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Corporate social responsibility at the sales coal face – no more only ‘what’s in it for me’

June 21, 2013 in Attitudes & Behaviours, Brand & Reputation, Ethics & Values, Sustainability & Environment

Imagine our organisations making people feel good because they bought from us; imagine people changing their behaviours for the better because  our organisations showed them how; imagine the kinds of conversations and messages that will happen in our businesses when our people see what their contribution is making to the lives of their customers and their teams.

This is not the stuff of fantasy this is now happening in real time with real people.

In late 2012 we published the detailed 49 page 12 Sales Trends Report for 2013 and released a brief summary of each sales trend in December 2012.  In it was the Sales Trend: – Corporate Social Responsibility at the sale coal face – no more only ‘what’s in it for me’.    Here is an extended overview.

peter-drucker-the-age-of-discontinuityWay back in 1953 Peter Drucker stated in his book The Age of Discontinuity: “The purpose of business is not to make profit but to satisfy the needs of customers. The consequence of satisfying these needs is incremental profit…”  

Somewhere along the way this message has been lost by many businesses in the pursuit of profit at any cost and now many are paying for the folly of their ways.

How? Well, costs in terms of lost customers and profits, erosion of consumer confidence and trust, tarnished brands and backlash by shareholders against excessive executive pays and lack of shareholder return.

The irony is often that businesses are at the service of shareholders and it is all about making money for them often at the expense of customers.  With public trust in business and governments in fast decline around the world something has to change; something has to be done to reconnect community with business and business with community in a manner that sees everyone benefiting from these associations, not just a few fat cats at the top of the tree.

For instance The Trust Barometer (government, business media, NGOs) 2012 Survey results shows:

‘ an overall decline in trust globally, with steep declines in the levels of trust in government and business. Government is now the least trusted institution–trailing business, media, and NGOs. Business experienced fewer and generally less severe declines in trust, but has its own hurdles to clear – notably that CEO credibility declined 38 percent, its biggest drop in Barometer history. For the fifth year in a row, NGOs are the most trusted institution. 

 Distrust is now growing, nearly twice as many countries are now Skeptics in 2012 than in 2011.  Several mature markets see double digit drop in business trust for instance while Technology remains on top a most trusted the Finance sector including banks are going backwards at a fast rate.  There has been an around the world decline in trust in banks with the majority of countries now distrusting governments.

And with that the credibility of CEO’s and Government officials has plummeted. Government officials less trusted to tell the truth than business leaders and sadly ,but not unexpected   businesses and governments are not meeting public’s expectations’

money-bag-fullSo it is not surprising that one of the leading sales trends for 2013 is the shift away from the generally accepted corporate view that everything is about money and profits with a greater emphasis being placed on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially at the sales/buyer coal face.  What does this really mean for business?  Well for one thing those companies that practice genuine CSR find it is indeed very good for business on many levels: profitability, employee retention, brand loyalty, new collaborations and partnerships, innovations and respect. Articulating and really delivering on CSR will require sales teams to take a whole new approach to market, reposition what they have to offer, rethink how they engage with their clients and how they measure success.

Despite the business naysayers who dismiss things like the environment/planet and community as being relevant to, the good news is…

Practicing Corporate Social Responsibility  is good for business and profits

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever set the scene for CSR back in 2009 placing corporate social responsibility and values-based management at the centre of his vision and strategy for the future of the business and the consumer goods industry.  So important is CSR to Unilever’s future success that every employee’s business card around the world has the title ‘Head of Sustainability’ stamped on it – even the shop floor workers. The Sustainable Living Section of their website shows you how open, transparent and accountable they are making themselves with CSR.  Their three main pillars driving Unilever’s CSR are:

  1. Improving Health and Wellbeing: By 2020 we will help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
  2. Reducing Environmental Impact: By 2020 our goal is to halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of our products as we grow our business.*
  3. Enhancing Livelihoods: By 2020 we will enhance the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people as we grow our business.

CSR is seriously good business.

Those companies who are implementing CSR are finding it is very good for their brand(s) driving up customer loyalty at a time when there is so much more competition around fighting for the hearts and minds of consumers, customers and employees.

No longer is business going to be about Share of Wallet (SOW), smart companies know that is it is about Share of Mind (SOM) and CSR is about SOM.

So how does CSR impact sustainable selling?

Corporate social responsibilitySelling needs to become sustainable. Sustainable Selling is not a fixed state of harmony but rather an evolving process in which the application of sales resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are balanced with future as well as present needs.   It’s about rethinking and reframing ‘growth’ and rethinking sales and incorporating the “sustainable selling” thinking into sales training, sales consulting and coaching (sales coaching) and more importantly, sales strategy.

With the CSR agenda comes Sustainable Selling.  More and more questions are being asked by many about how we can best manage business relationships now and for future generations.   More and more the sales and business conversations are revolving around managing value rather than only managing cost.

Many individuals are deeply concerned about our planet being in crisis of food and water security,  health and wellbeing, safety and achieving world peace as well as environmental destruction yet many feel overwhelmed about their inability to make any significant difference.  ‘What can I do? I am only one person’ they say.  But if the organisation they buy from or work for says ‘We can do something and here’s how you can help’ then individuals will feel empowered to making a difference.  Every little bit counts and we all feel good when we contribute.

So imagine our organisations making people feel good because they brought from us; imagine people changing their behaviours for the better because  our organisations showed them how; imagine the kinds of conversations and messages that will happen in our businesses when our people see what their contribution is making to the lives of their customers and their teams.

Imagine.

So what’s your CSR opportunity?

 

If you would like to you can purchase and download the full report on this trend and the detailed 49 page report of the 12 Sales Trends for 2013 now to get the full see which sales trends will have the greatest impact on your sales optimisation efforts in 2013.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert  sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Her business Barrett P/L partners with its clients to improve their sales operations.  Visit www.barrett.com.au

Buyer Beware of Trademark Scams & Scammers

June 5, 2013 in Brand & Reputation, Ethics & Values

As much as we promote and encourage honourable and effective selling and buying practices it is just as important to keep an eye open for the latest scams and scammers looking for unsuspecting victims.

One of the latest scams dogging businesses and business owners is the area of the registered Trademark where business are receiving unsolicited invitations or requests from companies purporting to be from official government agencies.  As you may be aware Trademarks are the new real estate in the world of brands, slogans and 140 character messages that flood the market every day. Capturing people’s attention in a time poor, overcrowded world is critical hence the increasing importance and value of Trademarks. However, laying claim to catchy slogans and securing your brand message can be fraught with danger.

registered trademark fraud

Trademark Fraud

Sadly, we know from past experiences that when something becomes critical for business you can rest assure that there are unscrupulous people lurking looking to get your money at your expense.

I should preface this by stating that I am not an IP or Trademark Lawyer however, as owner of several Trademarks myself I have learnt many valuable lessons from my own IP lawyer about what to do and not to do in the now murky world of Trademarks.  I can assure it is an education in itself.

So what do you need to be alert to as far as Trademark scams are concerned?

Firstly there are two types of Trademark scammers you need to be aware of:

  1. Trademark Trolls
  2. Unregistered Trademark registries

These two types of scammers represent 2 sides of the same coin.

A Trademark troll is a pejorative term for any entity that attempts to register a trademark without intending to use them and who then threatens to sue others who use that mark.

As Arty Rajendra, specialist IP lawyer and partner in Rouse’s London office states in her recent article: Trademark trolls – a new phenomenon? January 2013

trademark troll

trademark troll

“Trademark trolls appear to fall into three broad categories:

1. Those who register trademarks for names obviously belonging to a well known third party, with the clear intention of deploying those marks against the ‘true’ owner.

2. Those who register trademarks speculatively, do not use them, but look to deploy them against traders who later adopt the same name.

3. Those who register trademarks and actually use them but seek to enforce the marks more widely than is legitimate (often against parties operating in different sectors).’

The Unregistered Trademark Registry is also a big threat.  These are people and companies who use publically available information such as trademarks and then ring you and offer ‘official’ services around getting or protecting trademarks which they have no right to do so.  IP Australia, the official Australian Government department for Intellectual Property including Trademarks has recently issued this warning:

WARNING: Other people may use this publicly available information to offer you their services. These companies are not associated with IP Australia and have no official or government authority. The service they offer does not provide official trade mark registration or trade mark rights in Australia or any other country. Please note letters and reports originating from IP Australia feature the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and/or IP Australia’s letterhead.

One of my colleagues also sent me this from their IP trademark lawyers:

 Warning regarding unsolicited services:  As your trademark application details will become published in due course, you may receive unsolicited communication from other businesses. Some companies and individuals are sending out unsolicited invitations to applicants and owners of AU trademarks inviting them to apply for entry in various (sometimes official sounding) publications and “registers” in return for payment of a fee. These parties tend to make their offers in the form of invoices, which are usually sent out after the publication of the official application. You should be aware that these companies are not linked to any Government Institution and there is no obligation to pay them. Additionally some companies are writing to owners of trademarks whose registrations are due for renewal offering (for a fee) to renew the registration.

scam-trademark-application

A letter we received for one of our trademarks

As Arty Rajendra says by way of conclusion in her article ‘Deceitful greedy people really do exist, even in the seemingly innocuous world of trademarks. Generally, the courts/registries will come to the aid of a brand owner whose rights have been hijacked. Always try to conduct a trademark search and set aside a fighting fund if it reveals a problem. Register your brand as soon as possible in key markets. In the age of the global marketplace, these are more than you might have once thought. Finally, do not underestimate your common law rights, and ensure that, in order to rely on them, you keep good, easily accessible, records of use. Then you should be able to defeat the trolls, if you stumble across them.’

Well said.  I hope this helps you keep your money in your pocket and sleep well at night.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au

Does your sales team or culture need a detox?

May 2, 2013 in Attitudes & Behaviours, Ethics & Values, Sales Culture, Sales Psychology, Uncategorized

It doesn’t take much to sow the seeds of discontent in business today, and the potential for creating dysfunctional, “toxic” sales teams and culture is much easier than you think. There are so many things that can and do go wrong.

We at Barrett have met and worked with a great many sales teams across all sorts of industries over the years. In all honesty, we are yet to come across the ‘perfect’ sales team. That doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t great sales teams operating out there, because they do exist, but like every great team, their greatest can ebb and flow. Just think of sports teams and their fluctuations towards greatness or loser status.

look-after-sales-cultureCreating and keeping a healthy, productive and vibrant sales culture, just like a great sports team, requires constant vigilance. Besides getting the right athletes, facilities, training and medical staff, how much effort is also being put into creating the right kind of club and team culture in the sporting world to ensure success and greatness? Just think ‘leadership team’, values, ethics, and the right character qualities.

Selling is not an exact science – there are just too many variables at play (markets, products, competitors, customers, production, customer service and marketing, to name a few) any of which could easily shift and change levels of success overnight. In all of this, defining the right kind of leadership, culture and sales infrastructure is critical to a healthy sales teams culture.

Leadership & Culture
Keeping a handle on the best way to lead and manage a sales team and create a vibrant sales culture is often a very tough job. However, it always starts and ends with clear, strong, decisive ‘adult focused’ leadership from the top – not just from the sales manager(s). Paul Roos, the former Coach of the AFL Sydney Swans and 2005 Australian Sports Coach of the Year is one of Australia’s most admired sporting personalities whose leadership skills, ethics and philosophy transformed the way he, his coaches and the players approached their work as an elite football team with great success. Like the Sydney Swans, the Geelong Football Club followed similar lines, and these two AFL football teams have been at or near the top of the competition for the last decade and have 5 premierships between them to prove it. Taking a ‘complete’ or holistic focus with a culture of strong leadership, respect, humility, team, underpinned by clear values, desired character traits and proper infrastructure is central to their cause.

Great business leaders respect selling, whether they, themselves, have been selling directly or not. They ensure that there is a moral compass guiding their actions and a higher purpose beyond profit that steadies their ship.

Sales Infrastructure
The business leader and/or leadership group also know that sales can be messy so they make sure that the key foundations or sales infrastructure is in place so whatever happens they have something specific to refer to make conscious adjustments as changes invariably occur. The Sales Atom is an illustration of what a robust sales organisation should contain, allowing leaders and their sales teams to optimise the primary activities of sales, in a highly customer-centric sales support structure.

The Sales Atom:

sales-atom

Without such a sales infrastructure and a moral compass in place, toxicity can take hold and then things start to fall apart often with tragic consequences. Sadly, over the years we have borne witness to some really ugly sales teams and cultures. Thankfully, not too many but enough to know they do exist. These toxic sales teams turn up, more often than not, in industries that have low barriers to entry and where no real expertise or applied knowledge is required of the sales people. These companies and industries often have little or no respect for formal education, a distinct lack of customer centricity and are ‘profit only’ motivated often at the expense of their customers and staff. This often leads to less than respectable reputations for integrity, ethics, transparency, customer centricity and offering genuine value.

Examples of Toxic Sales Teams

Here are two extreme examples of highly dysfunctional, toxic sales teams and cultures that create very poor customer experiences and as well as wreak havoc in companies and across industries:

no rules1. The Wild West Sales Cowboy Culture: 

  1. no clear boundaries, guidelines or standards about how we sell around here
  2. no moral or ethical guidelines in which to operate so everything is up for grabs; sales people and managers can say or do what they want… lie and cheat the customers and each other to get a deal
  3. a climate of gossip, personal attacks, yelling, sniping, and undermining when things don’t go right or the market is tight or whenever they feel like it.
  4. sales leadership is either nonexistent or so loose that no coaching of any kind occurs and, instead, sales managers bark orders at sales people telling them what to do. 
  5. leadership (if you can call it that) creates and operates a climate of fear, keeping salespeople anxious about their jobs security, never giving constructive feedback or anything useful to make effective change. Bullying is their preferred strategy for change. They want ‘hungry’ desperate people (you know the huge mortgage, children, living on a knifes edge, etc.) because they will perform, won’t they? Sure but for how long?
  6. The sales environment is made to be overly competitive – internally. Salespeople are pitted against each other, sales territory lines are blurred and this creates a climate where everyone is out for themselves; taking leads from other salespeople, justifying their actions, poaching clients, etc. Bloody battles may ensure and sales lives can be easily lost.
  7. Often the salespeople earn most of their money via commissions with little or no base salary to give them earning stability which can lead to desperate people doing desperate things, especially when times are tough.
  8. It’s all about the results, the numbers, how much money is coming in and nothing else. Nothing about how you got business, how well you sold, nothing constructive or tangible at all.
  9. The leaders, and less so, their salespeople can come across charming at first but you often find there is an undercurrent self absorbed narcissism where the sales leaders have a high attraction rate of new sales staff but a low retention rate because when people find out what is really going on they leave fast. Sales managers are nothing more than ‘super salespeople’ who see their sales people as a means to an end i.e. a means to their big fat bonus and often take over the sales call to get the deal at the expense of teaching and coaching their people. ‘It’s all about me’ Is what you see.

At the other end of the spectrum we have:

leading based upon fear

2. The Totalitarian Sales Robot Culture:

  1. Micromanagement on scale never seen before. These sales cultures often reside in ‘call centre’ environments where process is mapped and everything must either be timed, recorded, ticked or measured in such micro detail that no space is given for salespeople to manage the ambiguities that inevitably come with human interactions. 
  2. Everything is scripted within an inch of its life taking any human interaction out of the equation and turning salespeople into robots.
  3. People are frightened to stray outside of the rigid structure leaving customers frustrated because no one can solve their problems. Passed from one level to another, customers can often be lost in a maze of indecision and buck passing.
  4. Managers are just that: managers. They are obsessed with managing process and numbers do no lead, coach or inspire their teams. 
  5. There is no respect for salespeople’s time and personal requirements: they are seen as galley slaves where even their toilet and lunch breaks are counted and timed and penalties administered if they are late.
  6. Salespeople are kept on a tight leash and cannot use their initiative or problem solving skills to create better solutions even if they wanted to. Instead, as customers, we are met with resistance and rigidity and sometimes outbursts of anger.
  7. Sales managers or team leaders are often patronizing, policing agents hell bent on control and power – no room for people.
  8. Humanity is ignored and people are bored in this joyless environment.
  9. These sales cultures are the equivalent of factory sweat shops.

 

Where does all this toxicity lead to?

  • High turnover of staff
  • A culture of blame and denial
  • Dissatisfied customers
  • Unhappy, disengaged staff
  • Poor sales results
  • Poor reputation which further impairs the recruitment of new staff
  • And more…

A fish rots from the head down – a toxic sales culture is definitely a leadership issue. You might occasionally, inadvertently hire a 600lb sales gorilla who can wreak havoc however, a toxic or healthy sales culture and team is entirely a reflection of senior leadership.

So do you do you want your business and your sales team to be the place where people have their sales careers destroyed or a place where people can launch or evolve their sales careers?

The choice is yours.

 

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au

Watch who you let near your mind…again!

October 5, 2012 in Attitudes & Behaviours, Brain Science, Brand & Reputation, Ethics & Values, Life Skills, Neuroscience, Sales Psychology

In early 2008, as the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) loomed, I wrote ‘Watch who you let near your mind’. This was a timely reminder about the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset, looking for the facts for an accurate read on what is happening in the market place so you can make wise decisions. It served to warn about falling into the trap of relying on innuendo, hearsay and group think to define your future success. Guess what? I find myself again talking about the same issue in 2012, even when Australia is in pretty good shape.   

True, it’s hard not to notice the world’s issues and financial crisis that continues in Europe and USA. It wouldn’t be wise if we didn’t examine the consequences and impact of these events on our own lives and businesses. That seems smart.   But the fact is Australia has remained relatively unscathed by the GFC and its after effects. A well managed banking systems, stable government, diverse economy – remember the mining sector contributes around 7% to our GDP and the foundation of the Australian economy is built on SMEs. 95% of all businesses in Australia are SME.  

So why so much doom and gloom lately?

there-are-more-opportunities-ahead

there are more opportunities ahead than the media shows

According to the six-monthly Ipsos Mackay Report, obtained by The Age, many Australians are supposedly more pessimistic about the future and increasingly worried about their job security; they are feeling disenfranchised and distrustful of the Federal Government and the Opposition. Many are saying they feel the same or worse than they did 12 months ago – and fear what will happen when the “mining boom” ends.  

The amount of toxic talk swirling around the ether (i.e. social media, news media, businesses, market places, etc.) is incredible.  The vitriol, the pessimism, the fear is palpable.  It seems the facts have been lost in the turmoil. We need look no further than the current state of leadership and level of debate in Federal and State politics to see how not to lead, debate or create a future for Australians to follow.  By continuing to behave in this manner our political leaders are inadvertently creating a climate of fear and worry based on Effect not Fact that is influencing our confidence to do business and be a vibrant, resilient community.

What about our own businesses? Are we as leaders also contributing to the issue?  What are we doing to present the facts, design strategies and create climates of opportunity for our sales teams, customers and suppliers across the value chain?  Are we choosing instead to listen to a narrow band of information that feeds our anxieties and further erodes our business confidence and success?  

The Ipsos Mackay Report compared the global economy to a hospital, saying: ”Europe’s on life support, the US is in the general ward and Australia is in the ward for hypochondriacs.”

So are we indeed a bunch of hypochondriacs?  Have we let ourselves be held hostage by hearsay? Do we ever ask ourselves ‘How much of this worry is actually true, real and justified?’ Without facts to guide us, this negative sentiment can turn falsehoods, innuendo, hearsay and groupthink into realities perpetuating our own demise. Negative talk is very contagious.

wired-brain

We are wired for flight, fight or freeze

This is why it is so important that we watch who we let near our minds!

The human brain is wired to primarily pick up on signs of danger, caution and risk. We had, after all, to look out for the sabre tooth tiger. In the absence of physically life threatening danger, we inadvertently pick up on other perceived threats and pay attention to what can look like risky i.e. bad news. And with so many of them around and the continuous negative talk, it affects our ability to see and take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of us.  Because the fact is there are plenty of opportunities to do business in Australia.

Unable or unwilling to distinguish FACT from EFFECT we get stuck in Flight, Fight or Freeze mode, we become chronically distressed and ineffectual thus limiting about ability to think clearly and make wise decisions.  

As business leaders and salespeople we need to deal with uncertainty and probability as we navigate the ever changing world of business and sales.  We rationally know that we need to develop strategies, do research and look for evidence of opportunities and then pursue them with confidence. Yet so many people still fall into the trap of believing the negative talk and losing sight of opportunities. In times of change and uncertainty, when people should be excited about new ideas, concepts and horizons, many become fearful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  I know. I recall in my recruitment consulting days (late 80′s and early 90′s) the economy was much worse than it is today. Unemployment and job redundancies were really high and interest rates were 17.5%. Many recruitment consultants were going out of business because they were scared and got caught in the Flight, Fight or Freeze mode, not knowing what to do.  Instead of falling for the group think, some of us looked at the market and said: “Just because jobs are harder to find doesn’t mean there aren’t any jobs. Companies still exist. Someone will be in business and someone will want to hire good people so let’s get prospecting and find those companies who still want to hire staff and be in business.” By taking that approach and having a positive, determined attitude, my colleagues and I had some of our best results ever. We looked for opportunity and it was there. Whilst everyone else was in despair and whinging about how hard it was, we were getting the work.

I did the same thing in 2008/09 and we are doing the same thing today.  Good business management is a sensible mix of cost control and growth management. It’s not only not necessary, it’s highly discouraged to leave your sales opportunities to chance or to let fear rule you.

Many years ago I was shown the following and feel that it is as appropriate today as it was then. When you look at the word F E A R the acronym stands for:

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

There is no denying that we live in challenging and uncertain times what with climate change, the digital revolution, issues in the Middle East and the financial market ups and downs just to name a few, but in midst of all of this there are so many opportunities that businesses can develop and take advantage of.  If we live with our heads in the sand all we will get is a swift kick in the butt as those who can see the future forge ahead.

glass half full

You need to see this glass half full to stay in business

So let’s get our leaders and salespeople out looking for the evidence and talking with our respective customers about their priorities, goals and opportunities. Let both them know that we are in business and there to help them move forward and be successful. By being visible and letting our customers know we are there to help them do business we will begin to dispel negativities and create more opportunities. The reality is that in Australia we have a lot to be thankful for.

Our economy and community are in much better shape than the media, politicians and other naysayers would have us believe.   

If you are looking for an antidote to all that negativity, need a little inspiration and would like to see what other proactive, positive people are doing to make a positive difference to the world, here are some great online “Good News” sites for your reading pleasure:

•    Yes magazine
•    Ode Magazine for intelligent optimists
•    Huffington Post Good News 
•    Positive News
•    New Economics
•    The case for optimism by  Bill Clinton

As Norman Vincent Peal said: ‘Change your thinking and you change your world’

 

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au  

A seismic shift in the way we sell

September 6, 2012 in Attitudes & Behaviours, Brand & Reputation, Ethics & Values, Sales Leadership

If you were looking for things to settle down and a return to the good old days of selling in 2012 and beyond think again. We’re never going back. It’s now time to adapt and forge a new path for sellingin your business.

Selling is now everybody’s business and everybody lives by selling something with ‘A Seismic shift in the way we sell’ voted the seventh most important sales trend for 2012 fromThe 12 Sales Trends of 2012by our readers.

The way we sell and the way we do business in the 21st Century is proving to be a very different proposition from the traditions established in the 20th Century. Selling now requires a different philosophy and approach.

Selling and service now go hand in hand so we all need to be much more proactive across the entire value chain of our organisations. There are now very few absolutes – everything is subject to evolution and reinvention. It’s no longer just about doing deals and all about developing strong relationships that go beyond great products, great service and great design.

In the 21st Century business is more about questions than answers; more about thinking than action; more about people than capital.

Traditional versus Modern Selling

“30 years ago selling was nothing more than product monologues – features and benefits dished up to a captive audience.”

To understand just how much selling needs to change you don’t have to make comparisons with 100 years ago – you need only go back 30 years. Back then ‘selling’ was nothing more than product monologues – features and benefits dished up to a captive audience. Now, organisations have to do more than just ‘do a deal’. They need to engage with their increasingly informed clients, proactively identify opportunities and have a meaningful dialogue around service, relationships and results.

If you want to succeed in the 21st Century then you have to change your thinking to change your world.

‘Selling’ in the 21st Century is about the fair exchange of value. Everyone is involved in selling and everyone needs to be able to communicate and proactively sell themselves effectively, ethically and confidently in any situation. It is no longer our product or even our service that generates value for our business it’s our people and our relationships with our clients, communities and each other.

Instead of looking into the past, we can use 2012 as an opportunity to get our houses in new order because the world is changing yet again and we need to change with it.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett, www.barrett.com.au

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