Connection, Pre Pandemic.

Prospect, research, phone, listen, talk, discuss, meet, discuss more, build the relationship, present, win business.

The calls or emails made were targeted with the knowledge that you knew what product or service the business had and you worked your strategy into the gaps.

Your knowledge of the business was made by tapping into people in the know as you made calls and steps into the business. Touchpoints.

Across multiple employees, you get to the buying teams, challenges actioned and solutions presented, and end game of an awarded contract and relationship built.

The gatekeeper or office manager may have been the starting point to have a simple conversation about day to day things. They knew who you were so no point in pitching.

You asked simple questions, how's life, how's work, any challenges, growth, new starts, leavers, changes in the business that would lead to a potential opening…. Well this could be better, we are looking at X and potentially wanting to add Y, we are moving office and this requires Z.

The door opened to fill the potential gaps. You know what pains they are having, they want to be more efficient in what they do. Thye have new starters, they want to look at options.

Back in 2007, the facilities industry had a good network of people who did furniture, office fit-outs and relocations, etc. In my early career I was able to tap into there knowledge of what they knew, and vice versa.

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 A great network to have at the time and we met on regular occasions to share our knowledge and make sure we were at the table or had the right contact in businesses we were prospecting.

As I moved into other sales roles, the connection would still be the same.

Prospect, leverage my network, research, make the calls, general chat, let them tell you about them and the business. Keep it honest and with purpose. Listen and engage with insight. Find a gap or some 'white space'. Create an opening in that space. WIN.

All from some key research, a call or three, a follow-up email, a meeting and a chance to have face to face and listen.

Then it is up to you.

 

 

Fast forward to 2021.

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2020 should have been a real eye-opener. A 'mulligan' was the term David Egloff used at the Gartner webinar last week. '2021 Postpandemic Scenario Planning for Sales Leaders'.

Now in 2021, we cannot be blinded by what is going on.


Businesses and employees should be now aware that digital interactions are now in play and are moving faster than ever before. Online and at speed.

 

If you are still the 9th sales rep to call, and getting through, and then sending an email. You are way behind the race.

 

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Gartner has also told us that the digital buyer will only use 17% of the time offline to engage with potential suppliers. Why? Because they have already researched online and are in the process of shortlisting.


If you think you are talking to the right person on the phone, and email and then you meet and it's going well, behind scenes all sorts of other interactions are happening and the decisions are being swayed left from right.

Now, granted in larger-scale deals, more strategic, the foundations may be that you have gathered multiple slices of intel in a said organization and the discussions you have had across the board are in full motion and you have full control of the sale, and the process is beginning to be led through the gates to CLOSE & WIN.


BUT THAT WAS THEN. THIS IS NOW.

People have changed. Businesses have changed. Emotions and trust have been tested.

 Gartner goes on to suggest that:

  • *50% of millennial buyers want a 'seller free' experience
  • 33% of B2B enterprise buyers never want to see a salesperson, ever.
  • We are not going back to the way it was, it will be virtual selling for a long time
  • Virtual selling should be a core competency for salespeople today

 

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There are also challenges in touchpoints:

  • Before the average sale may have had 5-6 touchpoints.
  • Now the average conversion will take 10 touches before they give you their money.
  • Digital allows you to navigate and adopt that touchpoint change.

 

How do you reach the digital connection if you are not online and not social selling with influence? Everything that you have done before, can be replicated in the digital landscape.


HOW?

  • Prospecting online can be done by working strategic and working to build that audience.
  • Engagement and conversations can be had as you find the personnel to unlock the opportunity.
  • Conversations go online and digital interactions are being had because they have seen your presence.
  • Your team have followed you down the strategic path. They are onside and championing your movements.
  • The touchpoints are being navigated and your voice is being delivered across the board.
  • Your skills are being built into the new and improved DIGITAL employee who loves to tell us what they do, who for, why they do it and what insight they can tell others.

All with purpose, intrigue, insight and authority.


But you cannot just post, and get likes and comments and build a network, you need to make sure you are getting to the end game of being trusted to make a commercial connection digitally.

Your audience needs to see the other side of you. The personal side that they can interact with and this is when you truly find the 'Digital Connection', this is where the feeling of trusted advisor status comes through. "We know our market and we are a nice person".

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This is Eric, and son Austin, down the beach on Austin's 16th birthday.

Eric is strategic in what and when he posts and engages with on Linkedin.

This post gained over 18,000 views, 165 likes, and he had 6 C-level meetings which led to proposals and commercial business, all from a piece of content.

The post took him 10 minutes to create. There was a purpose behind it. The trust was there.


 


Linkedin is your space. It has 740 million people on it. Half of the world's population is on social media.

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You still have time. But you need to act now. Show up online or be the 9th guy in line.

I know where I want to be.

Enjoy your week.

Thanks

Kevin

#socialselling #digitaltransformation #connection #trust #strategic #b2b #print #logistics #translation #futureofwork