What has the last 20 years taught me about the next 20

April 2, 2012
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I’m celebrating my 20th year of writing about sales, networking, loyalty, trust, attitude, leadership, business social media and personal development.

My core of information transformed into a body of work that includes 11 books — all bestsellers. I did it while you were watching TV. I chose to write instead of watch.

Last week in this column, I began the celebration by talking about what’s to come in the evolution of the selling process, and how it will affect you and your sales for the next 20 years. I will continue with more this week and next. If you missed last week, go to Gitomer.com and enter “twenty” in the GitBit box.

Here’s the continuation of what’s new and what’s next:

6. Value-based messages. Any message you’re sending better have value to the customer or it will be deleted: any tweet, any blog post, any business Facebook post, any YouTube video. Show me the value.

7. Value first. “Value-added” and “value-add” are dead. Those words assume you have to buy something in order to get any value. I am all about providing value in advance of a purchase. (It’s been working for 20 years.)

There are “experts” that warn against giving “unpaid consulting.” Those people are idiots. Value first allows your customers to like and respect you as a person.

Here’s what I have found to be an unwavering, ultimate truth: The more you give, the more you get. The more information you give away, the more business you receive.

8. Buying motives. My trademarked, first rule of selling is: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” If you’re looking to be a top 5 percent salesperson, uncovering buying motives is the only way.

9. Business social media. It’s the single, biggest business imperative of this decade. Here are the minimums that make you a “player”:

**A thousand people who “like” your Facebook business page. (Have two pages: one personal, one business.)

**Five hundred twitter followers who receive at least one value tweet a day.

**Five hundred connections on LinkedIn. This makes your profile page look like mine.

**Twenty-five videos on your YouTube channel that include vital information, ideas, thoughts and testimonials.

Now is the time to get serious about this new business strategy. I have, and it’s working far beyond my expectations in both exposure and remuneration.

10. Face-to-face. Live networking is still the most viable non-Internet prospecting strategy. Ten hours a week is the minimum.

11. Community social. Attend the ball, the charity event, the fundraiser, the theater and the ball game. Be seen and known as a community supporter.

12. Find the link. When you meet someone face-to-face, it is important to find something in common. When you do, the relationship deepens and becomes more relaxed at the same time.

13. YouTube. YouTube gives me visibility, credibility and global exposure for a minimal investment. At this writing I have exceeded 2.3 million views on the BuyGitomer channel. Got yours?

14. Internet promotion. What are you waiting for? Your marketing department? Your lawyers? The Internet is looking for human beings, not employees. Change your hat. Master your online presence.

15. Personal website. This is no longer an option. Register yourname.com tonight. Start your personal website today. Start with a one-page site that presents your philosophy of how you treat customers.

16. Blog. This is a personal way to convey thoughts, ideas and stories. Better than Facebook, blogging is more professional and more personal. If done correctly, you can level the playing field with The New York Times. Many people have.

17. E-zine. My weekly e-mail magazine, Sales Caffeine, now 10 years old, plays an integral role in conveying my value messages. In a decade, it has transformed from a message into a business.

Start sending a weekly, value-based e-mail to your customers this week. Share your ideas. Share your wisdom. Your customers will like you, love you, respect you, refer you and continue to buy from you. Mine have.

18. Reputation. Reputation of the salesperson is more important than reputation of the company or the product. What are you known as? What are you known for? What’s your image? What’s your Google image? What’s your social image? All of these elements turn into ranking and reputation. And it is visible to all — good or bad.

Out of space (again). The balance will appear next week. And keep in mind, this is not a “list of things.” It’s a challenge manifesto. To you.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has more information about training and seminars, or e-mail him personally at salesman@gitomer.com


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