Category: Guest Blogger

You Should be Reading More Books

I saw a post on LinkedIn last week. The writer of the post suggested that one cannot learn to sell by reading books. This statement is true, but not in the way the poor writer suggests. His suggestion is that there is no reason to read books to improve your performance, and that suggestion is not only incorrect, it is as stupid as it is dangerous.

Read more booksI can’t imagine missing Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling. That book provided me with the awareness that selling was, in part, about the exploration of the implications people and companies face when they don’t change. We talk a lot about “insights,” and there are plenty of books about that idea now, but Rackham was way out ahead here. Had I not read that book, I would have also missed the idea of an “advance,” a commitment that moves an opportunity forward without being the final ask. (This is idea was the spark for my second book, based on my experience using Rackham’s idea. You are free to insert your own quote about standing on the shoulders of giants here, should you decide it necessary).

More still, had I not read SPIN, I would not have bought Major Account Sales Strategy, still my all-time favorite sales book. These two books helped me personally generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. In total, I might have paid $50 for both books.

Thankfully, as a young person, I believed there were people who knew a lot more than me, and whose knowledge I could steal for myself simply by reading a book. I believed I could accelerate my acquisition of a certain outcome by reading and applying what I read.

What if I would have missed Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? I would not have realized as early as I did that who you are matters more than what you do. I would have also missed all the books he wrote after that one, all of which changed by life and my results, Like First Things First.

If it were not for books, I would have never found Howard Bloom, and I would have never read The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Exploration of the Forces of History. Had I not read that book, I would believe that the word “meme” means funny ideas shared on the Internet and not the larger idea of how ideas infect our minds and how they spread.

I would not have become interested in evolutionary psychology were it not for Howard’s book. Were that not true, I would not have walked the shelves of Barnes & Noble and would have missed The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are:
The New Science of Evolutionary Psychologyby Robert Wright. I would have missed a book that increased my understanding of the deep structural psychology we humans share.

Had I not trudged through The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, despite it being difficult, I would never have picked up Taleb’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, one of the books that gave me a much clearer set of life and business strategies.

Ken Wilber’s A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality, I would never have picked up Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality—along with the rest of his 40+ books. Having read these books, the lenses I look through are so much clearer. I only wish I’d read them sooner.

I can’t imagine missing Mastery by George Leonard, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, Boyd by Robert Coram, and every book Tom Peters ever wrote.

The list of books that have helped me produce better results in business and in life would take dozens of newsletters. Any suggestion that you should not read books should be rejected with extreme prejudice, and you should think carefully about taking any advice from people who believe there is nothing to learn from others if it has been published as a book. There is no reason to remain ignorant when help gaining knowledge and understanding is available to you for a song.

What is on your book stack?

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from reading a book! Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Sunday!

Anthony Iannarino

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

The Hard Sell, Bullies, and Being Someone Worth Buying From

This well-recognized training company called my friend and engaged him in signing his team up for their training. He brought his team into the call to get their buy into the program to ensure that they liked the program and would use it. On the next call with the salesperson, my friend said he wanted to talk it over before buying, and the salesperson started using old school, bullying tactics to try to get him to sign a contract.

The salesperson, attacking him personally, said “I though you said you were the man. I thought you said you had the authority to decide. You said you could do this.”

This is a hard sell. There is a reason it is no longer practiced by professional salespeople. It operates on the assumption that you can shame the person you are selling into signing a contract. It also assumes that the other person is weak, and that they will cave under this form of pressure.

Not getting a signature, the salesperson brought his manager on to the call, and they both started pressuring their prospective client, “Let’s do this man! Let’s get this signed, and let’s get your people into this training!”

By raising the energy, raising their voices, and increasing the intensity of their ask, they ratcheted up the pressure, making it more difficult for my friend to say no. This kind of self-oriented win at any cost approach is smarmy, self-oriented, pushy, manipulative, and the primary reason the word salesperson has a negative connotation—even though almost no one uses these tactics.

  • If you have to bully someone into buying what you sell, you are making up for a lack of sales skills with a form of force. This means that you are not good at selling, and that you are compensating for this fact using intimidation, manipulation, and coercion.
  • If you have to attack a person’s identity to get them to buy from you, the need to use tactics that belittle the person you are selling to is proof that you are really bad at selling. Those insults are a projection of the inadequacy that you feel, and an indication that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. But what you are missing cannot be cured by making a commission on a deal.
  • The fact that you cannot help a person make a decision to buy something they want or need willingly, without using force, coercion, or manipulation is proof that you suck at sales. It’s also proof of what you believe success in sales requires of you, even though you could not be more wrong.

Selling isn’t something you do to someone. It is something you do for and with someone. If you don’t have the skillful means to have the necessary conversations to win deals, then you work on that area and you increase your capacity to sell professionally.

There is never a good reason to sacrifice who you are at your core to win a deal. Period.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from the big idea here. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. Now you know why I close these emails and sign my books with the words “Do good work.” You may have thought it referred to the quality of the work. It doesn’t. I write that because I want you to do good while you do work.

P.P.S. My book, The Lost Art of Closing, is about how to gain commitments as a professional salesperson. It is the polar opposite to the approach described above. If you pick it up at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or 800CEOREAD (the best place for bulk purchases), email me you receipt to anthony@iannarino.com, so I can send you bonuses and add you to our Facebook Mastermind Coaching group.

P.P.P.S. I am not sure I am going to make the Sales 3.0 Conference in Philly on December 4th, but my friend Jeb Blount is going to be there. And so is another person I love like a brother, Gerhard Gschwandtner. If you want to be there, use the code “ai50phl” to get 50% off your ticket!

P.P.P.P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, go here to sign up. Every Day is back to every day.

The Best Way to Increase Your Productivity Now

If there is one single thing I could recommend that would help you produce better results faster, it would be this: eliminate the cognitive burden of thinking about the work you need to do.

I am writing this immediately after reviewing all my tasks in my task manager, Omnifocus. Right now, I have 160 active tasks. That sounds like a lot, but it isn’t. Many of those tasks are there because I am going to get to them someday soon, but they don’t need my attention right now. Some of them are placeholders for projects, and those are going to take time to complete, and they will have many more tasks attached them when I move on them.

Increase Productivity

This picture is my task manager. I have 14 tasks still to do today, some of them will take minutes, a few take more time. What these tasks have in common is that I am going to do them today, many of them were scheduled last weekend, and none of them were put here today. And that is one of the major keys to massive productivity, knowing what you are going to do before your day starts, or in my case, before the week starts.

Deciding what to do is not really work. It is the work you should do before you can actually do your real work. Separating the cognitive work, the thinking about the work you need to do, prioritizing it, and deciding when you are going to do it, eliminates spending more time than is necessary when you start your work day. Instead of having to look through all your tasks, rewriting your to-do list, or going straight to your email inbox, you get to work doing what is important.

When you have done the work of deciding what work needs to be done and have scheduled it, you can move from one task to the next, without having to stop to figure out what to do next, and without being distracted. That doesn’t mean that you can’t leave space. You can leave space in your day, and you should. You are not a robot. But neither do you have all the time in the world, and if you ever wished you had a 28-hour day, this is the closest you’re going to come to expanding the hours in your day.

About those 160 tasks . . . you have as many or more than I do. If you don’t know you have that many tasks, you just aren’t keeping a running a list in one place. If that is true, not only are many  out of sight and out of mind, you are likely worrying about what you have forgotten.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from the big idea here. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you have not yet purchased The Lost Art of Closing and joined the Facebook Mastermind Coaching program, you missed the second session yesterday. There were about 50 people live on Zoom, and close to 400 total in the group. We already posted the video for the folks who could not join us live. If you want in, order the book and send me your receipt to anthony@iannarino.com.

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

How to Pull Results Forward in Time

As an author, I know that writing 1,000 words per day for 60 days results in a book. By writing an additional 200 words a day, making my total word count 1,200 words instead of 1,000 words, I cut ten days off the time it takes me to write a book. By writing a couple of additional paragraphs each day, I have pulled that result forward.Pull Results Forward

If you make 20 outbound calls a day, or 100 a week, resulting in your booking five appointments, you will visit with around 250 prospective clients in a year. Dialing the phone and additional five times each day results in another 25 calls weekly, and one additional appointment. Instead of seeing 250 clients over the course of the year, you will see 300. This means you will have pulled most of the meetings you would have had in the first quarter of the following year into this year.

Let’s apply this same thinking to winning deals. How do you move a deal forward in time?

If your sales process takes an average 180 days to complete, deciding to compress the time required to have all the necessary meetings, can shorten the time it takes to win deals. For example, if you typically wait until you’re deep into the discovery process before bringing in the stakeholders who will need to support your initiative, moving these stakeholders into the conversation sooner not only improve the likelihood of your winning, it can also shorten the sales cycle.

By doing what you might do over the course of 4 sales calls in 2 sales calls instead, you start to pull your results forward, and you reduce the time it takes to win a deal, and you pull the results forward for your client at the same time.

While there is nothing novel or magic about anything written above, most of us don’t spend enough time thinking about how to pull the results we want forward in time, and most of us don’t take the necessary actions to do so.

What results do you need now, and how do you pull those results forward?

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from generating the results they want sooner. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Sunday!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you did not sign up for my webinar with Clearslide on Tuesday, go here to sign up for Winning New Opportunities with Sales Engagement, and join me Tuesday at 1:00 PM ET.http://bit.ly/2f9Qf0z

P.P.S. I did a podcast about The Lost Art of Closing with Ken Downs from Dave Ramsey’s team at EntreLeadership. Ken did a great job with the interview, and it is getting a lot of attention. Check it out here. https://www.entreleadership.com/podcasts/220-anthony-iannarinoconquering-the-c

P.P.P.S. If you have not yet purchased The Lost Art of Closing and joined the Facebook Mastermind Coaching program, you missed the first session yesterday. There were about 75 people live on Zoom, and 367 total in the group. We already posted the video for the folks who could not join us live. If you want in, order the book and send me your receipt to anthony@iannarino.com.

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

What Do You Really Want?

I want to offer you an exercise. It’s one that I have done a number of times, always right before a breakthrough. It’s one I am keen to repeat with a greater frequency than I have in the past.
what do you really wantMost of us don’t spend enough time deciding what we really want. We are too busy living to spend time deciding what living means, or how to do so in way that is in line with our definition of success, happiness, a good life, and a life well lived.

You cannot decide what you want by looking at your task list. The things that you have told yourself you must do have very little to do with what you want. In fact, just looking at all things that sit undone can cause you to believe that these are the things that you should be doing. If you can die happily with a task left undone and unaddressed, you can live happily with it undone and unaddressed.

You also can’t decide what you want by looking at your projects, your short term goals, or the many roles you play. Unless the project is “my life,” it’s just a collection of tasks. Short term goals are important, but they’re likely just milestones on the way to something bigger. But what “something bigger” is that?

To answer the question, “What do I want,” you have to move up to the highest vantage point available to you, a place where you can see further, a view with the greatest perspective. From that higher place, you can answer the question, “What do I want?”

To live a life of purpose and meaning, you have to supply that purpose and that meaning. You have to decide why you are here and what you are going to do with your time. Your life belongs to you alone. This fact is easy to forget when you don’t spend the necessary time to decide what you want, and when you end up living a life that it at odds with the life you see in your mind—and what you feel in your heart.

If the idea of “what you want” seems nebulous to you, that is my intention. I have no idea what you really want. No one else does either. This is something you have to decide for yourself, even if it is one of the most difficult questions you have to answer.

If you want to know what you really want, go some place quiet, where you can be alone. Make that quiet place outdoors, if you can. Write down the answer to the question, “What do I want?” Just write without having to be right. Explore what you surface and decide what it means for you. What you come up with probably fall into the categories of being more, doing more, having more, and contributing more.

Once you know what you want, you can start to build the plans to achieve it.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from deciding what they want. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. I have 15 seats left for Sales 3.0 on September 18th and 19th in Las Vegas. I am speaking at 8:45 AM on Tuesday the 19th. Click here to request one of the remaining tickets: 

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

You Don’t Win on Paper

This isn’t really about boxing. It’s about how a smaller, weaker competitor uses intangibles to beat a larger, stronger opponent, one of my very favorite things. With all apologies to my MMA-loving friends.

You don't win on paper

McGregor is eleven years younger than Mayweather. He is an inch taller, and he weighed 20 pounds more than Mayweather when the bell rang to start the fight. There is no question that he was the bigger, stronger fighter, as well as having a two inch advantage when it comes to reach. He has an intensity as a competitor that is second to none, an indomitable mindset.

On paper, McGregor had all of the advantages but one: His opponent was an undefeated prize fighter with a 49-0 record, and who has only fought championship fights since he was 21 years old.

How does an older, smaller, weaker opponent beat the younger, bigger, and stronger opponent? With experience and skills.

Skill Sets

In The Only Sales Guide, I wrote that one needs mind set, skill sets, and tool kits to succeed in sales (or any other endeavor).

Boxing is a set of skills that, like all martial arts, was designed to allow a smaller, weaker opponent with a certain set of skills to beat a bigger, stronger opponent. Possessing these skills creates an asymmetry, causing the person who lacks the skills to be at a disadvantage, even if they are big, strong, and tough.

A salesperson with better skills beats a salesperson with what appear to be advantages on paper. This is why you can lose while having the best product, the best pricing, and the best ROI.

These skills are changing, and knowing how to sell effectively now is the difference between success and failure, and it is why I write so much about commtiment-gaining, business acumen, and the ability to lead change.

Experience

Young McGregor is a tough fighter. He has had the experiences that allow him to win in Mixed Martial Arts contests. But he gave up traditional boxing when he was 17 years old, where he had only fought amateur boxers. MMA, like all combat sports, is brutal. But his contest with Mayweather was in a boxing ring, and under boxing rules.

In German, there is a word that translates to “fingertip feel.” The word is “fingerspitzengefuhl.” It means a situational awareness that allows the person who possesses it to intuit things and respond appropriately. You know when someone has it because it looks like magic, like things are moving slower for them, that they have the ability to see the future. The ability to discern what they are really seeing and make distinctions based on a deep set of experiences provides a competitive advantage over those who lack this ability.

Experience gives you this ability. It comes from intentionally trying new and different things as you learn to discern the patterns. Having 49 professional fights, dozens of them championship fights, provides fingerspitzengefuhl.

It isn’t very likely that your product is not your problem. Nor is it likely that your pricing is to blame for the challenges you have selling. It’s more likely that it is mind set or skill sets.

Your skills and experiences are intangibles. They don’t show up on paper, yet they create a competitive mismatch that allows for someone who appears to be at a disadvantage to win.

What are you doing about the intangible that allow you to win?

Hit reply to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from thinking about creating a competitive mismatch. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you want to develop one skill that will provide you with a competitive advantage, I would suggest that skill is controlling the process by gaining commitments. The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Saleswill provide you with the blueprint. Send me your receipt to join the Facebook Mastermind Coaching Group, starting up next weekend.

P.P.S. Here is my tweeted prediction from 3:30 PM ET yesterday. Missed it by about half a round.

You don't win on paper

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

How to Stop Creating Your Own Stress

For the last five or so years, I have been practicing a form of mindfulness meditation. Most of the time, I was “doing it wrong,” even though there a good many people who will tell you that because you are not pursuing any goal, that you cannot do mediation wrong. Leave it to me to find a way.

Creating Your Own StressI have focused only on my breath while meditating, and I have gained an ability to have absolutely nothing on my mind. I mean very literally nothing. I thought this was the goal of mediation, to quiet the mind. And in some ways, this is true.

About 6 months ago, I met with a Zen Master, someone who has literally sat on a cushion and meditated for hours a day for around 45 years (the first 30 of which he believes was very poorly done, so there is that). During our meeting, he explained to me that I was doing the prepartion work for meditiation without meditating. He suggested that I spend my time in mediation noticing my thoughts, my feelings, and anything going on in my body. At his direction, I started to practice this. Like you, there is a lot going on up there.

The trick is to observe what’s going on, without chasing every thought or feeling down every rabbit hole your mind conjures up for you. What happens to those who do this sort of meditation (or contemplative prayer, which exists in some form in every religious tradition), is that you start gain some distance from your thoughts and emotions, as they start becoming objects, making you no longer the subject. It creates a distance.

And here is an example of a small breakthrough, of which I have had many. Last week, I filled my car with gas, and I paid for a car wash at the pump. When I finished filling the last tank, I waited for the receipt that I needed to drive through the station’s car wash. That receipt, however, did not appear.

My mind decided that this was a crime against humanity: “If you want people to pay at the pump, why wouldn’t you keep paper in the machines?” It continued, “Why do I have to walk in and get the receipt?” I had decided to be frustrated.

Just then, I noticed that I had decided to cause my own suffering, and I stopped. I thought “Why wear a watch that counts your steps and then not take those steps?” I guessed it was 21 steps into the station, and 21 back, which made it ridiculous that I would choose to be frustrated over something so small and meaningless. I walked in, politely asked the clerk for the receipt for pump 14, and walked back to my car. That took all of a minute and half, if that.

The voice in your head is the primary cause of your suffering, even if you describe the emotional state as stress, anger, frustration, or some other derivation, it is really you suffering. Maybe your voice tells you not to make the call, that you are only going to be rejected, in which case you already feeling something, even though nothing has actually happened to you. Or perhaps you tell yourself that the fact that your operations team is struggling and that you have to deal with the problems they create makes you angry and upset. Whatever is going on upstairs, a highly charged emotional state isn’t likely to help you produce better results. In fact, it is more likely it makes you less effective.

Here’s the rub: You don’t have to make things worse in your mind than they really are, and not doing so can make you far more effective in dealing with the issues, problems, and challenges of your daily life. You can minimize the stress you create for yourself, and you are most certainly its creator.

How are you causing stress and suffering in your own mind?

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from a little perspective on what they are conjuring up in their mind. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. Thanks so much for all the support with The Lost Art of Closing. We’ve had a killer first couple of weeks. If you haven’t checked it out because you have some preconceived notion of what’s in the book, please read this review.

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

But Are You Getting Any Better?

Getting BetterI once read a quote from K. Anders Ericsson about expertise. He said, “I have been walking for 48 years, but I am not getting any better at it.” His point? Just because you are doing something over and over again is no proof that you are getting any better at it.

Ericsson is the man who coined the 10,000-hour rule, which is often mistaken for the idea that repetition over time is what generates expertise. But that isn’t what his research shows. What makes you better is “deliberate practice. “ It’s the act of intentionally getting better.

I just checked my stats at www.thesalesblog.com. I have posted to the blog 3,102 times, but a couple hundred of those posts are videos or podcasts. Let’s call it 2,900 written posts. I have written 2,054,838 words in all the posts combined. If those words were books, that would be 34 books, the average word count being 60,000 words.

If you go back to the archives in 2009 and 2010, you will see that I was not a very good writer. Writing helped me improve my writing, but not so much as actually editing my own writing. I was intentional about improving, so I separated the writing from the editing, and I spent more time crafting sentences. I am still no Dan Pink or Malcolm Gladwell, but I have improved through deliberate effort (and I still have much more improving to do).

On Intentionality

The problem with this concept of mastery is that most of us think the repetition alone is enough. Because we believe this, we aren’t intentionally trying to improve.

Even though you have made 1,000 sales calls, you may or may not be getting better at sales. You might have negotiated hundreds of contracts without ever improving your ability to craft a deal or defend the investment your client needs to make to produce the results you need. In most areas of our lives, like Ericsson suggests about walking, we are on autopilot.

It is possible to have the same year repeatedly. The stories on television and Facebook may have changed, but have you? Are you better than you were this time last year? Not in every area of your life, but in some area where you have made the decision to intentionally improve?

Here is the rub: You must be intentional about self-improvement. You have to be deliberate about your personal and professional development. The areas where you want to make an improvement will only improve when you “deliberately practice,” when you focus on the improvement in that area, becoming aware of the gaps in your performance, intentionally changing what you are doing, and modifying your approach as you notice the results of those changes.

Are You Getting Better?

  • In what areas of your life are you right now having the same year you had last year?
  • In what areas do you need to intentionally improve to generate the results you want—and the results you are capable of producing?
  • What are you going to do to ensure that you do not have the same year and over and over again?

Hit reply to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from thinking about proactively improving their performance in some area. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Happy Father’s Day!

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Sunday!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. This newsletter is sponsored by my friends at SAP. If you need a CRM for your personal use or for your team, check out their Digital CRM here, and sign up for a free trial.

P.P.S. This week I am part of a discussion on The Death of Social Selling. What I say is going to be controversial to many. You can tune in, Wednesday at 1:00 PM by signing up here.

P.P.P.S. We are just a few weeks from launching The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales. I just finished designing the bonus packages, and those will go live in the next week or so. Bulk packages are going to be available soon. If you are considering buying books for your whole team, email me here so we can take care of you!

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

The Death of Social Selling

I want to invite you to an event in which I am a participant a couple weeks from now. The segment of the event I am participating in is called “The Death of Social Selling?” I want to share a few ideas with you here about the value of social selling and what my complaints have been from those who promote social selling as the only method of prospecting.

Social Selling

This event is June 21st at 1:15 PM here: The Death of Social Selling

What’s Wrong with Social Selling

First, the problem that I have with the way social selling is presented is three-fold. It is presented as the panacea for building a pipeline of opportunities, and it is not, nor will it ever be. It has been sold as a replacement for cold calling, to the detriment of sales people, sales organizations, and the prospective clients who need their help. Those who sell social selling present it as the only method salespeople will use now—and forever into the future. They make this case using “statistics” that are suspect to anyone who actually sells.

Second, providing people with the belief that they don’t have to do what is necessary to succeed hurts those people. Social is more fun than cold calling, but it’s a bit like a fitness plan built on Netflix and ice cream. I have personally met salespeople who are not taking care of themselves or their family because they are not doing the work necessary to produce results. This is always true for some portion of any sales force, but they have never been provided with an excuse that is supported by so many who claim to be sales improvement specialists.

Third, the people who promote and sell social media over-index on results when it comes to creating opportunities. Their conceit is in believing that everyone else will experience the same results of their incestuous, content-marketing, mostly supported and shared by other believers. When you promote social selling to people who want to believe that social selling is all that you have promised, it’s easy to get attention. The salesperson wants to believe they don’t need to prospect. Their company wants to do something to help them create more opportunities, and struggles to help them improve their effectiveness at doing so.

I want you to notice something about people who are well known in social selling: they are all content creators. What they are doing is content marketing, and it is extraordinarily powerful. A someone who writes 365 blog posts a year, now records daily vlog that will match that 365, sends a weekly newsletter each week, posts to Instagram with created content 5 times a week, and shares all of this content on multiple channels, I can tell you that it produces results. The problem is, most people can’t do this.

Think about the salespeople in financial services and pharmaceutical. They would not be permitted to create the kind of content that is worth looking at because it would never be approved by their legal department. Think about the people who sell industrial-type stuff, whose prospects aren’t on LinkedIn at all, nor do they Tweet. Think about the advice that is given, like post a blog post three times a week. If you have 600 salespeople writing a single blog post a week, how do you manage the workflow to ensure that the post is on point, well-written, and passes a legal review?

Most people don’t want to write content, and many more are horrified at being on camera. While there is plenty of content to share on the social channels, the vast rewards go to the creator, not the curator. Most people who use the social channels are consumers of content.

Finally, no one who actually works in sales improvement believes that salespeople should choose to use a single method, and they all include the social channels as a method to be employed. Those who preach the gospel of social believe and demand that there is only one medium, and that medium is the social channels. Where we are omni, they believe there is a single method, that all others have been rendered obsolete.

There is a place for the social tools in sales, even though I am, beginning to see that the digital transformation of sales is going to allow for intimacy at scale, a framework and a presentation I have been building for the last year. I’ve also started writing an eBook about Intimacy at Scale, but my real book, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales is less than two months from the launch date (August 8th), so that eBook has to wait.

Social is Dead. Long Live Digital.

I will tell you that social selling, as it has been presented and promoted up to this point, is dead. The promises made were never kept. It massively over-promised and under-delivered.

If social worked as promised, then LinkedIn would not require their salespeople to make cold calls. If it allowed you create opportunities you couldn’t create without making a cold call, I would not have received a cold call from Hubspot, the leader in inbound marketing. If there were no other methods of prospecting available, you would not have seen Gary Vaynerchuk, who uses the social tools better than anyone on Earth, tell two young app developers that he won’t take a meeting unless they cold email and cold call all their prospects and provide him documented proof.

We have never used any channel to its full effect without years of experience, and without making serious adjustments. This is going to be true for the social channels, and it is going to be true for the digital tools that follow. Right now, social is above the funnel, but I don’t believe that this will be true as sales evolves in its use of digital.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from thinking about prospecting and where social fits. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Sunday!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. If you are looking for a simple, powerful, easy to use CRM, then let me point you to our new sponsor, SAP Digital CRM. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and powerful enough to allow you to run your sales force. Click here for a free trial.

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Playing a Longer Game in Client Acquisition

A $1,000,000 deal is a big deal. It’s big enough that you should want to win that deal. Given the opportunity, you’d likely be aggressive in pursuing a deal of that size. But you would still be thinking small, and your actions may not be in line with the real value of a deal of that size.

How long do you keep a client? Is it three years? Five years? Maybe you keep your core clients for a decade or more. That would make a $1,000,000 deal worth $3M, or $5M, or $10M. How different would you behave if you were playing for that larger number?

Would it make sense to spend time nurturing the relationships inside the companies who would value what you do so much that the eventual creation of an opportunity worth millions of dollars makes that a worthwhile investment of your time?

How much time would you spend in discovery, really learning your dream client’s business, understanding the needs of the people inside the company, and helping them build a solution that would compel them to decide to work with you instead your competitor?

How would your overall strategy change if you were playing the long game, trading now for a deeper, sustainable relationship that potentially spans decades.

If you are a sales leader, how different would your pipeline look if you stopped looking at the annual revenue of the deals you are pursuing and instead multiplied that number by your client retention? How would you manage and coach deals if you were playing for lifetime value and wallet share instead of what you believe you might generate in year one? How different would your planning be if you were projecting these wins into future years?

There is a benefit to taking a longer view of client acquisition and retention. Taking a longer view of your client relationships provides a more strategic view, and a more strategic approach to go with it. What if what you are doing now is really setting the stage for a lifetime relationships built on the value you can create over time?

Are the actions you taking based on a longer view of what is really at stake when you acquire clients?

Look at the biggest deals you are pursuing now. What are they really worth, and what does that longer view require of you?

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from taking a longer view of their client acquisition efforts. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Sunday!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. CALL FOR SPONSORS: We are gearing up for OutBound Dallas, and we have sponsorship opportunities available. Our sponsors for OutBound Atlanta received just over 7,400 leads and tons of attention. If we can help you with your goals, hit reply and type OUTBOUND in the subject line, and we’ll reach out and send you a media kit.

P.P.S. Look for an email this week about joining the Street Team for The Lost Art of Closing. If you want to read an advance copy of the book and help promote the book, you’ll want to sign up. Go here to watch the unboxing of the galleys.

P.P.P.S. If you aren’t subscribed to the YouTube channel, I have already posted 137 videos there. Some sales managers are requiring their teams to subscribe, and some are using the lessons for their team meetings. Check it out and subscribe here.

 

 

Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at www.thesalesblog.com and you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.thesalesblog.com/newsletter.