Contained in the title of this post are the three themes of my new Selling at (and to) a Higher Level presentation. My personal story for building success over the last eighteen months has been based upon building authority, gaining trust, and practicing sound salesmanship throughout the process.
Building Online and Offline Authority
There are two kinds of authority.
First, your online authority which is measured by search engine ranking of your and your company’s names. Your website or blog has the highest authority relevance. The content you place there matters more to both search engines and humans alike. Focus first on creating a site with great content. The social networks like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are having a rapidly increasing relevance to authority building but should remain secondary to your site in time commitment.
Second, you must build authority with the people in your network. Some of these people you will do actual business with. Others are people who assist you in doing what you do. For example, people who share your online content on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Another example is people who assist you in securing speaking engagements and offline publishing opportunities. Relationships still take time but having solid online authority opens doors and speeds the process of building offline authority with people.
There is no secret sauce here.
You gain trust the old fashioned way – over time by being reliable and dependable. Do what you say you are going to do. Once committed to a schedule, stick to it. I deliver a blog post here each day at 4:30am central time for a reason. It demonstrates that I am reliable and dependable. See how your online behavior might cross over into expectations in the offline world? Just make sure you can live up to those expectations. Trust takes years to build and can be crushed in seconds.
Practicing Sound Salesmanship
The process matters.
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make at some point is to forget their sales funnel. Don’t do that, never forget your sales funnel. Know how many prospective customers you need at the top of the funnel to achieve your sales goals. Then, utilize your database and your network to follow-up and follow through with those folks. Remember that your database and your network are everything. So, automate carefully and never allow automation to dehumanizing the selling process. A Customer Relationship Manager (or CRM) is a great example of automation if it’s reminding you to give the prospect a call or send an email. When the system blindly sends emails, tweets or worse yet places an automated call to the prospect – not so good.
If your organization or event requires a public speaker with the ability to inspire audiences through business story telling, as I have done with the above presentation, please contact me to get the ball rolling.