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Rules For Modern Selling

Marketing Podcast with Bill Caskey

20-RULES-FOR-MODERN-SELLING-FREE-EBOOK-250The game of selling has not really changed that much – the job is to build relationships, provide value and help people solve their problems – in the end, if you are to succeed, that means selling things.

What has changed dramatically, however is the way you accomplish many of these things. The way you sell must change because the way people buy has certainly changed.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, is Bill Caskey, founder of Caskey Sales Training and author of Same Game, New Rules.

In this show Caskey contends that the way you show up and even how you as a seller are positioned must change.

I start my upcoming book, Duct Tape Selling, off with the idea that in order for those who sell to succeed they must change the entire context of how a salesperson in viewed in the world.

Listen to the interview and then grab this free report called 20 Rules for Modern Selling

A Bevy of Educational Opportunities

To celebrate the launch of my next book Duct Tape Selling I am presenting a series of webinar across the universe. Below you can find the list and register away if any pique your interest!

Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar

Duct Tape SellingAs some of you may have heard I have a new book coming out May 15th.

The title is Duct Tape Selling – Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar and I’m conducting a free webinar for my readers on April 16th to kick off some of the content.

While the title definitely rings of selling, the book is being heralded by reviewers as a more personal way to market and sell. In fact, some have noted that this is the book that might get sales and marketing working together.

Either way, I hope you’ll join me for this content rich session where I’ll talk about how to:

  • Find and attract ideal clients
  • Communicate a core message of difference
  • Build a reputation for delivering value
  • Create an inbound attraction platform
  • Use social media to build authority and trust
  • Create a marketing and sales process that will allow you to stand out from the crowd

As with all of my webinars you can expect lots of content and lots of takeaways. I won’t be pitching the book too much, but there will be some prizes and special stuff.

Reserve your spot here

Are You Building a Job or an Asset?

Many of the business owners I’ve worked with and spoken with over the years have deluded themselves into believing they actually have a business.

building an asset

photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

True, their business card and tax return might say business owner, but far too often what they’ve created is a job – and is some cases, not a very attractive job.

A business will never truly serve until you view what you are building as an asset. Now, I’m no accountant, but an asset is something that has lasting value – the kind people will pay to acquire. An asset is something that can retain its value even if you move on and pursue other interests, like taking a month to trek across Australia.

A job on the other just stops being a job when you decide to quit doing it.

Building an asset is much harder than building a job. It’s actually not that hard to get people to pay you for doing something they don’t know how to or don’t want to do.

Building an asset takes investing in you, in others, in creating things that didn’t exist before, in following through on audacious ideas. Building an asset almost always means letting go of your current thinking, finding ways to think bigger and surrounding yourself with people that lift you rather than hold you back.

Community as Asset

Brian Clark of Copyblogger realized early on that his path to building an asset was to first build a rabid community of people eager to hear from him. As any Copyblogger reader knows he did this by creating and giving incredible value through educational content.

As the community grew he added more resources and writers to increase the content output. As the community continued to grow he responded to the needs and requests of the community and built product after product that matched the needs of his community.

Today, the Copyblogger community snaps up every new solid offering and has allowed Clark to create a rather profitable asset rather than a job.

Building as Asset

A client of mine, Sam Beckford, runs an incredibly successful group of music and dance studios in British Columbia. Sam was not from the industry so when he and his wife started the business he poured most of his efforts in to building a business that didn’t require him to be there to run it.

He’d also been a successful real estate investor over the years so it was quite natural for him include a building purchase in his plans. As his studio grew and expanded he started getting requests from other studios to teach them his approach.

He turned his method into a coaching program and began to encourage every studio client to buy or build their studio in an effort to guarantee that no matter what happened to the actual business, they would own an asset that allowed them to gain some return on their investment in the building of a business.

Now, of course, most of his coaching clients also happen to run terrifically successful studios, but they also own an asset that will multiply their ability to cash out rather than simply retire.

Work as Asset

I’ve been speaking with lots of sales groups lately due to the upcoming release of my sales oriented book Duct Tape Selling.

One of the things I’ve been imploring sales folks to do is to look at their work in building authority, a content platform and expertise as an asset vs. a chore.

Think about all the people you know that decide to get an MBA or some other type of training to advance their careers. Often they do this a night and around their family’s schedule.

Writing blog posts, learning how to navigate social media, deeply exploring a prospect’s community, providing value through content curation and volunteering to speak at industry events all take time.

Done correctly, however, each will allow you to build an asset that you can use to serve your customer and your company in deeper ways.

And, one of the greatest values of an asset of this nature is that it’s mostly portable. Your reputation, expertise and authority can move with you in the service of even greater opportunities.

Asset mindset is the only way to build a business or career that allows you to live the life you choose more fully.

Duct Tape Selling Site and Blog

I’ve launch a new website and blog to coincide with the launch of my upcoming book Duct Tape Selling – Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar. (May 15th)

Duct Tape Selling

Like many book related sites I feature comments, news and reviews. There is a growing collection of blog posts related to sales and marketing and you can even download and read the 1st Chapter and Introduction if you like.

But, the page that you’ll find most useful whether you ever acquire the book or not is the resource page. This is where I list and link to every person, company and tool that I talk about in the book on a chapter by chapter basis. You won’t have the context without the book, but you’ll have a lot of fun clicking on and discovering some new resources.

Jump over and start exploring and let me know if you would like to contribute to the Duct Tape Selling blog!

The Greatest Opportunity In Social Media Marketing Today

In my forthcoming book Duct Tape Selling (Portfolio May 15th) I make the case that sales professionals must think and act more like marketers. In doing so, I lay out the systems and tools I believe they need to employ in order to make this shift.

inbound selling

The fact that selling must take on many of the attributes of inbound marketing is inevitable and is already being embraced by a growing number of firms.

One of the things that I’ve encountered as I’ve begun to evangelize this evolution is the fact that cultural resistance to this change is huge.

By that I mean that many sales leaders see the idea that sales teams would be asked to create content and participate in social media engagement as a waste of valuable “selling time.” Many sales people, often measured and compensated on closed deals, see inbound selling tactics as more work for less pay. Many marketing leaders shudder at the idea that sales teams might be turned loose to do things that might impact the brand in ways that cannot be controlled.

But here’s the problem. The market doesn’t care that you’ve got a dysfunctional cultural attachment to the way it’s always been. The market has changed, the way people want to buy has changed and you’ve got to change with it.

I believe that facilitating this change and teaching organizations how to integrate inbound marketing, outbound marketing and inbound selling is one of the most exciting opportunities that exists today for leaders, trainers, consultants and coaches alike.

Marketing will never be an integrated function until sales is using inbound strategies and tactics as an extension of and in conjunction with marketing.

I do see some sales teams becoming a little more inbound right now in one of three ways. Rogue sales people are creating content, employing social media and building authority on their own out of desperation. Sales departments are beginning to offer crude versions of “social selling” training, which often begins and ends with how to mine LinkedIn for leads. Marketing departments are reaching out to their sales teams asking them to provide blog posts for the company blog.

I suppose any of the above is better than “always be closing,” but they miss the potential of this shift in business by miles.

In my opinion an inbound selling plan, along with the strategies, tactics and training to implement this plan, should flow directly from the inbound marketing strategies, tactics and training already in place. (Of course I realize this makes some assumptions.) This is not to suggest that marketing should dictate what inbound selling looks like, but it certainly should have a hand in orchestrating the integrated efforts.

This is the only way to create an overall experience that meets the customer on the journey they want to take.

The shape this plan takes will depend largely on the size of the task at hand. If an organization needs to overcome a long standing divided sales and marketing culture, the work required will be significant. In these instances, it might be wise to start small with a pilot program that might gain traction without causing so much initial disruption.

If your organization has already come to realize the need for this change, it might be as simple as creating several new processes that make it easier for sales to curate, personalize and share content.

Know this however; inbound selling is not the same as inbound marketing. Inbound selling is the act of taking the information and outreach created by inbound marketing efforts and tailoring it in ways that creates insight for the individual customer or prospect. Social selling is the act of discovering ways to go deeper into the network of individual clients in order to provide more useful connections and engagement on a case-by-case basis.

For example, marketing may create a series of blog posts detailing emerging trends in an industry and the individual sales person might access quotes and comments from those blogs posts to write individual email answers to prospects or provide individual updates to select prospects.

Marketing may turn these insights into a research study or white paper and the individual salesperson might take the ideas and curate additional content relevant to the industry and operation of an individual prospect.

Facilitating this change is the next social media gold rush.

The Future of Marketing Is Organizing Behavior

I made the following statement in some social channels recently – “The future of marketing is less about demand creation and more about organizing behavior.”

The comment stirred quite a reaction. Many people fervently agreed while others simply wanted to know more. So, here’s what I mean by that statement.

The foundation of inbound marketing is based on the notion that people need to be drawn in to your marketing funnel by way of content – that you need to be found rather than go out hunting. And, while this has proven effective, many marketers simply interpret this to mean you create more demand by creating more content.

The problem with this thinking is that it’s really just the age old marketing funnel approach polished up with more information.

Today, marketing is about guiding a journey that the buyer wants to take rather than forcing them into the journey that fits our business model.

People don’t really need more information, they need insight, they need guidance and they need an experience that allows them to behave like they want to behave.

Over the years I’ve identified seven behaviors that most buyers desperately want to experience on their way to becoming loyal customers. Organizations that get this and create and organize opportunities for people to experience these behaviors at any point along the journey will win.

Buyers want to travel an often crooked path that allows them to:

  • Know – They want to give permission to the companies they want to know
  • Like – They want to learn to like and respect companies that might be addressing their needs in a way that makes sense to them
  • Trust – They want to see that their friends and others they relate to have come to trust certain organizations for a variety of reasons
  • Try – They want to be able to prove to themselves that buying from certain organization won’t make them look foolish
  • Buy – They want to discover that there are companies that make the buying experience as awesome as the marketing experience
  • Repeat – They want to develop ties to organizations they can count on and that allow them to forget about other options
  • Refer – They want to have such a remarkable experience with organizations that so exceed their expectations they are compelled to share with the world how smart they are

If organization are to address these behaviors, marketing, sales and service must participate as one in guiding the relationship. The traditional silo walls must come down. Sales must participate earlier in the buyer’s journey and stay later. Service must become more social and marketing must learn how to personalize content while bringing front line sales people into the creation of messaging and positioning.

Inbound marketing, outbound marketing, inbound selling and social service must overlap into every possible outpost on the buyer’s journey. Every marketing, sales and service initiative, process and campaign must be designed to organize the behavior the buyer desperately wants to experience.

hourglass functions

Use this grid to audit your own behavior and touchpoints looking for opportunities and gaps.

 

 

 

Why Social Is More Important to Sales Than Marketing

social selling

photo credit: Le.V3T via photopin cc

From day one it’s been said that the proper use of social media is for engagement, not sales.

But when you think about it – effective selling has always been about engagement first, because true engagement happens between people.

Now that social media is considered a foundational element of marketing, I wonder if that’s the best place for it. Far too many marketing departments treat social as a mass marketing tool and additional broadcast channel. While this view may indeed create more awareness, how much engagement does it actually generate?

Sales folks that have embraced the best use of social media use it to:

  • Identify very specific ideal clients
  • Connect with friends of friends of existing clients
  • Mine networks for potential opportunities
  • Keep tabs of what’s going on in a client’s world
  • Personalize content on a case by case basis
  • Engage in sharing with and for clients and prospects
  • Make introductions that turn into referrals

I don’t know about you, but the entire list above sounds like engagement and relationship building of the highest order – the kind that can’t really happen in a mass, detached way – the kind that successful salespeople have always employed.

If an organization is to derive the most benefit from social media today it must be driven deep into the organization so that it can be used as a tool for individual connection rather than simply a metric on the marketing KPI spreadsheet.

I would much rather see an organization reward a salesperson for being connected very deeply in one client’s network than stand up and cheer because they got their 10,000th follower on Twitter.

You see, social media really is all about selling, just not in the way some have long incorrectly viewed that art.

Every superstar salesperson knows effective selling involves networking, nurturing and connecting on a one to one basis and they grab whatever assets they can to build and sustain meaningful, long-term relationships. Now that we more fully understand social behavior and the impact of social media it’s time for organizations to wake up and move it to the sales team.