Sales Rises and Falls on Leadership
Talking to a legendary sales leader always makes me smarter.
This conversation with Barb Giamanco is one of those times. Tune in to see how sales leadership impacts the rise—and fall—of sales. We also discuss how to get people’s attention on social media, how to fix the seller’s mindset, and how to build the trust that can turn a $8 sale into a million dollar relationship.
In this episode of Conversations with Phil starring Barb Giamanco, we’ll answer:
- What is important enough to the person you’re trying to connect with that they will take the time to listen to you?
- How do you drive conversations in a helpful way?
- How do you overcome the objection, “I’m happy with my current vendor”?
Sales Leadership: Adapting to the New Buying Process
A few years ago, CEB came out with a study that 57% of the sales cycle happens before a buyer engages with a sales rep. Barb shares how she never saw that as a threat. Why?
Because that only means they’re going online for some early-stage research and asking questions about what to buy and from whom.
Barb says, “For me, that’s always been an opportunity and that opportunity is to find ways to have your face, your voice, and your thought leadership popping up. So when I think about using LinkedIn for sales, it’s a small, but powerful strategy.”What does @barbaragiamanco think about the CEB survey when it came out? In a word, opportunity #salesClick To Tweet
Using Technology in the Sales Process
Barb, who invented the phrase social selling, also shares how she uses LinkedIn to get the buyer’s attention. She looks for any interesting content that the buyer or their company shares. Then, she posts it and mentions the buyer in her post. Most people don’t realize that even 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn receive an email notification when you mention them.
“Many times,” Barb says, “They’ll come back and say thank you. I really appreciate that you shared my article or my post or congratulated us for the award our company just won.”
Bam! Now you’ve started a relationship. But these things take time and a response doesn’t automatically signal you should go into pitch mode. Barb continually preaches to recognize each stage of the relationship and to use that opportunity to develop trust.What should you do to get buyer's attention on LinkedIn? @barbaragiamanco says '@ mention' them #SalesClick To Tweet
Social Selling Means Being Social
Some of my favorite parts of this podcast are when Barb shares firsthand stories about how sales leadership can impact sales performance.
For instance, Barb shares a story about just getting started in technology sales as a rep at Microdyne that later became Ingram Micro. As a smaller distributor than most of their competitors, they made a decision not to limit orders, so clients could literally order a six-dollar cable, while their competitors continued to limit orders.
One day, Barb shares, “A retailer calls me and he says, ‘I feel bad about this but I need to buy one, eight-dollar cable.’ And I said, ‘All right. Not a problem at all. I’ll help you with that.’ And he said, incredulously, ‘That’s not a problem? You guys let me do that?’ I said, ‘Absolutely we’ll take care of that for you. You’ll need to pay for shipping, but it won’t be a lot. But absolutely, we don’t have any minimum orders.’”
Needless to say, he couldn’t believe it. He only bought a little bit at a time because he’d used a different vendor who had sold him a bill of goods and wouldn’t let him return it. In the process, he’d lost a lot of money. When he’d called, he was worried Barb was going to make him feel inferior.
Instead, Barb made him feel important and treated him as a valued customer. Over time, he became a million dollar client. When he reached that level of success, those other vendors who couldn’t have been bothered with him during the early stages of his company, suddenly all wanted the account.
But he said, “You guys wouldn’t pay attention to me when I was a little guy. Now that I’m a big guy, why would I trust you?”Can a $8 sale turn in2 a $1M sale? Absolutely! says @barbaragiamanco. Listen to how she did it #salesClick To Tweet
This is why true, long-term sales success is all about developing relationships, being honest, and treating all customers with respect. We all grow up, including businesses. But people still trust people that treat them with respect and deliver on their promises.
About Barb Giamanco
Barb Giamanco heads up Social Centered Selling. She’s the co-author of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media and authored the Harvard Business Review article Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy.
After 25+ years in Sales, Barb understands the challenges that sales leaders and salespeople face. She sold as an individual contributor and built and managed corporate sales teams where she earned a reputation for hiring the best of the best. She busted quota through the years of selling to multiple customer types: enterprise, mid-market, small medium business, distributors, retailers, and channel partner customers. She has spent the last 14 years learning what works and what doesn’t when implementing social media strategy as part of a business, sales, and marketing strategy.
With a successful C-level background in Sales, Technology and Leadership Development, Barb’s experience speaks for itself. She capped her corporate career at Microsoft, where she led sales teams and coached executives. Through the years she has sold $1B in sales.
Barb is consistently recognized as a Top Sales and Business Blogger, a Top 25 Influential Leader in Sales, a Top 25 Sales Influencer on Twitter and one of Top Sales World’s Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencers for the 3rd year in a row. Her LinkedIn profile ranks in the Top 1% of all profiles viewed.