June 19, 2018, 6:47 am

Dan Waldschmidt on Selling Power blog suggests this for 2011:

“Selling is a dying craft. This is nothing to mourn. Half of the people who are in sales today should get out of the profession to pursue other opportunities. Every time technology does the work of humans, we see that as progress. We’ve created amazing tools. Computer systems can fake real conversations, but many times this leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of nonsense. People send out mass emails and customers opt out. Social media is the next generation of conversation. Take a look at the tweets that are sent. Ask yourself, are you really having a conversation, or are you perpetuating nonsense?”

I’ll agree that sales as a profession is dying, but that may be due to the lack of training funds. Back in the day, all of the Big Corps – like IBM, Xerox, DEC, Bell – had extensive training for its sales teams. Today, not so much. Couple the lack of sales training with a total lack of training (and knowledge) in how to hire and manage salespeople leads to the mess we have today. So, yeah, many of them should pursue other careers, especially if you can be replaced by an inbound tele-marketer or an online application. (*Cough*Cough*Order taker*Cough)

Where Dave is wrong is in social media. Most people have zero idea how to utilize social media for conversations. Most tweets are just links to the tweeter’s blog (or other content), so he can track his influence and increase traffic.

Sales in essence is the art of the conversation. Open ended questions being the key to consultative selling. Translating that to an app is challenging, but learning that social media is just a new communication tool like IM/chat and email is simpler. Salespeople will need to integrate that into their toolbox in 2011. But be cautioned that most people using Twitter and other social tools are not the example you want to follow. Broadcasting all day will not engage anyone. Listening and Learning are the essential. It’s back to basics.

Learning to Use a VA Part I

Filed under: coaching,Free Tips,hiring,Peter Radizeski,Unique Ideas — Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 11:47 am

I have been using Virtual Assistants for a while. Originally, I went to AssistU.com to put in an RFP. That’s where I met Ricki at Just2Technical.com. Ricki handles all of my bookkeeping and websites (including content and maintenance).

Ricki introduced me to another VA that edited my book. I met Susan from Ace Concierge online. I am getting busier so I am trying to figure out how to delegate better. I need to learn how to utilize my VA better to free up my time, so I can spend more time writing (blogs, articles, book #3); doing podcasts; speaking; consulting; and talking with prospects and clients.

I asked Susan if she had a tele-seminar about How to Use a VA. She didn’t but gave me thoughts. Then I Googled it. This is what I found:

  1. WebWorkerDaily has an article about How to Use a VA.
  2. Here’s a list of 101 tasks that a VA can do for you.
  3. And here’s 30 creative ways to use a VA.
  4. The typical MLM article: How to use Virtual Staff to make passive income. I actually have hired a freelancer to write non-technical copy, so anything is possible.

For me, the key is probably control. Susan wrote to me, “It is not easy to delegate what we have always done; to trust another to do it, or to believe someone can complete a project/task as well as we can. Developing a comfort level and knowing that someone can truly and effectively help you manage your business is a learned skill.”

I think it’s my mindset that I can get it done myself faster before I even explain it once. But that’s a falsehood. If I explain it correctly once, the VA can do it over and over. Also, it always takes longer to do something than I think it can (or worse schedule it to). (Like this blog post).

“Solo-preneurs cannot do it all themselves. It is impossible. Something will always suffer for this type of mentality. We all try, but miss the mark,” Susan points out.

I think she is right on the mark with this: “Once you lay the foundation, discuss accountability, responsibility, expectations and deadlines, it comes together. Some tasks may take a little more creativity with training while others, not so much, but in the end, if you think about all you stand to gain with outsourcing, it is a win-win. Just think if you delegated only 4 hrs per week-that is 16 hrs per month to work on income generating activities or have a little more me time.”

Thoughts? [I am going to spend this week thinking about what I can outsource].

GROWCO: the summary

Filed under: branding,Free Tips,hiring,Peter Radizeski,Strategy,Unique Ideas — Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ 9:20 am

So I have 2 posts about the speakers at GROWCO (here and here). The first one is a rant because I was frustrated and disappointed, but the second one does offer some tidbits gleaned from the speakers.

On RAD’s Radar has a bunch of the insights and quotes from the sessions I attended at GROWCO.

Now I will sum up the conference in 4 points.

Number 1: I would have to say that in order to really grow your business you need to tell a story. That’s first and foremost. And not a story that is Me, Me, Me. Over the ages storytelling is how history was passed down. You know your own family history from listening to your parents and grandparents tell you stories. If you want people to talk about your company and refer business to you, you need to be able to tell a clear, concise story about what you do that benefits the person who is listening. (It takes time to create this message).

Whether you are networking, giving a presentation, answering a customer complaint, or on a sales appointment, remember that people care about themselves, not you. What message do you want them to take away? (It can only be one message).

Your Brand is the Emotional memory that a person has for either your company or logo or product. I usually describe it as 1K of memory storage of everything they know or have heard about your company. But there has to be an emotional string there somewhere for them to care one way or another. Apathy is the absence of emotion. [FYI, the Coke/Pepsi Challenge with brain imaging]

“You are building a relationship not a sale,” says Norm Brodsky. Raving Fans, Repeat Customers, and Referrals all come from relationships. You need to care about your customer more than making a sale. Period.

It all starts with the Hiring. You can’t teach Friendly. Hire Slow, Fire Fast. If the candidate isn’t smiling and trying to win the position, don’t bother hiring them. Corporate Culture is about hiring friendly, trustworthy people that care about the same things that you care about. [See the story of Zappos.com or any article by Norm Brodsky]

Are You a Linchpin?

Filed under: hiring,Peter Radizeski,seth — Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

Seth Godin has written about being a leader in Tribes; when to quit in The Dip; how to be different in Purple Cow; and started the whole Permission Marketing concept. He is an author with many Idea Virus. This one he released on his Triiibe.

It is a very different book from his others. Most of his books are a quick read with concrete examples. The concepts are easy to grasp and my head is usually swimming with ideas during and after the book. The Linchpin is distinct. It isn’t about Marketing. It’s about Living.

This book is geared toward the W-2. The employee on payroll. Most folks are not having much fun right now at work (if they are employed). This book explains how to get back your job security as well as find some passion at work.

What is a Linchpin? It is a piece of metal that prevents a wheel from falling off its shaft.

“Linchpins invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They make their customers and peers happy. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn it into a kind of art.” – Seth Godin’s blurb.

The art that Seth discusses is creating a connection; the act of being human interacting with another human. Art is a gift. It is about being generous. An example is Warren Buffett. He shares his gift for free with the world. That is Art. That is what makes the difference.

See Seth Godin talk about Linchpin on YouTube. Not as good as seeing him live like I got to do today.

“Be a Linchpin in every aspect of your life. How you give, laugh and love.” From the introduction to Seth Godin Live by Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen.

Seth explained the book this morning by starting off asking “Are you a Genius?” Then announcing that the Industrial revolution has ended. Work has changed.

A Genius solves a problem the way no one else has before. A Genius brings new thinking to a situation. I am a genius in my niche.

Seth explains that the Industrial Revolution started us on a path where most businesses became a factory – Ford, Allstate, GE. Each employee just a cog in the machine that makes average parts for average people at the cheapest price possible. The problem is to sell cheaper and cheaper, the worker gets paid less and less.  (See Wal-Mart workers). In fact, adjusted for inflation, the average worker in the US has not gotten a raise in 40 years. Also, as things become commodities and get cheaper, profits shrink, pay must shrink, and benefits (like health insurance and bonuses) must decline (unless you are in banking).

How did this begin? With Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line and the invention of the Mechanical Turk. Public school systems are designed to create factory workers with a consumption hunger. That way the barons of industry – Carnegie, Ford, Edison, and the rest of the Jekyll Isle clan – had laborers for their businesses and consumers for their overproduction.

Seth explains that it began with the idea of inter-changeable parts and has not let up since.  The only way to avoid being interchangeable is to be indispensable. To do that, you must become a Linchpin. To do that, you have to create Art.

I know. What? The Arts are on life support. Music and art are not taught in many schools in the US any more. But Seth is not saying go be Van Gogh. Keep your ear on. He wants you to create art by creating interactions between human beings. Interactions that change, move or touch another human being. Art is a mission of change.

Art is about generosity. It’s about finding passion in your work so that your job is more tolerable – not just for you but for those around you.

My example is that customer service in this country is pitiful. Any decent service and we blog about it! Why? Because, Seth eludes, corporations hire manual readers to interact with customers, but without letting them think for themselves or go off-script. In other words, the $9 per hour employee with 15 minutes of training is the face of your company to the customer standing in front of them.

All those marketing dollars and years of branding derailed by a gum-chewing employee, who you treat like a cog in your machine.  That’s why employers need linchpins. People who want to change that situation (or experience) one interaction at a time. Many companies are experimenting with this on Twitter like JetBlue, Southwest, Comcast and others.

The original title for Linchpin was going to be The Chef, the Cook, and the Bottlewasher. The  Bottlewasher is a Mechanic Turk, easily replaced. The line cook follows recipes, but is also replaceable, just not to the extent that the washer is. The Chef. Ah! He is the Linchpin. People come to your restaurant to eat his recipes, see his plate presentations, have a culinary experience. Creating that memorable (tweetable) experience is what separates you from all the other restaurants.

Seth also spoke of Fear and the Lizard Brain. (Here’s a video of Seth Godin talking about the Lizard Brain.) The lizard brain says to shut up and save your job. Seth says that unless you become a Linchpin, you will lose your job anyway. Anxiety is living with fear before it exists.

It’s time to take responsibility instead of orders. grow into someone indispensable who interacts with people, do what does matters. What matters now?

  1. Provide an interface between your company and customers.
  2. Creativity.
  3. Manage complexity.
  4. Lead passionate people (tribe).
  5. Inspire the staff that you work with.
  6. Deep domain knowledge.
  7. To be soooo much better than everyone else.

Art is about abundance and generosity. Your job is your platform to create art. Be proud of what you do and spread your art. Go make something happen.

Are you a Genius?

I am a Genius and an Artist too. That makes me a Linchpin. Seth and I would like to help you be one to. Why? We want the world to be a better place.

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