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Is Social Media Killing Our Sales Skills?

Is Social Media Killing Our Sales Skills?

Recently, I spoke to an organization that spent an ungodly amount of time, energy and money on Social Media to create Lead Generation. So my question was, “Now what?” they said, “What do you mean?” I said “Okay, so you got a whole bunch of people calling you or contacting you through a web form, email etc. How’s your closing ratio?” They looked at me like I had three heads.

The issue is a simple one, just because we believe that we have found a new way to generate business, it is not generating business…alone. Lead generation is Interest; lead generation is getting people to the door. Are they coming over the threshold and are you closing the door behind them? That’s a very important step. One without the other will result in no revenue.


Between Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and Bing ads on any of the Social Media sites, or email-marketing powerhouses like Infusionsoft, amongst other things we do today to build leads is it really working? That’s one question. If we’re doing all of the things that we need to do in Social Media and all the ‘white noise’ is going out, what is it bringing us? Well, it should be bringing us Leads. It should be bringing us Emails, filling out contact Information or a website, web forms and phone call, and if that’s happening, Great you have reached step one. This is a very important step but it is ONLY step one.

The million-dollar question is “Now What?”

It’s important to make sure that we know once people contact us or when we return a request call, we are using the right process to follow up from any kind of lead generation that we get. Are we setting some ground rules at the beginning of the conversation? Are we asking well thought out open-ended questions to engage them and truly understand their needs? Do we have a true picture of all of this before we have the cost conversation and do we clearly understand the next step and what that means as opposed to just “checking back” or “following up” with them?

We often have the naiveté to assume that If they are calling they are already primed to buy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t have a relationship built nor is there is not a true understanding of your product or service. There was just some low level of interest that got them to contact you. Is it better than you calling out cold? Well certainly it is but you still needs the same attention to your sales process as you always have. Getting somebody to call you is only the beginning. So, what are the other steps: What are we doing when we contact them or they call us. Are we using the process properly? Here is what we typically see.


When we get them on the phone, they will typically ask you a simple question that I call a “Wall Question” which is they put up a wall and the question sounds something like this “Hey, I see you guys sell widgets. Can you tell me if I bought a hundred widgets what that would cost?” and we say, “Sure, let me look. What can of widgets you are looking for?” “We’re looking for widget A or widget B.” “Okay well, widget A would be $75,000 for a hundred widgets and widget B would be $82,000. “Oh, that’s a lot of money. “Well, maybe I can do a little better.” You negotiate a price and they say “Okay sounds good, ah we’ll call you back” Or “Sounds good, can you send me a proposal / price sheet/ some more information?”


We get their email, we send that information in writing and cricket, we never hear from them again. We try to contact them back, they don’t contact us. We try to call them, they don’t take our call, and we leave messages.

Sound familiar? Of course, it does. The same situation that happened before when you did your prospecting more proactively occurred. Prospecting hasn’t changed. Sales and the sales process haven’t changed just because they’re contacting you. In fact, I would say that it is more difficult now because we are not as on top of our game since they contacted us we feel it is a ‘hot’ lead.

Not only do you need to do a good job on working on the sales process in closing the sale, you need to do a better job than you ever have before because remember, they have control. They’re the ones that are calling you but they’re also calling your competitor. So they’ve done a little homework, they know who’s out there and they know what the pricing is out there. That’s where the sale process comes in. If you don’t have a process, you’re going to fail whether they’re lead generating through Social Media or not.



Greta Schulz is President of SchulzBusiness, a sales Consulting and Training firm. She is a best selling author of “To Sell IS Not To Sell” and works with fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips go to and sign up for ‘GretaNomics’, a weekly video tip series or email sales questions to

What is Value and What does it mean to Your Customer?

What is Value and What does it mean to Your Customer?


What is value?

When I ask that question to a group of people, I get lots of different answers. Most of the people in the room tell me things like “We give great customer service,” “We give people a very competitive price,” “We have knowledge that others don’t,” “We’ve been in the industry for a long time” or “We’ve always been rated No. 1 or No. 2 in our industry.”

It’s disturbing to me when a salesperson says to a prospect: “We work with lots of clients like you” or “We’ve worked in your industry for a long time and we’re specialists in that industry, so we know what you need.”

That is extremely presumptuous. And I think when you say that to someone, you are immediately putting him in the category of “there’s nothing special about you and your business is just like everyone else’s.”

The fact is that maybe that is true, but as soon as you make someone feel that way, it changes the consultation and immediately turns you into just another sales person.

There is actually only one answer to the question “What value do you bring?” The answer is very simple: It depends. It depends on the perception of value from the person you are speaking to. This is why features and benefits selling doesn’t work anymore: because the benefit of a particular feature that you have may have nothing to do with what your prospect believes the benefit or value is to them. The receiver of the benefit will perceive its value and decide if it’s a benefit or not.

How do you get value? How do you understand what is valuable to another person?

You have to ask them some really good questions. For example, you might ask:

  • What is your biggest challenge when it comes to ________?
  • If you have success with a new product or service in that area, what would that success look like?
  • What would be the advantage if you could utilize a product or service that would allow you to ________?

No. 1, the questions that we ask allow people to talk about what they deem most important to them. No. 2, once they are telling you the points of importance, you can then give them a customized solution that is based upon what they said they wanted.

So, what have you done here? Well, not only have you truly listened to the prospects issues and concerns, but you have come up with a solution based on those particular needs as they see them, not you. So when someone asks what your value is or what makes you better then the next guy, don’t answer that question until you fully understand what they want. And even if you do understand, don’t answer it anyway. The information they tell you will deem much more valuable if they have told it to you and then, from that information, you come up with a forgone conclusion.

In the Spirit of Father’s Day: The Power of Networking I learned from my dad

The Power of Networking I learned from my dad


When I was a college kid, I worked in my dad’s office in the summer and holiday breaks. Often he would take me with him out of the office and to an account visit. One of his responsibilities was visiting his accounts and a responsibility he took very seriously. One day I remember distinctly was walking up to a big silver building. The vast size, the shine, it looked like a character out of star wars. As if that wasn’t intimidating enough, we walked inside a large lobby and when we walked across the marble floors, every step echoed like an old catholic cathedral.


In the midst of all of this larger then life atmosphere, my dad walked over to a large desk in the back of the lobby and with a big smile, greeted Pete, the security guard who was seated there. “Hey Pete, How are you?” “Hey Frank, great and you?”.


“I’m doing well. So how was the wedding? Your little girl. Must have been tough, huh?” “ It really was Frank, you’ll be there some day”.

“Yep, you’re right. Not looking forward to that”

“It’s tough, really is. So who are you here to see?”


My dad told him and we went up.


We arrived at the 4th floor and an older woman was sitting at a circular desk. “Hi Frank!” “Hello Cecelia, how’s that new puppy, is she tearing up the house??” “Oh yes Frank, but we love her anyway! Who are you here to see today?” She asked and we went into a man’s office named Tony.


This kind of conversation, back and forth small talk went on with Tony as well but with Tony there was business to discuss and they did just that. After about 45 minutes we left Tony’s office and stopped by several other offices to “just say hello” before we left.

When we got down stairs after shaking a few more hands and kissing a few babies we finally got into our car and drove away from the big shiny building. “Dad, honestly we could have wasted a lot less time if we just went to Tony’s office and didn’t do so much “chit chat”.

“Wasted time?! Greta Ann (yep that’s my real name) have you not learned anything about how business works? What are they teaching you in school?

“Yes Dad, and I understand how important it is to build a relationship with Tony or the guy who will be making the decision on your work, but we spent time with a security guard, a receptionist and the mailroom clerk. You aren’t going to get much business from them.” -It is amazing how smart you are in college…


He began to explain to me the importance of not only building relationships with your clients but all the people around your clients. I asked if that was because if one of them left their job, you would potentially know their replacement. He said yes but explained there is much more to it then that.


He told me that Pete, the security guard called my dad’s office to let him know a competitor came into the building to see one of the project managers. I asked him if he asked Pete to do that. He explained that he would never do that but Pete felt a connection with him and just wanted him to know.


Cecelia let him know one day that it was Dale, the executive directors, birthday and he was able to stop by with a congratulations note (no email back then).


As a teenager, I was pretty sure I knew everything, after all, I was in college and my dad didn’t even go to college. Being business smart is all of the little things you don’t learn in college. It is the caring, the asking and the listening. Being a real person. Slowing down to smell the roses, or talk to Sam in the mail room or Suzie, the cafeteria lady.


Want more like this? Click HERE

Top 5 Sales Leaders Blunders

Top 5 Sales Leaders Blunders


  • Hiring from a resume alone. We are all impressed by a resume but does it really mean what it says? In the world of sales if someone has sold before, even for a competitor, that doesn’t mean they were good and doesn’t mean they aren’t going to bring bad habits to you.

resume liar


  • Being inconsistent in managing. Once we make the ‘rules’ and allow them to be broken or even ‘bent’, we are setting a president of inconsistency. We teach people how to treat us and once we allow bending we will always allow it.

Consistency meme


  • Selling for your reps. As a sales manager we are often in that position because we were great salespeople in our own right. We miss the thrill of the sale so our salespeople get a ‘lead’ and we go in and close it. We are teaching them nothing.

excited sales meme


  • Keeping a salesperson longer then we should. When we hire often we see potential. When we do we give more time then we should. Use activities to judge if they are committed. If they work hard and doing lots of activities, they are often someone to coach. If they aren’t working hard at the very beginning, let ‘em go!



  • Not holding them accountable to their numbers. No excuses! Selling is their job! We are to coach, not coddle. Stop allowing excuses for what they didn’t do.


Are Hiring Millennial’s in Sales the Right Move?

Are Hiring Millennial’s in Sales the Right Move?


“I can’t find any good salespeople out there. I even tried to hire some young college kids and that was a mistake,” said Matt, the sales director of a ___ Business. “I hired a few of them and they just aren’t engaged, they just seem board.”


Well, they probably are board. Today this age bracket (18-35) looks at things completely different from some of us more experienced in business. Even one generation before can be a black and white difference to this generation.


According to a study from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC, Millennials are highly ambitious, with a majority placing an importance on jobs with chances for career progression, personal growth, as well as freedom and flexibility. Millennials prioritize value and meaning in their work over money — if their jobs are aligned with their passion, they will go the extra mile.


We need to relook at whom we hire, how we hire and how we train these recruits. Our interaction with them will need to be interactive and fluid.

This generation has had more freedom, which they crave. If we try to put them into your corporate “box”, you will probably fail.


The Entrepreneurial Spirit  


Business leaders say they want creative thinking. Do they really? One of the challenges in hiring this young, free spirit, creative thinker is watching them do things so differently then we did. Often companies aren’t willing to make internal changes to create this type of environment because it often seems uncomfortable or even wrong. Letting go of the past and the way it used to be is a big part of getting the most out of this generation.


I have been trying to get organizations to hire salespeople that could be true “intrepreneurals” meaning an employee of the organization with a true creative entrepreneurial spirit. To get this kind of creativity and spirit it will be important to give them an environment they can thrive in.


The characteristics most associated with entrepreneurs are; self-motivated, creative, have initiative and risk-taking. They tend not to fit inside the rules and bend them often to make things happen.


Do we want these characteristics in our sales organization? You bet.




Create the Right Environment


So what do we do? Here are some changes you’ll need to make by creating an environment they can thrive in;

  • Look on Social Media for candidates. Today these candidates are looking in the non-traditional places; Linkedin, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and glassdoor.


  • Create a casual, open environment that encourages open communication and out of the box ideas. Be open to change the rules if there may be a different way of doing something.


  • Let them communicate with technology, even if you wouldn’t. This is how they really do communicate. Their first choice may be to put something in an email and not in person, let it happen.


  • Use flex-schedules. Don’t hold them to a 9-5 check into the office requirement. Give them the goal and very long leash to get there.



Make sure you are creating this environment. Today this generation checks you out in lots of different ways. One of the most popular sites is A critical consideration for candidates today since this job and company review site began.


Millennials are much more productive than they are given credit for. They know how to use technology efficiently, they are completely invested in work when it aligns with their passions, committed when their contributions and ideas are encouraged and recognized. They are also superior at communicating your brand – These make them natural recruits for top talent. There are lots of good reasons to hire them.

The 7 Critical Elements to Sales Success

The 7 Critical Elements to Sales Success


Selling is one of those things that most CEOs think if they hire their team with a good resume of experience, poof…they can sell. How’s that workin’ for ya?

That has been a badly failing method for as long as I have been in sales so lets talk about the B2B Sales Playbook of success. What does it really take?


  1. The very first thing is hiring right. Easier said then done. What criteria are we using? How are we finding our candidates? How are we interviewing? Are we using an assessment to help and if so which one? Quick tip. Look for people already on the job. Great salespeople are not out looking for work, they always have another potential job lined up because they are an asset not a liability.




  1. Train them the way you want them trained. Don’t rely on what they learned before. Teach them your method, the way you want them to sell. If they haven’t worked before, even better no bad habits. Get a true training process in place. There are a few good ones out there. (email me for more information on this).




  1. Use a repeatable and trackable sales process. The key word here is ‘repeatable’. When everyone adopts the same sales process, there is a common language that is understood, not just by sales, but by the whole organization. This is also important for managing the team and coaching the team to success.




  1. Motivation is individualized, not one size fits all. People are people and are motivated by different things. Is money a motivator? Sure but is it the only one? Don’t assume want motivates one will motivate another.




  1. Your Sales Leader is the Critical Link to Sales Success. Being a sales manager/leader is one of the hardest jobs in sales.  It is also the critical link to sales success.  Unless the sales manager has with all the tools he or she needs to easily manage the business, the whole performance of the sales organization will suffer.




  1. True and critical tracking methods. Complete integration with your CRM delivers the optimum information for you and your sales people. Without true data it becomes nearly impossible to eliminate failure and repeat success.



  1. The ability to Forecast Sales Properly. Sales forecasting for most companies leaves a lot to be desired. It is a guessing game of percentages that some piece of business will close. If you have to and actually need to forecast more closely, a process for the sales funnel needs to be adapted.




The key to all of this is your sales leader. Do you have the right one? Better find out. Here is a place you can go: There is lots of good information there.

iTALK (Apple doesn’t make it but you’d think they did!)

“I feel like nothing is working. Whatever I do, it doesn’t seem to matter. I thought the economy was getting better but no one is going to buy right now,” Connie said in frustration about her recent sales numbers. “I really think that, once the economy truly turns around and people are feeling more confident, things will start to move again. But until then, it’s just not happening. I may actually have to get a part-time job or something until that happens because I am scared that I can’t pay my bills.”

Connie and I talked about some of the scenarios she had been dealing with, and she told me that people really like her product, but they just can’t afford it right now.

“Greta, I hear this every day: People are just not spending right now,” she said. “My numbers are down so far that I think it’s just a waiting game.”

When I hear Connie’s story, it isn’t unusual — but it is self-fulfilling. Why are some people thriving, and others are in Connie’s boat? I truly believe it is less about the external situation and much more about the internal self-talk we have going on.

I have narrowed it down to what I call ITALK — an acronym I think might explain what’s going on:

I: Initial situation. The initial situation here is that the economy went through a one-two punch that most of us have never seen the likes of before and — hopefully, once fixed — will never see again. The fact is this truly did change a lot of people’s way of life, and certainly the way business is conducted today. The initial situation is what it is: It’s fact.

T: Thought. The thoughts we create because of the situation we are presented with are completely ours. This is the filter we see the situation through. How do two people see the same situation differently? It is this filter that creates our thought. Connie’s thought is “people can’t afford it right now.” That is certainly a big assumption, and we all know what happens when we assume.

A: Attached feelings. The feelings that we have based on the assumptions we make are very damaging. They are damaging because of the depth of feelings or beliefs in the way we conduct ourselves. Connie was so scared that she actually thought about getting a second job.

L: Lead action. Our lead action is what we do because of our beliefs. It is the way we approach a particular situation and will be different, depending upon the belief. When Connie approaches a prospect, she doesn’t have confidence to handle the money objection because she herself believes it. Therefore, she is practically waiting for it to come — and with it is either feeling defeated or is quick to offer a discount. Neither of these is the outcome she would like.

K: Known result. The known result is what actually happens as a result of these beliefs. This is very difficult because you will almost always get the result you believe you are going to get. When you do, you say to yourself, “see, I knew it,” and the cycle continues.

ITALK is the talk we have with ourselves. It is our internal dialogue, our internal beliefs. In my opinion, there is nothing more dangerous then this. No matter how many times someone tells you it’s not that way, your subconscious is much more powerful than your conscience or anything someone might tell you.

Fix your internal negative thoughts and you can change your outcomes. It’s not the economy; it’s your thinking that is hurting you the most.

Greta Schulz is president and CEO of Schulz Business.

Top 7 Restaurants for a Business Lunch. #7 might not be what you think!!!

Top 7 restaurants for a business lunch.

These are in no particular order

Bonefish Grill

There is a variety of food so if you don’t know what other might want, it allows choice. Wait staff is typically attentive and easy going. Great atmosphere.



A professional yet casual atmosphere allows for some lighter conversation as well as business. This is a great restaurant for a small group since they really cater to that.


The Capital Grille

Perfect for a client that you want to impress. The food here is next to none and the service is even better. The booths are private and quiet. Excellent for the most important of clients to take the impression to the next level. Call ahead to the matre’de and tell him/her who you are and who your client is. They will greet you at the door with your name and treat you like they are your personal staff.

capital grille

Season’s 52

For the health conscious client you are safe with this menu. Everything is fresh, always cooked to perfection and if you like desserts they are small and delicious! The service is of high standard as well.


McCormick & Schmick’s

Always serving seafood that is fresh and meats prepared to your liking, this is a great option for any business lunch. It’s a fun yet professional atmosphere. Pricing is fair for all you get.


Your local spot

Sometimes the best spots are your local favorites. You become the expert when you bring your client to ‘your place’. A restaurant that you frequent when you are on your own time. Great for a client who is new or visiting the area as well as someone who says they just have never been there. You are the local expert!


Your own home

My mom was an excellent cook so our home growing up was always hosing dad’s clients when they were in town. If you enjoy hosting and want to really bond with a client this is a great option. Beware, not everyone likes this and certainly don’t do it if you aren’t really comfortable with the idea.

home cooking

Raw Talent

If there were one thing I could emphasize to C-level executives is that starting


with the right people, the best people, is the key to everything. Yes there are lots


of other important factors, if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t have contents for the book,


but I often get asked to “train-up my salespeople”. When I ask a few questions I


learn that they are just not trainable. Not everyone is trainable and probably for


different reasons than you might think.


There are 3 things that make salespeople successful.

Those things are

Attitude, Activities and Approach.

These are the three ‘secrets’ to sales success.



Are they secrets? Of course not but I am amazed how often they are not adhered


to, therefore, maybe they are secrets.


To me the most important is the first one; ATTITUDE.



Attitude is the belief in yourself, your environment, your work ethic. It’s that fire in


your belly that makes you do whatever it takes to get the job done. No excuses,


no “almost” no sort of, no close but not quite there


Attitude is the real deciding factor in success. That being said are there some


things, some raw talent that helps move this along better and faster? You betcha!


Pay attention here if you have any mediocre salespeople. If you do,


ask yourself why. Let me answer it for you, because you allow it! That’s right.


Your fault. You. No one else. Let me tell you a story to help illustrate this point.




Raw Talent.


Our son was recruited in 2012 to play for the Kansas City Royals as a left-


handed pitcher. Of course he began in the minor leagues. His first week in


Arizona was an exciting one. Barely holding in his excitement, he proceeded to


go on the field to work with the pitching coach early in week one.


Immediately after the introductions and hand-shake niceties Clayton began


showing the coach his pitches. “I was really known for my change up. I also have


an excellent curve ball”. He could barely contain himself in anticipation of what


the coach would say.


After he threw his pitches and looked at the coach for his endorsement, the


coach began the conversation like this, “ Clayton I don’t give a “darn” (expletives


replaced) how you pitched in college and I sure don’t care that you were known


for your change-up. We hired you for your raw talent boy. We didn’t pick you for


your fancy pitches you threw in school! I will teach you how to throw a curve ball


and that change-up? Forget it! You will do it my way and I will make you a pro


player. You don’t like that, you can leave today!”



When he called home with his tale between his legs and told us that story, I


explained that was a good thing. If all you had were your pitches, he didn’t have


much to work with to make you great! They see something in you that is the


makings of someone great. That is to be proud of.


The moral here? In business, hire for RAW TALENT. These are things like


confidence, bravery, desire and commitment. The rest can and should be taught.


If you hire off of a resume of someone who has sold, you may be looking over


Someone that can…you may be missing the boat!

5 Things to Move Forward in Any Economy

5 Things to Move Forward in Any Economy


It seems that lately we are hearing some promising, yet limiting, news about the state of our economy. Whether there is truth to what we hear or not, we must position ourselves to move forward. We can use this opportunity to evolve and do things differently. Look at your business model. Are there things that need to change? Are you still selling and prospecting the same?

Something’s got to give. The opportunity you have should be looked at as an exciting time to implement change for the good. Don’t let your fear for change get in the way of the new normal. Here are five steps I have laid out to help you evolve your business with the changing economic state:

  • Look inside first: Focus on what you have. Look at your customer base. See if you can add more value to the professional relationships that exist. Not in terms of discounts or giveaways, but instead help them out in ways outside your relationship. For example, if they are looking for a new bookkeeper, keep that in mind. If an opportunity arises to help them find one, bring it up. Even set up a meeting or lunch with the three of you. Things outside of the normal business exchange are what we all need to increase business. Reach out and keep those you are in relationships with in mind by offering added value. Chances are they will do the same with you.
  • Analyze your expenses: I think so many of us lack real understanding here. I find most businesspeople/entrepreneurs are either focused on business development or cost cutting. To be successful, both need to be tended to all of the time. Yes, a business development plan is crucial in building and maintaining business, but we don’t want money coming in the front door and sneaking out the back because we aren’t looking.
  • Get creative in your marketing: Always be looking for new ways to market your business. If traditional means of advertising are tough on your budget, meet with your account manager and get creative. I always worry about those who pull their ads all together. What kind of message does that send? And yes, the Internet is a wonderful tool, but not only do you need to be creative there, too, but you need to know what to focus on.
  • Network: I’m a big fan of networking through your local organizations. You always have at least two things: money and time. If money is short, you have time, so use that. Get out there and network. Use your local chamber of commerce, BNI group or even business-run charity events to meet potential strategic alliances.
  • Build strategic alliances: Look at businesses associated with yours. For example, if you’re a financial adviser, look at local CPAs or attorneys who do estate planning. Make plans to get together and discuss what both of you are looking for, and see if there are ways you can help each other out. These relationships prove especially fruitful when looking for referrals, so remember to give as much as you receive.

Turn your business inside out and get to know all aspects of it. What can you do to streamline? To build? Who really are your best customers? Are you concentrating on them as much as finding new business? Now is the time to set these processes in place so future growth can happen the right way.

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