1) Buyers are in charge
The idea of mystery in the sales process is over. There is no more ‘selling’—there is only buying. When potential customers have near perfect information on the web, it means salespeople must transform from authority to consultant, product narratives must tell a story, and businesses must be agile enough to respond before opportunity is lost.
2) How to generate attention
You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (old school PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, blog, research report, infographic, Twitter feed, Facebook Live stream.
3) Educate and inform instead of interrupt and sell
You have the power to elevate yourself on the web to a position of importance. In the e-marketplace of ideas, successful salespeople educate and inform. They highlight their expertise by sharing videos, content-rich websites, social streams, blogs, e-books, and images rather than using the old sales playbook of information hoarding and letting it drip it out.
4) Convergence of sales and marketing
I’m fascinated by the convergence of sales and marketing. Marketing is when an organization uses content to reach many buyers at once while sales is curating that same content to one buyer at a time.
5) The importance of real-time
Gone are the days when you could plan out your sales and marketing programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. It’s a real-time world now, and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance. What counts today is speed and agility.
6) Nobody cares about your products and services
Many people steeped in the tradition of product promotion naturally feel drawn to prattle on and on about their products and services. But I have news for you. Nobody cares (except you). Yes, you read that right. Get over it. What people do care about is themselves and solving problems. How do you do that?
7) You are not innovative
If you say you are innovative, then you are not. The word “innovative” is among the most overused clichés in marketing today. Just by using “innovative” you’re signal the market that you are not innovative because you use the same words that everyone else does. You must avoid all gobbledygook. It’s cutting-edge, mission-critical, best-of-breed, second-to-none, state-of-the-art, next generation nonsense.
8) Own your sales and marketing assets
Next time you stare at your monthly ad budget and shake your head in disgust, remember that you’re just renting your marketing. Consider putting some of that advertising resource into a content creation initiative that you can own. Original content gets found by Google and is shared on the networks like Facebook and LinkedIn resulting in sales leads and new business.
9) Let’s bring back humanity
A hundred years ago our great grandparents knew the people who sold them chickens, or nails, or cloth. Today, the Web allows humanity again after decades of faceless mass media advertising. We all want to do business with other humans. We want to know there’s a living, breathing person behind the communications. And we want reassurance that those humans on the other side understand and want to help us.
10) Manage your fear
We all face fear in our professional and personal lives. Fear of the strange, of the new, of the untested. We fear bucking the trend and going against the accepted. It’s a natural human response. To truly achieve greatness, you must act. That might mean you are a pioneer, a rebel, an instigator. You may need to challenge the status quo to make a difference in the world. Yes, you might fail. You could even fail spectacularly. But a fear of failure is not a reason to sit in front of the television instead of working on that project that’s burning away in your gut.