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Part 2 – Tommo calls Hendo. The Sales Office – a mockumentary

Part 2 – Tommo calls Hendo. The Sales Office – a mockumentary

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

In the first instalment, we were introduced to Tomkins (Tommo). He’s a successful salesperson who, when given a stiff target and fluffy details about the help he would get to make the big number, decides to leave ACME Co. Over the coming weeks we’ll follow him on his journey.

This week’s cast:

Tomkins (Tommo) – the central character, successful senior salesperson

Henderson (Hendo) – VP Sales at CCIAF

In a cool office on the Southbank in London, overlooking the Thames, Hendo is walking past the ping pong table when his phone rings.

Tomkins – Hi Hendo, it’s Tommo – how’s life at CCIAF?

Henderson– Really good Tommo, I can’t remember being as busy as this and I don’t mean with pointless internal meetings!

Tomkins– Come on Hendo, every company likes to keep itself busy with those boring meetings for the sake of having a meeting. Remember that time at WOSC when I was in one of the meeting rooms with a major prospect and that idiot Robson walked in and asked us to leave the room as he had an internal meeting booked.

Henderson– To this day I still can’t believe you didn’t punch him!

Tomkins– Ha Ha! Really had to think on my feet that time – I’m sure that’s why we never made the short list. We seemed like a bunch of idiots. Anyway, enough of that small talk – my mind’s made up I want out of ACME and I’m ready to come and join you at CCIAF.

Henderson– Wow! That’s sudden, what happened?

Tomkins– Hegarty set me a stupidly high target and marketing haven’t a clue on how to get inbound. I’ve had enough – I’m ready to join you.

Henderson– Hegsy and AMCE always like to get their pound of flesh. I’d still like to have you come across Tommo.

Tomkins– Still? I’m ready to join ‘yesterday’.

Henderson– I know Tommo and I want you here, I need a right-hand man but – I can’t employ anyone that doesn’t have a decent grasp on social selling. Dems de rules! Straight from the CEO.

Tomkins– I’ve always sold socially, come on Hendo, let’s get this going.

Henderson– Mate, your LinkedIn profile is average and I’m being kind, you have the blue hero image, your headline just states your job, there’s no summary and you have a cut and paste paragraph about ACME in your experience. We need so much more than that – just to get you in the door.

Tomkins– OK, OK I can change all that.

Henderson– Tommo, be honest do you think you can do all that and more?

Tomkins– Ok, cards on the table, social selling has confused the hell out of me. I’ve always been selling socially. I want to be part of what you are doing, being more creative in generating interest – love the fact you don’t have people wasting their time cold calling. Hendo, give me a shot, tell me what I have to get done.

Henderson– I know you are keen Tommo, do yourself a huge favour get on Amazon and buy ‘Social Selling Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers’ by Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds – read it cover to cover, check out my LinkedIn profile, sort yours out then call me and I’ll wheel you into the CEO. My hands are tied until you nail that profile.

Tomkins– Ok mate, no problem, I’m up for this, I’ll call you next week.

Next time……..Does Tommo pull it off and get to meet Grundy the CCIAF CEO?

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Why habit change is the thing you need to unlock within your organisation.

Why habit change is the thing you need to unlock within your organisation.

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

As Winston Churchill once said “I’m sorry I wrote you a long letter but I didn’t have time to write a short one” so I apologise about the fact that this is a 1000 word article rather than a 400 word one.

I have been in business for 30 years and during that time I have been on many training courses and seminars (and more recently webinars) and one thing that characterises most of them is that they didn’t make me noticeably better at what I did. They did for some people (not many, but some) but for me and most of the other people they simply didn’t work.

It could be that these programmes didn’t resonate with me at that time, or it could be that they didn’t engage with the type or learning that I needed. Or it could be that that they simply weren’t very good. Whatever the reason was, what they didn’t do was turn me from who I was in to a superhero. In fact I never saw them create a significant change in anyone, I hear anecdotally that they sometimes did, but I never saw it for myself.

The problem is that most of the training sessions I have ever been party to, certainly in a work context, are predicated on the idea that if the teacher delivers some knowledge that the student doesn’t already possess…the student will use this knowledge.

My experience is that they won’t.

I think that there are a number of reasons for this. Key is because when we’re sitting in a training session everything seems so simple and straightforward and makes perfect sense. Then when we get back to our desk we’re not quite sure what the person demonstrating did and it seems to be much more complicated than we expected it to be and we’re not quite sure that it’s as applicable to our business as it seemed when the expert was standing in front of us.

In addition to this issue of empowerment there is the issue of habit, Getting people to do something different today is (relatively) easy, getting them to do something different EVERY day is extremely difficult…and it isn’t achieved through those knowledge-transfer sessions whether by webinar or face to face. It is only achieved through a much more personalised and intimate delivery method and therefore a more expensive one.

Sadly though, organisations often don’t see the difference between cost and value because the cost of making a change is what’s viewed rather than the benefits that it might bring.

Effective training is expensive because it isn’t putting 100 people in a room and transmitting for a day, rather it is about taking each of them on a journey to learn the things that they as an individual need to learn. Nowhere is this more obvious than in social selling and nowhere in social selling more than in LinkedIn.

This requires work to get started (writing their profile) and ongoing work (being visible and writing things) and this simply won’t happen via webinar. Webinars are what people do whilst eating a sandwich at lunch time and even if they do learn some facts and techniques the work required to implement will seldom be done.

The way to successfully deliver this is with time. Time with face to face teaching. Time with telephone mentoring. Time for the student to think…and do what’s required. Moreover there must be an expectation that people will actually do what’s required.

For us at Digital Leadership Associates we don’t “pass” people for attending one of our courses, we pass them for doing the work required to be successful at social selling and that is about changing long-established (and often outmoded) habits for more modern, efficient and effective ones.

So what have I learned from this method.

I have learned that we get a very high success rate. I have learned that attendees often say “this has totally changed my thinking on sales” or “this is so simple and obvious why hadn’t I thought of this before” or they say “I have just smashed my number.” I have also learned that people who travel through the Digital Leadership Associates social selling programme usually have better things to do with their time than sit in a two day seminar or a webinar which changes nothing and I certainly have better things to do with my time than deliver a two day seminar or webinar that changes nothing.

So why should you invest money and time in this type of training to encourage your sales force to adopt social selling?

Because, as I’m sure you know, CEB (now part of Gartner) identified that the “average” buyer is 57% of the way through the buying journey before the seller is even aware of their existence. They point-out that during this 57% of the buying journey they are going online end self-educating from various (largely social) resources – YouTube, forums, groups, social sites and they are gathering all of the information they need to make a decision (or at least make a shortlist) and they very well might miss you if you’re not there. CEB also pointed out that the “average” buying team for a complex (large) purchase is now 6.8 stakeholders. That’s 6.8 people who might each be going online and doing their own research and forming their own conclusions. The worrying thing is that in this scenario, with 6+ people involved in the decision making process there’s only a 31% chance that anything will actually be purchased…which means that not only are you fighting with your usually competitors for the business the biggest competitor is inaction.

As you know, we at Digital Leadership Associates firmly believe (and can prove) that social selling is the solution to this buyer disfunction and that to be effective in an increasingly competitive world you need to be using these techniques. But to think that empowering a person, or a team, or a complete salesforce to be skilled at social selling is the job of a 2 hour webinar, a one day seminar or even a LinkedIn training course is bordering on delusional.

The reason I say this is because if it was easy EVERYONE would be doing it, and clearly they’re not. If it was possible to change people by simply telling them facts, then every training course would successfully train people, and they don’t. And if it was possible to change habits and behaviours on an ongoing basis with a simple one-day course then there would be no need for personal trainers, dieticians, or addiction clinics. You would simply tell people and they would change.

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Who should be helping you attract more prospects and sales?

Who should be helping you attract more prospects and sales?

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

The salespeople get paid the big money, it’s really annoying because they seem to do nothing and then just moan a lot.

This gets said a lot – especially in larger organisations where roles are very defined. What the sales knockers have to remember is salespeople have to perform and deliver – time after time. They don’t tend to be able to live on their basic salary so they need to earn commission and bonuses, and they can earn those by hitting a challenging target.

Many companies will set employees that work outside of the sales environment key performance indicators, (KPI’s). These can help with career development, measuring performance, ability and scoring agreed objectives. There can also be bonuses, shares and other benefits linked to the results.

You may be a CEO, CFO, CMO, Sales VP or HR VP – but, believe me, whether you like it or not, someone, somewhere in your organisation will be moaning about sales. Businesses survive by making more money than they spend – and the money they spend is earned through selling a product, service or solution. So, we need sales to survive.

Wouldn’t it be good if everyone was contributing – externally on social media – towards the success of your business?

Social selling and employee advocacy get everyone playing for the same team. If, in the future, I set up another UK operation – I would insist that everyone could demonstrate a decent understanding of social media and had an ‘above average’ LinkedIn profile. I would also expect every employee to actively share content, grow their network etc and help the business have a high digital share of voice.

Or, I could set high targets, stress a lot and then moan to the CEO CFO. CMO, CTO etc, etc that we need more money spent on marketing and product to succeed.

Here’s a thing – Digital Leadership Associates is currently working with a business that’s pulled all its spend on outbound marketing. What are they doing instead? Making sure that every employee, regardless of their role or department – understands and embraces social selling. They, like us, believe that spending piles of money on marketing is a waste.

Intrigued to find out how your business could thrive with a few changes?

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Why Your List is Utter, Utter, Utter, Rubbish

Why Your List is Utter, Utter, Utter, Rubbish

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Came across a list the other day, I wouldn’t expect to be on it so I can talk objectively about it, here are 10 things that made the list utter tosh.

  1. It has people in the top 10 that are not thought leaders.
  2. It had people in the top ten that had purchased followers.
  3. Amazing people like Mark Schaefer are way down the list
  4. Thought leaders like Neil Schaffer and Brian Solis aren’t even on it.
  5. You said you used a copy writer to check for mistakes, I hope you fired them as you had one individual on it twice.
  6. Brand and individuals should not be on the same list, it’s one or the other.
  7. People like Gary Vee are so off the dial, should they really be on the list?
  8. In the section where you describe your methodology you openly admit that you have “fudged” the figures.
  9. There are a number of people on it from a tech vendor, that nobody has heard of, could it be that this tech vendor paid for it?
  10. It’s full of a bunch of people nobody has ever heard of.
  11. I’m not on it.

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How can an Ice Cream Van be a metaphor for social selling? Easy

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How can an Ice Cream Van be a metaphor for social selling? Easy

How can an Ice Cream Van be a metaphor for social selling? Easy

by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

In the UK, I can’t speak for elsewhere, we have Ice Cream vans. During the summer months they drive around the neighbourhood, park up and play their melody. Households would hear this and decide whether they wanted to go out to the van and buy an ice cream. Simple. Maybe today, they didn’t fancy one, tomorrow or next week could be different. The ice cream seller knew this – some days business would be brisker. You can also see Ice Cream vans parked on beaches – there in case you fancy a treat.

What the ice cream seller didn’t do is hide around the corner waiting until they knew lots of people were at home. They didn’t them walk down the street knocking on doors and, when getting a response, tell people why they had to buy one of their ice creams.

What the ice cream seller didn’t do was turn up an hour later and go through the same process, knocking even harder on the doors that hadn’t opened the first time – convinced someone was inside hiding.

What the ice cream seller didn’t do was tick off a list of which houses had bought an ice cream and when all were ticked off, never go back again.

No, the ice cream seller, made themselves available, allowing people to decide when the time was right to make a purchase. They would recognise the distinctive melody and even look forward to the regular visits.

No pressure, no one-sided conversations, just making themselves known regularly, just letting you know ice creams are available – a bit of hat doffing…………..isn’t that social selling?

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Why Your Social Selling Has Become a Joke

Why Your Social Selling Has Become a Joke

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Somebody told me the story today that a company had insisted that all it’s staff hand over their social media accounts. The company is now pumping out corporate content through those accounts. And it’s all pumped out at the same time.

The person telling me this story said that everybody looked upon it “as a joke”.  It is.

I was told it was “a joke” for the following reasons:-

  1. Nobody reads corporate content anymore. It all sounds the same and is just like a brochure. So you are the number one widget creator in the world. Sorry, but nobody cares. Apart from you of course.
  2. By pumping out content all at the same time you can be taking good content and turning it into corporate spam. If everybody posts the same content it just becomes noise.
  3. In the modern world today, we have become excellent at filtering out noise. Adverts, corporate messages, spam emails, cold calls etc. I was told that people were actively unfriending and unfollowing as this content tsunami was irritating.

This is something we come across often.  In addition, today a friend of mine told me that they have invested in an Employee Advocacy tool “so the sales people will share more on social”.  A comment that intrigued me.

The History of Marketing

When I started in sales, we wrote letters and we sent as many of they out as we can.  When email came along we switched to email (it saved the cost of the stamp).  Again, you can even buy software products that will literally machine gun people with emails. 

At the Fair Ground they used to shout “the louder you scream, the faster we go”. It’s like that with Marketing Automation, the louder I screen the more you fire emails at me. 

But the world has changed.  We are all social now and GDPR limits us in terms of the emails we can send.  Which is why “employee advocacy” has now become the answer. Employee advocacy which is a loose term for loading up the employees social profiles and firing out as much corporate content as we can.  Why do Marketers always break things?

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never got up in the morning and said “I look forward to my Linkedin news stream being full with corporate spam!”.

Social Selling is Not Sharing Corporate Content

I’m really sorry and don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but sharing corporate content is not social selling.  In fact a tool is not the answer to your social selling question.  After all “A Fool with a Tool, is still a tool”.

How to use Content to Sell

There are two elements to selling; 1. Prospecting, so using social to reach out to people and 2. Nurturing people.  If we go back to the legacy cold calling days, there are the people you reach out to and prospect and those that say call back in three to six months. You want to inspire both, one now and one to nurture over time.

The first thing you need to do is have a personal brand, every seller needs one. This isn’t some sort of unachievable look on social, your LinkedIn profile does mean you need to look like the answer to your client problems.  We always say that unless you get inbound, then you are not social selling. You need a personal brand for both methods.

  1. Prospecting – With a strong personal brand as you reach out to people you will look like the solution to your clients problem.  Let me give you an example.  At a company we trained with our 12 week social selling program, one sales guy had cold called and emailed a contact at Microsoft.  As they were C-Level, they had got nowhere.  Only 3 weeks into our social selling program, after crafting their personal brand, they reached out and the C-Level person came back and said “you are the solution to my problem, please come and see me”.  He subsequently closed $1 Million deal.  Prospects want to deal with experts, I’m not saying that want to deal with consultants or pre-sales people, they are still happy to deal with a sales person, buy a sales person they can trust.
  2. You can nurture and even accelerate your pipeline by using content.By sharing relevant, insightful and educational content.  Something that excite and motivate your prospects.  If you offer content with enough desire, why wouldn’t they get excited about brining your project forward.  I doubt that the sales people for the competing projects and budget are sharing insightful content, so you should go up to the top.  Accelerating your pipeline.

You won’t achieve either of the above by sharing corporate content.  Your sales people won’t achieve the above by sharing corporate content either.

Who’s Doing This?

We are.  Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) do not outbound. We don’t advertise, we don’t do cold calling, we deleted our email list due to GDPR.  We use content to drive our demand generation.  There are only 12 of us, but we put out a unique piece of content everyday.  A blog like this.  Not salesey, offering advice and guidance about what works and what does not today in social selling.

I’m sure, 95% of people who read this will never buy from us, but that isn’t the point, we want to make sure people are successful and that is why we share our best practice.

But that 1 piece of content everyday, creates us 3 piece of inbound everyday and provides us with over 50% share of voice.  You to, could ramp up with your sales and marketing, you too can shout out your competition.  Let’s not forget that such a strategy takes care of your Influencer marketing, your SEO, your advertising, your PPC, your Google Adwords.  All of this can be saved or switched into more social.  Think of the return?

If you are one of the 5% who are brave enough to want to make an impact, then please contact us.

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