The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.

SELLutions

Everything You Need To Know About Social Media Etiquette For Business

by GSchulz 12. October 2014 07:46

Over the last few years, social media has evolved into a powerful tool for businesses. Not only does it help businesses build a strong reputation online, but it can also help businesses reach more customers and increase engagement.

However, before you can dive into social media, there are a few rules you need to know first. Although it might seem like social media is a simple marketing tool, there are some important factors to help in mind:

1. Always respond to customers.

Whether it’s a good or bad comment from a customer, always respond to their feedback. It’s also crucial to respond to their questions within in 30 minutes to an hour. This rule applies primarily to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

2. Carefully use hashtags.

Hashtags are a powerful communication tool for your brand, however they can become very tricky, too.

When using hashtags to boost engagement, use hashtags that relate to your brand and industry. Especially if you’re sharing content on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right hashtag to connect with your audience.

3. Publish engaging content.

If you want to build relationships with your customers through social media, then you need to create engaging content.

Post videos, photos, and interactive media to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. Visual content is key to building relationships, so make sure your strategy follows this rule.

4. Be human.

When customers engage with a brand on social media, they want to feel like they’re talking to a person. As you post content and respond to customers, use a friendly and genuine voice. This will improve your brand’s reputation and build stronger relationships with your audience.

If you follow these rules, you’ll greatly improve your business’ social media strategy. To learn more of the rules regarding social media etiquette, check out the infographic below:

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Is No Leading You To a Yes?

by GSchulz 2. September 2014 10:36
As salespeople or business development specialists, we’ve often been taught things like “never take ‘no’ for an answer” or “ask enough questions to get the prospect to keep saying ‘yes,’ then ask for the order.”

This is not only classic selling; it is trickery, which is ridiculous and has no place in business development today. “Success” is often built on a reflexive habit of saying, “yes” to opportunities that come our way. We’re hungry for any chance to prove ourselves, and when we’re presented with one, we take it, even – or especially – if it seems daunting.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Learning to Say ‘No’ is Part of Success,” Ed Batista says: “A critical step is training ourselves to resist the initial reflexive response; I often describe this to clients and students as ‘becoming more comfortable with discomfort.’ “We get so uncomfortable with the idea of being rejected, which is often interpreted by hearing the word “no,” that we fill in with quickly explaining how we can help the company become successful by sharing what used to be called features and benefits, selling and giving a list of the things we can help them with and how. Slow down the pace in the interaction to make sure you’re making the right choices.

We often work long and hard to get an opportunity with a potential prospect, only to ruin the opportunity by talking too much and too fast. Today it is about truly being a consultant when selling. If you are rushing though a script or trying to ask questions that lead prospects into a corner, this is not consultative selling. The faster you go, the more stalls you will get – not sales. Let the prospect know you will have a few questions for them, if that’s OK, and by the end of this conversation, you may learn that there is no fit between you – which is OK, since what you do isn’t for everyone. If you let the person know that a “no” is alright, a few good things happen: The pressure that the prospect feels with a salesperson is off, so they are more likely to open up and share with you.

Trust is beginning to be established. Without it, no sale will happen. The conversation is now a true conversation, not a pitch. Be honest about your recommendations after learning about their needs, even if it’s that it just isn’t a fit for your product or service. Sounds crazy, right? Actually, if you work from the place of helping everyone you meet with, you will not only build strong alliances and sell more effectively, but you will also gain respect and a whole lot more referrals.

Success is a long-term goal that takes planning and doing things right. It is not a quick-fix, “sell, sell, sell” environment. We need to get out of the mentality of the liquid diet society we have created and put together a long-term plan for success. Isn’t that what successful people keep telling us?   Click here to share this post.

Is No Leading You To a Yes?

by GSchulz 2. September 2014 10:36
As salespeople or business development specialists, we've often been taught things like “never take ‘no’ for an answer” or “ask enough questions to get the prospect to keep saying ‘yes,’ then ask for the order.” This is not only classic selling; it is trickery, which is ridiculous and has no place in business development today. “Success” is often built on a reflexive habit of saying, “yes” to opportunities that come our way.

We’re hungry for any chance to prove ourselves, and when we’re presented with one, we take it, even – or especially – if it seems daunting. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Learning to Say ‘No’ is Part of Success,” Ed Batista says: “A critical step is training ourselves to resist the initial reflexive response; I often describe this to clients and students as ‘becoming more comfortable with discomfort.’ “We get so uncomfortable with the idea of being rejected, which is often interpreted by hearing the word “no,” that we fill in with quickly explaining how we can help the company become successful by sharing what used to be called features and benefits, selling and giving a list of the things we can help them with and how. Slow down the pace in the interaction to make sure you’re making the right choices.

We often work long and hard to get an opportunity with a potential prospect, only to ruin the opportunity by talking too much and too fast. Today it is about truly being a consultant when selling. If you are rushing though a script or trying to ask questions that lead prospects into a corner, this is not consultative selling. The faster you go, the more stalls you will get – not sales. Let the prospect know you will have a few questions for them, if that’s OK, and by the end of this conversation, you may learn that there is no fit between you – which is OK, since what you do isn’t for everyone. If you let the person know that a “no” is alright, a few good things happen: The pressure that the prospect feels with a salesperson is off, so they are more likely to open up and share with you. Trust is beginning to be established.

Without it, no sale will happen. The conversation is now a true conversation, not a pitch. Be honest about your recommendations after learning about their needs, even if it’s that it just isn’t a fit for your product or service. Sounds crazy, right? Actually, if you work from the place of helping everyone you meet with, you will not only build strong alliances and sell more effectively, but you will also gain respect and a whole lot more referrals.

Success is a long-term goal that takes planning and doing things right. It is not a quick-fix, “sell, sell, sell” environment. We need to get out of the mentality of the liquid diet society we have created and put together a long-term plan for success. Isn’t that what successful people keep telling us?   Click here to share this post.

It’s about the process

by GSchulz 20. March 2014 04:57

    Ryan, a software sales rep, had been having a rough day. He’d been bombarded with questions from several customers and gotten behind on work he needed to finish before the end of the day. Then, he got a call from Wayne, a prospect who introduced himself by saying: “I’ve heard great things about your engineering software package. I saw a demo about a year ago, and was not in a position to purchase it at the time. But since then, it’s become very apparent that I need to integrate it into my system.” “Wow,” Ryan thought. “This will be easy. It’s about time something went right today.” Then, Wayne said: “I need to know about the cost, the tech support and how soon it can be installed.” Ryan immediately went into his pitch.

He discussed tech support in detail, covered availability and other options, and explained that the price was $12,000, with 30-day terms. Wayne’s response was unexpected. He said that $12,000 was quite a hefty price tag and he needed a couple of days to think about all of this more carefully. He’d call Ryan back next week. Ryan did a double take. “What just happened?” he thought. “This sale was in the bag, a sure thing. He really needs it and now he’s thinking it over? He said he needed the software right away.” And that was the end of the call. So, what happened? Ryan got lazy, plain and simple. He thought Wayne was sold. All he had to do was give him the information he needed, then write it up. He got fooled into assuming the sale without doing the work. He never got Wayne to talk about why he was looking now, with what seemed to be a real priority about buying the software. The entire transaction was conducted at the intellectual level, without any real understanding of the true need. So, what happened? Ryan was lured into taking shortcuts. He mistakenly thought the prospect’s enthusiasm was as sure as a sale. No matter. You need the time to qualify the prospect and make sure he’s real before giving out information or making your presentation.

In Ryan’s case, a couple of questions would have made a world of difference. He might have said: “Before we discuss pricing, help me understand why this software is so important. I want to make sure the application is correct for you. Would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?” Of course, you’re digging in to find out what is really going on. It is so important to gather this information before you discuss price so you can truly have an understanding of not only why they want the software, but the consequence of not installing it. Once you give away your information – whether on the phone, in a presentation or in the form of a proposal – you have given up any form of control and are literally at the mercy of the prospect. Remember: It’s not about the sale; it’s about the process.   Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more sales training tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to www.schulzbusiness.com or email greta@schulzbusiness.com. Click here to share this post.

Thinking outside the (shoe) box to get in front of prospects.

by GSchulz 19. August 2013 05:12
In today’s world of sales, it can be tough to get in front of prospects. You call someone, only to get a gatekeeper that has all the power and won’t give you any. They either tell you the prospect – who is often sitting right there – isn’t in, or take your name and have him/her call you back, which rarely happens. This frustration continues until you finally give up and try another and another until you finally just say “uncle.”As I've said many times, networking and building relationships are the strongest ways to get referred to a new prospect. 

There are, of course, those cases that you've tried your connections with networking, spoken to associates to get referred in – and nothing. You try to reach the prospect on the phone and, with all of today’s technology, it sometimes feels near impossible to get through.To me, differentiating yourself is the key. If you do what every other salesperson does, you will be treated like every other salesperson. You need to be unique and different to pull away from the pack. But how?Every salesperson is trying to find new ways to diversify strategies. 

While researching new ways to engage prospects, I stumbled upon a great new way to do this that includes charity and ingenuity. It’s called Complete the Pair. Complete the Pair has teamed up with Soles4Souls in an effort to help donate shoes to needy people, as well as help you stand out among your competition.Here is how it works: When you place an order, one shoe is mailed to you the other to your sales prospect. Both shoes come with instructions on how to register its unique code online at www.completethepair.com. 

When the prospect registers their shoe, it shows whom the other shoe is registered to – that’s you – and allows you to get valuable face time. Once you two have met, you send the completed pair back to CTP headquarters in the prepaid shipping bag. From there, the bag is sent to Soles4Souls. Once it is at Soles4Souls, it will be sent to one of many countries where shoes are in high demand for those too poor to afford their own.I’m all about being different. Whatever other salespeople are doing, do something else. 

This is pretty cool and, I must say, well thought out. On top of it all, if you can help someone in need at the same time, it doesn't get any better then that.Complete the Pair is a fun and unique way to get valuable face-to-face interaction with a potential client while also giving back.

If you are interested in checking it out, visit www.completethepair.com.

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