#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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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.

Network-Marketer-Secret-of-Motivation-300x225

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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Suck it up and get over it. Nobody cares! | Personalize your approach

Something that I’ve been sharing lately, with regards to social selling is the fact that personalization is huge… it goes a long ways and people feel like you care. It’s even better when you can show them you care!

“One-to-one marketing takes time but the ROI is tremendous because so few businesses are actually doing it. I finally figured out that’s why my results are so often the exception instead of the rule. When you’re listening and other people aren’t, you look like a star.”1

I’ll be the first to admit that personalized/one-to-one marketing is difficult and time consuming. You don’t see the ROI right away. But once you get in the groove and things start to click, you truly look like a star. You’ll be able to set yourself apart from the competition within the industry.

Gary jumps back and forth within the chapters to different Ah-Ha Moments. There are so many good takeaways that it’s hard not to want to comment on all of them. As humans, we complain… that’s a fact.

“Problems happen. Life isn’t fair or perfect. Complaining fixes nothing. Only taking action does.”2

Depending on when you’re reading this, you could agree or disagree. Is it 8am in the morning and you’re fired up and ready to go? Or is it 4pm and you’ve been shut down 20 times on the phone today? I’m writing this after being shut down on the phone today… and it honestly sucks because I want to complain so badly!

I can literally hear Gary Vee saying, “Suck it up and get over it. Nobody cares!” That right there is motivation enough to over the want to complain. I suggest you watch some of his most recent posts on Facebook or YouTube. They’ll motivate the heck out of you.

I’ve strived to be nice my entire life! I want people to know I care and that I’m a nice guy.

“Being nice is a choice, and how you choose to speak to people even when you’re pressed for time will reveal who you really are.”3

Man, ain’t that the truth? The more important you become, the less time you’ll have to give to other people. It’s harder to ‘look’ nice when you’re always under the microscope because you’re so busy.

Such an important thing to execute is in type of relationship whether it be work, personal or partnerships is communication.

“Communicate with your team. Communicate with your partners. Communicate with your clients. Communicate, communicate, communicate.”4

Maybe it’s just me, but I see a lot of miscommunication going on within every industry and with a lot of organizations. Communication is what keeps clients happy, doors opens, partners willing and coworkers excited. It’s the difference between doing incredibly well and just okay. It’s not hard to communicate with people… although we worry that if it’s bad news, someone is going to be pissed.

Keep the communication open and make sure you’re happy/excited to be doing it. GaryVee has ALWAYS talked about ‘doing what you absolutely love.’ Why do something that you hate?

“Self-esteem is the ultimate drug of our society. When you have it you give yourself the audacity to dream big, and when you do that, the little things stop mattering and anxiety cannot cripple you.”5

That’s the perfect way to say it. Stay high, stay confident and keep hustling. Nobody can stop you when you hustle.

I went from business to business this morning to meet local businesses. (I wrote the top half of this yesterday) Guess what! I got half my foot in the door at this one company and they said they were in a meeting and that I needed to leave. (They weren’t in a meeting). I smiled, handed them some information and left with 10 times for motivation than when I entered. It was pretty spectacular to feel that.

GaryVee wrote an incredible book and I hope you read it! It’s so worth it. He hits on so many other points too which I didn’t talk about. Do yourself a favor and like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

You can thank me later!

 

Connect with Gary on Twitter: @garyvee

Connect with me on Twitter: @Barta57

#AskGaryVee | Gary Vaynerchuk

Get “#AskGaryVee” on Amazon

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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 7

There is a massive amount of Ah-Ha Moments throughout the entire book! Whether you’ve been in sales for a week, a year, 10 years or 40 years, you will learn something new. With an ever changing landscape of technology and information, you need to be on the fore front in order to be successful. As a sales person, you get leads. Whether it be an inbound demo request, MQL, they downloaded content or whatever the case may be; it’s time to think outside the box.

“When a (lower-level) contact takes some action, yes, your reps should follow up. Then, either at the same time or subsequently, they should reach out to a higher-level contact too.”1

At first I wasn’t too keen on this, but with the reasoning behind it, I feel in love with the idea. Instead of prospecting the prospect, prospect for the opportunity. Go above and beyond to reach out to the organization. What’s the worst that could happen? That person’s boss never gave them the authority… now you know that it’s not a legit opportunity. Nobody likes getting 75% through the sales cycle to find out that nobody else knew about the project. Prospect higher and wider.

Another Ah-Ha Moment that comes to mind is:

“…give the SDR’s themselves ownership to work on special projects.”2

Imagine the idea’s people could come up with if they got to own a project. It could be anything that could improve the department or the company. Because they’re in the trenches all day long, they could come up with solutions to their problems that the managers didn’t even know about. Give your people a little bit of freedom and they’ll repay you 10 fold.

Data… it’s a trending word right now in the tech industry. Big Data… etc. You’re right, it is a huge talking point, but only if you’re using the data correctly.

“There’s also a big difference between being data driven and data informed. I’m 100 percent in the camp of using data to lead a team. I feel equally strongly that data shouldn’t drive the manager; the manager should use data to drive decisions.”3

In order to have good data to make good decisions, you need to keep track of everything. Depending on what your data says, you can make some game changing decisions based off of it. All of those decisions will directly affect your bottom line.

“Every moment your team spends trying to figure out whom to call and how to reach them is lost to actually engaging with prospects.4

Do yourself a favor and keep your data clean. Bogging down your CRM with crap isn’t going to get you anywhere. I’ve been updating my system lately and it’s a pain in the butt. You have to do it if you want to ‘own’ your territory.

“What you do matters. You have the ability to influence not only the culture of your team, but also how your company is perceived by prospects. You have the chance to shape not only the career trajectory of dozens and dozens of reps, but also the growth path of your entire organization.”5

If you’re in sales or thinking about going into sales development, this book is a must read. This book paints a bigger pitcher and gives the reader a clear and conscience image of how a sales development organization should run. The Ah-Ha Moments Bertuzzi has displayed in this book are absolutely incredible.

 

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with Trish on Twitter @bridgegroupinc

 

The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

Get “The Sales Development Playbook” on Amazon.

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 8

I always find it ironic that while I’m reading these books, I come across life examples the day after I write a post. And then, I’ll continue reading and I’ll come across something else that happened the day before! It freaking blows my mind.

“In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.”1

If you can speak clearly and simply and validate that they understand, you’re more likely to connect with them. I followed up with a prospect shortly after having a great conversation with them. I thought the conversation went great… them on the other hand… they were confused. I was talking in the terminology I talk with my coworkers. Of course the prospect wasn’t going to understand me. Shame on me!

“The bottom line when it comes to holding people’s interest and connecting with others is that you should try to be the kind of communicator you would like to hear.”2

Who comes to mind right away for you? Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) is my favorite communicator and speaker. The way he can connect with his audience is absolutely amazing. I’ve only seen him talk in videos! The passion, excitement and his ability to connect with the audience is how he separates himself from other speakers.

“Connecting has a lot to do with letting who you are influence everything you do.” – Brad Cork3

I’m sure that I’m interpreting this quote differently than you. I think it means; use your character to influence everything you do. You, as a person, are going to be the sole driving factor behind connecting with people in whichever way you please. People can tell you to do things… but until you want it and feel it, you’re not going to put everything into it. Where’s the passion? Brand yourself and allow your brand to speak for you. Better make sure you’ve got a kick ass brand!!

“People need to feel your gratitude for them”4

If you take some of their time, make sure they know how thankful you are. I’m getting in the habit of always thanking my listeners for their time. Not only thanking them for their time prior to me speaking, but also thanking them when I’m all done. Also, if they’re inspired and walk away with some new knowledge… thank them again! As you continue to inspire people, you’re going to build credibility. People trust people that are credible.

“When a person is credible, the longer the time, the better it gets. For someone who lacks credibility, the longer the time, the worse it gets. Credibility is currency for leaders and communicators.”5

And just like that, you know what you need to be doing. Establish credibility! You can fake credibility… but it’s a guarantee that it’s going to bite you in the butt later. Have you ever spoken with someone that you thought was really credible? And then you found out a few days later that they’re just full of shit? It sucks when that happens, but it happens all the time.

“Credibility is all about trust.”6

While you’re speaking with someone that is credible, you worry less. You take their word for what it is and follow in their footsteps. If you don’t trust them… you’ll probably fact check them or Google the answer you’re looking for. Credibility and trust is a huge driving factor in our jobs, in sales, communicating and connecting. If you aren’t building your brand, becoming a credible resource and gaining the trust of others, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Another incredible point Maxwell makes as we talk about credibility:

“Credibility is not perfection but a willingness to admit imperfection.” – Roger7

Yes… We all want to be perfect… But we all know that’s impossible. It’s okay to screw up. Take accountability, say you’re sorry and strive to be better. When someone asks you a question that you don’t have the answer to… don’t lie and give them some silly answer. Tell them you’ll figure it out and get back to them. They’ll appreciate the honesty and the ability to get it answered. Being honest makes you vulnerable and that makes people feel uncomfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because if you aren’t pushing your boundaries, I don’t think you’re growing.

It’s your turn! Go out there, connect, establish credibility, engage with your network, provide value, and thank them. Show your gratitude!

 

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with John on Twitter @JohnCMaxwell

 

Get “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” on Amazon.

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

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