Janice B Gordon Employee Advocacy perry-grone-lbLgFFlADrY-unsplash 1
Scale Your Sales, Social Relationships

Scale Your Sales 9 Steps to Initiating your People Social Engagement

Since 2008 the economic crisis, brand loyalty and trust are at an all-time low, and traditional sales techniques are less effective. Almost all your customers are online researching, engaging, and connecting on social.

COVID has meant a boom in technology adoption with remote working; we are yearning for real human connection. At a time when our thoughts are with our families and friends, we can empathise better with our colleagues and customers experiencing similar.

Get Social to Reach Your Customers – Here’s How? 

You may have seen in March 2020, while we were all coming to terms with enforced lockdown, EE, the mobile network offered free data to National Health Service key workers. Now I am not a key worker, but this does not only win over keyworkers, but I would also look favourably on this brand because of what they are doing for key workers. What about you?

Customers are watching what you do; customers will remember how you treat them and how you treat your people, employees and colleagues and other stakeholders. This is how they measure your brand values; it is a demonstration of your company walking their talk.

Janice B Gordon Employee Advocacy slide 004

During March, I started sewing scrubs for the NHS keyworkers at the weekends, Scrubs Hub this community based voluntary movement. I posted in LinkedIn, and the engagement I got was off the roof. LINKEDIN the business network! 

What has changed is professional, and business communication has become personal. Trust is a human value; engagement happens between people, not companies, but the individuals in within businesses. Customers trust what they know; they need to know what you stand for and your values. According to Edelman research, more people trust a regular employee (53%) than a CEO (47%). Even more people (65%) trust a company technical expert.

Why Leverage Your People to Become Your Greatest Asset and Resource?

You may have a competent marketing department; however, the collective power of people/colleagues is higher than the efforts of the marketers. 

Ten people X 1000 followers x 2 posts per week = 20,000 potential viewers of your content per week! X 50 weeks = 1,000,000

If at least one colleague commented, shared, and liked this post or one person from their personal network and so on… The result is like the R rate of COVID19, it is exponential distribution 2 million, becomes 4 million, becomes 16 million potential viewers.

Why People Empowered Social is Best

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer has focused on what they call the Employer-Employee partnership to look at levels of trust at work. Technical experts and ‘regular employees’ consistently at the top on trust; however, the biggest rise came from “A person like yourself.”

Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 Trusted Voices Janice B Gordon Employee Advocacy

People, including your customers, perceive experts as objective and employees as trustworthy, and they trust their peers or people like themselves. Leveraging your employees and experts, to convey your brand values and message is utilising your best resource to engage in mutually beneficial social media conversations. 

  • 84% of consumers’ value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising.
  • 59% of survey respondents stated that they recommended a company to a friend or colleague in the last 12 months.
  • 77% of consumers are likely to purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust. 
  • Nearly 86% of employees involved in a formal advocacy program say it had a positive effect on their careers.
  • LinkedIn found that employees of a company tend to have ten times more followers than the company itself.
  • LinkedIn discovered while only about 2% of employees reshare their company’s social posts, they are responsible for 20% of the overall engagement.

 People, including customers, trust their personal connections, and your employees and colleagues are already connected online to hundreds or thousands of people. 

Employee advocacy works because peer-to-peer marketing influences 20-50% of purchasing decisions. It taps into established relationships to win credibility and grow engagement. Content shared by employees and colleagues receives 8X more engagement than content shared by and on brand channels. 

I recommend having a higher purpose beyond selling your products; this is most important in the current environment. Think back to the EE example, having a higher purpose around what the company does for customers, based on the collective values of the people within the business, makes it sharable.

Check that the company culture and employee trust are in a healthy state and if not, fix this first. Employees who trust their employer are twice as likely to engage in employee advocacy. 

Janice B Gordon Employee Advocacy clayton-cardinalli-GwOqUzrDSRM-unsplash

Scale Your Sales 9 Steps to Initiating your People Social Engagement Programme

  1. Start slow and learn what works for your company culture and customers.
  2. Identify those colleagues that are already creating content on their personal social channels and those that have a notable following, influence, or expertise, are ideal for a pilot group of advocacy colleagues.
  3. Remember, this is a two-way process; it is as much about listening to the pilot participants ideas about the best way to engage colleagues and customer through the social programme.
  4. Give support to leverage what they are already doing and help them to do it better.
  5. Co-create content and test what is working, sharing the analytics within the group.
  6. Remember, this must be mutually beneficial; how can the company help to amplify the individual’s profile and reach? 
  7. Phase two is to deliver company-wide training on the success of the pilot group and help the whole company to see the benefits and support the initiative. 
  8. Offer company-wide training in social media and social selling focused on helping employees and colleagues know the value of building their online profiles and giving them the tools to create and share engaging content and the company brand values.
  9. Once you have created a robust learning social engagement practice, consider further investment in and rolling out an employee advocacy software tool. Along with training your trainers drawn from your pilot advocacy group, to help to maintain support across departments and company-wide phase two roll-out.

The mistakes that companies make, they invest in expensive software and expect all the whole company to get involved with little support or training. Colleagues think what is in it for me, and usually, only a small group maintain their involvement and the employee advocacy programme fails to deliver long-term. Before you invest – test a pilot programme using the tools you already have within your marketing armoury.  

Janice B Gordon Employee Advocacy husna-miskandar-FC4z3l4sUYc-unsplash

The aim is to create stories from employee content by sharing what they do that portrays the business values and culture and to encouraging employee and colleagues to share what the company does that is great. 

You want your colleagues to be proud not only of what they do but to share the impact their work has on the customer.  

You want your colleagues to take over your channels to create and share engaging content that is relevant to customers. 

You want your colleagues to be the face of the business using video, stories and as such, actively engaging with your customers. 

The Edelman Trust Barometer employee engagement survey substantiates the value of employee advocacy and social selling not only for sales professionals but as your most cost-effective marketing resources.

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T20 Cricket Innovating to Audience Janice B Gordon source ball-baseball-baseball-bat-1614992
generation Y, Social Relationships

How to Adapt and Modernise Without Killing the Cricket Goose

I am by no means a connoisseur of Cricket, although I love the resurrection of the West Indian Cricket team in the world series.

“If we’d stuck to just Test cricket there is a danger of becoming extinct down the line,” said David Richardson, the ICC’s chief executive. Richardson is optimistic about the future of Test cricket and argues that the new audiences and players attracted to T20 only help strengthen rather than kill Test cricket.

Adapt to Changing Audience Preferences

The investment in all women sports teams has created role models for the previously ignored 50% of the global population.

Younger supporters follow sports personalities and not necessarily the team. When the sports personality moves to another team, so does the supporter. For all sports teams to survive and grow, they must invest in gaining younger supporters and adapting to their preferences.

The Millennial and Z generations are used to engaging directly with their role models and following reality programmes like ‘Love Island’ while at the same time engaging in debates online as events happen live. Suppliers and brands must adapt to the preferences and changing needs of their audiences.

“You have to be a lot more precise because you have no time to make adjustments. In Test matches you assess by sessions; in one-day Cricket, you assess by overs; in T20 cricket you assess by balls,” explains Phil Simmons, who coached West Indies to victory in last year’s World Twenty20.

T20 Cricket Innovating to Audience Janice B Gordon cricket-166906_1280

You Can Modernise Without Killing the Golden Goose

Innovations demand that innovators adapt their measurement of success to the changing market and audience, whether a supporter or customer. The West Indies completely reinvented the way the game of Cricket was played.

That West Indies team have a fair claim to being T20’s greatest ever side. On the field, they married unrivalled six-hitting depth with canny bowling that combined spin, pace and chicanery. What was less well-known was the use of data. Simmons said, “The thing about data is it’s how you use it. Our players used it very well.”

The West Indies team noted for changing the way T20 is played, has meant that T20 is no longer a secondary format, but a completely different game of Cricket. Players are now specialising in T20, leading players play 50 T20s a year, providing an abundance of data ripe for data-mining. Rather than T20 kill the golden goose of Test Cricket, it is attracting new audiences to Cricket.

Why Personalities and Influencers Matter in Sales

According to the influencer management platform Traackr, 72% of major brands say they are dedicating a sizable portion of their marketing budgets to influencers, those that have a strong relationship to their audience who can significantly sway decisions land purchasing habits. Influencer marketing has the next step in advertising and gaining more considerable influence. Because personalities can connect with people more profoundly and persuade potential customers more effectively than an advert on a page in a magazine Marketing is the process of communicating value to customers, and social media is a tool or channel for marketing to helps brands build their visibility and social currency. Social media helps brands reach millions of customers worldwide. Social engagement makes it easy to spread the word about your influence, your products, your mission and brand.

The real people with a view rather than Celebrities are what customers relate to, which attracts them to the brand. 73.4% of users will follow a brand because of their interest in the product or service.

T20 Cricket Innovating to Audience Janice B Gordon 4

Engage by Building Your Personal Brand Personality

Personalities and influencers must be visible, engaging and have an active following. The highest-paid Cricketer is Virat Kohli at $25m, he has 30.9 million Twitter followers and is the only Cricketer to get listed on the Forbes top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2019.

Elon Musk, with 27.5 million followers, has more Twitter followers than his 3 of his companies (Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity) combined. The same is true of Richard Branson at 12.6 million (Virgin), Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global), Gary Vaynerchuck (VaynerMedia), they are all influencers with strong clearly defined Personalities demonstrated through their personal brands that they leverage to increase exposure and attract more customers for their company brand.

Managing your personal brand personality enables you to influence what other people say, think and do! It is crucial for business leaders not only sports personalities to connect with their audience of supporters and customers personally. Even in business to business (B2B), people connect with people.

Remember in business, thought leaders and experts may work with a company they are still, thought leaders and experts. Just as a sports personality can work with several teams and yet be known as a sports personality and brand ambassador and that drives sales to the brand they support.

T20 Cricket Innovating to Audience Janice B Gordon 3

Not only has T20 not killed the golden goose but the goose has just woken up to the new world and is utilising all the social tools in the Cricket World Cup 2019, ICC brings more fans closer to the World Cup than before through its digital channels and digital Insiders.

The job is not yet done Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee said, “We have to go where the people are,” he tells more than 2,000 attendees, with the Prime Minister of Thailand in attendance. “And the people are leading digital lives.” Some 77% of social media users are under 35, he tells the audience, and sport needs to engage young people around the world.

By 2020, over 50% of the global workforce will be Millennials, these of our buyers and customer. How are you adapting your format to embrace your audience, changing demands and preferences?

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Janice B Gordon BadASS bitmoji image
Social Relationships, Trusted Advisors

6 Reasons Why You Must Get in Front of Other Audiences

I am often asked by sales professional and subject matter experts “how do you build your profile and visibility with your target audience?”

  1. First, you must have a profile of a credible expert with differentiated value to share.
  2. Then get engagement on social media platforms, as this is the quickest way to build your personal brand and influence.

Ideally, grow your own community on your social channels by giving relevant advice and insights. If your channels need a boost, then grow your visibility by getting in front of other people relevant audience.

Janice B Gordon BadASS bitmoji image

I have been interviewed on a podcast and for publications. Oh, and did I say I was featured in Forbes and in The Sunday Times. There are many ways to build your expert profile, and guest posting is one of them. You can start by asking the host if the information you must share is related to their audience.  Hosts are always looking for relevant guest so, make it easy for them. The more you are a noted expert the more request you will receive. You know the profile building strategy is working when you get requests to guest feature with audiences relevant to your customer profile or segment.

As number 25 of Sage Top 100 Global Business Influencer and a Visiting Fellow of Cranfield School of Management, this helps to send guest requests my way. There are many benefits to guest posting:

  1. Increased exposure.
  2. Helps build backlinks.
  3. Builds trust with your audience.
  4. Reaches a new group of individuals.
  5. Grows your network.
  6. Better still, new content forms like guest podcasting expose you to new audiences.

Whether you are a sales leader or CEO or entrepreneur, you are responsible for building your personal brand or what I call your personal business personality. This is a powerful strategy to get your content and message visible across many channels and platforms.

What are you doing to attract enquiries that get you in front of a more extensive but relevant audience of buyers and customers?

Janice B Gordon Guest posting image

Here are some of my guest posting:

Based in Mumbai, India “Netcore Smartech recently caught up with Janice B Gordon, noted global sales & marketing influencer, who shared her insights with on how brands can deliver personalised customer experiences.”

Accounting Insight News:  Why building your accounting brand is more important than ever by Janice B Gordon

Accounting Insight News: How accountants can scale sales and boost their trusted status by Janice B

Sales Innovation: Janice B Gordon explains the Three Models to Scale Your Buyer-Seller Relationships

Your Ready Business sponsored by Vodafone: Janice B Gordon share social media tips for  businesses to connect with customers

USA, Market Leadership Journal: What Is Your Motivation for Entrepreneurship? Janice B Gordon shares her insights.

Why Are Businesses Delusional & Blind to Their Customer’s Needs?

Huffington Post Blog: Janice B Gordon shares Why Is It Important That You Live Your Purposeful Life?

Janice B Gordon’s Top Tips – How To Manage Your Time More Effectively

Kate on thin ice: Travelling solo as a woman is something many of us dream about not Janice B Gordon.

Sage Advice:  One of our popular articles Janice B Gordon share Your game plan to event networking

Personal Branding: Janice B Gordon asks, What’s wrong with being who you are?

Podcast

The Whole Lot with Ade Oduyemi: Janice B Gordon talks about Why People buy you before they buy your product, the words that ground you and Happiness is something you create.

Thought Leader – Janice B Gordon a guest on the SageNAmerica Advice Podcast with Ed Kless talking about Leadership in the 4th Industrial Age.

SageNAmerica Advice Podcast, Thought Leader – Janice B Gordon: on how to get found by your ideal customer

Guest post can convey more credible weight to your brand, it is the difference of me telling you that I am brilliant and someone you know like and trust telling you that Janice B Gordon is brilliant.  To build your personal brand you need other people to SHOUT about you.

Guest posting is one strategy to build your personal business personality and scale your sales, so choose the channel partner wisely.

Whether you are a sales leader, sales professional, CEO, consultant or speaker; what strategies and tactics do you utilise in attracting the buyers, customers and opportunities you want?

 

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Sales Productivity, Social Relationships

B2B Sales Methodology and Modern Strategies to Engage Buyers

How is the evolution of the sales methodology is influenced by social media which means buyers are winning the sales race? I believe there is a struggle to shift the 20 plus year sales methods to align with buyer expectations. In my last article, I elaborated on how the sellers must transition into advisory, service-oriented organisation, basing the entire sales process on the buyer journey, rather than the seller’s objective. Now let’s explore sales methodology.

What Has Changed in the Sales Methodology?

Prior to the last 20 years of solution selling; sales training generally consisted of how to best present a specific product to make the buyer want to purchase. Well, this was the structure of my sales training, and I know many still follow this method. There was an underlying assumption that buyers did not understand their needs and the factfinding process was to find important needs that fit the sales rep’s solution.

Now the purchasing process is more complex and so are the buying units and decision-making process. Sellers created the solution selling approach, to focus on understanding the buyer’s specific pain points, building relationships, and offering the solution that fits the customer need. Sellers still had the power of holding and securing information.

Solution selling is an aggregate of other similar branded sales methodologies from SPIN, Strategic, Consultative, Customer-centric and Baseline selling.

Buyers are no longer tolerant of a sales rep’s lengthy discovery calls, as they know the needs and have researched the solutions. Then the Challenger Sale talks about uncovering unmet needs and presenting these to buyers. I do not know about you, but if I know what I want and you come to me selling something I do not need, I would find it irritating, wouldn’t you? Inevitably this creates doubt and confusion, why would you present something new at a late stage of the sales process? You are on the path to – no cigar!

Sales Methodology Janice B Gordon source LinkedIn Sales Unsplash

The Nature of the Buyer-Seller Relationship Has Changed!

In a customer-centric environment not to give a buyer what they want and expect but instead to challenge them to think beyond their immediate known need, strikes me too late in the process and undermines the original solution you had collectively prepared.

The development of the Internet has changed the selling environment; it is buyers that have information at their fingertips and come armed with information and informed knowledge, each new version of solution selling add-on an element to gain ground on a race that buyers have already won.

57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier. (CEB)

67% of the buyer’s journey is conducted digitally. (SiriusDecisions)

The attention span of most customers in a digital enable world is short. Buyers value simplicity in a complex sale and the fast-moving competitive environment. If at the request for proposal stage the sales rep gives the buyer more rather than less to consider the likely response is indecision.

The authors of The Challenger Sale may have confidently declared the end of solution sales, but the biggest challenge is maintaining that selling is not about relationships. My experience and view that this is not only wrong but nonsense! The nature of the buyer relationship has changed, with the advent of social media a crucial platform to develop awareness and consideration. Yes, the nature of the relationship has changed but do not be fooled, buyers value the relationship of trusted sources. A seller must utilise social media as a channel to open and develop the buyer relationship.

The Power of Social Media to Influence B2B Decisions

84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media when purchasing. (IDG)

90% of a buyer’s journey being self-directed (Forrester Research’s 2015)

If the buyer is 57% through the buying process, it does not mean the seller must not engage buyers any earlier, and social media is an ideal mechanism to engage and educate your buyers who are researching solutions to their specific problem.

Whether you are solution selling of more on the side of challenging buyer, Scale Your Sales help sellers to stop selling products, value, solutions but instead to building the buyer relationships so buyers not only buy but trust the seller over the long term.

A successful social media implementation plan will include a strategy of developing long-term relationships.

Scale your Sales digitally enables sales reps to with social selling methods to engage, educate and elevate the buyer relationships into partnerships for long term value.

The relationship will help sellers present the right solution with the right critical factors tailored to the buyer or influencer in a timely manner. Scale Your Sales shows sellers and the sales reps how to build strategic relationships into lifetime partnerships. As stated in the previous article, trusted partnership place sellers at the customer table, a position to best guide and advise the buyers and customer organisation.

SCALE YOUR SALES TOP LEVEL MODEL

The Scale Your Sales methodology:

  1. Resilience
  2. Productivity
  3. Attraction.

Scale Your Sales Resilience

The three elements of Resilience are Youology, Customers and Environment. Scale your sales resilience help sellers build self-awareness, customer awareness and environmental awareness. ‘People buy people’ before they buy products and processes. Even business to business (B2B) is people to people (P2P) relationship based connections of buyers and influencers in the buying process. Scale Your Sales Resilience helps sellers develop customer and environmental knowledge, the keys to understanding and capitalising on customer opportunity.

Scale Your Sales Productivity

The three elements of Productivity are Priority, Profile and Personalised Promise. Scale Your Sales Productivity helps sellers develop strong relationships into partnerships. Do you know which of your customers contribute a disproportionate amount to revenue and which cost you money? A threat to the stability of revenue is not identifying the metrics of your most valued customers. Such as the rate of customer lifetime value to cost of acquisition or the revenue churn rate and the customer effort score. Scale Your Sales helps sellers Priorities and personalise their valued customer relationships.

Scale Your Sales Attraction

The three elements of Attraction are Engage, Educate and Elevate. Scale Your Sales Attraction helps sales professional to get found, engaging in conversation to educate their buyers and influencers. Research and insights will secure your position on the buyer’s shortlist. Sale enablement will help you access further opportunities during the buying process. Scale Your Sales Attraction uses social selling strategies to build the relationship and elevate the relationship to lifetime, long term partnerships.

Next week I will talk about of Attraction strategy building your Personal Business Personality.

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Janice B Gordon Stop Selling
Social Relationships

Stop Selling Start Building Relationships

Although the 2008 global financial crisis considered by many economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the 1930’s Great Depression, some believe the economic world is in remission, not recovery. We are living in uncertain times, VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) is the new normal that we all must continue to negotiate.

Volatility and uncertainty have created a need for environmental scanning on a macro and micro level. To assess the impact on your business, your customers and your customer’s customer. To create opportunities and serve your customers present and future needs.

90% of decision-makers will not answer cold contacts, but 80% of connections on LinkedIn are open to new opportunities. 57% of buyers are in the decision-making process before reaching out to sellers. Although savvy buyers can cherry-pick companies, brands, products and services from among the many global competitors vying for attention. CEB research shows that B2B buyers are uncertain about the wealth of data on a solution. To complicate matters further, there is an array of influencers involved in the buying decision. B2B buyers are increasingly overwhelmed and often paralysed by increasing complexity.

Janice B Gordon Environmental Scanning

 

Sellers must run this complex gauntlet, negotiating with each influencer in the buying process. Buyers are careful to choose whom they allow on to their shortlist. Today’s purchasing decisions need more discussion and due diligence. There a disconnect between the traditional hunter seller ‘self-interest’ and the buyer’s ‘self-interest’. Now, sellers must establish many alliances within a customer account if they are to develop a long-term relationship.

While buyers have more power and are only interested in meeting their own needs. Today’s buyers are not interested in hearing the seller’s product benefits ‘sell’. Buyers have done their research and know as much about the sellers should know about the buyer’s needs. What they want to know is whether your product solves their specific problem and they want to know this from trusted sources. The trusted adviser has an honoured relationship, a broad knowledge of the market, and an in-depth technical skill to help buyers evaluate their options.

Stop Selling Start Building Relationships.

To read more solutions go to the Sales Innovation Expo Blog

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Building Trust Janice B Gordon
Social Relationships, Trusted Advisors

Stop the Trust Deficit in Sales

A recent HBR study of hundreds of technology buyers found that during the buying process, only 18% of sales professionals are trusted.

Another recent survey from HubSpot confirms that only 3% of technology buyers trust salespeople.

The State of Sales 2017 report found that buyers ranked trust as the single most influential factor in the buyer/seller relationship.

With changing buyer behaviours providing fewer opportunities for personal face two face interaction, trust must be built in the online digital environment to create offline opportunities.

Today buyers avoid the ‘sales hustle’ instead, they want to talk to sales advisors interested and invested in the success of the buyers’ business. The sales advisor must actively listen, discover the buyer wants and needs to provide relevant and timely insight rather than more information.

The whole quota target sales environment plays into the ‘sales hustle’ destroys trust and is contrary to building trusted relationships. Sales professionals can no longer pressure buyers to buy on the seller’s timeline. The buyer does not care that the representative’s quota is closing at the end of the month and neither should the seller, that is if they want to build long term trusted relationships. Quotas send the wrong message to the sales teams working in a customer-focused culture. There are more creative ways to measure and monitor success.

Change in Sales Janice B Gordon

The Role of Sales has Changed

Traditional sales tactics have lost their efficacy because the ‘sales hustle’ does not match up with the modern buyer expectations. The connected economy, information and technology enablement us driving change in the sales industry that unfortunately is not lead by the sales but by the buying sector.

86% of B2B decision makers say they would engage with sales professionals who provide insights or knowledge about their industry, this is over and above what they already know.

Prospective buyers seek credible advice, expert insight and an outsider’s perspective during their information overload consideration stage of the buying process. Buyers do not only research the companies and their solutions, but they also consider the customer experience, if the information is from a credible source and if the sales professional delivering the information have relevant insight and authority. Buyers increasingly research the sales professional’s personal reputation and values and value informed and respected experts as credible sources of information.

Sales professionals must help buyers make the best decision at the right time for them and the customer. If a buyer isn’t ready to buy, the seller must have a well prepared online and offline engagement process that the seller is confident will keep the front of mind and keep the buyer engaged as their decision-making process progresses.

Failure to deliver new insights and relevant guidance, then the sales professional risks oblivion in the crowded, competitive market. Relevant research into a customer’s plans and the buyer’s vision of success will reveal how they can help the buyer to deliver the best outcomes and create the most significant impact.

Buyers want to talk to the sales professionals who can challenge their mindset, help shape their understanding, and guide their decision. Positioning your sales professionals as sales consultant advisors rather than sales reps, if backed up with value giving experiences, promotes the value-adding role and gains the trust of buyers.

After their solution finding research, buyers have expectations that when they talk to sales professionals they will not be sold too! At this consideration, stage buyers want to have their specific questions answered usually around price and how the product works for their unique circumstances. Sales professional must meet their buyer expectations and create a positive experience if they’re going to progress in the buying process.

Sales Consultant Advisor Janice B Gordon

The Role of the Sales Consultant Advisor

Discovering what the buyer already knows is the first step, the sales consultant advisor must share advice that is new to the buyer, educating them on the potential opportunities, the measured outcomes and possible impact of the solutions on offer in the competitive market. The sales consultant advisor must ask questions that help the buyer to eliminate competitor offer and expand the scope to create the buyers required outcomes and more significant impact.

Buyers are impressed when sales consultant advisors display a detailed understanding of the market, comparing the seller products against the competition in terms of the quality, price, availability and other buyer relevant criteria.

Although the buyers today well informed compared to 10 years ago, they are still missing crucial information that only a sales professional can provide. the logistics; such as how long an integration/implementation process will take, or how long until the customer sees measured results, or even if the product is the best fit for their ideal organisational outcomes and maximum impact.

The sales consultant advisor can identify the potential sticking points and hidden requirements that build trust and demonstrate the investment in the customers business success.

The better the sales consultant advisor can simplify the decisions by offering credible insights tailored to the buyer’s specific wants and needs, helping the buyer move forward with confidence.

The consultation process of aiding navigation, building trust and making it easier to weigh available options, will deepen the trusted relationship based on the personalised experience and expertise demonstrated by the sales consultant advisor.

The 4 Ways to Build Long Term Lasting Trusted Buyer Relationships

  • Build credibility with thought leadership positioning, giving trusted advice and relevant insights
  • Actively listen to provide what the specific buyer wants and needs in outcome and impact
  • Ditch the quota target for other relationship building measures of success
  • Be open to scrutiny providing social proof, demos, independent competitive reviews and comparable case studies of success.

If sales consultant advisors deliver what buyers want and then more of what they need that creates more significant impact in the customer business, then sales won’t be so difficult to negotiate, and the buyer trust will be gained and maintained. The good news for sales is if the online content has done its job of creating relevance and keeping in the buyers front of mind, then buyers will want to meet with the sales consultant advisor during the consideration or opportunity gaining phase, this is the best time to capitalise on the relationship building opportunity to build trusted long term customer value.

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Emotional Strength of the Relationship - Janice B Gordon
Social Relationships, Social Selling

How Emotionally Connected B2B Relationships Increase Sales and Profits

The strength of the relationships with your most valued customers enables you to predict and to sustain the performance of your business.

Statistics from Gartner Group reveal that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers. Customer retention costs are much lower than acquisition costs and retaining customers contributes to revenue growth, improved profitability and high-value referrals. I refer to this segment of customers as your most valued customers.

The premise of Scale Your Sales is to help sales leaders understand the driver of customer satisfaction and connection and to educate key account sales professional on how to build stronger connected relationships with their most valued customers.

Why: Strong connected relationships Increases and Profitability and the Lifetime Value of Customers

According to the CEO of Urban Ladder, a satisfied customer will contribute up to 2.6 times more revenue as compared to an unsatisfied customer. Satisfaction builds a positive relationship that will accelerate revenue from your most valued customers. The lifetime value of a customer is a benefit that comes from establishing significant trusted relationships and high customer satisfaction.

It is not good enough to just satisfy your customers, but you must understand that people buy on emotion and only then justify their decision with logic. Communicating with emotional drivers is essential in engaging and developing a trusted connected relationship.

Not only this, when companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. Given the opportunity to create real value, companies must pursue emotionally connected relationships with forensic zeal and an applied strategy.

“For most, building connections is more guesswork than science. Research by Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, Daniel Leemon shows that it’s possible to rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behaviour. Referred to as ‘emotional motivators’: these motivators provide a gauge of the customers’ future intentions, better than any other measure, including brand awareness and customer satisfaction.”

Although brands may be liked or trusted, most fail to align themselves with the emotions that drive their customers’ most profitable behaviours.

Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, Daniel Leemon found that customers become more valuable at each step of a predictable “emotional connection pathway” as they transition from:

  • being unconnected to
  • being highly satisfied to
  • perceiving brand differentiation to being fully connected.

Fully connected customers are 52% more valuable. The analysis shows that moving customers from highly satisfied to fully connected can have three times the return of moving customers from unconnected to highly satisfied. Moreover, the highest returns come from focusing on customers who are already fully connected to your brand and maximising the value by attracting more of these most valued customers to your brand.

Relevant communication builds a trusted relationship. The relationship builds trust, and trust increases the revenue opportunities.

  • Relevant and insightful communication builds the relationships.

Communication builds relationships; if your customer is looking to purchase anything of significant value, the relationship must come first. Building B2B relationships is like dating, slow and steady communication to identify personalised emotional drivers and to discover shared values.

  • Test-drive the relationships to build trust.

Most relationships build consciously and cautiously. It is human nature to give a little bit of trust and then expect the receiver to earn more trust. Allow your customers to test drive the product and experience and offer no barriers to them trying before they buy. As the experience grows so does the trusted relationship, if the experience remains emotionally positive.

  • Trust increases recommendations and purchasing value and volume.

The more a buyer or influencer trusts you, the more the person will want to buy from you. Always do what you say (and more), do it when you said you would or earlier, you will be ahead of your competitors and building trust and credibility.

Modelling the financial impact of building emotional connections with customers at each step on the way from unconnected to fully connected. Research analysis  showed “that although fully connected customers constituted just 22% of customers in a category, they accounted for 37% of revenue and they spent, on average, twice as much annually as highly satisfied customers.”

Scale Your Sales system helps you to measure and monitor relationship connectedness with your most valued customer segments. Gallup has a customer engagement metric, to see how well your salespeople are engaging your clients. Another approach is the Net Promoter Score; I often use the net promoter questions informally to solicit feedback.

Enhancing emotional connection is a viable growth strategy to attract fully connected customers from competitors and transform satisfied customers into fully connected ones. Here are three ways of focus to build emotionally connected relationships with your most valued customers:

  1. Focus on Engagement

People buy from the people they like. People like people that share similar values and trust people that they like!

Too often; sales rep hide behind email communication for fear of rejection, however, it can be impersonal, and relationship building is personalised and personal. Face-to-face interactions and phone calls are the most direct form of communication. I always say follow-up on the follow-up in new and engaging ways, the more creative, personalised and engaging the better. Use stories, case studies, poems, personalised videos, mail letters or cards, be creative and engage with imagination.

Bain & Company found that customers spend 20 to 40% more with companies that engage them online. Given that we are in a socially connect information age and everyone is busy, sharing information via email and through social platforms as a combined online and in person follow-up strategy, works well. Periodic follow-up communication messages to your customers show you’re interested in their interests and concerns. In addition to this, the follow-up gives you a legitimate occasion to build the relationship and trust quota and to identify future problems and potentially purchase and connection opportunities.

  1. Focus on Listening

The best strategies to build stronger connected relationships and increase sales. Develop deep customer insight, a listening attitude and an active interest in the customer and their customers. Find out what customers want by asking strategic, open questions, listening and analysing the data responses. Regular feedback surveys and research-based conversations help you learn what customers expect and want from you and will also improve the relationship.

Salespeople must also listen to direct and indirect customer feedback presented through digital platforms. Listening by monitoring social conversations enables salespeople to contribute to positive interactions and reach out to customers when problems arise.

Get on the radar of the people you want to engage and influence by listening-in, liking, commenting and sharing the post. Join their groups to comment or start a conversation about a topic you both have an interest. Over time, these social strategies will build attention and engagement.

  1. Focus on the relationship to solve the problem

Knowing your strengths and core values are essential when determining relationship-building strategies, Scale Your Sales Motivation module help your salespeople determine this.

Warm conversations sharing values and a friendly smile go a long way towards strengthening customer relationships. The relationship delivers the sales opportunity but let us not forget, buyers buy from salespeople to fill a need or solve a problem. You must consistently provide quality products and engaging experience, relevant, personalised information and excellent service that exceed your customer expectations. The better the product outcome in solving the problem the less stress on the relationship the more opportunity to elevate the relationship to partnership and increase sales.

Leveraging emotional connection does not require turning your business processes inside-out, the Scale Your Sales system embeds relevant strategies into existing work streams and analytical capabilities. As with all change or improvement programmes, Scale Your Sales is most effective with senior leadership championing a customer-centric culture with the emotional connection a crucial cross-functional performance indicator.

Embracing an emotional-connection strategy across the organisation requires deep customer insights, analytical capabilities and a managerial commitment, to align the organisation with the new way of thinking not necessarily a change in technology. The relationship connectedness monitor shows the correlation of customers’ emotional-connection scores with lifetime value measures such as annual spending, churn, and tenure. Emotional connection is a source of real competitive advantage and predictable growth.

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Janice B Gordon - Do Be the Dinosaur Competitor Still Flogging their Pitch on the Dead Buyers Horse
Sales Motivation, Social Relationships

Scale Your Sales with Motivational Mindset Sales Process

Today, social (that’s networking platforms) selling is a critical part of any sales process. I know it’s another thing to do, however, your buyers are already doing it. Critically, if you are not:

  • Engaging on social you are not on the radar.
  • On your buyer’s social radar, you will not be on their short list.
  • On their short list you will not secure a meeting to discuss their needs, let along invited to pitch.

If your sales team have the wrong attitude towards what is a presents day essential go to market strategy, then you have already lost the sale.

Zig Ziglar says, Your Attitude determines your altitude

Mindset is a way of thinking, while attitude is the demonstration of your mindset, Psychologists define attitudes ‘as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way’.

It takes a special breed of person to be prolific in sales. Mindset and attitude are crucial contributors to sales success.

However, if we are all honest, success has traditionally breed ‘egos with attitude’, however, past victories are no longer an indication of future success, especially as the technology is fast to evolve and salespeople are often (caught with their pants down) slow to respond.

Do Not Become a Sales Dinosaur!

Remember Attitude: It does not choose you, you decide it!

When you think of your positive friends and colleagues:

  • Do you think they were born with superhuman capabilities? No!
  • Are they exposed to the same sad news stories and poor customer service as everyone else? Yes!

So why is it that positive people are so positive? Simple!

Positive people decided to have a positive mindset, and they find strategies to help them remain true in their mission.

If you were to think of the word winner what words would you use to describe it?

Perhaps: “positive attitude, enthusiasm, committed, motivated, confident, optimistic, dedicated, happy and generous”.

These qualities have little to do with a person’s genetic makeup, their mental ability or physical disposition.

Abraham Lincoln agreed when he said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

10 Ways the Company Mindset Stops Salespeople from Maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude

  1. Doubting their abilities
  2. Getting stressed or burnt out
  3. Experiencing poor leadership
  4. Being isolated in teams
  5. Live with rejection without support
  6. Not having control over the delivery of the product they sold
  7. Working in a negative and unmotivating environment
  8. Living with uncertainty
  9. Experiencing poor communication and processes
  10. Working with unmotivated work colleagues

This environment is difficult enough, and that’s before the salesperson has negotiated the buyer’s environment.  It is easy to see why this results in unacceptable underperformance.

Sounds familiar?

To transform your sales team, you need a new ‘way of thinking’. Before you rush to fix the sale person with new tools and skills. Before new tools and programme can be adopted, you must release the demons that suppress your sales team positive mental attitude. You cannot develop attitudes and behaviours with the same old debilitating mindset and culture.

If your results are lagging and performance is inadequate, don’t immediately jump to blame the salesperson. First, ask whether you must change your team’s and company mindset and cultural environment?

Too often, companies try to transform in reverse order.

  • The problem: the salesperson is underperforming: The solution: send them for sales training but keep the old mindset.
  • The problem: The sales team and the company are underperforming: The solution: implement new processes and change the executive member responsible for the most significant deficit but keep the cultural mindset and behaviours.

No new social programme can fix these problems. While a good social selling programme can promote adoption, it is no silver bullet.

Cultural, digital and social transformation cannot happen on the margins but must filter through the whole organisation. I have known of well-fought deals held-up in legal, failing due to the finance department processes and well-earned customer relationships faltering from production communication issues.

Sales Motivation Janice B Gordon

It takes deep commitment across all departments for sales to work at an optimum level.

McKinsey & Company studied organisations that are embracing digital change, and they concluded that executive buy-in is vital. Social, digital and cultural change must come from the top.

Once you have the senior management team on board, then, you can start transforming the attitudes of your sales team, by supporting their positive motivational mindset, which changes their behaviours. Your salespeople rather than racing to the finish line, looking for opportunities to pitch, they must stop over-thinking and relax into building relevant, trusted relationships.

The 4 New Motivational Mindsets Your Salespeople Must Adopt:

  1. Know who they are talking to and research relevant customer buyer and influencer for best fit.
  2. Understand how to and why it is necessary to conduct discovery profile question and listening sessions.
  3. Look for answers to – ‘what can I do to help solve this customer problem?’
  4. On the mindset of – ‘how can I become more digitally and socially savvy than my buyers and influence the decision-makers’.

Social selling works because it leads to human-to-human interactions. Social automation is the agitator that allows your sales team to leap off to engage, educate and elevate relevant buyers and influencers, relationships.  Social selling is not just a process but a social mindset, it is part of a whole company engagement programme, as a digital instigator of human interaction.

Changing a company’s mindset and culture does not happen overnight. Before you can start a company-wide cultural, digital and social sales programme, you must begin at the top. The senior leader’s attitude, in turn, will shape the business, the culture and the sales team’s mindset and attitude.

The sooner you start to support the right environment for a positive motivational mindset and attitude, the sooner you can claim the competitive advantage over your competitors who are still flogging their pitch on the dead buyers’ horse. Working on a motivational mindset is your opportunity to develop the team and business attitudes to build partnership relationships utilising social selling programmes as your starting motor to shape your buyer’s mindset and drive higher revenues

Contact me, if you want to Scale Your Sales with Motivational Mindset

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Janice B Gordon Build Customer Retention
sales training, Social Relationships

7 Powerful Ways to Build Customer Retention

Although you know it is better to keep your customers than to find new ones, sales teams are still rewarded more for new relationships than existing and companies still invest more in gaining new than keeping existing customers. I bet if you checked your own business model you would see just how much is invested in new rather than existing customer relationships.  I am going to show you how to invest more of your time, money and energy in retaining your customers, Why? Because these relationships will accelerate and multiply your profits!

Retaining customers must be the primary goal for any ambitious company. Whether online or offline, small or large, ensuring that customer needs are satisfied and relationships maintained is critical for long-term business success.

In his book How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life, Dr Michael LeBoeuf reports the following reasons businesses lose customers:

  • 3% of customers move away
  • 5% develop other relationships
  • 9% leave because the competition provides something they seek that you do not carry
  • 14% are dissatisfied with the product
  • 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference or rudeness toward the customer by the owner, manager, or employee

Customer retention is the percentage of customer relationships that, your business can maintain on a long-term basis. Acquiring new customers is 5 to 7 times more expensive than retaining existing customers, with these rising cost of acquisition, companies must innovate assuming a proactive role in customer retaining. Customer retention means keeping customers happy, making them feel important, regularly considering and communicating with and keeping them coming back for more.

Customer attrition or churn is the loss of customers to a competitor or the end of a customer relationship.


Too often companies fail to realise that it is much easier and cost-effective to focus on keeping existing customers happy, rather than acquiring new ones.

7 Powerful Ways to Build Customer Retention:

  1. Prioritise your top 20% of Most Valued Customers

Before you can improve customer retention, you must identify who are your most valued customers and which customers you want to retain. By understanding your most valued segments and relationships, you can develop improved customer retention strategies specific to the customer or segment. This allows you to work smarter, not harder in gaining the greatest return on investment.

Speak to Your Most Valued Customers. Not only will you generate useful feedback and build the relationship but you will also stand out to your valued customers by showing them that you really care about their needs. Make these people feel special and part of your exclusive customer club to build customer loyalty.

  1. Go the extra mile for your customers

Seth Godin writes in his book, Purple Cow to transform your business by being remarkable in today’s world with all its distractions. The best way to be remarkable is to stand out by going the extra mile. Going the extra mile for your customers builds strong relationships and influence.

You do business with people you trust. Trust is essential in business, and building relationships with clients will garner that trust.

Cultivating shared values means taking an interest in your clients and their business. Consistently follow-up and let valued customers know you have listened and come up with ideas, strategies or solutions. This shows you have a shared value and are genuinely interested in their business, committed to build the relationship and go the extra mile.

  1. Listen to and Implement customer feedback

Customer feedback allows you to be proactive and make business decisions based on real data-driven feedback. Customer churn can be avoided by simply listening to your customers. Customer feedback and surveys are invaluable for learning how your service is performing in relation to your customer expectations.

An IBM study reveals there are 27% gaps with 62% of banking executives thinking they are delivering an excellent customer service while only 35% of customers agree. Consistently survey and monitor customer feedback and implementing social listening tools and bridge the gap. Feedback will help you to make informed business decisions and retain valued customers.

  1. Focus on customer experience Excellence

Unless you are constantly improving the experience of doing business with your company you are creating opportunities for your competitors to win over your customers. There is always more you can do to create an excellent customer experience, increase customer retention and building the relationship.

  1. Engage your customers

When making a choice between different services or products, we are all biased towards the products and services to which we are most comfortable with.

With content marketing, you not only create awareness with a wider audience of potential customers but you remain at the forefront of the mind of your existing customers. However, it doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one sees it, or if it is not relevant to your customers.

Recognise that an omnichannel strategy may be necessary to engage your customers in their preferred channel which may not be your preferred channel.

  1. Provide evidence and social proof.

The best form of advertising is not your own report Nielsen Advertising Report, such that, customers trust the opinions of family, friends, and other customers more than branded content and ads. Fear of missing out is a powerful marketing and retention tactic because more than 60% of customers trust online reviews.

Use customer testimonials and case studies to show prospective customers and remind existing customers the value of your products and services is powerful social proof.

  1. Demonstrate your expertise

Becoming your customers’ trusted advisor will build customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. Your customers will trust you to rely on you to give them the best advice and recognise you as an integral part of their business success. Because companies are becoming more dependent on independent expert services and technologies to run functional operations and areas. Whatever industry, if you can be the leading expert in your field, you will likely retain more customers.

If you are identified as solving industry-specific problems that your customers face, builds the trusted relationship.

These 7 powerful strategies will enable you to build lasting powerful relationships, improve customer retention and build sustainable profits.

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