How Are Your Internal Voices Helping You? Create Positive Thoughts!

the inner game of tennisThe Inner Game Of Tennis is about Tennis, but it’s also about the mentality we take while we go through life. The Ah-Ha Moments in this book really make you think. Almost so much, that while writing, I’ve had to stop multiple times to reread sections and recollect my thoughts. The points Gallway makes in this book are monumental. The psychology of thought process, awareness and thinking is so fascinating. Once you’ve read this book, I think you’ll have a greater appreciation for self development.

Gallway labels our internal voices. Self 1 is the teller and Self 2 is the doer. Self 1 might say, ‘you’re a dumby, you’ll never be good’, and self 2 would say, ‘common man, you got this, just hit the ball harder’. Does that make sense? We often beat ourselves down and then Self 2 takes over and builds ourselves back up. The most common BS people tell themselves is that they’ll never be good at anything.

“If you tell yourself often enough that you are a poor server, a kind of hypnotic process takes place. It’s as if Self 2 is being given a role to play – the role of bad server – and it plays it to the hilt, suppressing for the time being its true capabilities. Once the judgmental mind establishes a self-identity based on its negative judgments, the role-playing continues to hide the true potential of Self 2 until the hypnotic spell is broken. In short, you start to become what you think.”1

That’s a long quote, but I needed it in there so you could understand where Gallway is coming from. We all use cop-outs. “I’m not smart enough, I’m too old, I can’t do that, I can’t remember that…” You’re only hurting yourself AND that’s before you’ve even tried to do whatever you’re setting yourself up for failure. Why would you do that to yourself?

The minute you begin to doubt yourself before you’ve even taken action is the minute you’ve lost. A lot of this spawns from the fact that we’re always judging ourselves. We’re always trying to judge ourselves positively or negatively. We never want negative things… so we avoid them all together. If I think I can’t do something, then I better not do it because I don’t want to scold myself for failing. Do you see how you can destroy yourself with that mindset?

“It is important to remember that not all remarks are judgmental. Acknowledgment of one’s own or another’s strengths, efforts, accomplishments, etc., can facilitate natural learning, where as judgement interfere.”2

Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror and recognize your faults or weaknesses. Recognize them and then get rid of those thoughts. The reinforcements you can give yourself from acknowledging your strengths will build you up and make you so much stronger. Ultimately, you’re putting more trust into Self 2… the doer. Stop always listing to Self 1 because that person can be destructive.

Think about yourself or someone you know that is ‘self destructive’ in their thought process. We all know someone like this… honestly, we probably know a lot of people like this. Become self aware… Stop reading and close your eyes for 30 seconds and reflect on these sentences. Good! These negative patterns of thinking can really take a toll on people.

 “I have found that when players break their habitual patterns, they can greatly extend the limits of their own style and explore subdued aspects of their personality.”3

Gallway used tennis to paint these images and relate sports to thought processes. If you can change your pattern while playing a sport, you can change your thought process. It’s rather simple, but it takes work and self awareness. If you’re not good at a spot, what do you do? Good! Practice. If you tell yourself that you’re not good at something, what do you do? Right! Stop telling yourself that. This isn’t rocket science. Become self aware of your destructive mindset and really help move you forward. We’re all guilty of it.

Get in the habit of not doing it. Talk positive about yourself. There’s a bunch of cheesy saying out there, ‘if you can believe it, you can achieve it’. It’s true. All of these things require you to change something. Change, itself, is scary.

“…they are changed by people who had the courage to experiment outside the boundaries of the existing doctrine and trust in their own learning process. The second reason is to suggest that the prescribed way of making a change itself needs to change.”

I’ve played sports my entire life so it’s very easy to relate this book to my life. If I got coached on how to do something different, I did it. Often time, it would give me the outcome I was looking to accomplish. Changing my stance, or hand placement in football is very difficult. Telling myself that I could do it made it that much easier. Start listening to Self 2 so that you can over come your mind!

 

There’s for from me to come about; The Inner Game Of Tennis

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Mentors Make A Difference – Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Own Success

power of whoHow often do you ask your network for help?  How often do people ask you for help? How often do you help people with their problems? I think these questions help determine where you’re at in establishing your ‘who’ network. We’re all someone to somebody… but it depends where you’re at in each relationship. It’s kinda like leveling up in a video game. Some relationships, you’re a level 10, while in other relationships you’re a level 1. Make sense?

“Mentors make a difference. The people with whom you associate will, in large measure, determine the level of your success and failure in life. Remember, everyone is an influencer.”1

I reach out to a select group of people that I consider influencers when I have questions and need help. I also have a group of people that reach out to me when they need help. It’s ever evolving and we’re all helping each other. You’d truly be amazed at the conversations we have and how appreciative we are of each others times. Hardly, if ever, am I upset that I need to take a call from someone in my network.

One of the beauties of having mentors and being a mentor is that those people have typically been in your shoes before. You can ask them a question and they’re going to give you an answer which is backed up by experience. They’ll help you figure out those tough questions you keep asking yourself. Maybe you’re at a cross road in your journey and you need a few ears to listen to your worry’s. Maybe you’ve taken a detour to our dream and they’ll help you see that the next decision is coming.

“Remember, a detour is not permanent. It’s not the road to your destiny. It’s a necessary but temporary side route. Perhaps there are some things you need to acquire to learn.”2

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Maybe your next job isn’t the ‘dream’ job, but you gain experience in management and making decisions. Those two things could get you earn your next role, which in your dream job. You never really know until you try. I think it’s important to understand that the decisions we make, we always have a choice in making them. With any given situation, you need to be optimistic on the outcome.

You need to find something to be positive about! There has to be something in your situation you can grow from. Having a negative outlook is only going to crush your dreams. What happens when your dreams are crushed…You become complacent and give up.

“Negative ‘self-talk’ is an assault on your dreams. Don’t put up with it! Most people are so accustomed to it they don’t even notice its intrusion. They let it sneak in and ruin their potential for success by causing them to quit too soon.”3

Negative talk really pisses me off. When people use excuses before they even try is truly frustrating. Stop giving yourself a way out. Stop giving up the opportunity to do something different. It’s crap. You’re not going to get anywhere if you talk down at yourself. Do you think anyone that has even been successful told themselves that they suck?

NO! I’m sure you see all of that motivational stuff online everyday. Start living that stuff. You’d be surprised what comes from being positive and you giving yourself positive reinforcement. Take one step forward each day and you’ll continuously be getting better.

“Destiny, disguised as spontaneous moments, has a way of disregarding your current personal agenda to make necessary course corrections. These unexpected, serendipitous interruptions are designed to have the delightful effect of redirecting your trajectory. Sometimes these corrections aren’t readily apparent.”4

That’s an Ah-Ha Moment right there! Look at all of the successful people you’ve ever met in your life… now ask yourself whats so different about them. What did they do to get to where they are now? What makes them so special? Leading up to this quote should paint a picture as to why they’re different. They’re positive, they’re taking action, they’re propping themselves up, they’re asking for help, they have mentors, they’re open the change and they accept it… The list can go on.

When you find someone that does these things, you’ll know you need them to join your ‘who’ network. The continuous growth and support you can receive from each other is so empowering. First, you need to get into the habit of giving.

“Giving is such an essential part of the Power of ‘WHO!’ Giving  unconditionally release joy within you that you never knew existed. What would the world be like if everyone helped their ‘who’ World internationally? Once we change our paradigm from ‘Me first,’ ‘Me alone,’ and ‘I can do it by myself,’ to ‘How can I help you?’ ‘What do you need?’ and ‘Yes. I will help,’ then everything in our lives will change for the better.”5

Depending on where you’re at in following my journey of writing, you will have previously read my write about this. I’ve written about this more than fives time and I will probably write about it another five times this year. Do you know why so many people write about helping others? Because all of these people are successful and they’ve all done this in their path to success.

You don’t get to where you want to go without helping others get to where they want to go too. We all need help at some point in our journey, so be the first one to help someone in need. The good things you do now, and everyday, will only continuously help you now and in the future.

 

Get ‘The Power of Who’ on Amazon.

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

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Your Network is Powerful… You Already Know This!

power of whoThe Power of Who… WOW! I can’t even begin to express to you the power of the message within this book. It’s simple, right? I’ll mail you my copy if you want read it… that’s how serious I am about the value this book has to offer. Bob Beaudine does an incredible job walking you through The life cycle of the Power of Who. First and foremost;

“Just Begin. If you have a dream, it’s going to take some creative thinking, strategizing, and good, old-fashioned hard work to bring it into reality. Set your course then stick to it even in the face of adversity or setback. Don’t wait for some great benefactor to reorganize your genius or talent and being to to fund and promote you. If you do, you’ll likely be waiting your entire life.”1

I love it man! Just do it…. just go. Look what I did. It’s been exactly 7 months since I’ve started this journey and I can’t even begin to tell you the success that has come from this. You wouldn’t believe the opportunities that have presented themselves. ‘Hip Hip Hooray Jordan… Look at you… What about me?’

You gotta start! I have some friends, which are apart of my ‘who’ network that weren’t last year, that have DONE the exact same thing as myself. When we talk… we always laugh because we’re blown away by how far we’ve come. Gives me chills. It’s so simple! As you develop these relationship and people see you growing, they want to join in and be apart of the success. We often surround ourselves with other like ourselves. I truly believe that if you put good energy out, you’ll get good energy back.

“It’s almost tribal. All of the sudden you have access and favor that you haven’t had in other streams with other people. You have friends and friends of friends who will help you simple because the feel you’re part of them they are part of you, and you like each other. There exists a natural preference. Pay attention. Stay alert.”2

You HAVE to be self aware of these things. If you’re just cruising through life doing stuff at your own pace, you won’t get far. You’re going to need something from someone, somewhere. Find those people that will help build you up… Obviously, you’ve got to give to receive. It’s an incredible feeling when you know who’s in your tribe! Don’t take that lightly.

Living in the age of social networking, texting, emailing… and however you can remove the personal interaction to get more done, people forget about the personal side of life. If we don’t take the time to have ‘friend’ conversations with our ‘who’, how are we ever supposed to help them get to where they want to go?

“When we allow others access to our personal world, we give them the opportunity to see into us in ways we’re not able to see ourselves. Help other see the potential you see in them and allow others to give you clues about what they see in you. Everyone involved will enjoy the view.”3

Recently, I befriended some people that are rock stars in my network. Now that we get to see into one another’s personal lives, the power of who becomes even greater. Instead of having conversation all of the time about work/business, we have conversation around family and events. We talk about goals and how we can help one another. We bounce ideas off of each other and look for honest feedback.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort and time… you just gotta do it. These people I talk about, these ‘who’ have someway helped me; as I’ve helped them. It’s a mutual relationship where both parties WANT to help each other. These ‘who’ have been my ‘bridges’.

“The ‘what‘ in life will take you only so far. Sooner or later you’ll come to a chasm you can’t cross without someone’s help. That’s the ‘who‘ I’m talking about. People are ‘bridges‘ you must cross to get where you want to go. You can stay on the other side if you choose, but you need to understand that your ‘what‘ will never come into play until your ‘who‘ brings you across.”4

You can’t go at this stuff all alone. There’s that old say, ‘It takes a village to raise a kid’… It takes a ‘who’ network to help build you up. Within that network, you’ll find some people that you watch from afar. You want to learn from them, or be like them or do something similar to them. Right? You’re just figuring out how you can do that.

I’m always looking at ‘the best’ and trying to figure out how I can do what they’re doing but better. They’ve got these processes in place and they’re successful, so how can I do something similar with my own flare. Why recreate the wheel if someone else already had a blueprint?

“It takes study and practice to become skilled in the dream you’re pursuing. When you find that job you love and are willing to pay the price to become the absolute best at it, then your own unique style and genius will begin to take over and create a new story line that’s even better than the one you mirrored. So, be clear about what you want, and mirror the best!”5

How often do you pitch yourself in the mirror? How often do you do presentations out loud mimicking successful speakers? Continuously being self aware and critiquing yourself will make you better. When you’ve got someone to look up to, that’s already successful, take tidbits from them. I think it’s a compliment!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know | Bob Beaudine

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Social Selling is an Investment

socialsellingI’ve come to the conclusion that you MUST read Social Selling by Tim Hughes! Absolutely, 100%, you need to read this. There’s only a small population of ‘social sellers’ that know how to do it… so the other 99% can benefit immensely from this book. All of the Ah-Ha Moments within this book will help you in your job!

“To be a social seller is not about how much you post and when. It is also not about how much of the company content you can throw at the wall in hope that it will stick. A Social Seller is a helper.”1

Your goal is to help people during the buying process. If you reach out over a social network and tell them how cool your product is, that is NOT social Selling. Seeing someone ask a question on a forum and you immediately bombarding them with information isn’t social selling either. Your goal is to help them with their issue. Perhaps send them an article. Image if you were to complain on Twitter about your experience with a service and then the competitor said “you should buy from me”. How would that make you feel?

… Exactly… You’d be like WTH. Social Selling takes time and it isn’t something you’ll see the ROI over night. You can’t rush the natural process because you’ll break it.

“In short, social selling is an investment. Your company incurs costs today, but social selling delivers benefits for many months and years to come. By investing in training, technology, and pipeline today, you’re setting your team up for success in the future.”2

It’s true… which can be scary to any sales organization. Most sales leaders in large companies know the breakdown between phone calls, emails, meeting, opportunities and closed revenue. If you pump out 100 calls a day, you’re going to close X amount of business by the end of the year. Those numbers are partially still true. We’re finding that more and more conversations are starting later in the sales process after the prospect has already done their research.

By Social Selling, you’re able to get yourself into the playing field while the prospect is doing their research. Maybe the prospect is just evaluating the market. If they see you as ‘adding value’ to their network and providing insight about the industry, they might come to you with questions. When I want to buy a new product… guess who I ask! My network. They’re going to give me the truth.

“Social Selling is about carefully approaching the right people, slowly and in a considered fashion, one to one, with the correct message. It is not about plastering a ‘good enough’ message over a huge audience, hoping one will be interrupted in such a way that they bite.”3

I’m sure you’ve seen those posts online. “I’ve got the best product, who’s ready to buy?! #Xproduct” THAT is not social selling. That just an example of someone being lazy and seeing if someone will bite. It doesn’t work. Go ahead and try it and let me know how it goes for you.

As long as your talking about your company/product honestly and not only pumping out corporate information, your network will trust you. With corporations take control of everything you post, you’ll get lost in the noise. I’ve done it… I’ve learned first hand.

“Just think of the free advertising your company would get if you allowed your employees to talk passionately about working for you, the pride they have in your products and services, and how they like to serve and excite your customers.”4

This is especially true with the millennial generation, the social platforms we have and the likelihood someone always going to have their phone in their hand. The minute something good happens at work, someone will send a tweet or share an article. People love to brag about the breakfasts/dinners they go to with their employer. I can’t tell you how many times people would post pictures about being a cool company because of the free breakfast (everyday).

Not only is that a sweet example of social recruiting, but companies also want to do business with cool companies.

In conclusion to Social Selling by Tim Hughes, he hits the nail on the head!

“We also don’t foresee a complete switch to social; it will run parallel to and complement the use of the phone and email. I’m sorry, but people who tell you that cold calling is dead are wrong, and are in fact being detrimental to the sales profession, as people believe them.”5

Cold calling and emailing will always be a part of the picture. These tools will never go anywhere. Finding a smooth medium between Social Selling, calling and emailing is the goal. Tim does an incredible job giving examples throughout the book on how to start implementation Social Selling strategies. Do yourself a favor and pick up the book on Amazon!

 

Social Selling | Tim Hughes

Connect with Tim on Twitter – @Timothy_Hughes

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Lead Generation Campaign Planning Considerations and essentials

Audience

What does the business want or need more of? For many it’s clients placing bigger orders rather than candidates or one off buyers. In my experience of working with recruitment agencies, they crave clients who want to pay them to do the recruiting work, but they have plenty of candidates already. The strange thing is though, so often a lot of their content and lead generation campaigns are focused on the candidates, or not on the actual business goals.

Start your lead generation campaign planning with consideration of the key business goals and objectives. Do you want more clients, what is it that you need?

As soon as you have this in mind, work through your buyer personas.

Buyer Persona

Ask yourself, your team and sales reps, who is the perfect client or customer. In relation to the business goals, if you could tailor-make a client what would they want, need, know, like, dislike and gather as much information on them as you can.

Think about:

  • Who are they
  • What do they do
  • Who do they do it for
  • What is the benefit of what they do
  • What don’t they do
  • What are their challenges
  • How can you help them

This might be a whiteboard or two’s worth of information but it’s important to sit the team down and drum up this information and ideas.

Content

There are several aspects of content planning for any lead generation campaign. Firstly, consider what the lead magnet will be, the piece of content people will download in exchange for their contact details. Make the topic and content of this as compelling as possible, really focus on solving your buyer persona’s problem and making it important that they download it.

In every lead generation campaign I have ever ran or experienced there has been at least a number of blog posts created to support the campaign.

My work in the week I wrote this post has been planning a minimum of 3 blog posts to support each lead generation campaign I am creating and working on for my clients. This in itself is a low number of blog posts to support a campaign. I’ve boosted the number of posts to support my campaigns for Live And Social so that we now use 7 blog posts to support a landing page that will obtain contact details of those who want to download my piece of content.

Campaign Management

You need a manager to oversee the campaign and make sure all assets to the campaign are being created and on time.

A task management tool like https://asana.com/ has come in handy for me in the past and has been very helpful for me of late, in my own lead generation campaign planning and execution.

Follow Up

I have always tried to include email communication with any leads I have generated before following up with a phone call. I have used 5 part email automation series dripped to leads to nurture them ready for a call.

Consider how ready you feel the lead is for a phone call, and what they have received from you. Do they know enough that means you have earned the right to call them?

Lead Generation Campaign Planning Considerations

Video

If you’re going to include video in your lead generation campaign the likelihood is the costs of producing the whole campaign will rise quite sharply, unless you have in-house capability. Depending on your buyer persona and audience, industry and a number of other factors you may decide against using video in your lead generation campaign planning.

I have used video before and decided to not use it in some campaigns, this is one thing you do need to decide internally. There’s no right or wrong answer about using video, but deeply consider the reach and value you will get for it.

Advertising

Again, you could say advertising is a must for a lead generation campaign, the same as video. It depends on your general reach and site traffic level. If you have a great email list with lots of segments and high website traffic this is less important. If you have less of a contact base already then advertising may be more important.

All Content Produced internally

I have led lead generation campaigns that have been angled towards guest writers contributing to an industry report which was the lead magnet in the campaign before and the appeal of “influencers” speaking is great. You do not need to produce all of the content for the campaign internally, I have used guest contribution before and interviews with team members as well as produced content myself. A good mixture of this will see a nice piece of content with lots of perspective come through.

Roundup

In essence, plan you needs to talk to you and create something that can start the conversation. Follow up with email series and content, and then be ready to pick up the phone and initiate a value-adding call. Value first!

ccQwyAqVYou may want to dive into some video and advertising but I do not think it’s vital. I’d love you to tweet me  (@OllieWhitfield_ )or get in touch on linkedin and let me know how you’re getting on, ask question and give feedback. Don’t forget to share this blog post.

 

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Sales Hacker Twitter Chat With Tim Hughes

q1 q2 q3
 twitter photoBuying has changed, prospects
and customers are now
on-line. we (as salespeople) have
to be there too. Social selling is change
to sales in reaction to that – its NOT
Linkedin or some shinny new
object, change in behaviour
twitter photoSalespeople need to get on social
and start listening
– listen to what others are
doing, listen to customers,
competitors. In my book I
recommend companies get a SCM
social community manager like
@gabevillamizar
 twitter photoContent is key, everybody is
selling vanilla ice cream and
you have chocolate ice cream,
which content will they consume?
q4 q5 q6
 twitter photoIn my book we use research
that shows that people now
ask their networks questions
and as a sales person u need
to be there #SalesHackerChat
 twitter photoYou must think “Community before
commerce” at all times, you must
stop building followers and build
a community. Always research (and
connect) to people before you meet
them, always know about people.
Social enables you to build better
and deeper relationships with
people / prospects and customers.
 twitter photoEveryday is a school day …
keep reading, keep learning
and keep sharing … trust
me it will attract people
q7 q8
twitter photo I’m new biz sales guy so
love opening up new accounts,
creating relationships and
closing the deals, is that
all of it? 🙂 #SalesHackerChat
twitter photoInfluence attracts people to
you, community gets you
recommended, there is also a
chapter on tools Buy
Social Selling here.

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Why A Successful Career Requires Great Marketing Skills!

thumbnail_Simon Gray - Career Codex (1)

As a professional career coach and job search strategist I work with clients from all over the world to help them navigate the job market successfully.

One of the challenges many of my clients face at the outset is a failure to grasp the importance of marketing skills in their ability (having defined the job they really want) to actually go out there to find and secure it.

I’m an avid student of all things marketing. Having started my own recruitment business just before the financial crisis of 2008 took effect, I had to become good student, and fast! I learnt my craft in the trenches and five years on from setting up, using the skills and techniques I developed, secured my business the top story on BBC National News at Ten (the primary news programme in the UK).

Starting a business in a recession meant I had a limited marketing budget, and little chance of competing in advertising spend with the major and more established players. I had to think differently to gain my business recognition and reputation. It’s a similar strategy I advise when it comes to successful job search.

Traditional advertising is expensive and extremely competitive. To be heard above all the noise you have to have the resources to shout louder. What’s more, today’s consumer has learnt to filter out the majority of advertising messages, which makes the task of being heard even harder.

It’s exactly the same when it comes to the job market. Placing your resume on job boards or registering with professional recruiters, and then sitting back and waiting for things to happen is no recipe for success. It’s a reactive approach where you’re not in control and more to the point; it’s what everyone else is doing. It’s like swimming in the ocean and expecting to be the fish that gets caught. It might happen, but probability dictates it might take a while!

Modern marketing emphasises the importance of ‘inbound’ and education. Creating a brand that informs and educates potential

Customers is how the best in the business are now doing things. As consumers we all have access to the Internet and the ability to research online ahead of any purchasing decision. It’s no longer an organization’s job to sell to us; it’s their job to educate us. This builds engagement, trust and loyalty in advance of any decision to buy, and when the consumer is ready, they’ll raise their hand.

It’s the same in the job market. I know from my recruitment days that a high proportion of jobs are never advertised or placed with professional recruiters. They’re filled through recommendation and referral, which comes with many advantages for an employer, including reduced pain, cost and uncertainty. I call this place the ‘hidden market’ and it’s where smart jobseekers fish to uncover opportunities before anyone else, and by definition at a time where they have a higher probability of success.

An extension of the hidden market is LinkedIn. Employers no longer have to rely on job boards or professional recruiters to find the talent they need in their organizations. They have a database that’s up to date, right at their fingertips. They’re out fishing for the best people, often before they publicly declare their intention to hire.

The smart candidate utilizes LinkedIn’s online tools, including published posts and group discussions, to build their personal brand. In addition, offline, they build a reputation in their sector through networking, media commentary and pubic speaking.

Back in 2008, I began saying ‘yes’ to what scared me and it all started with a nervous interview on local radio. Continuing to say yes and putting myself out there, eight years on, has led to a multitude of opportunities. The proof is in the pudding, and the reason Jordan asked me to write this blog post was because of something that caught his eye online.

To summarize, just as marketers have had to evolve, the modern jobseeker needs to evolve too. Whatever your level or industry sector, we all need a personal brand that informs, educates, and in the process, entertains our target audience.

To connect with Simon Gray on LinkedIn

 

For information on Career Codex

To get hold of a copy of Simon Gray’s book, Super Secrets of Successful Executive Job Search

Bio:

Simon Gray is a chartered accountant, entrepreneur, former professional recruiter and founder of Career Codex. He works with clients from all over the world to help them define, find and secure the job opportunity they really want. The Career Codex methodology is about being in proactive control of your job search every step of the way, and at its core emphasises the importance of psychology for successful job search.

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3 Things to Improve Your LinkedIn Experience

1. Personalize!

Think of LinkedIn like a real-life networking event. If you walk in and try and tell everybody about your product right away, people are going to be annoyed. They’ll avoid speaking with you all together. Same thing goes for LinkedIn! Timothy Hughes (@Timothy_Hughes) talks about this in his book “Social Selling”.

bad invitePersonalize your message to whomever you’re trying to connect with. DO NOT leave the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. Also, don’t try to sell them on your product on the ‘introduction’ screen.

Instead, lead with something genuine! I like to comment something nice about their experience or background. Maybe we have mutual connections in common. Perhaps they’d be an asset to my network because we’re in the same industry. Whatever the case may be, take an extra second and personalize it. You’d be surprised at what people have to say in return.

That took me an entire 3 minutes to look up the most recent post Jason shared, personalize the approach and send the connection request. Now, when Jason accepts, he’s going to see my personalized message and think, ‘Hmm… This guy actually took a few minutes to be relevant. I wonder what he does.’ This could be the beginning to a long and prosperous relationship and I could even help him with a problem someday.

2. Save the Math Equations For Facebook

If you truly care about developing your network, providing value and establishing yourself as an industry thought leader, don’t bother engaging with things that are a waste of time. They seem harmless and it’s an easy way to get a lot of new profile views and connections, but all its takes is one bad ‘like’ and you could ruin your reputation to a potential influencer or buyer. Because… as I’m sure you’ve all seen, you accept a new connection and your feed gets filled with junk.

hide unfollowFor most of us, I don’t want to clog my feed with silly things. Once I see someone like, share or comment on something irrelevant to my ‘world’, I either ‘hide this particular update’ or ‘unfollow user’. I don’t have time to scroll through my feed and see something irrelevant. I go to Facebook and Instagram for that stuff.

Think of it this way; would your boss, mentor or favorite leader find your post worthwhile? If not… then don’t like or comment.

3. Show Your Appreciation!

When someone comments or shares your content, send them over a quick thank you. Envision this: Karen shares my article with her network of 2,000 people. My name, and article have just been introduced to her network. That’s a completely new audience that I’ve been introduced to… Maybe someone in Karen’s network has some questions for me about what I do for a living.

You never know the opportunities that can present themselves unless you do the little things. All of these tips only take a little time to do but will pay off tenfold. If the person never connects with you, even though you personalized it, don’t get discouraged! You can always remove your connection request and try again. (LinkedIn Article on how to do that)

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#Social Selling – Personalize, Influence & Resonate With Your Buyers

511zYH2TZILThe art of Social Selling is a continuous process that sales people do. There is no one way of doing it correctly! However, there are a lot of ways you should do it… Notice the word; should. Tim uses a great example to paint a picture of what you shouldn’t do! Image you show up to a networking event (in person event), walk in the front door and yell:

“…’Hi, I’m Tim and I have this great telephone system!’, then launch into my pitch… I’m sure this would silence the room…”1

Nobody would want to talk to you. Everybody would think you’re nuts! This goes for Social Selling and reaching out to people on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. The minute you connect with them, you blast them your sales pitch. We’re all guilty of it… because it’s the easiest approach. We think, ‘Oh, they accepted… they must know I want to sell them xyz, I’ll pitch them now.’

Good God, no! This is such a turn off. Just wait until it happens to you. This goes for recruiters too! Don’t send your canned, junk, message via LinkedIn after I connect. I’ve got my cell number, my email, my twitter handle and my WeChat information on my LinkedIn. I’ve NEVER had a recruiter hit me up on one of those networks. WHY? Laziness perhaps. Try one of those mediums and watch how fast your response time is.

But, most of all, personalize your message! What does EVERYBODY and their mother talk about?! Personalize your message, dangit. As you build your network, reach and connections, you’ll need to begin connecting with ‘influencers’. You don’t have to… but when someone with 30k+ (industry specific) connections on LinkedIn likes/comments on your post, you’re going to gain a lot of exposure. Makes sense right…? You share something that someone loves and they share it. Your network + their network = reach. Simple… In building rapport with ‘influencers’;

“Influencers will want a personalized message just like everybody else. Use your best active listening techniques. Read the material they write and when you connect with them, sell them the parts you like best of all. For example, tell them ‘I’ve read your blog and can really relate with the Networking event theme.’2

Everybody likes a nice pat on the back. Tell them something nice about their LinkedIn profile, share some of their content on other network, comment on their website… the list is endless. I will tell you, from personal experience; influencers aren’t just sitting around waiting for you to like their ‘stuff’. They aren’t going to respond at your first attempt. It took me over a year to connect with a very well known CEO… then, it took me another six months to ask the correct type of question to get a response. It isn’t easy, but it was so worth the wait.

In the attempt to connect with ‘influencers’, we also need to focus on our influence. If you’re not a thought leader, trusted advisor or credible source, how are buyers supposed to trust you in the sales process? I think it depends on the type of buyer… but, if you can engage with prospects on multiple platforms, you’ll build credibility. Or, send over an article you wrote to a prospect and see how much credibility you gain! In terms of influence;

“We have two jobs to do. First, our own influence needs to increase. Second, the influence of others who are not helpful to us needs to decrease. Controlling influence is also a constant process.”3

This is a VERY slow process. It takes a long time to create and if you don’t do it the ‘right’ way, you can destroy your influence in the matter of minutes. A quick guide to establishing influence doesn’t exist. So… you better be in this thing for the long game! You can’t fake your way to the top… sorry.

I’ve found that creating a time frame of when I want to execute on things is very beneficial. That way, while I’m building my network, brand and connection base, I can continuously push out content and engage with people. Creating content is probably the most difficult part only because it’s the most time consuming. But, once you find a topic that gets a lot of engagement, you feel rewarded.

“When on social networks, it is essential that you create resonance in some way. Everyone on a social network is having their attention attracted by something – your job is to be the one who attracts it.”4

#Boom – Plain and simple. Become relevant, resonate with them and provide some value in some way. If you’re in HR sales.. talk about law changes or compliance. If you’re in travel, show them pictures and top 10 places to visit. Sell cars… show someone safest/fastest cars. Just resonate with your buyers! Each social channel has it’s own ‘voice’… so make sure you’re speaking the right language.

 

Don’t worry; There’s more from me to come about:

Social Selling | Tim Hughes

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#Social Selling – What is it and Why Does it Matter?

socialsellingIf you haven’t picked up a copy of “Social Selling’ by Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds, you’re missing out. (Quick – Amazon awaits) This is a HUGE BUZZ word right now in the sales world. But… do you know why? Of Course you do… cough cough. As we continue to develop within the information age, there is so much ‘stuff’ readily available… all the time. Website’s, content, pictures, white papers, videos, demos, chat bots, customer service teams, review sites, and your social networks. But what about the sales guy? Poof! Who needs ’em?

There’s a handful of statistics out there that say, ‘65% of buyers do their research before contacting salespeople’, ‘50% of the sales process is already done before the sales person is brought to the table.’ WHY?

“Businesses are now finding they achieve better results by asking employees to use social networks to research solutions to problems in a way that removes bias”1

Kinda scary right?! Our future buyers are going to listen to what everybody else has to say and not come to me with questions… Obviously I’m biased… I’ve got the best product and service out there, ‘said every sales person, ever’. Companies and individuals don’t always want to hear about the best features and benefits from a sales person. Often times, they want to hear about what’s gone wrong. A sales person isn’t going to tell a prospect whats gone wrong lately… that’s sales suicide. So, the buyer is going to the internet.

It’s YOUR job to make sure they’re reading the right content. It’s YOUR job to continuously provide value to them while they’re going through the process. You need to find where your buyers are, and engage with them on their channel. They’re not going to come to you… so you’ve got to go to them.

“…Companies need to find and create a community so they move from carrying their own torch, to having a community that carries it for them. They becomes the lord of the manor, with customers, employees and even better still a wider network working to their common good.”2

It’s one thing to share all types of content… and it’s another thing to only share your company’s content. Don’t do the later. It makes you look biased. You’re just regurgitating the same stuff they post. It makes you look like a robot and nobody wants to buy from someone that only shares content about their company. That being said, sharing your company’s content is a good thing and it’s a great start. But you’ve got to add other ‘stuff’ or else your network is going to recognize that and they’ll stop listening to you.

Tim Hughes has been in the sales and Social Selling game for a long time. There’s a reason why he wrote the book! He did a survey on the ROI of Social Selling and…

“The number one piece of advice I received was to know your target markets, listen, engage and interact with them. When you build trust with people, they will also open their networks to you.”3

Ah-Ha! Makes sense, right? It’s 100% true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been introduced to someone because of what I’ve shared made an impact on them. People talk… a lot! If you share valuable information on line, eventually that information will be shared offline. The possibilities are endless. I could share one article on a specific HR topic that catches the attention of a CHRO. Then they share it with their network… now, imagine the klout that person has within their industry! The snowball starts rolling down the hill and you’ve just tripled your reach. You’ve just made an impact on so many more people!

Now, it’s your job to reach out to all of those people that you’ve come in contact with. DON’T try and sell them right away… that makes you look bad! Show some appreciation and ask them how you can provide more value. Often times, I’ve found, that I’ll get a, “oh, I didn’t know you sold xyz” or “we’re looking at switching this system.. any advice?”. Yippy! You’ve just found yourself a brand new opportunity that wouldn’t have transpired any other way that sharing content.

“Building your online profile and community means you need to talk with many strangers; these people may be prospects, competitors and influencers already.”4

I love the process of Social Selling! It takes a lot of time and energy to build up these networks and trust of others. Don’t get discouraged. ONE huge issue people make; They spend all of their time on Social Selling for a month… realize they aren’t going to hit their numbers and say, ‘it doesn’t work’. Baloney! Social Selling can’t be the only thing you’re doing to drive business. Social Selling compliments calling, emailing and knocking on doors. The process of social selling is; develop trust, provide value, engage with people and then take the conversation offline. Once you’re offline, begin your sales process.

Social Selling is the act of getting in front of the buyer while or before they’re doing their due-diligence. Because, as stated earlier, the sales person is being brought into the conversation at the last minute to put the pricing together.

 

Don’t worry; There’s more from me to come about:

Social Selling | Tim Hughes

Oh yeah… get this! Tim and I are having a chat next week via Twitter. Come join the fun.

SalesHacker-Tim

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Sales Hacker Twitter Chat With Gabe Villamizar

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Sales Hacker: Question 1 – What is your #1 must have prospecting tool?

Gabe Villamizar: NovaDotAi – It allows for email personalization. It automatically searches for peoples common things you have with them and it adds it into the email.

Sales Hacker: Question 2 – Do you spend more time calling, email, or knocking on doors? and Why?

Gabe Villamizar: Find out where your buyers spend most their time. What preferred method of communication they prefer. Communication with them there. Whatever it takes to get their attention and be top of mind and close deals.

Sales Hacker: Question 3 – Which platform is your favorite for starting a conversation with buyers?

Gabe Villamizar: LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s awesome. With LinkedIn, I have optimized my profile to be a thought leader. I’ve updated my profile with certain skills, with certian displays and keywords. I want my buyers to trust me and once they trust me, they’ll buy from me. Optimize your profile so that you can appeal to your buyer.

Sales Hacker: Question 4 – How should sales reps approach messaging when prospecting on Twitter and LinkedIn?

Gabe Villamizar: You need to know before you call, email or social sell your buyers. You need to know their pain points and processes. Find out as much as you can and add value and be visible. Jack Kosakowski taught me that. I hate it when someone calls me and asks me what my goals are. My life is so out there and you can see what I’m looking to accomplish. A good sales rep will identify what can help an organization.

Sales Hacker: Question 5 – How do you choose which accounts you’re going to prospect for the week?

Gabe Villamizar: We’re a huge in Account Based Marketing. We grabbed historical data and most the most ideal deals we’ve closed. What type of accounts did we close. Find the sweet spot and whom was the decision maker. You want to target them and choose the top 100 accounts. Choose at least 6 to 7 buyers depending on the company size. Bigger account = more people. We aren’t targeting all accounts but lets split them up and work on 20 accounts first.

Sales Hacker: Question 6 – Do you have set days where you only prospect on? and Why?

Gabe Villamizar: Every company and industry have different buyers, which have different online and offline behaviors. Having said that, I don’t believe there are “best days” & “times” that pertain to most buyers. Each rep should find that on their own!

Follow GABE @gabevillamizar

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The Power of Who – Don’t Let Fear of Failure Stop You!

power of whoI’ve seen “The Power of Who” first hand… It’s continuously happening to me and other people within my network. It’s absolutely amazing and I hope that you can feel it too. Previously stated, the hardest part is getting started. Asking for help… you’ve got to do it!

“They’re here to help you and you’re here to help them. It just might turn out that someone you know right now will be in a position to open an important door for you later, perhaps at a time when you need it most.”1

You NEVER know what will come of it, unless you engage with your people. A friend of a friend could help you land a huge sale or find you a new job. Get this: A dear friend of mine started reading my blog a few months back. Well, that friend passed along my blog to her boss. Now… I’ve been invited to speak at a function of theirs.

I’ve never done any type of public speaking like that before… but who cares. Public speaking is something that I want to do. That door is being opened… all because I started writing and sharing my content. If that trail of events doesn’t know your mind, I don’t know what will.

“Too many people start their dream search with a misstep. They focus mostly on the ‘what’ (what they want) and neglect the ‘who’ (those special friends or friends of friends who can help them).”2

Talking with your friends can help you figure these things out. Maybe someone can encourage you or be the voice of reason. Maybe a friend of yours knows recruiters that can help get your resume into companies. There’s a good chance that someone in your network has gone through a very similar experience as you. We’ve all been given our friends for a reason, why not use them for help?!

“…sometimes people you don’t even know (but who know of you) will act as advocates on your behalf. They open doors for you with a recommendation or reference. As a result you get your dream job or land a big client or get accepted into a program.”3

DUDE – Ah-Ha Moment! This should scream volumes. With the internet, social media and networking, you can create an incredible personal brand. Once you’ve got that built, the sky’s the limit! You’ve got to do it! You’ve got to get started on that thing you’ve been thinking about for the past few years.

Stop overthinking it and just go. Start small and get the ball rolling. You live and you learn. Failing is just another opportunity to learn. Gary Vee talking about losing every so often. After you lose, get over it and learn from it. Stop dwelling on the losses.

“Fear of failure keeps more people stuck in the safety of the status quo than anything else. They’re afraid the search will be futile.”4

Doing something new can be a little scary, but it’s also exhilarating! It’s what wakes me up everyday 30-60 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. My dreams are so freaking big that the second my eyes open up, I’m out of bed. Having been an athlete, growing up competing my entire life, I’ve experienced failure. Now, I’ve got really thick skin. I’ve also experienced wins.

I’m going to do whatever it takes to get that win and fear will never get in my way! You need to have the same attitude.

“…if you want to have something that you’ve never had before, you’ve got to be willing to do something that you’ve never done before!”5

Ah-Ha Moment right at you. Are you willing to do what it takes?! The idea is SIMPLE. The plan of action is what can be difficult. Why not ask someone that’s done it before to see if they can shed some light for you?

Once you can get your mind right, take the first step and begin chasing your dream again, the pieces will fall into place!

“The choice of what will happen to you is the results of all the little decisions you make everyday. So, make the best possible decision today, and tomorrow will arrive smiling at you. You’re not yet what you will become. The only way to get there is to be the best version of yourself today!”6

Man… read it over again. Copy and past that quote and put it on a sticky note on your computer. Do something to get your closer to your dream everyday. Make it happen baby!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know | Bob Beaudine

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How to Get Out of Your Own Way

I love reading motivational books! The amount of motivational sentences you can pull from these books is mind boggling. It’s time to change… it’s time for you to start doing! You’re busy… all day; work, family, life, traffic, kids, health, and the list goes on. You forget about your dreams and where you wanted to be in 5 years… and that was 5 years ago. You’ve lost focus on the big picture and became inundated with menial daily tasks. You’re stressed about the small stuff because you don’t know what else you should do.

“Many of us have gotten sidetracked and forgotten our original dream, spending our lives doing derivative work. This memory lapse has become epidemic. We have less and less time to calmly think about the direction our lives have taken and reflect on our current course.”1

This is your wake up call. Shake the cobwebs out, pick yourself up and recreate that dream you once had. Honestly, what $(KGrHqEOKkUE1pFpDe0FBNj+c,rg7Q--_35do you have to lose? I’ll use myself as an example; I started writing, obviously… I don’t have a writing degree… I think I’ve taken 3 writing classes my entire life, but here I am. You know why? Because I know that what I’m doing now is going to directly affect the path to my dreams.

If a door closes… don’t get discouraged. It’s just a message telling you that maybe that wasn’t the best option for you. We all get side tracked at sometime or another, but it’s up to you and your ‘who’, to get you back on your feet. Think of your ‘who’ as your network and your network’s’ network.

“One of the big lies many of us tell ourselves is that our current position in life disqualifies us from achieving our dreams and goals.”2

‘I’m too old. I’m too young.’ Whatever the excuse is… you’re only kidding yourself. It’s never too early and it’s never too late in life to begin walking on a path to your dreams. The future is coming whether you like it or not. You NEED to ask yourself, ‘Are the things I’m doing right now, steering me closer to my dreams or life I desire?’

Want to know what the hardest part is?! Getting started… Getting started is the hardest part when you decide that you’re going to change the outcome of your future. Finding the energy, courage and dedication to do something different. Now… I’m not telling you to quit your job; but I’m hoping you’ll start making small changes.

“Maybe you feel you lack the courage or self-confidence to start doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing. But you’ll be amazed at the sense of empowerment you feel as you take those first steps.; Things will start to fall into place. Life will begin to make sense again.”3

Things do fall into place! Put forth the effort and things will change. One thing that makes all of this possible is your ‘who’ network. These are the people that you’d call your friends or connections. In the information age, our networks can be huge! You could have thousands of connections on LinkedIn and all of those people could have thousands of connections. Potentially, your ‘who’ network could be massive. People that are in your network may not be willing to help you… but you don’t know until you ask.

“The good news is ‘You Got ‘WHO’!’ Everyone in your network has their ‘who’ network and everyone in that ‘who’ network has their circle of ‘who’ friends and on and on it goes. It’s exponential!”4

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked for favors, or help and someone has responded. People are willing to help… you just have to ask. I’ve made incredible connections with people outside of my network because someone close to me facilitated an introduction. I’ve gotten job interviews and later received jobs because of someone in my ‘who’ network. I’ve spoken with CEO’s and decision makers within organizations that normally I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of.

People make the mistake of never reaching out and asking for help. You can’t take life on head first by yourself… I mean, you can, but it’s very difficult. Imagine this; starting your own business… Where do you turn to? I’d hope you’d reach out to anyone in your ‘who’ network that’s already started their own business. You can read material and be educated, but you don’t know what it’s like to go through the process of starting a business. Don’t be so stubborn.

“They’re here to help you and you’re here to help them. It just might turn out that someone you know right now will be in a position to open an important door for you later, perhaps at a time when you need it most.”5

Think about all of the times you’ve helped someone out or they’ve helped you out! Once you realize the power of ‘who’, and have that Ah-Ha Moment, the possibilities are endless. It’s never too late for anybody. Shift your mentality a little bit and the possibilities are endless.

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Less Talk; More Do!

  1. Recreate your dream
  2. Figure out how you can work towards that dream
  3. Start doing something that gets you towards that dream
  4. Examine your network and find people that you need to help
  5. ASK them for help

 

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know | Bob Beaudine

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Cover Letters Are Dead

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Even before I fell into the recruiting industry, I never believed in cover letters. Now that I have been immersed in the recruiting industry for years, I am a firm believer that cover letters are and will forever remain dead.

Here are just a few reasons that job-seekers should stop wasting their time crafting the ultimate cover letter.

1.  Recruiters Don’t Even Look at Cover Letters
Seriously, I can count on one hand how many times I have actually read through an applicant’s cover letter in my recruiting career.

What I have found is that the cover letters recruiters do tend to receive are very standard, boring, and oftentimes they are geared toward a different position or even worse – a different organization altogether.

Recruiters are really interested in looking at the substance in the resume, not reading a cover letter that speaks to capabilities.  We want to see actions, achievements, outcomes, work history, and an individual’s capabilities based on tangible evidence and skillset.

At the end of the day, it’s the resume or social media profile that is the key to an initial conversation with a recruiter – not the cover letter.

2.  Mobile Recruiting is Phasing Out Cover Letters
Job-seekers love simple job applications.

If it’s a one-click to apply option, that is even better.  More and more, mobile recruiting through platforms such as Indeed, Careerbuilder, and LinkedIn are enabling organizations and job-seekers to ease the process of applying to a job.

Organizations requiring prospective candidates to include a cover letter are simply limiting their pool of qualified talent. 

Although many organizations, recruiters, and/or hiring managers may argue that requiring a cover letter helps to see who is really serious about applying to a particular position – I believe this is an outdated philosophy, and once again will end up limiting an organization’s qualified talent pool.

Gone are the days of jumping through hoops to apply for a job.

3.  Social Media is Where It’s At – Seriously
I cannot speak for all recruiters, but I will tell you that I would much rather take a look at someone’s social media sites (specifically LinkedIn) than a cover letter any day of the week.

In fact, I will also argue that having a strong digital footprint is a very attractive quality for an applicant to possess – no matter the position or industry.

Additionally, I utilize social media to compare a candidate’s submitted resume to their listed experience on LinkedIn or other avenues.

Does it correlate?  Are there inconsistencies?  Are there red flags?

Plus, you can oftentimes get a stronger sense of intangible qualities such as a candidate’s personality, interests, and activities through their social media profiles – allowing the opportunity to get to know a candidate prior to having an initial conversation.

Fellow recruiters, hiring managers & all you job-seekers out there – how do you feel about cover letters?  Comment below.

 

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Remember Someone’s Name – Actively Listen and Show Appreciation

How to win friends and influence I’m always intrigued to listen and read new material on sales. The sales industry is always evolving and there’s always some new ‘guru’ telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. However, one thing that always stays the same is that people always like talking about themselves. If you’re talking more than the prospect/client, you’re doing something wrong. An additional Ah-Ha Moment you can add while you ask questions is using their name.

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”1

Recognizing someone by their name or remembering their name from previous interactions shows you care. You took the additional few seconds to remember their name. Think back to a time when someone said your name and it caught you off guard. There’s a coworker of mine that whenever he says hi, my name follows. It feels like a nice gesture rather than the old ‘how ya doin?’

Give it a shot and see if you surprise anyone. Caring about people and listening to them can really set you apart in the workplace. Not many people like the person that comes into the office and doesn’t talk to anybody.

“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.”2

Go past the traditional, ‘how was your weekend?’. I’ve found it very beneficial for me to get to know my implementation team well. I did exactly what Dale says to do. I’m interested in their work; I’m asking questions to engage a real conversation and am applauding their hard work. Guess what… next time I ask them for a favor, what do you think they’ll say? They are more than happy to help me out.

Typically, I like to position the question in a way so they can answer using their experience/expertise. Asking a yes/no question will get me my answer, but it won’t make them feel any different. We all want to be appreciated in some way or another so by allowing them to answer the question long form, I can give praise.

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. – William James” 3

Think of a time when someone made you feel important. It could be as simple as you helping someone create an email. Or maybe they had a questions about an internal process. Getting that ‘thank you’ or high five feels good!

Show appreciation more often and you might be amazed how people perceive you.

Admitting you’re wrong is a very difficult task. Nobody wants to be wrong… you feel defeated.

“You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire your opponent t be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.”4

I was meeting with a client that had been sold something we can’t actually do. He wasn’t very happy with the company… Apologizing and telling him I would fix it wasn’t doing the trick. I’m just another ‘sales guy’ that’s trying to rip off his company… But, once I told him we were wrong and it shouldn’t have happened, he stopped and apologized for overreacting.

It was interested to see the different reaction he had once I claimed we were wrong. Once that situation blew over, we had a civilized conversation. It happens… and life goes on.

“If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.”5

We’re all human and we make mistakes. It takes true guts to admit it and own the mistake. Don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from being successful!

 

There’s more from me to come:

How to Win Friends & Influence People | Dale Carnegie

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Four Ways to Increase Email Opens by 25%

emailmarketing_0How does your email resonate with your audience? Open rate is the strongest metric to identify how well your email is landing, and optimizing your open rate can make all the difference in your monthly revenue.

If you want to get your email past spam filters and grab the receiver’s interest, we have four sure-fire tactics to increase your email opens and allow you to connect with your market.

Subject Line

Think about the number of emails that land in your inbox every day, and which ones you delete the fastest. The emails that you never open are probably, 1. The most boring, 2. Not relevant, 3. Reeking of sales desperation, and 4. Don’t have your trust.

CAPS LOCK and “Urgent” have lost all meaning in email subjects. Your audience wants to connect with content that means something to them, and email that frequently demands their attention is no different. Your subject line should be compelling enough that they skip the delete key and take a closer look.

We’ve found that the most successful emails keep subject lines short (three words, or 50 characters or less). They regularly use fresh content, so a steady stream of the same subject line doesn’t bore your audience. Your email should deliver information that your audience can use—up your credibility by offering content that helps them in their day-to-day. Even if you’re asking to set up a meeting, use an upcoming industry event and offer content that gives them tips on how to prepare: Getting the Most Out of [event].

Successful email subject lines also use dynamic tags that tap sales intelligence and personalize your email based on the information you’ve collected about them.

Personalization

It’s time to put data collection to good use. [Dynamic tags] let you personalize your email subject line, based on what you already know about your audience.  The effectiveness of dynamic tags can vary between industries and professional roles, so you should test your formats and keep an eye on your winners.

If you’re tracking your audience’s activity on your website, dynamic tags can also highlight their place in the customer journey, and help you segment your audience. Be sure to review your email prior to sending to ensure the right information is populating, and avoid broken dynamic tags.

Technology

Take advantage of sales software to optimize your email content and sending patterns, and centralize the best of your data learnings to strengthen your entire sales team’s game.

 

Email Tracking is a great tool to sharpen your email process from a few different angles.

  • Use Email Tracking for an overview of your open rate, in a neat, easy-to-use interface
  • Customize your email with Email Tracking personalization tools.
  • Once you have tested, successful templates, you can use Email Tracking to share templates with your team.
  • While you work, keep track of all of your activity with the Email Tracking Salesforce integration.

There’s no reason not to use the best of technology to help you connect to your audience, and increase your email open rate.

Timing

The patterns of your email can really help you to establish credibility with your audience. Too frequent, and your email will go right in the trash. Not well timed, and it will get ignored. But you still want your email to be at the top of the list when your audience checks their inbox, and a healthy frequency does lead to successful engagement.

 

Set your email cadence by reviewing your open email data. Find the times and days of the week when your email is opened the most frequently, as well as the frequency rate, to determine the optimal send times for your audience.

With applied effort in these four areas, email opens can increase by at least 25%.

As always, split test your email subject line to gauge your best performers. Taking the time now to research your audience and save their data will help you deliver the most relevant content possible. The amount of time you invest will drive your ability to connect, and get those emails opened.

 

About the Author:

Jonathan AllenJonathan Allen is a SaaS strategist and SalesLoft content specialist. He has extensive experience in sales development, account management, and B2B strategy.”

Connect with him on LinkedIn! Jonathan Allen

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Agreements, Trigger Events & Introductions

hacking salesGoing through the sales process can be fun and exciting… especially when the potential client is excited about what you have to offer and the price is right. The last thing you want to do is say the wrong thing when you’re closing the deal.

“There’s a big difference in someone’s mind when you use the word contact versus the work agreement. But often they mean the same thing.”1

A contract can sound scary and make anyone second guess their decision. An agreement on the other hand sounds less threatening. In reality, they can both mean the same thing. The agreements I have clients sign are not binding… so I don’t even bother saying contract because it isn’t one. When you’re going to get a price lock on a deal, then you might need a contract.

Whether you’re engaging with the prospect or they’re signing the agreement, you got to find trigger events to keep yourself in the mix. I LOVE trigger events because it gives me another reason to reach out to the prospect.

“A trigger event that most salespeople don’t utilize is holidays. You can use any major holiday or even a Hallmark holiday as an excuse to send a warm follow-up email.”2

Absolutely! I’ve spoken about trigger events in the past and this is another prime example of an easy touch point. Who doesn’t like to talk about what they’ve got planned over the holiday’s? You can also leave social media to see how they celebrate holidays. If they go all out, like in The Office, maybe you should stop by with a gift basket to say hi! Those little gestures can go a long ways.

Depending on what type of software you’re using to connect with your prospects and clients, you can find all sorts of ways to reach back out to companies. LinkedIn, Twitter and Google are the best engines to find Trigger events.

This next piece really resonates with me because I’ve been experiencing this later…

“The problem is sales is that salespeople tend to be ‘givers’… …if salespeople give throughout the process without getting much in return, they condition the client to treat them like a doormat.”3

I’m a salesperson that likes to bend over backwards for my prospects and clients… This really sucks because people try to take advantage of my ‘giving’ mentality. Feelings like I’m going to lose the business because I say ‘no’ sucks… but it’s better than being walked all over.

While I get first hand experience with this…. I think that’s going to be the only way a salesperson can learn about being a doormat. Fill your pipeline with enough business that you don’t have to worry about saying ‘no’ and being a doormat.

One great way to do that is by asking for introduction!

“Make Introductions Mutually Beneficial. This is important! Try to make introductions only when you truly believe there’s real mutual benefit, even if that benefit on one side is in the future.”4

I think one thing to also include is that you need to ASK. A lot of people are afraid to ask for introductions. I’m not talking about the BS “if you’re not the right contact, can you introduce me to them?” type of introduction. If you actually want to meet someone within a company and a connection of yours is connected, personalize the approach and let that person know why you’re reaching out for an intro.

Whenever I make a new connection on LinkedIn, I also let the person know that they can ask me for introductions to anyone in my network. But, if they ask, I always make sure that they give me a better understanding of what they’re looking to accomplish with the introduction.

An additional Ah-Ha Moment from Max is that:

“You will win because distribution is king, and these tools will allow you to own distribution at a repeatable and scalable level. Always be testing, measuring, and optimizing no matter how good the numbers are. You can always do better”5

It’s so true! We can always be doing better, providing more value and intriguing our prospects and clients. The end of this book, Hacking Sales, came very fast. It’s an incredible read because there is so much information. It’s insane how many different products are out there that will help you do your job.

You’ve got to read this book!

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An Incredible Guide to Hacking Sales!

hacking salesI don’t care if you’ve been in sales for 25 years or you’re just starting your sales career. This is MUST read. Gold… pure gold! There are so many Ah-Ha Moments throughout the book, it’s hard to choose which ones to write about. Max has taken the entire sales cycle; from figuring out your ideal customer profile to closing the deal, and consolidated it into a book. The examples, testimonials, and tools he talks about are mind boggling. You’ve gotta read it to believe it.

“A good sales process is a science, and science is the new art.”1

Absolutely… 100% true. Being a salesperson takes a lot of hard work and time. Every organization is different, so there’s so many different types of processes out there. Where do you get your leads from? How do you scrub your data? Do you use a CRM? Who do you try to sell to? Do you leverage the internet to educate yourself?

There is so much accessible data in the information age! You can literally find information about anyone or anything. How you leverage that data to begin a conversation is where ‘painting the picture’ begins. (Like that pun… to art?)

Incredible sales tools for leadgen, building lists and scrubbing data on Pages 10-392

There are literally too many awesome tools between these pages to single any of them out. I’ve used a handful of the tools that Max talks about and I now have a list of tools I will try in the near future. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that these tools will help you with your business. They’ll help you find your prospects faster; they’ll help you get contact information and they’ll help you scrub your data to make sure it’s fresh information.

DISCLAIMER: Just because these tools will help you with your job, it doesn’t mean you can only rely on these tools. You still need to call, email and provide value!

“You still need to learn things about your prospects so that you can deliver a message that is relevant to them and provide value in the sales process.”3

Exactly! Researching for prospective clients is just one step of the process. Now it’s your turn to get educated on your potential client! Well… you’ve got the internet for that. Websites, job boards, social media, investor relations… the list is endless. You can literally find whatever you need on the internet. With that in mind, it is the internet and anybody can post anything.

You want to make sure that the information you use while reaching out to a prospect is relevant and true. The last thing you want to do is call someone the wrong name or reference bad data. You’ve closed the door before you even had the chance to open it.

“The first message you send to prospective customers is absolutely crucial, so this first-touch e-mail needs to work in your favor.”4

The first message can easily get you in the door or it can easily get you put in the spam folder. Leveraging information about the person’s position, their success, their company, a trigger event, local or similar customers can definitely spark the prospects interest. Personally, I’ve had success with, “Company XYZ, next door, leverages our service, have you and Mr. XYZ met before?”

Companies like knowing that their local business people use a common provider. (I have a geographical territory). Changing laws is another great approach that can spark people’s interests. Customer testimonials with ROI’s is another great example. Be creative and personalize the approach and you’ll do fine. Whether you get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, both are better than a ‘no response’.

“In sales, ‘no’ is the second-best answer. ‘Yes’ is the first, but a ‘maybe’ or not receiving an answer at all are by far the worst.”5

100% agree with this one. I hate the feeling when a prospect says they’ll ‘get back to me’. Then, I spend an eternity trying to figure out how I should check back in. I stopped sending ‘checking back in’ emails a long time ago. Now, I send over links or white papers with information as to why they should choose me and my service.

It’s the absolute worst once the prospect has gone silent for a few weeks and then they email back saying, ‘sorry, we’ve decided to go a different direction.’ God…. It makes me want to pull my hair out. If they would have told me ‘no’, weeks ago, I would have moved on. I think, it’s our right as a sales person to make sure there is a transparent understanding of the sales process. If you don’t want to partner, tell me so I can move on!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Hacking Sales | Max Altschuler

Connect with Max on Twitter: @MaxAlts

Connect with me on Twitter: @Barta57

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Quit Giving Other Recruiters a Bad Rep

I am going to cut straight to the chase with this post.

If you are a recruiter, you need to read this.  If this post doesn’t apply to you – I am sure you can relate to someone else in the recruiting field making the very mistakes listed below.

There are many recruiters that are making the rest of us look bad.

You are toying with your candidate’s experience.

You are sending canned responses.

You have lost your ability to be engaged with your talent pool.

You just aren’t doing it right.

If you are guilty of one of the following six things – own up to it, slap yourself around to get a reality check, and stop doing it immediately.  Not just for the sake of a fellow recruiter’s reputation in the industry, but for yourself too.

1.  You Are Treating Candidates Like Numbers

I truly understand that there are recruiting firms out there that are all about numbers.  I also understand that there are quotas to exceed, goals to meet, and positions to fill due to client obligations.  Trust me, I get that.

However, with that said…

You cannot treat your candidates like the numbers you are trying to achieve.  The quotas you need to exceed, the goals you need to meet, and the positions you need to fill are all background noise to a candidate.

Take the time to properly get to know someone without focusing on your “hidden agenda” that they wouldn’t understand nor care to know about at all. They don’t want to hear about the fact that you need to fill the position by Friday or that by filling this position you will meet or exceed your monthly goal.

Candidates want to tell you their story.  They want you to ask questions about what they are looking for, what makes them tick, and what they have to bring to the table.

At the end of the day, if it’s a fit then it’s a fit.  Don’t force it for the sake of numbers, but take the time to get to know what they are looking for, and you’ll know sooner rather than later if it’s a potential fit.

2.  You Aren’t Following Up With Your Candidates – At All

I know recruiting life can be busy.  We juggle multiple candidates for various positions, and it’s sometimes hard to make time for following up – especially when it isn’t getting you one step closer to the money, one step closer to meeting a quota or goal, or one step closer to filling that position.

However, a simple pass is better than zero feedback at all.  

Just like you don’t like being left in the dark wondering what happened, your candidates don’t like to feel that way either.

Don’t be afraid to give what you perceive to be negative feedback.  I guarantee that most candidates will appreciate a follow-up from a recruiter even if it isn’t the news they wanted to hear.

I speak from experience on this as I have made several calls to candidates to let them know they weren’t selected for a position or weren’t moving along in the process.  And, I usually get a response like this, “Wow, I appreciate you letting me know.  Usually I just don’t hear anything at all, and I figure it out on my own.”

To me, leaving your candidates in the dark is like watching almost all of an awesome movie, and then turning it off without seeing the ending.

Just don’t do it.

3.  You Aren’t Taking the Time to Understand Your Candidate

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to talk about what we need in a candidate, but not enough recruiters are taking the time to truly understand what their candidates need when it comes to making a move in their career.

If you take the time to understand your candidates, it is much easier to build an authentic talent pipeline to tap into even if the position you are working on now isn’t an ideal fit for them.

Also, taking the time to get to know your candidates will not only build a solid relationship, but it will also build trust.  Those candidates will want to work with you again in the future, even if the position in the here and now doesn’t pan out after all.

4.  You Don’t Take the Time to Personalize

I get it.

I hear all the excuses as to why personalization of messages takes too long…

I don’t get a response half the time anyway.
It’s easier to kill more birds with one stone.
But, I can reach more candidates about the position.
But, but, but, it’s quicker to send a mass message, and it’s more efficient.

Although some of the excuses above are realistic responses, I guarantee that you will get a better return rate of responses if you take the time to personalize and/or customize your messages to your candidates (whether via social media, email, or phone).

And, if it’s a really hard-to-fill position, keep in mind that your message really should stand out from the rest of the messages some of this high-need candidates are receiving on a daily basis.

Get creative, personalized, customized, and real.

5.  You Just Aren’t With the Times 

If you have ever asked yourself the following, you need to think deeper.

Why is it that a potential candidate isn’t returning my call after leaving a voice message for the second time?  Why is it that they aren’t responding to my emails?  This opportunity would be fantastic for them!

Getting with the times means embracing the fact that the traditional means of getting your candidate’s attention aren’t always going to work. 

With an increasing millennial workforce, there are modern methods of getting in touch with candidates in need.  That includes the fact that you should embrace social media (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  Use those platforms to communicate with your potential candidates.

I’m not a fan of texting as an initial means of reaching a candidate, but this could be a great way to keep in touch or keep a candidate updated on the process (especially if they are currently working and unable to take a call or check a personal email as easily).

Take the time to think outside of the box when it comes to communicating with your potential candidates.

6.  You Are Focusing On Your Schedule, Not the Candidate’s

Lastly, if a candidate is currently working full-time, you need to be able to offer flexibility in the interviewing options, or at least understand that a candidate is not trying to burn a professional bridge in order to make it to an interview that may or may not pan out.

Too often, I see recruiters and hiring managers giving a one size fits all approach to interviewing, and it can really limit candidates when the process is too cumbersome or difficult.

Understand the fact that candidates may have a preference to interview first thing in the morning, on their lunch breaks, or at the end of their current work day.

If it’s a candidate that you truly want to pursue for the position, try video interviewing them after hours.  Or, just take the time to come to a healthy compromise on when to interview so it’s not interfering with the candidate’s existing work schedule.

And don’t even get me started on having a 3 or 4 in-person interview process…

When in doubt, think of how you would want to be treated during the recruiting process – from beginning to end.

Have anything to add to the conversation?  Please comment below.

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Being A Good Person Isn’t Hard

How to win friends and influence Dale Carnegie is such a well known person, I knew I had to add a book of his to my writing. This isn’t the first book I’ve read of his, but it is the first one I’ve chosen to write about. It continuously feels like times are changing but not always for the best. There’s always a new ‘guru’, ‘thought leader’ or ‘expert’ trying to pawn off their opinion to anyone that’ll listen. In hindsight, a lot of those people’s opinions spawn from ‘the greats’.

Dale Carnegie is just one example of someone that has produced amazing content to share with the world.

“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness.”1

It’s not the first time I’ve read something like this and it won’t be the last. Optimistic people are always looking for the ‘better’ of every situation. Instead of looking down on someone for some reason, try to figure out why they do what they do. Having a better understanding as to WHY they are that way will allow you to work better with them. Prime example… someone always showing up late. It’s perfectly okay to ask someone as to why they’re late.

Find the underlying issue. Maybe they need an additional reminder, maybe they get sick often, maybe they’re bad with directions or maybe they just don’t care. Figure out the why and it will help you work better with one another. If they don’t care, maybe you shouldn’t associate yourself with them.

Henry Ford said:

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”2

Having empathy is really important. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try and understand their point of view and your point of view. In sales, that’s really important. You can’t just sell someone something because you think the product is great… what if your product can’t even help them?

Working with organizations, you learn about the different hierarchies companies have. You could make the HR Director fall in love with your product but when they go to the CEO for approval, they get shut down. Understanding what that person has to go through can make or break your business.

As we stop thinking solely about ourselves and start thinking more about other people, don’t forget to show your appreciation!

“One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation.”3

I can’t echo this enough! Tell people ‘Thank you’! Write handwritten thank you notes. Show your appreciation to people and they will love it. I have a few family members that still send me money on my birthday… they always receive a thank you in the mail from me. My cousins stopped receiving money for their birthdays years ago. It’s the little things.

If someone goes out of their way to help you; thank them. The guy in front of your holds the door; thank him. Your coworker helps you; boom, thank them! You’d be amazed that people always willing to help when you show your appreciation.

Do things for people unselfishly!

“If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.”4

It doesn’t get much simpler than that. When’s the last time you helped someone move? How about writing a nice comment on one of their articles or posts? Shared their stuff on the internet? Make a point of doing things for people without asking anything in return. Being a good person isn’t hard… it just takes a little extra time. Slow down and give back; you’ll be happy you did.

Man O Man, don’t forget to smile!

“Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.”5

You’d be amazed how contagious a smile can be. As humans, we’re drawn to happy people. Positive, optimistic whatever you want to call it! Whenever I get the chance to smile, I’ve always got a huge grin on my face. You know exactly what I’m talking about… so start doing it!

 

There’s more from me to come:

How to Win Friends & Influence People | Dale Carnegie

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