Last week OpenView Labs published their list of the Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012.
I am thrilled, honored and humbled to be included alongside these powerful thought leaders. My sincere thanks to OpenView for the recognition.
Let me take this opportunity to publicly thank two people who significantly contributed to my presence on this list. The first is Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image and author of the book Six Pixels of Separation. Less than two years ago, I had no presence on the web, no online brand, no voice in the sales community and certainly no following. Honestly, I wasn’t really even sure how to begin. I picked up a copy of Mitch’s book before heading to San Diego for spring break with my family. And as they say, the rest is history. Six Pixels of Separation was the wake-up call and “how-to” guide I needed. Thank you Mitch for providing a common sense road map written for the normal, non-techie business guy who needed to learn the basics and formulate a plan! When I launched this site 18 months ago, you commented that is exactly why you wrote the book. I am certainly glad you did.
The other nod of appreciation goes out to my good friend and mentor Anthony Iannarino. I discovered Anthony and his top-rated sales blog on twitter. After reading quality post after quality post (I have no idea how he cranks these out EVERYday), I began retweeting his links to my (then piddly number of) followers. I love Anthony’s philosophy of selling and developing new business, and there is no one in sales guru community with whom I more agree. He has been incredibly generous as a mentor, offering both wise counsel and opportunities to grow my platform. Thank you, Anthony, for leading the way, setting the pace, and giving sacrificially of yourself for others’ benefit. I appreciate you my friend and am especially flattered to be included on this list with you!
I would also like to challenge my readers with three thoughts in light of this recognition:
- How effectively are you building your online brand? Are you pumping out a half-baked monologue of self-promoting junk, or are you truly providing valuable content and engaging with your audience to foster relationships and a following? Sure, I have convictions about sales and a very clear message that resonates today. But I am not naive enough to think in 18 months I went from no online presence to being named to this list alongside long-time internationally known sales rock stars and best selling authors based solely on the quality of my content. There are lots of folks with solid content that no one hears or sees. What strategies are you implementing to grow your audience, following and fan base?
- I consistently hear the same things when people describe my content – simple, clear, understandable, useful and actionable. My question for you: Do those same words apply to your sales methodology? Sales is simple. Those that over-complicate it tend not to succeed, particularly at acquiring new pieces of business. If you can’t describe your sales process in under two minutes in words a non-salesperson can understand, then something is wrong. I recently changed my tagline to Sales. Simplified. Success. because that is the truth. Take a good look to see if you’ve made this much harder than it needs to be.
- Read. For goodness sake, read. OpenView Labs has done the heavy lifting and is offering a gift of value beyond description. There is no excuse for not investing in your own sales and sales leadership development. None. Of course, invest is not the best word, since all this incredible content from thought leaders is free. Can you give one really good reason why you won’t link through to this Top 25 Sales Influencers list and start digesting the sales food these experts serve up on a regular basis?
Thank you OpenView Labs, Mitch Joel and Anthony Iannarino. And a big-time thank you my readers, clients, friends and followers who put me on the list!