Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The old model of selling doesn’t actually benefit buyers, or sellers. Learn a new methodology at the May 12 Marketing SIG

By Mark Helfen

Sales prospects have changed. Access to information has increased. The web of social and information interconnection has exploded. Google and other internet services, along with continuous connectivity may have actually changed the way you brain works. It has certainly changed how much information is available to a potential customer without ever contacting your company.

Your sales methodology needs to change to stay effective. Or so says our speaker at the May Marketing and Social Media SIG meeting, Adam Metz. He is the founder and sales coach at The Social Concept, and executive coaching firm that helps his clients “acquire, monetize, and retain the elusive ‘social media’ customer.” His presentation is titled Saying Goodbye To Persuasive Selling: Giving Customers What They Really Want.

The meeting will be at our still new location, Detati Communications, May 12 at 6:30. Rumor has it that in addition to our regular bill of fare, you may be able to get a glass of wine.

According to Metz, the old solution selling concept is no longer effective.  “The customer calls sales when 80 to 90 percent of the sale is done.”

Intelligent selling, dialogue, storytelling – these are the paths to be effective. You need to engage customers early and be the vendor in “column A” during their selection.

“Even technology buyers don’t like to read boring stuff,” says Metz. The shift is to selling that is cool, fun, and funny.

Research over the last 10 years has shown that the more traditional sales strategies don’t actually benefit buyers or sellers. In the social media age, you need to get customers to “that aha moment,” by being the first to engage, early in the buying cycle. The sales influencers are 80 percent sales, 10 percent marketing, and only 5 percent product – obviously a sales centered view of an effective technology business.

The route to this engagement is social media, using “friendly” marketing that doesn’t feel like you’re selling. Or as Metz describes it, “non-persuasive selling.”

In addition to direct selling, channel sales are a focus of his consulting. He described managing channel sales as the “funnest job ever.” Indirect channel sales are hard for a new startup until there has been some demand and track record created, but then it’s another path for customer engagement.

Be sure and sign up at the Marketing and Social Media Meetup site:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

He can be reached at: mhelfen()
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