Turning a crisis in to an opportunity for global sales professionals

What started out as a crisis, has turned into a major opportunity for sellers globally.

In this short piece I am going to share some facts from a recent study conducted by McKinsey that all sellers should pay careful to attention to.  

In this study you will discover what real life B2B buyers are saying, and why there is much opportunity to be grasped with both hands in this new world of online selling.

Three quarters of buyers and sellers prefer online

First things first – more than 75% of B2B buyers and sellers say that they prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. Only 20% of B2B buyers interviewed said that they wanted to go back to face-to face interactions post-pandemic.

Their motivations? Health, safety, and ease of scheduling were the primary reasons, but time saving, efficiency and convenience also featured on the list of benefits to both buyers and sellers.

BIG purchases happen online

Traditionally we have believed...

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What to wear to ace your online presentation...

So, what do we what wear when we are presenting online to our clients? When we started working from home earlier this year, all of us were thrust into video meetings, regardless of how we felt about being on camera – and unfortunately for most of us we also don't have the benefit of a hair and makeup crew like most newsreaders and TV presenters do! So, how can we ensure that we look great on video?

Should you be formal or informal? Should you just do business at the top and pajamas at the bottom? Whatever your vibe may be, remember that ultimately how you look on camera is going to be interpreted as a sign of how professional you are to your potential, and current clients.

It may not be fair, and it may not be accurate, but human beings are looking for signs of credibility and trustworthiness, and often wardrobe is one of the ways in which we come to this judgment.

I always say dress well, as dressing well is also a form of respect – and as in a face to face meeting...

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Great Tech must haves to host a World Class online meeting (that will not cost an arm and a leg)

I touched on this briefly in my Facebook Live last week, and I thought that putting together an easy to reference, won’t break the bank cost wise list of cool tech goodies, that will help you to not only appear super professional in your online meetings and pitches – but also give the upper hand over your competitors would be super handy to help you up your game.

PS – why not put these on your Christmas wish list, maybe Santa will oblige?

Webcam

It is all about the right angles, and although one’s laptop may come with a webcam, these do not always cast one in the best light. From angles, to clarity and colour, there are so many different offerings that cannot be provided by a standard laptop camera.

Webcams do not need to break the bank and offer a variety of incredible benefits to help level up online meetings and presentations.

I use a Logitech camera for my webinars, Facebook lives and client meetings – and they have a variety of different offerings...

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It is truly a time to be thankful...

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

In December of 2009 I had the privilege of visiting Israel on a tour and in the time that I was there I learned so much, and today, as we head in to December and the season of giving, I would like to share one particular lesson from this time with you.

In Israel there are two great and famous lakes, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea, and both lakes are attached to the River Jordan. The Sea of Galilee is fed from the River Jordon and it in turn feeds life back into the River Jordan. The Sea of Galilee plays a significant role in the nourishment of Israel as it gives life to so many.

The Dead Sea on the other hand, is also fed by the River Jordan but unlike the Sea of Galilee, it keeps the water for itself, sending nothing back. The Dead Sea is also barren and lifeless.

This can also be an incredibly powerful metaphor for our individual approach to generosity.

In times of great...

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How to Succeed as a Remote Sales Professional

“To rid yourself of old patterns, focus all your energy not on struggling with the old, but on building the new.” – Dan Millman world-class gymnast.

In 2013 Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, and ex-Google wonder child, banned working from home and now seven years later the world has been thrust into remote working. It turns out that remote work is not only effective, but also popular with it growing at an unprecedented rate.

Whether you, as a seller, find yourself part of an organisation that is embracing this move, or, if you are part of a company that is resisting remote selling; according to the latest research this movement is here to stay and you can expect your customers to want to engage in online meetings, cutting down travel and other such time wasters. Working from home has incredible benefits, but it comes with its challenges too. This week I am sharing some foundational strategies that you can use while finding your groove as a remote salesperson:

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Would you please look at me?! So much is left said, even when it is unsaid…

Introduction

A recent survey conducted by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) shows that when B2B buyers were asked what caused them to repeat buy from an organization, 53 % of the reason that they buy and buy again is because of the sales experience.

Another current survey done by Sales Force showed that 50% of companies stopped buying from their supplier because their competitor provided a better experience. That is right, you read that correctly, they lost existing customers because a competitor offered a better sales experience.

That loss of customers, while entirely unnecessary, can be avoided by anyone who is willing to make the effort to provide a seamless sales experience, and with sales now being online and digital – the playing field is becoming even more level than it has been in recent years.

However, if we hope to excel in this area, we must first understand the challenges, and determine how we will respond to these challenges. Our response to these buying and selling...

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Your customers have moved…

Sales have changed forever, and your customers are happy about it. Are you?  

Perhaps it sounds extreme to say that sales have changed forever, but it really has changed forever and it's not going to go back to the pre-covid sales world. What began as a crisis response has now become the next normal, and, this has significant implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future.  

When we talk about the changes thrust on us by COVD there are many buzzwords, but the most commonly used term that these changes fall under is “digital transformation”.  

Instead of face-to-face meetings, we are meeting online, instead of printed collateral we have digital assets, instead of real-time fully synchronous communication, we have asynchronous communication. Instead of management lead by walking around, it’s a world of leading with tools, metrics and instrumentation.  

The digital...

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There is more to life than PowerPoint, trust me…

You have probably never given much thought to the tools you used to have at your disposal in a traditional face-to-face selling environment because they were just ‘there’, am I right? And I say this because this was totally me… until recently. 

The good old whiteboard, a sheet of scrap papersome markers, and a few willing participants and voila, ideas generation, project planning creation – and even a sale or two! 

The good news is that those tools have not gone away, they have just been … enhanced or refreshed if you will. 

Refreshed for a new requirement. And along the way, they have acquired an awesome new power. 

I am going to share my top ‘go-to, must have’ tool that is the ultimate for me, and although I have presented on stages and in board rooms around the world, I have to stay on top of my game and this tool helps me to do just that. 

So, here it is – I use ...

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Miserable and overwhelmed is NOT the new normal

It is busy, I know, and when we realise that we are almost at the end of the year, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed is not good, working from this state can easily impact our creativity, our ability to think strategically and to engage meaningfully with others. The impact that our overwhelm has on others can have a devastating effect on team productivity and morale too.  

So, how do I become more productive right now, I hear you ask?  It's easier than you think.

Firstly, this may sound cliched, but it is only a cliché because it's true. How you think about yourself and how you talk to yourself can have a dramatic impact on how you perform. An old friend taught me this valuable lesson when he said to me; “Shelley, think of yourself as a dial, not a switch” It's easy to think of ourselves in binary terms, we're either good or bad, productive or lazy, clever stupid.

The truth is much more subtle and empowering than that. If you reflect on...

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Revving up your Data-Driven Presentations

Does your sales process require you to present detailed or technical information, or to demonstrate a product online?  Does it help you to draw out a diagram to explain your product or service? This is often the case in sales, and in the real world, that is easy to do over coffee, with a pen and a napkin.

To succeed in the digital world, however, you have got to play to the benefits of a whole new medium, with its demands for brevity, differences in presentation capabilities and a whole new set of techniques.

For most people stories are easier to remember than data or facts, stories stimulate the visual part of our brain as we picture what we are being told, and the picture that we create in our minds is easier to remember, and much longer-lasting.

I have shared the story of Alice in Wonderland before, where Alice finds herself on a path that splits and splits again, and on and on, and she does not know which path to take. The Cheshire Cat appears and asks her where she wants...

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