Friday, February 3, 2017

New Ideas come from Old Ideas

I am a Cover Band Sales Leader - there is not a single thing unique about what I do. In fact I am certain that everything I do as a Sales Leader is learned from the best practices, writings, and recommendations of others. I believe that even my "ideas" for things I want to do are not unique to me; they have been written about and utilized for years by others. So what does this mean, aside from me potentially being a serial plagiarist??

Well, if you believe that all the sound principles of Sales Leadership have already been discussed and written about then you agree with me, but if you believe the changing landscape of B2B sales (because of the Internet) is changing the way Sales Leaders need to approach their team then you likely also agree with me. I think I am right and here's why.

The fundamentals never change. No matter how cute or innovative we may feel we are it all comes back to the basics:

  1. Identify the Opportunity
  2. Know whether you have a solution
  3. Identify the Key Players in the decision
  4. Understand each Key Players motivation
  5. Position your solution to address the Opportunity and each Key Player's motivation
Has the IoT changed this? No
Has the advent of LinkedIn for Cold Calling changed this?

I don't think so...I think that IoT, LinkedIn, and any other technology, networking, or marketing tool that is based on technology is an automation of that which already existed in analog format. 

Question - how in LinkedIn different that a Lead Sharing Group for prospecting?  Sure, the net is wider, but you still require a contact to make an introduction.

Question - when was the last time (or the first time) you made a T-visit?  What is it?  It where you "stop in" the businesses on either sales of your current sales appointment.  Think of a strip shopping center. You have an appointment with a business located in that center - your "drop in" the business on either side AFTER your appointment to introduce yourself, leave a card, and try to get the name of the person "responsible for making the decisions about (insert what you do here)".  Even better, did you ask the person you were meeting with if they KNOW their positional-peers at the businesses on either side? Maybe that business park has its own professional network group.

Question - when the person who last fixed your (insert large-home-appliance name here) did they leave you with a magnet and ask that you let your neighbors know how well they fixed your whatever? Do YOU ask for referrals?

Question - Do you know WHY your clients buy from you over and over again? Do you know WHY they only bought once? Did you know that feedback is a gift, it truly is (BSA WoodBadge)?

I have to remind myself every day to not forget the basics - I want to get immersed in the possibility of technology and a magic CRM making my day automated. The truth is technology will never ever ever replace a handshake and a conversation about what's important to you client conducted in a face to face situation. Some things that were complex have become commodities...but last I looked technology is still complex. Raising the capabilities of our technology does not make extinct the need for fundamentals. Deep Learning and Data Mining will not by themselves sell your quota this month. Only YOU can do that, and by remembers the practicing the Fundamentals you will surely outpace those who spend their day in front of their has become the Fax Machine of the 80's.

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