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Transform Your Complex B2B Sales with these 8 Uncommon Techniques

Embark on the Road Less Traveled: Unleash the Power of Innovative Strategies in your Sales Landscape

Welcome back friend. Are you ready for your best sales week of the year?

🚀 Sales Insights: This week is about uncommon thinking in sales.

I love to go hiking, especially in the mountains. I’ve been faced with paths just like this one. To the left is the well-traveled path. To the right is the road less traveled. I’m a sucker for the one to the right, and my family always debates me thinking I’m taking them to the danger zone.

How often, though, have we faced common knowledge with uncommon thinking? Today, there’s never been a better time. Here are nine areas where uncommon thinking has helped me sell more. What about you? Got any favorite uncommon approaches? Please share!

  1. Misconception: B2B Sales is all about the hard sell. Reality: While persistence is key in sales, B2B sales are more about building relationships and understanding customer needs. It's about solving problems that deliver the value you can measure, not just selling a product or service.

  2. Misconception: The cheapest product always wins in B2B Sales. Reality: While price plays a role, it's not the sole determining factor. Businesses consider various aspects such as quality, service, reliability, and the potential for long-term partnerships. If you assume that positioning yourself as the low-price leader guarantees success, how can you be certain it aligns with your prospect's requirements? What if their priority is speed and immediate value? In such cases, starting off with a focus on price creates misalignment from the very beginning.

  3. Misconception: B2B Sales is a quick process. Reality: B2B sales often involve multiple decision-makers and a longer sales cycle. Buying cycles in the US seem more like France—decisions by committee, politics, and lack of anyone wanting to commit (sorry to my French peeps - I call ‘em like I’ve seen ‘em). Patience and persistence, with a healthy dose of resilience, are key in today’s market.

  4. Misconception: B2B Sales is all about the product. Reality: While the product is important, B2B sales also involve selling the company - its reputation, service, and reliability. Even more, people want to align with a company’s values today.

  5. Misconception: Cold calling is the most effective B2B sales strategy. Reality: OK - I admit that this one isn’t on the top of everyone's radar. Many feel cold calling is past its prime. It’s not, but it’s different today. While cold calling is one part of a sales strategy, it's often more effective to use a mix of strategies, including networking, referrals, social selling, outbound digital, and inbound marketing. I’ve even used the fax for outreach to clients in the healthcare and legal industries. I sent a fax with a sharpie on the cover page that said, “Let’s meet for lunch. I’m buying, and I have an idea that might work for your business.” I’ve received a 100% response rate on this tactic. It’s gold.

  6. Misconception: B2B buyers aren't on social media. Reality: Many B2B buyers are on social media and use it as part of their research process. What’s more, they are on EVERY social media platform. Yes, B2B buyers are on TikTok, Insta, and almost every platform you can imagine. A strong social media presence can be an effective part of a B2B sales strategy. Here’s another tip worth sharing. I stalk Facebook looking for in-office birthday celebration pics (or the company picnic, meetings, etc). Why? If I see a photo of people celebrating someone’s birthday, I look to see who is present. Who is absent? What’s the dynamic I can SEE and validate against my strategic plan?

  7. Misconception: B2B Sales is a numbers game. Reality: While reaching out to many potential clients can increase the chances of making a sale, quality often trumps quantity in B2B sales. Focusing on a smaller number of high-quality leads is often more effective. When I first started in sales, I worked in telesales, where I was required to do 120 dials daily. I failed miserably at the 120-per-day target. However, I was regularly 475% of my monthly quota. Why? I learned the secrets of how to engage others. My average call time was longer than everyone else. I had great calls and made connections, with longer talk time per call.

  8. Misconception: The salesperson is the most important person in the sales process. Reality: While the salesperson plays a crucial role, many must make today's sales process work well - on both sides. Think of yourself as a conductor. You want the right people chiming in at the right time to make something work well. And you have to align with your customers (you don’t want to put them to sleep or misalign your value). Understanding and choreographing your resources to meet their needs is the key to successful B2B sales.

💡 Entrepreneurial Mind: 

Here is one “off the beaten path” idea you can use in your selling approaches.

It’s called Effectuation.

Effectuation is a way of thinking and decision-making PROVEN to yield results, Anything that has been studied and shown successful is for me. Fortunately, I pursued an MBA after I had decades of experiences and mistakes - and the time we spent studying effectuation changed how I approach selling.

It’s why I’ve buried some of the McKinsey well-worn horizon principles. Today’s hypercompetitive and fast-paced world won’t slow down to a 36-month planning cycle. Two types of companies define the future, the quick and the dead. What works today is action. Effectuation is the roadmap.

🤖 AI Insights - Geek Out: Delve into the world of Artificial Intelligence. Understand its impact on sales, and learn how to leverage its power for your business.

OK, Igniters. Here’s something I mentioned two weeks ago in my AI post. AI will change over top-of-the-funnel activities.

If you are an SDR, you need to think about how you embrace new capabilities.

If you don’t have a sales team, you might want to do some outreach - well, this makes it interesting.

Here’s what I am talking about. I am a big fan of Loom. It’s a way to send quick video emails to your prospects or customers.

Now comes a nice improvement with a company called BHuman. I have not used this, but it's a company I am tracking. They are in beta and claim to be able to generate one video and personalize it for your mass mail list.

Wow.

How long does sending a personalized video email on a platform like Loom take? For me, it’s anywhere from 5-20 minutes.

Now personalize that video for 100 people. If Bhuman delivers, it’s a potential savings of over 12-16 hours.

It doesn't replace a seller. It replaces the time to personalize every video email. It's not why I signed up for sales, but unfortunately, we all spend too much time monkeying around with junk that doesn’t add $$$$.

🗺️ Joe's Adventures: 

I see sales skills, or lack of them, everywhere. Are you the same way? Are your ears tuned to the pitches of others who try to sell you? Mine are.

Unfortunately, Friday night had a massive spring storm in the DFW area. It was a big storm! We had baseball size hail destroy cars, windows, and roofs. Thankfully no one was injured.

My dog was the only one excited about the hail

However, this meant a nonstop flurry of roof repair salespeople was door-knocking all weekend.

Door-to-door sales are no joke for anyone who has sold door-to-door before. I’m also a little suspicious of people showing up at my door - so after checking all the security cameras, I’m picky about who I open the door for.

But I did open the door five times out of approximately twenty.

Who made the cut? I opened for people:

  • wearing identification - photo IDs

  • carrying a ladder and a drone

  • understood they had to offer value - fast!

You may not be going door-to-door in your business. Few of us do.

But what do your prospects think when you show up in person or on video? What impression is made when you step into the room?

Hopefully, you don’t scare them.

One of the best opening lines I heard a roofing salesperson ask me is, “Would you mind if I took a look at your roof? If I find any damage that needs immediate repair, I’ll put a tarp or stop the leak so you don’t have an indoor waterfall at 1am.”

This vivid description reminded me of my friend Erik’s powerful imagery of life on the Willa Kenzie Estate last week. I could picture waking up to the sound of a leak gone wild.

Guess what my response was?

What are you doing to stop the leaks for your prospects and customers?🤔

Note: I also had someone reach out on LinkedIn. A stand-out move in an industry where no one is doing this!

🔦 Sales Spotlight: If you are door-knocking (my real estate audience) or cold calling, here are some good sales tips to help you advance the sale:

  • “Hi (smile), how have you been?” (breed familiarity and is a pattern interrupt. People are not used to hearing this. They expect, “Hi, I’m so and so with XYZ company. How are you today - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”

  • Get permission - “Would it be OK to share exactly why I called/stopped by. If it’s not for you, we can hang up/ close the door.”

  • Know & share their challenges - “I know I wouldn’t want my roof to start leaking at 1 am, so can I check it out quickly"?”

  • Always guide to the next step - If you don’t have a clear next step, get one. You should be here not to make the sale but to make the initial connection. The next steps involve showing up with more value.

🎓 Sales MBA: 

The market ended on a Friday with unease about addressing the debt ceiling. While this may capture headlines, here are the data related to the markets your customers operate in:

  • IT, consumer discretionary, communication services, and financial sectors had a good week, with gains across all of them.

  • Consumer staples and utilities declined last week.

  • Tech is approaching a breakout, and it will be interesting to watch earnings this week.

Question: How will commodity prices, debt ceiling, and other financial news impact your customers and their buying decisions? Learn to dig deeper into the financial health of industries and market sectors your customers are in.

One of my favorite resources is finviz. Financial charts and news galore. Try linking it with ChatGPT for a few amazing results. If you share this newsletter with a few friends, I’ll send you an amazing guide full of tips and tricks for maximizing your ChatGPT sales journey.

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