01 May The 5 New Realities of Sales You Must Know
“Pick up the phone and call, call, call!”
Those were the words echoed to me each weekday morning in January of 1999. My first job after college was in insurance sales, and I remember my 6 foot 6 boss Greg chastising me for not making enough cold calls each morning. After several months on the job, I was making good money, but I wasn’t happy. I loved sales, but I couldn’t help but think there must be a better way to sell.
There was no social media. The internet was in its infancy. And content marketing consisted of paid advertorials in newspapers.
15 years later, things have changed. A lot.
Prince may ask you to party like it’s 1999, but there’s no reason to sell like it’s 1999.”
My friend, entrepreneur, author, and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System & consulting network, John Jantsch, has just released a new book called Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar. The book gives salespeople the tools to think and act like successful marketers in today’s new world.
Here are the five new realities of sales that John outlines:
1) Listening is the new prospecting
I’ve written before about the importance of listening. While it has become much more difficult to gain access to prospects via phone and email, it has actually become much easier to listen to and understand the individual needs of a prospect, due in large part to social media. Salespeople need to create their own socially driven listening stations via tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Listen to what is going on around them to gain that better insight.
2) Educating is the new presenting
In the past, salespeople were encouraged to perfect their pitch. A salesperson today must be ready to teach, publish and demonstrate expertise. Each one should answer questions via blog posts, engage in social media conversations and conduct online and offline seminars to really educate their prospects on the business. Be a consultant- like a doctor. Why do you trust your doctor when she recommends a solution to you? Because she is credible and educates you. Why should your customer trust you as a salesperson? Same reason.
3) Insight is the new information sharing
Future prospects have access to the best information in the world. They have access to all the information we put out, all the information our competitors put out and all the information shared by customers and partners about the industry in general. Today’s salesperson needs to get very good at helping the prospect filter and condense the mass overload of information that everyone puts out.
4) Storytelling is the new nurturing
Stories are the world’s greatest relationship builders. Salespeople must be able to relate the organization’s foundation stories to the world of the customer. This helps the customer build a new story that stars the business in the leading role in a world where their problems and challenges are a thing of the past. How can you paint that picture for your customers – online and offline?
5) Connecting is the new closing
Surely you know the line from Alec Baldwin’s epic speech in the film Glengarry Glen Ross: Always be closing. The new line today is: Always be connecting.”
Today’s salesperson must always be connecting. Connecting, combined with education, makes traditional closing tactics a thing of the past. This isn’t simply a call for more schmoozing; this is a call for genuine, mutually beneficial relationship building.