Content Marketing Archives - The Sales Evangelist

Category Archives for Content Marketing

Carman Pirie, Generating more from your initial appointments

TSE 1231: How To Generate More Initial Appointments By Utilizing A Co-Content Building Strategy

Generating more from your initial appointmentsSalespeople are always looking for new ways to generate more initial appointments. How do you do that? There are many strategies. In this episode, Donald and Carman Pirie talk about utilizing strategies that include co-creating and content building

Carman Pirie is the co-owner of Kula Partners. It’s a manufacturing marketing agency that helps manufacturers transform their marketing and sales apparatus by making it more digital in nature. He is also a co-host of the podcast called The Kula Ring, a podcast that focuses on manufacturing marketers and telling their stories. 

The challenge in sales prospecting 

Prospecting is a huge part of the sales process. Carman personally does prospecting every single day and he coaches many salespeople on how to do it right. It can be difficult to pick up the phone and start a conversation with people. Many sales leaders and managers have not explored other options outside of traditional practices. They have limited their sales teams by thinking and training the old methodologies. While picking up the phone as a way to prospect isn’t bad, the answer to prospecting isn’t just activity management. 

There are many tools available for sales reps to use in order to prospect. We don’t want to just bombard people with calls and emails or rely heavily on LinkedIn invites. This is where the challenge lies. 

 Breaking the challenge

In working with B2B manufacturing organizations, Carman’s company almost always interfaces primarily with the marketing function. These marketers have an overwhelming thirst for people in sales to actually care. 

Carman suggests three approaches that Kula Partners recommends for co-creating and content building.

The first is through a podcast. The Kula Ring podcast is their primary vehicle to generate prospects. They put out episodes weekly. They expand their reach by simply talking to more

manufacturing marketers and getting them on as guests for the show. 

Through the podcast, these guests become more familiar with what Kula is offering and some have eventually become their clients.  Sending out emails with a subject line that sounds like a request, or extending a LinkedIn invitation, doesn’t typically yield a positive outcome. Inviting somebody to be a guest on a podcast, asking about their industry and showing an interest in what they offer is a much better opportunity to build rapport. The interview gives you a better insight into their problems and challenges. This information then allows a salesperson to come up with specific solutions to offer.

As a salesperson, you can use an intent data platform and bring in guests that are likely in a buying cycle. However, it’s best to approach them with the pure motive of getting to know them. After a relationship is built, a discussion about business can happen organically. This introductory conversation can even happen by the end of recording a podcast.

Traditional outreach, like a phone call, can typically have a response rate of 10%.  In Carman’s experience, they’ve seen that the targeted podcast outreach campaigns have a response rate closer to 50%. 

Making it work

Every business is different so it’s up to the salesperson to experiment with a variety of formats to see what works best for their particular industry. If scaling can work, then go for it. If it’s written content or other similar strategies that work, pick one of those. What works for others may not work for your client’s specific needs so take the time to find the right niche. Look for the right angle or a topic that’s of interest to your client. Create your podcast based on that information.

Peer round tables 

Another suggestion from Carman for co-creating and content building is to host a peer round table discussion. For example, invite 12 – 20 target prospects in an information-sharing environment and serve as a host to the dialogue. They did this at Kula and they called these meetings marketing leadership exchanges. They brought in marketers who shared common characteristics and fostered an information-sharing conversation. 

You can easily make an agenda out of five to six topics or questions and turn them into a 90-minute round table for information-sharing. For marketers who are widely distributed geographically, a virtual round table is more plausible.  When you can, however, the preference is to have everyone in person.

 Despite the limitations in a virtual setting, the dialogue can still be rich. The exchange of information is still helpful for prospecting and building rapport. The guests are telling you the challenges they are facing in their business and asking their peers for advice. All you do is to play host to the dialogue. How to activate the conversation and transition it into a sales opportunity is up to you. After that dialogue, you now have permission to email them and build a working relationship with them. This is a much better choice as opposed to a cold call. 

There’s a difference between the podcast and the peer round table. There is an ongoing continuous recruitment process in the podcast guesting. However, marketing leadership requires more effort as it needs time to get a specific number of people to gather for a particular time. It can be difficult to organize a date where everyone can come together and talk. 

When traditional tools aren’t working, these co-creating strategies can be highly effective in moving someone from a prospect to a client. 

Building content with potential customers

You can start planning your co-creating and content building by looking at some content pieces related to your niche. If you’re a salesperson in a technical space and you’re selling mostly to engineers, you can look at the challenges common to your prospects and your client base. You can partner with one or two clients or prospects in creating a solution to address challenges specific to that industry. 

One of the great results in using the peer round table strategy is that guests naturally follow up with each other and continue to exchange and share information with one another. It’s important to trust the process and let these relationships happen organically.

Marketing organizations are often hungry for sales reps who can offer insight into the sales process and customer needs, as well as someone who is active in the social media channels. Salespeople can be involved in the marketing function and develop relationships with their prospects before the prospect ever even has a need for their services or products.

One of Carman’s guests was on their podcast and this guest had a manufacturing talk radio podcast himself. He used the podcast to give his business exposure and ended up becoming a source to develop his business. As a result, his steel company turned into a broadcasting company. It was unconventional but worked for them. If you want to use a podcast to sell, understand it won’t become daily bread for the next quarter, at least. It takes time for momentum to build. 

Podcasts are a natural megaphone for great ideas but it’s really about building relationships, co-creating and content building. 

“How To Generate More Initial Appointments By Utilizing A Co-Content Building Strategy” episode resources

Salespeople can start co-creating and content building with your prospects without other motives but to build a relationship with them and not just because you want to sell to them. Find Carman Pirie on Kula Ring in all major podcast. You can also check their site KulaPartners.com. 

You can also catch up with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning in January and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill. 

Vlad Calus, Content Marketing, Lead Generation

TSE 1206: The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! 

 

Vlad Calus, Content Marketing, Lead GenerationAs salespeople, we often ask ourselves about the main things generating the most leads right now because we always want to be in on everything that works. Consumers’ purchasing decisions are affected by their experiences and we want to know what affects them in order to appeal to those emotions and convince them to buy our products or services. Sales professionals that we are, we love leads and we like getting new prospects. 

Vlad Calus is the founder at Planable, a content collaboration plan for freelancers and marketing teams. It is the most visual platform that helps you preview your social media content before publishing it. Planable helps you check and review your content before publishing it. It makes collaboration and asking for feedback from your teammates easier as well as asking for clients’ feedback before finalizing the content and scheduling the posts through social media. 

Generating the most leads right now

 There are three things that helped Vlad to get leads. The first one was writing a book. He wrote a book called Marketing Themes of the Future which gained them over 2,000 leads in just a couple of weeks. They also published the Content Academy and it generated them more than 500 people in just a couple of hours. 

Publishing is one way to generate leads and that’s what Vlad and his team did. They also did a content calibration report where they reported on the state of content marketing and how content marketing teams are working. For them, their team wasn’t able to generate many people by just a sudden initiative. They did the planning on how to create their content and spent a lot of time on it. The content are called special initiatives. They worked on it for about 12 months and all of the people involved were on the same page. They then had press releases for client launches and they constantly repurposed their content. 

Content calibration 

Vlad’s team looked for the problem in their industry and wanted to address it. Research shows that there have been no content calibration reports done for the last nine years. They wanted to understand the state of the market but there are only old data available. In marketing, data are key players to a business’s success. They then understood the need to generate a lot of data and started the project with their customers, connections on the net, and the people they met. They generated leads by using the data of the report they collated. 

One of the data they have is on how to repurpose content for their followers. There’s also the part where you need multiple stakeholders as part of your content strategy. They also discovered in their research that broken collaboration is wasted time and communicating with your stakeholders vie spreadsheets and emails is one of the most broken workflows there is. They use all these data and share their marketing reports to their clients and potential clients to motivate them to jump on a call with them and start using their Planable. 

It’s applicable to other industries as well regardless of the size of the company. You can make reports using the data from the audience that you are working on and start by sending your audience Facebook polls or sending them a simple type form they can fill out. You can collate the data and use it for your marketing strategies. 

Publishing a book to get more leads works especially if you promote it yourself. Put your email signature in the book and see the number of people who click on it every single day. 

From readers to lead generators 

People who have read Vlad’s book started recommending it to other people they know. The book presented the benefits of collaborating on the content and using many different platforms to create a more collaborative market. The ebook also presented solutions that you can use for your content marketing collaboration as a marketing team. 

Every email we get, we put them into an email marketing flow and we ask them to jump on a call with us for them to find out more about Planable. We send people case studies on how Planable has been helping companies. 

The other thing that helped them in generating the most leads right now is their Content Academy. They interviewed over 30 experts in content marketing from different industries. These people are the front line in creating content, from the ideation, editing, writing, publishing, and generating leads. The Content Academy includes seven-step videos with topics like ideation strategy, content editing, content publishing, promoting, and so on. 

Vlad’s team presents it to potential clients and we give them sneak peeks of the things they can learn in the Content Academy. 

He makes snippets and minute-long videos showing how it would help businesses and publishes the videos on his LinkedIn and other social media. 

In content marketing, don’t be afraid to try creating content and putting yourself on camera. Get yourself out there and just start creating content. Listen to the feedback of the community and write again until you are able to make quality content. 

“The Main Things Generating The Most Leads Right Now! ” episode resources

Reach out to Vlad Calus via his LinkedIn

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. Our next semester starts on November 8 and we would love to have you. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales From The Street, LinkedIn, Content

TSE 1164: Sales From The Street: “Should I Create Content on LinkedIn?”

Sales From The Street, LinkedIn, ContentI saw a question on Reddit recently from a seller who wondered whether or not to create content on LinkedIn. The seller worried that writing about topics like quota, rejection, or prospecting might sound too salesy and might hurt his pipeline. 

The truth is that many sellers have fear around the concept of creating content because we worry about how the audience will accept our ideas. 

Middle school prom

Not only should we post our own content on LinkedIn; we should also engage with other people’s content. 

Unfortunately, many of us treat LinkedIn like a middle school prom. We stand around the edge of the room watching each other, too afraid to dance. We might speak to a friend or two, but we’re afraid to look stupid, so we don’t dance. Instead, we let everybody else enjoy themselves. 

We don’t want to look stupid on the dance floor, so perhaps we look stupid on the sidelines instead. We’re afraid of the critics who might make fun of our efforts

True engagement

Engagement doesn’t involve moving around the room and saying hi to people at the dance. On LinkedIn, clicking “like” for a few posts doesn’t qualify as engagement. It won’t sustain relationships. It’s basically an indication of approval. 

Engagement requires you to bring other people into the conversation. If, for example, you’re in the water industry, and you see an article about the danger of water purification tablets, you can tag another colleague who wrote about the same topic. 

The author of the piece will take note of your efforts to bring someone else to his page, and your colleague will take note as well. 

Talk to people and work to create lasting relationships.

‘Salesy’ content

The question on Reddit came from a seller who worried that his prospects might tire of always seeing sales-related content. But consider your own news feed. Are you annoyed by the fact that you frequently see the same faces over and over again? Or do you simply choose to read things that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not? 

On the other hand, when one of those people shares something that helps you or connects you with someone else, that brand sticks in your mind. When you need help with something, you’ll remember the guys who showed up in your feed. 

When you post content and engage with other content, you stay top-of-mind with your audience. 

Audience

Make sure that you’re posting the right kind of content for your audience. Gear it toward your prospect. If you’re targeting salespeople, it’s ok to post sales content. But if you’re targeting decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, don’t post about yourself. Post what the leaders in that industry want to know or read. 

Gear your content toward the people you want to attract. 

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that your content won’t sound perfect. Understand who you’re targeting and who you want to attract. 

LinkedIn impressions

To understand how value-rich LinkedIn is, listen to TSE 1085 on our podcast. In it, my friend Steven Hart shared some LinkedIn stats with us based on the 48 Eyeopening LinkedIn Statistics for 2019.

LinkedIn provides 36 billion impressions per month. That’s 468 billion impressions per year, or 9 billion impressions per week. Users see content 9 billion times per week. 

Now factor in that there are 500 million people on LinkedIn, and only a fraction of them are active there. Of those, only 3 million people share content weekly. So those 3 million people who share content weekly are getting 9 billion impressions. 

The rest of us are afraid to share content, so we’re sitting on the sidelines.

Grab attention

Grab your reader’s attention, but be intentional about the stuff that you share. Post things that your prospect wants to read. You can certainly share industry-related content from magazines, but your content doesn’t always have to tie back. 

Consider these options for content:

  • Answer frequently-asked-questions about your industry
  • Share content that your industry would want to know about.
  • Share videos you create from your smartphone in which you answer questions.
  • Post complementary content that is indirectly related to your industry.
  • Repurpose your company’s own blog content.

Seek to be helpful. 

Challenge

Also, consider asking your own audience questions about what they are doing and what they’d like to see. If you tag people in a post and ask them about the CRM they use, you’ll initiate engagement. As more people comment, it will gain more visibility. If someone from outside your own connections engages with it, reach out to that person and request a connection.

Your challenge for the upcoming week is to share one piece of content every day. 

  • Monday: share an industry-related piece that includes something interesting.
  • Tuesday: answer a frequently-asked-question.
  • Wednesday: answer a common question using video.
  • Thursday: post complementary information.
  • Friday: share something your company has created. 

At the end of the week, if you don’t have any impressions, keep posting. You’re going to connect with new people. Ask your teammates for ideas if you can’t think of anything to post.

“Create Content on LinkedIn” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

TSE 1153: Creating An Authentic Personal Brand

 

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

Creating an authentic personal brand is important because everything that we develop in business is based on creating a personal brand. As sales reps, polishing your personal brand must be a priority to stand out to everyone no matter where you go or where you are. 

Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster are co-founders of intrinsic branding practice Root + River. They have combined their experience and expertise in branding and passion for personal growth to guide individuals in combining authentic original brands that attract new opportunities and levels of possibilities. 

The intrinsic practice 

Both Emily and Justin believe that every great brand is a spiritual experience. As coaches, they guide individuals regardless of the roles they play in the organization. Their goal is to make them understand that deep foundational soul of their brand and put that into practical use every day. 

Branding is a practice, which means you need to do it every single day whether you are aware of it or not. Intrinsic practice will help you be aware of the things that you do and get organized around them so that those things will have far greater impact for a longer time. 

What is branding?

In simple terms, a brand is how other people experience what you believe. The brand is how people experience you in everyday situations and conversations. If you understand what that experience is giving to people, you can tap into that in a more conscious manner to help build your brand in a way that has greater impact. 

Frank Rogers is a good example. He is a great salesperson who developed a thought leadership brand. He doesn’t wait for the market to tell him what to say. Instead, he leads from the front. 

Chip Scholz from North Carolina is another example. He is an executive coach with a very memorable brand who uses a direct and Socratic approach in his coaching. 

Regardless of the audience you are talking to and the role you have, whether you’re a coach or a sales leader, you must follow the same principles because you are responsible for two brands. First, you’re responsible for your personal brand, and second, you’re responsible for the brand that you are representing. 

There are three specific qualities in intrinsic branding: inner traits that show up in the outer world. 

  • Be original. 

Don’t be a karaoke singer or cover band. Be an original thinker, an original producer. 

  • Articulate well.

Learn how to tell your story eloquently, consistently, and compellingly. Do this without hesitation and insecurities. Share your story from the heart with conviction. 

  • Be vulnerable.

Do not give a packaged version of yourself. It is best to carry the lightest armor you can because when you do, you emanate something. 

All three traits help to make a brand a positive contagion. 

Originality 

Anyone in any position has an opportunity to take an inventory of what their true expertise is and what they are better at doing than anybody else. If you are good in sales, ask yourself how it manifests, what it looks like for you, and in what aspect of the selling process you are crushing it. 

These are difficult questions to answer because most times, what comes easily to us doesn’t get much value. But if you are able to tune into the things that you are good at and able to share those with people, you’ll have the opportunity to be an original thinker and brand yourself as a thought leader in whatever sliver of space that is. 

Make sure that you share the tips that you have and give feedback to people who are open to it. You begin to build your brand by being a thought leader when you differentiate yourself in those conversations. 

Fear

Many feel apprehensive in speaking and expressing their original self because of two reasons: the fear of becoming an over-promoter and the social emphasis on humility. 

There is a fear of overdoing things and the feeling of bombarding people with content they don’t really need. But sharing is a moral obligation if the content is good and you are producing something that is helpful for the community. 

The second one is humility. 

While humility is a beautiful trait, it is unfortunately a terrible brand strategy because you have to suspend the idea that you’re not special. 

Conditioning

From a very early age, we are conditioned to put the emphasis on other people and not on ourselves. People who talk about themselves are looked down upon. 

But the truth is you have a voice and you have a message. You have something that transcends the product or service that you are selling, and you have a piece of yourself to offer to the world. You can’t do these things if you choose the road of humility. 

As a sales rep, it is your role to share your gifts with the world, and the way people can access your gifts is through your products and services. 

Consistent authenticity 

Authenticity comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. It stems from acceptance and conviction. When you discover who you are, the next thing you need to master is how to achieve consistency. 

Austin Kleone mentioned in his book Steal Like an Artist that you need to steal from the people who inspire you instead of copying them. 

Brene Brown is a great example. She built her brand by investigating what she found interesting and curious about the world. She shares what she learns and talks openly about it, and she is authentic and consistent in what she does. 

The same is true for Gary V. Many would say he is  “too much” but that’s the way he builds his brand. He shows up, answers questions, and talks a lot. But still, he is being paid for it because he is sharing something that he is good at. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable to something, hold yourself accountable to authenticity.

Inspiration

The TSE brand prides itself on being personal to our clients. Even now with thousands of people listening to our podcasts, we make it a goal to be the same people we were before. When people connect with us on LinkedIn, we try to communicate with them and send something personal.  

In Justin’s assessment, The Sales Evangelist brand strives to be inspirational before it’s informational. As it turns out,  peoples’ brains are full of information, but there’s always room for inspiration. People welcome inspiration because it’s nourishment to the soul. 

Listen to your audience 

Listen to your audience. People often talk about the ideal market in terms of sales but we don’t like that language. We favor the ideal audience and what you need to do with an audience is to take in their feedback. Your audience can give you energy and you can respond to that. It will help you hold things a little bit longer and move through things a bit quicker. 

Salespeople must be responsive to the audience from an emotional standpoint. You don’t do this by sending out surveys every other day. You do this by asking them questions, listening to them, and incorporating the things they said through your work. 

Articulate 

When you have something to say, you need to say it well, which means you need to write and speak with a level of excellence. Building a great authentic brand requires one to both write and speak well because it’s the only way that the audience can access you. You need to find a balance. 

You can make a system where you go out, do things, and speak. Learn how to produce interesting and consumable content. Learn how to create an explanation that’s going to incite curiosity and interest to engage people in conversation. 

It is important to simplify your message and infuse energy and emotion as much as possible. It’s got to have the unexpected quality as well. 

Simple, unexpected, and emotional are the three ingredients in making interesting content that people would be inclined to share it to the world. 

This is what articulation is and it comes from practice. It is a type of discipline. The skill of articulating well isn’t a natural ability; it’s a product of frequent practicing. 

Vulnerability 

You have to push back against several thousand years of biological and social programming to become a great brand. Branding is far more about conviction. It comes from having an open front and strong back, according to Brene Brown. It is important to show your audience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes. Vulnerability means sharing your true self to the world. It is about being honest and telling people how you are doing or what you are doing. 

Many find this challenging, however, and the line between what’s private and what’s public is difficult to cross. 

Being vulnerable means sharing parts of the journey: the little lessons and failures along the way and opening yourself up to feedback. Contrary to what many think, vulnerability isn’t about confessing everything. It’s about showing your client that you are human and that you are relatable. 

Michael Jordan failed so often that he was cut from his team, but he was able to push through, and that made him more human. It made him relatable and people have hope because of his story. They believe that they can do it, too. 

Show the mess a little bit without being too self-deprecating. Vulnerability means a lot of different things but for us; it’s a behavior and an action. 

Who you are as a brand

Set aside time to dive into who you are as a brand. Ask some thought-provoking questions and do the deep work with the intention of translating that into your action. Remember that you are your first client. It is important to practice self-care and to take care of the energy centers of physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. 

Be better so that everyone around you benefits. The world needs the best version of you, not a worn-out version of you. There is no better brand than vibrancy, and vibrancy comes from nourishment. 

“Creating an Authentic Personal Brand” episode resources 

Check out rootandriver.com for resources on how to create an authentic personal brand. Connect with Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster on LinkedIn.

Sales Management Simplified by Mike Weinberg is a great book that teaches simple concepts about sales leadership. Check it out and tell me what chapter of the book you liked the most. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, your one-stop shop for thousands of books across genres. Go ahead and check out audibletrial.com/tse to get a free book and to enjoy the 30-day free trial. 

It’s also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful course for sales leaders and sales reps in finding better prospects, having more meaningful conversations, and knowing how to ask the most powerful questions to close deals. Don’t miss the opportunity of becoming a sales savvy and check out the program. The first two episodes are absolutely free. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/freecourse to find more information about the program. 

This episode has been nothing short of fun and I hope you feel the same way too. If you enjoyed it, please give us a 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also listen to more contents by clicking subscribe. Share this podcast to your sales reps friends in whatever platform they use, they can find us in Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

July 4th, Freedom, Donald Kelly, Independence Day

TSE 1130: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Freedom”

 

July 4th, Freedom, Donald Kelly, Independence DayToday we’re celebrating our country’s independence, but sometimes sellers relinquish their freedoms because of fear. 

We discuss challenges like this in TSE Certified Sales Training Program, how they can hinder our success, and how we can overcome them. 

Storytelling 

We’re focusing on sales tools this month and one of the tools we’ve discussed is storytelling. We’ve talked about how to tell an effective story and how LinkedIn and other social media platforms can help you share your company’s values. 

In my own case, I recently relinquished my own freedom because I worried about what other people might think. Despite the fact that this is our 1,130th episode, I still worry about people’s opinions. You might think I’d be beyond that, but I still worry about my writing and how it will be perceived. I worry that if I write something, it might not sound great. 

I worry, too, about the videos I create and whether or not I’ll look and sound good in the video. As a result, I relinquish my freedom to express myself and share my thoughts because I’m worried. 

Trolls

I appeared on a friend’s podcast recently and I shared my own experiences with content and how it has benefited our audience. Luigi, the host of the Sales IQ podcast, recalled his experience with a troll who was intent on nitpicking his podcast by suggesting that I wasn’t qualified to speak about sales. He claimed I didn’t have enough B2B experience and that I was like many others who were cheating people.

Reading that was like a kick in the gut. Despite the fact that I’ve helped hundreds of people, I started to have second thoughts. Our clients have landed promotions and generated a pretty decent income, but still, I doubted whether or not I should express myself. 

Limitations

I wanted to pick apart his arguments and defend my experience against his claims that my information was basic to selling. Luigi pointed out that many sales professionals understand the importance of basics now. Together, we realized that this gentleman wasn’t a fit for the things we offered. 

Though he told us he had 33 years of sales experience, he’ll likely limit himself because he doesn’t believe he can learn from anyone else, especially those who are younger than him. 

I also realized that this gentleman had done this kind of thing before.

Experience

He didn’t realize that I haven’t listed every single bit of sales experience on my profiles. I have more than 15 years of sales experience between B2C and B2B settings. 

Perhaps he also didn’t realize that the fundamental things we share in the TSE Certified Sales Training Program are the key to moving the sales needle. We’ve had clients from Tokyo to Australia, Europe to Canada, and of course the U.S. 

I offered to set a time for me to learn about him and him to learn about me. He responded by telling me that I could buy his book if I wanted to learn more about him. I declined his offer to buy the book and suggested a phone call, at which point he said he doesn’t spend money on long-distance phone calls. I offered to have a Zoom meeting but he wouldn’t commit. 

The point is that there will always be detractors, but we cannot let them stop us from expressing ourselves. Not everyone will be a good fit for whatever you’re selling. You’ll always have haters. 

Content

Our content isn’t for people who don’t like it or who don’t believe they need it. It’s designed for people like you and me who are seeking to be better sellers. 

We talk a lot about how to generate content for podcasts or for LinkedIn or for blogs, and how videos can help you share content about your industry.

The truth is that most of the people who consume your content will contribute to the conversation, and you can’t shut down your whole operation because of a single person.   

Whether you’re in the hospitality industry or the medical industry or the technology space, you can share content with others around you. Curate something you found online or write your own piece and ask others around you to help you improve it. 

Independence

Declare your independence from fear and from trolls. Go out and share amazing content that impacts people’s lives. 

I want you to succeed and it’s why I do what I do. I want you to find more ideal customers and build stronger value in your conversations. I want you to close more deals and declare your independence. Mostly, I want you to go out and do big things. 

“TSE Certified Sales Training Program” episode resources

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. 

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Kyle Burt, LinkedIn, Sales Content, Social Selling

TSE 1103: Every Seller Should Create Good Content

Kyle Burt, LinkedIn, Sales Content, Social Selling

       

Every seller should create good content as a tool to gain leads, grow their business, and increase overall success. 

Kyle Burt first heard The Sales Evangelist podcast two years ago when we interviewed Alex Berman about using video in sales. Kyle, who once chose business school over film school, went home and started making videos. 

Massive success

Kyle quickly turned his video capability into massive success for himself. Before video, he was using cold calls, email, and “screaming from the tops of mountains,” knocking on every door and delivering cookies. When you’re starting out, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. 

He realized that video provided a good strategy to get leads. But he shifted his focus to making videos because he wanted to make videos. He realized he had a level of value and a perspective that wasn’t being shared. 

Kyle recognized, too, that only the people in his bubble would understand the content he was posting because it was niche content. 

Coca-Cola

He established a weekly schedule because he knew he had to post consistently, and he introduced Whiteboard Wednesdays. It was a chance to introduce different technologies.

Maybe 20 videos later, he was on vacation in Cancun in 2017 when he got a LinkedIn message from the VP of technology for Coca-Cola. He assumed someone was pranking him, but in fact, the gig turned into a consulting opportunity with the company.

When Kyle realized the VP had seen the very first video he ever posted, the most awkward of the bunch, he knew that he was on to something with video. 

Objections 

In the case of objections, sellers often face their own objections to appearing in or creating videos. 

  • “I don’t look good enough for the camera.” 
  • “I don’t have the right equipment.” 
  • “There isn’t enough time to create videos.”

The important parts of the content are good audio and good content. 

Fear of the comments

In my own case, I’ve been slow to take advantage of YouTube because I’m a little bit afraid of the comments I might get. People can be nasty sometimes. 

The point is that there will always be the possibility of those comments. Someone once told Kyle he sounded like a little baby. He wasn’t even entirely sure what they meant by it, but he had to let it roll right off. 

You have to be ready to take it on the chin when you put yourself out there. You’re going to get some good and some bad. 

Internalize the fact that nobody has it all figured out, and then realize that people are genuinely good. Most people don’t want to tear you down, so don’t spend your time on the small number of people who have something negative to say. 

It’s worth noting, too, that stories only survive for 24 hours, so they won’t live forever. If you create a bad one, it won’t be around for long. Even with LinkedIn, the feed algorithm means that it might technically always be there, but it will be harder to find. 

Persistence

We spent two years trying to get Kyle on the show but we couldn’t make it work out because of different schedules. Our recording day is Monday because it’s what works best for my team, and sometimes we have to bypass opportunities if they don’t fit with that schedule.

In Kyle’s case, he was persistent. He got early access to LinkedIn Live, which as of this writing is only available to a few people, and he invited me to connect with him. After 18 months of no real interaction, he reconnected with me and we made it work. He grabbed my attention and we ended up recording with him on a day outside of our normal schedule. 

Disrupt the norm. Create good content that stands out. 

LinkedIn reach

My good friend Stephen A. Hart from the Trailblazers Podcast pointed out recently that there are 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are creating content. That means there is a lot of space to create more free content. 

You can’t find that kind of visibility on YouTube, Facebook, or any other platform. Basically, there are a small number of creators and a huge number of impressions, so it behooves you to grab a piece of the video market. 

I happened to get into podcasting early when there were only a few sales podcasts. Now I’m a grandfather in the podcasting world. 

Much innovation seems to happen with consumers first. The business world moves more slowly because there are more considerations to think about. 

The marketplace dictates what it wants. 

Coffee With Kyles

Kyle previously collaborated with another guy named Kyle to launch a video podcast called Coffee With Kyles. Now he’s working on a solo style show that will primarily involve live video. It will allow him to eliminate a lot of the editing and create more interactive experiences. 

In the case of this podcast interview, our audience can’t interact with us right now as the interview is happening. When they are finally able to, it will change the game. 

The goal is to get more people engaged and online. When you go live, you can’t stop the show because something goes wrong. Kyle said he has gone live five times and has broken the system five times. 

Because of his persistence, he was one of the few to beta test LinkedIn Live, and it allowed him to connect with people and build relationships.

If you try to be known, you’ll miss the mark. If you create good content, you will be known. It’s all about who knows you. 

If you aren’t creating some form of content or interacting with content on social media, you are irrelevant. Figure it out quick. If you’re a writer, write. If you can do video, do that. If you can do audio, do audio. Figure out your lane and experiment. Every seller should create good content.

“Every Seller Should Create Good Content” episode resources

You can connect with Kyle on LinkedIn or at his website, www.catchcloud.com

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Value, Education

TSE 1092: Building Interest In Something When The Customer Isn’t Looking

Value, EducationSellers who discover how to be successful without a marketing department, in a crowded marketplace, and when the customer isn’t even looking will be successful in almost any circumstances.

I got a question from a listener named Jon Billings who wanted to know how he could teach people who “don’t know what they don’t know.” For instance, if the customer isn’t looking because he doesn’t know he has a problem, how do I communicate that?

Especially in the case of sellers who don’t have access to a marketing department, how is that even possible?

Educate

Your goal is to educate your prospects so that they will look to you instead of your competition when they need help solving a problem.

Educating is the new sales. Regardless of the industry, you’re in, your marketplace is likely crowded.

  • How do you stand out from the competition?
  • How do you help customers recognize you as a differentiator?

You have to challenge the status quo, especially when many of your prospects already have solutions or they don’t realize the existence of a problem.

Build Community

Become a content producer.

Even if you have a marketing department, you should have your own individual brand. Take that brand with you wherever you go.

Even if you change industries, your brand goes with you.

Answer questions

Write down the top 10 questions that customers ask you or that prospects bring up in conversation. Whether they center around cost or service, answer those questions in the form of sharable content.

You can write a blog or produce a podcast. Even better, you can create a LinkedIn article or video.

Focus on the problem while you’re answering the question.

For example, what other issues could your prospect focus on if he outsourced his IT services to your company? What opportunity costs exist?

Differentiate

My friend Kyle invited me to do a LinkedIn Live with him recently and we recorded an episode with him for our show as well.

Kyle told us about how he started sharing videos on YouTube answering questions, and though the videos weren’t very fancy in his estimation, someone reached out to him from Coca Cola with an opportunity for him.

He’s in the tech industry, and though there are countless other tech firms out there that are sending out RFPs. Kyle decided to be different, and it grabbed people’s attention.

Tap into brains

You won’t want to pitch your prospects right away. Instead, connect with them and ask for their assistance. Maybe you’re looking to write a LinkedIn article about things that the directors of large companies dislike and you’d like input from people who are filling those roles.

Get one tip from 10 people, and then when you post the article, tag all of the people who contributed. They’ll see your post, they’ll likely see your profile, and they’ll likely see your website.

Now, when you ask for a chance to introduce yourself in the future, they’ll be more likely to at least give you a chance since you connected on LinkedIn.

Potential ideas

Even if you don’t have the benefit of written case studies, you may have some client testimonials or some stories you can tell. Talk about the problems your clients once had and highlight how you helped them solve those problems.

Now that you’ve written an article about the 10 things that directors of large companies dislike, you could also pitch podcast hosts with the idea.

You’ll be educating more people and becoming a thought leader. But you must create content around the things that people want to hear.

If you’re doing the same things every week and you’re seeing a diminishing return, put a little more effort in. You’ll be on your way to building interest in something when the customer isn’t looking.

“When The Customer Isn’t Looking” episode resources

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

TSE 1091: Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

When you’re looking to grow your business or your brand, it’s important that you recognize the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

We’re at the Florida State Minority Development Council expo visiting with my friend Stephen A. Hart. He’s a brand alignment strategist who helps entrepreneurs grow an amazing brand that is authentic, relatable, and profitable.

Mistake #1: Overlooking messaging

Many people hear the word branding and they think of logos or designs. But pretty websites don’t sell things. Words do.

People get unnecessarily caught up on design but what they need to focus on is clear messaging. You have to clarify your message so that customers will listen.

Be deliberate about articulating what you do. In order to do that, you must understand who you’re serving.

Too many people think they are serving everyone with their product or service but that isn’t the case.

If I’m speaking to grandma and I’m speaking to my niece, we’re not having the same conversation. The language is different.

If you understand that you’re speaking to a particular group of people, there is a language that connects to that person. When you understand their pain points and their demographics, you can communicate your message about how your product or service solves a problem.

Dialing in

Stephen recalled a realtor who focused on selling to millennials and young couples. That’s who she was serving, but her message didn’t reach those people. She was trying to serve everyone.

Dial your message in. Understand who you’re truly serving. When you do, your message doesn’t have to be pitchy about your product or service. Your content can create a connection between you and your community.

Then your community will share it with others in the space.

Messaging isn’t a static process. It’s dynamic. You’ll constantly be optimizing your message.

Your brain

We lack trust in those we connect and do business with.

Understand that your brain is trying to survive and thrive. Within that, there are three things it’s trying to accomplish.

  1. You want to make money or save money.
  2. You want to gain status.
  3. You want to associate with a tribe.

Your brain is also trying to conserve calories. So if your website or your collateral is too busy, your audience will tune it out.

For example, how many emails do you receive in a day? Most of them get deleted because the messaging didn’t appeal to you.

It isn’t a design or branding that gets your attention. It’s the message.

Mistake #2: Neglecting web presence

Your website is your digital home, and first impressions last. It allows you to redirect traffic to your products or services or other online avenues.

Studies show that 57 percent of people are afraid to recommend a business because of its website.

Decisions are emotional so if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, you won’t be able to convert the people who show up there.

You must take care of your website, and specifically your home page. Get a good solid web design.

Mistake #3: Lacking content

You must have a presence on social media specifically for businesses. You also have to be on LinkedIn.

Sharing content on LinkedIn generates so much more organic traffic than other platforms. It’s a business-related social channel. As result, the income and quality of the people you’re engaging with there.

There are more than 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are actually sharing content, which means there’s a lot of room available. And it’s all free.

Don’t worry as much about buying ads on Facebook. Worry about who your audience is. Realize, too, that about 98 percent of your leads will come from LinkedIn.

Video and long-form content are your friends on LinkedIn. Write longer posts. The sweet spot is 1,900.

Also write how-to and list posts to bring awareness to your brand.

Be creative

If no one is looking at your business, you’ll never thrive. You must create content of value and place it where the customers are. Put it in front of their eyeballs where they can’t dismiss it.

Have a solid brand presence online. Avoid the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

Branding course

Stephen created an online course called Brand You Academy that allows him to serve people and help with branding. It’s a 6-week online course that walks people through Stephen’s 15-year experience in branding.

When people Google you in 2019, whatever appears in your result will either leave people more or less inclined to do business with you.

People who sign up for the course are getting lifetime access to the course.

You can also connect with Stephen on his website and everywhere on social at Stephen A. Hart.

Isolation

The wisdom and the knowledge you gain from relationships is invaluable.

The Florida State Minority Development Council is here to help you grow your business. Your goal is to make money, so you must align yourself with other people who understand what you’re trying to do.

“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Stephen at his website and everywhere on social @Stephen A Hart. You can connect with the Florida State Minority Development Council for more information about the council and its offerings.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Payman Taei, Donald Kelly, Visme,

TSE 936: Best Practices For Using Visuals To Level Up Your Sales Game

Payman Taei, The Sales Evangelist, Visual contentAbout 65 percent of the population learns visually. When you’re engaging with your prospect, are you simply explaining your goods and services or are you showing them your goods and services? Today we’ll discuss the power of using visuals to level up your sales game.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Payman Taei, founder of Visme, a DIY platform to help you create and manage visual content, talks about how you can begin using visuals to level up your sales game.

Payman has run a boutique digital agency for 17 years, and his mission is to empower anyone, even those with no design experience, to create engaging, “snackable” content.

Wide audience

Payman realized a need several years ago to create a tool to help people create visual content. He realized that 98 percent of the population has no design experience, which means they cannot effectively communicate visually.

Visme seeks to fill that void and give people a starting point. It’s a platform that allows you to create all kinds of visual content using an easy interface, and it allows you to create it more efficiently than you could without it.

This matters to sales professionals because they constantly communicate with prospects and customers. You have to demonstrate why your product or service is different from your competition’s product or service.

Starting point

Visme is meant to give sales professionals a quick starting point.

It offers templates and themes and icons and assets, so regardless of what industry you’re in, you’ll have the ability to put something together pretty quickly. Then, the analytics behind Visme will track how much time the recipient spends on each of your slides or pages.

You can create a form at the front of the content that requires users to submit a name and email so you can track who looked at your content.

It eliminates the guesswork after sending a proposal or other content.

Sales struggles

If you’re an individual working in a very small business and you don’t have a design team, the platform allows you to create presentations and reports without relying on a designer.

You may not have access to a designer, and you may not have the budget for a designer. The other fact about designers is that there’s a certain amount of back-and-forth that exists in that process.

Visme allows individuals to address those pain points.

You can create the document, and then share it digitally or in person, and you can measure its performance.

Breaking down silos

If you’re part of a sales team, and you have a marketing department, you may still face some of the same challenges that individuals do.

You might work with templates that include your branding and your messaging. Visme allows your team to create templates and then lock certain aspects of them so that they can’t be changed.

Visme gives teams the confidence that they can create unique content without altering the important details. It keeps your rogue agents at bay.

This platform allows you to interact with the templates without the worry of messing them up.

The designers can decide how deep to let individual users go in terms of editing.

Focus on content

Visme allows you to focus on the content so that you can quickly create something you’re happy with.

The other advantage is that the more content you create, the larger your repository of icons and images you’ll collect. You can reuse and recycle them. So your second project will go faster than your first, and the third one will go faster than the second.

Each project becomes more efficient because you’ve got material from the previous one.

Adding value

When you’re following up with your prospects, visual content will allow you to provide relevant information. If someone applies for a download or interacts on your website, you can provide content that stands out from your competition.

You may be able to create a sales pitch for a client, and then without a lot of effort, personalize that sales pitch to another client and send visual content that is personalized to your customer.

Most salespeople aren’t as concerned about content as they are about sales. We’re trying to help them fill that gap and overcome that fear factor.

The audience cares about the small details, so first impressions matter.

Visme can work together with the other pieces of your process to help improve your conversion. It’s a piece of the puzzle.

If your process is completely broken, Visme won’t fix it. There is no magic bullet. But if you need to tweak aspects of your process to improve your sales, Visme is the tool that can help.

“Using Visuals to Level Up Your Sales Game” episode resources

You can connect with Payman on LinkedIn, and if you are interested in Visme, you can message him on LinkedIn and he’ll send members of The Sales Evangelist community a discount code for the premium package.

You can test drive Visme for free, and access a certain number of templates and graphics.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Matt Doyon, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 859: Sales From The Street-“Hiring is Like Sales”


Matt Doyon, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Too many organizations continually miss the target when they hire new team members. To be an effective sales leader, you must be intentional about growing your team: fill up your pipeline with great reps just like you would with great clients. In that way, hiring is like sales.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Matt Doyon of Rock Content reminds us we should hire a sales team the same way we generate good customers because hiring is like sales.

As the VP of content marketing company Rock Content, Matt views the world around him in the context of sales. He warned that companies that don’t emphasize talent acquisition will always operate from a place of desperation.

Be proactive.

When your team is short a sales rep or you don’t have enough team members, you won’t have enough opportunities in your pipeline to hit your numbers as a rep.

When you’re desperate for team members and scrambling to find someone, you may inadvertently poison the sales team by hiring the wrong person. You may end up filling the seat without adding a quality team member.

Matt confronted this problem frequently in the early days of his sales career. He needed a way to combat the problem.

Fill your funnel.

Sales professionals don’t just want a lot of customers; they want a lot of good customers.

Matt discovered the need to keep his funnel rich with great talent using four main channels.

1. Referrals

Many companies have referral programs that pay great employees for referring other great employees that can make it through the hiring process. If you aren’t actively pushing the program, it will likely just sit there.

Instead, remind your employees of your desire for other great employees. Never miss an opportunity to push the referral program.

2. Inbound

Since Matt works at a content marketing company, he used the tools at his disposal to attract new talent. He blogged, promoted the company, celebrated accomplishments, and used Instagram to share things.

Everything led to links to apply for employment.

3. Outbound

Matt uses Sales Navigator on LinkedIn to find team members the same way he uses it to find new customers. He looks for people who match the profiles of current successful team members.

The secret, he says, is that really successful people will have to be lured away from their current jobs because if they’re good, they’ll likely already be working.

4. Interns

Interns offer companies a paid trial: they are low risk and pretty hungry, and companies can gamble with them. They aren’t really working with the clients, but you have an opportunity to see how they actually work.

Skim the best.

Competitive colleges like Harvard and MIT don’t deal in student acquisition; they deal in acceptance rates.

When you build your sales team, your acceptance rate should be small: a sign that you’re only accepting the best of the candidates who apply.

Matt’s company now hires one out of every five candidates who apply. Being able to be picky elevates the level of talent you can attract.

When you make hiring mistakes, and you will because the interview process is flawed, understand that it’s probably a case of fit. Different organizations seek different things and different people. You’re seeking a good fit.

Even as a great sales leader, you can only do so much to change human behavior. You must start with great raw material.

“Hiring is Like Sales” episode resources

You can connect with Matt on LinkedIn, or on Rock Content’s website. You can also email him, though he said he’s slow to respond to email.

Check out his blog at mattsdoyon.com.

Salespeople can be leaders instead of being subservient. Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading which provides a blueprint to help sales professionals lead in the way that customers prefer. Read an excerpt of the book here.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. To learn more, email us at SPN for more information.

Tell others you know about our podcast, and subscribe if you haven’t already. Leave us a review wherever you consume this content so it will be easier for others to find us as well.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

SaveSave

Lyndsay Phillips, Smooth Sailing, The Sales Evangelist, Content Marketing

TSE 761 – Should I Hire a Content Marketer or a Virtual Assistant?

content marketing, Lyndsay Phillips, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistDon’t know what kind of content marketing to use? Podcast? Blog? Social media? It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? But don’t let these overwhelm you that you end up not doing anything at all. Well, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Oftentimes too, a lot of business owners have a problem being consistent with their content marketing and social media.

How do you start?

Today’s guest is Lyndsay Phillips and she’s passionate about content marketing. She’s going to share with us some valuable, great insights into how to get started with your content marketing to help your business skyrocket this year!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Lyndsay:

Hiring Virtual Assistants

  • Start focusing on your revenue-generating tasks and serving your clients.  
  • It’s therefore important to get that support and get a team going so that you can continue to grow so your marketing doesn’t fall to the wayside and you’re not bringing in new leads.
  • Get a team so you can get things done faster.

Ways to Find People in Your Support Team:

  • Upwork
  • Freelance
  • It all boils down to what you need to outsource.

1. Know what you need help with.

Think of the things you don’t like doing. Then hire part of that out. Figure out what pieces of the puzzle that you can offload or lighten your load.

Think about your time. If your hourly worth is $200 an hour, then you entering data entry doesn’t make sense when you can outsource that at a much cheaper level.

2. Seek a person or company that excels in that area.

For instance, hire an expert when it comes to the dollars and bookkeeping and strategies when it comes to finances.

When it comes to marketing, there are so many moving pieces as well as video editing.

Hire people that excel in that area so that you don’t have to train anyone. You can rely on their expertise. You can have peace of mind knowing it’s being done and that it’s being done well and that they will look out for you and your company’s wellbeing.

Payment Structures for VAs:

Retainer packages: covering a certain number of hours and tasks per month

Hourly rates: they track their time and bill you at the end of the month

The biggest struggle with content marketing: EXPECTATIONS

Strategies for Finding a Great VA:

  • Again, know what you need.
  • Another is the match: Make sure their skill sets are a match for you. Interview them and ask for references.
  • Make sure that you also “gel” on a personal level. Work with people you have the connection with. You need to understand them on a personal level to make sure you’re in sync.
  • Be very clear on your expectations. State what you need to get done, when, and how. Be clear on both sides. Ask what they need from you to be successful to accomplish this goal.
  • VA’s or experts need to have a clear understanding of your business’s goals are – the overall big picture.
  • Have someone who is proactive. They may even be able to suggest things that can improve your business or process.

Is a Podcast Beneficial for Everyone?

  • No. You have to think about who your target market is. If your biggest clients don’t know what a podcast is or are not into it, then why invest your money and time in doing a podcast?
  • You can always test it of course. But it doesn’t work then it’s okay to bail.
  • Look at your competitors. Look at the influencers in your industry and look at what they’re doing. This would give you an idea of what strategies you can apply to your business.

What About Blogs?

  • People get stuck on what to write about. They don’t realize how much information they have in their head.
  • Talk about what the top 5 pain points are of your ideal client.
  • Then think about a topic that will help them ease that pain a little bit. From there, you can get topics.
  • You can also talk into your phone and then there’s an app that can convert that into text. Just tweak it and voila! You’ve got content.
  • Hire copywriters. Tell them what they can write about. Once you get the content back, add your some of your stuff to it or your own verbiage. You have now made it your own but at least you writer has given you a starting point. This has saved you a ton of time.

Sales Funnels versus Email Marketing

Sales funnels are more complex since you need to have a product ladder in order to take a person from A to B.

Sample funnel:

  • Lead magnet
  • Tripwire item – around $12-$20
  • Info product a couple hundred bucks
  • Membership site for $400
  • Event for $1,000
  • Mastermind program, costing thousands of dollars per year

Your sales funnel has to match your product ladder. All your funnels and email campaigns have to work together so you’re nurturing, you’re staying top of mind, you’re building a relationship with people, you’re holding them by the hand and giving them that natural progression to where they’re supposed to go next.

Stay in touch of your clients to stay top of mind to make sure they’re aware of what you offer.

Lyndsay’s Major Takeaway:

Get out of that feeling of overwhelm. Plan out what your strategy is for the year. Make sure that you have support, a team behind you, and some help to do these things for you. And start one thing at a time. Start with blogs, get consistent with that. Do some social media. Stay in touch with your emails. Then build out from there. But you have to start somewhere.

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Lyndsay to know more about the cool things they offer on www.smoothbusinessgrowth.com. Stuck on where to start? Check out the awesome free guide and social media road map on their homepage.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Content is King, Alzay Calhoun, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast

TSE 423: 4 Questions You Must Answer Before Creating Any New Content

Content is King, Alzay Calhoun, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast Content is king – it’s a popular maxim which you’ve surely heard of several times. True, content can translate into sales if and when you do it right; otherwise, content will only remain as just that, plain words. So I’m bringing in Alzay Calhoun today as he shares with us how you can create content so you can effectively convey your message across to your prospects.

Alzay Calhoun works with consulting firms and agencies and help them create content that attracts clients. He helps firms cross the gap with content becoming, not just content, but a salesperson.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Alzay:

Alzay’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer at a restaurant

Are small business owners tricked into content marketing?

  • 1995 – Having a website was a cool thing to do for any company
  • 2005 – Having a website is expected for a company to have a website
  • 2010 – Google rankings are important and the need for consistent content

The problem is that this is not what you do so you get “tricked” into creating consistent content that it breaks your business model.

Don’t rush to content!

Posting or being available on one of the social media platforms and being in the content game will not replace your sales efforts. Get sales people in the field. Get back to your core business model before thinking about how to leverage content. Don’t abandon the phones.

The Bunchball Theory

Putting all your eggs in one basket and spending all your time there as opposed to minding your own business and the most effective places for your business

What is content for?

Content sets context for the conversation that onboards clients.

  • Be clear about what you’re using content for.
  • Clients need context, meaning they need to understand: what their own problem is in their own language and how you can help them solve the problem in their own world and in their own language.
  • You have to make sure the person on the phone is prepared to make a decision by getting them ready via content.

4 Main Questions to Help You Create Content that Sets Context:

The content you create needs to be addressing these four questions each and every time.

  1. What problem are you uniquely positioned to solve?

You’re solving a problem, not selling a service or offering advice. What is the pain? Be unafraid and unabashed about pointing to that pain. If someone has a headache, tell them they got a headache. Don’t be afraid to embarrass them. Courage and empathy are things people respond to.

  1. Why should I work with you instead of the obvious competition?

When you get too excited about your own business, you believe you’re the only company that offers what you offer. You’re wrong!  You must acknowledge that there are other options that your best client is already considering and you need to be respectful that they have a choice. Let them choose. Don’t take it personally if they don’t choose you.

  1. Who is in the most pain because they don’t have your solution?

Picture out somebody here is sitting at the desk right now who is having the ultimate headache because they haven’t met you or your company. Every night, they’re in tirade with their partner and short-tempered with their children because they don’t have a solution to this problem.

Ways to know who is the best person to sell to:

  • In your mind (quickly, gut-response), who is it best for?

Who is that somebody that pops into your mind? Commit to that person. Don’t talk yourself out of it and create four other avatars. Don’t outsmart yourself by doing a hundred pounds of research. Admit to who just came to mind for you and commit to that person.

  • In their world, what problems are they having and that you’re in a position to solve?

Admit to who you focused on. Are they male or female? Then talk to them like a male (if it’s a male) and a female (if it’s a female). Identify who’s in pain and speak to what their pain is. As a result, you receive empathy.

  1. How can you promise excellence to each client each and every time?

Before they even get started and pay you a dime, can you promise them excellence and is your heart clear about that? Is your conscience clean about that promise you’re about to make? Be clear about that and have that documented.

Be able to spell out what you do in steps and offer that as a set of steps and that you’re able to measure your success at each step.

Alzay’s Major Takeaway:

Empathy isn’t how you give it, it’s when they tell you they’ve received it. The test of empathy is if they say thank you when you get off a sales call and you feel empathy back from them. Then you’ve just separated yourself from the herd of other salespeople who reach out to them. You’ve proven yourself to be different and that’s what they’re after. Get all the way in there.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Alzay through www.covetedconsultant.com and download a PDF for more details about the four questions mentioned or schedule a consultation with him.

Create interactive presentations that customers will enjoy and remember. Get a full demonstration of Prezi Business and see the power it has in action. Just go to www.prezi.com/TSE to help you tell more compelling, value-driven stories to your prospects.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

TSE 047: How Phillip Taylor Developed His Hobby Into a Successful Business Part 1!

PTRecently I did an interview with Phillip Taylor (PT). He took his passion and turned it into a thriving online business. PT never considered himself as a sales person, but as he grew his hobby into a business, he recognized that sales was an important factor that his organization needed. Many entrepreneurs find themselves in the same situation where they don’t know how to sell, but have to sell. Here are some the major take away from my conversation:

What are some of the major challenges you faced as an entrepreneur?

  • Not having enough time to do all that is needed
  • Sales is tough and they don’t want to bother people
  • Not having a strong enough reach in the community
  • Not wanting to PUSH people to do something

Why do entrepreneur have a tough time selling?

Many entrepreneurs don’t want to bother people or bug them with something that they DON’T need. But if you can develop away to offer people valuable information, they will love you and come back over and over again.

How do you find people for your products or services?

Write small amount of content articles that your audience would be interested in and Google will send people to you. THINK of what your prospects/clients need and provide information related to that.

Ex: If you sell computers, maybe you can provide content such as,  “What is better, Mac or PC and why” etc.

Resources that Phillip Recommended:

PTmoney.com (Information on personal finance)

www.FinConexpo.com

www.Fightingchance.com

www.Truecars.com

Connect with PT on Twitter:

@PTmoney

@Fincon

Come and listen to the episode to learn more!

MUSIC PROVIDED BY FREESFX