Fresh, counter-intuitive, and incisive articles on B2B strategy, brand, marketing,
business development, and the customer experience.

The Decline and Fall of Marketing


By Chris Bondy, Wayne Peterson, and Dr. Joe Webb

Marketing is getting pushed out of the boardroom and strategies built around customers are going with it.  It’s a self-inflicted banishment, and marketers – including many CMO’s – are worried about it. For Graphic Communication firms, this presents a two-fold challenge and opportunity, which we’ll

Personal Brand v. Personal Character – 7th & Last Rule of Social Selling


Be noisy and hip! Build a personal brand! Salespeople are being urged to do this at all costs. Much of the advice being offered about personal brands is about visibility and style. You’ve read and heard a good deal of it, I’m sure. If you distill the advice down, “be noisy and hip”

Find Big Challenges – The Sixth Rule of Social Selling


Your role is to enable your customers to meet their needs, grasp their opportunities, and defend against their threats. Whether you like it or not (and I happen to like it a lot) that’s how your customers see your role. If you’re not doing one of those three things, you’re a distracting and useless

Earn Your Access – The Fifth Rule of Social Selling


Direct, early access to the real decision-maker – not someone whose power is limited to saying “no,” but the person who has the authority to say the final “Yes” – It’s the Holy Grail for professional B2B salespeople. And it has gotten harder and harder to gain. You’ve seen the statistics already. The buying

Enrich Your Network! – Fourth Rule of Social Selling


One common trait is shared by all of the highest-performing salespeople I know. Each one works steadily and intentionally to increase his or her Sphere of Influence. It is a process so ingrained it has become habit. They do it so naturally and so consistently that it draws very little attention. And each …

Sharpen Yourself! – The Third Rule of Social Selling


Some B2B salespeople I encounter baffle me. My work brings dozens of them across my path each year. There’s a significant segment who claim to desire and expect productive careers but who show almost no sign of investing in themselves. I don’t get it.

Some behave as though they have all the essential knowledge …

Don’t be a Funnelist! – The Second Rule of Social Selling


I have a confession to make. I’m not a Funnelist. I don’t worship at the altar of Funnelism. Never have. It’s deadly. Ben Chestnut (founder of MailChimp) was right when he compared the “marketing funnel” to a meat grinder. The funnel theory goes something like this:

  • Believe that a sales or marketing funnel exists, and

Don’t Be Creepy! – The First Rule of Social Selling

The horror in his face made me laugh out loud. I was in a videoconference coaching session with a VP, Sales & Marketing. I was coaching some of his salespeople and to track with them, he was doing with me what they were doing. He and I had designed a new business development process …

Recruiting Salespeople: Stop Hiring Retreads


Yes, I’m talking to you. You knew exactly what I meant when you saw the headline: itinerant salespeople who move from company to company on about a two-year cycle. Of course they hope that this time will be different, that this gig will last. The problem is they are going to sell as they …

Crashing at the Finish: The Last, Winning Step Too Many Salespeople Skip


She was so close. She had worked to develop the opportunity for two years. She had created a couple of key relationships, and developed them very well. She had a good understanding of the customer’s circumstances and special needs. With help, she created a strong proposal and delivered it to her primary contact. Her …

Selling by Leading Change

Leading Change

Anyone who doubts that everything is changing must be in a stupor of some kind. From my vantage point, everything is changing. And the faster that things change the faster the value of what you currently know is evaporating. To a greater degree than ever before, sustained learning is now key to your success

Subversive Marketing: How to Build a Brand When They Tell You “No”

Powerplayer 1

The task was daunting, no way around that. Picture yourself facing this: You’re responsible to grow revenue for a company that’s smaller than most of your significant competitors, has a narrower service offering, and no reputation outside its immediate locality. It has no structural source of competitive advantage. It’s a custom-manufacturing / service firm …