I enjoyed reading Lloyd’s take on sales strategy this morning. Have a great day!
Originally posted on The Business of Social Media:
One issue I find perpetually frustrating is how often companies neglect the goal of their sales efforts: Getting a deal. As someone who has been on both sides of the fence—initiating partnerships and being sold to –—I am particularly sensitive when I see people making fundamental mistakes.
Focus on the goal
The first manifestation of this problem is when people focus on arranging meetings (or calls), rather than qualifying potential partners and seeing if there is a reason to meet. There is no value in a meeting just for meeting’s sake.
Trade shows are a great example of people losing track of the goal. Prior to a major trade show, even if I am not attending, I got multiple meeting requests. Very rarely do people try to qualify whether or not it is worth their time meeting. Given that everyone has a limited schedule, they are potentially not only wasting 30…
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It is no secret by now that my musical taste is quite diverse.
Growing up in the ’80’s I loved many different genres of music, but I especially liked to rock! I know I know it seems far-fetched for such a clean-cut guy like myself, but it is true!
I will never forget buying Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction cassette. I was quite self-conscious that the music was a little too heavy and the message a bit too over the top for my parent’s liking. But they were pretty cool about it! Some of my friends were very in to Guns N’ Roses and we went to a concert once in Winnipeg, Canada. Lead Singer Axl Rose was less than impressed to be there which did not surprise us. My friends and I translated another song in to french, played it on an acoustic guitar, and sang it which was fun for a class project.
But this post is actually about Slash, and reinventing yourself. It is easy to “judge a book by its cover” if you have not followed Slash’s career, but he is a truly brilliant person and musician. Ever since the “soap opera” that was the first line-up of Guns N’ Roses broke up, all he has continued to do is keep working and trying to reinvent himself. He has had several different solo projects and the highly acclaimed Velvet Revolver, with former Guns N’ Roses band mates including Scott Welland from Stone Temple Pilots.
But I believe his best work is happening now with a lead singer named Myles Kennedy. You can google his name if you would like to see his bio, but the bottom line is they just click. While Axl Rose is sitting at home doing whatever he is doing, Slash is out playing new material with his incredible band plus Guns N’ Roses classics.
This is one of my favourite songs, and I believe one of the most recognizable songs of all time, even after just one strum of the guitar!
If Slash was in the corporate world, I would want him on my team, because he never gives up, never stops believing in himself and those around him, and just keeps affecting people’s lives in a positive way.
You may know this one!
As many of you know I completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a couple of weeks ago.
I have been amazed to watch this movement grow and grow for this incredibly horrible disease.
I was particularly moved yesterday when I was shown a video of Anthony Carbajal.
Please watch until the end. One you get past his ice bucket challenge, his message is very powerful.
Together we can all make a difference. This is why we are all doing the Ice Bucket Challenge. Please share with friends, family, colleagues… anyone who can help out. And across your social media channels.
So far this video has over 15 million views!
Please also give to your local ALS chapter:
Or your local chapters around the world!
Thanks and keep smiling :-)
The only way that you are going to get better at something is through practice. I read a quote in a hockey book once that really caught my attention:
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” – Vince Lombardi
Even those with raw talent have to practice regularly. Engaging others in sales and other professional roles should not be limited to work relationships. You should practice engaging others when possible.
My dad was a teacher, and is still very engaging to this day – partially because of his personality, but it was also a necessity for his career. Could you imagine being in front of a class of kids and not holding their attention? Teachers who could captivate the crowd were always the ones that remained memorable to me. This also meant that my dad and I could never quickly go to a mall because he was always running into people. Conversations would start, and time would pass by. My mom would always comment upon our return, “Where were you? I just sent you for a couple of things!”
There are so many opportunities to engage people outside of work:
- In line at a store
- At a social events with friends
- Business or community events
- Sporting events
- On a walk or a run
- Groups, associations or teams that you and/or your children are part of
I was thinking about this one day after a run, and I reflected on how many people I acknowledge in that 45 minute period. It was about twelve!
- Some greetings were a simple hello or good morning as I passed by
- With others I would make a quick comment on the weather, or about the degree of difficulty of a hill that I (or they) had just ran up
- Some were a quick stop so our dogs could greet each other
- It was common that I ask for information about their dog, and how the person’s day was going
- I even complimented one guy who was actually attempting to train his new puppy
When I engage people in this setting, most people are pleasant back. It is common for people to jog with an iPod or Mp3 player, but I will still turn mine down to say something, or at least wave. I have done this for so long it is second nature now.
If I never practiced this skill, and instead just went through the day keeping to myself, it would be unreasonable to expect that I’d be very good at it in a short time period. Skills would develop eventually, but carrying that philosophy over to your personal life just means that you have more opportunity to practice. Then before you know it, the skill improves.
This was not always easy for me; because I was quite shy growing up due to my stutter. Speaking up and meeting people was very difficult well in to my teenage years. But with practice and patience, I consider myself very engaging now, and will always take time to speak with others.
- Do you only engage new people in work situations?
- Where can you begin to converse with people starting right away in your personal life?
The most practical business skill that has come out of this for me is keeping conversations going when there is a lot of dead air. I think most of us have experienced conversations that were very one-sided, and it was a struggle to keep it going, and interesting for the other person.
Good luck, and remember to always be in “engagement mode”!