Entries Tagged as 'Fun'

B2B Selling - How to handle “I’m not ready to talk to sales yet” - Part 1

One of the toughest tasks for a sales person is engaging a prospect that is in the early stages of a new project and dismisses the need for help. Their response sounds something like this “I’m not ready to talk to sales yet, we’re just researching solutions right now…”. This is often followed by the dreaded, “I’ll contact you if I need more information”.

This is surprisingly easy to handle if you’re prepared, but a momentum killer if you aren’t.

Since the majority of the 70,000+ B2B leads that we’ve captured for our IT Technology clients over the last 4years fall into this category, I thought we might share one way to handle the objection and turn it into your advantage.

Our approach to solving this is based on 20 years of selling high-end IT gear to large commercial organizations and the Federal Government in both the pre- and post- internet era. To sell at this level, you must capture the customer’s curiosity and then wire the customer’s future requirements to fit your solution. This will work wonders but there are no short cuts!

Step 1 - You must create value in the eyes of the prospect at their current stage in the buying cycle - research

Resist the temptation to “sell them”. They don’t care about your solution. What they really need help defining are PROJECT REQUIREMENTS.

For a project of any significant size ($50K and up), most organizations will need to thoroughly define their requirements. So why do you launch into your product features and/or benefits?

Take a different approach, give them what they NEED by asking the Golden Question.

Yes, there is a Golden Question that you can ask to 1) instantly elevate your value, and 2) start the process of “wiring” your solution into their project requirements.

The Golden Question - via Phone or Email

“Mr./Ms. Prospect,
I completely understand you are in the early stages of your project so may I ask you a question (builds curiosity)?

Have you defined the requirements for your SAN Storage project, or no?

If not, I’d be happy to send you our “Top 20 Customer Requirements for a SAN Storage Solution”. This list was compiled from dozens of our storage customers and could be a starting point for your project.

I’d be happy to send you an electronic version to use however you wish, just reply with “send me the requirements doc” and I’ll get it out to you, no strings attached. Then, you can contact me when you are ready.

Thank you for your interest.


Top Sales Guy”

That’s it. Now you don’t have to buy my new book “The Golden B2B Sales Question” (grin).

This may sound simplistic but it accomplishes several key things.

First, it builds trust because you are listening to the customer and understand he is just researching.

Second, it asks the Golden Question in a way that the prospect is compelled to answer “Have you defined the requirements for your XYZ project, or no? The “or no” part is important because it gives the prospect an opening to tell you no, he hasn’t.

Third, any prospect that is serious now or in the future will want that “Top 20 Requirements…” list that was created by other customers…trust me. Just be ready to provide it in a form the prospect can use internally to help sell your products/services; no marketing fluff.

Creating the Top 20 Requirements Document

In Parts 2 and 3 of this series (one week apart), I will show you an actual example of a SAN Storage Project “Top 20 Requirements” document. You would, of course, need to tweak it to fit your specific solution but I’ll provide two different versions.

If you want it faster than that, email me. Otherwise, see you next week!

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Ben Franklin’s 14 Lessons For Getting Things Done

Benjamin Franklin was a man of action. Over his lifetime, his curiosity and passion fueled a diverse range of interests. He was a writer (often using a pseudonym), publisher, diplomat, inventor and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

His inventions included the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove. Franklin was responsible for establishing the first public library, organizing fire fighters in Philadelphia, was one of the early supporters of mutual insurance and crossed the Atlantic eight times. Self-development was a constant endeavor throughout his incredible life.

Benjamin Franklin was clearly a man who knew how to get things done.

Here are 14 action-inducing lessons from him:

Less Talk, More Action

“Well done is better than well said.”
Talk is cheap. Talking about a project won’t get it completed. We all know people who constantly talk about the things they are going to do but rarely ever take that first step. Eventually people begin to question their credibility. Taking action and seeing the task through to completion is the only way to get the job done.

Don’t Procrastinate

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
This is probably one of the first quotes I remember hearing as a teenager. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, Benjamin Franklin was not a man hung up on procrastination. He was a man with clear measurable goals who worked hard to turn his vision into reality. What are you putting off till tomorrow that could make a difference in your life today?

Be Prepared

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
You need a plan to accomplish your goals. Charging in without giving any thought to the end result and how to achieve it, is a sure way to fall flat on your face. Think like a boy scout. Have a realistic plan of attack and a systematic approach for getting where you need to be.

Don’t Fight Change

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
Whilst many of us don’t like change, others thrive on it. Either way change is inevitable. The stronger we fight against it, the more time and energy it consumes. Give up the fight. Focus on proactively making positive changes, instead of having change merely thrust upon you. Wherever possible, try to view change as a positive instead of a negative.

Get Moving

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”
There’s a reason we use the expression, movers and shakers. Movers are the ones who take action, the people who get things done, while the immovable are sitting around scratching their heads wondering how others could possibly be so successful. Which group do you want to belong to?

Avoid Busywork

“Never confuse motion with action.”
We are always running around doing things. We rush from one meeting or event to the next, sometimes without achieving a great deal. At the end of the day, how much of our busywork are we proud of? How much of that running around improves anyone’s life (including ours) for the better? Make your motion mean something.

Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
If we fear making mistakes, we become scared to try new things. Fear leaves us nestled in our comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone rarely leads to greatness. Taking risks and giving yourself permission to make mistakes, will ultimately lead you to whatever your version of success may be.

Act Quickly on Opportunities

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
Opportunities are everywhere. The trick is being quick enough and smart enough to seize them when they arise. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that something won’t work or can’t be done, allow yourself the freedom to ask what if?

Continue to Grow

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
We all have vices of some description. The key is to keep them under control or preferably eradicate them entirely. Be kind to those around you, whether they are neighbors, family, co-workers or friends. Never accept that you have finished growing as a person.

Keep Going

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
Have you ever looked at a successful entrepreneur or business person and thought how lucky they are? Most of the time, luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work and sacrifice on the other hand have everything to do with it. Successful people deal with failure. They tackle their demons head on. They pick themselves up and keep going.

Know Yourself

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
Understanding ourselves is not easy. Sometimes we just don’t want to see ourselves for who we really are. It’s much easier to hold onto a romanticized version of ourselves or to simply view ourselves through other people’s eyes. Start by being brutally honest with yourself. Follow through with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

Don’t Self-Sabotage

“Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?”
We spend so much time worrying about other people hurting us, yet fail to comprehend the damage we inflict on ourselves. If you are using negative self-talk, lying to yourself or indulging in addictive behavior you are self-sabotaging. Life can dish up enough challenges without us adding to the mix. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a best friend.

Don’t Give Up

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
Achieving our goals can be downright exhausting. There will be days when you want to give up. There will be times when your energy levels flatline and you wonder why you bother getting out of bed. Yet you push forward, day after day because you believe in yourself and you have the determination and strength to back up that belief.

Wise Up

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Benjamin was definitely onto something with this one. Who hasn’t had the thought - I wish I could know then, what I know now? Unfortunately there is no time machine; there is no going back. The key is to wise up as early as you can to start forging a life of purpose, achievement and happiness.

By Thea Easterby, a freelance writer. Her blog www.writechangegrow.com offers inspiring tips on writing, career change and personal development.

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How LeadLifter was born on LinkedIn

We are in the process of rebranding our EchoQuote tool into a broader company we’ve dubbed LeadLifter. EchoQuote is a good name for our lead capturing tool because it attracts our customer’s customers when they visit our client’s websites. The name EchoQuote, however, did not resonate with OUR prospective clients; B2B marketers. EchoQuote will continue to be the tool name under the LeadLifter umbrella so nothing will change for our existing clients.

How we got to LeadLifter using LinkedIn

Instead of embarking on a secret campaign of finding a new name, we decided to come up with a basket of potential names and then put it out into the marketing community for feedback. It was a bit risky but we pre-bought several domain names to make sure we could get the name we would ultimately choose.

We posted this on LinkedIn in the B2B Technology Marketing Discussion Group:

“Help us name a new company, watch it get built

We are starting a new “umbrella” company and need help naming it from the tech marketing pros here.

Our current problem is that we are using one of our tool names as the company name and it confuses our target clients. The tool will become one of several offerings for this new, high-level company.

Since companies these days must have an internet presence, we are limited by the names we can register. Here are our choices so far:


and a few other derivatives…

The value proposition for the future company is: “Our solutions maximize your marketing team’s efforts and supply your sales team with quality leads, fast. We do this by helping B2B marketers capture more high-quality leads from their existing websites quickly and inexpensively. We then help deliver those leads directly to the sales team for quick response, shortening the sales cycle and increasing sales. ”

Our target client is a VP/Director of Marketing and/or Sales of a mid-sized B2B company; generally technology based.

We want to choose a name that implies: action, fast, quality, lead conversion, funnel building, sales opps, etc.

The company is yet to be built. We’ve been agonizing over choosing the right name and I thought “go to the pros”. I’d rather use this method to get better feedback than a simple poll (which we will probably do once we get to a short list).

Of the name choices above, which would catch your attention? Which sound corny?

Suggestions and input will be greatly appreciated!”

The Response

LinkedIn members immediately began commenting on the posted names and came up with some terrific alternatives. There was considerable disagreement on several points but everyone backed up their positions with good data. We ultimately chose LeadLifter because it truly reflects what the new company does for its clients. Our flagship offering is our Lead Launch Program, a fixed price lead generation service that runs for 90 days.

Whether you are considering something major like rebranding or rolling out a new service, consider using social media channels to help guide you in the process. It worked for us!

Here’s our new LeadLifter logo with associated tagline “Maximize Marketing. Boost Sales.”


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Sales Training Startups Must Read - “Unfunded - From Bootstrap to Blue Chip”

Lately I’ve seen many YASTS (Yet Another Sales Training Start-up) emerging and I cheer when people decide to take the entrepreneurial leap. I’ve done it several times myself and there is nothing more exciting than channeling your past experience into a new venture and hanging out a shingle.

unfunded_coverFor those with high hopes of quick success with a big cash out however, I encourage them to check out Nick Carter’s new book “Unfunded - From Bootstrap to Blue Chip”. For new service start-ups, there is a lot of hard work ahead so be smart about.

“You can’t sell a job”

This is my favorite quote in the book but I’ll leave the source of that quote for you to discover. The bottom line is this; if your service business is not developed in a way that you can “productize” your services, then you will forever be the linchpin in the business. One unit of service, one unit of pay. Is that what emerging entrepreneurs want? I doubt it.

The Skinny

In 152 of the fastest reading pages I think I’ve ever seen, Nick lays out the pitfalls and opportunities for anyone thinking about taking the entrepreneur trip. His real life experiences growing up on a farm is a great back drop of inspiration, and perspiration, for us all.

Get it, read it (I could not put it down) and live it!

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Dolphin and Dog Video - Let’s Be Friends

Take 6 minutes out of your busy day and enjoy this, you won’t regret it!

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