Sales has changed so much over the years, and really dramatically over the past five years.
Having been in sales all my life and now presenting in 65 countries on sales and technology, I love the advances and opportunities.
Sadly, so many companies are still using outdated training or even worse, no training at all. How can you expect to be at the cutting edge of sales if you have not been trained in things like personal branding and marketing, advanced Google searches, Advanced LinkedIn strategies and moving from left to right brain selling…
When I started selling in the eighties, companies gave fantastic sales training and businesses like IBM were at the cutting edge. I remember my cousin who was in sales there being sent home to change his socks because they were the wrong color.
My first training course was three weeks long where we had numerous role plays, technical training and had to learn all kinds of scripts.
In those days you could still cold call and I remember being told that activity was everything. I had to make at least 20 calls a day, see four people face to face and close one sale.
I did not question the training and did exactly as I was told and within a year was one of the top salespeople.
When you were in front of a client you had a great chance of building rapport, asking questions and closing the sales. It is still the same today, except the route to getting in front of the client is very different.
Sales people now have to be versed in so many skills including:
- Sales skills
- Advanced prospecting skills
- Psychological skills
- Technology skills
- Marketing skills
- Content creation skills
For me the biggest change has been to identify your target prospect, connect with then in a non-threatening manner and educate them on your products and services through great content.
You also need to know about personal marketing and content creation as now the buyer is in control and will do their research and if they find your company or you, they will make a decision based on what they find and see in your website, LinkedIn profile, videos or articles.
Everyone one of us is a buyer and we know the process starts when we do a Google or LinkedIn search. If what we are looking for comes up on the first page, we will research the website and other social channels and then make a decision on what to do next.
How much content are you putting out there for potential buyers and how well is your website optimized.
There is now a huge focus as well to using landing pages as many potential buyer get confused when going into a busy website and leave without taking any action.
For many salespeople the new way of optimizing and increasing sales is:
1 - Identify very clearly your ideal prospect. Are they the VP of sales in the medical industry in Florida, are they HR manager of in financial services companies in Australia…
Identify the industry, area and position of the person you want to sell to.
2 – Understand and learn about Advanced Google or Boolean searches. If you understand how this works, you can get unlimited data on the ideal prospects you would like to contact.
3 – If you are not using the paid version of LinkedIn and don’t have the advanced search capability, try usingwhich has great search capabilities.
To really understand Boolean Searches, please watch the video below.
4 - Take a look at the potential clients and if their profile fits, connect with them via LinkedIn.
5 – When connecting, customize your greeting.
In my LinkedIn course, I show at least 5 different templates to connect, ask for a connection and reply when someone takes a look at your profile.
These have been developed by some of the smartest LinkedIn specialists -
6 – Consider using a video squeeze landing page to reply to anyone viewing your profile.
Take a look at how I have set this up, click on the image below to play the video:
7 – Create valuable content and share this on all the platforms. This way you become the authority in your area of expertise. By sharing the correct hashtags and keywords, you also make it easier to be found.
8 – Take a look at your Social Selling Index to see how well your profile has been optimized -
Part 2 of the new world of sales will be out in January.
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