Category Archives: Tools

Using Others’ Recommendations To Move Along A Sale

It is a warm and fuzzy feeling when a client sends you a testimonial or recommendation – stating the wonderful qualities of your personhood and praising your wise and savvy business solutions.

LinkedIn has simplified the process of asking for recommendations from colleagues and clients.  Those who use LinkedIn as part of their business media strategy find it natural to receive recommendation requests from those with whom they have done business.  Potential clients can view your recommendations to gain insight into the results you deliver before deciding if they want to engage in business with you.  You can also do the same for potential business partners you are considering.

However, there is another way that you can use the recommendations section of LinkedIn to help move your sale along with a prospect.  From a contact’s profile page, you can view the recommendations that they have given to others.  Read what they have written about other people.  It gives you insight to what the prospect values.  Look for patterns.  If in three or four recommendations he states, “Jim is very detail-oriented…”  “Sally’s attention to detail helped our company…” etc. you would learn that “attention to detail” is something of importance to this person.

This information can help you tremendously in learning which types of information about your product or service would be relevant and how you should handle this account.

The more you understand what your prospect values, the better equipped you are to move your sale along.  Soon, that prospect will become a satisfied customer providing you with a recommendation.

Happy Selling!

What can you do in 11 minutes?

What can you do in 11 minutes?  I hope it’s a lot, because a study by the University of California (Irvine) found that the average employee can devote a mere 11 minutes to a project before being interrupted.  If the worker is distracted long enough, he or she is not even likely to return to that task on that same day.

Are you able to write that proposal, complete that report, make those prospecting calls or devote brain power to that strategic plan in an 11 minute window?  Me neither.  Early in my career, it would take me 11 minutes to get psyched up to even begin making prospecting calls, let alone get any of them done.  And for projects?  I need time for my thoughts to percolate (much like my coffee) and I need time to get into my groove.  11 minutes is simply not long enough for the creative juices to flow.

So what to do?

Do Not DisturbI used to recommend my sales people hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their door or outside of their cubicle to let their co-workers know when they are in serious need of time to get momentum going with a project.  Now, with distractions such as email and online networking tools it is critical to hang a virtual “do not disturb” for yourself!  It is just too easy to get swept away into the virtual world at the neglect of the things you must do to pay the bills.

I am a big fan of tools like Freedom that allow you to turn off contact with the outside world so you can give your proposal, calls and projects the time and consideration they need.  Additionally, find the blogs and discussion groups that add value to your day (like this one!), spend a few minutes with them and then move along.  Try not to get swept up into the online activities that are nothing more than distraction from the more difficult parts of your day.  Balance is important.

Now, I am going to grab a cup of coffee and flip the “do not disturb” sign.  Happy selling!

Checking Your Connections On LinkedIn

In our webinar “Using LinkedIn To Generate Sales” one of the things I suggest you do is to check who your connections have added to their network on a regular basis. This is a great source of new connections as you will uncover people you know who might have just joined LinkedIn and connections you may have forgotten about.

LinkedIn provides you with a simple way to quickly check who your connections have added to their network:

  1. Click on ‘Contacts’ at the top of your home page. This will take you to the ‘My Connections’ page.
  2. Select the ‘Recent Activity’ filter in the left panel.
  3. Click on the ‘Connections With New Connections’ filter in the left panel.
  4. Click on their name in the middle panel to refresh the right panel with their mini-Profile.
  5. Click on the number in the ‘Connections’ field of the connection’s Profile.

If you do this every day you will be a better idea of what your network is doing and who they are connecting with.

Selling With Facebook

Facebook has a reputation as being a huge time-waster, but as a business owner can you afford to ignore a platform that 47.9 percent of Canadians and over 41 percent of Americans use? Among large countries with over 10 million citizens, Canada ranks as the number one nation of Facebook users.
Say what you will about Facebook, but there is no better tool for connecting people. As a small business owner you have the opportunity to use Facebook to expand your online presence, to engage with customers and prospects, and to sell more products and services.

Our free 60 minute webinar is designed to help you master Facebook to connect with and engage your prospects and customers. We are running the first webinar on Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT. You can register here.

Be Prepared

Do you have a networking toolkit? No entrepreneur should leave home without one.  Take a few minutes now and pull one together.  Your kit should contain the following items:
  • plenty of business cards
  • couple of pens
  • invites to an upcoming event your hosting
  • business cards of professionals you prefer
You also need to have a networking mindset; which means act like a host not a guest.
Think of how you might act if you were hosting the event instead of just coming as a guest.  Would you be more out-going?  Would you operate in a ‘giving’ mode?  Would you look for lulls in conversation and introduce people to each other?  If you act like a host you will find you are the one who will get more quality contacts.

Tool Tip: Creating A Custom URL For Your LinkedIn Profile

During our “Using LinkedIn to Generate Sales” webinar we suggest that you create a custom or vanity  URL for your LinkedIn profile.   Changing your profile URL is a very simple process.  If you are tired of your profile having a prison inmate-style number, watch the video below.

If you would like to register for our free webinar “Using LinkedIn to Generate Sales” follow the link to sign up.

Using LinkedIn To Generate Sales -Free Webinar

Using Linkedin To Generate Sales

We offered a free webinar on “Using Linkedin To Generate Sales” for Thursday July 29th. Thinking that it was summer and a lot of people are often away enjoying the beautiful weather we only offered one date option. The webinar filled up within a couple of hours of our announcing it so we have added another session on Wednesday August 4th starting at 10:00 AM (PST) and that class right now is half full. Someone asked me why we have a limit on our webinars. We like to limit our webinars to smaller numbers because it makes it easy for people to have their specific questions answered; and once we climb above 50 people it gets harder to answer everyone’s questions. A description of the webinar is below. Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues.

Register Here

Using LinkedIn To Generate Sales
Learn how to use LinkedIn to develop leads and convert them to sales. Discover innovative ways to find, connect with and sell to new clients in less time by leveraging the power of LinkedIn.

This 90 minute webinar will show you how to source for leads, conduct research and marketing, use powerful productivity tools and connect with the exact prospects you want using the most popular business-based social network in the world.

About LinkedIn
70 million people use the site to share information on themselves, their companies, and their industries. Decision makers scour the site to find the best vendors, hire the best people, and research their competitors.

And it’s all waiting for you. Salespeople struggle with hot leads because database information goes bad at the rate of 20-30% a year. LinkedIn is a self-cleansing database where decision makers update their contact information. These decision makers are connected, savvy, and open to being sold by the right connection.

About Colin Parker
Colin is the CEO of Red Giraffe Strategic Sales & Marketing. Colin started his career in Sports Marketing specializing in major event promotion. Colin worked on high profile events such as the Summer Olympics, the Queen’s Plate, Breeder’s Cup and international and world championships in several sports. Colin has spent over fifteen years as an Executive Vice President of Sales with a number of technology companies in the United States and Canada. Colin specializes in helping organizations differentiate their sales and marketing efforts to obtain superior results.