This June, two of our MAKERS, Andrea and Evan, attended the NYC Sales Machine Summit. This is the biggest convention that’s been held to date with the whole focus being on sales. Created by the minds behind Sales Force and Sales Hacker and with a keynote speaker roster that included the likes of Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Gary Vaynerchuk of the DailyVee, Seth Godin of wildly popular entrepreneur & blogger fame, and five other amazing professionals in the world of sales, the conference was an amazing peek into what the great minds of marketing are doing.
Over 2 days, over 2000 sales professionals met from 9-5 each day, including breakout sessions, vendor booth presentations from the best in business, powerful keynotes, and of course, because it’s NYC, deliciously catered networking parties sprinkled throughout. For our CEO & CFO, this was a great opportunity to network with well-versed marketers and learn what tools and techniques are emerging in the world of sales.
An even more awesome opportunity was sitting in the second row of the packed auditorium and chatting one-on-one with the experts themselves. Though both of our MAKERS learned a lot (and we mean A LOT), there were three pretty big lessons that Andrea wanted to share from her experience. We’ll let her take it from here.
A SUCCESSFUL SALESPERSON DISRUPTS THE STATUS QUO
One of the most important takeaways I got from NYC was reaffirming the belief we have at MAKE. Selling a service or product to a client isn’t all about money and numbers – it’s about constantly innovating how we educate and inform clients. One thing Gary Vaynerchuk said stuck out: “The number one predictor for success is being curious.”
Anyone in marketing, but specifically salespeople in this instance, should always be wanting to learn, to grow, to broaden your knowledge base. Even if it might not always seem like it during the long days of cold calling or soliciting, a salesperson’s real job is to educate any and all future clients on what it is you’re selling. Basically, you’re imparting knowledge about your product or service to them that they never knew. You’re letting them know that at this point, it will help their lives in some way.
BE ENGAGED – WITH OR WITHOUT SCREENS
Meeting Arianna Huffington and seeing her speak at her keynote was one of the best parts of our trip. A smart, powerful woman like her isn’t doing as well as she is without knowing how to navigate the business world. That’s why when someone like her (the creator of the Huffington Post) says we should lay off the screen time, we might want to listen. Arianna mentioned in her keynote that she doesn’t allow screens in her meetings, meaning no laptops, phones, or tablets.
The purpose of her method is fundamental to keeping authenticity in the marketing world. Just because we’re in a digital world doesn’t mean our technology isn’t able to distract us from the way we communicate. Sometimes, the reason nothing gets done in a meeting is that everyone’s eyes are on the screen. We end up trying to solve their own problem instead of focusing on each other for a solution.
BE AUTHENTIC IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, ESPECIALLY BUSINESS.
That leads me to my final point. One thing that every speaker emphasized over and over is authenticity. Why is it so often that the authenticity of our real lives outside of business can’t be integrated into business? Learning to talk about life and connect with other people on a humanistic level should be the key component in every salesperson’s toolkit. Definitely avoid those recycled project pitches you use on every new client.
Because authenticity is a quality we already value and practice at MAKE, it was impactful to hear top-tier marketers citing it as one of the most important attributes to have in our business. That sincerity is what needs to infused back into salesmanship and into every facet of marketing.
Being authentic will effectively reinvigorate sales and make salespeople sincere in everything they do. You want to be a doer, a closer – not a talker. People hate picking up the phone, time is more critical today. Learn how to maximize time.
Our goal in attending the Sales Machine Summit was to see the influencers in our business. Having one-on-one dialogues, both in and out of the auditorium, with these amazingly successful people was a poignant experience. In New York City of all places, these people are dealing with the best methods in the business. Often, they are farther along the curve than the Midwest.
The marketing innovations and groundbreaking tools they’re utilizing now might not be in effect in Kansas City till 2017. That’s why we needed to go. MAKE wants to look forward and always keep a finger on the pulse of the industry. Without a futuristic approach, you’re already behind the times.