Seth Godin’s blog post today is worth echoing…in it he proposes a hierarchy of relationships and reminds us that it takes an exorbitant amount of energy to acquire and transform a “stranger” into a customer who is a “true fan,” – as in, it’s not worth it.
We all know the route of penetrating and extending from existing clients is much more efficient and successful, but sometimes we just can’t resist the temptation to burn energy and resources trying for that elusive stranger.
Instead, Seth says, consider the option to “…absolutely delight and overwhelm” [you true fans].
Like success in any professional career, there are many ingredients to success in selling. Accurate opportunity targeting – as my friends at Selling To Zebras will tell you, is a critical one. Chase the right prey and your hunt will be more successful.
Another key element is using a solid framework (pick a methodology that fits your situation) for high-gain conversations with prospects to elicit their needs and to link your solutions in meaningful ways.
Also important are elements like pre-call planning, lead-nurturing, compelling proposal creation, Ferocious Follow-up – the list is too long to discuss in one post.
One inescapable success factor is activity. A wise sales mentor once told me that activity yields opportunity which yields results. Sometimes hearing that sales is a “numbers game” is a turn off. It makes the sales process seem cheesy or pushy in some way. But the fact that you need to produce quantity as well as target quality is not a contradiction. It takes both. You can have the best targets in the world, but unless you are acting on them daily, all you have is a glorified list. Go ahead – put up some numbers today!
We’ve just crawled out of one of the toughest patches in business that any of us can remember. Thankfully, things seem to be stabilizing and even slowly beginning to grow again. However, every opportunity will be harder fought – tougher to find, tougher to close.
Yet, I see the cardinal sin being committed – A lack of priority follow-up on business leads.
In this fragile recovery, you must execute strong follow-up – no – Ferocious follow-up.
In his fantastic sales blog, Sales and Sales Management, I recently discovered this post from Paul McCord in which he explains that he has experienced the same. He says, “…A quality lead has a very short shelf-life—whether we’re talking about the retail situations above or a long sales cycle, sophisticated product or service. Someone–you or your company–has paid good money to get the phone to ring, to get a lead card mailed back, or get a form filled out on the internet. Every minute you wait to contact a prospect is a minute you’re giving the competition to close the deal before you even get there…”
Get Ferocious. You competitors are!
“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, has updated the stats in this now famous video. Yes, it’s funny that a recently published book needs its stats refreshed – but that’s how fast this stuff is moving! I like the new version even better.
I have found it an invaluable tool in firing up an audience before a social media meeting, getting the troops excited within our own interactive practice, or just generally communicating the importance of this revolution. Make it part of your repertoire.
This is an excellent example of fighting a PR conflict using social media. Who looks like the cool victim here and who looks like the big, cold corporation? Method will even let YOU DECIDE! Check out the microsite they stood up which includes the video above.
Talk about making lemonade from lemons – AND they simultaneously take on a giant competitor and reinforce their brand story! Smart!
Nice post in Mashable last week. Main idea is that you can benefit from discord and negativity around your social media efforts out there as well as the positive. Idea is from Tim Ferriss, autor of “The Four Hour Work Week.” So, what do you do with haters? Here are some gems from Tim:
“…you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.,,”
“10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it…”
“The bigger your impact, explains Ferriss (whose book is a New York Times, WSJ and BusinessWeek bestseller), and the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you’ll encounter…”
The slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally produced by the British government during the Second World War as a propaganda message to comfort people in the face of Nazi invasion. Ferriss takes the message and applies it to today’s world. “Focus on impact, not approval…