Mail, Phone, Fax, Email are dying. How do you reach your prospects now?

Mail, Phone, Fax, Email are dying. How do you reach your prospects now?

eGrabber’s social selling academy asks Flyn Penoyer on the present and future of B2B selling.

eGrabber recently launched the Social Selling Academy. The aim of this academy is to offer professional advice by experts with proven track record of results. This academy is designed for sales and marketing professionals involved in cold calling, email marketing, lead generation to prospecting and prospect follow up. As a part of this initiative, we present to you our first personal interview with Flyn Penoyer.

Flyn is a seasoned sales trainer and coach and has helped numerous companies define, refine and redefine their sales organizations. He has authored several articles and blog posts that give some very fine and unique tips on how sales managers can achieve their targets better and easier.

It is indeed our pleasure to present excerpts of this interview

Flyn, at the outset thanks for your time. I know you are a very busy man. Please tell our readers what keeps you busy

Well, the thing that is making me most busy at this time is finishing up a book on selling, “The Sales Pro’s Bible” that will be published by Motivational Press. I also have a number of clients I’m currently helping to install my training system so they can drive their own training.

You have been around for a bit. Would you mind telling us a little about your background?

What motivated you to do what you are doing now?

Well I’ve been in sales for ever. My first job in sales was working for a magazine distributor selling magazines to housewives, when there were housewives, in 1972. When I graduated in 1973 I was promoted and given my own office. Then, I spent 7 year in consumer sales, much of that managing call centers. I then spent another 7 or 8 years running inside sales for companies like Dysan, Memorex, and Logitech.

In late 1985 I started my sales consulting practices and have been doing it ever since. And from 1997 to 2000 I worked for the American Management Association writing a book on telephone sales then teaching and developing sales courses for their public seminar series. I wrote the original version of their Time and Territory Management program.

I notice that you have helped some of your customers achieve a 300% increase in the run rate of their sales teams and that is in less than 8 months. What did you actually do? Please can you share the secret with us!

Actually, I’ve had an even better result; I got a 285% increase in about 3 months with one of my consulting clients. Recently I got a 97% result in about 3 weeks.

Part of my secret may be just a gift for inside sales groups. I’ve always gotten immediate double digit increases after taking on a new group as manager or in a consulting role.

The first secret is that I focus all of my skills training through the sales process. I make an attempt to add the skill to the sales process first, and then teach it as part of the salespeople’s actual sales process. This eliminates the large gap between learning a skill in the classroom and applying it in the real world.

I also take a unique approach to training that avoids what I consider systemic flaws in the current training models. The biggest being a complete absence of the application of study technology. This tech is responsible for delivering “competence,” the ability to do what was studied. My training is always at least 50% tactical in nature – that time is spent brainstorming with the reps their live-recorded calls. This I’ve found is the most powerful way to teach sales skills.

For those interested there’s lots of stuff on my websites on these subjects, even some tools to help do-it-yourselves. I also have an article on how to raise results at penoyer.com/go

LinkedIn training and networking seems to be a primary area of your interest. Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is actually a secondary interest to my sales training efforts. However, for a number of years I ran a LinkedIn resource website for those wishing to use LinkedIn for business. With my sales, marketing, and networking background I developed some very powerful stuff. It’s called OnlineBusinessNetworker.com.

All my current LinkedIn training and efforts are focused on salespeople within the scope of my TeleSalesUniversity.com website. There’s a recorded session I did for noted copywriter Bob Bly’s subscribers on the site – it’s over 60 minutes of great stuff.

Speaking of LinkedIn, eGrabber provides expert consulting and support on LinkedIn prospecting. I know you use some of our tools.What is your experience with them?

I may have an advantage over many. As a one-man-show I got more leads out of your eGrabber tool during my training on the product than I could consume in months. It is a fabulous tool for anyone needing to create prospect lists.

I actually use the Account-Researcher tool all the time. I have a number of saved searches in LinkedIn that generate notices from LinkedIn of new people found. When I get them, I use Account Researcher to gather the data I need to approach these people. 

Let me share a little secret with you. The entire team at eGrabber is always excited to have you on-board with us. Several of my customers tell me that your webinars were the best and the tips that you gave them worked really well. How does it feel to be associated with us?

I am delighted with this relationship. It has been fun and mutually profitable. I would say to anyone thinking about doing business with eGrabber – don’t hesitate, they’re great folks. I know, I’ve been working with them for years from multiple angles.

I have recently come across an article saying that there is a total paradigm shift in the way companies are marketing their offerings. Social media, LinkedIn, to say so, is the present and the far future. Do you agree on this?

This is an interesting question. I am not sure I agree with the masses on what is happening.

But I can tell you that decision-makers are becoming more and more protected by technology that ever before. I’m not sure this is good – a lot of times you call on a company and you can’t even get to a live person let alone the decision maker whose name you know.

I think it’s become far more important to understand marketing and copywriting than ever before.

I do believe that companies have more knowledge of what their buying and more choices than ever before. This means it’s even more important that you stand out above your competitors if you are to be successful.

I think the paradigm shift is that the phone, fax, and email channels of communication are so shut down; social media is now one of the few ways to reach the decision makers. 

You being a user of our tools and also an independent sales guru, what is that single most difference you see eGrabber’s tools making to the sales organizations?

Account-Researcher basically get you the information you need to engage more quickly than you can do it yourself. And they get quality information. The products also put a lot of the information you might want in your prep for calling in one easy to use place.

I cannot recommend enough, and would do so even without the wide relationship I have with you folks.

Why don’t you tell our readers the Top 5 rules of LinkedIn?

  1. Treat LinkedIn as a marketing channel – like TV, magazines, or direct mail.
  2. Develop “networking relationships” before attempting the business ones to avoid the “cold call” atmosphere.
  3. Provide VALUE to others and never spam or mass mail.
  4. Don’t sell in public, even when the poster asks for your services or products.
  5. Use the groups to engage when possible and not the LinkedIn functions like endorsements, or invitations.

Finally, what do you think are the three biggest misconceptions sales professionals have on areas such as cold calling, social selling etc.

That research warms the cold call or eliminates it.
The one thing that warms the call is to know what the prospect wants and how he or she wants it. You CAN’T find that in social media. Your first call will always be cold unless you were directly referred.

That for the most part social media is no different that email.
When you send an InMail via LinkedIn, it is not all that different than an email. There are some key differences. First, it will get delivered, and second the person receiving it can easily find out about you.

That the best way to approach someone in social media is the same thing you’d do in marketing – offer them something of value to engage. (Your offer is not something of value in this case.) Getting the engagement is the key – getting them to talk to you whether by email or phone is what can start the sales process

Account-Researcher helps sales and marketing professionals in effective B2B prospecting. Using this tool, you will be able to reach C-Level decision makers at their business emails or Social media profiles.

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Nishi Kanth

Nishi Kanth

Product Marketing Manager and Prospecting Expert at eGrabber Inc
I am an expert in social lead generation and social media prospecting. I use and market tools and can help sales and marketing professionals in targeted prospecting for improved responses and conversions.
Nishi Kanth
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