At my previous company, I worked for a guy and each year in the new Financial Year (FY) he sent an email out saying we should do something team building and did we have any ideas? The answer, it turned out, both years was go-karting. Now I’m an OK driver, I can reverse into a parking space, but racing, I don’t have a clue. But, guess what, this manager, could ace go-karting. No surprise, was it.
(For those that may have spotted, go-karting is actually an individual sport and not a team sport, but anyway.)
He would win a heat, so would be at the start of the grid and was off. I would “potter” around to my best ability. It wouldn’t take long before he would appear from behind and overtake lapping you. One time he lapped me, I thought, I’ll tuck in behind him and do exactly what he does. This go-kart driving must be a piece of piss, surely?
The problem was, he was lighter than everybody else, he was just that little bit faster down the straights, braked in just the right place; not to early and not too late and he followed the racing lines. While you copied him, you couldn’t keep up, as you were not him.
We find the similar happens with us and social selling.
When we start working with a company, the competition sense something is happening. It’s starts with the sales people. Regardless whether it’s through sales people in competing companies knowing each other and talking or the competition will see their opposite numbers Linkedin profile change. But the salespeople sense, something is up. Just last night a salesperson from a competitive company to one we are working with sent me a connection request.
Then you see the competition will do a number of things. I guess this is when the subject is being raised with marketing and maybe sales leaders. Often it looks like they have found that Hubspot article on the “Top 20 Things you can Do to be a Social Seller” or maybe they buy copies of my book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”. Available on Amazon worldwide. Now I’m biased, I’ld love for people to buy a copy of my book, it’s a great framework and highly practical, but …. If I wanted to learn Judo, I couldn’t learn it from books, I would need instruction? And I’m sorry but no Hubspot article is going to coach you through the mindset change.
We also see Marketing starting to do more of the marketing activities are failing. More events, more advertising, more cold calling, more unsolicited emails, more paid media. Like me and my driving, I don’t drive fast enough down the straights, I don’t break in the right place and I don’t understand the driving lines. Then from nowhere they get lapped. So they do more of the marketing actives that are failing and don’t work and they get lapped again.
One of our clients has a queue of sales people lining up from the competition to be recruited as those salespeople know they need to be social to survive and the company they are working for just isn’t able to help them. It’s doesn’t matter how great the products, how many table tennis tables they have, they know without social selling they are being lapped.
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