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The New Rules of Selling with David Meerman Scott

 Throw out the old rules




Sales and service are being radically redefined in today’s consumer-oriented online marketplace. In response, savvy companies of all sizes – including small and medium size businesses – are taking advantage of the new rules of selling to successfully grow business.

Learn to leverage the new rules of selling for your own company in this special presentation with acclaimed author and marketing strategist David Meerman Scott.

Based on concepts from his latest book, The New Rules of Sales & Service (Wiley, 2014), this 20-minute presentation highlights real companies that are successfully using content to generate real-time customer engagement.

Learn to expand your business success with the new rules of selling in this engaging presentation.

More from David Meerman Scott:

 The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business by  David Meerman Scott

Author Bio:
David Meerman Scott
is an internationally acclaimed marketing and sales strategist whose books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. He is the author or co-author of ten books, three of which are international bestsellers. The New Rules of Marketing & PR, now in its fourth edition, has been translated into 26 languages. His latest book is The New Rules of Sales & Service  (Wiley, 2014.) 

Visit David's blog at WebInkNow, follow him on Twitter @dmscott or download his free iPhone or iPad application.

Webinar Transcript: New Rules of Selling

Please stand by. You will now be placed into conference.

Welcome to this presentation on the New Rules of Selling, presented by acclaimed author and marketing strategist, David Meerman Scott. David's books and blog are must-reads for professionals who are looking to grow their social media expertise. Three of his 10 books are international best sellers including, "The New Rules of Marketing, and PR," now at its fourth edition. This presentation is based on his latest book, "The New Rules of Sales and Service," published by Wiley. David thank you for sharing some of your latest thinking on the new rules of selling. I know your ideas will be a particular interest to our small, and medium sized companies that are looking to grow their brand online.

Thanks very much. It's just awesome to be here, Connie, and I really welcome the opportunity to speak to the Monster community. Let's talk about this idea, "The New Rules of Selling." Let's start off with a story about Antarctica, and what I have noticed in so many markets is that everybody is selling, but how people buy has changed. I really wanted to go to Antarctica ever since I was a six years old. I just really excited about getting to Antarctica. Finally, in 2013 I decided it was time to go, and I asked my wife, Yukari, "Hey, you want to go to Antarctica with me?"

And she's like, "No way. I don't want to go to Antarctica."

I said, "Why?"

And she said, "Because I'm worried about throwing up on the way over, across the Drake Passage in the expedition ship, and I just don't want to get sea sick."

So now I'm on a mission. I've got to convince my wife that we can go to Antarctica together and that she won't get sick in doing so. So I went to the Google machine and I did what we all do when we are researching a problem. I typed in "Antarctic travel" and got a bunch of search results, and I started to check out what I was finding.

The first company was the most famous. The first company I checked out was National Geographic, and I noticed on their site, they had this big button that said, "Request a reservation." Now, I'm not ready for a reservation. I'm ready, simply, to learn more about traveling to Antarctica, and specifically to figure out what it's like to cross the Drake Passage, and whether my wife will get sick or not because I'm trying to convince her to go with me. But here is this particular company trying to sell to me before I'm ready.

Then I found the company that had the best search engine optimization, and I found on their site, they wanted me to fill out this big fat form before they were willing to give me information, and they wanted me to become their sales lead. I don't want to become your sales lead. I'm just trying to figure out how to get to Antarctica. Then I found the low cost provider. Now I don't know about you, but if I am going sail for two days from the southernmost city in the world in Argentina to Antarctica, I don't want to go on a low cost provider.

And then I found Quark Expeditions. This company was educating me and informing me about what it's like to get to Antarctica, and I found them to be extremely helpful. I was looking through the content on their site, and I said to my wife Yukari, "Look at these amazing penguins and animals that we can see. Wouldn't you love to see this cute little chinstrap penguin in Antarctica?" And Yukari said, "Oh yeah, that penguin is pretty cute but I'm just still not ready to go to Antarctica. I'm still worried about throwing up across the Drake Passage." So I'm still on this mission to try to figure out how I can convince her to go with me.

Now this is a long process. This is taking several months. Long sales cycle. I found more information on the site to share with her, and then I actually connected with the people at Quark Expeditions. How people buy has changed because I can connect with them on Twitter. I can connect with my friends on social networks, and I can say, "Hey, anyone been to Antarctica?" And, in fact, through a couple of people I knew, I was introduced to others who had been to Antarctica. I could learn a little bit from them.

But then Quark Expeditions actually communicated with me instantly, and in real time, through their Twitter ID, Quark Expeditions, and then, I communicated, also in real time, with the CEO of Quark Expeditions, Hans. And they helped me to solve this problem of convincing my wife to go to Antarctica with me. Then I reached out to Quark Expeditions when I started to gather enough information where I'm ready to engage a sales person. Now the interesting thing here is the other companies were trying to sell to me, trying to make me part of their lead generation program, but I'm not ready yet. This is the way people buy. Right? We make our decisions on our own time.

vAnd, Paul, a polar adviser, got back to me right away, and he provided me a link to a blog post on the Quark Expeditions site written by a doctor about how to take care of seasickness on a crossing of the Drake Passage. They even sent me a YouTube video from Quark Expeditions that I could check out about what it's like to cross the Drake Passage. They were, throughout the entire process, educating and informing me. They understood that the way that people buy has changed. Again, this process, this entire process was taking several months. It was a long sales cycle.


And finally, I got to the point where yes, I've convinced my wife. This process has helped me to convince my wife, and now she agreed. She wanted to go Antarctica with me, so I was really excited. This is not a cheap trip; it's $20,000 to buy two tickets to Antarctica. Something that I had been dreaming of for a long time. Saving up my money to do it, and finally my wife agreed to do it with me. But when we did go to Antarctica together, we did not go with the most famous expedition company. We did not go with the company that has the best search engine optimization. We certainly didn't go with the cheapest provider. We went with the one that had the best content, and was the most engaged. And that's the idea of the new rules of selling.

The new rules of selling is this concept of how can you understand your buyers really, really well. So well that you can create on the web the kind of content that they'll find and that they'll become engaged with, and that will allow them to help to educate themselves about the products and services that you provide, so that when they finally are ready to make a buying decision because the buyers are in control not us as sellers they will already be really far along on the selling process, and all you have to do is to provide a little more information and close the deal, which is exactly what happened with Quark Expedition. So buyers are in charge of the relationships with companies they choose to do business with. When I was ready to go to Antarctica, I was in charge. There's no way that somebody could sell me something I didn't want. I was making that decision. This is about not pushing products. This is about teaching people something. This is about sharing your expertise.

And it doesn't matter what kind of business that you run. It can be any kind of entrepreneurial business. It can be a consumer product. It can be a business-to-business product. It can be a professional service. You can take advantage of these ideas and achieve a similar success in your business. Quark Expeditions isn't the most famous; they are not the biggest. They're the ones that are doing the best job at communicating. We're living through a communications revolution right now. It is a remarkable revolution. It's probably the most significant revolution ever in human history because through computers and mobile devices we have access to practically every person on the planet, and we can provide them information about what our services do, what our company provides, who we are as people. Which is a remarkable difference from even just a few years ago where you had to buy access with advertising, or you had to convince the media to write about you. In other words, you had to spend all sorts of money to gain access to the market place. Now, it's for free. You can create content on the web, you can engage with people on social networks, and you can drive people into your buying process. The biggest communications revolution in human history. It's about being found on the search engines. It's about encouraging people to share your ideas. On the web you are what you publish. This is my favorite sort of quote I guess we'll call it a quote that I put into my books and on my speeches: "On the web you are what you publish." Think about that. For example, Quark Expeditions, publishing great information on the web. If you are publishing great information, you're great.

For the other providers that I ran across, the information was not so good, and so if you are proving information on the web that's not so good, that means on the web you are not so good. And even some companies are not on the web. They don't have a website or just a very rudimentary website, or they're not on the social networks, they're not doing YouTube videos and things like that. Those companies on the web, if they're publishing nothing on the web, they are nothing. On the web, you are what you publish.

So there are five different ideas around the new rules of selling. Those five ideas are

  • Authentic storytelling sets of the tone. And by storytelling, I don't mean making up fairy tales but showing people what your business does and how you can solve their problems much like Quark Expeditions does.
  • Content is the link between companies and customers. We saw that in action in my example.
  • Big data enables a more scientific approach. The idea of big data meaning lots and lots of data that you can crunch to generate interest among people that you're trying to reach.
  • Agile selling and real time engagement, numbers four and five, related concepts around the notion of speed.

Today, people like to buy. In the old days, it was all about, "Oh my God. I don't want people to sell to me, but it's a necessarily evil." Imagine going into a car dealer, and you don't have the information you need, and you are at the mercy of the dealer, and that's the way we were 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. Now you find out all the information you possibly can about the cars that you may want to buy, and when you go into the dealership, you're in charge, and when you're finally ready to buy, you like to buy.

I loved giving my credit card to Quark Expeditions to take $20,000 out of my account when I was ready to buy. People love it. It's about educating and informing people instead of interrupting, and selling them.

Which brings me to the slides that you're now seeing. The slides in this presentation are a sub-set, and some additions as well, to a presentation that I have available for free on SlideShare called, "The New Rules of Selling." So you can just go to Google, type in, "The New Rules of Selling," and it should pop up on SlideShare. There's a total of 158 slides, so it's more than we're going to run through today with me presenting, but you can see all that there.

What's interesting about this is that this SlideShare "The New Rules of Selling" has been live for about a month, or at least about a month from the time that I'm created this presentation. Now what's interesting about that is it's been downloaded. People have taken a look at this over 100,000 times. Now that tells me that people love to have great content to look at. Because I'm providing lots of valuable information for free in the form of this SlideShare presentation "The New Rules of Selling" people are exposed to my ideas. Same with Quark Expeditions providing information about traveling to Antarctica. The same thing can happen with you and your market. You provide information of value that people want, they'll check out your YouTube videos. They'll be on your social networks Twitter, Facebook, what have you or you can provide information on your website or something like SlideShare. Really great to get yourself out there.

So let's look at this idea of speed. Let's look at this idea of instant engagement. Let's look at this idea of being agile and real time. This is a really interesting and important concept around the new rules of selling because we can now access buyers when they are ready and on their time. And that's a really big difference from the ways that so many companies sell, which is creating a selling process that's based on their time.

What I've noticed is that almost all companies that I've been associated with tend to focus on a campaign style approach to sales and marketing. What they do is they say, "Oh, well, maybe I'm going to do an email marketing campaign now, or I'm going to create a new product launch, or I'm going to sell to all of the companies in this particular market over the next three or four months." But that's putting a campaign around your timetable.

What I'd like you to consider is how you can turn it on its ear, and instead be agile, focus on right now, and identify the buyers who are ready right now to do business with your company. Because speed and agility are decisive competitive advantages. I found out about this in my early career when I worked on a bond trading desk, and on a bond trading desk, like the image you see here, the traders are using real time data, and real time news, and real time charting applications, to make their decisions, and they make decisions involving millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions of dollars based on the real time information that they see. Guess what? That same information, virtually the same information that their traders are paying tens of thousands of dollars per month to access, we have access to free right now. You can get real time news. You can get real time data on what's happening on your website. You can find out instantly what people are saying about you and your brand on review sites, on social networks, on Twitter. You can see what's happening right now.

Mitch Jackson is a lawyer, and he's a partner in a law firm in California called Jackson & Wilson. What Mitch does is he operates in real time. And a lot of people say to me, "Oh, this sounds complicated. I can't do this. I'm busy running my business. How can I do this, David?" Well, Mitch is busy running his business. He's a lawyer and he also runs a law practice. But he absolutely engages in real time in his marketplace.

Here's a real cool example of what he does. Mitch follows the news, and then when he sees a news story either an international or national news story or particularly news stories that have something to do with the California market since Mitch operates in California. What he does is he comments on his blog, in real time, about that news, and many times as a result of doing this, he ends up being quoted in the news, and people find him because they do a search.

So during the recent uproar around the NFL, and some of its policies, Mitch wrote about the legal aspects of some of the things that the NFL has been doing, and put them out on his blog. And what Mitch told me is that's helping to grow his business. So that's the same thing that you can do. You can achieve a similar success if you are real, if you are agile, and you are operating in real time. Because real time is a mindset, social media are just the tools. Real time is a mindset.

Which brings me to you. The social you. You need to understand that people when they're researching products and services, they're also researching you and your business your sales people, your customer support people, or you as the owner of a business, or you as the CEO of a business. And they Google your name, or perhaps they Google your name and your company name, and whatever comes up, that's you. That's your image. Some people have these crazy photos. They have pictures of cats to represent themselves. They don't have a good profile in the social networks. So you need to think, "How can I create a bio? How can I create a social presence that puts the right foot forward?"

Now, to sort of finish up here, a lot of people say to me, "David, this sounds so difficult. This sounds like such a process, and I just don't have the time to do the things you're talking about." And I get that. We're all busy. I understand that. But I think you need to think about it in the same way as you think about exercise. Some people just tell me they just don't have enough time exercise. They don't have enough time to keep fit, but the only way you can keep fit is to make it a part of your life. The only way to truly change your life by becoming fit, and taking care of your health, is to do it regularly every day. You cannot dabble. Social networking, I believe to be the same thing, and I have experience in this. Here is an image of me several years ago, just about the time I turned 50, and I said, "I need to make a change."

That's a picture of me that was taken recently on the right hand side. I've lost 50 pounds since then because I changed my lifestyle. I changed the way I eat. I changed the way I exercise, and I have become fit as a result. If you do the same thing in social networks, you become fit in social networks. You create content on a regular basis. You focus on your market place on a regular basis. You take advantage of the opportunities of people who want to do business with you. You can achieve an amazing success because there's no better calling card than a virtual one.

My name is David Meerman Scott, and this has been "The New Rules of Selling." If you like what you heard, download the SlideShare called, "The New Rules of Selling," and I also have a book that goes into much more detail about these ideas. Thanks very much for your attention, and good luck in getting your sales amped up through these new ideas.