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Study Says Social Media Not Useful to Close Sales. Duh.

10 Apr

Great post by Paul Greenburg in his CRM 2.0 blog entitled, “Study Says Social Media Not Useful to Close Sales. Duh.”

Definitely read the whole article. His conclusion:

“When it comes to social networks and channels re: sales, there is some value, due to reputation and influence garnered when participating in the social networks including those identified above, but not to close deals. Their value is in developing the kinds of relationships that serve you over time, if you’re a sales person, in pursuing opportunities and finding leads and developing the kind of sales intelligence that provides you with the insight in making your job easier and better.”

I could not agree more. Social Media/Networking solutions (and we put Inquisix in this category) are helpful in getting the deal started, not closing it.

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Minding Your Money Interview with Inquisix

25 Mar

Tom Cafarella, Inquisix member, owner of accounting firm CMB Accounting and host of “Minding Your Money” on TV, interviewed Michael Kreppein of Inquisix recently. Tom and Michael spoke about the challenges facing small businesses, specifically how they can find new business.

http://www.viddler.com/simple/59f0d3df/

Personal Sales Videos – their time is here

9 Mar

Most everyone has an online avatar. Whether it’s your Facebook picture shown to your friends or your LinkedIn picture with your resume, everyone’s putting their mug shot online. With the introduction of YouTube, easy-to-use video editing software like iMovie and inexpensive video cameras like The Flip, it seems like everyone is taking the next step from pictures on the web to videos on the web.

And web videos are a natural extension of your sales and marketing efforts. It’s a great way to quickly and accurately get your compelling message across to a large number of customers and prospects. We’ve been exploring adding video to the Inquisix site not only to educate members but allow members to tell their own story to fellow members.

Since we don’t want our videos to win awards on “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, I sat down with Inquisix member Catie Foertsch of OurTownProductions to learn more. She talked about her 6 tips to making a better video. I’ll summarize them here but you should go to her website for the complete details.

Catie’s 6 tips to a better video

  • Start with a script
  • Be Yourself
  • Use a quality microphone
  • Use lots of good lighting
  • Frame your face well
  • End video with a call to action

White Paper Available – Inquisix Referral Networking

4 Mar

Whether you’re a front-line sales rep hunting for new business, a consultant delivering solutions, or small business owner communicating with customers, board members and employees, it’s all about selling: selling to win new business or selling to retain customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace. So what’s the deal with the buzz around emerging Sales 2.0 solutions? Which approaches are best able to fill the pipeline? How can you integrate informal networking with the latest technologies?

This White Paper by Michael Kreppein, Inquisix’s Chief Sales Officer, explores the value of referral networking by using Inquisix to combine your in-person with your online networking.

Please download the White Paper in pdf format by clicking the link below.

InquisixWP
Inquisix White Paper on Referral Networking

Make It Relevant

17 Feb

Make it relevant

I’m a big fan of Kevin Sasser’s The Sales Wars blog.  He  must be really busy in his day job because he’s not posted in almost 2 months.  Well, my wait is over and as usual, I learned something and laughed at the same time.

Definitely read the full blog post.  After the funny analogy, Kevin writes about a colleague who is putting together an agenda for marketing to update the sales team.  The standard agenda is suggested:

  • Our company overview
  • What we see happening in the industry
  • Our “vision”
  • Our unique approach

To which Kevin figuratively sticks his fingers in his mouth at the thought of listening to all that.  What struck me is that the sales team is probably doing the same thing to the prospect!  You are polite while marketing pitches you but you’re secretly daydreaming or reading your BlackBerry under the table.  Wanna bet your prospect is doing the same as  you pitch?  Kevin suggested the following agenda for marketing.  I suggest you follow the same agenda when selling to prospects:

  • Why you are in my office taking up my time
  • My problem that you can solve for me
  • How you will solve the problem in clear, concise, concrete terms
  • The benefit that you will deliver to me that your competitor can’t

As I get reminded at home, it’s not about me, it’s about what’s important to them!

Good Cold Calling Leads to Referrals

22 Jan

I’m a big fan of reading Geoffrey James’ blog, Sales Machine.  He gets to be edgier and more controversial than his articles in Selling Power magazine.

He posted a great letter from one of his readers on the value of cold calling.  The real value in cold calling is disqualifying prospects, much like panning thru dirt to find diamonds.  I’ve posted on the value of cold calling in a previous Inquisix post.

The commenter’s conclusion on the value of cold calling?

coldcallingreferral

Same as what I said; the benefit of cold calling is….referrals!

Networking is for Mentoring, too

14 Jan

I read just a great article today about 6 brothers who are all successful IT sales reps in the Boston area.  You can read the full article at MassHighTech and it’s well worth the read.  They said that the main reason for their success was the mentoring they all did amongst themselves over Sunday dinner.  They did it themselves because they found that “…many companies put less emphasis on mentorship and training than they should.

MassHighTech 6 Murphy Brothers

The brothers not only mentor each other but take pride in mentoring the new hires working for them.

Do you have a mentor?
Who are you mentoring?

Top Inquisix Posts of 2008

25 Dec

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all. As the end of 2008 rapidly approaches, the Inquisix team hopes you are all enjoying the holidays with your family and friends. If you’re thinking of prepping early for 2009, here’s some of our most popular articles from 2008.

Why Cold Calling Doesn’t Work:

Cold Calling From the Buyer’s perspective:

Generating Referrals:

Pay or Play for Referrals/Reputation:

You lost me at "Hello"

17 Dec

Stephanie Fox Muller, one of our advisory members, sent me this email along with her comments below.

Why would anyone take a salesperson seriously when their first communication – first! – offers a freebie of four hours of work? Let’s see, I don’t yet know what you do. That means I have to take my time to go to your website and figure it out. Then decide if I want four hours free.

If your fear of the economy is showing, maybe you need to take a step or two or nine back. If your product or service had value before the economy tanked, it still does. If you don’t believe that, you can bet that your prospects won’t. Good sales and marketing people know how to position their offering to meet the current needs of their audience. If you can’t figure out how to sell whatever the heck you offer in light of the current economic conditions, the last thing you want to do is give it away. If it ain’t worth anything to you, it’s worth less to me. And I don’t buy the little disclaimer at the end – if you try us out now, you may buy us later. If I don’t need you now, I won’t remember you later.

Instead of doing the email equivalent of cold-calling with a drop-your-shorts offer, how about asking clients who DO see your value and ask them for referrals?

Does Your Best Salesrep Behave Badly?

25 Nov

I’ve recently been catching up on the medical TV show, House. He’s a brilliant doctor who’s interested in diagnosing the diseases but not interested in his patients. He’s arrogant, condescending and a royal PITA*. He’s also one of the top doctors in the U.S. So his behavior is tolerated and even encouraged by his boss when a really tough case comes along.

Don’t we know sales reps like that? They bring in the big deals, save the company’s quarter on more than one occasion and earn more money than their boss. But they’re also rogues who don’t play by the rules, couldn’t be bothered to keep the SFA system up to date and generally ignore the rules without consequences. Their boss has a love/hate relationship with them, with love being highest at the end of the quarter.

What does your company do? Do they tolerate these reps? Embrace them? Fire them? Try to find more of them?

What would you do if you were their boss?

* PITA - Pain in the A**