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By Referral Only – Wed Dec 30 event

8 Dec

If you’d like to learn more about building and strengthening your business 100% thru referrals then I highly recommend you attending this special event from a master networker and early Inquisix member, Rick Roberge.

Rick’s program, “By Referral Only” will be offered on Wednesday December 30th, 2009 from noon to 1:30pm US ET. You have two options of attending  – you can be there in-person in Westboro, MA, USA or participate via webinar.

But act fast, as the first 24 people who register for each event using “RR1230” as the discount code will receive a $50 discount when they register.

Pick your option but don’t do nothing!

Join in-person

Join online

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Your Prospect Tells You How to Sell to Them

30 Nov

Not often that your C-level prospect will tell you how to sell to them.  They’ll hide behind email spam filters and executive assistants but won’t take the time to tell you what you’re doing wrong.  Until this CEO opened up with their automated email reply telling you to do more than just call the vendor hotline at purchasing – a voice mail no one ever picks up.

Top ways to get noticed:

  • Let your prospect find you – ie Inbound Marketing
  • Get introduced by someone they trust – ie Referrals

Top ways to annoy:

  • Constant cold-calls
  • Mass emails to entire executive team
  • Trying to connect via social media

Thanks to Hubspot for the full article.

Inquisix – Business Relationships that Last

27 Oct

BusinessRelationshipsThatLast

I just ordered this book because that’s what Inquisix members do – they build business relationships that last.

If you’ve already read the book, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Learning from Previous Mistakes

19 Oct

Fabulous article about Hulu from Fast Company magazine. Great lessons for every entrepreneur, every growing company or company wishing they could grow.

Can Hulu Save Traditional TV?

Lessons to be learned for all on:

  • Improving user experience
  • Using analytics to figure out what users want instead of asking them (because they don’t tell you – think Edsel)
  • “Dinosaur” TV networks learning from a lesson (missing out on YouTube) and taking the appropriate steps.   RIAA needs to do the same
  • How to build revenue and market share.  Amen!

Yes, I know this blog post is not about referrals. But I’ve been reading Fast Company a lot lately and find so many of them to be well written and insightful.  Their articles should be required reading for anyone looking to grow in the new economy.  Maybe that’s why it’s called, “Fast Company”

hulu fastcompany

Sales Rant – Why can't your company handle an onbound query from a prospective buyer?

16 Oct

I called a division of Acme Industrial [name changed to protect the guilty] a week ago and asked to speak to someone in sales as I had some questions.   The service runs about $7500-12,000 per year, not an insubstantial amount of investment. The phone system asked me to press 1 if I wanted to speak to someone who “would be happy to answer your questions about our services.” The person I got didn’t know anything about the product at all, and said someone would call me back.  Already a bad precedent, I wonder how the sales rep covering my territory would feel about their inside team dropping the ball.

A week goes by. A week!

SalesRant

So I call back today and go thru the menu prompts again and again I’m told I’ll be transferred to someone who “would be happy to answer your questions about our services.” When they did answer, they said that they have no record of my call last week. They put me on hold for 4 minutes. They come back on the line and ask me for the same contact information I provided a week earlier. Didn’t ask any qualifying questions, curiously, like budget, timeframe, or even what 2-3 top questions I wanted answered. Said “someone will call you back.” When I asked when I would hear from them or who would call me, the rep didn’t know. I pointed out it had been a week and I wanted this information as soon as possible so I could make a final decision – would I get a call back today? “I’ll ask them to call you sooner rather than later.”

By contrast, their competitor took my call live on the first time I called them, answered my questions reasonably well, and sent me email today to follow up.

What company can afford to put themselves in this situation? How many other calls did they handle this way? Sales live by the numbers, but this team isn’t doing themselves any good. And with marketers scrambling to justify their existence and their budgets based on closed leads, its clear that getting the metrics right is only part of the equation. What does this experience communicate to me as a prospective buyer about what it may be like to work with these guys? I felt a lack of accountability, lack of concern for me as a customer, and a very low service experience.   Guess who’s product I purchased?  And that Acme Industrial sales rep handling my territory never even knew what they lost.

Thanks to Malay Pharma Sales Rep Rant  for the picture.

Salespeople – Call to action & share

1 Sep

Nigel Edelshain of Sales 2.0 was interviewed on yourBusinessChannel recently and he discussed what salespeople need to do today to win more business.  Nigel’s call to action is to “…get together and share their rolodexes….to win business and keep their jobs.”  He suggests starting online with LinkedIn, AllyForce, SalesConx or Inquisix.

http://www.youtube.com/v/5kEN_73ftZw&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&border=1

Joanne Black adds social networking links to her site

26 Aug

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Joanne Black and her book, “No More Cold Calling” because so much of what she writes is the foundation on what Inquisix is built upon.   When Dave and I were first sharing the referral exchange idea that became Inquisix, we were introduced to Joanne by Philippe Lavie, sales trainer from Chicago.  Joanne and I talked a few times and then agreed to meet at the first Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco.  I had a chance to pick up Joanne’s book and read it before meeting her in Chicago.  I felt like I was in college again because when I was done reading her book, it was filled with my yellow highlighting.  I’ve now met Joanne a few times while I’m in San Francisco and her advice on building a better Inquisix has proven invaluable.

NoMoreColdCalling

Joanne has now extended her website’s offerings to include a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.  It’s now even easier to get her good advice.

Great Zig Ziglar quote to start the week

24 Aug

As a salesperson, are you selling to your prospects or helping them solve problems?

Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life  you want if you help other people get what they want.”  As quoted in Selling Power maagazine, June 2009 issue, page 28.

Zig’s message at first glance seems a bit naive especially since it seems contrary to messages you receive at school, on the playing fields and at work about being number 1.

But in this new Sales 2.0 “empowering the customer” environment, is there any other way to be successful in your career?

Miss Manners is never around when you need her & Tip to reconnect with customers

21 Aug

There were two articles I read recently that really resonated with me although they’re about separate topics.  Hence the long and unwieldy title. I think the first issue about saying, “No” to friend requests is a new phenomena that the rise in social networking has created.  And technology has also come in between you and your customer when you want to get your message across to one or two people.  Hmm, technology – you can use it to increase quantity at the cost of quality.  Maybe these two topics have a common link after all.

  • What’s the Right Way to Say ‘I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend’? – I’ve read and re-read this posting several times because it’s an issue that I face often. Where’s Ann Landers or Miss Manners when we need the answer to this question that only today’s times of social networks invading our personal space. Why I get business colleagues asking me to be Facebook friends I don’t know. Why I want to connect on LinkedIn with someone who openly admits to wanting to collect the largest number of connections is beyond me.
  • The talking pad – I really dislike PowerPoint presentations to get my message across to one or two people sitting with me at the table. Colleagues laugh at my laminate, as I’ll bring 2 slides printed out and laminated back-to-back as my presentation cues. Using a pad of paper or a whiteboard is just as effective. There are many & better options than flipping up the laptop and presenting. Start using them (again) and watch your conversions increase.

Inside Sales Growing at Expense of Field Sales?

12 Aug

Is Inside Sales growing at the expense of Outside Sales?

  • Some Sobering Sales Statistics – Another blog article that remarks on the trends of inside sales teams growing in importance and size while forecasts for the death of outside sales teams continue.

I’ve sold as & managed an inside sales group.  And I’ve done the same in the field so I can see both sides of this argument.  Perhaps has the market for a certain product matures overtime, the distribution of that product changes from field to inside to channel to online.  Are many big-ticket B2B products in a new market sold over the phone?  I doubt it.  But I’m sure the add-on sales of laptops once the vendor has been chosen is an easy sale over the phone or via the web.

So many professionals & businesses don’t see the end of their way of doing things.  Look at newspapers today.  Horse carriage manufacturers 100 years ago.  Is this the beginning of the end for outside sales?  Time will tell.