Top Sales Influencer Jim Keenan's Blog - Part 2

AsSeenIn

Do You Like to Consume Video?

As many of you have noticed, I’ve been doing A LOT more video. I’m obsessed with it. I think video tells a much better story. It’s taps so many more of our senses. It’s more fun and in many cases, easier to consume.

In spite of my obsession, I suck at it. Video is not easy. They take a lot of work. Unlike writing you can’t just sit down and put out a video. It takes time, it requires thought, editing, lighting, etc. Video is far more complex than writing, and the team and I are learning as we go.

I saw this video and thought it was great. It gave me more to think about regarding our video strategy. We follow Vidyard, they continually put out great content on how to get more out of video.

We’re going to keep trying to perfect video, but I’m curious what this community thinks. Do you like to consume video?  What type of video do you consume? What do you like to watch vs. what do you prefer to read?

I’d love everyone’s thoughts.

Thanks

 

A Sales Podcast, The Word and #heykeenan

the-word-logo-simplifiedIs now on iTunes.

Many of you have been asking me to put The Word in a Podcast for easier listening.  You said it was hard to find 45 minutes to watch a video, but if you could listen to it in the car, while working out, on your iPod or phone, you’d be down.

Well, here you go!  The Word is now a Podcast.

Enjoy peeps.

Now go subscribe.
Itunes

 

Boy That Was Unexpected

Doing the unexpected is powerful.  When we unexpectedly surprise someone with a compliment, it makes them feel better than a compliment they were expecting. When we give someone a gift they weren’t expecting, the gift is that much more special. When we unexpectedly do something for someone, the impact is far greater than when it was expected.

Being unexpected is a force multiplier.  It increases the impact and value of any offer, deed, gift or engagement tenfold.

When we deliver the unexpected, it triggers people’s brains. It triggers a circuit called the ACC (Anterior Cingular Cortex) by telling it to take notice; this isn’t normal. When we are forced out of our expected patterns, we pay more attention and are more in tune to what’s happening. Being unexpected actually affects us physically.

Being unexpected in sales works. Selling is all about getting people to stop what they are doing and pay attention to us, our emails, our calls, our products, everything, yet most us do what everyone else does. We follow the same script. There is nothing unexpected about what we do or how we do it. We write boring emails that sound like everyone else’s. We leave boring messages that do nothing to catch our prospects off-guard. We send the same, expected thank you notes, which get lost in the stack of all the other boring thank you notes. We do very little to surprise our prospects when it comes to selling, yet surprising our buyers is exactly what we need to do.

If you want to get more of your buyer’s and prospect’s time, ask yourself how you can surprise them more. How can you catch them off guard? How can you deliver in ways they don’t see coming? How can your engagements surprise your customers, buyers, and prospects?

Don’t do what’s expected. Stop doing what everyone else is doing. Look for ways to make your customers or prospects say, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” They’ll remember that.

 

“Value” What the F%*K Does That Mean? Why Value is Today’s Dumbest Buzzword

legal-department-value-metrics

Value is the buzzword of the 21st century. You can’t go anywhere and not see some marketing maven, some company, some blog post, some industry guru whipping out the word value and how important it is to “create value.”

Yeah, no shit. Ya think?!

Value is being bantered about with such ubiquity it hardly has any meaning left.  Really? What the fuck does “value” mean?

We’re overusing the word value, and it’s confusing people.

I imagine sales people, marketers, and everyone break away from a webinar, conference, a blog post all hyped up to go offer value only to realize they have NO clue exactly what it is they’re supposed to offer, if it’s even valuable or even how to measure value.  I see confused, frustrated, clumsy, people scratching their heads saying; “Hey, how the hell do I create value, how do I define value.”

I say it’s time we spend less effort talking about value and more talking about what value is and how to provide it.

Value as a word doesn’t mean anything. It’s a placeholder, a catchphrase for something that is dynamic, contextual and requires acknowledgement from others. So when we whip around the word value, we’re not offering much insight. Value for one person is different for another. Value changes from product to product, service to service, idea to idea, and offer to offer. Value isn’t a thing; it’s an agreement.

val·ue

ˈvalyo͞o

noun

  1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something

Identifying value starts with looking outward. It begins with a comprehensive understanding of the other person, group, or company you’re looking to demonstrate value to. Creating value requires empathy and knowledge of others. Creating value means considering another’s goals, objectives, issues, problems, pain, and more. Providing value is being able to solve, minimize, eradicate the problems or pain of those you’re working with. It’s helping others achieve their goals and objectives. When you can position yourself as an asset, as a tool in someone’s efforts to improve their world, that’s creating value.

Creating value isn’t easy when the value isn’t intrinsic. Money, gold, stocks and bonds, houses, etc. they have intrinsic value, and the market sets the value. But when it comes to creating value in the world of sales, that’s not so easy. What is the value of 30 minutes of someone’s time? How do you measure the value of a piece of content, a tweet, a blog post, a demo, an in-person meeting, an all-day off-site, a training course, etc. Determining the value of these things becomes more difficult. The magic is being able to identify the value in these things and convey the value to your prospects and buyers.

Simply put value is being seen as worth something; time, money, commitment, support, etc. When what you’re offering demands something in return, you’re headed in the right direct. The more someone will give you for what your offering, the more value you are providing

Let’s stop talking about adding value or delivering value. Instead,  let’s spend our precious, valuable time talking about what value is and how to create it.

Value is an overused buzzword today. Spend less time worrying about value and more time knowing what it is and how to create it. That’s where the win is!

 

#heykeenan Take 8 How to Get Sales and Marketing on the Same Page

#heykeenan Take 8 is out. In this take, I break down how to get sales and marketing the same page, what to do when a prospect goes dark. I’m also giving away some free swag.

Do you have any questions for me?  Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook with the #hashtag #heykeenan. You shout out, I’ll shout back.

The One Thing Every Sales Email Needs, But is Lacking

One of the biggest problem I see in sales today, particularly with SDRs (Sales Development Reps) is that their email requests are unable to provide 30 minutes of value. And to make matters worse, their company, their sales organization isn’t helping them out.

At the beginning of every sales process there is an ask, every sale starts with an email or phone request asking to meet with a prospective buyer. This “request” is a request for the buyer’s time. 

The SDR asks the buyer for 15, 30, 60 minutes of their time.  On the surface, this appears to be an innocuous request, but here’s the problem. In almost EVERY case, the SDR, and therefore, the company isn’t providing enough value for the thirty minutes they’re asking for.  

This is a big problem.

Make no mistake people, when you ask someone for 30 minutes, you’re entering into an agreement, a transaction of time for something in exchange and therefore, you better be sure that something is of equal or greater value than the 30 minutes you’re requesting.

I’m gonna let it set in for a second. I know, few of you have ever looked at it like that. And don’t even try to argue with me. The countless email requests I’ve received or read tell me all I need to know. There is little value in them emails.

When you ask a person for 30 minutes of their time, you are asking for A LOT.  That is a big ask. 

Time is the greatest asset we have. It’s no longer a commodity. Time is an extremely valuable and rare resource people are guarding with extraordinary zeal. The pressures on people’s time has never been so great. We are inundated with requests, projects, deliverables, and more all demanding our time. Therefore, time is not a freely shared resource any longer. People require, no demand, a return on their time and if you as a sales person can not deliver that value, you aren’t going to get the call.

Here’s an email I recently received,

Hello Jim,

Deena asked me to reach out and schedule an introduction to our latest product XYZ.  I am available this week for a quick webinar.  It should only take a few minutes to give you the overview and then we can chat about specific use cases.

Let me know a couple options that work with your schedule and we can meet.

Let’s forget the fact that I have NO idea who Deena is. This email offers NOTHING for one minute of my time. There is nothing in this request that even acknowledges the value of my time, nevermind something in exchange for it.  Why would I say YES? And this is the problem with too many SDR and salespeople’s requests.

You give them NO reason to say YES!

If you want to get 30 minutes of someones time, you have to create enough value for that 30 minutes. You have to offer enough value that the person you want to meet with says to themselves; “Hmmmm, that sounds interesting. I’ll find 30 minutes of my time for that.

What kind of Value?

Well, that’s for you to decide with the help of marketing and sales leadership. However, considering you can’t wait for your company to get their shit together, you can start by asking these two questions every time you send out an email or make a phone call request.

Why would this person give me 30 minutes of their time? Why? Why is what I’m offering for 30 minutes worth it? If you can’t answer both of those questions, don’t ask. Just put down the phone, or stop writing and step away from computer, before you waste more of anyone else’s time.

If you’re selling a product that has any intrinsic business value at all, this shouldn’t be that hard.  Start by asking, what business problem does this solve for the person I’m calling? What impact can our product or service have on this person’s environment? Starting here allows you to frame the value of your request. It gets you focused on your buyer and your buyers world.

Once you know the real business value or product or service solves, then turn it into an offer for their time.

If your product helps companies avoid risking noncompliance issues than a request that offers insight into how to avoid specific, yet common compliance issues might be worth 30 minutes.

Natalie:

I was hoping to get 30 minutes of your time to talk about how I might be able to save you thousands in non-compliance fees and avoid common non compliance infractions often found in your industry. Our product has a proven track record of saving our clients x dollars and administrative overhead in the area of non-compliance.

If you’re looking for a streamlined, more effective way to manage compliance and non-compliance issues, this 30 minutes could provide tremendous value.

I’m available at these times, let me know what works best for you or feel free to offer a time that works best for you

Regards,

A Sales Rep That Values Your Time.

Buyers want to be paid for their time. That payment is in terms of value. If your emails or phones calls can’t offer 30 minutes of value, don’t ask for it. It’s not fair and few people will give it to you.

Do you offer 30 minutes of value?  Is it obvious to buyers? It better be!  That’s the only way you’re gonna get it. 

 

 

 

Completely Inappropriate Sales Person Interview (But Funny as Sh*t)

I stumbled across this old Jerky Boys clip a little while back and I just had to share it. It’s someone responding to a job ad for a care sales person. It’s frickin’ funny.

It’s completely inappropriate, but it’s funny as shit.  You’ve been warned. If you don’t like profanity, don’t hit play.

For the rest of you. Enjoy the laugh!

#heykeenan Take 7 When Buyers Don’t See They Have a Need

It’s not uncommon for me to see sales people desperately selling to buyers who don’t see they have a need for what they’re selling.

In #heykeenan Take 7 I break down how you can get buyers to see your value and why they need you.  It’s all about closing the gap.

And if you haven’t already, check out all the #heykeenan’s and subscribe to my Youtube Channel.  As I said the other day. I’m doing a lot more video and a little less writing. Same exciting, actionable, relevant topics as always, just now in video.

 

Capability vs Execution

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page.

One day, when I’m wildly (or even just mildly) successful, I’m gonna blame my parents for tricking me into thinking I was capable. I mean thanks.

This was my response to her. I put it in a meme and post on Facebook.

capabilities

Capability is useless without execution. Capability means nothing without doing. You can’t do anything without actually trying to do it. Getting wrapped up in the idea of whether or not one is “capable” is just wasted breath.

Capability is the result of your effort to actually get out there and try. The more you try, the more capable you are.

Who cares if you’re capable?

Care about whether or not you’re willing to keep failing, keep trying, and keep learning. If you’re capable of failing and getting back up. That’s all the capability you need.

 

I’m Still Here

Hey peeps, I’m sure some of you have been wondering, where the hell have I been. My blogging is down. I know. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with for a while. I’m not producing nearly the number of posts this community has become accustomed to.

The reason is three-fold.

One, I’ve been blogging for 6 years and I’m struggling to come up with fresh, unique content every day. It’s frickin’ hard. I’ve got mad love for Anthony Iannarino, Seth Godin and Fred Wilson. These cats produce content EVERY frickin’ day, not missing a beat.  I don’t know how they do it, but props. I haven’t figured out that formula yet, thus the decline in my frequency.

Reason two is, I’m producing a LOT more video content. I’m not going to say I’m switching to video from blogging because that’s not gonna happen, but it is taking time I traditionally spend blogging. If you’re not subscribed to my Youtube channel, you’re only getting half of Keenan.

The final reason, I’ve been writing a book, and it’s been a lot more challenging than I originally thought it would be.  It’s almost done, so that should give me some time back.  If you haven’t already, help me pick out the cover here: Pick the cover for Keenan’s new book. 

In spite of these three reasons, I’m not OK with them as excuses. I’m still blogging and although my frequency has declined, you can expect it will increase.

I’m still here.