[Missed Connections] February Referral Selling Insights

canstockphoto2823943Things you need to know—but might have missed—from No More Cold Calling this month.

With Black History Month coming to an end and Women’s History Month starting in just a few days, diversity is on the minds of many business leaders right now. But it should be a year-round priority for sales executives who want to build winning teams.

Successful sales organizations in the 21st century will facilitate teams that leverage the strengths of men and women, young people and seasoned pros, along with people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. Yet, while smart sales leaders talk a good game about wanting diverse teams that bring different skills, experiences, and perspectives to the table, most aren’t putting their energy and money into recruiting and retaining well-rounded sales forces.

For more on diversity—and other competitive advantages—check out what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month:

The Glass Ceiling Hasn’t Shattered Just Yet

We’ve come a long way in the last few decades, but gender discrimination hasn’t disappeared. It’s just gotten softer and more subtle—except, apparently, in Silicon Valley, where it’s right out in the open. A shocking story from Newsweek—entitled “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women”—has been the source of much debate, whining, and complaining. None of that matters. The truth is that women entrepreneurs are not getting funding; their ideas are not valued; and they’re being pushed aside. And that needs to change now. (Read more.)

Stop Pointing Fingers at Millennials

Remember when your parents told you to turn down that loud, obnoxious music? Actually, they yelled, because otherwise you wouldn’t have heard them. They griped about “kids today” and wondered what this next generation was coming to. Many of us have turned into our parents, and now we deliver the same message to our kids and grandkids. But it’s time to stop pointing fingers and face the truth: For better or worse, the world is changing, and it’s not the younger generations’ fault. So instead of griping about them, maybe we could learn a thing or two from them. In sales, generational diversity can be a competitive advantage. (Read more.)

Why Business Should Be Booming for Boomers

Contrary to popular belief, most of the wildly successful entrepreneurs in recent history were not flip-flop-wearing college dropouts working out of their parents’ garages. They were creative, well-educated professionals with decades of work experience under their belts. World-renowned business professor Vivek Wadhwa says we must get rid of the stereotypes and focus on the wisdom of older entrepreneurs. The same logic applies in sales. Stop judging people by age, experience, dress, gender, and country of origin. Everyone has biases of some kind. Biases are not easy to get rid of, but when we’re aware of them, we can remind ourselves that everyone deserves a chance to prove his or her worth. (Read more.)

[Message to Management]: 4 Tips to Inspire Confidence in Your Leadership Abilities

Salespeople must have confidence. How often have you heard that? They must have confidence in their products, confidence in the value of their solutions, and confidence that their companies can deliver. Most importantly, they must have confidence in their own ability to sell. If a salesperson has all of these things, he or she has captured lightning in a bottle. And this confidence makes it easy to establish credibility and gain clients’ trust. But here’s one you don’t hear often: Salespeople also need to have confidence in their leaders. How do you make sure your team has confidence in your ability to help them become stellar performers? (Read more.)

10 Ways to Edge Out Your Competitors in 2015

2015 is the year to differentiate ourselves and our companies from everyone else. Let’s be honest: For the most part, we look exactly the same to our buyers. So unless we can find ways to prove our unique value, we’ll just be little fish in one vast competitive ocean. LiveHive and Top Sales World have come together to produce “10 Ways to Gain a Competitive Edge in 2015”—a meaty ebook with nuggets of wisdom that can help you increase sales effectiveness and fill your pipeline with hot leads. Yes, I’m quoted in the book, but I took away some great tips from the other thought leaders featured. Here are a few of my favorites. (Read more.)

I Just Deleted You

After being on the road for a few days, I’d gotten a little behind on responding to LinkedIn invitations. When I logged on, there were 32 requests to connect. I deleted 14 of them. Of those 14, all but one sent the standard invitation supplied by LinkedIn. I had no idea who these people were or why they wanted to connect with me. A physician? A golfer? Still no clue. If it wasn’t worth their time to introduce themselves, I didn’t need them in my network. Here are three ways NOT to get deleted on LinkedIn. (Read more.)

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