To blog or not to blog? Everyone lives by selling something according to sales expert Sue Barrett

We talk to Sue Barrett, a prolific blogger on sales. Sue first started blogging in February 2007 and some 235+ articles later, continues her output of one a week.  Sue’s blogs are featured in Anthill and smartcompany.com.au and www.barrett.com.au

What is your blog about? 

My blog is about anything to do with selling, customer service and buying.  I like to focus on knowledge, skills and behaviours, insight and mindset.  It includes sales culture transformation, sales leadership, sales coaching, ethics, sales skills, attitudes, fears, assessments, insight, procurement, collaboration, sales success, prospecting, planning and so on.

How do you attract people to your blog? 

I tell our clients and prospects about it and ask their permission to subscribe.  It’s published on key business websites.  I’m always on the lookout for new publishing channels where I can become the lead sales writer. I also encourage anyone who has been on our training and coaching programs to subscribe and I post them on article aggregation sites.  When I publish a new blog I let everyone know via twitter, linkedin and facebook.

What’s the secret to making a blog interesting and getting people to engage with you?

  1. Be authentic.
  2. Don’t stray from your core topic even if you go out on the fringes always bring it back to your core topic.
  3. Speak from the heart but anchor it in substance that can be validated.
  4. Be personable – write like you are having a conversation with someone take one topic or a segment of one topic and focus on getting one point across clearly.
  5. Don’t try to add too many messages at once.  If you find that you are doing that, turn them into several blogs instead.
  6. Write for your audience.  What would they like to know?
  7. Be practical and real

Has your blog helped you gain media coverage? How?

Yes, but only after I’d written enough to get a body of work up.  I’m now approached for advice and opinions from various media agencies. To date I have been interviewed by The Australian Financial Review, Herald Sun, The Age, The Australian, Qantas inflight radio, BRW, ANZ Running My Own Business and smartcompany.com.au

Do you have any tips on sales success/strategy you’d like to share? 

I endorse the philosophy that ‘everybody lives by selling something’ because whether you’re a small business owner, a tradesperson, teacher, or entrepreneur we all need to make contact with and secure the ongoing custom of members, supporters, sponsors or clients to make a living.

My team and I have been working with sales leaders, teams and businesses transforming the way they sell and service clients since 1995.

If you want to be a success in sales don’t be like the 90% of sales people who leave sales to chance instead:

  • Develop a Go-to-market sales action plan that tells you who you need to be in front of; how you need to get in front of them; and how often you need to do it to make it all worthwhile.
  • Ask people about their priorities, problems, dreams, and goals before you talk about yourself.
  • Prospect on a daily basis. It’s the first things that has to happen if you want to make a sale.

In short selling is really about the exchange of something of value. And the real value in the 21st century lies not so much in your product, but in your ability to think, create and collaborate.  Clients want partners, who can help them map a pathway forward to the future, make sure it is you.

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