The market for automated marketing and sales tools is expanding, and their costs are dropping. It's easier than ever to take advantage of them to generate and nurture leads. And companies that use those tools will have a significant advantage over—and will grow more than—firms that do not. Listen as Mike Schultz, co-author of Rainmaking Conversations, discusses sales and marketing trends firms should be aware of and how to adjust to them and grow revenue in 2012.

Direct download: Automated_Sales_Marketing_Tools_Schultz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Professional services firms face plenty of challenges these days. Unfortunately, however, many are so busy working in their business to work on their business, according to a new survey conducted by Lisa Nirell at EnergizeGrowth. Not only that, but 66% of the people who say that also say they're unwilling to invest in or don't know where to invest to resolve the problem. Listen as Lisa Nirell discusses the top three challenges facing B2B firms and what they should do to address them.

Direct download: B2B_company_challenges_Nirell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

The Trade Show Is Not Dead, but Your Show Strategy Might Be

Trade shows today are more than handing out brochures and hoping someone stops by your booth so you can get their email address. If that's your strategy, you're setting yourself up for failure. These days you have to make a concerted effort to connect with people who have a true interest in what you offer. Listen as Todd Schnick, founder of marketing and consulting firm The Intrepid Group, discusses how to improve your trade show strategy and develop quality leads.

Direct download: Schnick_Trade_Show_Strategy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When it comes to sales success, attitude is everything. But as you achieve success, you have to be careful not to let arrogance creep in, for it will ultimately be your undoing, says Harvey Mackay, author of The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World and Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive. Listen as Mackay discusses how arrogance can cause salespeople to fail, the need to humanize the sales process, and how social media has become the new mega center for sales.

Direct download: Mackay_Sales_Success.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Before you give a presentation—before you even think about launching PowerPoint—you must know three essential things: audience, result, and message (ARM). Listen as communications coach Tom Kennedy explains those elements, as well as the biggest mistakes people make when giving presentations.

Direct download: Sales_Presentation_Kennedy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Aaron Shapiro, author of Users Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business, discusses how B2B services firms are growing their business via a user-focused approach in the digital online space.

Direct download: Users_Not_Customers_Shapiro.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

If you think marketing professional services is challenging, consider what it was like more than 30 years ago when firms were just learning to do it. Partners in firms didn't know how to do it, and they fought against ideas marketers presented to them. But marketers persevered, and the methods they came up with are alive and thriving. Listen as Bruce Marcus, author of Professional Services Marketing 3.0, discusses the evolution of professional services marketing and what firms must do today in order to succeed.

Direct download: Professional_Services_Marketing_Marcus.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You know you have to understand your client's needs in order to give them the best solution to their problem. But are you digging deep enough to uncover the real issues? When you do that, you can present your solution in the context of what you discover, create urgency, and increase the likelihood of their buying from you. Listen as John Doerr, co-president of RAIN Group, explains how to use needs discovery techniques to get to the root of your client's problems.

Direct download: Doerr_Client_Needs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Have you ever found yourself exhausted at the end of the day, but you haven't made a dent in your work? You aren't alone. Every day we are bombarded with distractions and pulled away from the important things we should do. In this interview Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes, discusses the biggest distraction that prevents us from being productive and what you can do to ensure you stay focused on the things that matter most.

Direct download: Be_More_Productive_Bregman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Ninety percent of sales training fails. When you consider how much a company spends per person on sales training, a company can lose as much as $500,000 a year on failed sales training. Those are frightening figures, but companies can improve them, says John Doerr, Co-President of RAIN Group and co-author of the new report Why Sales Training Fails. Listen as Doerr discusses why sales training fails for so many companies and what they can do to fix that and start generating more money, not lose it.

Direct download: Sales_Training_Fails_Doerr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Want to get prospects to pay attention to you and trust you? Then you need to create marketing that isn't perceived as marketing. You need to create content that helps people solve a problem, says Michael Stelzner, author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. Listen as Stelzner discusses why content marketing is the better strategy and what you can do—no matter how large your firm—to create content and grow your business.

Direct download: Content_Marketing_Stelzner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Generating leads online can be challenging, especially when SEO rules frequently change. But if you know who your idea client is, know what websites and blogs they visit, and produce content that they want and need, you can better target them and drive traffic to your site. Listen as Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch discusses how B2B firms can best use online advertising, SEO, SEM, and social media to increase lead generation

Direct download: SEO_SEM_Advertising_Jantsch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Being likeable helped Sally Field win an Oscar ("You like me! You Really Like me!"), and it can help you win more sales. That's because people buy from people and businesses they like. You might provide the best service, but unless prospects and clients connect with you, you will not win their business. Listen as Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of The 11 Laws of Likability, explains how to increase your likability, strong client relationships, and win more sales.

Direct download: Likability_and_Sales_Lederman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

For many, including service professionals, thoughts about sales conjure up an image of the typical bad salesperson. That combined with self-limiting thoughts such as "I hate sales" can severely hinder your sales efforts.  As much as you like doing your services work, you need to like doing sales. Listen as John Doerr explains how to get over your reluctance to selling, as well as best practices that generate new business.

Direct download: Sales_Not_Dirty_Word_Doerr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Do you ever think, "All prospects are skeptical," "I'm afraid I'll be rejected" or simply "This day is going to suck." If you do, you have what Randy Gage calls a mind virus—a bad one that can destroy your sales efforts. The good news is you can eliminate such bad viruses and create good ones. Listen as Gage, a prosperity expert, explains how, as well as discusses how to remain positive when prospects reject you and how to grow your firm into a prosperous business.

Direct download: Gage_Mind_Viruses_Sales.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one way to sell. In fact, the best way to sell professional services is your way.  Use your individual strengths and talents to succeed, says Tony Rutigliano, co-author of Strengths Based Selling. Listen as Rutigliano explains how people with different talents, including those not considered strong sales traits, are succeeding in sales.

Direct download: Strengths_Based_Selling_Rutigliano.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Often salespeople think they have to convince prospect to buy their services, and they won't let up until they finally say yes and they get their money. That is not how you develop longtime clients that sustain your business over the years. You want to influence them: ask questions, make recommendations, and take them on an emotional journey where they see how their lives will be better if they work with you, says RAIN Group co-president John Doerr.

Direct download: Influence_Buyers_Doerr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When it comes to networking with buyers, service professionals make two common mistakes. They either talk only about themselves while trying to get things from other people or they do the opposite and are afraid to toot their own horn. What they need to do is teach people about themselves and listen generously so they can give to other people, says Lynne Waymon, co-author of Make Your Contacts Count.

Direct download: Networking_with_Buyers_Waymon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Sales are not made financially; they're made emotionally. So, if you win the heart of the CEO, his emotional investment can temper any pessimistic financial opinions that might be brought to the table. The key is to be perceived as a peer to the chief executive and provide valuable guidance and advice, says Adrian Davis, CEO of Whetstone, Inc.

Direct download: CEOs_and_Sales_Davis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

The kiss of death when asking a referral or a testimonial is to ask an open-ended question. Asking, "Do you have any referrals for me?" or "Who else do you know?" will only make the client resent you.  It will not lead to an introduction to a quality prospect because you're asking the client to do too much work. Listen as Colleen Francis explains the best way to ask for a referral.

Direct download: Referrals_Francis_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:30am EST

Telling customers you do something better than your competitor will only fall on deaf ears. They don't want to hear it. What they do want to hear is how you can make life better for them, says Ron Karr, author of Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way. And that means creating new alternatives that are going to produce better results for your customers.

Direct download: Leadership_Selling_Karr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When you ask about how to get referrals, most people say all it takes is good work and a willingness to ask. But that's not enough. Your client is doing more than giving you a name and number. They're putting their reputation on the line, and they need to feel comfortable with you before they give you any information about a potential client. You cannot put them on the spot, and expect them to come up with a high-quality prospect for you, says Paul McCord, a leading authority on lead generation.

Direct download: Referral_Process_McCord.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30pm EST

Over the past few years a perfect storm of customer service has formed. Customers are given self-service features that frustrate them, they are demanding value in ways they've never done before, and they have incredible reach and power via social media. Buyers are "wired and dangerous," and professional services firms need to keep them satisfied. Listen as Chip Bell and John Patterson, authors of the new book Wired and Dangerous, discuss how B2B customers have changed and how firms should handle this "perfect storm."

Direct download: Wired_Dangerous_Customers_Bell_Patterson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When it comes to marketing, most service professionals shy away from it unclear how to create a system. But without a clear marketing strategy and system, you limit your firm's growth. Flitting from one marketing tactic to the next simply won't work. You need a strategy that gets buyers to "know, like, and trust" you and to then "try, buy, repeat, and refer" your services. Listen as John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine, discusses how to get started creating a marketing strategy and system that drives sales and produces long-lasting results.

Direct download: Marketing_System_Jantsch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Many companies are struggling to get their messages heard and to grow, and that's because they're using outdated marketing techniques. Instead of promoting their services, they need to build a following. And you do that through content marketing says, Michael Stelzner, author of the new book Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. Listen as Stelzner explains how content marketing benefits businesses and his formula for rapid growth.

Direct download: Business_Growth_Stelzner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Anyone can become an executive at their firm, but to be a true leader—one that motivates and inspires staff—you need more. You need executive presence, says Sally Williamson, author of the forthcoming book The Hidden Factor: Executive Presence … How to Find It, Keep It and Leverage It. Listen as Williamson explains what executive presence is and how it contributes to one's personal success, as well as a business's success.

Direct download: Executive_Presence_Williamson2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When firms are equally competent in the services they provide, two things compel a buyer to choose one firm over another: comfort and passion. When someone feels comfortable with you and sees you are passionate about what you do, they will want to work with you. Listen as Harry Beckwith, author of Selling the Invisible and Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy, discusses how firms can use those forces to increase sales.

Direct download: Professional_Services_Sales_Beckwith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Don't make the mistake of thinking all buyers are the same. Each has their own buying preferences. But if you take the time to understand their persona and adjust your sales process so that they're comfortable, they'll be more inclined to buy from you, says Mike Schultz, co-author of Rainmaking Conversations.

Direct download: Buyer_Personas_Schultz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Look at a company that's struggling to make sales, and chances are three things are holding it back. One of those things is selfishness. Focus less on what you can get from buyers and more on what you can do for them, and success is inevitable, says sales trainer Dan Waldschmidt.

Direct download: 3_things_that_sink_companies_Waldschmidt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, explains the six rules for communicating with buyers' crocodile brains, how to take control of sales meetings, and how to attract buyers to you.

Direct download: Sales_and_Buyers_Crocodile_Brain_Klaff.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Chasing after prospects is hard work, not to mention miserable as you try to get through their gatekeepers. But when you produce podcasts, interviewing people in your target market, something changes—prospects come to you.  Listen as Todd Schnick, founder of The Intrepid Group, discusses how businesses of any size can—and should—use podcasts to develop new business.

Direct download: Podcasts_and_Prospecting_Schnick.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You might have all the skills needed to develop new business for your firm—excellent conversational skills, fantastic follow-up strategies, and the right way to do proposals–but unless you apply those skills your pipeline will remain dry. Applying those skills is just one thing rainmakers do that set them apart. Listen as John Doerr, co-author of Rainmaking Conversations, explains what you must do to be a top rainmaker.

Direct download: Rainmaker_Success_Strategies_Doerr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

What to Say to Get More Sales Wins and the Biggest Deals

Many service professionals have an abundance of value to offer, yet often their conversations with buyers prevent them from ever achieving great success. Listen as Mike Schultz, co-author of Rainmaking Conversations, discusses how to conduct sales conversations so you get more wins and the biggest deals.

Direct download: Sales_Conversations_Schultz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

With more than 100 million users, LinkedIn is becoming a larger force in marketing B2B services. But using this social network means more than simply putting up your resume or a list of your services and hoping people find you and call you up. Listen as Kristina Jaramillo, founder of GetLinkedInHelp.com, explains what you need to do if you want to get new clients via LinkedIn.

Direct download: LinkedIn_Jaramillo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Selling professional services can be tricky. Services are purchased based on emotion and how well a prospect likes and trusts you. Plus, prospects don't always have an immediate need for your services. You need to do something over time that keeps you top of mind AND develops trust and likeability, which means ditching any semblance of a sales pitch. Learn from Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, what to do so that prospects turn to you in their time of need.

Direct download: Get_Clients_Port.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When dealing with client objections, there are many dos and don'ts for how to respond. But the biggest mistake that can block a sale is not addressing the objection. The worst thing you could do is leave it on the table and not respond. Listen as Mike Schultz, President of RAIN Group and author of Turning No into Yes:  How to Handle the Most Common Client Objections, discusses the importance of unearthing all objections, outlines the five steps for overcoming objections, and gives examples for how to respond to common objections.

Direct download: Client_Objections_Schultz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

If you're a marketer, has your CEO asked you what you're going to do about revenue? If not, get ready for it. Thanks to changing buyer behavior and the new economic climate, CEOs are taking a harder look at marketing's involvement in generating revenue. Traditional marketing is giving way to revenue marketing where marketers play a larger role in bringing in new business—and are able to clearly state how they did so, says Debbie Qaqish, author of the upcoming book The Rise of the Revenue Marketer.

Direct download: Revenue_Marketing_Qaqish.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Marketing automation tools are becoming increasingly important to today's lead generation efforts, but firms cannot abandon the human element of working with prospects. It's that human touch that shows prospects you care about them and leads to greater sales success, says Dan McDade, author of the book The Truth About Leads.

Direct download: McDade_Lead_Generation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Paul Gillin, co-author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer, discusses why content publishing is the key to business success and how firms are benefitting from this approach.

Direct download: Social_Marketing_Gillin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Email Now the Number One Prospecting Tool

Don't count email out as a marketing tool. In fact, lead generation expert Kendra Lee says email is now the number one tool for prospecting, surpassing cold calling. But email is effective only if it's written with your prospect in mind. Listen as Lee discusses what should go into the body of an email, gives tips for effective email subject lines, and explains how to best manage an email lead nurturing campaign.

Direct download: Email_Marketing_Lee.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You've been promoted to the head of your department. Congratulations—now stop what you were doing that got you the position. Your get-things-done way of thinking needs to shift to how to get your team to do things. It's a whole different mindset, says Kevin Eikenbery, co-author of From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership. Listen as Eikenberry explains the leader's mindset and steps you can take now to become an effective leader.

Direct download: Effective_Leader_Eikenberry.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

If you have a meeting with a CEO and think you're going to win him over with your PowerPoint presentation, think again.  C-level executives want you to come to them with ideas and new perspectives on the issues they're dealing with, not a presentation of your services. Approach the meeting as a consultant and give them an opportunity to discuss issues important to them, and you'll start to develop the trust necessary to turn that prospect into a client.

Direct download: Davis_Meetings_with_CEOs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

All effective voice mail messages have one thing in common: they focus on a potential problem that the prospect might have. Stay away from talking about you, your company, or your services, stresses Kelley Robertson in this excerpt from his webinar Ditch the Sales Pitch: How to Master Sales Conversations and Win More Deals. Listen as Robertson describes what goes into a good voice mail message and offers advice on how to conduct effective sales phone conversations.

Direct download: Voice_Mail_Secret_Robertson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

A lot of people say marketing gets you clients, but Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, disagrees. Marketing creates awareness of who you are and the products and services you offer, but that isn't enough. You must have a system that builds on that awareness and helps you develop trust. Listen as Port explains how to implement a system that will help you sell more and grow your business.

Direct download: Marketing_Doesnt_Get_You_Clients.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

When you look at successful sales organizations you'll see they all have one thing in common: strong sales management. As Ken Thoreson, author of the Sales Management Guru book series, explains, strong sales management ensures that the right staff is hired, that staff receive the right training, and that there's a strong culture that everyone believes in. Listen as Thoreson explains how sales managers can develop and maintain strong organizations.

Direct download: Thoreson_Successful_Sales_Organizations.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Referrals are the preferred strategy for getting new business, and yet many service professionals struggle to get them—and to get new business from them. What are they doing wrong? For many it starts with simply not asking for referrals or for not asking correctly. Listen as Colleen Francis, President of Engage Selling, explains the mistakes people make, what a referral system should consist of, and the success one firm has seen from using a referral system.

Direct download: Francis_Getting_Referrals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

The economy is beginning to turn around, but that does not mean consulting firms can go back to what they used to do to get new clients. Referrals and waiting for the phone to ring will not cut it, says RAIN Group President John Doerr. Consultants must follow the new rules of selling services, which includes embracing selling and going after their ideal clients. If they don't, success will be difficult if possible at all.

Direct download: Embrace_Selling_Doerr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Leonard A. Schlesinger, President of Babson College and co-author of Action Trumps Everything, talks about how professional services firms should use entrepreneurial thinking, such as "creation," to solve problems.

Direct download: Schlesinger_Entrepreneurial_Actions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:00am EST



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