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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Brian Hasenbauer

Brian Hasenbauer

Author, Speaker and expert on all things digital including: social media, inbound marketing, online video trends, etc.

Recent Posts by Brian Hasenbauer:

3 Ways Salespeople Can Stand Out Using Social Media

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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:

Topics: Social Media Sales

I Don’t Know, Let Me Get Back to You 

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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.

Topics: Sales

Nielsen Gives TV Reason to Smile and 100 Best Places to Work for Millennials

iStock_000036160628_Small_blogThere's so much content published every week that a person can never read it all themselves. That's why we're here, bringing you the weekly wrap up.  

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. These 10 Tips From a CEO Can Take Your Career From Average to Awesome {Inc}

This question was answered by Nelson Wang, CEO of Collide on QuoraWhat is the single greatest piece of career advice you've ever received?

Topics: Wrap-up

10 Habits of Success to Adopt into Your Daily Routine

Screen_Shot_2015-06-18_at_4.11.35_PMThere's so much content published every week that a person can never read it all themselves. That's why we're here, bringing you the weekly wrap up.  

Topics: Wrap-up

Disappointed in the Results of Your First Year of Inbound Marketing?

the_first_year_of_inbound_marketingThe first year of inbound marketing can be a challenging one. Finding themselves at the low point on the ROI curve, some companies decide an inbound marketing program is just not worth the time and money—and they throw in the towel.

I hope this blog post will provide some encouragement and some reasons why stopping after one year doesn't make sense. You’ll see why increasing your efforts in year two makes much more sense than sending your blog to the inbound marketing graveyard too soon. 

Topics: Inbound Marketing

Lead Intelligence or Lead Stupidity? Which Category Does Your Company Fall Into?

24418861_sAs an inbound marketer, I download pretty much every piece of premium content I find. (Premium content? That’s the material for which you need to fill out a form or you can’t download it, a form asking for your name, email, phone number, perhaps job title, and the like.) For me, it’s purely research on marketing trends, learning how to do inbound marketing better, and of course, checking out the competition.

I find it very interesting that even though I sometimes use my gmail account (not my work email) that I constantly get calls from companies where I downloaded some premium content, and they’re trying to sell me marketing automation services. It's not hard to do a search on LinkedIn to find the few Hasenbauers that are out there. It's not like my job title and my company are hard to find. Most anyone can see that I work for a company that does marketing automation and inbound marketing.

So why do these companies bother calling and following up on leads that have no chance of converting? Great question.

Three Questions to Ask Before Making the Call

Before any inbound marketer picks up the phone and calls a lead, there are three questions they should ask themselves:

  1. What is the history of this lead with my company?
Topics: Lead Nurturing Inbound Marketing

How to Sell Inbound Marketing to Your Boss: The Complete Guide

You’ve been reading our blog for a while, and you’re convinced that your company should start an inbound marketing program. But there’s one problem: You can’t get your boss to sign off on starting an inbound marketing program.

Maybe it’s because your boss is unfamiliar with the terminology, or worried about the amount of work it’ll add to your already-full plate. Maybe she needs more information about what, exactly, she’s approving before making a final decision. Maybe she just doesn't know how inbound marketing works.

This post is for you, to show your boss. It’ll walk through the foundations of inbound marketing, and show the benefits. It’ll detail the level of work involved, and offer tips on how to streamline the process.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of drawing the attention of prospects to your expertise, thought leadership, helpfulness, and reliability, before they are ready to buy. The best and most cost-effective way to convert strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

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How Inbound Marketing Works

The benefits of inbound marketing are often misunderstood, leaving management to scratch their heads. The common perception of inbound marketing is that it’s all about writing blogs and lead generation. As you will see, inbound marketing is much more than that. It offers numerous benefits beyond lead generation.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

Best Practices when Networking on LinkedIn

Five_Big_Things_Happening_in_Social_Media_Right_NowThe recent lighting up of the Twitterverse following the rather intemperate remarks of a Cleveland job-bank executive gave many of us one of those cringing laughs. Or was it a laughing cringe? We cringed at how mean she was to a young job seeker, but we laughed at many of the comments made as the event proved again that bad news travels faster than good, that ugly behavior often makes for more interesting copy than does good behavior.

But let’s take this opportunity to look at what that woman was trying to accomplish—to respond appropriately to a LinkedIn connection request. She failed miserably, but you can succeed if you follow these best practices.

3 things to remember when you're networking on LinkedIn:

1. You don’t have to accept every LinkedIn request that you receive.

Topics: Digital

Never Send an Email When You’re Angry: Otherwise, This Might Happen to You

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If you have been on LinkedIn recently, you might have seen this response to a LinkedIn connection request circulating. It’s an email exchange where a young 25-year old asks to connect with a senior level executive in charge of a local job board on LinkedIn. The request was denied with a tirade about how the young woman behaved badly. Perhaps the younger woman was in the wrong, but the response the executive gave was exceptionally mean-spirited.

After seeing how this one executive responded to a LinkedIn connection request, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone about LinkedIn etiquette.

But before we get into that, let’s talk about email. Email is, among other things, a revolutionary way to keep in touch with people you rarely see. You can convey a lot of information, share ideas, keep people on task, send cat pictures, and more. But there’s one thing you absolutely, positively, 100% need to remember: 

Email is forever.

Topics: Digital

Don't Treat Your Inbound Marketing Prospects Like Bill Murray in the Movie Groundhog Day

Dont_Treat_Your_Prospects_Like_Bill_Murray_in_the_Movie_Groundhog_DayRecently I was having a discussion with my colleagues about how Dynamic Website Personalization (DWP) is changing inbound marketing and how it's going to change the way that websites are designed and leads are captured and nurtured.   This conversation was prompted by a great article from the folks at Entrepreneur.com
about how websites are being designed with the user experience taken into consideration to create a more personalized experience based upon customer life cycle, industry or other criteria that is deemed important. 

Topics: websites Inbound Marketing