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SALES EXECUTIVES USE TWITTER & THIS IS WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU…

Classroom_350_shadowThe teachers didn’t do this back when I was in high school, but when my children were in those years, they were sometimes allowed to make their own index card cheat sheet. And, they were allowed to use it during a test.

I remember the first time my oldest child told me that. It was the second week of the new school year.

What was my response?

I immediately called the school and talked to that teacher. And yes, she confirmed they were allowed to do it for that test. So, I gave her the benefit of the doubt…well, better said, I suspended judgment.

The result was what I expected: an A+ for my daughter. Of course…she had the answers. What I didn’t expect was what my girl told me: “Dad, I barely used the index card while I took the test, and it was the same for most of the other kids.”

WHY DID IT WORK?
The teacher later told me that since they were so motivated to write as much information as they could on both sides of the index card [in really tiny writing] the students reviewed more and retained a lot more information.

She also explained that to the students so they saw the results of a new way to effectively study for tests, and added: “Just be sure to leave those index cards in your backpacks the rest of the year whenever we start a test. You won’t need them anyway.”

SO WHAT?
So sometimes I come across a resource that’s so deep and practical in its helpfulness that I pull out an index card and start writing—in really small writing—so I can learn it once without continually forgetting and going back to the resource to learn it again and again.

We’re wired to remember things better when we write them down by hand. Most of us don’t know that [or believe that] so we fail to gain the benefit from putting that knowledge to use (i.e. wisdom).

I found one of those rich kinds of resources this month and I want to share it with you. It’s on the overlapping topics of:

  • Growing your online influence
  • The effective [and efficient] use of Twitter for sales pros
  • Social selling

This resource short-circuits the learning process. It creates a shortcut to achieving your goal of becoming more effective in growing your social media influence for the purpose of more successfully creating quality leads with sales executives.

Carter Hostelley (@carterhostelley) is the CEO and founder of @Leadtail. He wrote this original post: “How Sales Execs Use Twitter,” for @funnelholic; it’s an extended version of the shorter post Hostelley wrote for Leadtail’s blog.

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Hostelley’s post is this:

Start by sharing and engaging those publications, brands and people that influence your
target audience. This will put you on the path to becoming influential, too!

WHAT I LIKED
I liked this post because the wisdom shared in these 575 words helps sales professionals, such as yourself, quickly get noticeably more effective in building your online influence via Twitter. It’s like that cheat sheet. Once you get it, you get it.

No more wasted effort on Twitter; you can now be laser-focused.

Hostelley leads off with these words:

“While there may be debate about whether LinkedIn or Twitter is more popular with salespeople, there’s no question that sales executives are becoming more active on Twitter. Why?

Why indeed:

“They understand the power of the micro-blogging platform as a way to monitor, reach, and engage target buyers while also building their personal brand.”

That brings up these two questions, which are answered in the rest of the post:

  1. How are these sales leaders engaging on Twitter?
  2. In what ways can you use this information to become more effective on social media for your social selling activities?

The post is then broken down into these sections, and each one is worth writing about on your own cheat sheet:

  • How Sales Executives Engage on Twitter
  • What Sales Execs Talk About
  • Top Publications Sales Leaders Read and Share
  • People Most Retweeted by Sales Leaders…and the application section:

     

  • How Sales Professionals Can Use This Data

Some of the top content sources will change over the next few years. But you can be sure any new sources added to the list will present and supply content with elements similar to what today’s sources offer.

Look for those similarities so you too better understand the why of what interests sales executives today and well into the future.

Definitely share this post with a colleague today.

[Reading Time of Hostelley’s Post: 2:30 minutes]
QUESTION ::: How does Hostelley’s post’s information align or differ with what you’ve believed about the habits of sales executive on Twitter?

Let’s talk about it…

Read more »

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HOW TO MATURE IN THE ART OF [SALES] CONVERSATION

Businessman_-_Pop_Art_372_shadowThink about the best conversationalist you know. They would likely admit they still have a lot to learn about the art of conversation.

How much more should you realize the same truth?

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

— Dale Carnegie

By simply reading this far in this post, I can already tell you have some understanding of how we all have room to grow in this area. We, as sales professionals, must continually grow in the art of conversation.

Conversation is the medium by which we make a living and fulfill our dreams for ourselves and for our families. That’s why I looked up an extremely useful set of resources on this topic for you.

Sales Engine’s Director of Sales & Digital Strategy [and marathoner] Jenny Poore (@salesenginejp) blogs for @SalesEngine. She wrote a post back in 2013 that still remains as one of my favorite resources on the topic of effective conversation for sales professionals. (I had bumped into it one day and it was exactly what I needed to read in that moment.)

The post is titled, A Salesperson’s Guide To Conducting Sales Conversation,” and it’s a part of Sales Engine Blog’s Art of the Conversation series.

The text of the post itself won’t even take you 2 minutes to read. The primary reason I consider it so valuable for you to read is the more than half-a-dozen links to additional resources on the variety of subtopics making up the most important aspects of The Art of the Conversation.

The post asks a couple of questions as section headers. Specifically:

  • What is the “art of conversation”?
  • How can I, as a salesperson, spend more time in meaningful sales conversation?

There’s a video embedded in the paragraph under the first header (“Entrepreneurial Selling” 5:20 minutes in length, by Kaufman Founders School). Through questions asked and explanation given, the video is both a wake-up call for us and the perfect way to quickly increase your interest in learning more about becoming a stronger communicator.

DON’T MISS >> There are 4 links in the next section of the post which link to quite brief, but helpful posts with information you can put into practice today in your next conversation.

Finally, there’s an offer to access a free ebook titled, How to Communicate With Influence: For Sales Pros and Leaders. It’s a more than fair trade for sharing your name and email address. If this topic interests you, then you’ll get a lot out of the ebook.

If you download the 42-page resource (written by Sales Engine’s CEO & Founder, @craigwortmann), be sure to check out the“Preparations & Sales Meetings Checklist” near the end of the book. It’s a great cheat sheet to ensure you’re ready for every meeting, and conversation, moving forward.

[Reading Time: 2:00]
[Video Viewing Time: 5:20]
QUESTIONS: [taken from the end of Jenny Poore’s post]
Do you think conversation is an art form? How do you know when you’re in an meaningful conversation?
What tips and strategies would you give a rookie salesperson when it comes to conversations with prospects?

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: RECOVERY TIPS, CASTING OFF, NETWORKING & RESPONDING WELL

Boss_308_shadowThis week’s links are about recovering well from a lost sale, casting off unhelpful things, how most networking efforts are useless and what to do if you have a bad manager.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH :::

MarrsCoaching.com Blog
What Happens When You Lose A Sale?
Pierce Marrs (@piercemarrs) offers a valuable blog post with the option to listen to Marrs read the text to you. I highly recommend it. The post offers direction on what to do, and understand, after losing a sale.

KEY QUOTE: “…I respectfully told him the truth. I could not meet the deadline and that he should buy from my competition. It was a difficult decision but the right one for him. I have no concern about having a chance when he does another project because I treated him the way I would want to be treated and he understood that. I did not lose my customer. I just lost that sale. There is a big difference.”

You won’t win them all, but you’ll win more sales if you recover from the losses the right way. #winthenexttime
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:30]

++++

TheSalesBlog.com
The 7 Things You Must Leave Behind to Get Ahead
Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) is back again this week with a new resource. It’s a challenging one, even for me after all of my years in our industry.

If you approach this blog post with an open mind and willingness to be honest with yourself, the two minutes you spend reading this will give you an excellent  ROI:

KEY QUOTE: “… to say you believe something without acting in accordance with that belief is the same as not believing it.”

I wish I was handed this list back when I started my first job in sales. I really do. #takethechallenge
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:00]

++++

Harvard Business Review
99% of Networking Is a Waste of Time
Greg McKeown (@gregorymckeown for @HarvardBiz) boldly titles his latest article, but he has some great examples to back up his claim told to him by a man known as “Mr.Davos” because of his incredible ability to effectively network at the highest level at every event he attends.

KEY QUOTE: “Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They are attached to people.”

Now you can be incredibly effective during your next conference, even if half of your colleagues have no idea why you’re doing all that you’re doing [or not doing]. #networklikeyouowntheplace
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]

++++

EyesOnSales.com
Six New Ways to Handle: “I Need to Talk to My Boss/Partner/Corporate” Etc.
Mike Brooks (@top20percent) has a real knack for putting together detailed nuts and bolts posts about what to say and do in specific selling conversations. This post is no exception.

KEY QUOTE: “these techniques won’t always work at overcoming this stall (sometimes they will, though!), but they will let you know how much of a stall this put off is, whether or not it’s a smokescreen, and how much of a shot you have at overcoming it, side-stepping it, or setting yourself up for a successful next call (or if there should even be a next call with a prospect).”

>> Be sure to bookmark his extremely valuable archive of posts. #dontmissthisresource
[Reading/Listening Time: 4:00]

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO :::

Score More Sales Blog
When You Have a Bad Sales Manager
Lori Richardson (@scoremoresales) once again appears in my weekly list of links with this recent post. She gives excellent advice to determine your next steps and what they should be depending on your situation.

KEY QUOTE: The number one reason someone quits a company is because of his or her direct supervisor.”

Bookmark Lori’s blog so you don’t need to wait for me to highlight her next valuable post. #badmanagergoodadvice
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:00]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: TRIGGERS, DEPARTURES, BUYER FRUSTRATIONS & EMAILS

Idea_Lightbulb_300_shadowThis week’s links cover becoming the sales trigger, recovering after a sales team member leaves, things your B2B buyer is tired of and some key emails you need to have ready for the right situations.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

EARN MORE SALES :::

TheSalesBlog.com
Be the Trigger Event

Speaker, author, and sales leader Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) always has a good word to share, and I genuinely appreciate that he seems to consistently write his posts only as long as they need to be. Brevity is a great quality in a sales professional.

Iannarino may give you your latest “A-HA!” moment for your sales career in this post.

KEY QUOTE: You are the trigger when you know how to share the implications of political, technological, economic, and cultural changes in a way that allows your client to see around corners, avoiding hidden dangers, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

There should be at least one idea in reading this post where you’ll honestly feel more empowered. Keep writing Anthony. I enjoy making time to read what you have to say. #feelthepower
[Reading Time: 2:30]

LEADERSHIP :::

BizLockerRoom.com
3 Steps to Pivot Through a Key Employee Departure

CEO, columnist and author Marissa Levin (with @salesgravy) crafted this blog post for a fairly specific, yet common situation. I really like knowing this resource is out there for us. It’s helpful, efficiently written and encouraging for those sales teams who have recently lost a key colleague to another company.

KEY QUOTE: Leadership is never really about the needs of the leader. Leadership is about the followers – your employees, customer, investors, and partners. It’s about the entity and the community that you are building. However, to put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders, you must have a strong sense of self-awareness. You must know your own triggers and reactions, and then adjust them accordingly. As a leader, your reactions to situations are being watched and evaluated.

What you do as the sales leader of your team matters a lot…especially in the little things. If you’re not in this situation at this time (and I hope you are not), bookmark this for yourself or for a peer who will eventually deal with this potentially difficult challenge. #leaderslead
[Reading Time: 2:30]

CONNECTING WITH BUYERS :::

RAIN Group
5 Things Your B2B Buyer Wants You To Stop Doing
B2B sales trainer, coach & consultant Ago Cluytens (@acluytens) posted this very helpful article with a video to accompany it. So, either watch or read…how many online resources give you that option?

What I really like about this is how well Cluytens puts us in the shoes of the B2B buyer in order to drive home some very important points.

KEY QUOTE: It’s not me versus you. It’s us versus the problem.

Just in case you glance at the 5 points and think you’ve heard it all before, I urge you to click on the video and listen to Ago explain his case to you. It’s worth your time, then pass it on to someone else. #dontbethatguy
[Reading Time: 4:30]
[Viewing Time: 4:59]

IanBrodie.com
[VIDEO] 3 Powerful Emails You MUST Have In Your Toolkit
Ian Brodie (@ianbrodie) has a series of videos he calls his “5 Minute Marketing Tips.” This week’s tip runs a bit longer than 5 minutes, but all is forgiven because he’s right about the importance of having these 3 emails written and ready in your arsenal.

KEY QUOTE: A lot of the big corporate email systems as well, are looking at system wide engagement rates. If you’ve got lots of people who aren’t opening and clicking your emails, they kind of mark you down, and they’re much more likely to push your emails into the spam folder or the promotions tab, or somewhere else. So the people who do want to get your emails might not see them. You don’t want people not opening and clicking your emails.

The video transcript is available below the video player, but Brodie will connect better with you about his tips if you watch him. Besides, you can’t hear his great accent if you read it yourself. #emailisnotdead
[Viewing Time: 6:54]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: WRITING IT DOWN, SECRETS OF BARISTAS & DERAILING THE SALE

Coffee_342_shadowThis week’s links are about having greater effectiveness through note taking, the metaphor of the barista, the power of FREE and 5 great ways to lose a sale.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

BE MORE EFFECTIVE :::

The Sales Heretic
Eight Ways Taking Notes Boosts Your Sales
Did you know there are at least 8 beneficial reasons for taking notes during sales meetings? Don Cooper“The Sales Heretic”(@doncooper) put together this list that’s both efficient and effective in explaining why you need to be taking good notes during every sales call.

KEY QUOTE: “Reviewing your notes after the conversation can enable you to make connections you previously missed and trigger questions that didn’t occur to you at the time. This gives you a great reason to follow up later with meaningful questions and valuable ideas.

Personally, I used to simply write on the notepad in my portfolio, but I switched to a more premium moleskin journal. I believe it has been yet another way to improve a prospect’s perception of me, and I’ve been asked about it many times at the close of meetings. #noted
[Reading Time: 1:30]

Sales Equity Blog
How Your Client Experience Can Rock Like A Barista Does
We have an inherent desire to be known by others. Not by everyone, but by a select few. The barista connects with customers on this very foundational level. The simple act being known by name and by our coffee preferences connects us to a brand like few other things do.

We need to be those kinds of top-notch baristas to our customers.

I enjoyed reading and later thinking about this post by Fernando Ramirez (@fredlistens). I believe you will as well.

KEY QUOTE: “For a Barista, it is as simple as recognizing customers by their first name or how they like their coffee. Be the barista that customers care about and know. Remember, customers aren’t just buying a cup of coffee. They are paying for the experience & your expertise that comes along with your product offering.

“Focus less on the transactional aspect of business (product features, pricing, etc.), and more on your clients’ business challenges and the kind of help you can offer them. It’s the relationship that matters the most.”

What needs to change in order to make your customer relationship experience less like a salesperson and more like a barista. #grandequadnonfatonepumpnowhipmocha #cancelthat #takeitblack
[Reading Time: 2:00]

CLOSING THE DEAL :::

Saleskick Blog
5 Tips to Making a FREE Offer to Close a Sale
Depending on what you’re selling, giving something away free, even for a limited time, may not be possible or the best thing to do. But, there are some situations, perhaps some you haven’t yet thought of, where the right free offer seals the deal.

Jim Logan (@saleskick) writes about the importance of timing, using the right offer and delivering full customer service to prospects who accept your free offer.

KEY QUOTE: “If you build the case for your product or service – benefits, difference, reason to believe – and close with an offer to try it for FREE, it demonstrates supreme confidence in everything you’ve presented. If you open and push the FREE offer, you run the risk of appearing desperate. Sad, but true.”

Again, this isn’t for every situation. What might you be able to offer that you haven’t yet been offering? #youarefreetoclosethesale
[Reading Time: 1:30]

WHAT NOT TO DO :::

The Center For Sales Strategy Blog
Derail the Sale? Five Sure-Fire Ways
Steve Marx (@SteveMarx) offer 5 strong reminders worth reviewing [every week] before setting off to make the most of your sales week.

KEY QUOTE: “In some cases, you can learn about specific challenges they’re facing or opportunities they’re chasing. And information about specific people at the company that you might approach? If you want to stay in the dark about them, be sure to steer clear of LinkedIn.

Not only is it easier than ever to qualify a prospect, but these days many of the best prospects are raising their hands and qualifying themselves. But never mind all that: Derail your sale by investing gobs of time in an unqualified prospect.”

Be honest with yourself and look for ways you may be guilty of 1 or more of these, at least in part, then make the changes needed to be more effective at what you do best…getting the sale#salesFAILs
[Reading Time: 2:00]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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10 SUREFIRE WAYS TO #FAIL IN YOUR EMAIL ETIQUETTE

FAIL_440I need to make a confession…

I thought of that title after reading Bubba Page’s article (@BubbaPage, along with @MaxAlts) for Inc.com titled, “10 Must-Follow Rules of Email Etiquette.”

My title plays off the fact that if you don’t read and take heed of Page’s direction on this important topic we [most often subconsciously] deal with every day, then it will only be a matter of time until you FAIL hard. It will not be pretty…it never is.

If that isn’t motivation enough to keep reading, let’s take a look at my favorite moment reading Page’s piece:

Your connections and relationships are extremely important and introductions are delicate. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when they aren’t treated as such. Therefore, here is my lesson in introductions that should be used by all salespeople, or even just all human beings in general.

If those words strongly resonated with you , as they did with me, then you’re definitely ahead of the curve. By my estimation, about a third of all people would see that and deeply agree, another third more or less would agree but not be moved to action/growth, and the rest wouldn’t really care.

If you’re in the middle third, there’s hope for you yet. Read on…

Page discusses situations such as:

  • Who Responds First, And How Fast?
  • Move To Bcc (when to do it after introductions)
  • Providing Context (for the one doing the introduction)
  • Making Intros Mutually Beneficial

I really want you to take 5 minutes to read this one and then to bookmark it. You will definitely  want to refer to it again at some point in the future.

Page’s article could’ve been titled something along the lines of, “The Ultimate Guide to Getting B2B Email Right Every Time,” or, “The Only Primer For B2B Email Etiquette You’ll Ever Need” and the feature would’ve still been aptly named.

I say that because of its great attention to the details and nuances of so many of the most common situations we [attempt to] navigate on a daily basis.

Now, if you were in the middle third of people when you first began reading this story, and you have now clicked over to Page’s article and read it, where are you now?

Thank you for taking the time needed to put together this resource  for us, Bubba and Max. Keep writing, young men, keep writing…

QUESTION ::: What was the biggest email etiquette FAIL you’ve witnessed (by someone else, of course)? How have you learned from the mistakes of others?

Let’s talk about it…

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: STORYTELLING, TALKING PRICES & MORE

Story_290_shadowThis week’s links offer a reminder about storytelling in sales, getting away from me, myself and I, a healthy dose of inspiration and some frank talk about price.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

INCREASING SALES :::

ExceedSales.com
Storytelling in Sales: Improve Your Sales Success
Exceed Sales (@elisaciarametar) has an excellent guest post by Christopher Kogler (@cakogler) focused on a single example of the power of storytelling for sales professionals. If you aren’t consistently using the power of storytelling…congratulations! I say that because this is low-hanging fruit within your grasp.

Promise me you’ll at least click to read the last paragraph, if you do, I promise you’ll want to go back and read the rest of the piece. #storytime
[Reading time: 1:30]

Sales Wars Blog
“You” Messaging for Better Sales Communications
This guest blog post on “You” Messaging, by Andrew Moravick (@amoravick) for @AberdeenGroup is both a reminder for all of us and a deeper dive into examples of what this kind of communication is and is not.

In my experience, this communication technique consistently works [much better than not using it] in all industries, in all markets, for all types of people and for all types of products and services. Thank you for posting this one @quotafactory. #itsaboutthem
[Reading time: 3:30]

OVERCOMING EXCUSES :::

The Sales Hunter Blog
Why Your Sales Team is So Afraid of Price (and What You Can Do About It!)
I really like Mark Hunter‘s (@thesaleshunter) boldness and accuracy on calling out an issue too many sales professionals use as an excuse for not having more sales. Are you willing to read it to see if you’re guilty…even a little bit? His four tips at the end of the post are excellent. #getoverit
[Reading time: 3:00]

INSPIRATION :::

CloserIQ
21 Inspiring Dale Carnegie Quotes to Rescue Any Bad Day
Vi-An Nguyen, for CloserIQ (@CloserIQ), accomplished two important things with this post. First, no doubt is left that Dale Carnegie is still relevant today. And second, this isn’t just a list of quotes from a single source. She created a resource for those days when you can use some encouragement from someone who knew a thing or two about sales since he knew more than a thing or two about people. #wisewords
[Reading time: 3:30]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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