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TOP SALES BLOG POSTS TO READ [BEFORE YOUR COMPETITORS DO]

Sales_Executive_X_for_Twitter-1I’ll be back soon with more blog posts.

Until then, here are some of our most popular blog posts to date. We highly recommend reading them before your competition does…

Which one is your favorite?

 

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SOCIAL SELLING 101: GET UP-TO-SPEED TODAY

Social_Selling_-_Laptop_287_shadowFor businesses looking to boost revenues and beat their quota, social media is an excellent [and often-under-utilized] sales tool.

Though marketing and PR have long accepted the value of social reach, many sales teams have been slow to embrace the social network as an avenue of consumer connection.

But gone are the days of cold-calling and face-to-face meetings – today’s savvy customers are using social media to screen their business contacts, familiarize themselves with brands, and connect with industry experts and influencers.

Which means if your sales team wants to meet increasing quotas and boost revenues, they’ll need to update their social skills and connect with your prospective audience on their preferred platforms.

HOW TO GET STARTED
Shifting your attention to social selling can take a bit of adjustment, but if your business is serious about boosting sales, you’ll need to take the leap; your competition has already done so.

I’ve outlined my best suggestions, below, to help smooth the transition.

  • Do your research. Prepare to enter the world of social selling by doing a little digging. Your sales team will want to identify your industry influencers and their preferred social networks, and spend some time following the current conversation – what are they talking about? And, who with?Remind your sales team that social selling is not about pushing a product or service – it is about establishing credibility and connection through conversation. A little research will help your sales team gain great insight regarding the values and attitudes of your prospective audience – and apply it to drive real dialogue.
  • Establish concrete, measurable goals. Outline a plan for increasing your social reach, and make sure your sales team is up to speed. Whether your goal is to increase your page Likes on Facebook or boost the number of posts re-Tweeted – take time to set real, actionable, and measurable milestones, and you’ll find it far easier to track your progress.
  • Allocate time specifically for social selling. It takes time to build a strong social presence – but even 15 minutes per day can hold a huge impact on your success. Build social selling into your daily schedule, by asking each member of your sales team to spend a period of time each day interacting via social media. At the end of the month, review your reach – and make sure to record your results.
  • Track activities and results individually, and as a team. Keep an eye on your metrics! While most networks offer built-in tools for tracking results, you may find it helpful to use a comprehensive sales solution such as that offered by SalesFitRX to aggregate and track your social selling results between networks.However you choose to approach it, make sure you follow your progress and results both as a team and individually. You’ll not only see the impact of your efforts – you’ll identify which members of your sales team have a knack for social selling.
  • Provide support and motivation. Check in with your sales professionals frequently, to see how their conversations are going. Provide clear content guidance, periodical prompts, or suggestions of interest to help inspire those who might benefit – and discuss the results as a team in your weekly meeting. Discuss your progress, and share the data which proves your results – and you’ll find your team motivated to continue extending your social reach.
  • Adjust the strategy to meet your desired results. Over time, you’ll discover the nuances of each social network, and learn which avenues are the best revenue generators. Maybe your prospective audience has a stronger presence on LinkedIn, or Twitter – whatever the platform, encourage your sales team to focus their efforts, allocating more time to presence where you see results.

Social selling is still a new world to many sales reps – so ease your team into the transition by providing effective education and guidance.

You’ll help your sales team extend your business’s reach, establish credibility, drive conversational connection, and meet their increasing quotas – all while boosting your bottom line.

Contact me today to learn more about how to find more selling time, through award-winning technology, in your weekly schedule: Karl.Gustafson@salesfitrx.com

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ATTRACTING BUYERS IS HOW THE GAME IS WON

Niagara_Falls_350_shadowEvery year during the Spring months the waters from Canada begin to thaw and a river littered with chunks of ice flows toward the drop-off of Niagara Falls.

There’s a dangerous game of attraction at play.

Some of those floating pieces of ice contain dead fish which were killed by the freezing water. Those fish attract birds wanting those fish for dinner. But, that isn’t the dangerous element in and of itself.

When a bird spots some ice containing a fish, it lands on it and pecks away to eat as much of the fish as it can before the chunk falls over the edge of the falls.

Most birds are able to land, eat some fish, and fly to safety just before the ice plunges down the falls, but not all of them.

Every once in a while a bird will become so engrossed in the fish that it loses the focus needed to ensure its own safety.

The bird will remain on the piece of ice too long and will not be able to fly away at the precipice of the falls because its feet are stuck to the ice, taking the ice, the fish and the bird crashing to the bottom of the falls.*

I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
Attraction can be an incredibly powerful thing. We know this to be true in many areas of our lives. It can be used in right and wrong ways. But, most importantly for our purposes here, it can be a powerful tool in your professional skill set if you know how to use it.

We’ve all heard the English proverb: “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” But how does that practically translate into our careers in sales? More specifically, how can we use this truth to be more effective in our social sellingefforts?

I found an expert who can help us with this matter, and he’s been very successful at using strong forms of attraction to draw buyers into conversation with him.

Social selling trainer and speaker Jeff Molander (@jeffreymolander) wrote a post on his site, MakeSocialMediaSell.com, titled: A Weird (But Effective) Way to Set Appointments Faster On LinkedIn.” It’s the resource I want to tell you about today.

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

Stop requesting what you want from buyers and, instead, begin consistently attracting buyers who are acting on their own volition.

WHAT I LIKED
What I especially liked about this post is how it began with some action steps:

  • Stop requesting to connect with prospects on LinkedIn.
  • Stop asking for the appointment in your “first touch” message.
  • Start allowing prospects decide if they want to talk to you—help them feel the desire to meet with you IF it’s the right thing to do.

The big benefit of this is:

This “attraction” strategy helps your leads qualify or disqualify themselves.

When self-qualified buyers respond to you, you have a hotter lead. You’ve also saved yourself the time of qualifying them, giving you more time locate and potentially attract additional self-qualified buyers.

The majority of the rest of the post uses a real life example of a sales professional at Intel. It’s a very practical, nuts and bolts, post giving you exactly what you need to begin making improvements in your own buyer attraction today.

There’s also a pair of templates near the end of the post. I recommend viewing those as guides, and as not boilerplates. Create your own personal versions of them to ensure your own voice is used.

The checklist at the end of the post is also quite helpful. Don’t miss it.

Remember:

Showing buyers you know what they want > Asking buyers for what you want

Attraction is powerful. Don’t forget you’re susceptible to it as well.

Don’t get caught riding on a prospect too long, to the detriment of more viable buyers, and suddenly plunging down to your own place of peril.

I also recommend reading Jeff Molander’s blog with regularity. If you do, you’ll quickly realize his expertise related to social selling on LinkedIn. His posts can help you find shortcuts to greater success with your own social selling work.

[Reading Time of Molander’s Post: 5:00 minutes]

* The Niagara Falls illustration was adapted from a talk by Dr. George Sweeting
QUESTION ::: How have you been able to successfully attract buyers

Let’s talk about it…

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SALES TRIGGERS THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD

Mars_349_shadowNearly 20 years ago, Mars candy bars surged in popularity quite unexpectedly.

It was unexpected because the company that produced, and still produces, the candy bar didn’t have a new marketing campaign, they hadn’t made any changes to the product, they hadn’t spent more advertising dollars…nothing had changed on their end.

So why was there a surge in sales?

1997 was the same year NASA launched a rocket into space carrying the highly publicized Pathfinder expedition probe. Do you remember which planet that probe would soon study?

You’re correct if you said it was the planet Mars.

The media attention given to the planet via the NASA expedition triggered popularity in the candy bar.*

I’m not exactly sure how the marketing team at Mars, Inc. missed the opportunity to intentionally create a campaign to leverage that opportunity. They certainly proved they weren’t a bunch of rocket scientists over there. They were simply fortunate to get what they did receive in increased sales.

Trigger events. They’re constantly occurring around us, and within our online sphere, all day/every day. They’re opportunities upon which to capitalize, but only A). if we can recognize them, and B). if we know how to respond.

That’s where today’s resource comes in.

Global Head of Social Media & Content Marketing at @CognizantGerry Moran (@GerryMoran), wrote a post on his site earlier this year and I want to make sure you don’t miss it. He titled it: 30 LinkedIn Sales Triggers.”

Moran begins it by addressing my points made above about triggers (focusing primarily on the first one in this post):

  • Can we recognize them?
  • Do we know how to effectively respond to them?

He addresses them with these opening words:

“The key to social selling success is fishing where the fish are. You might be fishing where the fish are, but you do know what to do when you get a nibble on the line?”

This resource focuses on triggers found specifically in LinkedIn. He cites 30 different triggers to watch for.

Note: You may be thinking, at this moment, that you already know what the LinkedIn triggers are. If so, do yourself this favor. Grab a pen and some paper and write down 30 of those triggers. Then, when you fall short of 30 triggers, read on…

Moran’s 30 triggers are listed within the post in a graphic and also later in the text of this resource. You won’t miss it.

The rest of the post is written covering these 2 sections:

  • 5 Reasons Why It’s Important To Pay Attention To Social Selling Triggers
  • Here’s Some Research To Hook You Into The Decision-Maker

The author repeats the list of triggers later in the post and addresses the aspects of knowing what to do when you see a trigger occur.

His advice on this is something I also recommend, and that is to sign-up for email delivery of his posts. You’ll find a variety of ways to respond to triggers in his past and future posts.

As for that Mars bar trigger I mentioned earlier, now that you’ve read this post, don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the grocery store checkout line sometime this week and [before you realize it] you’re handing a Mars bar to the cashier to purchase and eat on the ride home.

It’s not your fault. You can blame those calories on me.

[Reading Time of Moran’s Article: 3:00 minutes]

* Adapted from Jonah Berger, Contagious (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
QUESTION ::: What additional triggers do you see out there you’d like to share with your peers?

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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…

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WHAT DID DALE CARNEGIE KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL SELLING?

Baseball_Stadium_359_shadowMy father was in his years of needing to use a wheelchair years ago. We were driving to a baseball game and accidentally left the wheelchair at his home.

He said to keep driving to the game, he’d manage.

I could tell, as we approached the stadium, that he was getting anxious. He wondered out loud how he would be able to stand in the long lines waiting to get in. I responded by telling him, “Dad, I have a foolproof plan.”

I explained that if the handicap parking spots were full, I’d pull up to the curb. I’d wave over to someone working at the stadium and tell him these words: “Hi. My father doesn’t have his wheelchair and he doesn’t have a lot of strength to stand in the long lines to get in. Do you know who would have the authority to assist him to his seat?”

My father smiled. He said, “You’re going to empower them by giving them a clear opportunity to do what they would really like to do. They have the authority, but you’ve empowered them by thinking in terms of the other person.”

“Carnegie,” was all I said as I smiled. Then he smiled bigger. He had passed that on to me years earlier. Apparently I had been listening.

Have you read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People?

It was first published nearly 80 years ago, but it’s stood the test of time because Dale Carnegie was really good at understanding people.

“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

When you accurately understand people, on a core level of needs, desires and fears, you can sell anything to anyone. That’s what it took to sell some of the things he sold… Pig lard? Seriously?

Although Carnegie never dabbled in social selling as we know it today, so many of the things he did do and say show us clearly how good he would’ve been at it today.

Social selling and content marketing expert Koka Sexton (@kokasexton) posted an article to LinkedIn almost two years ago titled: “5 Things Dale Carnegie Can Teach You About Social Selling.”

This article has also stood the test of time and is just as relevant, and practically useful, today as it was back in 2013. That’s simply because Carnegie’s lessons about understanding people has stood a far greater duration of time..

“Dale Carnegie understood human nature better than just about anyone in the 20th century – or today for that matter. His message was simple: happiness and success are achieved when you focus on making others happy and successful.”

Think in the terms of the other person. Carnegie said that often.

WHAT DID CARNEGIE KNOW BACK THEN?
In Sexton’s article, the author explains five things Dale Carnegie can teach us about social selling. And it really does work, because social selling is rooted in understanding human behavior.

Whenever you can get better at this skill, especially as a sales professional, do it.

I’ll only tell you about one of the 5 points here; you can read the rest of it after you finish reading this article. That point is: Become genuinely interested in other people.

It sounds as if you would already understand this, but Carnegie had an amazing ability to help us understand principles like this one on a much deeper level through anecdotes.

There’s a noticeable difference, in the eyes of the buyer, between someone who knows they should be genuinely interested in the other person and someone who genuinely is interested in the other person.

On the seller’s end, the differences aren’t easily distinguishable when the genuineness is forced. The seller may feel he or she is fooling the buyer, but it’s not happening. That leads to much confusion and sales slumps.

Becoming, perhaps for the first time in your life, truly genuinely interested in the other person gives us the “Aha!” moment we need to know what to replicate. The confusion goes away and your confidence builds quickly and it feels different. It feels permanent.

The rest of Sexton’s principles are also must-reads (so go read his article now) as are Carnegie’s books. I’ve kept a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People in my briefcase [and now in my laptop bag] for more than 25 years. I even carry extra paperback copies to give away to others.

Along with Sexton’s article, I also highly recommend downloading his Secrets of Success compilation [click to view the downloadable PDF file] as well as bookmarking his Golden Book.

Regarding my father, everything went perfect. I was able to park and take my seat next to him before the umpire yelled: “Play ball!”

It’s once again time for us to get out there and play ball!

[Reading Time For Sexton’s Article: 3:30 minutes]


QUESTION ::: Thinking about everything Carnegie has taught us over the years, which nugget means the most to you.

Let’s talk about it…

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EFFECTIVE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS FOR B2B SALES PROFESSIONALS ::: FSG LINKS

Content_Marketing_2_-_360x244_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

I want to steer you toward some powerful resources this week to grow you in your B2B content marketing efforts.

These experts know what they’re talking about when it comes to this popular topic, and I believe they can shortcut some important lessons for you to help save you time in improving your content marketing and social selling ROI sooner than later.

Return to this blog daily, especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

EFFECTIVE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS FOR B2B SALES PROFESSIONALS :::


Joe_Pulizzi_152x150_shadowContent Marketing Institute

B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends [North America]
This blog post from CMI founder Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) gives you the highlights, but you’ll definitely want to download and review this annual @CMIContent resource if you’re currently using content to build your B2B client relationships.

And, if you’re not using content yet, this is a great place to start understanding what your peers are doing and how they’re doing it.

KEY QUOTE (from the full report): “If we had to pick one key theme that has emerged from this year’s B2B research, it would be this: If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your strategy.”

You can’t easily and successfully repeat [and train others about] what’s worked for you if your process isn’t documented. #ContentGrowsRelationships

[Reading Time of This Post: 4:30 minutes]

[Reading Time of the Full Report: 30:00+ minutes]

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Julie_R_Neidlinger_151x150_shadowCoSchedule Blog
5 Teaching Theories That Will Improve Your Educational Content Marketing
Freelance writer, artist [and private pilot] Julie Neidlinger (@julieneidlinger) created this deep dive post about how we in the sales industry can borrow from the educational field to gain effectiveness. The post includes the option to download a related guide.

KEY QUOTE: “Your educational content marketing, after all, is strongly about teaching people. Knowing a bit about educational theories will improve your content marketing. Let’s take a look at the different ways people learn, and how you can tap into that.”

Time to get back in the classroom. #LearnMoreEarnMore

[Reading Time: 10:00 minutes]

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Rachel_Foster_156x153_shadowContent Marketing Institute
10 Habits of Highly Effective B2B Content Marketers
Also From @CMIContent: CEO of Fresh Perspective Copywriting Rachel Foster (@CopywriterTO) wrote this very practical article. The 10 highly effective habits come from 10 highly effective content marketing experts.

KEY QUOTE: “86% of B2B marketers use content to attract and retain customers.”

Copy the habits of those who’ve gone out and succeeded before us. #10x

[Reading Time: 7:30 minutes]

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David_Newman_151x150_shadowEntrepreneur Magazine

Here’s How ‘Boring’ B2B Businesses Can Get Customers Emotionally Connected to Their Content Marketing
Daniel Newman
 (@danielnewmanuv) is the CEO of @Broadsuite. In addition to being a contributor to @Huffpost @Forbes, this is one of his recent articles for @Entrepreneur.

Don’t believe the hype that using hype (i.e. hyperbole related to features and benefits) is the way your buyers want to become educated about you and your brand. There are a lot of great research results in this one.

KEY QUOTE: “…when it comes to the “boring” B2B industry, we are prone to assume that B2B customers are driven only by logic, facts and ROI, to the point of being almost emotionless. This is only a half-truth. And if you continue to build your marketing strategies around this half-truth, you’re doing yourself and your brand a disservice.”

Learn how to think P2P, instead of traditional B2B, to make a significant impact on your sales numbers. #NotJustTheFacts

[Viewing Time: 3:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

 

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HOW TO [FAR MORE ACCURATELY] MEASURE YOUR SOCIAL SELLING

Measurement_367_shadowWe tend to overvalue the things we can measure and undervalue the things we cannot.

I’d like to tell you I was the first person to say those words, but that attribution should go to author John Hayes.

This is generally true, right? Sure, there are exceptions, but some of the most important things in life simply cannot be accurately measured:

  • Love (and other emotions)
  • Peace
  • Happiness
  • Commitment

In sales, some of the most important key performance indicators can also be difficult to measure, because some buyers are quite skilled in playing things close to the vest:

  • Belief
  • Trust
  • Satisfaction
  • Commitment
  • Interest

With that said, how are you currently measuring the effectiveness of your social selling activities?

Some of you just answered by thinking something along the lines of: “We’re not,” or “We don’t know how to do that.” Still others just thought: “Yeah, we’ve already got that covered.”

Let’s see how you’re really doing.

As per my role here with this blog, I’ve found an extremely helpful resource to assist you in measuring your social selling efforts to a greater degree…or, perhaps for the first time.

Social selling advocate Amar Sheth (@AmarSheth) recently wrote this valuable blog post, for the Sales For Life Blog (@mysales4life), titled: “12 Valuable Metrics For Measuring Social Selling Success.”

In the post, Sheth helps take us beyond the measurement of pipeline and revenue as primary indicators. There are metrics which should be tracked earlier in the process.

Here’s the big idea of this post:

Follow the prescriptive process below to understand how learning impacts sales goals.

So what exactly does Sheth mean by that? The author breaks down the metrics into groups, including:

  • Leading Indicators
  • Current Indicators
  • Lagging Indicators

Here’s how Sheth describes “Leading Indicators”:

Leading indicators describe your learning behaviour regardless of how you decide to learn Social Selling (e.g. self-teaching, on demand videos, workshops, etc.). Depending on the learning tools and resources that you decide to use, metrics will change. Take a look at some of the elements that can be tracked and measured.

To understand what the other two groups of indicators are, as well as to read through the specific metrics for all three groups, take a few minutes to read Sheth’s blog post.

[Reading Time For Sheth’s Post: 3:00 minutes]


QUESTION ::: After reading the post I’m featuring today, what was your biggest “Aha!” moment?

Let’s talk about it…

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3 SOCIAL SELLING TOOLS YOUR COMPETITORS ARE USING

Social_Selling_6_-_354_shadowAre your competitors gaining an edge on you due to the social selling tools they know about [and use with effectiveness] and you don’t?

In an increasingly digital world, your business’s social media presence is worth more than ever – but even with a strong call-to-action, it’s increasingly difficult to convert potential customers to clients via online interaction.

Which leads us to the question: How do the most successful sales professionals break through the white noise of social, to establish long-lasting relationships?

The answer is clear – the best social sellers know how to use social media to engage in the ongoing conversations that establish credibility and create a sense of connection. And, the best sales reps know how to leverage technology to streamline and facilitate the process.

While linking to your business’s social media presence via your website, digital advertising, or other marketing efforts is a great start, waiting for your prospective clients to come to you isn’t the same as opening a dialogue, or driving engagement – and it’s not nearly as effective for increasing audience interaction.

Which is why I’ve compiled this short list of helpful and accessible tools – all designed to assist you in establishing and maintaining a strong social presence.

nimble_125_shadowNimble
Nimble.com — @Nimble — LinkedIn
Nimble is an easy-to-navigate tool, which streamlines management of social contacts. It finds your contact’s social media pages, pulls relevant data from numerous social media sites, and consolidates your contact’s social presence from all channels into one detailed, comprehensive social profile.

This social profile also contains a record of all social engagements, tracks engagement history and lead interaction, and saves historical data.The Pros ::: Nimble lives everywhere, so you don’t have to. It stores your log-ins and passwords for numerous social media streams, consolidating your social presence into one easy-to-navigate dashboard. It streamlines interaction with numerous sites, makes it easy to manage contact interaction, and easily integrates with larger CRMs, such as SalesForce.

The Cons ::: Nimble has basic task management and sales tracking, but few advanced CRM features – and browsing by deal is non-existent. There are also few tutorials or training resources, which means there is a bit of a learning curve before you’ll gain proficiency and build a natural workflow.

For a more in-depth review, check out this article.

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wisestamp_186_shadowWiseStamp
WiseStamp.com — @WiseStamp — LinkedIn

Wisestamp is a Google Chrome extension which allows users to personalize their email sign-off, by adding concise connections to more than 40 social media networks, in one attractive and professional signature. It also allows users the ability to connect app features (for instance, displaying your most recent tweet or blog post).

Wisestamp is a fast and simple way to promote one-click connection to your social media presence. It promotes accessibility within the context of your current client interaction, and (in the case of instant feed display) potentially adds value to your email conversations.

The Pros ::: Wisestamp is both user-friendly and free, and works with both Firefox and Chrome.

The Cons ::: It may not play nicely with other browsers – and it can only be used in the browser with which it was initially activated. Wisestamp is also not currently optimized for mobile – so your signature will not be included on emails sent from your phone or mobile device.

For a more in-depth review, check out this article.

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LittleBird uses a variety of tools and data to help users discover and target social networking opportunities. It provides users with the information they need to engage with industry influencers, by identifying and tracking persons of interest and aggregating their trending conversations cross-platform.

What sets LittleBird apart from competitors (such as Klout) is its ability to identify thought leaders and influencers in quantity, as opposed to merely earmarking individuals who are active posters. It also provides an array of features intended to help users progress past simple identification of influencers, and transition into active social engagement and relationship-building.

The Pros ::: Simple, effective, and easy to use – with helpful conversion features not provided by any of its competitors.

The Cons ::: You’ll need to review and scrub your influencer lists before exporting them, just to be safe. And, while LittleBird will provide you with a comprehensive list of influencer social accounts and blogs, it does not filter inactive or dormant accounts – so you’ll have to review this information on a case-by-case basis, when deciding where to focus your communications.

For a more in-depth review, check out this article.

QUESTION: What tools can’t you live without for doing social selling effectively and efficiently?

Let’s talk about it…

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IS THIS YOUR SALES PROSPECTING BLIND SPOT?

Blind_Spot_360_shadowIf you don’t know what you can’t see, how do you know it’s not an opportunity for significant growth?

Even with our best efforts to cover all of the known blind spots in our career effectiveness and growth, there are invariably a few spots we’re missing.

I wonder about this for you: Do you believe you’ve maxed out your personal potential for prospecting and social selling work on Twitter?

Most likely you don’t believe that, but sometimes what we really need is a single nugget of understanding in a small aspect of a larger area of interest such as prospecting or social selling. The right nugget can make a significant improvement in your effectiveness.

That’s exactly what I’ve found for many of you today.

Marketing and Social Media Manager for @AliceHeiman [and festival enthusiast] Sabra Rubinstein (@SabraRubinstein) recently wrote her first blog post for AliceHeiman.com and she nailed it. She titled it: “The Simple Secret to Prospecting with Twitter.”

I’ll go ahead and share her secret with you, but I’ll leave the What, the Why, and the How to her excellent post.

The secret is this: Twitter Lists.

Most of you and your fellow sales professionals are not presently using Twitter Lists at all. For those who are using them, the majority of you are not yet making the most of them.

I especially liked how this post:

  1. Defined the pain point
  2. Explained what Twitter Lists are
  3. Why Twitter Lists should be important to you
  4. How the post gave clear application
  5. That the post offers supporting media (the video) to learn how to create a Twitter List; especially for visual learners

It’s really a complete post, and is an excellent resource to bookmark and share with your colleagues. I highly recommend reading it right now.

@AliceHeiman: You have a budding all-star in Sabra. She hit a home run in her first plate appearance.

[Reading Time 3:00 minutes]
[Video Length: 1:32 minutes]


QUESTION: What other potential prospecting blind spot may be out there that you’ve become stronger in that you’d recommend to other sales professionals?

Let’s talk about it…

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