Tag Archives: Referrals

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

Advertisements

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.

Better & Worse Ways to Deliver Your Message

10 Aug

Following up on my previous post, “Better & Lighter Ways to Deliver Your Message”, Seth Godin posted recently on a chart he thought up about the delivery mechanism of your message:

  • The bandwidth-sync correlation that’s worth thinking about – Interesting graph from Seth Godin that at first glance made me think of Gartner’s magic quandrant. Except that in his chart the sweet spot for a market isn’t the upper-right quadrant. Then I noticed only 3 of the communcation forms had company names attached to them – Twitter, YouTube and Cisco Telepresence. Cisco? How’d they get to be in the upper-right hand corner? Hardly a ubiqituos communication method. And where’s Skype? Where’s all the social networks? I’d put Skype in the sweet spot but higher than telephone. And I’d put social networks in sweet spot, too, and to the right of blogs. And take off Cisco.

GodinChart

Better & Lighter Ways to Deliver Your Message

9 Aug

Have you seen the old Microsoft television ad of a guy walking right thru airport security with just his Windows Mobile device while the next guy struggles with laptop and projector?  And then the Windows Mobile guy just sets his phone down on the conference table and it sends the presentation to the prospect’s projector without wires?  Such a tease since it didn’t exist.  And Microsoft certainly wasn’t going to the be first one to release such a useful device.

So when I saw this posting, I was very happy.  It’s a two-fer:  projector light enough to put in your pocket and a tablet that’s smaller than a laptop but more useful then a netbook.

  • Will the Mac Tablet Look Like This? – This doesn’t have much to do with referrals but wow would I like to carry one of these instead of a Dell brick to meetings. Better yet, the advertisement on the tablet summary shows a Pico Projector that you can connect to your phone or laptop to give presentations and the projector is small enough to put in your pocket.
  • Pico

      Future of B2B sales & Effective Networking Tips

      30 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • The Future of B2B: Like It or Not – If Geoffrey’s predictions come true, selling will be 90% science and 10% art. And a lot less “interesting” especially for the traditional outside field rep.
      • 9 Tips for Effective Networking – Nice list of tips for effective networking. I’d boil them down to “get comfortable out of your comfort zone” and “Be Brief and Be Bold!”

      Other blog posts (and Tweets) I found interesting and starred this week

      23 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      Can I Date Your Sister?

      10 Jul

      Very nice article by Michael Katz about why asking your clients for referrals is a bad idea. His analogy is that asking customers for referrals is like someone asking you if they can date your sister. As I’ve written before, I agree about not asking your customers for referrals and instead ask them to be references.

      Michael sends out an e-newsletter focused on writing better e-newsletters. You can read why Michael feels the same way I do about customers and referrals here. If you’d like to listen to the newsletter instead, click here.

      And why a penguin below? Because Michael’s company is called Blue Penguin Development.

      penguin_standing

      Other blog posts I found interesting and starred this week

      9 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • How to Harshly Remind a Customer… – With customers and prospects not responding as often as salesreps would like, here are 3 good ways to reach out them for a response. Note that none of them use the, “Just checking in” cliche.
      • How to Stay “At Will” Employed – I guess posts with lists of to-do’s are resonating with me this week. This post resonating with me even more because a great sales guy I know just got laid off even though he was doing well. Probably because he wears his heart on his sleeve and championed the customer’s issues too loudly at corporate, which violates Garth’s first, second and third items for staying employed. I’d recommend The Sales Ladder  to Garth’s friend.
      • Make better cold calls by ending the “How are you today?” habit – There a few telesales cliches that just have to go. Geoff mentions a few. How about, “Just checking in…” as another? If you’re not making the initial calls, are you sure your inside partner isn’t making these mistakes?
      • Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group! – Loved this post! So many posts on how to be effective with networking groups but Dr Ivan Misner, with tongue firmly in cheek, discusses the ways you can waste time. Unfortunately, you waste a bunch of other people’s time as well. My favorites on his lists are also some of my top pet peeves.Like #6 Don’t rush following up on a referral. And #1, Take that call or text message during the meeting, it won’t bother anyone else.

      Other blog posts I found interesting and starred this week

      1 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • 10 Tough Questions To Ask Prospects – Sometimes it’s the commenters that really make me think about what’s being written here. This is one of those posts because the first commenter disagrees with these 10 questions. He claims to be a buyer so the credibility should be there.
      • 10 Ways to Get More Clicks in Your Email Campaigns – Our VP Marketing, Betsy, has been sending out regular InquisixCONNECT newsletters to all our members. I’ve found this post to be a great checklist for me to quickly review her newsletter to ensure we’re getting the attention we want. I especially like these tips:
        #2 Link Headlines
        #3 Link Images
        #5 Tease them
        #10 Personalize
      • How to Gently Remind a Customer… – It’s end of quarter and you (or your salespeople) have a few deals left in the forecast. Are they going to happen or not? It’s the time for wondering how many times you can call the customer in a week just to get their update. You’ve already asked for the order. A “Yes” is a great response. “No” is not great if it’s because your competitor is winning but bearable if it’s just pushed out a few weeks. But it’s the no response at all that drive salespeople (and their managers) CRAZY. The stress of not knowing is almost worse than knowing it’s a “No”Geoffrey James has a few ideas on how to get the customer to respond. Better yet, the first commenter shared an email that made him respond to the salesrep asking him for the update.