Amy Franko is an author, speaker, and expert in modern selling and sales skills. She’s put her most recent observations and lessons-learned as a sales consultant and trainer into print in her new book, “The Modern Seller.” In this conversation, Amy and I discuss the top 5 skills every modern seller needs to have in their arsenal as well as why sales professionals need to think like an entrepreneur these days – and why it’s not always glamorous. In Amy’s words, modern sales skills must be applied holistically – a concept that surprised me in both its simplicity and its impact. This is a conversation you don’t want to miss – listen now!
What has changed that requires that we make the delineation of “modern seller?”
It should be no secret to sales professionals that prospects and clients have changed the way they want to interact with your business. These days they come to you with all the information they need about your service or product. That means we are no longer educating clients on our products, we’re in a position to serve as a consultant to help them discover how our product can be applied best to their situation. In Amy’s new book she takes a look into what she calls the “skills behind the skills” – the things that enable us to effectively handle the needs of the modern buyer. It’s only with these kinds of modern sales skills that we will be able to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. Listen to hear it explained as only Amy can explain it.
Modern sales skills must be applied in a values-based way
We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed. The amount of correspondence and data I personally deal with on a daily basis is only one example of the type of things that contribute to those feelings. Amy points out that all of us have finite resources of time, energy, motivation, and discipline. As modern sellers, we must recognize that fact and identify where we want to spend those finite resources. It’s not your typical decision – it’s a values-based decision that we’ve got to learn how to make. If we can do it successfully, we’ve just learned the most important sales skill we could ever learn – and our effectiveness at serving customers and providing them with the value of an ongoing consultative relationship will only increase over time.
The quality of your relationships will dictate the quality of your sales results
There’s simply no way we can have even elementary level relationships with the 1500 people we are connected with on LinkedIn. We’ve got to be selective, choosing to invest our time in the relationships that will serve our goals and our customers best. It’s knowing how to best use our social capital, which Amy likes to think of this way: Social capital is the collective value people create when they are in a strategic relationship. People who get this understand that the quality of their relationships determines the quality of their sales results. For that reason, they make intentional decisions about the relationships they build and the goals they set for themselves. Amy explains it so much better than this short paragraph can do, so be sure you listen.
Sales ambassadors earn the right to be a trusted advisor to their customers
One of the concepts Amy introduces in her book – which is similar to my phrase “Combative Diplomat,” but much more elegant – is that modern sellers are ambassadors. The concept is simple and once you get it, it changes the way you view your role in your sales and prospecting process. An ambassador is a bridge – a person who brings things and people together. An ambassador is an owner – a person invested in their company and their results. An ambassador is a value creator – a person who works to serve others and enable their success. Listen to hear Amy’s insight into how the ambassador mindset can change the way you approach your next sales appointment for the better.
Outline of this great episode
- What it meant for Amy to become more entrepreneurial
- Salespeople need to learn what it means to be holistic
- Modern sales skills include managing relationships well
- The number of people you need to be focusing on is really pretty small
- What does an ambassador need to do as a modern seller
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Amy’s website
- Follow Amy on Twitter
- Connect with Amy on LinkedIn
- BOOK: “The Modern Seller: Sell More And Increase Your Impact In The New Sales Economy”
- BOOK: “Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition”
- SPONSOR: Mail Tag
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud