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4 Completely False B2B Sales Myths You’ll Be Surprised Aren’t True

 

b2b sales myths

I love it when I find articles like the one I read from Chief Executive Magazine called Raising Sales Force Effectiveness. Granted, it’s dated 2011, which makes it ancient in this era of sipping information from a fire-hose, but the elements of it remain true.

The article debunks some traditional wisdom that many B2B sales professionals still hold as fact.

Myth #1: 80% of a company’s revenue is produced by the top 20% of their salespeople.

But really… The top 20% of producers generate about 50% of all sales revenue.

Lesson: It’s still a significant disparity, in that 50% of the business is earned by the top 20% and the other 80% are responsible for the other half of revenue. I’m not sure we can totally debunk this quite yet, but certainly worth noting.

Myth #2: Customer loyalty depends almost exclusively on value, price, and quality.

But really… The article states that 39% of customer loyalty is based on the effectiveness of the salesperson, before and after the transaction. As for the rest, 22% of customer loyalty is based on apparent quality or value, 20% on the product offering, and 19% on price.

Lesson: If you develop your B2B sales force, there is a definitive impact on customer loyalty.

Myth #3: When a client decides not to renew, it’s expected and usually warranted for one reason or another.

But really… You ready for this one? Of the clients a company loses, 60% are a surprise, and 80% rate their vendor as good or very good.

Lesson: Even if you do right by your customers, they may not be shirking the competitors that are still knocking on their door with another offer.

Myth #4: The most effective way to improve sales team performance is to teach the techniques used by the top 20% to the rest of the team.

But really… The way the authors lay it out, there’s only an additional 5% gain if you spend the resources to train lower performers. Alternatively, if you replace the bottom 20% with average or above-average performers, there’s a 12% gain. We address some of this in our post: 3 Types of B2B Sales Reps: Turning your B-Players into A-Players.

Lesson: As harsh as it sounds, the authors suggest that you might be better off trimming the fat off of your sales team.

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The Top 4 Glaring Delusions Regarding B2B Sales Follow-Up

 

b2b sales follow upFollow-up activity in B2B sales can be a labyrinth. Should I send that email or this one? Maybe this voicemail will get him going. If you want to be Theseus, the hero of the labyrinth, you have to navigate to the Minotaur (your prospect).

We've spoken extensively about the purpose of B2B sales follow-up. More often than not, your focus should be on ELIMINATING prospects from your pipeline that will never return your calls, rather than spinning your wheels in an endless cycle of silence and prospect indifference.

We even created some guidelines and email templates to help in the follow-up process:

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In any case, there are five glaring myths about B2B sales follow-up that we want to point out. Don't be delusional about your follow-up activity. These will help you be a realist.

Delusion #1: Your message was received by the prospect.

You sent a couple emails and left a couple voicemails. Why haven't they responded? Don't assume that your message was received by your prospect and he's avoiding you. Maybe they are busy and meant to come back to it. Maybe it landed in the Junk Folder. Maybe they rarely check their voicemails. In any case, when you leave another message or email, drum up a new, legitimate reason to contact your prospects. The old line - "Hey, I left you a message last week. Can we chat this week?" - is just not compelling enough. You want them to respond to value, not because they haven't answered the last two times and you've guilted them.

Delusion #2: Repetition equals success.

This applies on two levels. First, if you leave the same tired voicemail or email with the same prospect over and over, are they any more likely to respond on the fifth attempt than the first? Probably not. Change it up a little. Second, if you leave two voicemails a week for a year, you've wasted a lot of time and energy. Following up for the sake of following up is not recommended. After a few tries, your focus should be on weeding them out, if necessary, rather than trying your darnedest to salvage any semblance of a conversation.

Delusion #3: You are a failure if you needed to put in extra follow-up work to get the deal because you didn't get it in the first or second call

You need to stop this thought pattern. Every sales professional has to chase down prospects. Just because you had to do more work than the guy in the other cubicle is not because you're worse at sales. It's not a sign of weakness. It's because that's the luck of the draw. Some prospects require a little more hand-holding. Accept that fact.

Delusion #4: Phone and email are really the only ways to follow-up these days.

That's really limiting thinking. You can reach out via social media and share some information. You can send a token or gift in the mail as appreciation. Or you can stand outside their office with a radio blaring Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes. If the prospect is high-value, be creative if you have to.

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The 10 Most Enlightening TED Talks for Businesspeople

 

ted talksSometimes, when it's late at night and I'm lying in bed, I'll watch a TED Talk or two on my tablet until I feel sleepy. There are over 1,900 talks freely available and they've been watched over a billion times, collectively. Lots of great content to consume on a wide variety of topics - all under the TED slogan 'Ideas Worth Spreading'… And they are indeed ideas worth spreading.

TED Talks cover a huge range of subject matter. Below are my 10 favorites which touch on some aspect of business, leadership, marketing, or otherwise useful subject for white collars.

Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work

Jason Fried has a drastic theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. In his talk, he lays out the core problems (calling them the M&Ms) and offers three recommendations to make work work.


David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings

An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings is plaguing the world's businesses - and making workers dejected. David Grady has some thoughts on how to stop it.


Philip Evans: How data will transform business

What does the future of business look like? In a revealing talk, Philip Evans gives a quick primer on two long-standing theories in strategy - and explains why he thinks they are unsound.


Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe

What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it's someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But fostering trust and safety - especially in an uneven economy - means taking on big responsibility.


Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce

Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell goes inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce - and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.


Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the commonplace stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more fruitful than boring ones.


Dan Cobley: What physics taught me about marketing

Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley is passionate about both. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to describe the fundamental theories of branding.


Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex - and traditional pillars of management are outdated, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this peppy talk, Morieux offers six rules for smart simplicity. (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues truly do.)


Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership

We have all changed someone's life - usually without even realizing it. In this comical talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other's lives.


Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation - online chatter and spin mean that if you're relevant, there's a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it - and using it as motivation to recommit to your values.

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4 Examples of Buying Signals Every B2B Sales Pro Should Recognize

 

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I've been in B2B sales for nearly two decades and one absolute I've come to realize is that the best B2B sales professionals know how to spot customers' buying signals. That skill is a huge asset to anyone in B2B sales - and it's not even a skill so much as the ability to tune in to your customers' subtle indicators.

These are the same indicators that we all might exhibit when we're parting with our hard-earned cash. It doesn't require supernatural skill; you don't need to be a mind-reader or master psychologist. The B2B buyer will often give you clues as to their intentions.

Sometimes, buying signals are not-so-subtle. The buyer will state in no uncertain terms that he has a few reservations that need to be addressed. On the flip side of the coin, though, often buyers don't always say exactly what they're thinking. This is when your B2B sales 'spidey-sense' comes in handy.

Here are a few buying signals that we experience in our sales process. You'll likely recognize a few.

The Overt Buying Signal

This is where the buyer makes an explicit statement as to their interest in your product or service.

Example: "The offer is very tempting. We have a meeting this week to discuss and see if it is in our budget. Can you touch base with me the start of next week to follow up please?"

The 'Raising of Objections' Buying Signal

This buying signal is characterized by a specific sort of 'If-Then' statement where the buyer states that they are interested in moving forward pending a few items they need confirmation on or objections they have reservations about.

Example: "Please set up a call for us for early next week. We are ready to make a decision, but I need to talk with you on a couple items."

The 'Finding the Money' Buying Signal

When you've properly presented your product and one of the last hurdles is where the money is going to come from, you should recognize this as a super-strong buying signal. It may be time to get creative with your terms should the funding become the only hitch.

Example: "I made a presentation to our executive team today and it went very well. They were quite receptive to the type of services you provide. Now I just have to work with one of my OEM partners to see if they will help fund the pilot."

The Competitive Advantage Buying Signal

When the prospect mentions that your solution is trumping other competitive solutions, take this bit of sales intelligence and use it to (1) reinforce differentiators with the prospect and (2) provide references.

Example: "Had some discussion this morning on your program and we are very interested in pursuing yours versus the others we have looked at. Do you have any references I could speak with that are similar to us (software/technology, small to mid-market space)?"

As a final note, there are a number of ways to handle these buying signals, but, in my experience, all of those ways should end with a call-to-action that could potentially advance the sale.

Example Response: "Would it make sense for me to outline your program in our Statement of Work so you can see it and the rest of our terms and conditions or do you prefer to wait?"

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5 Reasons to Say Goodbye to Spreadsheet Analysis

 

Guest post by Kathleen Douglas from DrivenBI

no spreadsheetsHarnessing the power of data analysis can be quite frustrating if you are still depending on IT to gather the data you need to run and create various reports.

After waiting days, weeks or even months for IT to retrieve data from various data silos, all you may receive is a spreadsheet mashup with old data. You still have to do much of the actual analysis yourself – even with your knowledge of spreadsheet manipulation, it will still waste hours of your time.

And how good is the analysis if sales have slowed dramatically or spiked the day after your report was run? Or you don't get all the data you need because IT didn't realize all of what you wanted? There goes any hope of getting a competitive advantage.

You realize there's got to be a better way – without heading back to college to become a data scientist.

The solution is a cloud-based analysis platform that centralizes your data – eliminating the need for a costly data warehouse - and gives you the power to control and manipulate data across many functions instantly so you can make better business decisions.

Business users turn to spreadsheet analysis for many reasons. The real concern is that although spreadsheets may not be the problem, they can keep you from having a better solution.

So, whether you are using one or fifty, here are five reasons why you should ditch the spreadsheet for analysis, and empower yourself with Cloud-based data analysis:

One Version of the Truth

Even if your small team is working with only a couple of spreadsheets, you're bound to run into problems as the numbers are updated, columns get sorted, and formulas change. Emailing spreadsheets back and forth is fraught with peril – whose version is correct? That's hard to know without an audit trail.

One centralized platform in the cloud for analysis that users sign into from anywhere to use or make changes ensures that everyone is on the same page and has the same single version of the truth.

Avoid Spreadsheet Sprawl

Even if you are building spreadsheets for yourself, wouldn't you like to stop recreating the same one all the time like when you need to change out the data, or reconstruct your logic for a different group, district or region or maintain many similar spreadsheets just to keep up with the versioning? Rebuilding and managing spreadsheets is tedious and time-consuming.

What you need is the ability to create the analysis logic only once and then update the logic centrally and bring in any data set for analysis that you need, simply swapping one set of data for another when needed, which saves hours of discovering the right logic to recreate spreadsheet analysis.

Security

When your email gets hacked, who will have access to the critical corporate data you've been emailing back and forth to get your project completed? You probably aren't thinking about security as you send this data back and forth. What if it falls into the wrong hands?

Wouldn't it be better to send everything encrypted, with restrictions on who can see what data, and with visibility to who makes changes and when changes are made? Having a real time audit trail can be very valuable.

Collaboration

Most spreadsheets aren't made for single consumption. Most likely, a few people are looking at and acting upon the information you compiled. You can't update the spreadsheet until the director of marketing returns it, and you're hoping she'll highlight the changes she's made, and let you know what she thinks about the numbers.

Wouldn't it be great if you could see her changes the minute after she made them, read her comments and comment back, and receive notifications every time the spreadsheet is reviewed or changed? Now that would be 21st century analysis.

On-Demand Analysis Under Your Control

To compete in today's rapidly moving marketplace, you need to be able to analyze your customer data for a competitive edge. But if you are using antiquated tools and relying on IT to have time to get or build reports for you, you are most likely falling behind. Time to face the facts, the dilemma you are experiencing is hoping IT can help and knowing they can’t.

If you begin tapping into a centralized, cloud-based analysis service, you can take back control of your data. You won't have to wait for IT, or wait weeks to get critical information you need to make rapid decisions. You'll be able to make them today, in real time. So, say goodbye to spreadsheet frustration, and empower yourself with Cloud-based data analysis.

kathleen douglas drivenbiKathleen Douglas is SVP Global Sales & Alliances at Driven BI, a Pasadena, CA software company specializing in both cloud and on-premises BI data analysis platform solutions. DrivenBI's flagship product, SRK, is a cloud-based Self-Service BI platform that removes the need for ETL, Data Warehouse and spreadsheet analysis. To find out how DrivenBI can be of service to your brand, visit DrivenBI on the web or connect with Kathleen Douglas on LinkedIn. Connect with DrivenBI on LinkedIn.

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The Most Significant Word in B2B Sales – Use it as Often as You Can

 

You think you can guess which word is the most critical to the B2B sales and marketing process? Shall I give you a hint? I've used it three times already. It's a pretty common word and one you use every day. (There it is again.)

Marketers might think it's something like 'free' or 'guarantee'.

Salespeople might think it's something like 'value', 'quality', or 'benefits'.

They're all good guesses but the most important word in B2B sales and marketing is 'you'!

Pretty obvious, isn't it? As we mentioned in our article on drafting proposals geared towards the customer, you look for you first in a group photo. Your ears perk up when you hear your name. People are in it for themselves and their organization. You buy things for yourself for your own reasons and your B2B sales prospects are no different.

Putting the 'You' in B2B Marketingimportant word b2b sales

Put the prospect at the forefront of the materials you create - proposals, brochures, content. Sure, prospects want to know a little about you for credibility and alignment, but they're more interested in what's in it for them. When it's all said and done, the most effective B2B marketing pieces need to identify the prospects' challenges and demonstrate how you can solve them.

I'm a huge fan of speaking in the second person in marketing materials. It gives the impression, subtly, that you are speaking to them directly. As a general rule, when I draft marketing emails or other marketing material, I aim for a 2:1 ratio of 'you' and 'yours' to 'me', 'I', and 'mine'.

Putting the 'You' in B2B Sales

Have you ever been to a business function where you strike a conversation with someone that talks about themselves endlessly? I have and it's awful. The most effective networkers inquire about their subject and have a yearning to know more (see Curiosity Killed the Cat… But it Made the B2B Sales Pro Better).

The old method of selling leans heavily on features and benefits. But Sales 2.0 has told us that people buy what best fits their wants and needs - and that's what you really should be addressing. Your sales presentation should focus, not on your product or service, but on your prospect.

All too often, sales presenters chatter on about their product, their experience, clients they've served, etc. Instead, it should address the prospects' specific challenges, decision criteria and desired results, while using the 'you' word frequently.

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Million Dollar Sales Strategy – Debugging the B2B Sales Process

 

debugging b2b salesAll too often, B2B sales professionals apply the assumptive close in sales scenarios. When you see your close rates start to tumble, it's likely you're not properly debugging deals.

But what exactly does it mean to 'debug a deal'? It's a part of the B2B sales process specific to post-proposal activity - the part where you confront the potential roadblocks face on, rather that bury your head in the sand hoping something happens. A lot of roadblocks can be dismantled and removed in the B2B sales process if you know about them and deal with them, and dismantling those roadblocks can inject health everywhere in the B2B sales cycle.

I urge those of you in B2B sales to remember that when you are working inbound leads (hand-raisers), it implies that there is an interest, need, or pain. Their cards are on the table. If there’s a hitch in the sales process that has caused the prospect to become non-responsive or non-specific in their responses to you, it’s time to debug and advance to close – or disqualify. As Alec Baldwin so eloquently states in Glengarry Glen Ross, "The guy don't walk on the lot, lest he wants to buy."

To effectively debug deals and earn more wins, your post-proposal closing questions should sound like one of these:

  • Is there anything standing in the way of us doing business together?
  • Is there anything giving you pause at this point?
  • Do you see any obstacles within your company in gaining approval to move forward with this in July?
  • How do we compare against other solutions you're considering?
  • Since it's going to legal, what is the typical length of your legal review process?
  • Would it make sense for us to involve one of our operations executives on a call to answer questions about other programs we've worked on in similar industries to yours, or should we wait?
  • Would it make sense to outline our program in a Statement of Work so you can see it and the rest of our terms and conditions or do you prefer to wait?

Essentially, when you ask debugging questions you are 'flushing out' non-stated objections so they can be dealt with and overcome. Debugging a deal is a direct questioning technique. You can't be shy about asking straight forward, open-ended questions to uncover what's REALLY holding the prospect back. Too many times, B2B sales pros are shying away from the tough questions because they want to close the deal and they run from these tough questions because they fear the response might indicate that the deal is lost. In reality, most objections can be overcome by crafting a win-win scenario.

When you uncover the prospects' real concerns, you can respond intelligently and genuinely speak to their issues. Adopt the mindset that there's no issue you can't address if you only know what it is. There is usually a reasonable response.

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To Be Successful in B2B Sales, Your Solution Must Address One of These Three

 

b2b sales driversYou may be selling a tech solution, advertising, accounting solutions, whatever. But what are you REALLY selling? All too often, those of us in B2B sales overcomplicate our value proposition, working in too much marketing jargon and hype.

But when you think about it, there are only three real drivers that a B2B buyer looks for in a B2B solution (whether consciously or subconsciously). Every single B2B sales transaction can be reduced to one or more of the following three drivers:

  • Save or Make Money
  • Speed Up Cash Flow
  • Increase Efficiency

I know I'm drastically simplifying it, but these three simple motivators are what B2B buyers are truly looking for – the most pertinent decision criteria behind every B2B sales decision. Take note here, folks. Does your value proposition address one or more of these three? Or are you (inadvertently) fuzzing up your message with guff about technical descriptions, obscure features, or otherwise impertinent buzzwords that pervade the sales-speak of B2B sales people?

We’ve developed B2B lead generation programs for many, many clients, and one of the absolutes we’ve come to accept is that a solution must address one or more of these three simple issues. So how can companies adjust their B2B sales strategy to address these fundamental drivers?

Save or Make Money

One of the old B2B sales maxims is that you should compete on value, not price. Don’t kid yourself. There’s usually some competitor offering a better price. However, if you can address value and also offer prospects a cost savings, you can probably get your foot in the door.

On the other hand, if your solution helps clients increase revenue, it’s imperative that you properly demonstrate how. Your B2B sales life depends on it. If prospects can’t draw the connection between your solution and increased revenue, you’ll be sunk.

Speed Up Cash Flow

If cash is king, then cash flow is the kerosene that keeps the electricity on in the kingdom. Cash flow is one of the most critical components of success for a business. Quite simply, companies that don't have good cash flow management can’t make the investments required to compete effectively. The most likely B2B solutions that fall into this category of helping increase cash flow are accounting solutions that make it easier for clients to pay, invoicing solutions, and other accounts receivable solutions.

Increase Efficiency

This is you if your primary value proposition is one that helps your clients:

  • get things done quicker
  • reduces wasted time
  • and/or increases overall productivity

If this is you, efficiency may be harder to quantify so you need to be ready to quote specific details and statistics related to efficiency gains. Exactly how much faster can your solution help get things accomplished? Specifically, how much does your software solution increase productivity and decrease wasted effort? Can you put a dollar value on that? Time is money. Demonstrate to your customers how your solution helps realize better value from their resources. Do that and you can earn that precious sales appointment.

Which of these core drivers does YOUR solution address? Feel free to leave us a comment below.

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11 Stats that Offer Evidence of the Resurgence of Direct Mail Marketing

 

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Guest post by Brian Cooper of DNI Corp.

The reports that print media and direct mail marketing are dead, well, those reports are greatly exaggerated. In fact, the data suggests quite the opposite – there is in fact a resurgence in direct mail.

Why? There are lots of reasons. The main driver is that print has been supplanted by digital (email, social media, etc.) as the primary communications medium. So, in essence, direct mail as a marketing medium is different and fresh again.

At DNI, where one of our primary solutions is direct mail and mail design, we see live, real-time evidence of this trend in the explosion of demand for our solutions. Think about it this way: Since digital messaging is now the norm, many have become disenchanted with email pitches, e-newsletters, and other digital mediums. Thus, they’ll pay closer attention to well-executed print pieces. Fifteen years ago, our mailboxes were cluttered and now it’s our email boxes that are cluttered.

In our experience executing direct mail campaigns, another reason for the rebirth of direct mail is that advances in digital printing technology have made the production of print pieces less expensive and far more flexible.

Enough about why there’s been a resurgence, and let’s offer you a few amazing statistics that corroborate that resurgence:

  1. Cost per order or lead for acquisition campaigns stood at $51.40 for direct mail, slightly less than for paid search ($52.58), post card ($54.10), and email ($55.24). (Source: Direct Marketing Association)
  2. The response rate for direct mail to an existing customer averages 3.4%, compared to 0.12% for email. (Source: Direct Marketing Association)
  3. 50% of people say they pay more attention to direct mail than any other media. (Source: Ritter’s Communication)
  4. 50%t of U.S. consumers prefer direct mail to email. (Source: Epsilon)
  5. 40% of consumers say that they have tried a new business after receiving direct mail, and 70% have renewed relationships with businesses that they had previously ceased using. (Source: Ballantine)
  6. Traditional marketing tactics are not dead. 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. (Source: Earnest Agency)
  7. 85% of consumers sort through and read selected mail pieces each day; 75% of consumers are examining mail more closely; 40% have tried a new business after receiving direct mail. (Source: Ballantine)
  8. Direct mail — yes junk mail via snail mail — still reigns supreme, offering response rates of 1.1 to 1.4% versus 0.03% for email, 0.04% for Internet display ads, and 0.22% for paid search. (Source: Direct Marketing Association)
  9. Direct mail has the highest rate of success in new customer acquisition at 34% compared with other marketing channels. (Source: Target Marketing)
  10. In the B2B market, 79% of professionals consider direct mail to be “effective” or “very effective”. (Source: Deluxe Marketing Services)
  11. Four-fifths (79%) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45% who say they deal with email straightaway. (Source: Direct Marketing Association)

Given the surge of print popularity, how can organizations use this new-again tool to benefit their businesses?

Contact DNI for some great ideas on direct mail execution.

brian cooper dniBrian Cooper is the Sales and Business Development Lead at DNI Corp. DNI Corp’s integrated service model recognizes delivery as an essential part of any communications strategy and seeks opportunities for partnership and collaboration with their clients throughout the entire creative development process. Allow DNI Corp’s experts to provide a vision for adapting to the changes in how your customers want to be communicated with. Their multi-channel delivery model will provide print and electronic solutions that will give your customers the flexibility to choose how they receive documents and make payments while providing improved efficiencies and cost savings to your organization. Connect with Brian Cooper on LinkedIn. Connect with DNI Corp on LinkedIn.

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5 Practices B2B Sales Pros Can Steal from Top Recruiters

 

Guest post by Peter Reticker from HR1 Services

b2b sales recruiting recruitersRecruiters live and die by the calls they make each day. Not only do they drum up business by cold calling potential companies to see if they can help fill open positions, but they also take to the phones to find candidates for those positions. Recruiters conduct 99 percent of their business over the phone, so naturally they have to become cold calling experts.

While the rise of the Internet and social media has transformed recruiting efforts as much as they have other industries, anyone prospecting today should remember some basic tenets for success.

Leverage LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn and take advantage of the wealth of information it has to offer. With the amount of information on LinkedIn about people and their careers there is no excuse not to utilize it.  We don't sell a product so we have no inventory. Our business is in part about having information about people, companies and career opportunities. Having some basic information about the people you are connecting with certainly can make for more productive and meaningful conversations.

When mining LinkedIn, however, be sure to set a time limit. Don't let the Internet sap your time or lead you down a rabbit hole, which can easily waste half a day. Remember the task at hand.

Join Associations

While social media offers a wealth of information, don't forget to take advantage of trade associations, especially the ones that provide member directories. Member directories can be an unbelievable tool. Join associations where your prospects are and become involved. While some associations charge for their membership directories, they are an inexpensive and worthwhile investment.

Document your calls and content of your interactions.

Understand that every conversation and connection has value, if not today, tomorrow, so record details for future use and to enhance your relationships for today and tomorrow. If someone says no when you ask them if they are interested in hearing more, you can still have a good conversation, which when documented can be used later.

For example, a CFO might not be interested in a position because he has a 16-year-old daughter that he doesn't want to move from her high school. However, in the same conversation, he indicates he'd like to move to Florida when she graduates. Now you have important information to use in a later search. In today's transactional world, people lose sight of the connections and resulting information. It's not an original idea but seeing the big picture both short and long term goes a long way.

Follow Voice Mail with Email

When you make 50 to 60 calls a day, you are bound to get lots of voicemail. Go ahead and leave a message, but also follow up with an email. We follow up many voicemails with an email. Three months later, that person responds to the email because they still have it whereas they don't have the voicemail.

Remember, We Don’t Live in a Stagnant World

Don’t let the status quo be a permanent deterrent. If every salesman said, 'That person doesn't need my service or product, he/she already has one,' he'd never make a sale. When someone says they aren't interested today, we can still have a productive and meaningful conversation. By demonstrating to potential customers that we are not in business just for today and that we will be around when their circumstances change, we dramatically improve our chances and building mutually beneficial relationships.

peter reticker hr1Peter Reticker is search division director of HR1 Services, Inc., one of Georgia’s leading providers of employee services. With divisions in recruiting & staffing, HR management, benefit administration and medical billing, HR1 offers a turnkey back office solution to business in the health care industry.

To find out how HR1 Services can be of service to your brand, visit HR1 on the web or find HR1 on LinkedIn. You can also connect with Peter Reticker on LinkedIn.

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