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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

3 Ways Salespeople Can Stand Out Using Social Media

Personal_Brand_Sales

Over the years, as sales and marketing has become more automated, it’s become increasingly important for salespeople to differentiate themselves from others and to provide value throughout the sales process. With control of the sales process having shifted from sellers to buyers, the B2B buyer now holds the cards, and does approximately 60% of his or her research before ever feeling the need to contact a salesperson.

Some of the ways that a salesperson can provide value throughout the sales process is by being seen as a thought leader and credible member of the industry that they are a part of. Social media has come to play a big part in establishing yourself as an expert in your field and having your profile elevated.

Here are three ways that salespeople can stand out using social media:

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Topics: Social Media, brianhasenbauer, salespeople

Are You Using Your Talents for Good? Or for Evil?

Good_vs_Evil

You already know that turning talent into performance requires a true understanding of talent. Spotting talent, hiring talent, developing talent, and coaching talent. . . it’s mission critical.

Here’s a little something you may not have thought about before, though: every innate talent at an extreme level of intensity, can have its downside. One of my clients recently observed, “Talent can be used for good or evil!”

  • Take charge and convincing is good. Bossy is bad.
  • Social and people-oriented is good. Long-winded, over-talking is bad.
  • Competitive and driven is good. Cut-throat is bad.
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Topics: Talent, salespeople

When Is The Last Time You Asked For A Referral?

Ask-for-Referrals

Go ahead and fill in the date here ______________.  If the answer is yesterday, congratulations. If you can’t remember any time recently, you should stop and figure out why you are not doing this.

Think about it. When you are looking to hire a professional what do you do? Of course, you ask people you know and trust who they would recommend, right? Well, a referral is an implied recommendation. Clients who give you the name of someone to contact feel comfortable about the expertise you bring to the table and its potential to help the business or person they are referring. So, again, how often do you ask satisfied customers for a referral? I bet you are thinking, “Not often enough.”

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Topics: referrals, Sales

Grow From Your Strengths + More

 

Here we are at Friday, the end of another week, and we're sharing the top articles and resources we've read this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. Grow From Your Strengths — strategy + business

Most companies want to grow. But as this article points out, you can grow profitably and sustainably only from a position of strength. The author explains how to chart a course toward sustainable and profitable expansion by combining four approaches to growth. 

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

5 Ideas for Running Successful Sales Appointments

Successful_Sales_Appointments

When a sales manager asks, “What does the client or prospect expect from this meeting?” too often salespeople say something like, “I don’t really know, but I definitely need to ask them some questions about their business.”

We spend so much of our time working to get the appointment, and then we fail to make sure the appointment will produce a successful sales meeting. What a missed opportunity! 

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Topics: setting expectations, new business development, Sales

Show Me Your Portfolio Of Work

Sales_Portfolio

If a prospect asked to see your portfolio of work, what would you show? Information about your product? Data about how it’s better than the competition? A brochure that shows you are attractively priced? If this is your portfolio of work, then your role in the sales process is mostly to provide access to the product. That’s a problem. The reality is that most of the information a prospect needs about your product is readily available online these days. 

Let’s rethink this a bit. If you were hiring a…

  • Graphic designer, would you look for a portfolio of the work they have done for other clients? Of course you would.
  • How about a landscape contractor? You know that answer. Show me the pictures!
  • How about an investment professional? Would you look for evidence that she or he has solved problems for other clients and produced better-than-average returns? Yes, you would.
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Topics: Sales, salespeople

How You Can Get Ten Times Better at What You Do

Improve_Sales_Basketball_Analogy

John Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of basketball, summed up one of the most powerful takeaways in strength management in one simple sentence: "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." That gem of an observation extends far beyond the court and deep into each of our lives.

As the head coach at UCLA, Wooden won 10 NCAA national championships in 12 years, including an unprecedented seven in a row. No other coach or school has won the NCAA tournament more than two consecutive years in a row so I’m sure we can all agree that the guy knew talent! He knew how to spot it, recruit it, and he certainly knew how to coach it.

John Wooden understood that we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. And for every one of us, our weaknesses greatly outnumber our strengths. Whether we are talking about sports superstars, famous musicians, groundbreaking scientists, successful entrepreneurs, or people in your sales department, our weaknesses comprise the mountain that looms large over the tiny molehill of our strengths. 

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Topics: Talent

I Don’t Know, Let Me Get Back to You 

Sales_Questions

You've spent weeks trying to get a meeting with an important prospect, you've gotten past the gatekeepers and have given him or her a valid business reason (VBR) to have a meeting with you. You're halfway through the presentation that you worked on for hours over the weekend, and your prospect stops you dead in your tracks with a question you have never heard before. What do you do? Do you fake it? Do you dance around the question and minimize it?

If you are truly looking to better yourself as a salesperson and to make a solid and lasting client relationship, you don’t do any of those things mentioned above. You stop and turn to your prospect and say, “That’s a great question and one I have never heard before. I don’t know, let me get back to you."

It might not work on a test in college or in politics, but admitting you don’t know the answer to a question in business can work to your advantage in 3 ways. The first way is that it gives you the opportunity to follow up with your prospect after the meeting with information the person is interested in receiving. Secondly, it gives you a chance to display your expertise in a well-thought-out manner. And lastly, it helps you build credibility and trust (especially if you follow up in a timely manner). Let’s look at how each of these ways can benefit you.

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Topics: Sales, brianhasenbauer, salespeople

Deliver Feedback That Sticks + More

 Giving_Feedback

We've come to the end of the week, and we're sharing the top articles and resources we've read this week. Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. Deliver Feedback That Sticks — Harvard Business Review

The secret of effective feedback is making it feel like the message is coming from an ally, not an adversary. But this is easier said than done. This article offers practical steps to make sure you're delivering feedback in a way that shows you're on the same team.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

When Is the Last Time You Presented a Bright Idea That a Prospect Loved?

Big_Idea_Sales

One of the most exciting things in selling is when a prospect leans forward with excitement and says, "Tell me more." To put yourself in that position, you must first get a clear assignment (something the prospect wants help with) and then you must define the problem or opportunity well. 

Once you’ve done that, you can come up with possible solutions and turn one into a bright idea (with the prospect's help). The foundation of this is coming up with the right problem statement. As you are interacting with a prospect, float some potential problem statements and ask them to pick the one that could yield the most interesting ideas. 

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