Wednesday, March 14, 2012

People Not Contacts

It was a great day in San Francisco on March 12th. The Sales Giants of Tomorrow braved the time change to attend Inside View's Insider Summit. It was a well put together event...great keynote, 1 minute sponsor intros and short/informative breakout sessions. A lot of information in a snapshot....such are times in which we exist.

Umberto Milletti eloquently delivered the message of the day.....selling is about people not contacts. Umberto told us that he, as a buyer, does not answer the phone and rarely replies to email. He then noted that commercial real estate agents are among the most pushy salespeople but when he requested information for commercial space on Twitter only 2 people replied. A reflection on the swinging pendulum of sales. It is no longer about having the gift of gab or an extroverted personality. It is about doing your research, differentiating your solution to the personality of your buyer, and finding a creative way to access them. The game is changing and if you stick to your old methods your forehead will start bleeding.....from running into walls!

Introducing the 3 Stages of Social Selling:
Personal Access
Silver Bullet

How did you know that?
....because it's on your facebook page.

Still to this day people are surprised when I mention their favorite baseball team or a current event at their alma mater - and this is the easily accessible information. Don't worry about freaking out your buyer. You can find out a lot about a person in a 15 minute review of their LinkedIn profile, Twitter page, Facebook posts and/or blog. If they put it out there it is yours to share in....the key is using the information in a differentiating way without creeping someone out!!!!!!

Information is not an Invitation!
Be an advisor not a stalker! Use the elements of a person's personality conveyed through social media only in ways applicable to your products/services.

Tell someone their daughter is beautiful!
Revisit a political or religious opinion that may have been posted!
Ask if you can have permission to date the aforementioned beautiful daughter!!!

Mention an industry relevant article or case study that they posted, retweeted, or favored
Mention a common professional connection
Correlate the benefit of your solution in metaphor to their favorite team winning (...tricky...)

The introduction is over
People's time has never been more precious. They will smile and entertain your personal probing questions but they would rather you cut to the chase. You can now access the answers to all the stupid "ice breaker" questions before you check in with the receptionist.

With all the information at your finger tips everything you say should be direct and relevant. Formulate and customize a presentation (or conversation strategy) that is personally engaging. If you are smooth in your delivery (which every salesperson should be) you will come off as a subject matter expert: "This guy knows my business and his product matches what I do really well".

The New Age in Sales
* Everyone thinks sales people are pushy. You have a direct path to victory if you can dispel that presumption.
* Time is money: be relevant, precise and direct.
* Know not just what they do but why it matters and how you can help.

The tools are there but they are commonly avoided. The salespeople who are winning have put themselves on the buyers side of the table through research and the ability to differentiate. The salespeople who are losing think they can still rely on their big mouth to impress people.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"   - Albert Einstein

Don't Forget to Remember!



  1. Thank You Umberto...and Thank You for allowing me to be part of your event. I know the Insider Summit was a massive success for InsideView!