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This is Part 2 of a 2 part guest post from Nigel Edelshain.

In yesterday’s post I suggested we, as sales professionals need to change up our game in 2011. We need to grab hold of the opportunity to use the new tools out there (social media and Sales 2.0) to “level the playing field.”

Yesterday I asked “what’s your brand”? I asked if the way to build you sales pipeline might NOT be more cold calls (at least in the traditional manner) and I noted the need to be more prepared for sales calls than ever before.

But there’s more. There’s more we need to change in order to keep up with Customer 2.0:

Say You Just Don’t Happen to Get In

What?! They did NOT invite you in for a meeting. Unbelievable! Well not really. Let’s be honest this is the normal case not the unusual, especially if you are dealing with new accounts. So what’s your “nurturing” process? What do you do with all the target names and accounts where you approach them and you DON’T get in?

In a very lucky world all you need to do here is hand these names off to your amazing team in the marketing department and they nurture these contacts with excellent content until they are “sales ready leads” and pass them back to you like fresh croissant straight from the oven. But…If this is not the case, you will need to be very organized and disciplined to run your own “nurturing” effort. After all the research suggests as much as 77% of the people who might buy from you eventually won’t buy now, they will buy later. Which means if you want to 3 x your long term revenue you better nurture everyone that did not buy now.

You’ll need content for this. So you will need Marketing to step up here or you will get into the content development business yourself. (Yes, I do believe sales people can blog successfully). One smart move with content is to use content from other people – there are many legitimate ways to do this in the blogging world we now live in.

Are Your Bases Really Covered?

What happens if you do get a meeting and you unearth a real opportunity? Do you rush back to the office and write up a proposal as fast as possible? Then keep following up?

Research from Marketing Sherpa over the last several years shows that for a technology product of k ticket price being sold into a large company (1,000 employees +) that the number of people involved in buying is…21. Yes, 21.

So if you’re just selling to one person you’re taking a big risk. You have 20 other people that can nix your deal. Do you know who they are? Do you know their role in the decision process? Again you have more tools than ever before to research people. With just a name and a company you can look people up on Linkedin and Twitter and find often find their complete background and even what they are currently interested in.

Do you Expand or Just Land?

Money left on the table. Or it seems that way to me. So many companies have the situation where they are doing business with an account but only in one area.

What’s your account strategy? How hard have you tried to go from division A to division B? Yes, it’s a lot like prospecting but it’s easier than cracking into a new account. You have the ideal reference story – a story from within the prospects’ own company.

Your Biggest Asset

Let’s get seriously selfish for a moment. You know what the most asked question is on sales job interviews: “what is your Rolodex?” — or versions thereof. Employers in big and small companies alike ask this question almost without fail in sales job interviews.

Want to increase your personal value as a sales professional. Want to be a linchpin? Want to be able to name your price for hiring you? Then you need a “golden Rolodex”. Keep in mind recent research from IBM values each additional relationship in your Rolodex as worth 8 (i.e. 100 relationships are worth k to you.)

So what are you doing to improve your Rolodex? Do you have a “people plan”? Do you have a plan for which people you need to know to give you that killer Rolodex? What are you doing to get to know those people? Not pitch them but approach them in the mindset of helping of adding value. Not for closing a deal this month but for establishing a relationship that will bear fruit next quarter, next year or the year after.

Linchpin or Cog?

Hope this has given you some food for thought. Our customer is changing rapidly. My mission is to “shine a light on that” and urge you to join the movement of sales people that are committed to adapting to that and prospering in this new sales environment.

As Seth Godin says we’re already in a work world where you can choose to be a “linchpin” (invaluable employee) or a “cog” (easily replaced employee). It’s my strong belief that sales people that don’t pick up these new ways of meeting Customer 2.0 on their terms will be “cogs” but those that do adapt will be invaluable linchpins.

Nigel Edelshain (aka “Mr. Sales 2.0”) is launching the Social Selling Bootcamp in February.

I’d like to highly recommend this camp to you. As you know, I don’t usually do this but I’ve been one of the contributors of content so I have first hand knowledge and I’m very confident that Nigel is on to something important here.

The camp is all about aligning our selling to the new ways customers behave.  It’s about how we can use the new tools like social media and Web 2.0 to sell the way our customers want to buy. From what I’ve seen of the camp’s content and the format of delivery (highly interactive) the sales people coming out of this camp are going to have a serious edge in 2011.

The two-day workshop will take place on Feb 16 & 17 at Newark Airport, NJ so you can easily fly in.

Nigel’s offering a big discount to get you TO TAKE ACTION: a serious 40% off if you sign up by Dec 31. There’s also a 100% unconditional money back guarantee.

http://www.sales2.com/social-selling-bootcamp.html

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this just playing matchmaker!


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I have had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events on many occasions. She and her “monkeys” are so professional and low-key. Pink Monkey creates beautiful, elegant events and always quickly, calmly, and intelligently solves problems.
I’ve witnessed how helpful Michelle and her staff are, first hand. Not only will she be there making sure the card table, centerpieces and details are perfect, but she will help brides bustle their dress and relax for 5 minutes when she can tell they need a breather.
Michelle is straightforward and knows how to meet the high expectations of NYC brides. She also is super efficient and realistic when it comes to managing vendors and day-of-schedules. I LOVE Pink Monkey and Michelle and hope if any of you couples out there need a wedding planner, you will consider her :) !
PinkMonkey

Pink Monkey Events
38 West 73rd St. Suite B
New York, New York 10023

www.PinkMonkeyEvents.com

Michelle Tuccillo – Founder and Creative Director Responds….

1. What is your event planning philosophy or motto you follow when planning an event?
Never a problem; always a solution.
There’s a solution for every problem that will arise and we always resolve the issue at hand while wearing a smile.

2. Where do you go, what do you do for creative inspiration?

The city has so much inspiration in itself but our biggest creative inspirations come from our clients. We become very involved in our clients lives and learn what’s important to them. The fun part is brainstorming with on how to incorporate these intimate tidbits into their special event.
3. What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?
Our custom Pink Monkey super kit, of course!. There isn’t anything that we can’t do with this kit. We have everything from light bulbs to glue guns. Besides what can’t be fixed with a glue gun? It’s an essential for those last minute fixes.

4. Favorite part of your job?
Seeing our clients reactions to all the special little things that we incorporated to make there night unforgettable. And at the end of the evening hearing that everything was better then they ever had imagined!

5. Your website tells the cute story of how you came up with your business name, how are your three dogs?
Dakota the eldest is still being mischievous and getting into trouble.

Harley with her big brown eyes can do no wrong. One look at her and you forget what she did.
And what can I say about Paco the chunky little Chihuahua. he’s still a mama’s boy.
The one thing they all have in common is they love being the center of attention at Pink Monkey Events.

An elegant wedding with a chic & breezy atmosphere at Trump National Golf Club in NJ. I LOVE the photo of the flower girl and daughter of the Bride & Groom. Scroll down and you’ll see which photo I’m talking about :) !

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This will probably be the only time that you will see traditional Chinese wedding garb during a ceremony at a Jewish Synagogue! Both the bride and the groom held onto their own culture while honoring their spouse’s traditions. A beautifully balanced celebration in a modern loft space in the Meatpacking District totally put together by the amazing Michelle Tuccillo of Pink Monkey Events. We got to take a few awesome photos at The Highline, after the wedding.

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