There are thousands of sales and business blogs out there. Which ones are worth your time? We polled Advantages readers and came up with a list of six top blogs you should be reading. Some are written by industry members, some are from general sales experts, and one is written by a forward-thinking billionaire.
Add them to your bookmarks to check out over your morning coffee, and you’re sure to get some new ideas.
1. Seth Godin - sethgodin.typepad.com
Rejection-seeking as a form of hiding.
When you get rejected, you're off the hook. No promises need to be kept, no vulnerability felt down the road. When you are rejected, you don't have to show up, to listen or to care.
All you have to do is make promises far bigger than people are prepared to believe about you. Or try to be accepted by people who are in no mood (or have no experience) trusting people like you or promises like this.
Seeking out ways to get rejected is a sport unto itself. It's tempting, but it's not clear that it's a productive thing to become skilled at.
Far more frightening (and more powerful) to earn a reputation instead of merely asserting one.
2. The Sales Blog - Thesalesblog.com
Today I decided to stop selling and start waiting. I was waiting for opportunities where I could connect and to be helpful. So many experts have recommended this approach, there has to be something to it. Why else would someone suggest “stop selling” if it wasn’t working?
10:00 AM: How long exactly does it take for the “waiting” approach to start working? So far nothing is happening. I’m just sitting here. Waiting.
10:45 AM: Okay. I’ve gone out to LinkedIn and accepted all my connection requests and said thank you. Nothing.
11:00 AM: Maybe I need to connect with more people on Twitter. Now I’ve gone out and engaged with some people there. Very cool people! Super nice!
1:15 PM: I’m waiting. I’m starting to worry. My phone isn’t ringing. And I’m getting a lot of emails, but none of them is anybody asking to buy from me.
1:30 PM: Maybe I’m not doing this right. Maybe I need to wait harder. This whole “stop selling” is a lot harder than it looks. I can’t seem to make it work.
2:45 PM: Alright, I have an idea. I’ll stare at the phone. If I stare long enough, it’s bound to ring.
2:57 PM: Nothing. I’ll stare harder. I think there’s a vein bulging out of my forehead. Still nothing.
3:20 PM: I give up. Not selling is a lot harder than selling. Waiting is the most difficult strategy ever. I can’t seem to find a way to turn hope into actual sales results.
4:22 PM: I must be doing something wrong. I guess I’ll go back to selling.
3. Six Pixels of Separation - Twistimage.com/blog
The most creative ideas win.
If you learned nothing else from all of the news coming out of the Cannes Lions advertising festival that our industry just wrapped, it's that big, hairy, audacious and creative ideas still get the most attention in a world where programmatic, marketing automation and data technology services seem to be the big plays most investors in marketing are looking at. Great creative work has become closer to art than anything else. Still, the change in marketing is everywhere. As advanced as some brand marketers and agencies have become, it is still early days for disruption.
4. Richard Branson - Virgin.com/Richard-Branson
Know what drives change
Positive change isn’t easy to come by. You need to know what drives it. Are you advocating for a bold political decision, for the outcome of a popular referendum, for judicial intervention, or for all of the above? Ultimately, it’s about knowing who will push the button, vote on the bill, or issue the judgement. Then the real work begins. Who are the key decision makers or influencers? Does public opinion matter? Will quiet diplomacy help? What is already being done? I have yet to find two causes that follow the same playbook. Do your research, and build a roadmap for change.
5. Go to Market Guy - Gotomarketguy.com/blog
There’s a little game I play called “what if?” The game works like this. I create a note on my phone or in my notebook and I choose one thing to explore “what if” about. It could be anything, a person, a thing, a service and I try to get 10 ideas down starting with the words “what if”. The key is no filter, no judgement. For example I was on an escalator so I wrote the following:
What if the escalator measured my blood pressure
What if the escalator weighed me
What if the escalator hand rail was negatively grounded
What if the escalator had a water fountain
What if the escalator shined my shoes
What if the escalator could calculate my credit score by scanning the contents of my wallet
What if the escalator’s hand rail was a touch screen and I could order my lunch
What if the escalator could scan my social profiles and recommend someone near by to meet
What if the escalator was sponsored by Paypal and I could quickly reload prepaid cards
This exercise works my mental muscle. Half the things on this list are completely ridiculous and don’t even make sense but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a workout, a mental workout. Occasionally, maybe one out of a hundred ideas becomes something worth exploring further.
6. Top Secrets of Promotional Product Sales - Topsecretswebsite.com/blog
Did you ever have a prospect who really worked you over on price? If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, it’s likely you’ve had a lot more than one!
In these situations, it’s tempting to sell them what they’re asking for, something cheap! But my advice is don’t do it. The difference between affordable and cheap can be enormous. Very often, it’s also the difference between acceptable and unacceptable.
Let’s say your client demands something cheap… and you get it for him. Shortly after delivery, many of the products fall apart, or the imprints rub off. The pens leak or maybe they don’t write at all.Do you suppose the client will blame himself for ordering something "cheap" or you for selling it to him?
Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Needless to say, the products you sell represent you.