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Selling Is Not About Relationships - Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Selling Is Not About Relationships - Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson | 9:29 AM September 30, 2011 This post, the first of a four-part series, is also part of the HBR Insight Center Growing the Top Line. Ask any sales leader how selling has changed in the past decade, and you’ll hear a lot of answers but only one recurring theme: It’s a lot harder. Yet even in these difficult times, every sales organization has a few stellar performers. Who are these people? To understand what sets apart this special group of sales reps, the Sales Executive Council launched a global study of sales rep productivity three years ago involving more than 6,000 reps across nearly 100 companies in multiple industries. We now have an answer, which we’ve captured in the following three insights: 1. Quantitatively speaking, just about every B2B sales rep in the world is one of the following types, characterized by a specific set of skills and behaviors that defines the rep’s primary mode of interacting with customers: 2. Why is this? 3. Related:  Sales

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Corn on the Job — Wisdom for Job Seekers The Worst Question a Salesperson Can Ask - Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson | 8:06 AM October 7, 2011 This post, the second in a four-part series, is also part of the HBR Insight Center Growing the Top Line. “What’s keeping you up at night?” This one question is probably asked by more sales people in a given day than any other. To understand what makes this question so destructive, we need to first understand where it comes from. As a result, companies have poured money into teaching their reps to ask better questions. But what if customers don’t know what they need? In our previous post we described a type of rep we call a Challenger. What does this sound like in practice? Today, a conversation with a Grainger rep is very different. No supplier wants to be in the business of free consulting — and Grainger is no different. These conversations aren’t happenstance. Done well, this sort of sales approach creates a powerfully differentiated interaction for customers because it leads with insight, not tiresome questions.

What Happened To Common Sense? I was talking to a customer today–not one of mine–possibly one of yours. We were talking about her frustrations, as a buyer, with sales people. She said something that struck me, “What happened to common sense?” It’s always fun and refreshing to talk to buyers, someone who is subjected to all the stuff sales people inflict on them. As a side note, I recommend every sales person take one of their customer out to lunch in the next four weeks and talk to them about their experiences with sales people, and how they would like to be treated. My conversation this morning was really refreshing. “I just want them to listen to me! We wound up our conversation, she sighed, “It all seems so simple. Out of the mouths of customers……. Try it out, take a favorite customer out to lunch, the only agenda should be about selling—not about what you want to sell them, not even about what they want to buy. Want to learn about the application of Lean principles to Sales and Marketing? Be Sociable, Share!

Instructional Designer (eLearning) in Atlanta, GA TrainingFolks is looking for an Instructional Designer for a contract opportunity in the Atlanta, GA area. About TrainingFolks: TrainingFolks is a global provider of custom learning solutions, consulting and contingent workforce services. Combining award winning adult learning experience, with a proven engagement methodology that includes a talented network of learning professionals, TrainingFolks collaborates with our clients to implement change. Founded in 1997, TrainingFolks’ mission is to build a higher performing work-force. We address our client’s issues of urgency, capacity and capability. Instructional Designer - Role Description: The Instructional Designer will design and develop instructional material for internal and field related training to support the company’s core business functions, which include sales training, leadership training and internal functional training. The Instructional Designer will be required to: The ideal Instructional Designer should possess: Location:

The George Costanza Approach to Fixing Fatal Flaws - Scott Edinger by Scott Edinger | 11:23 AM October 25, 2011 In my work on leadership development, the first thing I usually advise is to look past your flaws to your strengths, since no one becomes an extraordinary leader by becoming flawless. You become a great leader, our research shows, by having strengths so profound people forgive, if not completely overlook, your faults. But about 20% of the time, I encounter a person whose flaws are so deep that no strengths can make up for them. I’m not talking about run-of-the-mill, we’re-all-human, flaws. This sounds dire — and it is, if unaddressed. It’s so simple, in fact, that we can take a page from my favorite Seinfeld character, George Costanza, a man with hilarious and obvious fatal flaws. This is not quite as far-fetched as it seems. Here are some specific examples of “doing the opposite” for some of the most common fatal flaws I’ve encountered with leaders. These are broad examples, but you get the idea.

Blogging Innovation » How Top Salespeople are Using Social Media Most sales organizations treat social media as a threat, a distraction from selling time, and a set of sites that should be blocked inside the corporate firewall. But many of today’s most successful salespeople are using social media strategically to build deeper relationships with prospects and referral partners, find new prospects earlier in their buying process, and accelerating their own path towards credibility and trust with prospects they don’t even yet know. Here are five specific ways top salespeople are using social media today to find and close more business. 1. It’s so easy, on sites from LinkedIn to Facebook and more, to see who your existing “friends” and connections already know. This is one of the best ways to get referrals and introductions, not by asking your network to “keep you in mind” but, instead, periodically asking for specific introductions. 2. 3. 4. Using your own Twitter account, follow those companies and individuals. 5. You are an expert.

Frequently Asked Questions >>>See the U.S. Department of Education's Q&A about Income-Based Repayment (IBR)<<< >>>Visit the U.S. Department of Education's web page on Pay As You Earn<<< >>>See the U.S. General IBR Questions General Pay As You Earn Questions Loan Consolidation Questions Loan Forgiveness Questions General Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Questions Who can use Income-Based Repayment (IBR)? How do I apply for IBR? Who is my lender? Can I use IBR to pay off older federal loans? Can I use IBR to pay off private, non-federal loans? Can I use IBR if I am in default on my federal loans? How does IBR treat interest? What if I choose IBR and later decide to switch to a different plan? What is a "partial financial hardship"? What’s the difference between Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)? Are there any down-sides to IBR? What happens when my income increases while I'm in IBR? Will IBR hurt my credit rating? My loan has been sold or reassigned. General Pay As You Earn Questions Who is my lender? No.

The Secret to Dealing With Difficult People: It's About You - Tony Schwartz by Tony Schwartz | 7:51 AM October 12, 2011 Do you have someone at work who consistently triggers you? Doesn’t listen? Takes credit for work you’ve done? Our core emotional need is to feel valued and valuable. This is especially true when the person you’re struggling with is your boss. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Lord Acton said way back in 1887. The easy default when we feel devalued is to the role of victim, and it’s a seductive pull. The problem with being a victim is that you cede the power to influence your circumstances. Each of us has a default lens through which we see the world. The Lens of Realistic Optimism. Making this distinction allows you to stand outside your experience, rather than simply reacting to it. Realistic optimism, a term coined by the psychologist Sandra Schneider, means telling yourself the most hopeful and empowering story about a given circumstance without subverting the facts. The Reverse Lens. The Long Lens.

Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople - Steve W. Martin by Steve W. Martin | 9:10 AM June 27, 2011 If you ask an extremely successful salesperson, “What makes you different from the average sales rep?” Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of interviewing thousands of top business-to-business salespeople who sell for some of the world’s leading companies. The personality tests were given to high technology and business services salespeople as part of sales strategy workshops I was conducting. The test results from top performers were then compared against average and below average performers. 1. Selling Style Impact: Team Orientation. 2. Selling Style Impact: Account Control. 3. Selling Style Impact: Political Orientation. 4. Selling Style Impact: Inquisitiveness. 5. Selling Style Impact: Dominance. 6. Selling Style Impact: Competitiveness. 7. Selling Style Impact: Aggressiveness. Not all salespeople are successful.

Nonprofit Jobs, Non Profit Employment | Opportunity Knocks Four Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally - Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt | 10:30 AM October 19, 2011 Having combed through more than a thousand 360-degree performance assessments conducted in recent years, we’ve found, by a wide margin, that the primary criticism men have about their female colleagues is that the women they work with seem to exhibit low self-confidence. Our gut says that this may partly be a perception issue — we’ve observed that men sometimes interpret (or misinterpret) an inclination in women to share credit or defer judgment as a lack of confidence. Still, perception or not, there is some research to suggest that women themselves feel less self-assured at work than men. Men were more confident across all age groups, with 70% of males having high or very high levels of self-confidence, compared to 50% of the women surveyed. Not asking. “I was surprised to see my name not included on the promotion list,” Sharon said to him. Blending in. Remaining silent.