Social Un-Selling

Hot from my inbox: Yippee! I just got followed.

So, as I usually do, I looked at their profile. Do you see what I see?
2,000 followers. ZERO following? Obviously, whoever this is believes that they are the only ones worth listening to and are preparing to become experts at Twitter Spam. So they follow then un-follow immediately.
I wonder how many of their followers auto-follow everyone that follows them, but never read a tweet? Let’s stop this social unselling and forward, RT and repost this post to the rest of the world. We’ll clean up the sales world one dope at a time!

The #1 Inbound Marketing Mistake

I just read an article about 50 inbound marketing services that your agency should offer. Normally, I’d link to the article, but I’m not because it’s a bad article. It’s mythical and I’m not gonna be a party to it.

I have a friend and former colleague that used to say, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
When I was much younger, my father saw me hit a nail with a pair of pliers. He asked, “What are you? An electrician?”
I, like some of you, have a tool box. I’ve got a set of sockets and ratchets, a variety of screwdrivers and wrenches, a few files, saws, hammers, etc. and I know how to use them. Occasionally, I do it myself, but more often than not, I hire somebody to do it for me. Why? Two reasons….
  1. I may not have the right tool, so I’d either have to make do with what I do have or go out and buy the right tool.
  2. The person that I hire will have the tool, know how to use it and probably do a better job than I would have.
So, back to the inbound marketing article. The article talked about relevant content, editorial calendar, social media sites, optimization, tags, links and more. No where in the article did the author suggest that sales should be involved other than reporting their activity and results.
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! (Is my frustration showing.) This isn’t part of the problem. This IS the problem. Inbound marketing generates a different kind of lead. Downloading your white paper, attending a webinar or completing your form does not mean that a person is ready to be pitched, much less buy and many that have tried inbound marketing have given up or are struggling. Don’t believe me? Sign up for this survey of salespeople and social media.
Bottom line is that if your salespeople can’t sell to inbound leads or if your marketing is attracting leads that can’t be sold, it’s the same result. No sales. No ROI. Waste of time.
I suggest that BEFORE you start an inbound marketing program, you do a professional evaluation of your salespeople, your sales process, as well as you marketing people and marketing processes to determine whether they are capable of executing the strategies of your company.
Want answers? Click here.

21st Century Salespeople, Social Media and Jerry Stiller

Last October, I wrote “Jerry Stiller on Sales” for my other blog and re-posted it here this morning for your easy reference.

Last week, every salesperson, manager and business owner that I spoke with was struggling with the disconnect between their marketing effort(s), their sales process and the way their clients shop and buy.
OK. Here’s the question. Is social media relevant in your world? Does it generate sales? Not leads or buzz, sales? You want to know who’s doing and getting what? This survey is for you.

Jerry Stiller on Sales

describe the imageActually, Jerry Stiller didn’t talk about sales, but I just watched his Capital One commercial again where he says, “People. Look at you. Texting. Blogging. All this technology, but you’re still banking like pilgrims…”

Some days, I know that I must sound like Stiller when I criticize companies that are still selling like pilgrims. They still expect the techniques, tactics and tricks that worked in the 1900’s to work today.

I’ve made door to door and telephone cold calls using lists and straight out of a directory. (What’s a directory?)

I’ve worked Expos, trade shows, home shows, flower shows, etc. You put people in a room, I show up with my smile and a pile of business cards and brochures. (What are business cards and brochures?)

I’ve been the recipient of ‘bingo card leads‘, yellow page call-ins, Executive Luncheon leads and had some success with each. (When was the last time that you used the yellow pages?)

There were a lot of ways to generate leads. Many still work. Even Hubspot, the inbound marketing company, uses demo tables, meet-ups, good old faskioned PR and self-promotion to generate buzz so that their name will be recognized when their cold callers call.

However, this is not an article about different ways of generating leads. Let’s face it. If you’re not doing inbound marketing and you’re not doing it right by using a partner that’s been certified, you’re denying reality. You’re living in La-La Land. You’re giving your market share to your competition.

BUT (and this is the point of this post), selling has changed. In the door-to-door days, they were called marketers, but were taught sales. As advertising, PR, promotion, etc. became vogue, marketing and sales developed a chasm so that they could blame each other for the lack of success and each take full credit if they did succeed. Inbound marketing only works if marketing is totally synchronized with sales. Sales needs to know how marketing is setting the leads up and marketing has to know how sales is following up. There are different strengths and skills required in the two jobs, but there’s one body of knowledge and target market and if you really want to cover the bases, contact me to evaluate your people, your marketing process and your sales process as to whether they can execute on your strategies.

Pre-Survey: 21st Century Salespeople and Social Media

I’ll be releasing a survey tomorrow to determine the level of usage of Social Media by 21st Century Salespeople, Executives and Business Owners and the relative effectiveness of their efforts. Although an email address will be required to receive the results, it will not be required to take the survey. So, identities will be safe. I’ve posted this pre-anouncement for two reasons.

I’ll be asking about usage and results from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, websites, trade shows, advertising, B2B vs B2C, job title, sales growth, tracking, and lots more.
Is there a question that you would like included? That you’d like to know the answer to? Enter it as a comment or
send me an email
This is the link to register to take the survey and/or to receive the results.

RainMaker Maker in Montana

I wrote this in September of 2009. Since then, a lot has happened. Jerry never started a blog, but he’s still fishing.

September 15th, Tuesday morning, 8:30 AM MT: I’m sitting on the deck overlooking Ashley Lake. It’s been about 18 hours since I’ve had internet access or a cell signal and I’m still alive.

Our host, Jerry has written a syndicated column about fly fishing for 30 years. We’ve had several conversations about starting a blog on the same topic. He’s curious, but honestly, if I could fly fish and I lived where he does, I’d be very reluctant to do anything other than fish, hike, or otherwise be close to nature. Nonetheless, I can’t help thinking that he’s got 60+ years of experiences in his head that people who wear suits to work and occasionally cast a line or take a walk in the woods would love to read. I can’t help but thinking that if he started writing about all the spots that he’s fished, things that he’s seen and lessons that he’s learned, that people who dream about living the way he does, would get a little closer. Whether he does or doesn’t, I’m glad that I had the chance.

I should point out that I had Jerry read this post before it got published. First, I’m sharing tidbits and my impressions of very private conversations. Just two guys, brought together by their kids, drinking beer and passing the time, getting to know each other. He may not want any part of it shared and if he says, “No.”, you’ll never read anything past the word, “alive”. Second, I want to make sure that my sharings are accurate. Memory, even within a few hours, can be fuzzy. So, I want to make sure that I get my facts straight.

OK, so, Jerry’s shared a few pieces of wisdom.

Don’t move to Montana if you don’t want to enjoy outside activities when it’s cold.

Montana has six months of winter and six months of crappy sledding.

Jerry teaches a fly tying class. He’s had lots of seniors take the course because they have it on their “bucket list”. Why do they wait?

So, I guess I just want to say, “Thank you, Jerry.” The lesson for us all is that with all that fishing, hunting, hiking and enjoying nature, you still made time to have a rewarding career, build two homes, raise a couple of great kids, and be a great host.