I just really met Jamie Shanks 4-5 months ago. I asked Koka Sexton for some people he thought were “keeping it real” in social selling and he listed Jamie amongst others. I reached out to Jamie, we did a webinar together, I have been listening to his tips and best practices, and overall, I have confirmed, he is one of the good ones. When you read his Madlibs, you will see a lot of really interesting ideas including (micro-marketing). Enjoy:
1. The b2b buyer is – Empowered. For the first time in human history, a buyer can gather information on nearly anything, without human interaction. The buyer is also becoming increasing comfortable with gathering information in the background – before needing some assistance to finish the purchase.
2. The biggest innovation in sales is – Social Selling. The 1980’s brought you Consultative selling, and the 1990’s – early 2000’s had Solution selling. From 2013 – 2020, sales reps must embrace online interaction.
3. The coolest thing happening in b2b sales is – Knowledge Sharing. I find those servicing the sales community have realized that holding their “IP” or ideas close to the chest is not necessary. Sales thought-leaders are sharing and create “co-opetition” to help educate buyers together. Saves a little on marketing dollars.
4. My favorite Sales 2.0 technology is – a tie between LinkedIn (specifically Signal) and Hootsuite. They are my must go-to every single day.
5. My favorite sales book is – The Challenger Sale was life changing for our business. We personally re-worked our presentation material to fit the challenger model, and we’ve won far more business ever since.
6. My favorite social media channel is – YouTube. I learn from video. I love watching any Social Selling material on video from webinars to Jill Konrath’s quick video messages.
7. Social selling is – is the future. All sign point to yes. Social Selling has a trifecta of elements working for it.
a. The entire world is now using Social Media more hours a day than talking on the phone (and in some cases, personal meetings)
b. The generation of decision-makers that will take over for the baby Boomers/late-Gen X, are all very Socially savvy
c. It’s already proven to work by 100’s of companies; you can’t argue with facts.
8. I use Linkedin to – all the above! I have turned LinkedIn into a prospecting machine no different than when I started in sales with a phone & email. I share, collaborate, research, find trigger events & prospect.
9. Cold calling is – I know I’ll get yelled at for this… but in my opinion NOT NECESSARY! But what I mean is the cold, researched blind call. There is so much information available to a sales rep pre-call, a “Warm Call” is still very valid. I still make a few calls every once in a while.
10. In b2b, the idea of a funnel is – consistency. Your pipe, funnel, or whatever analogy you want – must be consistent. It will go up and down, but if you’re always mindful to address your funnel, you’ll be in good shape.
11. The first thing every sales person should do is – start a social presence “social brand”. People do and will always buy from people. You are a brand ambassador. Use Social as a means of building trust.
12. Voicemail is – just another touch-point tool in your tool belt. I’ve tweeted a prospect’s story, followed them, sent a LinkedIn InMail, emailed them and left a voicemail (all in a short period of time). If you want someone’s attention, that will get it!
13. The biggest mistake sales people make is – being afraid to move out of their comfort zone. Just because you’ve been selling moderately well for the late 10 years, don’t mean that can change. Trust me, the buyer had changed. Discounting social (for the 99 excuses I hear each week) is as crazy as denying email 20 years ago.
14. The biggest myth in sales is – Social Selling is easy. If it were in fact easy, my mom would stop being a Nurse, and start selling ERP Software. Social Selling isn’t hard either, it’s just about consistent engagement.
15. My most forgettable sales experience was – 2004 in Corporate Real Estate. I was $60,000 in debt from my MBA, and I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. I was working on a real estate deal that would have been MASSIVE for a sales rookie ($50,000+ commission NET). Long story short, we were on a site visit, and the potential landlord + potential tenant literally got in a fight. I got blamed for not doing due diligence on the landlord and got fired. I needed this money to eat. I came home, had a great cry… and hatched a plan. I bought a $100 bottle of scotch (now I was definitely going to be eating Kraft dinner for the month) and drove to the CEO’s (my ex-clients house) on a Saturday. It was a gated community, so I hopped the fence and walked up his laneway. He was there in a bathroom smoking on the front deck. He invited me around to the backyard, where I begged for his business over a few opened scotches. That’s when I realized (actually I’ve always been like this) that’s I’ll do anything to please people… and I’m a ditch digger.
16. The hardest part of selling is – listening to other sales reps misery. I love sales, and I’ve always been successful at it. The first 2 years of my business was hard, but I always kept a positive attitude. Misery is infectious, and I don’t want that flu!
17. The next “hot-thing” in sales will be – I truly believe it will be Micro-Marketing. Take a page from B2C, where the sales reps are the brand ambassadors with personal microsites, that inform + provide insight to their very, very specific buyer group. This Micro-Marketing will interconnect to Social Proximity, where the reps with high social engagement will inevitably gather then most inbound lead flow (all monitored with Marketing Automation).
18. In 2015, sales will be – No harder than today, only Social Selling will be far more advanced. The CEO @ Socedo told me once “Social Selling in 2013 is like cavemen grunting and writing on cave walls, LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE”. No methodology, just drawing random Buffalo’s on the cave walls. In 2-3 years, there will be far more empirical evidence + tools to augment the success of Social Selling.
19. My favorite sales saying is – “Do’in Deals!” My old business partner and I would walk by each other on the sales floor, and be boosting about how many deals we’re doing that month. We sold a transactional SaaS software that had 7-15 deals done each month. So we’d walk by each other and say “just do’in deals over here”.. it’s stuck with me today. And if we discounted the price, we are “Do’in Specials!” the Social Selling advisor will be the future.
21. Madlibs with the Funnelholic is – always “awesome” to talk to Craig. His energy is infectious… and he reminds me of my buddies drinking beer at the cottage. Just a down-to-earth great guy.
Jamie is one of North America’s leading Social Selling experts. He’s personally built Social Selling solutions in nearly every industry, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Before starting his sales agency, Jamie was the Director of Sales at two SaaS software companies – Captive Channel Corp. and Firmex Inc., building their businesses from infancy to profitability. After proving great success at Firmex, he decided to help other technology firms build Sales 2.0 models under the brand Shanks Group Inc. In December 2011, Jamie saw the opportunity to merge the Shanks Group Inc. with Sales for Life to form a leading Social Selling agency.