Another person who has helped me a great deal is Jim Keenan. He is the consummate sales person, yet he manages to be in his field, and get the results he does, without being smarmy, or making people angry. He’s a good listener, he thinks out of the box, he isn’t afraid to take risks, and it shows.
He and I first met when I was on the Blogger Board for his start up CreateBuzz. CreateBuzz was a great idea, but it didn’t go quite the way he had hoped. You’d think he’d be discouraged, but instead he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and came up with more ideas that took lessons from the one that didn’t work as planned. I like that kind of pluck and staying power, that ability to look at life’s fumbles as a way to learn.
Jim and I kept in contact after CreateBuzz, and started exchanging ideas. I’d give him a little social media counseling here and there, or help him get unstuck in the social media space, and he’d give me sales advice. It turns out, taking his sales advice made all the difference in the results I was seeing. He pointed out my weaknesses, and let me know simple, effective ways I could change from within to see results. Now my sales process takes a bit longer than I was spending before, but its worth every minute. I went from closing roughly 30% of my pitches, to closing roughly 85%, and I’ve only been doing a few simple additional things at his suggestion. Can I close more using his advice? I think over time as I get better at it, that I can.
The great thing about Jim is he gives you the same advice every day over on his blog, so you can do a little reading and see how to improve your sales technique as well. When Jim came to me with his idea for a book (Online Profile: Asset of the Future), I was more than happy to team up with him on it. If you want a preview of the kind of content and information you will get out of it – watch his blog for that also. We’re uncovering some pretty interesting information and case studies about the intersection of online life, real people and the future of worth.