So, here’s the thing, the magic pill, the yellow brick road you can confidently skip along if you really want to reach more people, stand out and be seen as a giver in a dollars driven world.
It’s different, it’s gutsy, it’s bold but it’s brilliant.
It’s called social.
Now before you roll your eyes and turn away, let me just share my thoughts for a minute.
Social selling has been touted as the next Gutenberg Press, as revolutionary as the wheel. And in a way it is, but in a way it’s not.
You see it is a channel for us to amplify the value we inherently give others. Just as direct mail is another channel with another purpose, or picking up the phone and calling someone or shooting something across to someone on email. They are all channels. Social selling is another channel. It is not a sales methodology you are missing out on or a process you need to learn.
But just as call reluctance is prevalent in salespeople and therefore sabotages their results, there is the same reluctance for salespeople to use LinkedIn (as one example of a social channel), outside of generically collecting names or using it as a resume repository.
Salespeople who will stand out and be able to differentiate themselves won’t do it because of their brand, their product or even their sales style. They will differentiate themselves through their message and their marketing of that message. They realise that no matter whether they are intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs or employees, they are CEO’s of their own micro-business, complete with a cost centre and a revenue target and as such must take on a business responsibility which also means being proactive and market.
To be a marketer means you have to share, curate and learn to write articles, blogs, whitepapers, case studies and become a storyteller about your value vs your product, and that will take many out of their comfort zone. For some it becomes all too hard or they debate the added responsibility of the role. The very few who relish the idea of sharing their expertise for the good of others and with no expectation of money or direct immediate business, will win. They realise that business today can sometimes be a slow burn and that the new sales leader will be one who has an intention of contribution, even in the rugged, commercial business world.
As someone who has been publishing my own thought leadership around changing the face of selling for a while now, I know it is a slow burn. People will want to see consistency in your marketing, evolution in your thinking and commitment in your intention if you are serious about your profession and making change happen in your buyers world.
Where do you sit in relationship to getting uncomfortable, being different, gutsy and bold and tapping into your own brilliance of contributing to others business growth through one of the channels – namely publishing your thoughts on social.
Social is a new channel for connecting. It’s not just another version of a TV where the voyeur tunes in every night and then changes channels when there is nothing interesting to watch. So, if your game, try swapping your TV’s with these 3V’s over the next week to demonstrate your credibility and extend your reach even more.
Be VULNERABLE– The biggest thing I had to get over was what people would think about my writing. Not whether the grammar was right or there was a typo, but whether my ideas would be accepted, because sometimes I can be controversial and left of field in my approach. But when you come from an intention of helping others and know that there can be no right or wrong, just other people’s opinions, then stepping into that vulnerability becomes a strength whether you think it or not.
So get honest with yourself. You already have the ideas, the research, the statistics, the case studies, your experiences, your own marketing concepts and potentially a team behind you, so what new ideas can you put together to share and help your buyer?
Find your VOICE – We all have our own voice and that voice is who you are within work and without. It’s the way you talk and write and think, and it’s unique to you, so use it. It’s a resource. When writing, you will also have your own style. Some styles are authoritative, some are witty, some are educational with a bit of inspiration (which is my style) and when you can own your own voice, then your work becomes consistent. People look forward to reading because they know it is you who is being real and authentic and they will trust you. I write as I speak sometimes and start my sentences with ‘and’ and finish them with those words my teacher told me not to finish sentences with. Does it really matter?
When you write you next piece make sure it is in your voice and you are not trying to sound like someone else. Remember, people’s BS meters are more finely attuned than ever.
Share VALUE – Extending your reach is all about understanding who your market is. When writing, it is best to picture your one client and know your target market values. For example, if your target market is the IT manager in education based entities, then you would understand your markets industries, their individual businesses so you could use case studies and examples that mattered, you would understand the individuals you are writing for and tap into the challenges and issues they are facing at a business and a personal level so your writing cuts across all avenues at all times.
Most of all, in your next piece you write, ensure the ideas you are providing aren’t just value based but provide prescriptive ideas for your buyer to create their own value.
To write and publish ideas for the world to read will be uncomfortable for most and only 5% will swap their TV remote for their pen and paper or their keyboard or even pass a recorded audio to a VA to be transcribed.
It is this 5% of sales leaders that buyers will want to do business with in the future. And the future is now!
Being a professional B2B salesperson today means you have to ‘put yourself out there’. Social is a new channel for connecting, yet not many salespeople or sales leaders are currently using it as a platform to share and create value driven conversations or show their thought leadership, yet!!
With over 300 million users and only 30,000 posts being published on LinkedIn alone, the scope for expanding your reach is fantastic and exciting.
What channel is your remote set to?
Be Bold and Brilliant!
If you enjoyed this article then please give it a ‘thumbs up’ or share on your social media platforms. As a sales leadership consultant, please let me know if I can help you, your team or your business bridge the gap between your corporate goals and revenue potential.
Image created by torbakhopper
Bernadette McClelland is a keynote speaker, sales leadership consultant, and a sales support team member for companies, in growth-mode, that need to quickly build a bridge between business goals and sales results.