Much has been written about salespeople, especially those who are employees, speaking up, writing and curating on social channels such as LinkedIn.
Speaking up in the sense of using their voice, sharing their thoughts, telling us their experiences, voicing their opinions or debating their point. Yet so many don’t.
We ask why? as well as why not? and realise there are a plethora of reasons – company policy prohibits rogue writers from potentially tarnishing their brand, marketing’s ego says ‘that’s OUR domain’, potential clients aren’t on the platform to even read the words, massive uncertainty about what to write considering it can’t be a sales pitch about the product, and of course, good old faithful, ‘what if people don’t read it, don’t like it, comment unfairly or find it totally subpar’.
95% of buyers chose a solution provider that ‘Provides them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process’. [Source: DemandGen Report]
The types of content were not mentioned. However, if we remove product and company related content, which I am sure you agree would come further down the sales conversation line, then what other content is there to write about or even curate that would stand you in good stead and ensure you be seen as a relevant resource?
Well, ‘82% of buyers feel more positive about dealing with a company after they have read customised content. ‘ [Source: DemandMetric}
It’s really quite simple.
Content relevant to THEIR industry, THEIR business, THEIR role and perhaps even THEIR fears and challenges as an individual because every intersection impacts the buying ecosystem as I have shared in my T4 Model.
The WHAT, WHY and the HOW can usually be sorted from a strategic perspective.
And then, what’s left is you actually doing it?
Content can be anything that is relevant.
- It could be an email or share highlighting something as simple as an event or a competitors event (THEIR competitor!).
- It might be an article you share that is current, topical and relevant that you see come up your feed.
- It might be you taking pen to paper and creating your own piece that has opinions, hacks, shortcuts or any other methods of ideation drawn upon by others.
Using your voice is you being resourceful.
There is no capex that needs to be raised, no budget that needs to be approved, no technology needed to build it – it is your own unique tool of trade. And you have had it all along. You use it to speak the verbal word so well, why not use it to speak the written word?
Let’s just play for a minute.
Imagine you are being interviewed for a sales role by your client:
- For what purpose would you be speaking?
- What research would you have done?
- What statistics would you have uncovered?
- What case studies and stories could you tell? and
- What questions might you ask?
Writing is no different!
You’ll actually enjoy a much greater ROI if you design your communications relevant to those individuals who aren’t currently sales opportunities and how you do that is to use your own initiative and where possible your own unique voice ensuring a bigger message than your product spiel.
Content might be king, but Context, well she rules the kingdom!
Lose the fact that it is all about you and focus on what you will be contributing to the person reading. And if the person reading doesn’t appreciate it then someone else will. It is the Bernadette McClelland unwritten law of ‘putting it out there’ 😉
Let me share a real life story that highlights my rule and addresses the ‘what if it doesn’t work’ scenario or the ‘what if they don’t like it’ situation.
I had a relationship with Salesforce here in Australia. I know many of their people, I was a client myself, I attended their events and I think what Marc Benioff has created is awesome. I was asked to submit an article to be included in their global thought leader collection which is filled with the writings of many of my peers.
Yes, you could say I was chuffed.
The fact remains… my voice, my style of writing wasn’t aligned to this particular platform at this particular time and whilst I respect their decision, my article was rejected! (Note: I, personally, wasn’t!)
My voice is my voice and it will not ever resonate with everyone. It simply can’t. And because of that it doesn’t mean I stop writing, nor does it mean my content is subpar or my voice value-less.
Now, I could have done a couple of things. I could have said ‘let me adapt my article to what you want to see me write’ and played the ‘desperate card’, or I could have walked away singing these Bob Seger lyrics…Beautiful loser, Read it on the wall and realize you just can’t have it all
Instead, I did neither. I owned my value and stuck to my lane.
The moral of this story?
Comparisons is a game we will never win.
Perfectionism is a standard we will never reach.
Thinking you have failed when an idea, product or service is rejected is just plain crazy.
Inspiring others by thinking and writing in your own style is where the rubber hits the road.
Still want to write?
Well, you’ll never know till you give it a go….
Join those of us who aspire to make change happen through the written word:)
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
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Image courtesy of photosteve101