"I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."
Face to face and human to human interactions are typically viewed as one of the most valuable activities for salespeople. However, opening the door and gaining a seat at the business table is tough.
"How does a sales professional in a highly connected, digital business world capture the attention of an executive decision maker?"
One primary differentiator with salespeople is their ability to prospect. Sales professionals know they must be strengthening their client relationships and open up new conversations with their clients on a consistent basis.
How well are your salespeople regularly connecting with new people inside their client base?
Simple stuff here... If you want your sales team to have a healthy sales funnel then they need to build a healthy relationship funnel. This means they must connect with new people, reconnect with your current clients and open up new relationships every single day, no excuses, nonnegotiable.
Overpaying your salespeople to babysit your clients doesn't cut it! You're creating crybaby salespeople!
Today's business world is fast paced with highly connected networks. Technology is everywhere. Digital has transformed not only our personal lives but our business lives.
"If you operate in a digital society then why are your sales reps prospecting with an analog mindset?"
Habits have changed so must your team's sales strategies. As leaders, I encourage you to take a step back, take a deep breath and ask yourself...
- How well am I doing in providing the necessary tools, the guidance and inspiration to help my team grow our business within our client base?
- How well is my team listening to the voice of our clients?
LISTEN TO YOUR CLIENTS
How important is listening when it comes to the voice of your clients? It's massively important and I think all of you will agree. The question to all you executives...
How well is your team socially listening to your clients?
I'm concerned that many in leadership have their sales team focused on listening to channels their clients stopped consistently communicating on years ago.
I was recently with a team who was bound by security and regulatory restrictions for conversing on certain social platforms.
I'm no expert when it comes to security and regulatory can and can't do's but I did pose these series of questions back to them...
- What prevents you from listening in on what your clients are communicating about on social? A resounding response of "nothing."
- What are you doing about it? A resounding response of, "I see where you're going with this."
Let's not overcomplicate this stuff my friends but failing to socially listening to your clients via the channels they communicate on may be hazardous to your business health.
ENHANCE LISTENING SKILLS
The path to clients’ hearts lies through your teams' ears and social eyes. I encourage all leaders to get a grip with how social listening, at the bare minimum, can open up more effective outbound communication.
Think for a moment the learning opportunities your team can uncover about your current clients. Whether that be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram let's not use excuses as to why they can't listen, acknowledge and then pick up the phone to engage in conversation.
We all agree, business times are different. When you don’t pay attention to what your audience is saying, your current clients; you’re basically giving key information to your competitors.
- What are your client's pain points?
- What do they love about you, your service experience and your company?
- What might they be saying if they unfortunately have a bad experience with your company?
Foster the environment and encourage your sales team, to leverage social platforms to monitor, track and uncover information which allows them to open up and engage in a more meaningful conversation with your clients.
Think of what they can uncover to enhance the experience with your company. Think of the relationships that could be strengthened. Think of the new business opportunities that can be uncovered. Think of referrals that could happen.
DIAL UP LISTENING
Mad props to Kenny Madden and his witty humor as he has brought to life the social phone - "A smashing together with absolute discipline the very best of email, Inmail, Voicemail, offline/online, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram into one beautiful integrated approach - 'the social phone' ”.
Social Window + Social Phone = Enhanced Relationship Funnel
The social phone allows you to listen and communicate with the voice of your clients. By engaging and enhancing client conversations through social networks, your team creates the opportunities to further build relationships and grow their business. Isn't this what it's all about?
The more intimate, authentic, genuine relationships your salespeople can establish, the more loudly you’ll hear their voice.
LISTENING WITH HEART, SETS YOUR TEAM APART
You and your sales team operate in a fast-paced business world. New ways of communication and personal interaction can greatly enhance how they build relationships with your clients.
When your team listens with intent via social and takes it to heart, this simply means giving their full attention to what matters most and this is the voice of your clients. Allowing the message to be expressed, provides the opportunity for it to be acknowledged, heard and understood.
You must love on your clients or someone else will. Is your sales team listening with intent as to what your clients are sharing on social?
Your clients are communicating on social because they want to be heard. How well are you listening to them?
Listening with heart is the only way to have fulfilling and meaningful relationship with your clients. How fast are you getting to their heart?
According to a recent Harvard Business Review series, “The new source of competitive advantage is customer centricity: deeply understanding your customers’ needs and fulfilling them better than anyone else.”
Imagine the business growth that could occur from everyone on your sales if they got to the heart of what matters?
I ask all of you to think for a moment...
Can listening with heart become your sales teams' key differentiator in a sales world full of empty suits and broken promises?
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow 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! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
You can find more material inside Selling From The Heart.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.