Articles

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

The Decline and Fall of Marketing

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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 …