If you expect to continue to be a great sales person and remain at the top of your game, then it’s time to start your own blog. Waiting any longer will relegate you to the middle or even worse, the back of the pack.
Why a blog?
The answer to that question is in three parts:
- We are in an information world and information (content) has never been more important to sales. Content creators are at the top of the information world. Everyone else is looking up.
- Personal brand is everything. Developing, cultivating and promoting our brand has moved online. Being “known” for our expertise, capabilities and insight is crucial to selling and is only increasing. Being anonymous is becoming a liability. People want to know who you are.
- Reach is quickly becoming the greatest non-tangible asset a person can have. The Internet has created a world wear anyone is just a click away. Therefore, he or she with the greatest reach wins. This is even more valuable in sales. Having the ability to reach 100’s, 1000’s or 100,000’s of people is gold and it’s worth even more for sales people. The greatest sales people will have an audience.
I’ve been saying for years that sales people need to blog. It was smart and forward thinking then. Anyone of you who started a blog, have kept at it AND it’s still relevant good for you. For those of you who are still on the sidelines, it’s time to jump in. 2014 is the year of the sales blog. 2014 will be the year that separates the average sales person from the great ones, because the great ones will have gained a truly competitive advantage while the rest will be trying to catch up.
The benefits to blogging go beyond the external ones mentioned above. There are also a number of huge sales related benefits that make blogging a no brainer and increase the ability of sales people to make more sales, more money, and accelerate their career.
New Clients – When you have a blog, Google starts crawling it. Your blog then ends up in the search engines. Therefore, if you’re smart and you’re blogging about the industry, the products, the market, the problems and the challenges of your space, you increase the chance that new customers and new prospects find you. Today, if you don’t blog, you’re the equivalent of a nobody. Unless a client or friend recommends you, no on has a way of finding you. There are no ads out there that say; Call Tammy at TechCorp. If they call into your company, you might get assigned a good lead, you might not. When you have your own blog, prospects have a way of finding you. They have a way of connecting with you and engaging with you and this means more money. Here’s a vision for you. Imagine how different your sales business would be if you created a blog that made it to the first page of Google search under the keywords your customer searched most for the products and services you sell? How would that change things for you?
Expertise and Personal Development – In order to blog regularly you need topics. The first 5, 10, 25, or even 50, posts aren’t that hard. But what happens after that? Most bloggers start to fizzle out and this is the worst thing they can do. In order to maintain a good blog overtime requires you know your shit and continue to come up with new topics. The best and only way to do this is to read, read, read, and read some more. Read blogs, read ebooks, read books, read white-papers, etc. Once you’re done reading, in addition to reading, watch videos, Ted Talks, and sit in on webinars. The benefit of this type of commitment is you learn a lot and become a thought leader. In your effort to deliver a high-quality blog, you obtain tremendous amounts of knowledge about your space, the industry, your products, your solutions, the competition, etc. You expand your knowledge base exponentially and inevitably acquire more knowledge and information than your prospects and customers.
This increases your value to your customers via the blog AND during the selling process. The more you know, the better sales person you become. Nothing helps you learn more than a commitment to a great blog.
Improves Your Teaching Skills – A great blog teaches. If you don’t intend to teach via blogging, don’t waste your time. A blog that doesn’t teach readers anything, is a waste of time (exception to the rule is informing, examples news blogs and gossip blogs). The role of sales is to teach rather than tell or inform and has never been more important. Prospects and customers are 50-70% through the buying process before they start reaching out to sales people. Your ability to bring value to them at that stage is in your ability to teach them something new, to educate them on how to get the most out of your solution. Blogging regularly puts your mind into teaching mode. It forces you to live in your prospects or customers head. It makes you spend your time looking at things from their perspective, their vantage point. When you do this, you see things differently. You see the gaps and you’re able to offer valuable insight and information in a way that broadens their perspective, their knowledge and their understanding is enhanced. Teaching is a key skill in today’s selling world and blogging makes you better at it.
Crazy Social [Media] Skills – In order to get killer readership to your blog, you need to have a strong social media presence. The best blogs are shared across Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Google +. A blog can’t be successful if it’s not attached to a strong social media presence. If you’ve been lagging in the social selling, social media arena, nothing will accelerate that commitment than a blog. Social media is the highway to blog readership. Blogging will increase your social media reach by increasing your number of followers. It will drive more shares as readers share your posts across their social networks. If a blog is the location, social media is the highway. It gets everyone to you. Leveraging social media to market and promote your blog will elevate your social game big time.
Your online presence will never be the same.
Career Development and Advancement – When you have reach and when your audience respects your knowledge around a subject or topic, you become in high-demand. Imagine you have 4,000 visits a month to your blog and you start to think you’d like to make a change. A single post expressing your intentions and boom, you’ve got people’s attention. Recruiters are following you and know who you are. The competition is following your blog and reaching out when they need that new V.P. or the new Sr. Account Executive. When you document your knowledge and become a thought leader, demand for you, your knowledge and reach grows. You’ll never need a resume again.
There aren’t many opportunities in your career that come along promising huge competitive differentiation. There aren’t too many opportunities where one change, albeit a big one, can fundamentally catapult your career, your presence, your knowledge, your reach, and your place in the sales word. There is one now, you just have to grab it. It’s called blogging!
Blogging is a game changer and for those who see it and capitalize on it will be the winners. Blogging is somewhat of a paradox. It’s a silver-bullet, at the same time, it won’t be an overnight success.
The benefits of blogging are huge. As sales people, it’s time to take advantage of this incredible medium.
The Negative Commentary:
95% of you who read this, even those of you who agree, will NOT capitalize on this opportunity. You won’t start a blog. You will procrastinate. You will say you don’t have time. You will start one only to abandon it in just a month. Less than 5 of you who read this will actually start and stick with a blog and in a funky kinda twist, that’s why, for those who start one, you will be the clear winners.
If you do start one. Send me the link and I’ll share it on this blog so everyone knows. If enough of you start one, I’ll start a page on this blog dedicated to those who start blogs and add everyone who starts one to it. Now that would be kinda cool.
Whaddya say, can we make it happen?
I’m claiming 2014 as the year of the sales blog. It’s gonna be big! Who’s in?