As I write this blog I am on my flight home from Houston Texas where I spent 2 days collaborating with my fellow National Speakers Association Members at the NSA Winter 2020 Conference. This conference theme was all about Sales. In fact it was called “The Sales Playbook”.

Side note: It’s the very first conference I have ever attended where they provided you with a full printed spiral bound book, with actionable things to do when you leave. It’s a true referenced guide for sales, or as they said, it’s your Sales Playbook!

The Sales Playbook Offered by the National Speakers Association at the Winter 2020 Conference

The Sales Playbook Offered by the National Speakers Association at the Winter 2020 Conference

At this conference many things were discussed around the topic of sales. From relationships to cold emails to cold calls, to prospecting, to internet research and even not how much you make but how much you keep!

Jill Konrath spoke about how the people you are trying to sell to are very busy. They have things going on all day long with a ton of interruptions. You need to be short but interesting. The emails you send need to pique their interest. 

Think about who your ideal contact is, then think about how many interruptions they have in a single day. Think about the employees they are managing and the existing projects already underway and in development. You are competing against one thing…their time!

Sam Richter opened up our minds with how much you can find on someone by using google search. I knew much of what could be done, but when Sam put it all together…wow! I can’t go into much more detail on it here, but suffice it to say, if you have never seen Sam speak, you should check out some of his youtube videos, or better yet, search youtube for his name and watch him blow your mind!

Meridith Elliot Powell spoke about followup. She indicated that you should just do 2 sales follow ups everyday. That alone will change the game for your service based business.  She packed the talk with tons of detail and information on what it takes to build a relationship long term with a prospect so that they can remember you when it’s time to hire someone to solve their problem.  

I see this over and over again in business, where sales professionals aren’t consistently reaching out to ensure that they remain in contact with their prospects, clients, partners, and contacts so that they can be selected when the time is right for the buyer! You need to continue to follow up until they tell you to stop.  I’m not talking about being a belligerent pest either, you need to provide value in that follow up. Be a resource not a pest!

Mark Hunter aka The Sales Hunter spoke about negotiation with price. One big point he made is that when you lower your price you should lower your value by removing items that were in the higher price package. He has written 3 books out. His newest book is called “A Mind For Sales”. Check it out

Crystal Washington spoke about the power of relationships. She shared lots of ideas and clear takeaways and her and I are very much on the same page. She shared a story about how she couldn’t find Oil of Olay in the bottle that her grandmother always had that kept her skin so moist. She talked about the power of understanding people in relationships. This is something you’ve likely heard me speak about constantly. Crystal was quite surprised when an audience member (Jon Colby) researched the item she was looking for, did his homework to find the exact product and how the packaging was changed, then he ordered an uber, when to target, bought the item and gave it to crystal!  Then, she shared it all over social media. 

Jon Colby Caring About Crystal Washington

Jon Colby Caring About Crystal Washington

Folks, this stuff works for building relationships. She told the world that he did this, and he did it for no reason but to be kind to her!  He helped her.

Many of these speakers also spoke about how you should give away your content for free.  I did this often when I owned my digital agency, and I do it now. In fact…if you want 2 great resources for referrals, get them here:

Fire Up Referrals

When you give away your content, you are helping others, you are the expert, and more often than not, these people will turn to you to resolve their problems because they don’t know how to solve them or they can’t solve them after trying….or even when they don’t have the time to do it themselves!

Give it away!

There was a panel one day that was fantastic and funny as well. During that panel Bruce Turkel, branding expert, Hall of Fame Speaker and all around good guy, was asked if new speakers should “set fire to the boats” and quit their job going all in on speaking. He said NO!  I agree. It took me 4 years of building up my speaking business before I decided to make the leap.  I can’t agree with Bruce enough on this, build your business over time then make the jump.

So what are my key takeaways??

  • We are doing this right already by caring about others. When you make it about them, and not about money, it’s a win win for all involved!
  • Stay in touch, you must remain in touch if you want to help others and get more referrals
  • You must listen to what others are saying. They are telling you things, but are you listening?
  • Attend conferences. You build great relationships, maintain existing ones, learn new things, and are part of a community where others do similar things and struggle with similar things.
  • The #High5 Effect is Alive and Well!