Tag Archives: Social Selling

In Search Of The Sales Holy Grail

I often travel throughout the country to work with sales organizations and a common theme seems to be in play. Everyone appears to be looking for that one thing that is going to lift revenue to new heights. People are looking for the Holy Grail of sales tools that is the answer to prayers.

It appears the world of business development has spilled into two camps. On one side of the great divide, we have the traditionalists who seek age-old sales training and selling techniques. Their thinking is that it has always worked so why reinvent the wheel. They seem to be more content with following past processes over getting results. They forget that buyers have changed and how these buyers get their information has changed, locking many of the doors that once had a welcome mat. These die-hard traditionalists have an answer to cold calls that don’t generate results – make more of them. Of course, when the strategy does not work, they seek training from 20-year-old sales manuals to polish their cold calling skills.

On the other side of the great divide, we have the early adopters with their answer to business development. They throw out all of the old selling techniques and believe that social media is the only true modern path to business development. They have even engraved, “Social Selling” on their Holy Grail, as they chase the latest social media platform and abandon the one before. Their battle cry is, “it has to be good – it is new.”

So, who is correct? The answer begins with an understanding that there is no Holy Grail, and as difficult as it is to accept, there is no magic pill and no one silver bullet to effective business development strategy. It is going to take a combination of the correct selling tools to get the job done today. Having an understanding of buyers today and selecting selling tools that are effective with those buyers is one half of the mission. The second half of the mission, an even more important one, is realizing the tools you select are supposed to compliment each other. Selling tools and your processes have to be integrated. You can create and deliver the best presentation of your life, but giving it to a person who has no need for it will result in no sale. Don’t use a great tool to drive an interested party to your website, only to find when they get there it has extinguished their interest because it was designed for your company’s bragging rights instead of being customer-centric.

It’s going to take a holistic approach to business development today and therefore the need for Integrated Social Selling. By social selling I am not talking about the new branding of social media but instead how do we become closer or more social with our prospects and customers. In this age of point and click, are we really working harder to know our prospects and customers and how they buy? Are we working all stages of the sale cycle with the laser focus of purpose and making sure we aren’t unconsciously sabotaging our efforts by ignoring the power of integration? Have we become content in accepting a sales funnel with its 85 percent effort and wasted resources or are we working to widen it into more or a cylinder shape?

Replace your search for the Holy Grail with the knowledge that a holistic, integrated plan is needed. A plan that insures that you have correctly identified your target, selected the correct tools and they are working with each other and not against each other. Do these things and keep a Social Selling Playbook and you will achieve successful business development today using Integrated Social Selling.

Author: Rich Lucia

Your Customers Should be Building Your Website

This is going to be great, you finally decided to build or rebuild your website. So off you go, searching through the web, looking at other sites to collect great looking ideas. Banners on the top? No, you think down the side looks better. How about color? Your spouse really likes red but blue is more your shade and it will match your logo. How about content, font style and color? You always liked that Century Gothic 12 pitch script. Someone mentioned that everyone is using video, so now you are writing a script about your company, what you do, and then practicing it in front of a mirror. Next, you’re shopping for a web designer because you don’t have a clue how to create that dancing baby you want in the upper right corner of your home page. Now here comes the harsh truth … It maybe your website but it is not about you. It is about your prospects and customers and what they want not what you want. Using your website creation methodology is like going fishing and using your favorite doughnut as bait. I know you really like that glazed chocolate but fish don’t eat doughnuts.

It’s your customers that should be building your website. You should be taking into account what they like to see when they click on your URL. How do you do this? You ask. Ask your current customers what they like most about your company. What sold them on your product or service and what were the most important criteria they used when they decided to do business with you. It’s their comments that will give you clues to who your ideal customers are, and what they are using to make their decisions. If it turns out that service is higher at the top of their list, then a picture depicting a robust service organization might be a better choice than that dancing baby. Smart companies spend more time with their customers than fishing with doughnuts. Your customers can more accurately articulate your value and light the way to others like themselves. Connecting with your customers and prospects, in this way, is an integral part of Social Selling.

Social Selling is all about connecting with people and using those connections efficiently and profitably. When your customer-designed website is used with other social media tools, as part of an Integrated Social Selling Plan, you will not only be on target with your resources but will be using a holistic approach to success.

Author: Rich Lucia