The Modern Seller – The 5 Skill Sets You Need for Sales Success with Today’s Customers

29 min read

Amy Franko is a top sales leader and the founder of Impact Instruction Group. She has built a successful B2B career in sales with tech giants like Lenovo and IBM and after that she launched an entrepreneurial career with the training company, The impact Instruction Group. She has been named as LinkedIn 2019 Top Sales Voice, her book The Modern Seller is an Amazon bestseller and The Modern Seller is named as top sales book and highly recommended read by selling power.

Amy was featured on our Limitless Webinar series on May 05, 2020.

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Transcript of the webinar:

Speaker: Amy Franko

Host: Vivekanandan Sivasubramanian

Hello everyone. Welcome to another edition of Limitless Webinar Series, where we bring you the top sales leaders in the industry to share their experience, strategy, best practices, and most importantly actionable tips that you can readily implement in your jobs. 

Today we have an amazing guest with this. We have Amy Franko, the top sales leader and the founder of Impact Instruction Group.  Amy is one of the top sales leaders. She has built a successful B2B career in sales with tech giants like Lenovo and IBM and after that she launched an entrepreneurial career with the training company, The impact Instruction Group. 

She has been named as LinkedIn 2019 Top Sales Voice, her book The Modern Seller is an Amazon bestseller and The Modern Seller is named as top sales book and highly recommended read by selling power. 

There are lists of accomplishments I can keep going on and on and I highly recommend you to go and visit because we had a hard time figuring out what to put on to say about Amy but I believe it would be better Amy can tell a bit about our story and what being a modern seller is all about. Over to you, Amy.

Alright. Hello everyone. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, wherever you happen to be in the world. It’s good to be here with all of you. I'm going to share my screen here. So I have a few slides for us today.

I am so excited to be here with all of you today and we are going to talk about modern selling. What does it mean to be a modern seller and modern selling is something that in my opinion is disruption proof? 

There's probably not one person here myself included that isn't experiencing some type of disruption given the world events that are happening at the moment whether it is personal disruption, it's the business disruption that the concepts that we're talking about here today will apply no matter what environments we're selling into no matter what's happening outside in the world. And so taking these ideas of modern selling and I will be sharing some strategies as well that you can apply directly to your book of business if you're an entrepreneur to your overall business. 

So my goal is that you walk away from our conversation here today with us some specific strategies that you can put into your book of business and I am going to have one eye on the chat here and what we'll get some help from my friends at the hippo. So I will try to answer some of these questions. If for some reason I don't get to the questions in during our conversation today the hippo team and I will answer them via email and make sure that you get The answer. 

All right. So the next shared a little bit about me. So I spend my time in the world of sales and what that looks like is working with organizations who want to improve sales strategy. They want to improve the skills and the capabilities of their teams, and I also do keynote speaking most of that virtually at the moment but keynote speaking at the events and conferences.

So let's talk a little bit about what we're going to be covering here today. So this is today's conversation. I'm going to talk about some trends that are influencing buyer behavior. These are trends that are specific to what we're dealing with here at the moment, but they are also broader trends that I see regardless of what's happening in the outside world. So we're going to talk about some trends then we're going to get into the five capabilities of the modern seller. What are they why they matter and how you could use them to be a better seller today.

We're going to talk about some strategies. So as I mentioned before you will walk away with some specific strategies that you can put into your book of business against your sales book up. And then these last two bullet points, these are everything that I do. I want to make sure that I'm helping you position yourself as a leader with your prospects and clients. Our prospects and clients are looking for leadership from all of us, especially right now, but always. 

So when we are able to position ourselves as that leader as that trusted advisor regardless of what product or service that you sell You are going to position yourself to win higher-value opportunities and you're going to position yourself to keep those clients for life. 

We spend a lot of time learning the clients that we have and if we can grow the clients that we have and in addition add new prospects, qualified clients to our sales funnel putting those two things together that's going to help us exponentially grow our business. So that's what we're going to cover here in the next about 45 minutes or so. 

So I want to get to know all of you a little bit and I'm going to ask my Hippo friends out. We have a couple of polls for you. I'd like to get to know you a little bit and then I think that I think you have another poll that you wanted to have everyone answer. So if I could get some help and see those up, that would be great. All right. 

Here's the first of all I'd like to know a little bit about your primary role outside or field sales inside sales. Maybe you're running a sales team or a sales division. You might be an entrepreneur or if there's another role that you have in your organization, I would like to hear from you on that as well. So I'll give you all a minute here to put in your answers and we'll see who's here with us today. 

We have a lot of people here. 40 percent of you are in outside or field sales roles, about 15 percent are in inside sales,  we have sales leaders and I'll have a good mix of our entrepreneurs as well. So it's a good balance here. So thank you that that helps me to understand who's here with us today. And then I think it would be another goal that you wanted to share. 

So this is just to understand if you are currently using videos or you would like to use video in the future. Alright, so do you use videos in your sales Outreach? So yes, I use it all the time extensively and or sometimes I use video. I prefer text or not currently, but I'm interested in possibly using it in the future, or not at all. 

I would say for myself. I am using video into thought leadership types of situations. So I share a lot of videos on LinkedIn. I share a lot of videos via my website. I bet you have my curiosity piqued video in email as well. So I'm really curious to hear what everyone else is doing in terms of the video in your sales Outreach. 

Okay, we will end the poll in a few seconds. Here are the results. 10 to 13 percent use extensively, people 29 percent sometimes people prefer text and 44 percent not directly, but they are. 

So nearly 50 percent are saying we're not currently using video in our sales outreach, but we're interested in possibly using it in the future. And for those of you that either says that you use it extensively or you use it sometimes I would be really interested to hear your perspective on how it's working for you. You're welcome to put that into the chat and I'll try to try to catch as many responses and chat as I can. 

So with that let's get into our conversation around Modern Selling and then I will answer questions as we go. So let's talk about some Trends first. When I give a keynote I give workshops. I spend a good amount of time talking about Trends in what is impacting the way our prospects and our customers are. What's influencing their buying being our prospects and customers even more? So today they are living in this pretty chaotic intersection of business trends. And cultural dynamics in technology trends in all of those are influencing the way in which they are going to market with their own prospects and clients. 

So part of our role, excuse me because helping them to be more successful with their prospects clients through our products services expertise whatever it is that you happen to be selling. Our job is to help them make their business better and help them go to market better. 

And because all of these things are changing the way in which they're going to market, it's changing their expectations of us, their expectations of us are shifting rapidly and the way in which we show up for them has to change in this was the catalyst for writing the book The Modern Seller. So I grew up in what I would consider being a traditional B2B selling environment. I sold products and services for IBM and then I also sold products and services for Lenovo. So I grew up in the technology space and then I took a pivot into entrepreneurship little over almost 13 years ago. And I started learning and developmentation and that has added to my sales toolkit if you are in entrepreneurial selling. 

Some of you may be in more traditional B2B environments, some of you may be in business to consumer environments, some of you may be selling more entrepreneurially. We may touch that here a little bit. All of those experiences have helped me to what the changes I had to make to become a modern seller. This is no longer about transactional selling if we're going to grow long-term clients, if we're going to attract the best prospects we have to change the way in which we are going to Market and the modern selling skills will help us to get there. 

You know things like prospecting, presenting, negotiating, closing, those skills do not go away. They are very important to our everyday selling activities, what I was starting to see through in my own selling activities and with my prospects and clients. There was a need for what I like to call the skills behind the skills. 

What are the capabilities of Modern Seller?

There are five capabilities that I see when we are able to build these five capabilities it is going to make us better at our everyday selling activities. So we'll talk a little bit about that a few slides down, but I'd like to share with you here three trends that I am seeing very consistently with prospects and clients and this goes across Industries. 

Accelerated ROI

So the first trend that is worth us paying attention to is what I call accelerated ROI, this is about the increasing acceleration on achieving a return on investment. So let me share a story to illustrate this point. 

So this was a couple of years back I was meeting with two key decision-makers in a making client. I was meeting with the regional president. And I was meeting with the chief sales officer. And so I was part of my solution set sales training and sales consulting. So a little bit about my background there. So meeting with these two decision-makers and we had reached a point in the decision process where we had narrowed in on a solution and we were really close to finalizing the contract. 

So we're in this meeting and we are talking through the ins and outs of this solution and hopefully get into contract and the regional president paused and she looked at me and she asked me this very thoughtful question. And here's what she asked me, she said Amy how soon will we see results? I need to be able to share with my CEO the results of the progress that we're going to deliver in the next 90 days. 

So 1/4 is about how much time we have to really deliver something tangible whether it is a specific result or whether it is progress toward a result. Now your scenario might be a little different depending on the products and solutions that you're selling but the concept remains the same that our prospects and clients need to see a return on their investment much more quickly. They're no longer just working in annual business. 

They have an annual P&L, but they aren't just working in annual business. They are working quarter to quarter. So ROI expectations, they've become much more sophisticated. They've become much more time-bound. 

So in my particular situation the honest truth was I wasn't prepared to answer that question very clearly and very concisely. That was a learning point for me that I needed to be able to go back and any conversation and be able to hone in on what their top two or three ROI metrics are that they want to work toward, and how can our work together make sure that they're getting there in a tangible way and as quickly as possible. 

One of the things that's happening specifically now, but I would argue that it's happening all the time when a prospect or even a client they are considering working with you or to continue working with you. They are Taking some reputational risk to do that and some social risk to do that. 

So have we shown them in a way that is very specific and meaningful to them how taking the risk to do business with us or to continue to do business with us is absolutely worth the payoff is worth the return on investment? So if you think about your top five prospects or clients, do you know very clearly what their top two or three ROI expectations are, and can you read that in with all of your sales conversations with them or the pertinent sales conversations. So if you can do that, you can better stay on top of their shifting priorities quarter-to-quarter and that's going to help keep you top of mind. All right, so that's accelerated Roi. 

Decision by Committee

Alright, here's the second one. The decision by committee. Buying decisions are increasingly being made by the committee and by consensus. So more decisions are requiring that consensus-building whether it's overtly or maybe it's happening behind the scenes, especially if you are selling in complex environments, maybe you are responding to RFPS pretty regularly decisions are often made by the committee and those committees will many times represent whole business units multiple stakeholders across that prospect or client so a corporate executive board, which is now part of Gartner. They do some pretty extensive research in this space. And what they were finding was the average number of decision-makers in any given engagement is 6.8. 

The variety of those decision-making roles. It's becoming more complex and it's definitely moving across job function and across geography. So especially if any of you are selling globally you probably run into this quite often. So I once had an opportunity for a contract that was worth multiple millions of dollars over multiple years. It was a big deal and I had invested close to a year in building the relationships at the VP level at the Director level. This was in the technology space. 

And I thought I knew all the influencers. I thought I knew all the decision-makers. So imagine my surprise and my Appointment when the prospect notified me through email nevertheless that the contract has been awarded to one of my biggest competitors. So here I was thinking I had all the right relationships. I was working in all the right business segments only to lose the opportunity to a competitor. 

And what I later figured out was that the ultimate decision was going to be made by a board of directors. So I was missing this entire set of decision-makers in my particular. Unity and they had different buying criteria, different buying criteria and they placed more value on upfront price versus long term return on investment. 

So my decision-makers who I was building relationships with they put more value on other factors. So we had a mismatch there and the big lesson for me was I was missing some relationships and some important places because there was this decision by committee going on within my prospect.

So If you're dealing with this, especially in complex opportunities, there's a strong chance that there is a by enroll and a potential decision-maker where you may not have a strong of a relationship as you need or you may not even know that the relationship is there that was that's what happened to me. 

So our role then becomes expanding our relationship building capabilities across a prospect or client and not just within the specific departments or silos that we are used to working in. I was working specifically and it and what I needed to do was get across the business in a much more comprehensive way. So we have to stretch ourselves further into the organization and sometimes even outside of it to combat these trends of the decision by committee. 

All right, last time and this is probably one that we are all experiencing right now the sharp turn. There are going to be times in your sales career where something will happen that causes an entire segment of your clients to take a sharp turn. They might even halt. So some of you may be experiencing this right now. We're specific verticals are completely sold out at the moment you may experience delays in your sales process many of us are experiencing this in our prospects and clients are taking this sharp turn to reprioritize in order to respond to what's happening outside. 

So my earlier comment business trends cultural changes technology trends world events are all coming together to cause them to need to take this sharp turn. So this is disruption and we as sellers have to become very comfortable with the fact that disruption is going to continue. It may not look like the destruction that we're dealing with right now, but there will be some other disruption that we have to get comfortable with being able to operate in to build the right mindset to make sure that we have the right selling activities and that we are able to navigate that for ourselves and also for our prospects and clients. 

So what this means is to combat the sharp turn looking at our books of business as there are quotas as a business. It's not just something that we're doing at that point in time, but we're looking at the holistic picture of the business and we're really taking ownership of the overall health of the business. So what you might be doing is looking at the diversification of your verticals. You might be looking at the different services and products that you're selling into how much does change. 

If you're like me, I went through my entire pipeline over the last two weeks most recently to assess all of my opportunities and to see very clearly what in my pipeline is going to move toward closure, what is going to be holding pattern until further notice, what things are going to fall out entirely. So if we're looking at our quotas, our book of business like Business and assessing our opportunity is assessing our risk assessing where we have a downside and outside that's going to help us navigate these sharp turns better. 

So when these disruptive times hit and they will continue to hit we are the calm confident sellers and advisors to our prospects and clients. There's a little bit of the fine Art and Science of knowing how to graciously continue or sell activities and efforts despite all these terms of halts. I believe 100% wholeheartedly that we continue to sell as trusted advisors and confident sellers but having the emotional intelligence to be able to work with our prospects and clients on where they're at and help them to navigate. Because what that's going to do is even if times are tough for some of us right now, we will be remembered positively and we will continue building those long-term successes.

Business owners look at these things as the long game. So that's the sharp turn and many of us are probably experiencing this right now. And if you have any questions or comments, I am watching the chat here. A few questions that I've seen coming in I will probably hit on a little bit later toward the end of our conversation. 

Alright, so we've just talked about some trends. Let's shift the conversation a little bit to talk about the modern seller because modern sellers are able to stay ahead of these trends they're able to take the transparency on because we are looking at our territories or quotas are books of business. We're looking at them differently than other sellers right. 

Definition of a modern seller

So let me type into my definition of a modern seller. This definition applies regardless of what's happening around us and what's happening in our selling environments. First of all, a modern seller is someone who was recognized as a differentiator in your client's business. You are seen as someone who makes a tangible difference to their business. You're not just selling a product. You're not just selling a service whatever your particular situation. The mission is you are seen and recognized as a difference-maker in your client's business. 

Secondly the value of your product or service. It isn't fully realized without you as part of the equation: your expertise, your insights, your ability to help a prospect or client navigate their business environments. That's the value that gets attached to your product or service and that can't be separated. So the value that you bring amplifies the value of your product or service. 

And then lastly for modern sellers our clients view us as strategies to their competitive advantage. We know their business so well that they see us as their competitive advantage. They can't imagine not doing business without us and that helps give us some immunity against the competition. It helps to give us some immunity against the status quo. It is a trend that I didn't touch on but one that we run into quite often a prospect, quiet as the choice between either moving forward with us or staying in their status quo is actually not making a decision to move forward because they see us as strategic to their competitive advantage. We can help them bust through their status quo and see a better vision of the future. 

So as you are digesting this processing this thinking about your prospects and clients not on prospects and clients quite frankly are ready for modern sellers. Some of us only see value in the transactional business for many many reasons. We may never be able to bust out of the fender box with some prospects and clients. But part of thinking as a modern seller is taking a very strategic look at our client's sets at our key prospects and being able to make strong decisions about which ones are going to be the best fit for our business and we may still make the decision to, excuse me, we may still make the decision to have some transactional clients in our clients set. 

But thinking like a modern seller, it's making intentional strategic decisions about which clients and Prospects may be transactional but which clients and Prospects are going to be the best fit for us to build long-term lifetime value to build stronger margins to build this type of relationship where we are seen as a differentiator and seen as a competitive advantage. So if you're a sales leader may be listening to this right now. Can you take your team through an exercise where you take a look at? Where do we have the opportunity to be modern sellers with our prospects and clients based on this definition or if you are someone who is in a sales role taking a look at your prospects and clients and your top 10 and really bouncing this or wing this definition against the relationships that you're building there? Lots of different ways to do that whether you are a sales leader or you are in a sales role. 

So modern seller definition. So there are five capabilities that in my research as I wrote the book and in the work that I do with my clients today five capabilities that I see Rising Above the Rest that will help us to be better with our everyday selling activities. 

We will be more effective. We will be more efficient. We will build a better and more profitable book of business if we build these capabilities in addition to our other sales activities. 

So a modern seller it's agile, a modern seller is entrepreneurial, a modern seller is holistic, they are social and they are ambassadors. 

So for the rest of our time here, I'm going to walk us through the finances and then for each of them. I'm going to give you a strategy that you cannot put into place to help you amplify these capabilities in your book of business and to help you be better at your everyday selling activities. 

Look at the first one: a modern seller is agile. So agility is a Hot Topic these days. I've done a number of webinars on agility very recently and agility used to really be reserved for the sports field, but it has definitely made its way into business environments over the last decade. Lots of different definitions for agility. I Define agility as being nimble in our decision-making and being nimble and our sales process in order. To help our prospects and clients move forward.

Harvard Business Review has a great definition of learning agility, which is rapid and continuous learning from our experiences so that we can apply that learning to the next experience. If you have ever felt like you have been thrown into the deep end of the pool. You have taken out new territory. You have switched companies. You are doing something new for the first time. This is practicing agility. This is agility in practice where we have to take our past experiences and apply them to our current situation. 

Our prospects and clients expect agility out of us. They expect us to be able to help them see ahead of the curve what changes are happening in the industry in their industry in our industry helping them to navigate those changes in to anticipate what's coming next album them to be more Nimble in their decision-making and the more Nimble we are with our sales process in the way in which we think and bring new ideas to the table the more valuable that we are going to be in the eyes of our prospects and clients one Hallmark of an agile seller and this is something to take away and practice whether you're a sales leader or you are an individual seller. 

The ability to process a lot of information and be able to pull unique ideas and share those unique ideas with the prospect or client. And can you take a look at your top five clients? Your top five prospects? Have you shared a unique insight and original idea to help them make your business better? That is something that if you can do that, you will absolutely rise above your competitors. You will stand out in what I call the world of sameness. Our prospects and clients are looking for a way to make meaning and they need meaningful experiences with us. That is one way to do that. 

Pattern Switching Analyzing

So here's another strategy. I call it pattern switching analyzing are selling patterns. And right now I would say that this is one of the most important things that we can do to build our agility, but also help us to move sales opportunities forward. So let me use myself as an example. I was going prospecting right a little while back and I really struggled to be successful to be effective and to be efficient with prospecting. And a coach sometimes needs a little bit of outside perspective to help us with this as a coach and pointed out to me that I was really in a rut of routines that can become rust very easily and I was in a rut. I was doing a lot of the same things. I was expecting better results than I was, I wasn't changing the way in which I was doing things. And what I would have realized was that my prospecting had fallen into a rut and I needed to change the environment that I needed to change my routines. 

So what that meant, right? We all home office, but at the time that I was going through this what that meant was I needed to change my environment. So I had an office that I needed to go into, I put myself in my office. I did better planning with my prospecting lists. I did better planning with how I wanted to reach out to my prospects and just by doing a couple of simple tweaks and my patterns, I was able to accelerate my results. So take a look at your selling patterns. What are you doing right now? And what results are you getting from them? And if you need your sales leader to give you some coaching or maybe appear where you can work together on this. Where do you need to analyze your sales patterns and maybe change your environment or change your routines in order to accelerate your results? So this is pattern switching. 

Pattern switching activates different areas of the brain, different neural Pathways and the brain so that we can prevent routines from becoming a rut. So take a look at your selling patterns and where could you make some potential changes to them? So there's a question here that I think could fit well into this agility conversation. 

The best advice to sell during complex times? Some top 3 cold email calling tips? 

So this is where we are very used to selling the technology using email. Now using the ways in which we are used to doing things. I'm actually finding right now that more people are agreeable to picking up the phone and having a conversation. I have made more contacts with phone prospecting in the last two or three weeks. Then I have an email. I have experienced people. My experience has been any way that people are pretty overwhelmed with email at the moment lots of different emails coming in and especially related to the pandemic that's happening but picking up the phone as a differentiator for me and you know using video email like we've been talking about early on as Hippo shared. 

Different ways of going to market to get some to get attention and to be a differentiator. So if you are someone who's used to emailing, switching it up to call can help you make a better connection with people. All right, so I'm going to move on so we just talked about a modern seller being agile.

A modern seller who is entrepreneurial doesn't just see himself or herself as someone with a territory or book of business. They see themselves as the owner of that territory, the owner of that book of business. And that's a completely different way of thinking when you think like an owner you are looking at the top line of your book of business or territory. You're looking at the bottom line, you are looking at your top opportunities, you're looking at where you have And you're making decisions from a different point of view not just looking at what's right in front of you. 

So sales leaders taking a look at your teams and assessing who under team has this entrepreneurial way of thinking or if you are an individual seller assessing yourself to say am I thinking and acting like an entrepreneur am I looking at my book of business as a business? Am I making decisions about where to head within that long-term view?

Entrepreneurs have one skill that really helps them Rise Above the Rest and they have the ability to create the vision. They can see a couple of years out to three years out, but then simultaneously be able to determine the steps and the steps they need to take in order to make a bridge that long-term vision. 

So I have two questions here to be thinking about so as you're assessing your territory or assessing your book of business. The first question is where aren't my competitors. We are really used to thinking about where our competitors are. What if we flip that question to say, there aren't my competitors? Where are they not or you might be able to be a Trailblazer? You might be able to Pioneer your product or service with a fresh vertical or a niche within a vertical. 

The second question is where is there an underserved Niche or Market that I can dominate? When we are specialists working in really saturated environments. We're working in a really saturated environment. We're used to going where everybody is but if you can identify an underserved niche, you can identify a space where your competitors aren't you can be their first. 

Let me give you a quick story on that. I was conducting a workshop for some B2B Insurance Brokers. So that was the audience and after talking about this particular topic. We had someone come up to me afterward and Talk about the niche that he had found. So it's vertical was Health Care is a huge vertical lot of different sub-niches within that vertical and it's also extremely saturated but what he had found he found this small niche within a healthcare space and it was actually with nonprofit organizations that specialize in organ donation. So not a niche that i would have ever thought of but he found this niche he and it's a small Niche probably less than a hundred players in his environments in this niche, but he found the first clients in that niche and delivered so well with his products and services that he started to become known in that niche and then the other nonprofits there started to do business with him. He was first there was no one there and he was able to build his reputation. He was able to sell his products at better margins and a higher value is nonprofit stock value. They didn't just see. He's so something to think about in your own territory, your own book of business. 

All right next. A modern seller is holistic. Modern seller is holistic and this ties very much to entrepreneurship. A modern seller who is holistic doesn't just see the prospect of the clients in their particular product or service. They see the whole ecosystem. We are selling our products and services within a supply chain ecosystem. We have the customers that depend on us. We also have our suppliers. In some situations we have our strategic partners. We have an entire ecosystem of people who process technology products that go into creating a successful customer experience. 

So using myself again as an example when I was selling for IBM and Lenovo, I sold technology Hardware. Taking a prospect or client all the way through the sales process was in giving them that win. That was just the first phase; the next phase had to be delivering on the products the service that they were buying from us and there was an entire supply chain behind us, a global supply chain. And if there was any hitch in the supply chain, it meant that something wasn't going to be delivered on time. It may not be configured correctly and it may cause delays for the client once they have made the purchase. 

So if I were just thinking about that purchase order and that win and not thinking about the supply chain behind me. I would be missing out on an entire opportunity to make sure that I was delivering the right customer experience. 

So thinking again about your own prospects and clients even deals that you have it. It's white right now mapping your pre-sales and post-sales touchpoints. So pre-sales and taking them all the way through the sales process is what we tend to focus on. Post-sales touchpoints are equally as important in order to make sure that we're delivering well and it sets us up for the next opportunity. 

I talked early on about making sure that we are expanding the clients that we're working with but also in addition to filling the top of that tunnel, this is the clients that we're working with and making sure that we're delivering on the right experience. So take the time with your just take a couple of deals that you're working on right now and map the post-sales touchpoints and where there might be weaknesses in the supply chain, whether it's a physical supply chain, or maybe it's a partnership supply chain if you work through the channel you work with business partners, making sure you're mapping those points looking for any weaknesses in that supply chain that you might need to shore up in order deliver the right customer experience. So this is what it means to think holistically and to apply applied supply chain thinking to your sales process into your client experience. 

All right. Next a modern seller is social. So we live in a world of social media and technology. And so this conversation is not about using a specific social media tool. I really believe in the omnichannel approach to building relationships. It is thought leadership in social media. It's building relationships and being social media. It's building relationships via video via phone via email. We have a lot of options available to us. So the idea behind a modern seller being social is focusing on the right strategic relationships that we need to be building within our prospects and within our clients. 

Social Capital will never have a line item on a P&L. But sellers who place a high value on strategic relationships, they know that they can create higher Social Capital. Social Capital is what is created when we focus on building the right relationships and the results that are created from those relationships. Modern sellers can build social capital and they create momentum with it that is going to help them get further into a relationship or further into a Like your client through their relationships. This modern seller is social right here helps you with that decision by committee trend that I referenced earlier. So to have a strategy has a couple of strategies in your back pocket for what you can do in your territory or your book of business. 

What are the four high impact relationships?

There are four high impact relationships that you need to build in every prospect in every client opportunity. So I'm going to run through these forms and as I'm running through them. I think about your prospects and clients and where you're strong and where you perhaps have some opportunity to make some improvements with these relationships. 

The first high impact relationship. These are your advocates, your advocates are your rating fans. They are the people who will leverage their social capital The Leverage their reputation to open doors for you. They may actively sponsor you for a key opportunity. They are the people that you know, that they're in your corner. You have delivered so well for them in the past that you have proven your reputation. You have proven credibility and they are now willing to open doors on your behalf. 

The more advocates that you have in a relationship and a client the better off you will be. I'm thinking of a client that I've worked with for a number of years. One of my top advocates just moved on to another opportunity and in order for me to continue working for that client, I made sure that I had other advocates across the business so that I wasn't potentially at risk in this client because one Advocate had left so who are your advocates in your top prospects in your clients? 

The second group is your decision-makers; these are the individuals who hold ultimate projects Authority and the decision to move forward. But I do caution here that there is very much likely a decision by committee. I had this happen to me very recently. I was giving a Zoom presentation and I had five equal committee members that I was presenting to you. And so I will absolutely have to make a decision by committee and by consensus. And I was also protecting in a virtual environment. Can we hone in on who are decision-makers are and if there is more than one where are some of the risks that we might have when it comes time to a decision to work with us? 

Your next high-impact relationship is your center of influence. Centers of influence can be people or they can be organizations and what these people are organizations do they provide the right environment. They provide strategies, they provide opportunities, they provide access. So what is so if I use organizations for an example, what organizations do you belong to? You can create a high impact on individual relationships. I have about three groups that I belong to and these groups provide environments, they provide opportunities, they provide access. You can also have centers of influence within prospective clients. They are likely individuals who are helping provide the environments. They're helping you to provide access but centers of influence and advocates are not equal. Someone who is a center of influence may not be an advocate for you. And someone who may not be a center of influence, they might be an advocate for you. 

The chances are good. They have some level of influence but you have to individually assess your opportunities for where you have centers of influence and where you have Advocates if you have an advocate and the center of influence who that's the same person then you have someone that you want to make sure that you are continuing to build that relationship with that is that that combination right there is priceless. 

And then lastly strategic alliances. This is your fourth high-impact relationship. These are Partnerships that help create opportunities and they're often revenue-generating and mutually beneficial. So, where are your strategic Partnerships whether for me many of these exist outside of my client's sets? They might be other Consultants. They might be other organizations. But do you have a set of strategic relationships these types of relationships can help you especially when you're selling?

Are you paying attention to these relationships and building them so that when we are facing things like we're facing right now. You have those relationships in place. So assessing yourself with these for high impact relationships. All right. Last one a modern seller is an ambassador. Being a modern seller who is an ambassador. This is about building loyalty. Do ambassadors have this very unique ability to have their own unique Brands, their own unique leadership Brands where they really write as above their peers? They are seeing their industry as a go-to type of person. They have built their leadership Brands. They might be sharing thought leadership. They have a presence if you will, but they also equally espouse the values of their organization. So you are also seen as someone who is 

The part within your organization and ambassadors are a bridge. They are a bridge to their prospects and clients. They are bridged back into their organization and a bridge into the community into their Industries. So who is someone and hopefully it's you who is someone that you look to that you can point to and say yes that person is someone who is an ambassador and has this unique ability to again have their own. I'm leadership Brands, but they are able to build long-term loyalty with their clients and their prospects also can see their capabilities in building long-term. Loyalty long-term loyal clients are three times more likely to buy from you. We've done so much work to build these loyal clients. If we continue to build those relationships with them. They are three times more likely to buy and they are more likely to see the value and what we bring to the table. 

And not just a transaction. So how do we start building this Ambassador Factor as I like to call it, identify and track the top three differentiators to your best clients and do your best prospects? What are the three things that are most valuable to them that you can focus on and deliver on this also goes back to the trend? I mentioned earlier with Roi acceleration. These can come back into every one of your conversations and You can track these in your quarterly business reviews when you are looking at the big picture of your relationship and working together and guaranteeing. Your competitors aren't doing this. It isn't asking the question to say, what are the three things that are most important to you that you value the highest that I can deliver on so that's the first one and then the second one is to look where you can expand in your top loyal clients one of the assessments. I'm going to make it available to you. 

Royalty engagement inventory and the Loyalty engagement inventory is an assessment. You can use it to track the Loyalty factor in your clients and help you identify opportunities to expand in your top loyal clients again, if we can expand in those loyal clients, they are three times more likely to buy from us. We can expand our book of business with our loyal clients while we are continuing to expand on the prospect side and putting more opportunities into the fun. It'll focus on those two things together and is going to help us. 

Exponentially our book of business Alright, so we have just a couple minutes left here. I am going to look through for I have these on my phone. So pardon me while I look down at my phone. I have a couple of questions here. I'm going to try to answer one or two before we do a wrap-up and like I said anything we don't get to will make sure that we answer via email. So there's a question here. I am at the full commission on sales and full commission sales. What channels should I focus on? So I'm working on LinkedIn now, so I'm going to run on the assumption that you are full commission sales in a B2B type of environment since you are using LinkedIn, I see LinkedIn as one of the top tools that I use to build to build relationships and to do my research on prospects and do my research on clients. 

So LinkedIn is absolutely one tool that I would highly recommend regardless of whether you are full commission sales, but especially if you are a B2B environment Another recommendation that I would have is taking a look at the verticals that you sell into So I myself I sell quite a bit into Professional Services. I fell in love with technology. I fell into insurance. So take a look at the verticals that you're selling into and what organizations you can align yourself with that can help you to gain access to prospects in those verticals. So that's one suggestion a second. Action is to create in your verticals. What are your top 10 to 20 prospects? That would be an ideal client for you and for each of those top 10 to 20 prospects identifying the potential decision-makers and the potential influencers so that you can then use LinkedIn to start building those relationships. 

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Sanjana Murali is a Marketing Specialist at Hippo Video. She is an award-winning blogger, one of her articles on “Customer Success” was selected from worldwide participants and won her MVP 2019 award. She has learned the knack of ranking her blogs and website pages in the 1st result of Google Search from her 6+ years of writing and marketing experience. She is also the host of #Limitless webinar and podcast series at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.

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