Yes, I’ve made it! When I was in my early twenties I thought it was a zillion years away.
But as I woke up this morning on my 40th birthday I suddenly thought “Where did all those years go?!”
I woke to find the whole of the house decorated by my wife Donna and daughter Holly who remind me of what I do all of this “stuff” for.
Here’s “Team McPheat” at a recent wedding. Do you think my little Holly (mini-me) looks like me?!
So as I come kicking and screaming into my 40’s I thought I would address the state of the nation in terms of the sales industry and answer the one burning question on my lips “What’s my one wish for the sales industry?”
Well, my ultimate goal is to help make the sales profession a true profession.
Still a lot of people hang their heads down in shame when they admit to being a sales person mostly because sales people still have a stigma attached to them and people label us as stereotyped hard sell second hand car dealers!
And this is completely wrong.
From the 50,000 people that we have trained over the years the overwhelming majority are thoughtful, caring people who want a win-win outcome in their selling interactions. A win for the client as well as a win for themselves (And by the way there has to be a win in it for you too!)
Unfortunately you never hear of the great things that sales people do. All you hear about in the media are the errors or the crooks or the wrong-doers. No one ever hears about how we add value to others, whether that be to consumers or to business. But we in the sales industry “get it” and we know and understand our worth.
I guess we’re a “bad news” obsessed society!
But there are things that we can do…
I’m sick of seeing non-sales related industry spokespeople make comment on the news about the recession. Instead, leading figures in the sales industry should be making the comments. After all, we’re the ones who are going to make the difference to the economy and just look at the shrinking marketplace that we’ve got to work with – we as sales people need to give ourselves a pat on the back.
And who is fighting our corner in the media? I can’t see anyone.
Maybe it’s time I stood for “Sales Prime Minister” to push the levels of sales professionalism onto the next level and to spread the word of all the good that we do as an industry.
That’s what I can work on during the next 40 years!
Sales people I salute you! (I’m off to eat some of my birthday cake now!)
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog.
MTD Sales Training
In no less than 6 weeks MTD Sales Training’s MD Sean McPheat will be returning to the stage at the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s (ISMM) Successful Selling Conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on October 12th.
Following on from the success of last year’s conference where Sean keynoted to over 1,000 sales professionals on his alternative sales method known as eselling©. During his keynote, Sean showed the audience at the ISMM why they should be using social media and other internet-based services to enable better prospecting, personal branding, networking and engaging with key decision makers online.
This year Sean will be delivering his Practical Sales Clinic breakout session, in which he will be digging even deeper into the concepts behind modern day selling and showing attendees at the event exactly how they can use the power of social media in their selling to gain a real return on their investment.
Sean’s return to the Successful Selling Conference has been causing quite a stir in the local media, with the Coventry Telegraph publishing a great piece on the background behind Sean’s modern day sales approach – detailing Sean’s achievements as an entrepreneur and the owner of many successful internet-based businesses.
Sean has proven that his modern day approach to selling really does work, and he is keen to show other sales professionals and business owners in all sectors and industries exactly how they can use the Internet to improve their sales performance and generate more qualified leads for their business.
For more information on the ISMM Successful Selling Conference, including a full agenda of the day, please visit http://www.ismm.co.uk/events_successfulselling.php.
See you again soon folks,
MTD Sales Training
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:
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.
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)
MTD Sales Training
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
MTD Sales Training
It’s MTD’s Marketing Manager Louise here today. I thought I’d take over the Sales Blog today as I have some interesting news about MTD Sales Training’s MD Sean McPheat.
Sean has been named as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers For 2012, which he is obviously very excited to know. The article has been produced by OpenView Labs, who have detailed their list of top influential sales leaders on the Web today – and Sean has been named as one the most powerful thought leaders in the world of sales management, lead generation and modern day selling.
Sean shares the top spot with the likes of best-selling author Jill Konrath, author of The Sales Blog Anthony Iannarino and thought leader Sharon Drew Morgan.
Sean has been tipped as “one to watch” in 2012, so make sure you log on to the MTD Sales Blog every day to get your quick fix of expert sales knowledge.
MTD Sales Training
It’s Louise here again, filling you in on the latest news from the MTD HQ. November has been a very busy month for Sean and the team as we held our first ever Sales Summit recently!
MTD’s MD Sean McPheat has had many successful experiences keynoting at business events and conferences across the country, and he thought it was about time MTD had our very own sales event…and what an event it was!
Our 2011 Sales Summit was held on Thursday 17th November in Heathrow, and with over 100 UK and international sales professionals in attendance it certainly was a packed day.
The Summit played host to 3 fantastic speakers who presented four must-see sessions on all manner of topics, from prospecting, networking and building value during a sales interaction, right up to influencing, negotiating and communicating with potential customers.
Sean kicked off the day with his first session on “The Ultimate Sales Audit”, where he helped guests to thoroughly rip their sales approach to pieces and really analyse the way that they currently sell. Sean encouraged his guests to make the most of their sales interactions and gave great direction on how to pre-sell their products.
The second session of the day was taken by international public speaker Simon Hazeldine, who had our guests rolling with laughter during his fantastic session on “Bare Knuckle Negotiating”. As an ex-bouncer from a former life, Simon had plenty of real-life experiences to share with our guests as he took our delegates through the negotiation process – sharing with them the strategies, tricks and tactics they need to survive and thrive when negotiating with a client.
Following a networking lunch in the beautiful atrium of the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, guests took their seats once again as Sean McPheat returned to the stage to present his much sought-after session on eselling®. Sean is the creator of the alternative sales approach known as eselling®, which helps businesses to prospect and sell online through the use of social media and other internet based services. Guests, of course, were very keen to see this session in particular, as this is fast becoming one of the biggest successes of Sean’s recent accomplishments.
One of the main focuses of the eselling® approach is to teach sales professionals how to use social media within their business, and to gain a real and substantial return on their investment – so Sean treated his guests to a 20 minute LinkedIn video tutorial, in which he gave guests a guided tour of the benefits of using LinkedIn as a business tool and showed them how they can create valuable business leads via this medium.
The day was capped off nicely by a very entertaining session from Sean’s number one Sales Trainer Mark Williams. Mark presented a session on The New ROI, in which he showed guests how to get a return on influence with their clients. Mark taught guests how to better understand and communicate with their clients, how to get clients on their side and how to influence people on a subconscious level.
In a final flurry of magic and mystery Mark even turned four grown men into a human table which went down a storm with the attendees!
Following the event, both Sean and the team have received some brilliant feedback from our guest, with many commenting that they are very much looking forward to next year’s Summit. Here’s what a few of our attendees have said about the Sales Summit:
“Sean delivers an excellent approach to selling that has helped me tremendously with my sales techniques. The conference he set up was great and I would recommend attending it to expand your abilities as a salesman.” – Andy Naisbitt, Business Development Manager at Gen3 Kinematics
“Sean is an inspiring and well prepared presenter. His ideas on today’s buyer are clearly well researched and his modern day sales concepts are backed up with practical examples and his own living proof that they work – Sean “walks his talk”. An expert in his field, Sean is also down to earth, personable and appreciative of his audience.” - Stephanie Keller, Sales Coach and Consultant at S2 Strategic Skills
“A fantastic and informative Sales Summit day, full of brand new content. I have learned more than in any other course I have attended in the past, the event was well organised and the speakers were amazing. I really look forward to attending some other courses with MTD Sales Training and thank you very much for your on-going email support which I highly appreciate and respect.” Kubilay Tunc, The Cumberland Hotel
Both Sean and the team have been thrilled with the feedback we’ve received from the event and we are now looking forward to the 2012 Sales Summit – bring it on!
Many people are under the impression that LinkedIn is generally only used as a recruitment tool, as it is very common to find job advertisements posted all over the site, and obviously LinkedIn’s main function is to provide each member with a professional (and searchable) profile – but recruitment is not the only service LinkedIn can provide and as a business owner or sales professional you should now realise what a fantastic tool LinkedIn can be…if you know how to use it.
Yes, it is true that LinkedIn in its most basic description is a professional platform where you can host your professional profile, connect with other professionals and engage in discussion with likeminded individuals…but if you cannot see beyond that then you really are missing a trick.
The way I view LinkedIn is as the biggest and best DECISION MAKER SEARCH ENGINE the world has ever seen! LinkedIn is 100% searchable, and that right there is the real beauty of the site, as hundreds of thousands of potential leads are waiting at your fingertips – you just need to know how to find and connect with them. Through a quick search of keywords you can find they key decision makers at the big companies you are interested in approaching, find out where they are spending their time and what they are interested in – all you have to do is reach out to them and make that initial contact.
Did you know that…
Are you beginning to see the potential yet?
You should be. So the real question then is how do you use LinkedIn to prospect and connect to potential leads?
The first thing you need to do is compile a list of keywords related to both your business and the people you are looking to connect with. You can search on keywords related to an industry or job titles. This could be Sales Managers, Sales Directors etc of companies in the technology industry, both worldwide and in the UK, by a specific region, who have 50 or more staff within their company.
You can be as general or specific as you want with these searches, meaning that you can target exactly the right type of LinkedIn members who you believe would be interested in your products and services.
Track Who Is Viewing Your Profile
You can track who is looking at your profile and how often they are viewing it, so that you can act instantly on companies and professionals who are already researching you and your company – meaning you are already on their radar and can therefore start to build a relationship with these leads.
Research Potential Contacts And Leads
A very basic element of LinkedIn is the ability to research not only individual people, but also to research who works for each company – so that you can find the right contact to connect with, rather trying to chase a lead through a member who will not be the key decision maker further down the line.
Set Up A Company Profile
Simply setting up a company profile won’t suddenly generate a whole bunch of valuable leads but it is a good way of pulling all of your team members together under one page and boosting your personal brand, as it gives both potential clients and staff alike a place to connect and engage with each other and your company.
A LinkedIn company profile can be just as content-heavy and in-depth as your company website, as you can host your tweets, blog feed and embed banner images and videos on your page. You can also ask for both company and product/service recommendations via LinkedIn, which will really boost your credibility and add real value to the company and your products and services for all who view your company profile.
Join Groups And Participate In Discussion
This is perhaps the most direct way of prospecting via LinkedIn, as this is where you will start to make real contact with your desired clients, and through genuine engagement in these forums you can start to build good social relationships that can later be turned into valuable leads.
Find out what groups your prospects are members of, and then join these groups and start contributing to them through genuine and helpful content and by partaking in discussions and debates with fellow members. Once you have made this initial connection with a prospect via an enthusiastic exchange of ideas in a LinkedIn group it then becomes much easier to introduce yourself from a business perspective and start to take your relationship from a social to professional context.
Prospecting On LinkedIn
The topics I have discussed above really are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to prospecting via LinkedIn, and there are many other factors involved in creating solid B2B leads from this sort of social media activity which go way beyond what we have discussed so far.
If you would like more information about prospecting on LinkedIn and through other social media sites and internet based resources then the eselling® approach will be of real value to you. eselling® is the art of using the internet and social media to prospect, network, build your personal brand and engage with key decision makers online – and this will help boost your knowledge on the modern way to prospect and sell online.
Bestselling Author, Sales Authority & Speaker On Modern Day Selling Methods
(Image by The Seafarer)