Sales - Something old and something new

Denver-Based Sales Leadership Development Available Nationwide

Posted: September 6, 2010
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This is a phrase often recited while brides are getting married.  It’s also a key concept in using Social Media tools successfully.  Many companies jump on the new idea band wagon, often discarding old ideas and methodologies that still produce results.  Here are two ways you can combine the new social media with good ‘ole fashioned sales principles. LinkedIn:      LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting with people, raising profiles on search engines and free advertising for your firm.  The mistake many salespeople make is thinking that just because they connect with someone, that person is automatically going to introduce them to their best contacts.  This is where old fashioned relationship building principles come into play.  Once a connection is made, keep in mind these rules for making the connection even more powerful:

  • Reciprocation is the foundation of building strong relationships and centers of influence.  Not a new concept, however, one that is often missed in the LinkedIn world.  Top sales producers understand this principle look to make a deposit in the relationship account with their new contact before they expect anything in return.  They ask questions  such as,  “Who are the top ten people/companies you want to meet this year?  What knowledge is of value to you?  How can I help you?”  Asking questions is one thing; follow-up is the second key to building relationships.  It’s never what you know; it’s what you do with what you know.   Top sales producers execute on the promise of introductions and/or knowledge. 
  • Value propositions and ’30 Second Commercials.’  Again, not a new idea, however, still amazing how many people don’t have a compelling value proposition ready to deliver when asked about their business.  It doesn’t matter whether you connect via the web or in person people are still going to ask about you and your company.  Make sure your answer isn’t old and tired:  “We do this, we’ve been in business for thousand years and we have deep experience.”   Yawn.  A compelling value proposition talks about problems you solve or opportunities you create for customers.  It is the difference between a next step or not.  Have a pithy one-liner ready to peak interest.  Our business development executive, Deb Hall, replies, “We stop salespeople from writing practice proposals----worldwide or we create sales pipelines that are bursting at the seams!” 

Blogs/Twitter/Ezines: A concern that companies have expressed with social media is the sales team is very busy with the new tools and achieving no results.  Go back to the old days, where print was the major medium for distribution of information.  A hard copy newsletter was sent in the mail and you immediately threw it away knowing it was only filled with self-promotion and up-selling copy.  It wasn’t relevant to what you needed to grow your business.  Nothing has changed as it relates to social media.  Rule number one is to make your marketing copy is relevant.  There are many ways to be relevant.  Be a shortcut on information, links to great articles, websites, insights from a variety of experts, trends, reports from economists.      Here are a couple of links and websites that you might find of value for your business:  Active Conversion: Free - guide on thought leadership marketing by @activeconv Outbound Calling Advice: Dealing with “Send me some info” @activeconv SAVO: Save the Date for the 2010 Sales Enablement Executive Summit, October 26-27 in Chicago @SAVO_ Video: Get to know SAVO Sales Enablement  @SAVO_

 Remember to think like a new bride and combine something old and something new when using social media tools.