to use the same systems as each other if they wanted to share information in anything like its original state. Back then Warnock called his fledgling system Camelot, but two years later it was released as the PDF, or Portable Document Format. And 22 years later still, it endures as an enormously popular and accessible specification – particularly for scanning or digitally archiving paper documents.

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Geek speak
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“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

Without the help of Google, can you identify the voice behind this quote?

Tweet us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon if you can.

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Contact Prompt
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We hope you find our newsletter an interesting read. For any feedback on our newsletter, or to discuss how we can help you with your PR, marketing, social media/blogging initiatives, copywriting or surveys, please contact us using the details below. We are always delighted to hear from you.


London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111

info@prompt-pr.com | www.prompt-pr.com

space man
Prompt

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Copyright Prompt Communications 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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April 1st, 2015

Rising star: Melius

Rising star: Melius

Prompt works in technology hubs on either side of the pond, so we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in both Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about the technology and inspiration that can be found right here at home. Recently we chatted with RJ Irving, co-founder and CEO of Melius. This Boston-based startup develops an application that collects your basic financial information and identifies inefficiencies to help improve your money planning for the future.

1)        Tell us a bit about Melius.

Melius helps financial advisors with the front-end of their business. Most of the technology built for the financial space is geared toward making existing businesses more efficient. The trouble is that most people cannot build a business. That is where we come in. Melius is a simple tool that advisors use with their prospects to educate them about the building blocks of a strong financial plan. Built into our tool is a direct link between advisors and prospects to accelerate the on-boarding process. Most other fintech companies start with the idea of replacing the advisors all together. Melius is designed to enhance the human relationship, not replace it.

2)        What does innovation mean to you?

Innovation means so many different things. If I had to narrow it down to two they would be simplification and solving a problem from another angle.

3)        Why is New England such a hotbed for innovation?

As New Englanders it is in our DNA to innovate and look for a better way. A little idea about a government for the people by the people started here. We have been innovators since leaving our homelands to start and create new lives for ourselves.

4)        Do you have any concerns about New England’s growth and innovation culture?

My only concern would be that after this winter more and more people will question why they subject themselves to this climate. Most new businesses are location agnostic and with that freedom it gets harder and harder to endure eight feet of snow and single digit temperatures.

5)        What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the New England tech scene?

Not all tech companies are setting up shop in downtown Boston. We are seeing tech companies pop up in Portland ME, Western MA, Southern NH – really all over.

6)        If you weren’t based in New England, which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?

If we were not based here in Boston, we would most likely end up in Denver or Boulder, Colorado. There are great people there, a great vibe, and you still get to experience all the seasons. But even when it does snow in the winter, it can also be 70 the next day. If we left the country there is a great fintech startup scene in Australia which I think we could get used too as well!

7)        If you could meet any single innovator (alive or dead) over a coffee, who would you want to meet?

I would want to have a coffee with Walt Disney. Hands down one of the greatest innovators I have studied. He went $1.5 million in debt in 1937, hot on the heels of the great depression, to make Snow White. It was the first of its kind, a full-length annotated film, and it grossed over $416 million.

8)        Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love – either recently or in the past – and why you bought it.

I just bought a MacBook Air to replace my MacBook Pro. The old one was only five years old, but the difference in weight and speed is night and day.

To learn more about Melius, please visit their website here. To be our next Rising Star, get in touch today

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