Sales Is an Art
I am often asked, “Ryan, what is the secret to sales?” But there is no secret or shortcut to sales. People ask me if I can help them find me a “heavy hitter” salesperson, preferably one with a book of business. I reply, “Are you kidding me?” We are in 2013 and that model is dead. These people tell me, “Ryan, we need some more salespersons to pound the pavement, knock on doors, or dial for dollars.”
Dude...ditch the clichés and let’s find someone who can figure out the best way to find new business opportunities and grow existing ones.
A person once asked me if they should make “quality contacts” or “quantity contacts.” My reply is both! You see, sales is an art. I can teach how to connect with people, understand personality types, improve upon their written and verbal communications skills and become better listeners. However, at the end of the day, there is no shortcut, gimmick or off-the-shelf plan you can use to dramatically increase your sales. I see more ridiculous sales training programs offered that people pay good money for but it is the same old stuff packaged in a new way.
Folks, I am here to tell you that if you have not invested in building your online (social/digital space) and individual sales brand and are only using traditional tools in your sales efforts, you are falling behind. Traditional tools are imperative, however, in our new world, as any person is accessible. New tools must be used. So there’s no valid reason why you cannot connect with a viable prospect if there is a reasonable “fit.” The world is totally connected and you can reach anyone.
In using online tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and now Google Plus, I have connected with CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, professional athletes, celebrities, other authors, speakers and more. These connections have led to an e-mail, then a phone call, and later a meeting that led to working together. Trust me, it is the real deal.
However, the question for you to consider is, do you have an individual brand that people will follow? This does not mean everyone agrees with you. Quite frankly, the more you create your brand in the social space, the more you will see that you have to take every opinion and piece of feedback with a grain of salt. Experience shows you are neither that great nor that bad.
So, what are you doing to develop, create and modify a brand of communications and marketing excellence that makes any buyer want to hear what you have to say, and say yes to meeting with you? You say it can’t be done. Well, guess what, it can be...I promise. I see it day in and day out, teach people how to do it, day in and day out, and I personally do it.
So, what are you doing to invest in your online brand growth in our constantly connected world? I am working on a new book on this very subject. You see, it is simple. The great salespeople make things happen, the average salespeople watch things happen, and the poor salespeople wonder what happened. Our world is moving quickly. Which camp are you in? I challenge you to assess where you have been, where you are, and where you want to go and focus on using new tools (integrated with traditional ones) to help build your brand. If you need help, we are one step away.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com