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5 The New Rules of Sales and Service

Marketing Podcast with David Meerman Scott

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is my friend David Meerman Scott, author of the longstanding best seller New Rules of Marketing and PR and the more recent, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business

Scott and I have been closely aligned since our first books on marketing came out in 2007 so it’s no surprise that we are both back with book on sales and selling around the same time.

In our conversation for the show Scott confirms a theme I’ve been promoting for some time now and I think it’s the driving force in most of conversation around what’s being called “modern selling.” Sales and marketing have changed because buying has changed![Tweet “Sales and marketing have changed because buying has changed!”]

When you fully grasp that idea it’s not hard to understand why sales today looks a lot like useful marketing.

Check out Scott’s amazing 100+ slides below to get a full read on his new book.

3 We Don’t Need More Relationships

Okay, I know that title of this post may seem like a harsh way to make a point, but things have changed a bit.

There was a time when marketing was about creating the message and sales was all about creating relationships – you got to know a prospect, maybe a lunch, then golf and now we can talk business.

But, who has time for that kind of thing anymore. I mean, now we’ve got 25,439 Twitter relationships we have to get to and please, you just left another voice mail?

I’m not saying that human contact and relationship building isn’t essential, I’m saying that things have flipped around to a large extent.

Make a business case first

Today you must prove your value, make a business case for why a prospect should take your call, email or connection request, before you earn the permission to go deeper.

Test this out – did you wake up today with the hope that you would meet a new entrepreneur or salesperson hoping to come tell you about their products. I’m guessing no, but you may have woken up today and thought, “I sure need to figure out how to get more from my marketing efforts,” or something of that sort.

So now you might actually be receptive to an article written by someone that addresses that very subject. And upon reading that article you might start thinking – “I wonder what it would be like if this person consulted with our business?”

Perhaps your next move might be to Google the author of that piece and jump on over to LinkedIn to see what others are saying about her.

You may indeed move to email to invite her to answer a specific question you have and that may very well lead to a meeting where you walk through a case study of a business just like yours getting the precise result you’re hoping for.

Then a relationship can happen

At this point you may be convinced that this person has the experience and talent to help your meet your objectives.

Once that conclusion is drawn you may become very interested in a full blown relationship where other elements of your business are on the table, things unrelated to your business are discussed and ultimately your hopes and dreams can be explored.

Maybe that point in a relationship never forms, but the experience and relationship that grows from that experience is what makes you stay and what gets you talking.

Relationships for relationship sake or, worse, as a tool to convince someone to buy from you, are a thing of the past and have little place in a world driven by technology connection points.

You must work to earn the opportunity to connect by providing business value early on. You must figure out how to connect others, share insights, prove that time spent with you will be worth it.

I know that sounds harsh, but I believe it’s a reality. Unless and until you build such a strong personal brand that people want to spend time with you for the sake of doing so, you need to think in terms of delivering value first and building relationship as a product of that.

Personal relationships in business matter, perhaps as much as ever, but they come as a result of building trust by making a solid business case first.

15 Why Teaching Is Such a Sexy Way to Sell

Okay, I’ll admit it, I was trying to get your attention with the inclusion of the word sexy in the title of this post, but before you cry foul, sexy as an adjective simply means desirable, interesting, appealing – all good things when it comes to attracting clients.

Teaching Sells

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Everyone knows that today you must educate if you want to build trust. But, may I suggest that teaching what you know how to do is also a powerful way to go beyond trust to closing more deals.

I’m not simply suggesting that you demonstrate your expertise. I’m talking about going to the point where you show someone, anyone, precisely how you do what you do.

Now, some might propose that this is a sure way to put yourself out of business. I mean, if you show someone how you do your magic tricks, they won’t need you.

Here’s the deal. Some people may actually take the information you share and figure they can take the DIY path, but I’m guessing those folks aren’t your ideal prospect anyway.

What I know is that some other people will conclude that you actually do know what you’re talking about and further, what you just explained is a whole lot harder than they imagined and would you please now charge them a premium to do it for them.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is sexy!

I have a client who came to this brilliant conclusion in this manner.

She is a photographer that specializes in taking infant and child portraits and candids.

Her competition is every other photographer and every parent with an $800 camera. Let’s just say there’s some significant price pressure in this arena.

So what does she do?

She starts holding free classes to teach all of those parents with their new $800 cameras how to take better pictures of their babies.

What, you say, that makes no sense at all.

Turns out the demand for this type of teaching is huge and she fills up class after class.

But, what you might not have guessed is that about 30% of the participants also hire her to take photos of junior for her full studio price.

Also turns out people had no idea how hard it is to take really awesome pictures and now the only person they will trust to take really awesome pictures of their child is my photographer client.

Oh, and now she charges for the classes too and still generates significant business from students.

So, what can you teach that will make your business more desirable, interesting, and appealing.

See, it turns out teaching is a pretty sexy way to sell.

3 Success Is Often Mostly About Context

This post and podcast are drawn from Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar on sale globally May 15th.

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

Duct Tape Selling

Image credit: Ellen Jantsch

On a cold January morning in 2007, a hidden video camera captured thousands of commuters simply walking past violinist Joshua Bell as he played some of the most complex music ever written, on an extremely valuable Stradivarius violin. Most didn’t seem to notice the difference between Bell’s virtuosity and the skill of an everyday subway musician.

Just days before, and then again after this experiment, Bell performed to sold-out theaters filled with ticket holders willing to pay top dollar and ready to deliver thunderous standing ovations.

In the context of the subway station, ordinary people did not recognize Bell’s genius.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Every idea we have, song we hear, or sales pitch we connect with is filtered through a number of elements, including our mood, the environment, and our unique understanding of the world and our place in it. All of these factors affect the value and importance we place on what we believe in, what we deem worthy of our time, and what we buy.

In the same vein, while sales people’s mastery, skill, or point of view may be important and well thought-out, the context in which their ideas, introductions, and pitches are delivered is equally—or sometimes more— important.

In many ways Duct Tape Selling is about changing the context of how you, as a salesperson, are received and perceived.

So let me ask you this: Are you ready to hone your virtuosity as a sales- person and put it on display in the places where people willingly pay a premium to engage such work or are you content to hang around in the subway hoping for the scraps of interested passersby?

Change Your Context, Change Your Results

In Duct Tape Selling I show you, first, how to reframe your own mindset about what it means to sell in the world today. From there, we look at how to vastly alter the way prospects, customers, and competitors view your professional brand. To accomplish this, you need to think of yourself as a guide in the customer’s buying process rather than an information source, re- search data point, transaction catalyst, or whatever other trendy term people have assigned to the act of selling.

Duct Tape Selling shows you how to change the context of selling by teaching you how to:

  • Ask what you can give your clients instead of asking what they can give you
  • Form and lead an industry group instead of mindlessly joining every one you find
  • Make education-rich sales pitches to rooms packed with engaged potential clients instead of cold-calling prospects
  • Get yourself invited to speak in front of audiences instead of simply attending events
  • Earn the trust to be introduced to referral prospects instead of given leads?Interview industry luminaries instead of simply downloading their podcasts
  • Build a strategic-partner network instead of waiting around to be asked to partner
  • Write for respected industry publications instead of just putting them in your RSS reader

When you reframe any relationship, you often change the way you are heard, received, and perceived. In sales, by reframing the selling process as a journey that you and the client are on together—and that you are guiding him through—you can become a valuable and necessary part of your client’s team.

1 5 Key Ingredients In an Integrated Selling World

The term “integrated marketing” has been with us for many years. I’ve written about it in the classic sense and about how it’s evolved in the digital age as I believe integration is the key to consistency, momentum and systems thinking – all good things.

integrated selling

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While integration is a concept that is often applied broadly to a companies’ strategic approach, I believe it can and should be applied specifically to the more individual process of sales and selling.

On the organizational level sales and marketing must be fully integrated and the individual salesperson must become adept at using an “integrated selling” approach.

While terms like integrated marketing and integrated selling are often so abused they come to have mixed or confused meaning, the real power of this view is that it allows you to focus on making the sales experience a personalized extension of the marketing experience in a way that benefits the customer – and that’s what is so lacking in the traditional marketing and sales funnel world.

Today the term “social selling” is all the rage, but simply bolting on more tools or looking at social media as some new extension or tactic is as misguided in sales as it was several years ago in marketing. (I can picture the social selling experts lining up as I write this.) It’s all just fodder for creating the best possible customer integrated experience.

Below are five key ingredients to an integrated selling approach

Define ideal leads

Today salespeople must get very good at defining and attracting leads that are ideal or perfectly suited to receive the value of the products and services that offer. This is not a market or even a segment, this is a prospect with the right characteristics, behavior and needs and this may differ from salesperson to salesperson.

Focus on insights

If a salesperson waits to be invited to solve a problem they are essentially going to be asked to bid some work. An integrated approach calls for getting involved in a prospect’s world long before they have identified and quantified their problem. In this approach you’re job is to demonstrate your value rather than sell.

Guide the journey

Sales and marketing today is less about demand creation and conversion and more about organizing buyer behavior – buyers embark on journeys today that have no straight path or funnel. In order to guide a journey like that you have to be prepared to focus on creating awareness, educating and building trust over selling.

Personalize content

You’ve heard it a million time – content is king – but the king has been overfed and is bloated. An integrated selling approach looks for ways to filter, aggregate and personalize content to the level of the individual client or prospect. An individual salesperson may see blogging as a way to build authority but simply extracting and sharing golden nuggets from the companies’ blog, research and white papers is an equally powerful way to use content in sales.

Always be connecting

I know salespeople have been taught, measured and compensated for their ability to close, but superstar salespeople seem to close more business without the focus on selling at all. The master sales skill has always been one of connecting – connecting networks, stakeholders, opportunities, referrals and influence. The toolset available for mining and making connections gets better with each passing day.

Yes, the act of selling has changed dramatically because the act of buying has changed dramatically and business owners, marketers and salespeople alike must adapt their approach accordingly.

My friend Mark Schaefer author of Social Media Explained kindly pointed out in a review of my book Duct Tape Selling that I had indeed written one of the first books on integrated selling. So, if this post resonated – you might have a look – Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar goes on sale May 15th

1 Duct Tape Selling Launches This Week

When my first book, Duct Tape Marketing, finally went on sale I told my readers that it felt like I’d given birth. A number of women were quick to point out that I knew not of which I spoke. I’ve been careful ever since not to make the same mistake, but certainly somewhere in nature there is an appropriate metaphor to describe a book launch. (Please feel free to suggest one.)

Just fair warning – To celebrate the occasion of the launch of Duct Tape Selling I’ll probably be extra promotional this week so hopefully you’ll allow.

Below is a very short book trailer produced by the talented folks at Simplifilm. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll share its message with others.

You can also find lots of other great information about the book and some fun stuff to share by heading over to my Duct Tape Selling Social Objects page.

In addition, I want to share the best of this week’s guest blog posts from the Duct Tape Selling Blog.

3 Simple Elements To Test To Perfect Your Twitter Messaging

When it comes to social media marketing, you can spend all your time studying up on the best methods and practices and still not feel totally confident.

Are you posting at the right times? With the right content? Could your message be connecting better

Enter testing. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Buffer

Tips On Setting Up Your One Question Testimonial Machine

When setting up your one question testimonial, it’s easy to focus on the customers who would refer your product or service to friends and ignore the ones who wouldn’t. But this would be a big mistake. The customers who wouldn’t refer you to a friend are a great source of information to help you find out what went wrong and what you could do better. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Wufoo

Get on the Infographics Movement

Infographics are increasingly being included in a marketers’ arsenal. Deceptively, they look like something made for pre-schoolers with its bright clip art and playful copy. Even so, infographics are increasingly being used in boardrooms, notice boards, blogs and social media. Here’s why you need to get on it too. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at Piktochart

Two Secrets to How Small Businesses Can Win More Sales

Selling at a small business isn’t easy. The bigger companies have brands that help them open new doors and win competitive sales. They have strong marketing support. And often they have deep pockets and aren’t afraid to use them. Read the rest . . . from the good folks at RainToday

Week Two Roundup from the Duct Tape Selling Blog

As part of the lead up to the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling I asked some of the organizations behind the resources I note in the book to contribute guest blog posts. The result of that request has produced some truly awesome content. For the next few weeks I’ll be rounding up the best of the best and amplifying it here. Enjoy!

How to Use Twitter Search to Generate Leads

How to generate leads from twitter searchSales teams are increasingly using social listening to generate leads and find business opportunities. While every social channel plays its role, Twitter is often the best vehicle for this.

Known as the ‘thought’ channel, users are much more likely to speak openly about a problem on Twitter than they would on Linkedin or Facebook. This provides a direct line into the needs, concerns and loyalties of a prospect which, when used right, can be a great foundation for connecting with them.

From the folks at Twilert Read the rest . . .

3 Things You Can Do to Maximize Your Moments In Front of an Audience

How you perform in the fleeting moments when you have the platform to speak in front of others is pivotal to your chances of success. This is true for every industry, but for anyone in sales, it’s at the very heart of the experience. Getting on stage in front of a crowd of potential customers, contacts, and influencers is the best way to build a reputation and become a credible, respected authority. But for some, it can be a bearpit where bad first impressions are left ingrained in the minds of unforgiving audiences.

From the folks at PreziRead the rest . . .

6 Ways to Reap the Benefits of Popups Without Annoying Your Readers

Popups are one of the most controversial tactics in the online-marketing arsenal.

On the one hand, readers sometimes find them intrusive. On the other, they are incredibly effective at engaging your audience and building your (incredibly valuable) email list.

From the folks at PippityRead the rest . . .

The Not So Obvious Reason You Should Have a Podcast for Your Business

There are many blog posts out there on why you should podcast. They cover the typical reasons:

  • Brand Building
  • More time in the day for someone to listen to Audio then read a blog or watch a video
  • Higher level of engagement with your customers / audience
  • Conveys a higher level of authority then a simple blog

From the folks at LibsynRead the rest . . .

Recording High-Quality Interviews

callrecord240Online interviews with experts can captivate and inspire. Using Skype and Ecamm Call Recorder makes recording as easy as placing a phone call. With just a few quick steps, and a little practice, conducting an inspiring interview can be just as easy.

Nothing detracts from an interview quite like bad sound quality. Fortunately, it’s easy to achieve professional sound quality with just a few simple steps. Perhaps most important is keeping audio isolated. When recording a call, you’re actually recording two things: your voice, picked up by your microphone, and your guest’s voice, which gets played out of your computer’s speakers. If your microphone picks up sound from the speakers, your guest’s voice may end up getting recorded twice. During playback, this will give the guest’s voice an annoying, unprofessional echo.

From the folks that make Call RecorderRead the rest here . . .

11 Best Books on Sales and Selling

best sales booksI believe books are still one of the greatest values available when it comes to learning new business thinking. There’s certainly a place for courses and videos and workshops, but for about $20 and the time to read, you can gain access to another person’s ideas, systems, processes and tools that may have taken a lifetime of experience to craft.

I’ve been doing a lot of extra reading and writing around the topic of sales and selling in advance of the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling, so I thought I would ask my followers to suggest their favorite books of all time on topic. The list below is the start of that request.

The only thing missing are your suggestions.

Feel free to vote books up and down and add your favorites to the list.
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1 Week One Roundup from the Duct Tape Selling Blog

As part of the lead up to the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling I asked some of the organizations behind the resources I note in the book to contribute guest blog posts. The result of that request has produced some truly awesome content. For the next few weeks I’ll be rounding up the best of the best and amplifying it here. Enjoy!

selling has changed

Learning How to Share at Work

If busy managers could have one superpower, they’d probably wish for X-ray vision into everything that’s happening with the business and the people they manage. Some all-knowing ability would sure make the job of juggling people, projects, content, strategies, and relationships easier. From the folks at  iDoneThis

Read the rest . . .

Structuring Your Presentation to Sell

Over 90 million people in the US watch online videos every day, and over 50% of consumers say that watching online product videos allows them to be more confident in online purchase decisions. What does that mean for business owners? As online video becomes more prevalent and relevant, so does the need for your business to start producing video. From the folks at Screenflow.

Read the rest . . .

5 Google Results That Can Ruin Your Business (And What to do About Them)

If you Google your business right now, what shows up? Your company’s website? Positive reviews? A mention in a local newspaper? OR, are the results less than stellar? From the folks at BrandYourself

Read the rest . . .

3 Tips for Building and Managing Your Twitter Community

Customers of all kinds often turn to Twitter to reach out to their favorite businesses with questions, compliments and complaints. Once your business establishes a Twitter presence, you have an opportunity – and an obligation – to market your brand to your followers. From the folks at SproutSocial

Read the rest. . .

Don’t Buy an Impression, Make One

As a former Digital Brand Manager at Pepsi, I know first hand what it’s like to win the advertising budget lottery. When we bought media around big tent poles like new product launches, Grammy’s or the Super Bowl, budgets were huge and making an impact could be guaranteed solely by the ability to buy share of voice. From the folks at RebelMouse

Read the rest here . . .

3 How to Social Surround Your Customers and Prospects

social surround

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While the title of this post could sound a little stalkerish, the fact is you can better serve your customers and attract new ones when you use social media to create a more complete picture of your ideal customer’s world.

Employing tools and routines that give you a deeper glimpse into what your customers care about, are doing each day, can’t find enough of, are looking for, just accomplished, just completed, just lost, just attended or just got let down by is how you discover ways to serve, add value and build deeper relationships.

Below are five elements of a social surround game plan.

The usual suspects

It should probably go without saying that the first step is to friend, follow and like. Make sure that the social network activity on the biggest networks is at your fingertips. Social CRM tools like Nimble make it easy to view a more complete customer record and browser add-ons like Rapportive bring social data into email tools such as Gmail. Create Twitter lists of customers and prospects and quickly scan them for actionable bits using a tool like Hootsuite.

Go deeper

Don’t stop at simply connecting with your customers on LinkedIn. Take a good hard look at who else they connect to, who influences them and who they report to. Most networks will show you who someone follows and understanding this can lead to opportunities to connect deeper through already shared connections, find new avenues for expanded business with existing customers and better understand how your customers network. Look at a customer’s “favorited” Tweets, check out Klout to see who your customer interacts with most and see what Groups your customer participates in on LinkedIn for additional clues into what your customer’s passions might be. Sometimes learning more about who else your customer is connected to is more important than simply connecting.

Custom listening

Now it’s time to get smarter about what’s going on in your customer’s world and using that information to add value. Use a tool like Talkwalker to set up custom alerts that relate to your customer’s market or product and look for ways to share this information with your customer. Create industry or keyword specific pages in Scoop.it or aggregate the best blogs posts on a industry by using a tool like AllTop and simply share four or five interesting links in what amounts to a custom newsletter.

Subscribe and join

Don’t forget to subscribe to your customer’s blog and newsletter. Sign up for their in person and online events and use your listening tools from above to keep up on announcements and news. Make sure that you have easy access to all of the content your customers are putting out as it can often provide clues for new opportunities and relationship building discussion points.

Create connection

My final point is a big one. When you effectively mine your customer’s social graph looking for deeper understanding you are more prepared to help them meet all of their objective, even those not related to your business – and that’s how you create unbelievable value and loyalty. Use your listening, connecting and mining routines to look for opportunities to create connections for your customers. Introduce them to journalists you’ve built relationships with. Connect them with that killer programmer you saw them Tweet about needing. Help them fill the VP of Sales position they just mentioned on LinkedIn.

When you employ to right tools and routines to monitor and engage in this manner social media participation will always pay off.

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