Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social "Power" by Use of Personal Sites

“Power”….now that we’ve all learned from my last couple of posts the meaning of informational “Power”, I’ve addressed some of the means to attain it for business use by using professional social sites like Linkedin, Jigsaw, and Zing.

I think the next step in growing your social “Power” is to introduce you to some of the personal use social sites which businesses and business professionals can use to supplement their efforts and increase their “Power”.

I just read a great post this morning from the marketing staff of Social Strategy 1. It gives a high level overview of sites like“Twitter”, “Facebook”, “Digg”, and “Foursquare”. If you’d like to start familiarizing yourself with the next step in social marketing, learn new steps to increase your brand awareness aka “Power”, and start having more prospects call you to “buy” rather than you cold calling them to “sell”, then take a few minutes, click on this link and read the post from Social Strategy 1.


I’m going to begin expanding on these sites and methods in the coming posts so let’s all get thinking about other sites you may use and start a discussion on which one each of us thinks is the best?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social "Power"

How to Become a Web Presence?

If you read my last blog post on 1990’s Sales vs. 2010 Sales, you learned a term called “Power”. Power is achieved when you have developed a reputation of being an expert.

So, you might ask, “How do I become a product expert?”

Good Question….here’s my view on it.

Today’s internet availability gives each and every one of us the opportunity to develop “Power”. Of course, you must first have knowledge of your field, which you still have to earn the old fashioned way, with training, education, and most of all experience.

Once you feel you’ve achieved your personal “TEE” (Training, Education, & Experience) level required for expert status, your next step is to create and then maximize your personal world-wide presence the internet gives each of us. In order to successfully achieve “Power” in your industry, your goal should be to have your name & profile show up on the first page or two of search engines like Google and Bing when a prospective customer searches for whatever product it is you may be selling or the industry you may be working in.

A good way to judge your current level of “Power” is to do a Google search on yourself and see what the results are. If you gets lots of “hits”, great! You’re well on your way. Next, enter the name of one of your product lines and see if you personally appear on the first page or two.

My Linkedin profile appears prominently when most of my products are searched, thus I have “Power” in my industry. If your profile appears under your product and industry, congratulations, you are doing something right and already have earned a level of “Power” within your industry. But remember…the SEO companies are constantly updating their searches, so even if you have “Power” today, without an ongoing social media strategy and plan, your “Power” could be gone tomorrow.

If your profile doesn’t appear, then you need to begin a targeted effort to develop it.

As I’ve previously stated, as a professional, you should already have your Linkedin profile established. Continue to update this profile AND work it! There’s a great spot on it where you can list your current activities which could include any new products you’re working on, projects you’ve completed, target markets you may be trying to penetrate, etc. When you update this field, it instantly sends an update to each of your professional contacts, keeping them current on your efforts. This tool is invaluable. I would suggest spending a minimum of 1 hour a day trying to expand your professional network as this is the easiest and most efficient way to spread the message of your professional efforts.

There are an abundance of tools available to use on the internet but unfortunately, we as individuals, cannot possibly spend the time necessary to take advantage of all of them. In other words, it’s nice to know where all the ammo is in the war of information but it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have the weapons to use it with.

That’s where Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) comes in. Social Strategy 1 (SS-1), a division of ILD Corp., provides all the tools you need to manage your reputation and appearance across the internet. We have developed systems to constantly crawl the web, looking for mentions both of your own personal brand, but also those of your industry and even of your competition. Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) then creates a plan which allows you to focus your efforts on the places where you’ll gain the most benefit.

So you ask, “It sounds great, but what do I do with all the information?”

Another great question! There are a lot of “crawlers” you can use to get info sent to you (Google Alerts is one) but Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) goes a step further than the competition. Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) not only utilizes multiple sources for information and aggregates them together in a snapshot for your review, it brings a human factor into the equation. The Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) product line has a team of analysts who can monitor, recommend action, and if necessary, even engage in actions to assist in building and preserving the reputation of your brand and products. Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) can be the tool you need to not only gain, but keep the “Power” I’ve been talking about.

Once you’ve gained “Power”, you’ll start to see calls coming into your office with people looking to speak to you because they’ve seen your name on their search efforts and you must be the “expert” they been looking for. Remember, everyone wants to believe they make good buying decisions. They want to buy from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

To see how Social Strategy 1 (SS-1) from ILD can help you develop and maintain the “power” to increase your sales, contact me @DaveHanron on Twitter or email me @ dave@davehanron.com and I’ll be happy to arrange a demo for you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

1990's Sales vs. 2010 Sales

Sales”……What a vast term. Everyone knows someone who is in or at least has tried a “sales” career. However, very few of us know those who have been successful in making a true lifelong career out of sales.

Has everyone read “Death of a Salesman”, a book written by Arthur Miller? The book is based on an aging salesman named Willy who was once successful but has seen his business drift away. Willy recollects the good times throughout the book, then phases back to reality and the fact that he’s lost his “personality” and wasn’t well liked any longer.

Why did Willy lose his personality? Because he never adapted to changing technologies and ever-changing methods of achieving “Power” status. “Power” is the technique of building your professional reputation as a person of knowledge, being perceived as an expert in your field. People always want to listen to experts, and people who make buying decisions are no different.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, all the sales courses used to talk about terms like “close ratio” and “value of a sale”. The accepted process to achieving sales success was take your quota, whether it be monthly or annual, divide it by average value of sale, and that’s how many sales you needed to make to hit your number. Take your number of sales, divide it by your close ratio, and that’s how many proposals you had to make throughout the year. Figure your percentage of attaining appointments from prospecting, divide it in your number of appointments, and VOILA! That’s how many customers you needed to cold call…..sales is that simple, right? We all know the answer…..WRONG!

Using this formula today, the results are often impossible to achieve based on this 20+ year old premise. There are only so many hours in the day and quite frankly, cold calling doesn’t work these days. Why? Because today’s Executive are often promoted from the most successful producers within a particular company. That is often the salespeople and thus today’s “Buyers” were yesterday’s salespeople. They know the old techniques as well if not better than you do and won’t be talked into a purchase using them.

So how do we succeed in today’s markets? I say indulge yourself into the information and social media world, and build your reputation “Power”using all the tools available to you today.

1. Start a blog using your own domain. You can purchase one from Google or GoDaddy for as little as $10 per year. You can talk about anything you want on it, your products, your advice, a new sales tool, it’s up to you

2. Join Linkedin and build your profile. Linkedin is basically a Facebook for business professionals. The more connections you can make on Linkedin, the more “Power” your profile has.

3. READ…READ…and READ. Read all the sales e-letters and books you can find. Lots of people have great ideas and techniques (there are lots of “experts” like me out there) and you can pick up something new from everyone. One of the best courses I’ve taken over the years is “Cold Calling is a Waste of Time” by Frank Rumbauskas Jr. It’s about 120 pages + 2 audio CD’s. Lot’s of good stuff in this one. Here’s a link if you’re interested in it.. http://www.nevercoldcall.com/?10072  Trust me, this one is worth the small investment.

4. There are other techniques but I can’t give away all my secrets!......Sorry…

Try using these techniques to help build your professional “Power”. Start building your “Power” and you’ll find prospects will be calling you, not the other way around. Before long, you’ll have more leads than ever before, without using 20 year old techniques….Welcome to 2010!

Good luck and if anyone else has some sales courses they like, I’d love to hear about them…post them hear so we can all benefit! Thanks and Happy Selling