Monthly Archives: February 2015

How to Sell More Without Being Sleazy

 

By Kendrick Shope

We’ve all been bullied into buying something that we don’t really want or need, and it leaves us with such a bad taste in our mouth that “sales” practically becomes a bad word. So when it’s your turn to sell your products or services, maybe you tiptoe around closing the sale.

The problem is that without sales, your business will not make any money. In fact the actual definition of “selling” is the exchange of money for a product or service.   

Business Truth: You must sell in order to make money in your business. The good news is you can sell in a way that is authentic to you, your business and your brand. 

Today I’m going to take you through five steps to get out of the sleaze zone and into authentic selling, leading to more revenue, results, and raving fans in your business.

Step One – Consistency 

One reason a consumer doesn’t purchase a product or service is there is a lack of trust that the product will do what’s promised. One of the biggest ways to overcome that lack of trust is by taking consistent actions. 

One way to do this is to simply publish your blog at the same time on a consistent schedule, or send out newsletters on the same day. Another way to implement this is to address your emails with the same opening and closing every single time. 

Action Step: Decide one area of your business where you will commit to being consistent, if it’s you’re blog, your greeting in your emails or your closing. Stick to this for at least six months to gain the trust of your market, which leads to a decrease in sleaze!

Step Two – Relationships

Recently I heard someone say they believed the relational sell is dead. I’ve been selling for over a decade and I assure you that sales people who focus on relationships first make more money, have client loyalty on their side and run more successful businesses.  

One of the biggest ways to focus on relationships is to make a sales call where you sell nothing. In the online world I call these pitch-free mini-sessions. The goal of these sessions is to offer to be of service providing one piece of advice to a potential customer. This is about getting to know this specific customer’s issues and struggles and providing one tangible tip to help them make progress toward a bigger goal. 

Other sales experts will tell you this is ludicrous and you should never miss an opportunity to close a sale. What those experts are missing is you have to earn the right to sell someone by building relationships.

Action Steps: Spend time in social media or where your customer spends time and offer free tips and advice. Look for opportunities to engage and get to know people forming relationships. This will turn into customers for your business.  

Ways to use social media to increase your relationships

  1. When you see someone on social media struggling and you know you can help them, offer to hop on the phone and coach them free.
  2. Post your freebie weekly on all social media outlets.
  3. Ask a specific question at the end of each blog post so that you can respond and engage with your list.
  4. Create a community on Facebook or Google. Invite your ideal customers to join. Over-deliver in this group by giving free advice and coaching.  

Step Three – Follow Up 

According to The Marketing Donut, 80 percent of all sales are closed in the fifth follow-up communication, yet those same stats show that the majority of business owners don’t take the time to follow up. I guarantee if you make it a practice to follow up with potential leads you will see an increase in your sales. Follow-up doesn’t have to be pushy; it can even be checking on the progress your potential client has made since your last communication.  

Action Step: Put in your calendar now to follow up on with one customer or potential customer a day and watch how five minutes a day leads to more money and more customers. Or even better, automate your follow up so you don’t even have to think about it. 

Step Four – Know Who Benefits

This is something sales schools at Fortune 500 companies teach: Know exactly who will benefit from your product and who will not.  

Selling anything to someone who isn’t a match for your product or service is downright slimy, but most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. Most new businesses make the mistake of trying to help everyone, which is a surefire way to confuse your market and leave you feeling slimy.  

You need to be able to articulate in one solid sentence who your product will benefit the most and who it is not a good fit to help. 

Action Step: Write one sentence here using the below structure to help you articulate who your product or service will benefit the most.  When in doubt, refer back to this statement and you’re assured to keep yourself in the sleaze-free selling zone!

[Name of your product or service] was created to help [your target market] who are struggling with [pain points or what your customer is going to pay you to change].

Here is what this looks like with actual product information: 

Authentic Selling was created to help businesses sell more of their products and services in an ick-free way.

Step Five – Write A Quota

As a sales expert, I love number quotas and sales goals but that isn’t what I’m talking about here. Oftentimes successful business owners begin to wonder if they’re in the sleaze zone of selling when they experience a client or two who isn’t getting real results.  

Now, let me be clear: It’s you job to over-deliver so that your clients can take your information and create results. However, you need to set yourself up for success. 

Write down exactly what you plan to deliver so that you know what to promise in your sales communications. One of the reasons selling feels icky is that sales people promise stuff and then never make good on that promise. 

The way to avoid being that person is to make sure you have your quota straight and know exactly what you are responsible for delivering.  Then you will only promise what is real and authentic and kiss the sleaze goodbye.

These five steps seem simple at first read, but I guarantee you will experience and increase in revenue, results, and raving fans by learning to sell sleaze free. I created Authentic Selling for business owners who are ready to do business a different way.  After graduating from two sales schools, working as a top performing sales representative for over a decade and helping hundreds of clients implement these same strategies into their business, I assure you these simple steps work.  

What kind of results can you expect?

Business owners who are serious about applying these simple strategies have made as much as an additional $ 40,000 in one launch, filled six-month waiting lists, and have never felt better about communicating what they have to offer.  Authentic Selling opens the door to make anything you want to do in your business possible. And that’s not even my sales pitch – that’s just the facts.

 

photolove shope05 How to Sell More Without Being SleazyKendrick Shope is the creator of Authentic Selling, inspirational speaker and consultant for the next generation of business owners. Her mission is to help others realize anything is possible.  

Kendrick has been featured in The Daily Times, Maryville, NBC Chicago, The Advocate, and Modern Achiever among others. She’s known throughout the online industry for providing real results – and for being “sweet as pie, but tough as nails.”

Currently, Kendrick lives in Bentonville, Arkansas and lives with her husband and beautiful daughter.

 

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unknownskywalker:This very detailed simulation of large scale…

This very detailed simulation of large scale structure was created as part of the Illustris simulation. The distribution of dark matter is shown in blue and the gas distribution in orange. This simulation is for the current state of the Universe and is centered on a massive galaxy cluster. The region shown is about 300 million light-years across.

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A Smarter Planet

Brands converge at Mobile Summit to trade secrets about how to grow on mobile

Obsessed with mobile growth? Join us February 23-24 when we reveal the best technologies and strategies to help your company grow on mobile. It all takes place at our 5th annual Mobile Summit at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, CA. See if you qualify here.


Mobile Summit is just around the corner and we have gathered top-tier executives from well-known brands to join us for debate, discussion, and networking.

It’s why the Mobile Summit is one of the most valuable annual events for senior exec’s faced with a mobile-first world. On Feb 23 and 24, some 180 leading executives will convene at the intimate setting of Cavallo Point (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge) and demystify the most essential issues and challenges around achieving growth on mobile. Together, we’ll share the most current knowledge and practices from those on the leading edge.

(It’s an invite-only event for senior-level brand and tech executives: if you’re interested in applying, click here.)

We have executives from a host of leading companies contributing to the debate, including Google, Lyft, American Eagle, Hilton, Clorox, Zillow, Spotify, Hallmark, NY Times, Parse-Facebook, Visa, Expedia, Office Depot, TOMS Shoes, and many more.

Here is a peek at some of the exciting sessions we have added to the line-up recently.

The future is rich advertising: Video advertising on mobile finally clicks

The kind of simple advertising (offered by Google) may soon wither away, according to some analysts. In the highly competitive market of ride-sharing, Lyft has to maintain constant growth while grabbing new users’ attention in a more engaging way. The innovative pink mustache caught everybody’s eye and allowed them to standout amongst their more “traditional” competitors. But now mobile video advertising also provides them with a cool edge. Lyft’s CMO Kira Wampler and Vungle’s CEO Zain Jaffer talk with “sharing economy” guru Jeremiah Owyang about how to deliver reach, relevance, and richness through video advertising — while acquiring new users at the right price.

Whether you’re an all-digital business, or bricks and mortar, it’s about “attribution,” stupid!

It’s inescapable. Marketing is increasingly a technical discipline. Data and algorithms allow us to scale up the reach while refining targeting and personalization. But most brands are selling products that can’t be instrumented as easily as a digital product, especially after purchase. Ashu Garg of Foundation Capital will talk with Doug Miliken, VP, Global Brand Development, Clorox, Jeremy Wacksman, VP, Marketing & Product, Zillow about the challenges facing both traditional and digital brands. How can CPG brands monitor digital attribution the way mobile-first businesses do? And should they?  Can a strictly digital brand like Zillow learn a few new tricks from an old dog like Clorox?

Why you need context for better, more lucrative ads

Spotify is a pioneer in the on-demand music streaming revolution. Connectivity is everywhere and data plans are more affordable letting publishing platforms like Spotify leverage more signals to model their user’s behavior. Users love tailored experiences and advertisers love to know more about their audience’s habits. Always-on allows them to deliver on both. Big brands have advertised through traditional radio content for decades.  Brian Benedik, VP, North America Ad Sales, Spotify & Harry McCracken, Technology Editor, FastCompany explore traditional brands realizing the huge benefits mobile platforms have to offer and they are putting their money where their mouth is.

We look forward to seeing you at Mobile Summit!

The Mobile Summit is taking place February 23 and 24 at Cavallo Point Lodge just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Fill out an application to attend.


Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting the VB Mobile Summit: Skyhook as Platinum Partner; AppLovin as Gold Partners; Tune and Taptica as Silver Partners.

 


Want more? Join us February 23-24 for our 5th annual Mobile Summit where the most senior leaders and best minds meet to discuss the latest mobile growth strategies at Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, CA. See if you qualify here.


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VentureBeat » Big Data News | VentureBeat

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China Mobile Looks To The Cloud In New Search Engine Deal

China Mobile and Chinese search engine Baidu reached a deal to jointly build a new-generation mobile Internet cloud computing center.

The center is named Baidu Yizhuang New-generation Search Data Center (first phase) and financial terms of the deal were not released..

According to China Mobile, this will become the industry’s first large-scale cloud computing center which targets mobile Internet businesses.

Baidu Yizhuang New-generation Search Data Center (first phase) is jointly invested and constructed by China Mobile and Baidu. With a total construction area of about 38,000 square meters, it plans to deploy over 40,000 servers. The new cloud computing center will adopt green energy-saving design ideas and apply Baidu’s patent technologies. Its technical parameters will reportedly be the highest density, lowest power consumption, and most balanced in China.

The data center will reportedly begin operation at the beginning of 2016. By then, China Mobile will provide 1,388 high-power high-density cabinets to Baidu.

At present, China Mobile’s cloud computing bases in Beijing and Guangzhou have already put into operation, and its projects in Harbin, Guizhou and Suzhou are undergoing construction.

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ChinaWirelessNews.com

Why 70% Of Your Employees Aren’t Into You – And How You Can Get Them Back

Though your employees may show up each morning with bright, smiling faces, secretly (or sometimes not), 70% of them are just not that into you. They may say they are satisfied, but are their hearts really into it? Generally, you won’t know until they bolt when the next hot job opportunity comes along.

Personally, I’ve been guilty of this attitude in the people walking separate ways e1423708581636 300x200 Why 70% Of Your Employees Aren’t Into You – And How You Can Get Them Backpast. In one of my first corporate jobs, I was thoroughly engaged – working long hours and finding ways to show my value. Then one day, my eagerness backfired. “If I promote you, I can’t possibly find someone to replace your current position and everything you do. You run a well-oiled machine. Why would I ruin that?” said one of my managers.

Needless to say, this conversation quickly deflated any sense of engagement for me. At the same time, I learned something very valuable: Disengagement is not a sign that employees don’t care. It’s a disconnect between executive leadership and their employees.

Disengagement is not about caring – it’s about connecting

Even though most employers provide the basic benefits and incentives employees want, there are some intangible incentives that employee value even more. According to the latest Workforce 2020 research from Oxford Economics, sponsored by SAP, employees indicated that they want to know that their work is meaningful and serves a significant purpose. They desire recognition for their performance and success, education opportunities to expand their skill sets, and career advancement.

Unfortunately, this is not happening in most companies. In fact, executives painted a different picture with their belief that bonuses, training, benefits, and personal recognition enhance engagement.

When you look at the gap between what executives think and what employees want, you can easily see the problem. More money and perks are not the answer to creating a more engaged workforce. Instead, executives have to reach the hearts of their employees to create a culture that meets their core needs.

It’s time to start courting your existing workforce all over again

Last year, The Energy Project, in collaboration with Harvard Business Review, explored factors that influence engagement and productivity at work. Across the board, the study revealed that employees are most satisfied and productive when four core needs are met:

  1. Overall physical well-being
  2. General feeling of being valued and appreciated for contributions
  3. Mental challenges that are invigorating, meaningful, and well-defined
  4. Spiritual connection of serving a higher purpose at work and doing what they enjoy and/or do best

Whenever these needs are supported, employees are more likely to be engaged, loyal, and full of positive energy. More important, stress levels are lower. The more needs that are met, the more likely employees decide to stay and become an active contributor to the overall business’ success.

But first, you must create a workplace culture that addresses and nurtures these basic needs. Check out the infographic A Guide to Employee Engagement for a five-step approach to increasing employee engagement.

What do you think? How do you keep employee engagement alive in your company? Please share your story!

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Innovation » future of business

Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for Admins

 Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for AdminsI started my career at Salesforce as a Success Manager, where I spent my days working directly with customers, helping them boost adoption, optimize their implementations, and ultimately get the most value out of their investment in Salesforce. And when it comes to getting value, nothing is better than getting something helpful for free, which is why I always loved talking to my customers about the AppExchange. Out of the 2,600+ apps on the AppExchange, 44% are available free of charge, and many are reasonably priced and deliver exceptional value.

In this five-part blog series, we’ll highlight Apps for Admins as we dig into some of the key challenges Admins face and the AppExchange apps, mostly free (and a few paid), that have made some of my customers more successful.

Houston, We Have a Problem … A Data Problem

Picture this: You’re at your desk working through your carefully prioritized backlog of requests when the phone rings. It’s your Sales Ops Director and she says, “We need to stop allowing everyone to create new leads. Can you make it so only managers can create leads?”

As an Admin, you know the answer is yes, and you could just update a few profiles and return to your backlog. But you also know that your role is not just some order taker, but a trusted Salesforce advisor to your company. You’re the Salesforce expert!

And that’s why it’s so important to ask questions, because sometimes a business user will come to you with a solution rather than articulating *why* she needs it—and that *why* is key! Once you know the why, you can use your creativity and expertise to come up with the best solution, which may or may not be the one originally requested. (See this podcast featuring Kevin Richardson and this blog from MVP Brent Downey for more on this topic.)

In this example, asking questions leads us to the real problem: The sales team has found a number of duplicates in Salesforce and it’s hurting their productivity. Now you can really dig in with additional questions, like:

  • What makes a duplicate a duplicate?
  • Are you using any Web-to-lead forms or doing data imports?
  • Do you want your users to be alerted to potential duplicates at the point of entry? If yes, do your users also use mobile?
  • Are you planning to merge records? If yes, what fields will you use to determine a match?
  • Do you want your users to be able to merge duplicates?
  • Which objects are affected? Leads, Contacts, Cases, and/or other objects?
  • Do we need to clean up existing data?
  • Do we need to back up our data?
  • Is there any budget available to solve this issue?

The great news is, for every answer to these questions, there are fantastic apps on the AppExchange to help Admins, including duplicate alerting and blocking, data cleanup, imports, and integration, plus there are free and paid options for each scenario. Read on to discover some of your options.

Block It

When you have a leak, it’s important to start with the source. The same is true with duplicates. Explore these apps to stop the flood by blocking duplicates right at the point of entry.

Are duplicates being created directly by users? If yes, are any of them being created via Salesforce1? If you’re looking to stop users from creating duplicate records, you’ll want to check out these free options:

  • Salesforce Duplicate Management Functionality: Not an app, but native functionality, currently scheduled for the Spring ’15 release. This will allow you to block leads at the point of entry. Bonus: It also works with Salesforce1!
  • DupeCatcher: Empower your users to identify, block, and de-dupe records at the point of entry. This free app works for Leads, Accounts (business and person), and Contacts, but does not have Salesforce1 functionality as of yet.

Are duplicates coming in from Web-to-Lead or Imports? If yes, you’re probably going to need a paid app. Check out these options; note that both also feature functionality for users at the point of entry:

  • DupeBlocker: Block duplicates coming in through Web-to-Lead. This paid app also features functionality to block duplicates at the point of entry.
  • RingLead Duplicate Solutions: RingLead offers solutions for Web-to-Lead and list imports, as well as data cleansing, diagnostics, and point of entry. Check out the listing for a complete overview of the options available. The diagnostic app is free, but the rest are paid.

Merge It and Clean It

If it’s determined that users should be able to merge their own Accounts, Contacts, and Leads, there is native functionality available in Salesforce, and you can simply enable those permissions. If you need to merge en masse, there are free and paid options available:

  • Duplicate Check for Salesforce: This free app allows you to run a batch process to clean up your org, de-dupe records at the point of entry, or take advantage of advanced fuzzy matching to find duplicates with different spelling. There are limits on the amount of records available for free; check the AppExchange listing for more details. Note: it does not have Salesforce1 functionality as of yet.
  • DemandTools by CRM Fusion: De-duplication, mass loading, and robust data cleansing features. Paid app.
  • Cloudingo: Cleanse import files, identify duplicate records, and merge and convert records automatically or manually. Paid app.
  • Case Merge Premium: Specifically for the Cases object, this paid app allows you to merge cases and their related records.
  • RingLead Data Cleanse: Identify duplicate records, and merge records automatically or manually, up to 1,000 records at a time. Paid app.

Load It Up

There are a number of free data loading tools available on the AppExchange, including Jitterbit Cloud Data Loader, Informatica Cloud Data Loader, and dataloader.io Data Loader for Salesforce. Salesforce also offers a native Data Import Wizard for importing up to 50,000 records. Call me old-fashioned, but I still use the standard Data Loader you can download from Setup at Data Management | Data Loader.

Back It Up

Now that you’re blocking, merging, and cleansing, it’s probably a good time to think about your overall data strategy and decide if you need regular data backups. Salesforce offers a free export service, either on demand or scheduled. I also think it’s a good practice to download the Setup Audit Trail twice a year, so you can retain your setup history.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution for backing up your data, check out Backupify. With this paid app, you can back up data and metadata, from production and sandbox environments, and the data is all searchable and accessible via a self-service portal.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for free functionality to prevent duplicates at the point of entry or a robust paid solution for overall data management, there’s an app for you to explore. So ask questions, get those requirements, and check out what the AppExchange has to offer.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our series as we continue with Apps for Admins. Up next, Analytics!

Check out the AppExchange and all the apps mentioned here: Apps for Admins

Chris Duarte is the Managing Editor of Trailhead, Salesforce

 Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for Admins

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Facebook launches ThreatExchange, an API-based platform that lets companies share security threat info

Facebook today launched ThreatExchange, described as “an API-based clearinghouse for security threat information.” It’s really a social platform, something Facebook naturally excels at building, which allows companies to share with each other details about malware and phishing attacks.

Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo participated in ThreatExchange and gave feedback as Facebook was developing it. New contributors Bitly and Dropbox have also recently joined, bringing the initial participant list to seven major tech companies (including Facebook).

logo placeholder Facebook launches ThreatExchange, an API based platform that lets companies share security threat info

threatexchange Facebook launches ThreatExchange, an API based platform that lets companies share security threat info

ThreatExchange is built on Facebook’s existing platform infrastructure, with layered APIs on top for partner companies to query available threat information and publish to participating organizations. Facebook says early feedback pushed for a platform that lets organizations be more open or selective about the information they share via a defined set of data types.

This resulted in privacy controls that let participants share only with the group or groups they wish (one participating partner, multiple, or all of them). A company may want to share specific information only with another company they know to be experiencing the same attack, for example.

“It was natural for us because our core service is a platform for sharing and because we already had a threat analysis framework called ThreatData that we could build upon,” Mark Hammell, manager of Facebook’s Threat Infrastructure team, said in a statement. “Our goal is that organizations anywhere will be able to use ThreatExchange to share threat information more easily, learn from each other’s discoveries, and make their own systems safer.”

While highly targeted attacks are on the rise, many threats go after multiple targets. As a result, one successful attack often results in a flurry of similar attacks performed elsewhere.

Facebook’s argument is that existing tools for sharing security information between organizations are inefficient, complex, and frankly a burden:

Email and spreadsheets are ad-hoc and inconsistent. It’s difficult to verify threats, to standardize formats, and for each company to protect its sensitive data. Commercial options can be expensive, and many open standards require additional infrastructure.

Many teams end up tackling the same problems that others have already solved. ThreatExchange aims to help companies secure their systems by letting them learn from each other’s discoveries.

The ThreatExchange landing page states: “That’s the beauty of working together on security. When one company gets stronger, so do the rest of us.”

We couldn’t agree more. When it comes to security, collaboration is much more important than competition.

More information:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.39 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 we… read more »

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