Scott Ingram #SalesHackerChat Recap

Q1: What does it take to be a top notch performance sales professional?

A1: Hard work. Believe in your product and yourself. Discipline, a strong sales process and the desire to be the BEST.

Additional Videos:
http://top1.fm/clip-takes-1-pharmaceutical-sales-christina-izokovic/
http://top1.fm/clip-eli-wilde-tony-robbins-top-seller/

 

Q2: What mindset does a top sales professional possess?

A2: “It starts with taking ownership of your results,” having a huge desire to be the best. Making quota is not the goal.

Additional Videos:

https://top1.fm/clip-best-mindset-top-pharmaceutical-sales-rep/
https://top1.fm/clip-namelys-colin-specter-motivation-best-industry/
https://top1.fm/clip-kyle-gutzler-sales-quotas-not-thought-destination/

 

Q3: How should sales professionals organize their day?

A3: In a word: Thoughtfully. The best are extremely mindful of their time and are zealots about protecting selling time.

 

Additional Videos:
https://top1.fm/clip-top-medical-device-sales-rep-robbie-siegel-makes-family-priority-still-producing-best-sales-result-medline/

 

Q4: How do top sales professionals learn and develop themselves?

A4: Think well beyond sales. Learn business, negotiation, even improv. Then seek out and learn from those at the top.

Additional Videos:
https://top1.fm/clip-top-bdr-reid-oliver-learning-sponge-taking-action-knowledge/
https://top1.fm/clip-kyle-gutzler-reach-top-sales-performers/
https://top1.fm/clip-eli-wilde-tony-robbins-top-seller-developing-beyond-traditional-sales-training/

https://top1.fm/clip-eli-wilde-tony-robbins-top-seller-investing-self-development-coaching-people-pay-pay-attention/

 

Q5: What tools and technologies are most common among top sales professionals

A5: The best SDRs consistently use @SalesLoft and @ViewedIt. Beyond that it’s the basics: Calendar and task management.

 

https://top1.fm/clip-bdr-reid-oliver-using-salesloft-understand-key-ratios-metrics-know-whats-working/

 

Q6: Is moving from sales rep to sales manager/leader the best career path? Why or why not?

A6: Obviously it depends. 2 guests went from sales leadership to top seller. One 8X in a row, the other 1 of 150 in 2 yrs.

 

Additional Videos:
https://top1.fm/clip-debe-rapson-sales-manager-better-sales-rep/

 

Q7: What should sales professionals practice when they first begin their career?

A7: Learn how to be great at discovery. @drapson is the master of this. 2 great long clips here: http://j.mp/2rwMvgq

Additional Videos:

https://top1.fm/clip-kyle-gutzler-build-self-confidence-sales-person-repetition/

 

Q8: What Is The Best Sales Methodology In Increase Efficiency & Effectiveness?

A8: This is the hardest question. Most use a combination of strategies. Challenger and Sandler are the most common mentions

A8: “If your process includes genuinely doing what’s in the best interest of your customer. You’re not going to fail.”

 

Additional Videos:

https://top1.fm/clip-kyle-gutzler-controlling-sales-process-people-want-told/

 

Q9: What top 5 take-aways have you received from hosting the Sales Success Stories Podcast?

A9-1: There’s no better source for learning how to be great in sales than those who are already there NOW. #Top1 #SalesHackerChat

https://top1.fm/clip-kyle-gutzler-surround-top-performers/

A9-2: It’s not about being better than everybody else. It’s about being better than yourself. This is a consistent theme. #SalesHackerChat

https://top1.fm/clip-josh-mueller-cutco-secret-reaching-top/

A9-3: You MUST believe in your company and your solution or you won’t ever achieve what you’re capable of achieving. #SalesHackerChat

https://top1.fm/clip-moving-pharmaceutical-sales-believe-youre-selling/

A9-4: Leverage your own strengths and find your own way. There is no formula other than to be the best version of yourself #SalesHackerChat

A9-5: Find great mentors, grow and then give back. Pay it forward to the rest of the sales community. #SalesHackerChat Thank you all!

https://top1.fm/clip-josh-mueller-cutco-mentors-giving-back/

 

All of the clips Scott used today are available here: http://top1.fm/clips #SalesHackerChat

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What’s The Secret To Being A Successful Salesperson?

“It’s you. Your ability to manage yourself, to exert self-discipline, spells the difference between success and failure and in sales. Let me rephrase that: self-discipline is the difference between success and failure. Yes, there are a lot of other components of the salesperson’s mind-set. skill set. and took kit, but without strong self-discipline, those don’t matter one whit.”1

Anthony Iannarino does an incredible job painting a visual of what it takes to be a successful sales person. “Me Management” is a term that he coined and I think it is very worthy of an Ah-Ha Moment! You’re responsible for you own success; you’re in charge of your day to day actions; and you must have the self-discipline to do the things you don’t want to do because you know you’re going to achieve that success. It’s SO easy to get off track and do something else… we live in the digital age.

We all know what we need to do… but do we actually commit to it and follow through with it?! That’s a question you have to ask yourself. In the sales world, prospecting is one of those things that sales professionals have to continuously do! If they don’t, their pipeline is going to dry up. Self-discipline is EXTREMELY important in every aspect of life… not just sales.

“In short, willpower, fortitude, and accountability lead to self-discipline. And self-discipline gives you the wherewithal to be honest, act courageously and with integrity, and delay gratification for better returns later.”2

Willpower is the ability to follow through with something – Fortitude is taking something painful head on… often times calling an upset client – And Accountability is taking responsibility for your actions or the results of your actions. Willpower helps you develop mental strength and toughness. It helps you fight through fatigue or gets you past the “I don’t want to do that right” moment. If you’re on a diet and you tell yourself that you’re going to stop drinking soda… Have the willpower to not drink the soda. If you get side tracked because your email is always open… Commit to only checking your emails at certain times… Have the willpower to not look at emails until that time!

Fortitude is always tough because it’s often the most painful. Calling the upset client to let them you know messed up… Telling your boss something bad happened… We often make the negative outcome out larger than it actually is. I try and look at it this way… The honesty you’re about the share with the person/team you’re talking to will respect you greater for facing the issue head on. Look at the silver lining rather than focusing on how you let them down. Own up to it… learn from it… and move on!

Accountability is simple! If you say you’re going to do something, do it! Take responsibility for your actions and the results of your actions.

Optimism is one of my favorite words! Not enough people have it! You’ve got to have optimism as a sale professional!

“Optimism allows you to perform powerfully and consistently in a coordinated manner over the long run. Optimism ensures that you’ll stay focused on your task, despite the lows that inevitably follow some of the highs.”3

#BAM! Day in and day out, you’ve got to be optimistic! There’s absolutely no room in the sales world for pessimistic sales pros. Would you want to buy something from someone that was pessimistic? Heck no! For every phone call you make, email you write, door you knock on and ever thank you card you send; you should feel 100% confident that the prospect/client is going to return your call.

I’ve been optimistic my entire life and it feels good to say that. Everyday is a new day and I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing because I know it’s working. Roughly 3 months ago I hit a brick wall… my optimism was starting to crack a little because I had so many opportunities on the fence and I had just lost a large one I thought I had… I kept doing the right things but nothing would budge… Then, out of the blue, everything came together! It was a nice reminder 🙂

If I had to look back at why I became a little pessimistic; I could bet it was because of the news I was following. I was tuned into the news for two hours a day and stopped listening to my podcasts. Surround yourself with negativity and guess where your brain goes! I challenge you;

“For the next thirty days, do not watch, listen to, or read the news. Avoid negative and sensationalized media. Ignore all gossip about misbehaving reality stars and their ilk; there is nothing positive there. Avoid all negative people whenever possible. Refuse to say anything negative or engage in conversations with a negative slant. Think only positive thoughts. If a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive on immediately.”4

I’m doing it… and I dare you to do the same thing. Take accountability for your own thought process and use your willpower to only have positive thoughts. There’s no point to go through life with negative thoughts anyways. There’s enough negative crap taking place in the world as is… Be positive, put a smile on your face and encourage optimism.

Build yourself up, build your peers up and be happy! 🙂

 

There’s more from me to come:

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino – @iannarino

You’ve got to follow Anthony’s YouTube Channel Everyday!

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Genuine, Honest Intent Is The Way To Sales!

perfect-closeJames Muir, author of “The Perfect Close” is a Stand Up Guy! If you’ve never had the chance to interact with him, read his posts or chat on the phone, you’re missing out. It’s not everyday that you get to interact with someone like James. His overall, ‘let me help you’ attitude is strongly portrayed in his book. You won’t be the least bit surprised that you find this book easy to read… And also enjoyable!

Sales is a tricky thing. Sales isn’t for everybody… but we’re continuously ‘selling’ people. Whatever job you have, whomever you interact with, someone is always selling someone something. Stop and think about that for a minute. “The Perfect Close” is talking majorly about B2B, B2C or C2C businesses so I’m going to hit on those types of sales.

“Genuine, honest intent leaves zero room for trickery and manipulation”1

Going into a prospective opportunity with the wrong intent in mind is only going to set yourself up for immediate and long term failure. Over promising and under-delivering is a HUGE issue in the current industry I’m in. The prospective client will buy the competition because they were promised something but then the company couldn’t deliver. Guess what… that prospect comes crawling back to me asking for help. That sales person does not have the client’s best interest in mind and that’s unfortunate.

I lost an opportunity in August because I was honest with the buyer. They wanted a stand-alone time & attendance solution and I educated them on why they didn’t want to do that. I gave them research, statistics and a case study… they refused to educate themselves and ending up opting out of viewing my solution… It burned a little, but at the end of the day, I know they would have increased their workload and I wouldn’t have solved any of their problems.

“If you want to show your client you want their business – tell them. Or, do something special for them. There are far better ways to show you want the business than insulting them with a closing gambit.”2

This goes will with the whole part of having the right content. Closing gambits can work… but put yourself in the buyers shoes. Buyers remorse is a real thing and you don’t want your buyers feeling like that. There’s no point in pressuring someone to make a decision; it’ll end up hurting you more in the long run. If you think I’m wrong, tell me why! I’d be curious what you have to say.

This first portion of the book is focused on intent and I strongly agree with James.

“So, in order for our intentions to be perceived as warmth, it’s vital that we emanate the related traits that science has identified from the warmth attribute. These include:

  • pure intent

  • friendliness

  • helpfulness

  • sincerity

  • trustworthiness

  • and morality (doing the right thing)

These are the signals we want our autonomic system to be sending.”3

What drives you to do what you do? Do you have the correct intent when you meet with new business? When you talk with current business, do you have the correct intent? When someone is in the market for a new product they often give me the same reasons… “We want to save money”, “we’ve been burned and don’t like our provider” or, “We’ve never outsourced this before”.

Becoming the trusted adviser is very important during the beginning conversations with any businesses. I recently took over a few accounts that were very upset. There was some internal issues and the client blamed my company because the new employee didn’t know how to use the solution. I went on sight, heard them out and came up with a plan of action. It wasn’t easy… what-so-ever! But, after two months, they’ve agreed to be a reference for me and my company. I didn’t make a single dollar off of helping them, but sometimes that happens when you’re doing the right thing.

Through out the sales cycle, there are multiple small ‘closes’. Setting the meeting, doing a discovery, showing them the product, negotiating price and talking about partnership. (Long story short). After you complete one, you have to ‘close’ for the next meeting.

“It is common for people to be confused about their ultimate goal and the goal of their most immediate next step. By stripping away the clutter that may exist between the two, we can achieve clarity that gives us perspective as well as the impulse to take the next best action.”4

The sales objective is the end goal… helping the client and closing the sale. The steps along the way, which are stand along goals and typically the most immediate next step. Sitting down with the prospective client and walking them through the process is important. They have to know what they’re signing up for by agreeing to go down your process. If they want to meet and then get pricing, they’ve got the wrong intent and you should walk away.

Ya ya ya… leaving money on the table is so hard to walk away from. But they’re probably not even entertaining the idea of switching… They’re just going to take your pricing back to their current vendor and get their price lowered. It happens and it sucks!

 

There’s definitely more from me to come!

The Perfect Close by James Muir

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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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#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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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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Sales Has Changed | Stop Being Boring | Snap Selling

Photo Apr 19, 09 38 44 (1)Sales has CHANGED… If you don’t think this… then you’re crazy. Seriously though. The old school mentality of ‘always be closing’ is no longer applicable.

“In the new sales climate, focusing on your FABs (features-advantages-benefits) creates insurmountable obstacles. Using clever objection-handling techniques insults your prospect’s intelligence. And employing ‘always be closing’ tactics is the surest way to prematurely end potentially fruitful relationships.”1

It’s black and white… Read it again and internalize it. You and your company do the exact same thing as the company down the street. Literally…

Look at me. Technically, I sell HCM and payroll software. But what’s the difference between me and the other behemoth in the industry? I will out work them, I will out deliver them, I will out communicate them, anyday. It’s because I CARE about the people I sell to. I’m more worried about the success of the organization I’m speaking with than the actual sale.

If it can help your business, I want to help. If it doesn’t help your business, I’ll let you know. The greater good of your organization honestly matters to me. The more I learn about your company… the more help I can offer.

“Once you know your buyer inside and out, you can easily start applying what you’ve learned to create customer-enticing value propositions, messaging, presentations, and proposals. Plus, this knowledge of your customer will be at the heart of all your best, most fruitful conversations.”2

You’ve got to personalize your approach. You have to learn about the people you’re selling to. Nobody wants to be sold to… but to get in front of them, you have to do something so you can get a better understanding of their issues. Nobody really knows their issue until you show them. Then, once you’ve created that partnership, those people will be the best salespeople for you.

When you’ve got a happy client… they’ll bend over backwards to help you… Don’t forget though… It’s okay to ask them for referrals.

“The only chance to truly differentiate yourself today lies in the value you can personally bring to the relationship. And you can bet that your prospects are constantly assessing whether you’re work it. They truly want to work with smart, savvy people who bring them ideas, insights, and information they deem beneficial.”

Being a boring ass sales person doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ve got to give the prospect something and that something has to directly affect them. If you’re not educated in your industry, how can you differentiate yourself? Whatever you sell, if you don’t know what directly affects your market, you’ve already lost.

Look at your current customers for feedback! If you’re helping people do their current job and they love you… you need to figure out what exactly they love.

“Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more important than your customer knowledge. Without understanding your customers’ business environment, challenges, and marketplaces, you won’t get selling right.”3

If you can’t connect with your customer’s needs, you can’t sell anything. You need to understand the people you’re selling to. Does that make sense? Try and put yourself in their shoes! Sales people SUCK at doing this.

Ya… your product is awesome but why should anyone else care. We’re getting bombarded with information all day. We don’t know what’s good or what’s crap.

“Your prospects are busily going about their lives and their work with an already overloaded calendar. They’re not waiting for your call. They’re just trying to get done the things that have to be done.4

Nobody likes being interrupted, so why should someone give you their time? Time is the most important commodity these days. If you’re going to try to sell someone on your product, you need to spark their curiosity and provide value. It’s really easy for prospects to ignore you… so you need to find a way to get their interest!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Snap Selling | Jill Konrath

Get “Snap Selling” on Amazon.

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 3

dealstormingAsking questions is always the best way to find answers… other than someone just flat out telling you the answer unsolicited… which doesn’t happen very often. As someone with the mentality of ‘how can I help you’, it is my job to ask open ended question so that I can find the pain points. You’ve gotta keep digging until you know what keeps them up at night!

Previously, I’d use the question, ‘why?’. A lot of the time, people responded negatively because they didn’t want to share the answer with me. Sanders suggest using ‘why is that’ as a better approach and I completely agree!

“With practice, you’ll find that the ‘And why is that?’ exercise is the secret to finding the right problem question.”1

Heck! Say it in your head. It almost sounds like you’re back in the doctor’s office and the doctors’ asking you questions. ‘Why is that?’ sounds so much better than just asking why. Next time you’re having a conversation with someone and they’re giving you a reason, use ‘why is that?’ and see what their response is.

As you continue to dig into the client or prospect, also take into consideration the changes taking place in their company, the industry and management changes. All of these things can change the conversation both internally (dealstorming) and externally (your client).

“Also list recent developments in the prospects’ or client company’s strategy, market position, competitive set, or other relevant topics that could influence your potential deal.”2

I met with a prospect a few weeks back that informed me that the CFO’s son was going to sell health insurance soon. My company probably wouldn’t be considered for health & benefits because they’d choose whatever the son was offering. Something that like could really throw a kink in your deal. The more you know about the decision makers and where they came from, the better understanding you can have of their process.

If I’m prospecting and come across someone that previously used my product at a different company… I’m going to make sure that that client has had a positive experience since the sale was final. There are a few other things that can come into place once you’ve begun the process of retaining the client or signing the deal.

“Constraints can include price, terms, window of opportunity, prospect of customer culture, contractual obligations, prospect or customer budget…”3

That’s just to name a few. You need to have a good idea of these constraints while you’re working opportunities or else you’re going to be wasting yours and everybody else’s time. For instance; if you know for fact that you can not work with government agencies because of x,y,z, don’t bother responding to an RFP or prospecting into those accounts. Trying to dealstorm ideas of how to bypass that objection would take a lot of time and energy… would it even be worth the outcome?

Coming together as a team and dealstorming is all about getting different points of views and coming up with a solution. What I know about sales is going to be a heck of a lot more than my implementation person. But that person might know more about the technology side of our software.

“In many situations, the information revealed in the meeting leads the problem owner to find his solution right away. Too often, common knowledge (what we all know) is driving current efforts, which aren’t working.”4

For the most part, people only know how to do their job and nothing else. We don’t know what we don’t know! Getting together with a group of people in different departments will shed a lot of light on solving problems. Sanders walks the reader through how to choose teams and delegate different jobs within the dealstorming session. Maximize the amount of time you’re together.

How many meeting have you attended that actually started on time? Everybody was in their seat, mouths shut and ready to learn… probably not a lot of you. Sanders harps on adding a 10 minute ‘gathering time’ prior to the actual meeting time.

“By including a gathering time, you send a strong signal to participants that the start time is firm and that they should be on time!”5

I love it! you can get the technology all set up. You can get the ‘hellos’ and ‘how ya doing?’ out of the way too. That way, when the meeting starts… it actually starts. Nobody likes having their time wasted. Especially someone in a position of high power. Don’t forget, if you’re taking someone else’s time, show your appreciation!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 2

dealstormingDealstorming has really opened my eyes! Sanders is teaching the reader something that they might know… but the depth he is able to go into will blow your mind. The process that he walks the reader through is bound to give you a few Ah-Ha Moments!

“When it comes to problem solving, your network truly is your net worth.”1

This is the second time I’ve written about this quote and I see it on the internet throughout the week. It is so true though. If you’ve got a small network, that’s okay, you better know those people extremely well so you know when they can help you. If you’ve got a huge network, great! But make sure you have some true type of connection so you can call apon them for help when you need it.

The whole point of using your network is so that you can get things done faster! Like I’ve said before, you by yourself isn’t the best option!

“The purpose of collaboration is not collaboration itself. It’s achieving better results in a shorter amount of time.” – Tamara Schenk2

How many of you have ever been in a meeting? How many of those meetings have been productive? People complain about meetings being a waste of time on the daily. Do everybody a favor and only call meetings that are useful. Have an agenda set prior and make sure people have something to do prior so you can maximize your time. I’m not going to tell you how to run a meeting, Sanders does that and it’s awesome!

One thing though, you should do prior to setting a dealstorming meeting, is make sure that there is a real issue you’re looking to solve.

“For sales leaders, the first checkpoint for qualifying and staffing dealstorms is to verify that there really is a problem.”3

Is there actually a problem with retaining or getting a new client? Or could it be that a step in the sales process got skipped and now you’re trying to figure out how you can win the deal. Did the client take the required steps to dispute their issue or did they go straight to the account manager to have them fix it? Calling upon a group of people to fix an issue could waste a lot of time and money. Be careful to put together a dealstorm without actually understanding what it is you’re accomplishing.

When you come to the conclusion that you need to hold the dealstorm, you have to be careful whom you choose. Don’t only bring salespeople to the table… they’ll tell you how to sell the deal. Bring on other departments!

“… draw up a map of who touches an account, from concepts to delivery to billing to analysis and so on.”4

If you didn’t think about this before, you’ve just received an Ah-Ha Moment! For instance, I’m sitting down next week to kick off my first dealstorming session. I’ve asked my manager to add some additional people to our meeting so that we can begin conversations. Implementation and customer service will be joining us for a conversation and I’m so excited about how we can work together. None of this would have come to fruition without Sander’s book.

Another point he makes while you’re going through the process of picking your team, is make sure they know why you’re doing what you’re doing. He uses Simon Sinek’s, “Start with Why.” If they don’t understand the strategic nature you’re taking, they’ll just think it’s another pointless sales meeting. I think something great to add to this statement is; also let the people know why you’re choosing them. Blasting out an email asking for people to volunteer won’t get you very far.

Personalize the approach, and you’re bound to get the response you want from people. Don’t forget, you’re asking them to take time out of their day to help you. That doesn’t come cheap.

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.

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Dealstorming | Tim Sanders | Part 1

9781591848219The value that Dealstorming brings to life is the collaboration among people to get the job done.

“Gather a team, put your brains together, and make it rain!”1

The information coming from a collective group is so much more valuable than one person. Everybody has different personalities, viewpoints and opinions. You’re going to find a solution if you have a team to help you. I ran into a snag last week at work. I found out that one of my prospects was apart of an association and they didn’t think they could buy my product. However, they’d entertain a call to see if there was another way I could help… Guess what.

I reached out to six other people; four within my organization and two external people. After a few conversations with experts on the association, I learned that the prospect had been mislead in which vendors they could purchase. The meeting has been set and now I can do a little educating. If I hadn’t reached out to those people, I never would have been able to compete for their business.

“As it turned out, sales genius didn’t come solely from individual sales reps, my researchers, or me. Sales genius, I discovered, is a team sport. It was about all of us in the room finding and solving problems as one.”2

Different ideas come from different individuals. Have you ever worked on a project and then asked someone for feedback? Then realized that the feedback they gave you was really valuable… but you never would have realized you needed to make the changes they were suggesting? It’s truly amazing what other people can offer. Don’t just choose anyone though! Make sure you choose wisely because sales in only getting tougher.

“Today, tough sales are the norm.”3

Man, ain’t that the truth. The list is never ending. You’ve got the internet… you can compare price, service, competition, reviews… just about anything. There are purchasing teams, consultants, influencers, people who think they’re influencers but aren’t, and the never ending madness of people changing jobs. If your champion decides to change jobs… you’re starting from scratch. Start-ups trying to get some traction in a market. Heck, don’t forget about the ‘research companies’ that determine who the big players are in each industry.

“Customers on average have completed nearly 60% of their purchasing decisions before having a conversation with a supplier.”4

You better hope that your buyer is looking in the right place to find your product, or you’re shit out of luck. Having to re-educate the buyer on what your company sells or stands for is difficult. The internet is full of information and you need your buyer to consume the right type.

When you get the opportunity to re-educate your buyer, because you will, you need to get off your agenda and onto theirs. They already know their pain points and they’re looking to you to help fix them. It’s now your turn to understand them and find more pain points so you can bring more value.

“Their insight is yours: When the going gets tough, the ambitious get innovative.5

If you want to win that deal, you better bend over backwards to figure out the answers to their questions. If you don’t have the answer, get together with your team to find the answer. Get innovative and come up with outcomes that nobody else thinks of. Don’t just give up. Find another way… find a better way to get it done.

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Dealstorming | Tim Sanders

Get “Dealstorming” on Amazon.

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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 5

Losing employees sucks… it also costs companies a lot of money. You never actually think about the cost of hiring, onboarding and training people. Depending on what type of training your company does, it can be really expensive.

“Great talent is great talent – don’t let them leave your building.”1

It doesn’t get simpler than that. This echoes the previous post. Engage with your people and make sure they’re happy. If they’re not happy, find out what will make them happy. Nobody likes toxic employees.

I don’t know how many of you have every seen the Simon Sinek Ted Talk video; Start with why. But this video has helped me immensely in my roles as a sales person.

“Without understanding the why, reps struggle to connect with prospect priorities. Everything about the what and the how of a solution can be found online. …Our reps need to create value and offer insight and ideas that prospects can’t find on their own.”2

There’s that word again; Value! You have to create value with the people you’re trying to talk to. Buyers do a lot of their research prior to beginning their evaluations. If you’re reaching out to them… you need to offer them something different. And to get them to listen, you need to convince them why they should listen to you.

Bertuzzi presents a question that turns into an Ah-Ha Moment!

“Do you sell into a functional area that already exists within your company? For example, do you sell to sales operations and have a sales ops team within your company?”3

Recruiting.. HR.. sales.. Whatever you sell and whomever you sell to, is there a team within your company that does that job? Basically, what she’s getting at; is that you can go directly to that team and learn about their day-to-day. Learn what they do and how they do it. Then, when you’re calling your prospects, you have a better understanding of what they’re doing and how you can help. Makes sense right? Have you done this before?

The more you learn about your prospect, the better talk tracks you can create. The more likely you’re able to sympathize with them.

“Reps need to be fully fluent in prospect challenges, motivations, and status quos. In short, they need to use buyer based messaging.”4

If you’re going to get off of your agenda and onto theirs, you need to know what you’re talking about. Bertuzzi goes on to give some incredible examples of prospecting. The differentiators between a successful rep and a lazy rep. The different types of messaging that actually works. I wouldn’t be doing any of you a favor if I copied it and pasted it on the site. You have to get the book! It’s pure gold.

“Studies have found that it takes between six and ten attempts (including at least four by phone calls) to properly prospect a given contact.”5

Sales reps often give up too early. They get bored and move onto a different account. They don’t want to work for a deal… they’d rather find some ‘low hanging fruit’. They forget about their prospecting approach and leave their process. I am guilty of this recently. I have a huge territory and I’m trying to touch every account. Not to mention, our data is kinda old. Bertuzzi gives the reader great examples of a multi-touch approach. You have to read it yourself! It’s a game changer.

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

Get “The Sales Development Playbook” on Amazon.

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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 1

Sales DevelopmentWhat an absolute pleasure it has been reading, “The Sales Development Playbook” by Trish Bertuzzi. Everything I’ve learned in the sales world has been extremely beneficial so far… this book helps push the envelope. Because we are officially in the information age, organizations can access information whenever they need it. With an ever changing buyer and larger buyer groups, you have to make sure you’re a head of the game. Trish will help you with that!

“The companies that win today are those that are willing to reach out, stand out, and point out flaws in status quo thinking. …It is, at its heart, about service.”1

I honestly can’t tell you how many cold calls I’ve made or how many cold emails I’ve sent. But what I can tell you is, my success has come from thinking outside of the box. Setting myself apart from the competition and providing value. Connecting with someone and saying something other than, “Want to buy my product?” You have to approach people like the way you want to be approached. Don’t forget; you’re a buyer and someone is always selling to you.

An interesting thing that a lot of people seem to learn early on in their careers is that all companies have their own way of doing things. There isn’t a copy and paste method that every company can use.

“… your model needs to be ‘just right’ for your organization.”2

This can go for positions other than sales too. Find the process that works best for you. As far as sales goes, it really depends on what you’re selling. Bertuzzi uses the example of the CRM market because it’s a mature market. The majority of companies have one and use one. So, if you’re a new CRM company, how do you set up your sales processes? What’s the difference between you and Salesforce, SugarCRM or Microsoft Dynamics?

After you figure those things out, it’s time to set a meeting to try and sell something! This is where Bertuzzi hit me with the “Ah-Ha” moment!

“If you’re selling a disruptive solution, asking BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) type of questions makes no sense. There isn’t going to be a budget set aside for problems that prospects don’t know they have.3

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What if I’m not working in a disruptive market?” Great question! If you work in a market that is more mature, like myself, you have to figure out what problems they’re currently having. Maybe you can get them to switch solutions solely based on price. I see it everyday. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… it’s a duck… but cheaper. If a company saves a couple grand a year because they switched providers, the CEO/Owner is going to be happy.

Bertuzzi opens the readers mind up to a new acronym that can be used; PACT.

“PACT: Pain, Authority, Consequences, and Target Profile”4

There has to be a pain and they have to be aware of that pain before they buy. It’s your job to make them aware. A friend of mine is a travel agent. Whenever I write, I try to put myself in her shoes to make sure my writing sounds good to other people. What would her clients pain be?? Booking flights, hotels, excursions, dinners and making sure it’s within their budget… and the list goes on. People think travel agents charge too much… have they ever tried using one… nope. Did you know that if you book through an agent, they can typically get you better rates and free stuff? The true value of an agent is all the extra amenities they provide. Boom! I get my travel knowledge from @DeniseSchaefer6

Authority… we all think we have it. You have to ask the right questions to get to the decision maker. If you’re talking to the HR person and the decision maker is the VP of HR, you need to get a meeting with the VP. Too many times it happenes to sales people where they think they’re meeting with the decision maker. Then the find out that the VP wasn’t even aware of the meetings.

Consequence… What will the consequences be for them if they DON’T switch. The last thing a company wants to do is buy something that they thought was great and find out that it opened up a new can of worms. The problem they wanted to fix is now an even bigger problem. You need to dig into the scenario of them not purchasing.

Target Profile… Oh man, this one is huge! While selling to HR, I come across IT people that kill the deal. You have to make sure that those key players are in the meeting. You need to align with culture, technical and office politics. It’ll make your life much easier!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

Get “The Sales Development Playbook” on Amazon.

 

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