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Patrick McFadden - The Future of Sales For Small Business Owners
Q: What does the future of sales look like for business owners?
The world has changed for sales and it will never be the same again. There is also a lot more information today about you and your product that your customers can learn without ever talking to you or your salespeople. This is totally different than it was eight or twelve years ago.
This means that business owners have to change. They must learn to bring a lot more value to customers to earn the right to have a conversation. Customers who are making critical decisions are much more informed than ever before, which means that just being a good salesman is probably not enough and is less valuable than ever before. Smart customers know more about you and your competitors and they are aware of your flaws and that knowledge is changing the landscape.
Q: What should business owners do in 2016?
Small business owners in general need to reverse engineer whatever they are trying to achieve. They were trained differently for what worked in the past. But, as I said, the future is different. There is now far more information on people with so many people sharing all this information about themselves socially and business owners should be using this information to their advantage. If you know someone who likes golfing or white wine or movies because you are following them [ on a social network], you should use this information as a connection point.
Q: Does social selling work?
Well, does knowing more about your target buyer help you connect with them. Of course! Knowing more about your customers allows you to build your entire business, message, product, services, sales and support around attracting and serving this customer. I love selling and I find it very surprising that so few people use social media to sell. But you must use social media to sell only if you do it authentically, in a positive and truthful way, and only then will you succeed.
There's a reason that old car dealership sales guy jokes exist. I learned through social media that good salespeople sell value and social media becomes the best place to find this value because of its transparency.
Q: Do you use sales metrics and do you analyze your business' sales and marketing efforts?
Yes, I like metrics for sales and for marketing. We track the key metrics. I also think it's important to have qualitative research combined with your data to gain the biggest results.
I never put myself in a position to let the numbers dictate things too much in the short term because I care a lot more about the long term. I have the patience to get the win in the long-term and that is all about people. I'm more intrested in counting new relationships than money at the end of the month. People want relationships and small business owners must do everything they can to establish and nurture a bond between themsleves and each individual customer. Long term relationships are the keys the vault.
Q: What is the best sales advice you can give business owners today?
In order to thrive in today's digitally driven business environment, business owners need to take things in their own hands and connect much more deeply. For the individual business owner this means the following: Listening is the new prospecting, Educating is the new presenting, Insight is the new information sharing, Storybuilding is the new nurturing, and Relationship building is the new closing.
Today's business owner can operate as a one person army, generating their own opportunities, creating their own leads, and taking control of their own direction by effectively applying the tactics of marketing to their proven ability to build relationships.
Q: How do you convince business owners with sales reps to let them be active on social media?
This research from LinkedIn says it all:
90% of top sales reps use social selling tools to close deals, compared with 71% of all respondents.
To find more about Patrick McFadden and Indispensable Marketing www.indispensablemarketing.com