Out with the old, in with the new?
Not really. I agree that there are many “new ways” of reaching prospects and customers…
I have a LinkedIn account and a LinkedIn group (Sales Psychology & Performance if you want to have a look). I have a Youtube channel, I Twitter, I have a sales training blog and was blogging well before most other’s in the market place. I have numerous other social media profiles which I don’t use as much and I am also looking at the newest trends all of the time. I love to use the new ways and embrace change…
However, I think there is a real danger of throwing out what was and is still good about the old in chasing the new with comments like this one that someone made on one of my groups the other day when talking about traditional sales methods in particular prospecting…
“…you’ll be missing the 90%+ of the market that don’t buy like that…”
I am always suspicious of statistics but that one just looks wrong to me. To start with, if I only look at my own stats, I can see that my business comes from multiple sources. It does not just come from cold calling, or from blogging, or from videos, or from article marketing, or from networking, or from referrals, or from sales meetings…
In fact, most of my clients and prospects travel through multiple touch points before buying i.e. “Well I saw you on a video programme where you were a guest expert, then I read one of your articles in a (traditional print) magazine, then someone said something about you at a networking event. I always thought I might book you for my team but then I changed roles and someone sent me a copy of your newsletter and so I came to one of your seminars and then I thought “Wow!” I need this guy for my next sales conference.”
Furthermore, it is indeed amazing how much of it still comes from traditional sources… speaking, referrals (proactive and reactive), word of mouth, recommendations, networking, traditional sales… with a kicker that most have read my blog after they found me, or watched my Youtube videos or checked me out on LinkedIn etc.
There are some markets where many sales are made using totally new ways of selling and there are some where no-one is buying this way. I am constantly amazed by how many of my paying clients do not have video enabled on their PCs, do not use Twitter and have failed to respond to invites to any of my online groups or communities.
The only “new way” they respond to is my email newsletter (permission based but the only one that interrupts them) and then they won’t post a blog answer on my website, they prefer to email me their thoughts and questions instead.
The new way of selling is here. The new way of making contacts and differentiating yourself from the market is here but it is not about new methodologies…
The new way of selling is about adding value for your clients. The new way is about better engaging your clients. The new way is about caring about your clients and their businesses. The new way is about focusing on your clients and not on you. And if you can use new media to do this, that’s great.
But the new way of selling is not about activity, it is about mindset. Selling is an attitude that leaves behind a trail of techniques.
It is misleading to assume then that the old methods do not work anymore. When you apply the new mindset to them they work incredibly well but too few people (know how to) do this and therefore fail miserably.
After my cold calling seminar of last week, someone Twittered the next day to say they had already set up 4 meetings. After my cold calling seminar of Tuesday this week, someone already emailed me to say they would never have thought that they would be the person emailing me at all let alone saying that they had set up 5 appointments the very next day.
The old ways still work when you use the new mindset and new technologies to pimp them up.
It is also worth noting that many people using the new technologies do not have the new mindset and are just spamming anyway. The vast majority of comments and discussions posted in my communities are by people who ought to know better saying “go look at my seminar” or “see this article I wrote and spammed across every group”. They are no better than old school, bad, cold callers and I believe will be looked upon as the same in time. They add no value to their groups, no value to their communities, no value to their readers and this approach will not work long term.
Someone said to me the other day that I am the only person who consistently gives away stuff of value. This is clearly not true and I could name others who do too but it says a lot about the state of how people perceive the way people are using these new mediums.
People are unsubscribing from social media. People are clicking off from newsletters. People do not have the time to take part in discussions a lot of the time. I only need to look at the number of people who ring me and speak to me about booking me for a conference and who then fail to respond to emails. When I pick the phone up to them they invariably say, “I meant to call you,” and then book me.
And if every person out there started blogging, Twittering, Facebooking and videoing, firstly, many would just be no good at it and, secondly, no-one would be able to find anything worthwhile through the white noise…
The expectation of salespeople has to change. The approaches you take have to change. The mindset you have has to change.
We have to add value. We have to utilise multiple routes to market. We have to employ new strategies, old strategies and hybrid strategies.
We have to use what works.
It’s not out with the old in with the new. It’s embrace the new, pimp up the old and mash up the lot to come up with a viable approach that connects and adds value for your clients. And this should include whatever strategies, old or new, that work best for you.
By Gavin Ingham
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Original article: "Has Selling Changed? Is It Time For Out With The Old & In With The New?"