Lions and Tigers and Sales, Oh My!

Lions and Tigers and Sales, Oh My!

How do you overcome your fears as a salesperson? The life of a salesperson isn’t easy. Whether you’re cold calling, dealing with a difficult prospect, or finding yourself filling the silence in conversation, everyone encounters a situation in which they are not totally comfortable, like Dorothy and her companions entering the forest to find the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

The sales process (much like the journey to the Emerald City) is filled with challenges. As 2019 comes to a close, many salespeople are reflecting on the year and determining how to improve in the future. It’s important that salespeople identify weaknesses or fears and address them head on.

Here are some of the most common fears among salespeople that I have found over my 25+ years of experience, and tips on how to combat them to make the most successful year possible. Just like the Cowardly Lion found courage was inside him all along, so will you – all you need is confidence in yourself.

Saying ‘I don’t know.’ Don’t ever lie and make something up. While it may be tempting to do so in a moment of uncertainty, the end result will not be in your favor. Instead, offer to follow up shortly after your conversation (“I just want to check on that and I’ll get back to you”). This builds another level of trust with your client; first, they know that everything you’ve answered thus far is accurate and correct, or else you would have said so. Second, following through quickly gains you respect and allows you to continue a relationship built off of honesty.

Not hitting a quota. Plain and simple – don’t find excuses or blame other people. Instead, pause and take a good look at your day-to-day activities. Are you doing enough to drive a sale? Do you have enough leads? Are you able to qualify those leads and pursue the strongest ones? If your metrics add up, then it might be your technique that’s off.  Play back phone calls, evaluate talk time, and review the follow up materials you send out. Identifying the underlying issue will help you correct it sooner – whether that be partaking in additional training or more networking.

Asking what you think is a “stupid” question. Just ask it! Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask any question you’re embarrassed to ask about their business. Don’t worry about being perceived as not smart; ego can sometimes get in the way, misaligning messaging and creating mistrust. Put your ego aside and ask the question that will give you the information you need to help the client. In the end, be authentic, always.

Hearing “no.” Don’t be afraid to make that next phone call even after you may have been rejected all day long. You won’t get 100 “no’s” before at least one “yes.” Celebrate your no’s because they mean you’re closer to a yes. So make that call that you’ve been dreading and count down to your next yes.

As the 2019 year end closes, you may be wondering what are some of the best ways to leap the hurdles that could prevent you from closing out the year on target. If so, join us for a webinar on November 13, 2019 and you can hear some tips and advice first hand from a panel of experts.

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Tara Bryant is Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Pipedrive, the first CRM built from the salesperson’s point of view. With 25 years of sales experience, she drives the company’s global sales and customer support functions, and manages its strategic partnerships.

Photo by Ray Grau on Unsplash

4 advantages of Bitcoin in the real-estate industry

4 advantages of Bitcoin in the real-estate industry

We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry. More and more people are engaging in property transactions using digital money. In cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and London, people purchase expensive properties with Bitcoin. Stories abound of developers accepting Bitcoins for new projects in Dubai and New York. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and blockchain when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. However, when it comes to real estate market, the many benefits of buying and selling in Bitcoin can hardly be overlooked.

  1. A Bitcoin transaction is cheaper as it cuts costs by eliminating third parties. The fee to process the transaction is only 1%, which is a requirement for Bitcoin transfers.
  2. Also, digital sales are compelling in international property markets because they are quick, and in some cases even instantaneous. They remove the need for transfers between foreign banks and currency conversions, which can slow down the process by taking weeks or even months.
  3. Moreover, it is more transparent than the method for tracking fiat money as the firm just checks the legitimacy of the prospective Bitcoin buyers. Moreover, it is easier and more efficient than traditional currency from a technical perspective.
  4. Buying property in Bitcoin essentially involves fixing the price in fiat money and then converting it to Bitcoin. But the property seller absorbs none of the volatility as long as they exchange it back to fiat money as soon as the transaction is complete.

Mass adoption obstacles

Some Bitcoin analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency. First, the mechanics to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat money is very limited. But the biggest problem is the fact that Bitcoin and property appeal to different types of investors. 

How to Use the 5 P’s to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Presence that Drives Sales

How to Use the 5 P’s to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Presence that Drives Sales

LinkedIn is the largest professional social network, yet many business professionals are only scratching the surface in using it as an integrated part of the sales process. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to create meaningful connections throughout the sales funnel when used strategically, and many active sales professionals say that LinkedIn is their most powerful online tool for finding prospects and building relationships.

If you are ready to take advantage of LinkedIn, the 5 P’s method will help you to focus your efforts strategically to get the results you want.

  • Profile
    Your profile is your online resume – it needs to stand out and be compelling. This is your opportunity to position yourself as a powerful business professional. Think of your profile as your first impression with a potential lead or prospect. The most important elements of your profile are your picture (60% of your picture should be your face), your headline, and your summary. These are all at the top of your profile and follow you around LinkedIn. Complete the rest of your profile as much as possible and consider adding sections like certifications or projects to make it more robust.

TIP: Think about searchers when writing your headline, summary, and job descriptions on LinkedIn and use keywords to be found.

  • People
    You don’t want to be talking to an empty room, so growing your network is important. Consider your objectives for being on LinkedIn and begin to target new connections who would be helpful to you in achieving your goals. This could be prospects, leads, people in your industry, thought leaders, or other business professionals. Building your network on LinkedIn is about both the quality and quantity of your connections, so don’t focus too much on numbers, but make sure that you are connecting with people that are relevant to you. You can also use LinkedIn search to find people and map out organizations to determine who the decision-makers are.TIP: When connecting with people who may not know you include a personal note as it increases the probability that people will accept your request.
  • Posting
    Stay top-of-mind by posting regularly. This keeps you in front of your target audience and establishes you as an expert. Aim to post a few times a week, or as much as once a day. In addition to posting on your newsfeed you can also post to groups or longer format articles.TIP: Video posts are top performing right now. Consider adding short videos to break-through the noise and be seen.

     

  • Participating
    Being active and participating is a great way to grow your visibility. Comment on and interact with the posts of others. Search hashtags and participate in conversations that are meaningful to your industry.

Consider participating in three places: 1) With people in your network on your own posts, 2) With people in your network on their posts, and 3) With people in your target audience.

TIP: You can also send private message to LinkedIn contacts once you have established a relationship and want to create a deeper discussion. Aim to take the conversation off of LinkedIn.

  • Optimizing
    Finally, look at what is (or isn’t) working and optimize your approach. People not responding to your posts? Try asking questions or including a few popular topics (like travel tips or productivity) to generate interest. Evaluate your efforts and try different things to see what resonates. There isn’t a “magic formula” for LinkedIn – different things work for different people in different industries.TIP: Take some time each month to evaluate and improve.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool – but only if you take the time to use it properly. Make a commitment to get more active on LinkedIn to boost your visibility, stay top-of-mind, establish yourself as a thought leader, and connect with prospects and clients.

TIP: Use the LinkedIn mobile app on your phone to stay active in downtimes throughout the day.

To learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, join us for a webinar: Mastering LinkedIn for Sales on October 10, 2019.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

5 blockchain trends disrupting the advertisers

5 blockchain trends disrupting the advertisers

There are 5 ways in which blockchain is disrupting the advertising industry. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the trends happening in this arena. Following are the 5 blockchain trends disrupting the advertisement sector.

1) Digitises touch points

Blockchain digitalize any asset by coding every customer transaction data and laws into it. That way there is verifiable proof of each transaction identity, and that transaction can be a product. Therefore, customer attention at every touch point would become a prized commodity, without any intermediaries.

2) Makes digital micropayments

In the future, advertisers will have to pay people a small fraction of a cent to get their attention. Such micropayments can only work with a digitally native currency. Tracking these types of payments is precisely one of the strengths of blockchains.

3) Creates meaningful value

Identifying and differentiating every product means the ability to add significant benefit. These blockchain identifiers tell a sales story in an innovative way about how they make the item and where it came from, appealing the customers on an emotional level. Another company is Goodwill that takes one person’s unwanted clothes and sells them to another using blockchain platform.

4) Builds great trust

Blockchain technology makes it extremely difficult to manipulate the data and rip the system off. It makes groups of data anonymous, thereby turning all brand data into something like a census. Essentially, this gives detailed information about the network, but not which person is in love with which brand. This added layer of privacy would allay customers’ fears and assure them that advertisers are not manipulating them or taking undue advantage of them.

5) Decentralises advertising concepts

Traditional advertising is based on the idea that the ad reaches a consumer, after which if the message is good enough the customer acts. And marketers take it for granted that this comes without any cost. But this paradigm is already changing in the blockchain world through decentralization. By decentralizing networks, blockchain offers a better way of verifying the advertising system.

Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much thought has gone into how the role of advertising is going to get upended due to the blockchain. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first to be disrupted by blockchain technology.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper on Bitcoin

Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper on Bitcoin

Previous blockchain blogpost

Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.

In my last blockchain blog series, I promised that I would wrap this segment by posting the white paper written and published by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Since the publication is in PDF format and because it is too long for a single blog post, I have attached the link for anyone who might be interested to know more about the crypto science behind digital money.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Here is an abstract of the white paper:

A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they’ll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

Evolution of blockchain technology ecosystem

Evolution of blockchain technology ecosystem

Previous blockchain blogpost

Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but got cold feet, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.

The Bitcoin community in the early days believed that the free flow of capital is a human right. The members were together in its sense of mission, which they considered was righteous. Because the digital currency circumvented central banks, many of its first adopters were libertarians, black marketers and anarchists who wanted to conduct business away from the watchful eye of the government. They were gleeful at Bitcoin’s impending triumph and enraged by any show of malice or incompetence by the big banks and the government.

Leads to collapse

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

A case in point is Charlie Shrem, the founder of Bitinstant, who was the first Bitcoin felon. He squandered the opportunity to make the company a world-beating one by helping drug dealers source funds. Upon his arrest, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the venture capitalists, disavowed Shrem and would go on to scoop up 1% of all the Bitcoins. Depending on each person’s point of view, this fact makes Shrem either a martyr or a criminal who got what he deserved.

Job at Jaxx

After the release from prison, Charlie Shrem was ready to seize any suitable opportunity that came along to get in on the door. That lot fell to a full-time job as the head of business development at Jaxx mainly because the values of the company appealed to him. Shrem is no longer operating for himself but has landed a job at this startup that allows holding separate balances of different digital coins in virtual wallets. It also lets users exchange virtual currencies and digital money with one another all over the world. Anthony Dilorio, an entrepreneur who was also the co-founder of Ethereum, founded Jaxx too. The company wants to expand to China and Shrem will play a crucial role in that process. He is in charge of working with developers and turning relationships into revenue.

Right the wrong

Jaxx

Jaxx

Today, Charlie Shrem is a free man whose world has changed dramatically for the better and is using his skills to strengthen the community. He thinks that if he can build Jaxx, he will be an industry player again like old times. Having helped Bitcoin grow to a giant, he is confident he can tell which ones do not have real promise and which ones have. He expects to see technology where Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum and other networks communicate. For instance, the balance in a Bitcoin wallet could trigger an Ethereum contact and vice versa.

Blockchain digital tokens

Today, many of the blockchain assets are not digital currencies like Dash or Bitcoin. They are tokens. They are different from digital money because they lack a blockchain. Instead, they run on existing blockchains and are built for specific applications, like a marketplace for computation, a blockchain-based advertising platform, or a crowd-sourced prediction market. These days $6.6 billion worth of digital tokens change hands every day, and the numbers are growing.

Initial coin offerings

The creation of digital currencies is through mining, but the production of tokens is through distribution in crowd sales called initial coin offerings. These crowd sales raise funds and give potential investors their first opportunity to grab a piece of the service. A token is a wealth-sharing mechanism where everyone, from hedge funders to consumers, places bets on or take positions in the future of the Internet. Several initial coin offerings have been launched already raising $230 million in 2016, followed by $450 million in 2017.

Digital token business

The tokenization craze constitutes Internet’s second business model, says Carlson-Wee a hedge funder who is backed by Andreessen Horowitz. Take the case of Facebook as a company issuing initial coin offerings as an example. If Facebook had published a token, with its value from the content and connections, then early users would have scooped up a significant amount of those tokens at low prices. Late adopters might have found themselves able to afford just a few. But all who were holders of this digital asset would have been able to participate in the growing success of Facebook. But, of course, this is not the case, and that is not how it works neither is it as easy as that. Only Mark Zuckerberg and company stockholders share the value of Facebook. Most other platforms operate on the same principle where their owners extract value from interactions between users.

Career in blockchain

Careers in Blockchain

Careers in Blockchain

It is the cryptocurrency gold rush era, and associated jobs have soared as its value continues to rise. According to the job site Freelancer, cryptocurrencies have been one of the rapidly growing online jobs. The practice of code-breaking known as cryptography, which is central to cryptocurrency, has also seen an increase in interest on the site. According to Zippia.com, a career website, most cryptocurrency jobs are for developers with tech skills including building full stack applications. Companies are searching en masse for qualified developers, promising substantially high salaries.

Skills worth sharpening

Job candidates who understand initial coin offerings would have an extra competitive edge. It is a method borrowed from the financial sector whereby capital is raised by putting up a new virtual coin for public sales. Knowing how to write smart contracts and a good understanding of Ethereum is another skill worth sharpening.

Awareness of basics

A variety of literature on what Bitcoin is and how it works is readily available online. Interested applicant should read it up to be aware of the basics before applying in the field. But every blockchain-related job does not require a comprehensive grasp of the technology. Most of these companies also hire people in marketing, communications and human resources, just like any other business.

No unified source

Although cryptocurrency jobs are booming, there are no centralized locations to find them. A simple search on Google for initial coin offerings and token sales will bring up some startups in the blockchain space. Looking beyond traditional job-listing sites would help too and is highly recommended. Looking at specific Bitcoin forums can help find job listings in the industry and keep up with what is happening. Being involved in the cryptocurrency community creates more authentic and reliable means of detecting positions and networking.

Coming up next:

The publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.