Congratulations go out to the team at Tumblr for building and selling a site that has helped expand the way we communicate with our friends and our audience.
From a user standpoint, it will be interesting to see what Yahoo! does or doesn’t do to integrate it into the products it already offers.
Happy Birthday iTunes. A service that started a revolution in the way people listen and buy music. For better or for worse.
Looking at my account, it seems my first iTunes purchase was on 6/7/2005 for the Complete U2.
What was yours?
One of the hallmarks of my career, if you can call it a career, is that I have been able to adjust to change very readily. As I look around the world, I see people talk about being flexible and being able to adjust to change as something that they are totally into and cool with and view as a viable option for their lives. Then, I see them doing everything that they can to resist change at every step.
This goes for people and organizations.
Here’s the thing: the old economy or the old way of life or any “old” way of doing things is dead. It has been dead or dying since the beginning of time. Our jobs should always be to embrace challenges and push forward.
Or, as I know we have all heard at one point or another, the way out is through.
So look at yourself and tell me, how flexible are you, really?
When I talk to friends or clients about being better salespeople, they aren’t always receptive to the idea…maybe feeling like they don’t have the skills necessary or the ability to be a salesperson or to make sales.
Trust me, everyone can sell.
I’ll put it like a guy I knew in college told me when I was about 19-20: ”If you have ever gotten laid, you are a salesperson.”
Here are 5 ways that you can sell a little bit better while keeping your clothes on.
1. Be a better listener: My friend Graham posted a Facebook status a few weeks back about a salesperson that was very persistent but failed to qualify Graham for the sale that he was trying to make. Don’t be that guy. Listen, ask questions, listen some more and pair up what the person wants with what you are offering. If you don’t have something that improves your client’s life, walk away. You’ll gain more business that way.
2. Act as a consultant: This plays in to the first tip. But your role as salesperson is to solve a problem for the buyer. If you have ever been in the position to make buying decisions, you know that there is no shortage of people that will happily take your money from you. You can differentiate yourself from the pack by acting as a consultant and making decisions in partnership with your clients.
3. Keep better records: When I worked in a position where I was making a lot of sales calls, I hated the record keeping and because I hated it, I didn’t do a good job of keeping my records straight. Thus, my sales slipped. Over the years I have come up with better ways of keeping track of my sales funnel and it has made my life easier. So find a way to track your sales leads that is useful and easy for you; and use it.
4. Build better relationships: In restaurants or bars, you have “regulars.” In business, you want to have “regulars” too. That starts by building relationships. Too much of the bad advice that you will get about sales is going to tell you to make the sales as quickly as possible and move on. Don’t be an idiot. Build a genuine relationship with your clients and not only will your job be more fulfilling but you will also probably make more sales because of it.
5. Don’t follow the ABCs: The tips have been building to the point of the classic and worst sales advice of all time…”Always Be Closing.” Don’t follow it. And, if your sales manager tells you that, you know he is an idiot. First, some sales aren’t going to be one call closes. Some sales need nurturing and time. If you are acting as a consultant, and you are building trust with your clients, you can’t always springboard them with a sale. If you just always happen to have the right answer, you are going to lose a lot of trust. Sometimes always closing is the wrong answer and if you are listening, focusing on relationships, acting as a consultant, and keeping records of your sales relationships, you will see that and make better decisions.
Let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share. Or, have you used these skills and have they had a positive effect on your sales?
I’ve been reminded of an experience I had in Seattle a number of years ago. At the time I was working in events and partnerships at the Liquid Lounge inside the Experience Music Project in Seattle and one of my roles was relations with high value donors to the museum.
One day a woman approached me about joining her real estate firm. Having spent all of my career in entertainment and hospitality, I didn’t know the first thing about real estate and it wasn’t something that was necessarily appealing to me at the time.
But, and here is the point of the post, the lady said to me, “you’d be great in real estate, because you do an exceptional job of selling yourself.” Its a lesson that I don’t always remember, and I am sure you don’t either, but as I am sitting here looking at my calendar, it just struck me that all my business successes have been driven by my ability to successfully sell myself before we even begin to talk about anything else.
Go forward with that idea. I think it will help.
I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a button for a weekly or monthly newsletter with project management tips, business cases, and advice.
What would interest you?
What topics do you think aren’t being covered enough?
What have I written about that you didn’t really think I dug deep enough?