I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain
This is not meant to cause you any sorrow. This is meant not to cause you any pain. I only want to see you laughing as you grow your business and adapt to what is happening around you.
Remember carrying around a Thomas Guide in your car just in case you needed to look for an address in a part of town you weren't familiar with.
Remember carrying around both a beeper and a cell phone.
How about taking photos and having no idea how they'd turn out.
All of this has me thinking...
IT IS STILL 1999 IN SOME COPIER DEALERSHIPS
Old traditional sales methodologies is what a vast majority of copier dealerships built there success around. Salespeople pestering prospects in the forms of cold calling, tearing down doors, battling gatekeepers or other fiendish methods; all to do one thing - sell office technology. This kind of reminds of what is happening today.
The major problem with this grunt work type tactics of selling is it still exists in this channel today. Don't get me wrong, I am not here to say traditional is dead. I am here to say, "What can we do to enhance it?" Some traditional means of prospecting wastes a lot of time and sales reps effort positioning themselves as copier schleppers everyone tries to avoid like the plague.
In 1999 selling, salespeople were taught skills dealing more with tasks than with purposes. We trained sales reps based upon their levels of expertise around prospecting, influencing, demonstration techniques and a plethora of outlandish closing techniques. Telephone scripts, demonstrations scripts, objection handling scripts or "this is what you say when this happens" scripts; I cringe as I guarantee 1999 still exists in some copier dealerships.
THE ANALOG MINDSET EXISTS INSIDE COPIER DEALERSHIPS
Analog sales leaders grew up in the analog age. You all learned how to close deals before the advent of the digital age. Some of you still believe your sales reps not your customers are in control of the buying process. Some of you still believe your clients and prospects will flock to your sales reps if only they knew how great their products and features are. I bet your sales playbook includes the art of pitching, more pitching and pitching even harder via email, banging the phone all while spraying and praying all over the marketplace.
I get it, some of you analog sales leaders recognize you need to use other digital channels like social media and you might even tell your sales teams to use LinkedIn, as an example, to do nothing but connect with people then pounce and pitch with product. The sad state is some of you won't invest in providing the necessary training around best practices or enhancing your sales teams sales skills. More importantly and when push comes to shove, bottom line; it's all about more cold calls, more cold emails and more information about the product.
There’s always one segment in every channel. The traditionalists that can’t quite let go of traditional ways.
All this reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof and one word TRADITION!
IT'S 2017 - DOES YOUR SALES TEAM OPERATE WITH A DIGITAL SELLING MINDSET?
I am a firm believer standing in between the sales team and a digital mindset is analog centric management. Everywhere you go these days, forward-thinking leaders are talking about innovation, the next big ideas and what they can do to future proof their businesses.
As business owners, what are you doing to future proof your sales team?
What does it take to move your entire sales team from reluctance to relevance? It starts with you and your management team!
Social media, social this and social that... We are living through the biggest communications revolution as social has impacted our personal and business lives.
This means as a leader inside your organization, inside a digital business environment and economy; you must actually have to understand it, walk it, talk it and your sales team must integrate into the sales process.
You must open the door of courage, set aside the fear, toss aside the ego and open the digital door to allow your sales team to grow and flourish.
UNLOCK YOUR MINDSET
Thinking digital is more than social media inside the sales world. Is it about the latest apps, sure. Is it about visual storytelling, yes indeed. Is it about the online reputation of your organization and your salespeople, absolutely! Your online interactions and the interactions of your sales department or lack thereof in some instances shape client expectations and sometimes their outcomes.
Everything digital has dramatically shifted the landscape in the way you do business as well as your sales reps.
What are you doing as a business owner to bring the future to the present?
You have the capability. You run successful organizations. Smart digital savvy business leaders recognize Twitter, for example, teaches sales reps a whole lot more than how to write in 140 characters. It shows you how information flows in dramatically new ways to help you and your sales team socially listen.
LinkedIn has created a branding and networking platform to positively impact the entire sales world. Instagram has come along to help demonstrate the impact of visual storytelling.
SOCIAL MATTERS IN SALES
Digital awareness matters and it matters to your sales team. It is 2017, adopting a digital mindset is critical to you and the entire growth of your business. You can’t just sit on the sidelines any longer and watch the competition outsmart, outwit, outplay and outsell you. You can’t tell your sales team or others throughout your company digital matters and this is a top priority if you haven’t made it a top priority for you.
Face reality peeps, if you want your sales team to adopt a digital mindset then you have to adopt one first. You can't expect to have your sales team adopt if you aren't willing to get in the trenches with them. Roll up the sleeves and become a digital sales leader. Your sales team and more importantly your clients will appreciate it. This means get up off the comfy couch of complacency.
You and your sales reps sell digital technology to a digital buyer inside a digital business world then why continue to go to market with an analog mindset?
Quit pretending to do digital. Quit pretending to do social. Quit pretending period. You all are either in the digital water or you are not, relevant or not relevant!
My challenge to the copier channel and dealer owners, what new tools and technologies are you adopting to help sales reps eliminate bottlenecks and roadblocks in building better relationships with your clients and prospects? Meeting and communicating with your clients and prospects in their preferred choice of medium goes a long way in client retention and new business growth.
Fantasy Island just doesn't exist. The business climate, the sales climate and your surroundings have all changed. The time is now! It is 2017!
STOP PARTYING LIKE IT IS 1999
"I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray but when I woke up this mornin' could have sworn it was judgment day"
Don't let not adopting a digital mindset be your dealerships judgement day!
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes and still do on a daily basis.
I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net-new business by helping them tell their story and communicate integrating the use of social. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a drastically changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.