Can you handle it?

The Truth About Sales is an interesting post from the inimitable Steve Martin (not that one), making the case for why we shouldn’t dislike sales and sales people. To be fair, I generally do not dislike them – heh some of my best friends are in sales but the kind of people I tend to mingle with are a bit like Steve’s …

That said, the post is essentially an ad for the new Salesforce movie – The Story of Sales

Added to my watch list … in the ‘sometime’ bucket.

But back to that thought of what we dislike sales people …. my experience is that we too often are sitting on the wrong side of spam, cold calls that are badly informed, the endless calls re buy buy, no understanding of me and what I need … you know the stuff. Isn’t that why we don’t like sales people?

fun-draising
Duct tape a teacher to the wall for ‘Kids Against Hunger’.(*)

Steve Ballmer has a lot of money, You know that because he spent 2 billion dollars a couple of years ago to buy the LA Clippers. How much does he get involved in the day to day business of the Clippers? Not too much.

Malcolm Glazer bought Manchester United in 2003. United has for many years held the title of the world’s most valuable sports franchise. Today that valuation sits at around 2.25 billion dollars. That is nearly half a billion more than the number 2 on that table and yes, more valuable than The LA Dodgers, The Cowboys, The Patriots, The Giants and any other team that you might think should be worth more than a little soccer club in the UK.

How much does the Glazer family (Malcolm no longer walks on planet Earth) or Steve Ballmer affect the brand valuation of their respective teams? Close to zero. Continue reading

John Wunderlich wrote this and it appeared in my VRM INBOX today.

Sometimes I read stuff like this and am reminded of an episode of “Big Bang Theory” in which Sheldon, the archetypal nerd with no social skills, determines that he can make friends by following a flow chart. Marketing is not a one-to-one tool, it is a brand management and presentation tool.

Dang. I saw that Big Bang episode just the other day and it didn’t click. John nailed it. The customer journey rubbish you see on web sites and in presentations is exactly the same issue! Try it. Really try it. Continue reading

unique-selling-proposition-e1418250350839-653x339Good sales practice is to always sell value. Easy right?  But, Lawyers, Accountants, Plumbers, Electricians, Taxis, Personal Coaches …… all sell their services by the hour.

I don’t want to buy 30 hours of my accountants time, or 512 hours of my web developers. I need my taxes done or my web site built. That’s what I am paying for. Unfortunately we are trained to think that way. It’s wrong. For both seller and buyer.

So, what is to be done ? Continue reading

Delighted to receive this email this morning. It is one of many I receive on a regular basis.

… I work for a company called *REDACTED*.  I represent an investor that is interested in making an acquisition in the software, cloud or tech space.  After completing my research, I have deemed that your company might be a viable candidate.

Here’s the thing – just visit our web site – and top left – you will see this ….

Lyris Acquired

Not hard really is it ?

Unused WordsJust submitted a couple of articles to the big wide world – and these words ended up on the ‘cutting room floor’. Wanted to keep them for posterity. Pertinent.

For an organization to wonder who owns a process (even a process that is a misnomer) reflects on the never-ending problems that organizations have – the silos. Look into your own organization, your customers, your vendors – and ‘dollar to a donut’ you will quickly find teams where ‘social’, ‘web’, ’email’, ‘events’, ‘sales’, ‘support’, ‘accounts’ …. are teams in different groups – with different objectives, goals and even reporting lines.

No wonder our customers are confused.

Silos exist because the ‘command and control’ mentality remains strong in the enterprise. Until that is broken, customer centricity will remain at best a veneer and at worst – organizational death.

As for social sales – to me – it is the same as it ever was, barring the intermediate 100 years or so while the sales process has been industrialized. It is not new – it is what sales should be but we just lost our way. Just as we are discovering that industrializing our food chain was maybe not the best idea, or that applying manufacturing processes to our children’s education was ill conceived, so too we are needing to relearn that selling is about relationships and adding value.

imagesFor the longest time I used “I am my own system of record” as part of my email signature. It came out from my position that the concept that an organization – ANY organization – that was trying to build a realistic picture of who I was – so that they can better sell to me was essentially flawed. It is impossible. (I will write more about that sometime – but I think if you think about it – it is perfectly obvious.) Nobody knows more about me that me. Repeat for the other 7 billion and counting people on the earth.

Delighted now to see that The Berkman Center for Internet and Society @ Harvard University concurs.

In this Wiki article on ‘Project VRM’, I was pleased to see these principle called out ,,,

Continue reading

ValueThis is a nice piece form 99U around justification of freelance rates …. I just think the rules are equally valuable to anyone selling.

Bottom line according to 99U – think of your value.

Bottom line from me – same thing. Whatever you are selling sell the value, the RoI, because people don’t buy your stuff – they buy what your stuff will do for them.