How to Go From Good to Great (as a Networker)

February 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

I’ve been doing this networking thing for a long time and I keep hearing about people that are “great” networkers. I am often introduced to these folks and I must admit that while sometimes I am in full agreement with the pronouncement of greatness, there are times, well, I am a little more than under-whelmed.

So how do you stack up? Are you a great networker? Ask yourself these 5 simple questions and arrive at the answer yourself.

• Are you truly proactive in your networking connections or do you tend to be reactive and wait until one of your contacts asks you if you happen to know a FILL IN THE BLANK before making an introduction (i.e. needs-based connecting)?

• Do you pre-qualify the folks with whom you have been introduced before having a phone or in-person conversation? Do you frequently make assumptions that someone might not be “good for you” because they are not “logical” connectors for your type of business, or do not seemingly have access to the types of contacts that you require?

• Do you go beyond the obvious and make connections based on more “sophisticated” indicators. For example, if you know people that get most of their business introductions from a specific type of referral source, do you introduce them to each other even if they would have no other way for them to do business or network together?

• Do you make connections on a regular basis, perhaps even establishing a quantitative goal for each week?

• Do you ask the people that make introductions for you if they would like to be kept in the loop or if it would be okay to follow-up without keeping them included in the email thread? Do you say thank you?

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Unless You Can Sing Like B.B. King, Don’t Sing the Blues

February 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, meetings, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, small business | Leave a comment

I went to a networking event the other night and as you do at these types of events, I engaged in conversation with many of the attendees. Bad idea! It seemed as if every other person with whom I spoke was “singing the blues!”

“Sure, business is better now but with last year’s debacle, I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up”

“I don’t know why the paper says the recession is over because I’m not seeing too many improvements”

And so on. You get the idea. Singing the blues. To me. Not to one of their trusted advisors, not to a colleague but to me, a business person unknown to them and perhaps, a good referral source or, still better yet, a potential new client.

Despite my best efforts to turn these conversations around, many of the blues singers persisted and, of course, the conversations turned dreary. And of course I was thinking: would I wish to refer or do business with theses folks if, as they revealed, things were so bad?!

What does singing the blue accomplish? It’s nice to vent and share feelings and situations with folks with whom you have a business relationship. But strangers? Somehow I don’t think that’s such a smart idea.

So next time you find yourself singing the blues to persons unknown, get a grip and simply stop yourself before you create a negative first impression.

You know what they say: you don’t have a second chance to create a first impression.

Make certain that you create a good / positive one.

The Marriage – Um – Divorce Between Marketing and Sales

February 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Branding, Marketing, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We all know the story that marketing and sales go hand-in-hand. I mean it’s a fact right? You can have a pretty terrific marketing campaign that might even win awards, gets recognition and all that good stuff and STILL not get you the ROI that you want (read that as increased new business).

Equally true is that a sales person should always be able to get better results when they have effective marketing materials to help them tell their sales story.

This is all very simple.

Then why is it that so many marketing campaigns are created without much of a thought…ok, real thought to what comes after the marketing.

What happens if and when the sales reps following up on the marketing campaign are just not able to close the business?

I’ll tell you what happens.

• The company decides that the marketing program wasn’t “really” effective.
• The marketing firm gets put on notice and bad-mouthed for not producing new business.
• The company decides that marketing stinks and is irrelevant to their success.

One or all of the above.

And if just isn’t true.

I’m a sales trainer and I see marketing campaigns from a different perspective.

I see campaigns started without a thought to what is going to happen afterwards and when results are poor everyone seems confused and unhappy.

And of course the lack of response could have been avoided if only if the sales portion of the campaign was in place BEFORE the marketing efforts were deployed. YES—what happens after the mail is dropped, the website goes live, the email is sent, the ads appear, the telemarketers generate interest…that’s where sales jumps in.

Heck, let us be part of the plan!

All of you marketing firms out there—wouldn’t your clients be even more satisfied if you made certain that the pieces of the follow-up sales game lined up and ready to go. Sales process? Check. Lead follow-up procedures? Check. Sales reps trained and skills refresher provided? Check. CRM and touch point management strategy developed? Check.
You get the idea.

Don’t start one more campaign without talking to your client about their sales follow-up. They’ll thank you for it!

Sales Can Suck: How to Get Your Groove Back

February 1, 2011 at 9:47 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

Sales can be a challenge and sometimes it seems as it there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Days of cold calls that go nowhere. Networking events at which you stand around clutching your glass of wine like a life preserver and seemingly no “good” people to meet, endless rounds of meetings that end with “we have to think about”–well, you get the idea. Challenging, right?

So how do you get your groove back and recharge? Here a few simple things that you can do:

1. Take a bit of time to stand back and assess the situation to see what you can do differently to get different/better results from your sales efforts. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. We all know that yet lots of us get mired in inertia and ultimately do the same old thing the same old way and guess what…get the same old (bad) results.

2. Seek the advice and counsel of your trusted advisers. We are “in the frame” and therefore cannot see the picture. Seek some clarity and guidance.

3. Do something that “feels good” and which gives you pleasure. Take some time to rejuvenate and stop beating yourself up. Sometimes a day away from your office and work can help you to get on the right path.

4. Work on a project on which you know you will succeed. There is nothing worse than having a long string of failures. Your confidence gets undermined and a success will help to raise it up again.

5. Keep things in perspective. Everyone in sales has their highs and lows but if you take the time to understand what you might be able to do differently, the circumstances can and will change.

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