The Sales Blog http://thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino Fri, 25 Apr 2014 01:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 The Truth About Buyers http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/24/the-truth-about-buyers/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/24/the-truth-about-buyers/#comments Fri, 25 Apr 2014 01:00:22 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45865 The Truth About Buyers is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Truth About Buyers is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Buyers are researching your product, or service, or solution and have already made a list of sales organizations they are going to consider. Buyers are too busy to be bothered with salespeople because they already have as much information as [...]]]>

The Truth About Buyers is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Buyers are researching your product, or service, or solution and have already made a list of sales organizations they are going to consider.

Buyers are too busy to be bothered with salespeople because they already have as much information as the salesperson. Salespeople aren’t so valuable.

Buyer prefer to be warmed up over email and social channels before they will accept a telephone call from a salesperson.

Buyers don’t know what they don’t know and they need someone to teach them and disrupt their thinking to help them produce better business results.

The There Is This

Buyers don’t have time to research what they need to buy. They’re too busy to even look up, and they need a salesperson to help them understand their needs.

Buyers need a salesperson with business acumen and deep situational knowledge to help them understand the the range of choices available to them and the necessary trade-offs involved with those choices. Salespeople create massive value.

Buyers are okay being interrupted when that interruption creates value for them. They see attempts to warm them up as the real nuisance.

Buyers have bought what you sell before, know what they need to produce better results, and need someone to help them get what they need. They don’t need to be taught what they don’t know.

The problem with describing “the” buyer is that there isn’t one. There are many. All generalizations are lies. You take your prospective clients as you find them.



This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


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There Are Some You Cannot Save (A Note to the Leader) http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/23/there-are-some-you-cannot-save-a-note-to-the-leader/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/23/there-are-some-you-cannot-save-a-note-to-the-leader/#respond Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:00:46 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45857 There Are Some You Cannot Save (A Note to the Leader) is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

There Are Some You Cannot Save (A Note to the Leader) is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino There are some people you are going to struggle to save. Sometimes you will fail. These people need to change. They are capable of producing much better results. They’re smart and they have [...]]]>

There Are Some You Cannot Save (A Note to the Leader) is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

There are some people you are going to struggle to save. Sometimes you will fail.

These people need to change. They are capable of producing much better results. They’re smart and they have great people skills. Many of them will tell you they want to change, need to change, and absolutely must change. They recognize the need to do better.

They’ll tell you that they want to improve more than you want them to. They’ll sell you on how committed they are, that they’ll bear any burden, that they only need your help and patience.

You will invest your time in helping them. You’ll invest your energy and your money in helping them. But there is nothing that you can do. There is nothing that you can do to help someone who won’t help themselves. If they aren’t willing to make the changes they need to to produce a better results, you can’t help them. Here’s how you’ll know:

  • Broken Promises: They’ll promise to change, and they’ll promise to take the new actions that they need to take. And as quickly as that promise is made that promise is broken. They had every intention of keeping their promise, but they lack the real commitment to change, the self-discipline, and the intestinal fortitude.
  • Excuses: Instead of change, you’ll hear excuses about why they weren’t able take the new actions they promised to take. They’ll plead with you for another chance, and they will promise to do better. They will mean every word, and you will be kind and forgive them. This is a pattern they have practiced for a good part of their life.
  • Blame Shifting: It won’t be their fault that they can’t change. They’ll insist that you haven’t given them enough of your time, that they need more training, that you haven’t done enough. They’ll suggest that it is wrong for you to give up on them when they are trying. And as soon as you give them “more,” they will go right back to their normal behavior.
  • Acceptance and Identity: As some point, your challenging employee will suggest that they simply can’t change. Instead, they’ll tell you “This is just who I am.” They’ll describe their poor behavior as their identity, absolving themselves of the responsibility to change. After all, if that is what you are, how can you be expected to change?

You cannot want something for someone who doesn’t want it for himself. It’s not that they are incapable of changing; they just aren’t yet willing to change. Until they reach threshold and absolutely must change, they will repeat this pattern over and over again. If you hired them, you are obligated to do everything in your power to help them–until you’ve exhausted your options. Then you need to choose something from this list.

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This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


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The Bigger Why Always Wins http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/22/the-bigger-why-always-wins/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/22/the-bigger-why-always-wins/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:11:02 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45851 The Bigger Why Always Wins is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Bigger Why Always Wins is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino The bigger why always wins. “I have to make calls today because people are counting me.” You have to take care of you and your family. Not making your calls puts that outcome in jeopardy. That’s a big “why,” [...]]]>

The Bigger Why Always Wins is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The bigger why always wins.

“I have to make calls today because people are counting me.” You have to take care of you and your family. Not making your calls puts that outcome in jeopardy. That’s a big “why,” isn’t it?

“I’m going to browse the web because I want to read all the reviews of the big game/the big television show/the big political event because I have to know what happened.” That’s a small “why” that people sometimes make a bigger “why.”

“I have to get up and exercise so I have the health, energy, and vitality I need.” Your health is a seriously big “why.” If you don’t take care of you, you can’t achieve all that you want to achieve and you can’t make the biggest contribution of which you are capable.

“I’ll just hit the snooze button a few more times because I really need the rest.” From time to time this is true. But if it is every day, if you hit the snooze button every morning, you are making 9 minutes of comfort a bigger “why.”

“I’ve got a serious issue with a client that I must deal with now because they are counting on me to help.” Engaging in serious challenges and issues because you have a duty and responsibility to your clients–even when you have to give them bad news–is a big “why.” It’s one of the ways you earn trusted advisor status.

“I want to wait until my client cools down and this issue passes because . . . “ Because why? Problems don’t age well. It’s fear that drives the decision to avoid dealing with a bad situation of your making. You are making avoiding a conflict a bigger why, and that will make you a smaller you.

In all cases the bigger “why” wins. But you are the one who decides which is the bigger “why.”

Questions

What are you avoiding?

What are you making the bigger “why?”

What should be your biggest “why?”

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The Last Word On Cold Calling Versus Social Media http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/21/the-last-word-on-cold-calling-versus-social-media/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/21/the-last-word-on-cold-calling-versus-social-media/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:46:03 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45843 The Last Word On Cold Calling Versus Social Media is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Last Word On Cold Calling Versus Social Media is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino I believe in social selling. I believe that the tool kit that is social media has made the world much smaller, has given us an easier way to learn about our clients, and has provided a [...]]]>

The Last Word On Cold Calling Versus Social Media is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

I believe in social selling. I believe that the tool kit that is social media has made the world much smaller, has given us an easier way to learn about our clients, and has provided a much easier way to both connect and nurture relationships.

I have won major accounts with relationships that were begun on social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and this blog. Social media and inbound marketing are helpful and sometimes effective tools.

But it is criminal negligence to suggest to salespeople that they no longer need to make cold calls (or pick up the telephone).

It’s easy to recommend that salespeople not pick up the phone when you don’t carry a bag. It’s easy to tell salespeople not to make cold calls when you don’t have a quota. It’s easy to tell salespople that the old ways of selling have died when your business model allows you to acquire clients more easily through social media and your blog.

If what you sell is designed to help salespeople better use social, it’s easy to sell the idea that they will no longer have to make their calls. But it is criminal negligence. You’re hurting people.

Would you take your own advice if you were that salesperson or their manager. Would you abandon the phone if your family was counting on you to support them? Would you stick with social media alone if you didn’t have a blog–or were forbidden to keep one? If you were a sales manager, would you stake your job on a prospecting plan that included social selling and inbound alone when opportunity creation is one of the biggest challenges any sales organization faces?

If the only way you can sell something is by convincing people that they can have the results they need without having to do what is necessary, you aren’t helping people. You’re selling snake oil. An honest approach would be to tell salespeople the truth, namely that they need to be able to use all prospecting methods available, including social selling. Not to use social media to prospect would also be criminal negligence.

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The Last Time We Spoke http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/20/the-last-time-we-spoke/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/20/the-last-time-we-spoke/#respond Mon, 21 Apr 2014 01:00:54 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45836 The Last Time We Spoke is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Last Time We Spoke is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino I have clients who rely very heavily on text messages. Their children have trained them to use text, and now they use it for business communications. It’s fast when you need to send a quick note and, when you [...]]]>

The Last Time We Spoke is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

I have clients who rely very heavily on text messages. Their children have trained them to use text, and now they use it for business communications. It’s fast when you need to send a quick note and, when you need a quick response, it is better than an email. I send text messages all of the time.

I have some clients who love email. Some of them like it because it allows them to send something more complete than a text, they can do it on their own time (unlike a phone call), and they have a record of the communication. Like almost everyone I know, my inbox overflows with email on a daily basis.

But as convenient as these popular methods of communication are, they aren’t anywhere near as effective as a face-to-face meeting, a video conference, or a telephone call (in that order).

The more important the communication, the more important the choice of medium is.

There is something different being communicated when you schedule a face-to-face meeting. The fact that you are willing to invest your time means that you care enough to be present. There is no substitute for presence, especially when what you are discussing is important.

Look at a list of the contacts within your existing clients.

When was the last time you met face-to-face with the people you consider to be your most valuable relationships?

When was the last time you “spoke” with your client? Texting and emailing don’t count as “speaking with.”

When was the last time you invested your full attention in a conversation with your most important relationships?

Have you emailed something that would have been better delivered face-to-face (like your pricing and proposal, maybe?)

Look at your list of contacts and answer this question: When was the last time you “spoke?”

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Let No One Tell You What To Do http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/the-hustlers-playbook-let-no-one-tell-you-what-to-do/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/the-hustlers-playbook-let-no-one-tell-you-what-to-do/#respond Sun, 20 Apr 2014 01:00:42 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45829 The Hustler’s Playbook: Let No One Tell You What To Do is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Hustler’s Playbook: Let No One Tell You What To Do is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino If you want to be successful, let no one ever tell you what to do. If someone has to tell you what your goals are, then the only goals you have are someone [...]]]>

The Hustler’s Playbook: Let No One Tell You What To Do is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

If you want to be successful, let no one ever tell you what to do.

  • If someone has to tell you what your goals are, then the only goals you have are someone else’s goal.
  • If someone has to tell you what your major responsibilities are, then you aren’t doing enough to be as successful as you might be.
  • If someone has to remind you of what you need to do, you might be failing them, but more importantly you are failing yourself.
  • Heaven forbid anybody ever having to tell you what to do. If someone has to tell you what to do, then you squandering the gift of being human and wasting your initiative, your resourcefulness, your creativity, and your determination.

If you work for someone else, develop your own goals and define success for you above and beyond what your company needs you to do. Seek out new responsibilities, and take it upon yourself to find what needs to be done and do it. Be so proactive that no one will ever dare to remind you or tell you what to do. Do all of these things and you will soon find yourself in a leadership role.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, own your own company, and do your own thing, there won’t be anyone there to tell you what to do. Unless and until you develop the ability to do what is necessary without ever being told what to do, you aren’t ready to strike out on your own. And until you are willing to do what must be done–even when you absolutely don’t want to–you’ll never reach the level of success of which you are capable.

Learn from everyone. Seek out good advice. But let no one ever tell you what to do.

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Episode 33 – The Irrepressible Grant Cardone http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/episode-33-the-irrepressible-grant-cardone/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/episode-33-the-irrepressible-grant-cardone/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:15:40 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45823 Episode 33 – The Irrepressible Grant Cardone is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Episode 33 – The Irrepressible Grant Cardone is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Grant and I had tried unsuccessfully to schedule this podcast for a long time. On the fourth try, we finally connected. Grant is an entrepreneur, and author, speaker. But in my view, he is most of all [...]]]>

Episode 33 – The Irrepressible Grant Cardone is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Grant and I had tried unsuccessfully to schedule this podcast for a long time. On the fourth try, we finally connected. Grant is an entrepreneur, and author, speaker. But in my view, he is most of all a hustler. I asked him to step into the arena because so many people I know in the B2B community could use a lot of what Grant teaches. I think they misunderstand some of the principles, and we get to that . . . eventually. Grant recorded video, and he was in his studio with his lovely wife, Elena. That’s the voice you here in the first part of this recording. It’s a wild ride, and you are going to be entertained. Let’s get into it!

Grant Cardone

Follow Grant on Twitter

Grant’s killer YouTube channel

Grant’s success newsletter

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Episode 32 – Duct Tape Selling with John Jantsch http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/episode-32-duct-tape-selling-with-john-jantsch/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/19/episode-32-duct-tape-selling-with-john-jantsch/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:58:12 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45819 Episode 32 – Duct Tape Selling with John Jantsch is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Episode 32 – Duct Tape Selling with John Jantsch is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino It’s remarkable that John Jantsch and I had never been introduced to each other before now. Everyone knows John and his work helping small businesses at Duct Tape Marketing. Huffington Post calls him one of [...]]]>

Episode 32 – Duct Tape Selling with John Jantsch is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

It’s remarkable that John Jantsch and I had never been introduced to each other before now. Everyone knows John and his work helping small businesses at Duct Tape Marketing. Huffington Post calls him one of the top 100 people to follow on Twitter, and Forbes calls his site one of the top 100 for entrepreneurs. But it’s John’s new book that interests me. It’s called Duct Tape Selling, and it really is the best and most practical book on social selling I’ve read. The release date is Tuesday. You can go pre-order it right now, and there is a link to Amazon.com in the show notes. Let’s get started. 

Show Notes

Buy John’s new book: Duct Tape Selling
Follow John on Twitter
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Selling Is Still About Relationships http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/18/selling-is-still-about-relationships/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/18/selling-is-still-about-relationships/#respond Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:20:42 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45815 Selling Is Still About Relationships is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Selling Is Still About Relationships is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino In every stalled or lost deal there is a person (or persons) who opposed (or didn’t support) the salesperson and their sales organization. There is someone who wouldn’t engage with the salesperson or who wasn’t convinced of the value [...]]]>

Selling Is Still About Relationships is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

In every stalled or lost deal there is a person (or persons) who opposed (or didn’t support) the salesperson and their sales organization. There is someone who wouldn’t engage with the salesperson or who wasn’t convinced of the value that they could create. Someone opposed this salesperson’s efforts because they supported the status quo or a competitor. There is someone who said “no” to some necessary commitment. And if the deal was lost, someone said “yes” to another salesperson.

In every advancing or won deal there is a person (or persons) who supported the salesperson and their sales organization. The were people within the company who engaged with the salesperson, and there are people who perceived the value of what that salesperson sells. This person preferred the salesperson, the sales organization, and their solution over their competitors. This person said “yes” to the commitments to move forward and, if the deal was won, they said “yes” to giving the salesperson their business.

Companies don’t buy what you sell. The people within those companies buy what you sell (or don’t buy what you sell, as the case may be).

All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still probably win. Your job in sales is to make all things unequal by developing relationships of value. Your relationships are with the people within the four walls of your dream client company.

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On Picks and Shovels http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/17/on-picks-and-shovels/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/17/on-picks-and-shovels/#respond Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:00:37 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45810 On Picks and Shovels is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

On Picks and Shovels is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino My friend Thad sent me a graphic he found on the web. The graphic shows what it describes as the old model of sales and the new model. The old model sales model includes three items: cold calling, qualifying leads, [...]]]>

On Picks and Shovels is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

My friend Thad sent me a graphic he found on the web. The graphic shows what it describes as the old model of sales and the new model. The old model sales model includes three items: cold calling, qualifying leads, and sales demos. The new model shows social networks, educating, and engaging.

I am sure this appeals to those who desperately want to believe that they are going to succeed in sales by using social networks, engaging with the people they find there, and educating them.

The graphic was designed to sell something, no doubt something that may in fact help some people. But not you.

No Choice To Make

For you there is no choice to cold call or use social media. You must be adept at both. Look, if you don’t have the chops to pick up the phone and make your calls, you don’t have the chops to play on social media. Social media amplifies what you already are.

You also don’t get to choose not to qualify your leads (even though you should spend the majority of your time on your super-qualified dream clients). You also don’t get to choose not to engage. But for you engage means something more than an email exchange after someone hits your company’s website. For you engage means asking for the commitment for a face-to-face visit.

You don’t get to choose not to present, or demo what you sell, and educating your client. You better have some storytelling chops and you better have the business acumen and situational knowledge to make a difference for your dream client.

If you want to know what prospecting really is, it is: referrals, cold calling, vendor referrals, networking events, conferences, trade shows, personal introductions from friends and family, your website, email, mail, print advertising, radio advertising AND social media.

Beware of mutually exclusive choices (either/or). Instead, look for “and.” Be even more wary of people who sell you the idea that only what is new works.

Think hard about how much you trust the advice of someone who stands outside the gold mine offering to teach you pan for gold while selling you picks and shovels. If they knew how to pan for gold and believed it was profitable, they’d be in the mine. They really just sell picks and shovels.

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