I traveled to Warsaw, Poland, recently to deliver two public seminars. After a couple of Skype interviews, I discovered that although the U.S. and Poland are 5,000 miles and many, many cultures apart, our sales needs are the same.
Here's part of the interview:
Jeffrey, everyone needs to increase sales, especially during this economic crisis. What's the best way to keep up sales during the current recession?
Recession means "less" not "none." Salespeople have to fight harder during tough economic times. I recommend having a morning breakfast (or coffee) with a client or a prospective client. This gets your day started early and on a positive note.
But this is only one way to keep your sales up. It takes a concerted effort that includes social media, solid relationships, referrals and attraction. It's not impossible -- and it's not easy. The good news is most salespeople are not willing to do the preliminary hard work it takes to make sales easy.
In your newest book, Social Boom, you say that social media is the new cold call. How does that work best?
Here's the short version of using social media to connect for the first time: I can find anyone on LinkedIn, and then by using simple Google search and research, I find out everything I need to make a personal connection.
Once I connect, I ask for an informal meeting (usually coffee) to see if we have anything in common, or if there's a need for my product or service. The secret is the first call is not a sales call, and the first meeting is not a sales pitch.
Leaders must prove their own authenticity and the authenticity of their company. Tasteless, forgettable mission statements don't have the force of attracting strong customers. What defines glorious organization in the 21st century?
Most companies, especially large ones, fail to understand the difference between a mission statement, a value statement, a vision statement and a hot-air marketing message that no one understands or believes in.