Want To Learn More About Modern Day Selling? David Brent’s Got Just The Man For You…

The modern day sales process has changed, and sales professionals across all sectors and industries are having to change the way that they sell in order to engage and interact with the modern day buyer.

The days of the mighty cold call are fading away fast, as the modern day buyer simply doesn’t want to be sold to. Instead, the internet and has become the buyer’s best friend, and they can find out all about your business and compare and contrast you against your competitors all with just a few clicks of a mouse.

The buyer is now in control of the sales process, and knowing how to redress this balance of power is so important for modern day sales professionals and business owners.

Sean McPheat, Managing Director of MTD Sales Training and best-selling author of eselling®, will be presenting a session on the modern day way to sell at the Business Boost 2012 event on June 1st.

In this fun and engaging session Sean will show you how to prospect, position yourself as an expert and sell using the internet and social media. After this session you will go away with an understanding of how the sales process is changing and what you can do to even up the odds with the modern day buyer.

But don’t just take our word for it – here’s what David Brent, from The Office, has to say:

Sean will be joined at the Business Boost 2012 by an array of high impact speakers including Steve Maraboli, Adrian Webster and Sandro Forte. The event is being held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on June 1st and tickets are going fast, so book now to ensure you don’t miss out – www.businessboost2012.co.uk

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

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Can You Change The Price Only Prospect Into A Good Loyal Client?

In a recent post, “4 Powerful Reasons To Walk Away From The Price ONLY Prospect,” I detailed how and why you need to walk away from that POP (Price Only Prospect). That is the prospect who cares nothing about service, value, or even reputation and is only concerned with, “How much?”

Even if you give away your shirt to close such prospects, usually they turn out to be nightmare clients, constantly demanding more for less and ready to dump you for a lower price at moment’s notice.

The Question
Recently, a few readers have asked if it is possible to close that POP, and then, in time, turn the customer into a profitable and loyal account. So, here is my take on trying to turn a lump of goal into a diamond.

Turning the Frog into a Prince
While it may be possible to turn the POP around into a customer that is able to see value in things other than the price, I don’t believe it will ever be worth the time and risk to try.

POPs do often change into value driven prospects. However, it is usually the result of an extremely negative situation. Something happens that hurts the prospect and becomes the motivating factor for change.

As an example, the POP haggles until he gets the rock bottom price for a particular product, passing up the higher priced models. Then, the lower priced brand proves to end up costing the POP far more money than the cost of the higher value products. In short, the POP eventually experiences the age-old adage that you get what you pay for. However, the motivating factor for change is usually something bad.

Added Value Increases the Problem
Second, you may be thinking that if you close that POP and then begin to demonstrate the true value to him or her, then it would open their eyes. Actually, it is the reverse.

The POP dragged you down to the lowest possible price. You caved in, took the bait and closed the sale. You now deliver service and value that is far above what the prospect paid for. Your hope is the prospect will realise that product was indeed worth a lot more. Therefore, the next time you make an offer, the prospect will understand that your pricing is fair.

That sounds good. But it does not work.

This prospect will instead think, “Wow, I got a great deal…I wonder how much lower I could have gotten the price?” I bargained for the lowest price and it paid off…I got a great deal…I’ll do even better this time!”

By you adding more value to the low price, the POPs understanding and appreciation will actually diminish, not grow.

Stand firm. Stand for value and you cannot loose.

(Image by Nick J Webb)

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

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Are you juggling Sales 2.0 reps with a Sales 1.0 system?

Recently, Sean was asked to contribute to a webinar on the topic of outdated CRM systems in the modern selling world of today, for leading online business publication MyCustomer.com.

MyCustomer.com is produced specifically for customer relationship managers and other customer management professionals across the UK, and Sean was invited to attend the webinar to discuss his views on how the sales profession is changing as an industry, how prospects and customers alike have changed and how the tools available to sales professionals and CRM’s nationwide need to change in order to keep up with the evolution of the sales process.

Sean was joined on the webinar by Editor of MyCustomer.com, Neil Davey and Kris Mackenzie, who is Head of CRM Sales at the enterprise application software provider SAP.

Please enjoy the webinar and feel free to share your thoughts on this subject below.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

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How To Use Company Buzz To Prospect And Network On LinkedIn

As always, my focus in these Techy Tuesday blogs is to keep you update to date with the latest and greatest ways you can use social media and other internet based resources to prospect, network and engage with key decision makers online – and this week is no different!

This week I have been doing some research into a new LinkedIn application called Company Buzz, to find out if the hype around the new feature is valid and how you can really use it as a legitimate business tool.

As a sales professional or business owner it’s so important to keep on top of your company’s reputation and be aware of any influential changes and developments in your industry, and this is exactly what the Company Buzz application does for your business.

This application is a great tool which combines both your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to display real-time tweets and LinkedIn updates relating to your company and any other specific search terms you request on your LinkedIn profile.

You can search on any word relating to you, your company, your products and services or your industry and see all of the recent tweets and LinkedIn updates related to that term.

You can then narrow down your search results by loads of different categories, including location, company, degree of connection, industry, time frame, update type and job title. You can then save these results and even share them to your profile. Company Buzz also shows you what words and links are currently trending around your chosen search term, and gives you a historical overview of the buzz surrounding your search terms over time.

So now that you know what the Company Buzz application is all about, how can you use it to your advantage?

Well, as with many of the great features LinkedIn has to offer, you can use Company Buzz to prospect, listen in for leads and engage with key decision makers online.

As the application allows you to be so specific with your search results, you can create a search on yourself, your company, or the title of your latest blog post, and then narrow it down to just your first degree connections, in your chosen industry, in a specific location. You can even select just the CEOs or Managers from this selection, and only view the updates which have happen in the last couple of hours…so you are literally getting the most specific and up-to-date view of all those who are talking about you and your company on LinkedIn.

Now that you can see who has been tweeting about you, commenting about your company in the groups, and sharing your latest blog posts on their profile you can go in and engage with these connections directly – using the same techniques as you would implement when engaging with key decision makers through your LinkedIn Groups.

Taking this slightly further, you can choose to view only your second or third degree connections in this same way, and you can then build up a picture of which prospects are already on LinkedIn talking about you and your company, so that you can make an offer to connect with them and engage further with them .

Not only does the Company Buzz allow you keep on top of your company reputation and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry, but when used in the right way it can also provide you with a great way to prospect and engage with key decision makers on LinkedIn.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

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It Takes Only An Hour A Week To Produce Leads Through LinkedIn

I must have said it time and time again, but when it comes to modern day selling, sales professionals and business owners alike can find real value in the LinkedIn platform as a sales tool, as there is so much potential for you to prospect for and engage with new leads and current clients online.

I have frequently written about the different ways you can use LinkedIn to network with c-suite decision makers and build your internet footprint, but in today’s post I thought I would take you back to basics and show you how you should be maintaining your LinkedIn presence on a weekly basis.

You see, in order to get the best out of the platform you need to contribute frequently on LinkedIn, to ensure that you are always at the forefront of your prospects’ minds whenever they access the site.

Keeping up-to-date with your LinkedIn connections – as with any social media site – requires a certain level of dedication, but there are a few simple tasks you can pursue on a weekly basis to ensure that you maintain your presence on LinkedIn. After all, you have worked hard to build up your LinkedIn activity and you shouldn’t let this fall by the wayside simply due to time constraints, so here are 4 quick tips to help you manage your LinkedIn account on a weekly basis:

1.       Keep Your Content Fresh

Generating new content consistently is a vital aspect of building your personal brand and positioning yourself as an industry expert in your field, ensuring that you are the go-to-guy when your prospects and searching for the products and services you provide online.

But more importantly than just generating new thought leadership content, is making sure that you distribute this in spaces where your prospects will find it. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing your content and there are so many applications you can use to do this, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your most recent blog post on your profile, your latest business read on your Amazon Reading List and an up-to-date presentation on your Slideshare app.

The more content you distribute the more you will build your presence on the platform, and taking 5 minutes out of your week to ensure it is all up-to-date is definitely worth your while.

2.       R&R – Recommend and Be Recommended

A recent survey by Nielsen found that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, so the fact that the LinkedIn platform gives you the opportunity to request and display your recommendations is a real bonus for any sales professional – so make the most of it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations via LinkedIn, and ensure that you follow up with this on a regular basis, as the more glowing recommendations you have for your work, the more trustworthy and reliable you will appeal to any prospects that land on your LinkedIn profile.

It’s also important that you are seen to recommend your LinkedIn connections whenever they ask, as few people will want to recommend you if you are selfish about returning the favour. Take half an hour at least once a month to request new recommendations from your satisfied clients, and return the favour for any connections who have requested one from you. After all, we all need a bit of R&R every now and again!

3.       Take 10 To Make A Contribution

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Your LinkedIn Groups are a hotbed of potential contacts, and contributing regularly to key discussions happening in these groups will help you to network and engage with more and more connections – as well as helping to build your profile as an industry expert.

Taking 10 minutes out of your day to contribute to 2 or 3 discussions via your LinkedIn groups or on the LinkedIn Answers platform will help to keep you at the forefront of relevant discussions surrounding your business.

4.       Turn Your Business Cards Into LinkedIn Connections

As a sales professional or business owner, you’re likely to collect a tidy little pile of business cards from your meetings with your clients over the month, so don’t let these vital contacts go to waste. Instead, find a bit of time in your week to search for these contacts on LinkedIn and invite them to connect with you.

If you find that some are not currently on the platform then you can also use their information to invite them to join you as a LinkedIn member, which will give you an opportunity to engage with them further following on from your meeting.

An Hour A Week Is All It Takes

Prospecting, networking and engaging with key decision makers via LinkedIn doesn’t have to be taxing, and taking as little as an hour out of your week to keep yourself up-to-date on the platform will really help you get the most out of your activity on the site. By maintaining your presence on LinkedIn you are maintaining that all important contact with prospects and clients alike – and this is a hugely important factor in selling the modern way.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

(Image by Coletivo Mambembe)

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Still Confused About Modern Day Selling? Watch Sean McPheat In Action At The ISMM

Sales 2.0 and modern day selling are hot topics right now, as more and more sales professionals and business owners are seeing the benefits of applying these concepts within their day-to-day sales processes.

Social media and the internet have become big players in the business world, but few professionals really understand how to use these online tools to develop their sales techniques and generate qualified leads.

As many of you will know by now, MTD Sales Training’s MD Sean McPheat is at the forefront of the modern day selling revolution, and has written a bestselling book on the subject– entitled eselling® – which provides readers with a step by step guide on how to use social media and the internet to prospect, network and engage with the c-suite decision maker online.

In November of last year, Sean was invited to give a keynote presentation of the concept of eselling® to over 1,000 sales professionals from across Europe at the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s (ISMM) Successful Selling Conference at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

The short video above is a quick excerpt from Sean’s presentation on modern day selling at the ISMM, which will give you a good overview of what eselling® is really about, and how you can put these techniques into practice within your business.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Enjoy!

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

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Come On In, The Water’s Lovely! LinkedIn Is Not Just For Businesses It’s For Sales Professionals Too!

Today’s buyers are a lot more sales savvy; they conduct research online about your products and services, your company and your competitors all with a few clicks of a mouse. The internet and social media in particular are now your buyers’ best friends, as it puts them in control of the modern day sales process, so what are you doing to redress this balance of power?

Here are some scary facts and figures for you:

  • 90% of buying decisions are based on internet research – Gartner research
  • 2 out of 3 decision makers place more trust in their own research than in sales people – Market Transformations
  • 80% of sales are lost because the salesperson failed to establish an element of trust and credibility with the buyer – The Marketing Edge

The way your buyers make their purchasing decisions has changed, but are you changing the way that you sell? Social media can be a powerful sales tool when you know how to get the best from it, especially when it comes to using LinkedIn.

You’ve definitely heard of LinkedIn, you might even have a LinkedIn account and you’ve heard of the benefits and the power that LinkedIn can provide you in terms of prospecting and selling….but your LinkedIn account is just sitting there gathering dust simply because you don’t know what to do with it!

Or is it because you have yet to be convinced of the real value of the site? Well, he’s a few LinkedIn stats for you to digest:

  • 1 new member joins LinkedIn every second – LinkedIn Press Centre
  • Over 40% of LinkedIn’s users work in companies with more than 10,000 employees – LinkedIn Ads
  • Nearly 50% of the LinkedIn members are in a decision maker role (such as Manager, Director, Owner, Chief Officer or Vice President) – LinkedIn Ads

Considering this information, it’s unsurprising to find out that in a recent survey conducted by advertising agency OgilvyOne found that 93% of UK sales professionals have received no training in using social media, and 53% of these want help with learning to use social media platforms as a business tool.

As a modern day sales professional it is so important to understand how to harness the power of LinkedIn for your business, and MTD Sales Training are here to help.

We have created a complimentary report for you which will help you to understand how to get the most out of LinkedIn as a business tool.

“Ultimate LinkedIn Essentials For Sales Professionals” is free to download and will show you how to tap into the potential goldmine of prospecting resources and additional sales opportunities that LinkedIn has to offer. With a killer profile and the right approach to hunt out, prospect and engage with your target market, you will maximise your prospecting time and generate qualified leads.

Simply click the link below to download your copy:

http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/lireport.htm

If you still need convincing of the power of LinkedIn or if there’s anything you would like to ask me then leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

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Using LinkedIn Groups To Network And Engage With Key Decision Makers

Recent statistics released by the LinkedIn Ads group showed that nearly 50% of LinkedIn members are in a key decision maker role such as Manager, Director, Owner, Chief Officer or Vice President – once again proving that LinkedIn really is the biggest and best decision maker search engine in the world!

So how can you delve into this network of key decision makers and engage with them on a one-to-one level? Well, a great way to gain direct contact with these desired connections is to strike up a conversation with them in one of the many LinkedIn groups that the platform has to offer.

The chances are that you will already be connected to some of these key decision makers through your current groups, but you can also research which groups these ideal contacts are members of simply by visiting their profile. Here you will find a list of all the groups they are involved with, so it’s wise to go in to a few of these and see which ones they are the most active in – as most people will join lots of groups but may only contribute regularly within a certain few, so seek these out.

Once you have found out where your key contacts are hanging out on LinkedIn, you can then enter the discussion and strike up conversation with them by commenting on their recent posts or starting a relevant discussion of your own which you feel they would be likely to interact with.

The key to being successful when prospecting and networking via the LinkedIn groups is to be genuine with your interactions and contribute useful content – without turning everything you say into a sales pitch. By all means share your blog posts and link to your webpages in your responses, but only if this adds real value to the discussion.

Once you have gained a decent level of interaction with these key decision makers, and offered plenty of friendly and free advice (without trying to sell them anything straight away) you can then send them an invitation to connect with your personally.

Better still, you could contact them directly by email or on the phone to see if they would like you to send over your latest whitepaper or pop into their office for a chat about how you could help them in their business.

Certain groups even organise networking events for their members, so if you find out one of your key decision makers is attending one of these get-togethers then why not offer to meet them there, and turn your online networking into a face-to-face interaction.

Networking and engaging with your desired prospects in this way is none threatening and is likely to yield a better response than spamming them with emails or trying to cold call, so make the most of your LinkedIn groups and show these connections why they should want you as a contact.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

(Image by Idea Go)

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How Effective Is Your LinkedIn Teaser?

Your LinkedIn “teaser” is the short header section which appears at the top of your profile on the site, and includes your picture, name, profession, location, industry and most recent status update.

It’s known as the “teaser” because it’s the only section of your LinkedIn profile which shows up when you appear in the platform’s search results and when you contribute to a discussion in one of your LinkedIn groups. This is the equivalent of your first impression on the site, and it is so important to optimise this part of your profile to the fullest to encourage people to click through to your full profile and find out more about you.

The basic rules of optimising your “teaser” for best results include using a professional image of yourself (no holiday snaps please!) and making sure the name you use is the one that you are referred to as within your professional environment – so no nicknames or abbreviations.

It’s also important to include the most relevant industry and the local area of your company within your teaser so that people can who are searching for the products and services you provide in your local area can find you easily when they are searching online. But the really important factor lies within your professional headline.

Your professional headline should be a one line power house of a bio, which explains in good detail but in few words exactly what your company does, your role within the company and most importantly what you and your company can do for your prospects.

You need to choose the keywords that will trigger a response when a prospect is searching for somebody in your area of expertise and make sure you clearly explain to them how what you do will benefit them.

For example, my headline on LinkedIn could simply read “Marketing Manager at MTD Training”, but although it does explain my role within my company, it doesn’t explain what my company does or sell me as a professional within my industry.

So, I have optimised my LinkedIn headline to read “Marketing Manager at MTD – We Help Businesses To Improve Their Sales People, Their Managers & HR Capability” – as this clearly names my company, describes my role and explains what myself and my company can do for potential clients. Bingo!

Your “teaser” – and most importantly your headline – is critical because this is the first thing people will see when you show up in their search results or respond to their post in a group, so you need to fully optimise your teaser and polish up its appeal.  Not only will this help you make the right first impression but it will also encourage new connections to read your full profile and potentially choose to connect with you.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

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How To Prospect On LinkedIn Through Your Connections

So how exactly do you prospect on LinkedIn?

Most sales professionals and business owners are only aware of their first degree connections. These are the people that you probably already knew before LinkedIn; friends, colleagues, people you have worked with in the past etc.  But these connections might not be potential prospects for you, so how can you get to the key decision makers who you really want to engage with?

The real gold which LinkedIn has to offer (more than any other social networking site) is the ability to be introduced to key decision makers you may otherwise not be able to reach. It quite literally is a prospecting power tool…in the right hands.

The real value in the site doesn’t necessarily come from who you are connected to, but who your connections are connected to – and the great thing about LinkedIn is that it doesn’t just show your own network, it also shows your network’s network. In fact, LinkedIn even shows you how you are connected to these prospects so that you can ask for an introduction from your shared connection in order to make that first contact.

Say for instance you are already connected to the Sales Manager of particular company, but the connection you’re really interested in is the Sales Director of their company who they are already connected to.

By building up a solid relationship with your current connection – giving them good advice, offering solutions to their problems or suggesting interesting content that may help them – you can then ask them with confidence to recommend you as a connection to the key decision maker you are keen to network with. After all, you’ve proved to be a good connection to them so why would they not consider recommending you to their colleagues?

But it goes further than that. Whilst asking for a recommendation to connect on the LinkedIn platform is a start, what you really want is to get to talk to this key decision maker outside of the site, via email or on the phone.

If you have a new product or an interesting whitepaper you feel would really benefit the Sales Director of the company, email or call your first degree connection and speak to them directly about what you have to offer them and the company, and then either ask to speak to their Sales Director directly or set an appointment where you can meet with them both to discuss things further.

If you have a good relationship with your first degree connection you will find it much easier getting them to pass you on to their superiors and setting an appointment with them – you are literally bypassing the gatekeeper and getting right into the heart of the company.

This is the gold on offer through the LinkedIn platform, and by putting in the time and effort with your current connections you could soon find yourself being recommended to the key decision makers you are looking to work with – an opportunity you may not otherwise get.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

(Image by  Jannoon)

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