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Category Archives: Books


Invest in your Network to Build Sustainable Business

by on June 5, 2013  

grow sales by growing your network

In a world where business people and sellers are working to stand out and make a difference, there are a lot more people telling then showing exactly how to do so.

It must have been fate that got me in front of new author Porter Gale at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit held recently in Nashville. She gave a wonderful keynote talk on the main stage and then I listened to her talk at the IBM Superwomen’s Group Luncheon where she was a panelist. Later in the day, I was able to interview her one-on-one, and found that the three conversations – keynote, smaller group, and then direct gave a great overview of this important storyteller who is a beacon in a sea of business people needing help understanding the care, value, and potential of their networks.

Porter Gale just released Your Network is Your Net Worth – Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age. The book is endorsed by Sir Richard Branson (her former boss) and the foreword was written by Guy Kawasaki, which definitely caught my attention. Since the value of connection has been the foundation of  my business life, I was captivated by the book, the topic, and all the side conversations about networking since then.

From 2007 until 2011 Porter was VP of Marketing at Virgin America – which has to be anyone’s favorite airline if you’ve flown on a Virgin flight. In addition, she is an international speaker and successful business consultant.

Helping Others and Being Authentic Can Change Your Life – Porter Gale

A main takeaway from hearing Porter speak was her passion for the power of your connections – literally the subtitle of her book shares the benefits of how nurturing and adding value to your network offers you so much more than business. She asks if you really invest in your network, and how rich your life can be when you do. I fully agree with her and was thrilled to receive one of her first copies of the must-read book to dive into on the trip home.

Porter reminded us that everyone is just FOUR degrees of separation away – something I hadn’t thought about even though Facebook had sponsored research back in 2011 to see just how many degrees we are separated by now was in the digital age.  I was still focused on six degrees – so that was a reminder just how powerful connections have become.  She mentions PeopleBrowser research shows that within a niche, we are just THREE degrees apart. Think about that for a minute.

The new book is a must read for anyone who values business building or who needs to grow business because of the examples and stories which prove out Porter’s ideas. A long time Dale Carnegie fan, I loved how this book is described as a fresh take on the Carnegie classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  This mindset is about creating a foundation of success built on quality relationships. How refreshing in a world where a recent study showed that adults are making eye contact half as much as they should to build trust and build relationships. Although I write about revenue growth and mid-market business, the personal implications of being in certain networks in life, as told in story after story in the book is truly uplifting.

Porter Gale divides up the networking journey into three parts in her new book:

Develop a Transformational Attitude

Of the dozens of networking books I’ve read and programs I’ve been to, never have I seen so much on building your inner foundation to really figure out what is holding you back. most networking programs assume you are “OK” and it is wonderful to read something that says if you are not feeling OK, here are some ideas before you reach out to your network. From there, Porter shares that it is the passions and purpose that fuel you and are the basis for growing the environment around you, which includes your connections.

Build a Values-Based Team

Connecting with collaborators for mutual innovation, inspiration, and support is the new way to build your business and life.  Utilize digital tools to find your community, build your brand, and connect with others.

Porter shares a wonderful story about how six high school students in an under-served area in Los Angeles ended up meeting Sir Richard Branson through clear messaging and connecting to influencers. That story, which Porter told me in our interview, was so inspiring that it caused me to think of all the small business owners and sales professionals who doubt the power of social in building their visibility and connections.

Cultivate Fields of Creativity

If you want to have authentic relationships, says Porter, you need to add value. This is particularly an area where marketers and sellers in SMB and mid-sized companies can go step-by-step to learn how to create content that shares your purpose and grows your reach. It takes an unconventional idea sometimes to grow beyond your line of sight. In other words, it takes a village.  This is where your network – the partners, collaborators and recipients of your support can be of support to you.

Porter talks about the Give, Give, Get philosophy: before you ask for something, make sure you have given of value to that person or community. In my experience it is quite often that the “get” often comes from somewhere other than where you “gave gave”. Those people keeping score are the ones losing out. This blog has talked in the past about people who say they referred someone to a person in their network, and that person did not reciprocate, so they are really down on the idea of referrals. Porter’s book will clear up this silly notion and much more, with exercises throughout which cause one to really think about the “why” of what you are doing.

Take Porter’s Funnel Test, go through the questions, and stretch your reach to build the network and connections of your dreams.

How is your network?

Have you thought about aligning your values, skills, and interests as you grow connections?

Comments on this topic greatly appreciated. Also, I love Porter Gale’s 13 Steps for Transformational Networking which you can download in return for giving your email on her site.





IBMThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013″. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.

Books Fight Hunger Follow Up And What You Can Do

by on February 1, 2013  

turn books into foodLast week I set aside about 60 business books and without much effort offered them to you for a donation of just $5 per book, and shipping costs to you in our Books for Food project.

First, people contacted me wanting one specific book. Then another specific book. I thought it could turn into a tough, time-consuming project.

Then, people started asking for 4 or 5 books – then 9 or 10 books.

Pretty soon, the bulk of the books was GONE. Shipped off, with little effort.

The charity we chose this time around, Seacoast Family Food Pantry made a few hundred dollars and counting. Seems that some folks just were happy to make a donation – didn’t even need a book.

I just want to thank everyone who participated, and let you know that YOU can do this too.

If you have nice clothes you are not wearing, or accessories, or jewelry, or briefcases, or espresso machines, an old car, or whatever it may be – consider clearing them out in exchange for donation to a good local cause.

I like local causes because you see the dollars in action, and I’ve always been that way. You probably won’t see us donating to a national charity – we do things locally.

We have lighter bookshelves here in the Score More Sales offices and we have helped feed people in the community. Sure, it is not thousands of dollars, but just think if we were all a bit more mindful – a little bit here, a little bit there soon would equal a lot.

That’s how things get done – in business and in life.

Can this inspire you to complete a project at work today?

Can it help you get things out of your house or garage and re-purpose them?

Can you find a local charity to support in your community? Now you see how easy it can be.  Adopt one.

Let us know what happens. We love success stories!
 
Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.

Books on Sales and Marketing Help Fight Hunger

by on January 23, 2013  

business books fight hungerOne of my weaknesses, as a “student of sales” and as a “student of life”  is in buying business books. Real, hard bound and soft cover old school books. As one of those odd ducks who only reads non-fiction, over the years I’ve gathered hundreds of books on the shelves. Additionally, I get a lot of books mailed to me to review, and some were given to me as gifts.

Since I need to downsize a bit, I decided to pull out 50-75 of these books and instead of dumping them off where they won’t be appreciated, we came up with this idea that is a win/win/win. Books in this group are authored by Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Keith Ferazzi, Marcus Buckingham, and many others. They are top sales books, marketing / branding books, training, team building, and a couple of wild cards thrown in too.

Click here to see how the Get Books and Fight Hunger works:

Most look brand new, some have some wear, and a couple were signed or have a sticker on – but all are very usable, for a flat $5 each donation to our wonderful Seacoast Family Food Pantry – which has been helping families since 1816! 

I love triple wins — where each of three parties involved gains. Here is how our triple-win Get Books and Fight Hunger works:

Visit the page about this project. Click on the PDF to see what books are still available. Follow the instructions on the page. Get new (to you) books.  The team will update the book list at least once a day.

The Food Pantry wins with all the $5 donations that add up, and I get rid of some great books, and YOU get new reading material!

You can do the same, too – my colleague, author Anne Miller emailed and told me she gave about 100 books to a center that fights AIDS in NYC. Let us know what YOU did with YOUR extra books – perhaps you can whittle some down and help others too?

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.

What is The Secret of Prospecting? Learn From New Sales Simplified

by on August 30, 2012  

Sales Coaching Simple Tips Grow SalesIs the reason most salespeople don’t sell as much as they’d like because of some mysterious reason that cannot be determined? If you are in sales, you’ll have your opinions about that.

Before you think you’re sure, pick up a copy of Mike Weinberg’s new book, New Sales Simplified. Mike has written a book about the basics. The sports analogy I like to use is that it’s about blocking and tackling – the fundamentals that seem to trip up otherwise smart sales people time and time again.

Mike, known as the New Sales Coach, is one of the friendliest and most helpful pros I know in our field of training and coaching so it’s no wonder that his book would be so enjoyable to read. Until I read his book, I didn’t know how he had replicated success over and over for different organizations. He knows that the stories and simple message here can reach people unlike any complex theories around.

Have you thought of the big secret yet? It’s something this blog has talked about a number of times – as Mike puts it,

Many people in sales are ill-equipped to successfully attack the marketplace.

They don’t create enough activity.

The activity that is done is not the right activity.

There is no strategic plan in place.

People hear that proactive selling is dead, thanks to the Sales 2.0 movement and insist it is true.

Mike actually offers 16 reasons why salespeople fail at prospecting. But there is hope.

If you can’t hire your own sales coach, which is something every organization should think about, then at least pick up New Sales Simplified for simple ideas to jump-start new efforts  and help hone your skills in the fundamental ways you can regularly attract and create prospects even before they go to the web to search for your solutions.

[We recommend a good inbound marketing program to compliment your outbound efforts, which together with strong prospecting give you a stream of more qualified leads than you’ll ever imagine.]

Stop talking about cold calls and rename them proactive sales calls. That’s what Mike did. See what a difference that phrase makes? It almost makes you want to pick up the phone.

That brings me back to activity levels. I’ve seen this for years, yet it is rarely talked about. Mike hones in on it – and I think it is one of THE biggest secrets to success in selling:

How little time there is spent proactively selling.

Yup – seems simple, but it can be for complex reasons within companies – not always the sales reps fault.

If you do have enough time to work on new business, and you are struggling, chances are there are some simple issues plus some simple ideas to try which could undoubtedly help you fill your sales pipeline.

This is a great place to start.

What books are you reading?

What is the best sales book you have ever read and why?

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson speaks, writes, and trains on sales strategies for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter, “Sales Ideas In A Minute or the award-winning blog rss feed?