Thought Leader Life with Michael Griego (@MikeGriego) #007

In this episode of Thought Leader Life, Michael and I talk with guest thought leader Mike Griego about social selling and taking on a fresh perspective in sales and marketing in the modern era. It focuses on improving today’s salespeople by evolving them into thought leaders. Thought leadership in sales is being able to maximize the social medi–not to sell products but to help people get a deeper understanding of things and essentially share one’s domain expertise to customers.

Mike talks of his own evolution as a thought leader. He shares the milestones in his life and career of over three decades in high technology sales, and how, by studying methodologies in sales and embarking on deeper research, he was able to learn the factors that make a sales rep successful in this day and age of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.

I ask Mike which part of the thought leadership funnel is most relevant for him; Mike gives some interesting insights about creating advocates and relates this to his own experience. The thought leadership funnel can be a potent tool for a salesperson or company to win advocates and sustain advocacy by taking a closer look at what is happening at both ends of the funnel and learn the ways to raise up, nurture, bring into collusion, and cultivate relationships to create a following. Techniques and tools in sales and marketing may have changed through time, but the key is still the sales rep that is doing the selling and representing the company and the product. Mike tells companies to level up the competency of the sales team at the conversation level so that they will have the confidence and capability to say the right thing to the right people at the right time.

Sales companies need to transcend from “old school selling” to thought leadership to be successful in online marketing or social selling. It is not just about having a sales rep use social media to do ABC (Always Be Closing) kind of marketing. Fundamentally, it is the competency of the sales rep that matters. Rule number 12 of the 42 Rules to Sales Effectiveness says you have to know your stuff, need to empathize with and understand the person at the other end of the phone, or email or the other end of the desk. It is about bringing humanity to any business deal.

Here are a few “‘aha’ moments” from the episode. See more in the upcoming book, soon to be a part of the THiNKaha app-only book series and watch the interview below!

Be aware of key trends, so when there’s dialogue with the customer, you actually become a consultant who is interesting and provocative. @MikeGriego

Educate the team; help them change the conversation so that they will not sound like a sales rep. @MikeGriego

Sales is like any sport; you need a lot of practice to be successful. @MikeGriego

Follow Robert on Twitter at @MikeGriego. Tune into Thought Leader Life every Saturday for more thought-leader goodness!