“Talent is not a thing. It’s a process”

I wish it had been me with such a flash of insight. But it was David Shenk in The Genius In All Of Us.  He goes on to say, “Any ability is a process that involves building up skills.  And we have to have the resources, right attitude, lots of things have to come together.  They often don’t, even if the desire is there.”  And he talks about time; “You have to have lots of it. Some people simply can’t afford that.

Think about it…  It’s not just your innate, genetic heritage that makes you great.  Sure, nature plays a role.  But it’s what you do; how you apply those natural skills to the environment around you.   Sure, nurture plays a role as well.  But how your parents nurture only counts for your first 15 years or so at most.  After that, it’s what you do to nurture you that matters.

Malcom Gladwell adds example after example in Outliers to support his “10,000 Hour Rule.”  That is, one must practice a skill, any skill for 10,000 hours in order to achieve success.

According to the 1,100 page compendium of scholarly research The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, it takes at least one and up to five hours of intense, daily, dedicated, deliberate practice and training sustained for 10 years to become an expert.  (Surprise, surprise!!!  Do the math.  That’s 10,000 hours.)

So you want to tell me that great sales reps are born not made?  You want to tell me that the ace performers are on top of the heap due to their in-born skills and abilities.  Bull!!!  They’re simply outworking you.

e-Rep Is A Great Idea, But I’m Too “X”

I’ve heard ‘em all. Every reason why creating and maintaining an e-Rep is a great idea, but not for me because…

  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t know what to blog about
  • I’m no tech whiz
  • It’s too complex
  • It’s too hard to learn how
  • I’m a sales pro, not a techo-geek
  • Blah, blah, bull-feathers!

Oh, and let me not forget my favorite, “My customers don’t use or pay attention to that stuff.”  Right.  They don’t use Google.  They don’t read or learn anything from internet-based sources. Please…

The real reason you haven’t begun building an e-Rep?  You fear change or are just plain too lazy.  Sound like a bit of a harsh judgment?  Harsh?  Yes.  Accurate?  Also, yes.

Let’s examine an example. Let’s take a guy who in less than 30 days took himself from “just-about-e-Rep-clueless” to creating a blog with some amazingly good content.  Start by putting yourself in the place of one of his customers.  In this case it’s a manager in an Assisted Living Facility; the person who recommends home healthcare providers to families of patients being discharged.  This customer loves her job and is deeply committed to providing the best of care to her patients.  Watch the video on this blog post that was produced by this crazy-busy home healthcare sales pro…

If that didn’t at least bring the start of a tear to your eye, you have no soul!  How do you think that customer, the ALF manager reacted to this?  Do you think our intrepid sales rep improved his relationship with his customer?

Back to YOUR reluctance to build an e-Rep…  The sales pro who made the video you just watched started with zero knowledge about blogs and zero knowledge of video editing, and in a month produced “the video” along with this post, this post and this post.  The guy’s on a roll.  He has an electronic sales assistant now that works 24 X 7 X 365.  He already has customers, talking about and e-mailing links to his blog to other key contacts in his industry.

Go ahead, tell me he’s not a more effective sales rep today than he was last month.

Selling Is STILL One Person At A Time

Hey, Sales Pro!

Do you:

  • Wait around for the marketing department to create content for you?
  • Consider blogging a poor use of your time?
  • Ignore the selling punch of video – you personally creating sales videos that sell?

I humbly suggest that’s crazy!!!

Or do you have the opposite disease?  Do you:

  • Focus intently over the number of hits your web site gets?
  • Write your blog posts to reach out to the masses of potential clients?
  • Obsess about SEO?

I humbly suggest that ignores a few points that are more important!!!

Pick your cliche.  When all is said and done, at the end of the day, when the smoke clears, selling still happens one-on-one.  It’s one sales professional and one decision-maker.  Yes, yes the sales pro has all kinds of help and assistance from support personnel, web sites, marketing departmentes, etc., etc.  And yes, of course the lone-wolf decision-maker is fast going extinct; replaced by decision networks.  Still, when all is said and done… It always comes down to one sales professional and one decision-maker.

“So Youngblood, what does this mean?’ you ask.  Well, my friend, it means you – almost certainly with little or no help – must create and distribute electronic content.  Lots of it.  Frequently.  For the most part aimed at a single individual or sales opportunity.   Distributed via your own blog.

Sound too difficult?  Balderdash!  (I love that word…)  Quite the contrary.  It’s stunningly easy.

  • Go to WordPress.com and establish your blog (That’ll take all of four minutes.)
  • Get a video camera (That’ll cost you around hundred bucks if you don’t already have one.)
  • Record yourself stating a value proposition (A very specific one, aimed at one person.  You’ll happily discover how that singular focus works for both the targeted individual and for a wider audience!)
  • Upload it to YouTube and embed it in your blog
  • Tell everybody about it and give ‘em the blog link

It’s that simple.  Assuming you already have a camera, your first video blog post – your first video blog post that will forevermore help you sell on a 24 X 7 X 365 basis – will take under two hours.  Your second and subsequent video blog posts will probably average around 30 minutes or so.

Worry about bells, whistles and frills later.  You’ll pick it up in bits and pieces.  You’ll get better at it.  By the time your dopey competitors catch on to what you’re doing, you’ll be light years ahead in the personal differentiation game and cashing those big and growing commission checks.

Solving The “Prospecting Problem”

CEO of The YPS Group and Dreamland Interactive co-founder Todd Youngblood shares his perspectives on solving the prospecting problem. It’s about establishing relationships with executives, of course, but more.  It’s also about creating a body of valuable knowledge the search engines love.

When all is said and done, however, one item really stands out.  We all know that every stage of our sales process should provide value to the customer.  That’s very tough to do in the very early stages.  Watch and gain perspective on how a radio show enables a sales pro to provide value right out of the chute.

Anybody Care To Debate Me About The Power Of An e-Rep???

The examples of e-Rep power and sales effectiveness just keep on coming.  Listen to this story about how a totally off-topic sales call turned into a win.  Thank you e-Rep!

Anybody Care To Debate Me About The Power Of An e-Rep???

Take Action!!!

Yes, I know it’s a cliche, but it’s always better to take action than it is to just think about taking action.  Another case in point…

13 days ago, an orthopedic surgeon made a 10-inch incision… [I’ll spare you the details, but if you’re interested this is an awesome video] …and ultimately installed a brand new right hip for me.  I’ve got a family history of arthritis, and (seriously!) I had a football injury my senior year in college that made a total hip replacement inevitable.

The key points follow.  Keep both a total hip replacement AND the business analogy in mind.

  • A problem existed, and was well known (…for years; decades, actually)
  • The “I’ll address it someday” attitude reigned supreme
  • The pain, disability and – most significantly – subliminal distraction, were ever-present
  • The fix has been WAY easier I ever anticipated

Why did I wait?

I’m at best, 10% through recovery.  I’m already better off.  Why did I wait to take action?  Maybe that’s not the real question.  Maybe the real question is:

Why do we delay taking action, when taking action is always better?