Today is my first Monday Musings post. Sometimes I just have things rattling around in my head that I need to talk about. I decided to use this as an opportunity to rant about whatever is on my mind. Some will be positive, some will be rants on things that I feel strongly about and just need to say. All of it is just based on my own personal observation about business, life and the world.
Read something everyday.
In my case, I’m a bit of a junkie, because I believe that learning doesn’t end when we graduate college. Perhaps it is a sign that I have A.D.D., but it is not uncommon for me to read three or four books at a time. I just read – Youtility by Jay Baer, which I have to admit captivated my attention to the point where I finished it in about 4 hours on Saturday. Next is Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins. Mr. Robbins turns financial thinking on it’s head and reminds readers that the deck is stacked against us. Sort of like in Vegas, the odds are in favor of the house. Those financial institutions you trust…might want to think again. Then there is Your Best Just Got Better by Jason Womack. Excellent book on productivity. I am diligently working through all of the homework; hence the reason I haven’t finished yet. Finally, a book about the millennial generation and the kind of culture they want from the corporate workplace. It’s called The XYZ Factor: The DoSomething.org Guide to Creating a Culture of Impact by Nancy Lublin and Alyssa Ruderman. I’m learning a lot about what millennial workers care about. You should too!
An online publication I love reading is Forbes. Always great contributors who share their perspectives on a variety of topics. The content is always excellent. My big gripe – not specific to just Forbes by the way – don’t force a darn pop up advertisement on me when I’m in the middle of reading an article. That just sucks! I’m not only annoyed when it happens, I’m not happy with the advertiser who paid to let them do it. I get it. Ads fund your site, but can’t you just be a little bit classy about it? I’m not fond of the big pop up – sign me up for our newsletter – boxes either. What I want is to be able to read the content on any given webiste without being slammed in the face with what YOU want. How much would you like to bet that I’m not alone in my thinking here? Trust and positive experiences are big factors in buyers decisions. You need to think about that when designing every touchpoint and interaction with potential and current customers.
Like a slow rolling thunder there is a feud brewing in the social selling space. It seems that a few “experts” are getting their – you know what – all bunched up in a wad. Why? Well, a couple of reasons.
One, they can’t stand not being the center of the universe because the shine on their rockstar status is fading. They want to argue and bash anyone who dares to challenge them with new thinking about sales. Heck, they even whine that the “research” is a lie. Um, I take Gartner, Sirius Decisions, Forrester, Aberdeen, CEB and other research orgs pretty seriously. They pump a lot of money into evaluating trends in sales. Where’s your statistically validated research proving otherwise?
Two, there are people like me expressing concern that many experts don’t know what they are talking about. They have zero practical experience, and they parrot and regurgitate the words of others. Not an original thought to be found. I know I’ll be thought of as a heretic for saying that if you haven’t sold anything. Ever. In your life. You are not qualified to tell anyone how to sell more. You might understand social media strategy, although that’s certainly not a given, but don’t presume that you can coach or train people whose jobs may be on the line if they don’t close out their quota goals each month, quarter and year. You should give a darn that the Koolaid you are asking people to drink actually nets them sales results.
Worse yet, we have experts out there preaching the social selling gospel but their words and actions are not congruent. Real experts don’t need to brag about how awesome they are. It shows in their actions. If you have a large following of people who look up to you, you have a responsibility to walk your talk!
There are some seriously A+ people out there.
There are people who talk, and there are people who walk the talk. They tend to be genuine, humble people who don’t need to be in your face every minute telling you how amazing they are. These are the people who represent the best of the best and who think nothing of stopping to help you. One such person is Richard Young of PipelinerCRM. A few days ago via Twitter, I asked my peeps to tell me about some of the technology tools they like and use in their selling activities. I’m now writing a weekly tech post and love broadening my horizons. Heck, I can’t possibly know of every tool. Richard not only shared a few of the tools he uses, but he made PERSONAL introductions to his contacts suggesting I interview them about their product before writing my post. Boom! Now you can talk until the cows come home about how important it is to “help others”, and as the old saying goes… action speaks louder than words. Thank you, Richard. You are a rockstar!