After a couple of Skype interviews I discovered that, although the US and Poland are about 7,000 km apart, our sales needs are the same.
I’M traveling to Warsaw, Poland, next month to deliver two public seminars. After a couple of Skype interviews I discovered that, although the US and Poland are about 7,000 kilometres and many, many cultures apart, our sales needs are the same.
To prove my point, here’s a portion of the question and answer interview I did.
Everyone needs to increase sales, especially during this economic crisis. Everyone is looking for some magical formula or shortcut. You write there is no formula, but there are rules to follow that will lead you to the promised land of more sales. What’s the best way to keep up sales during the current recession?
Recession means ‘less’ not ‘none’. Salespeople have to fight harder during tough economic times. I recommend having a morning breakfast (or coffee) with a client or a prospective client. This gets your day started early and on a positive note. But this is only one way to keep your sales up. It takes a concerted effort that includes social media, solid relationships, referrals, and attraction. It’s not impossible – and it’s not easy. The good news is most salespeople are not willing to do the preliminary hard work it takes to make sales easy.
How about sales channels? You talk a lot about different media (email, video, social networks, etc.) as ways of selling. How is the role of the salesperson changing, and what’s changing in terms of which sales channels are being used right now?
The internet and all forms of social media are the new channels and the now channels. But it’s not one channel – it’s all of them – each with its own formula for attraction, engagement, and connection. Is there one key element that’s a constant across all channels? Yes, the element is perceived value to the recipient.
In your newest book Social Boom you say that social media is the new cold call. How does that work best?
Here’s the short version of using social media to connect for the first time: I can find anyone on LinkedIn, and then by using simple Google search and research, I find out everything I need to make a personal connection. Once I connect, I ask for an informal meeting (usually coffee) to see if we have anything in common, or if there’s a need for my product or service. The secret is the first call is not a sales call, and the first meeting is not a sales pitch.
Is it true that many leaders are not keeping up with changes in the market, changes in technology, and changes in human capital needs? Should they be blamed for sales losses and errors?
Leaders are only partly to blame. When they are not on top of market changes and technology updates, they are giving their people permission to do the same. But the real issue is the talent pool that the leader creates. Human capital, if chosen correctly, can create their own examples by taking responsibility (the opposite of blame) for the generation of new ideas and products to stay ahead of their market.
What are the key indicators in the candidates you’re shortlisting when you’re recruiting for a sales position?
Here’s the ‘short’ list for hiring the best people: smart, self-starting, positive people with a past history of success. The rest (including selling skills) can be taught.
What mistakes have salespeople frequently made, and what’s the best way to correct them?
The biggest mistake salespeople make is thinking it’s all about product and price. They fail to understand that believing in every aspect of self, product, company, and customer will lead them to the success they (you) are hoping for.
Ask yourself this: Is my world different from their world?
I guarantee you have the same issues, questions, and concerns in your company – and in your sales – as they have in Warsaw.
The world is small. Your world is smaller. Answers are becoming universal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.