With 2019 coming to a close, it was time for a new look. I cut my hair and added teal highlights. Why is this a big deal? Because I’ve never colored my hair in my entire life. (I love it!) It was time for some business changes as well. After years with the same clunky, ancient, unappealing website, I also gave my brand a modern look.

Joshua Joscelyn and his team did an amazing job. All my online content and programs are now streamlined and simplified to be more accessible for you. The new graphic layout provides a seamless user experience that’s fresh and new and so intuitive. If you’re ready for a new look (or just a touch-up) for your own website, learn more about Joshua’s work.

I couldn’t do what I do without Taylor Mallory Holland. I write my own posts and send Taylor what I think is good stuff. Then she works her editing magic and makes what you read so much better. Thanks also to Kelsey Jones for her social media support and Tina Dover for managing our website and tons of other tasks that would drive me nuts.

2019 was also time to learn new skills and really stretch my abilities. I love technology, but I get frustrated adapting to tech changes. Learning new technology is not the first thing I want to do every day. But I did it. I took the Vengreso course, Selling with LinkedIn for Individuals. I was determined to learn and improve my LinkedIn presence.

Now you can take the same course, at a 50 percent discount, if you register by December 31 and use my code: NMCCCYBERDEC. (After you register, you’ll be taken to the payment page where you’ll enter your code.)

Once you get that out of the way, check out what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this month:

Want Results? Stop Your Pitching and Try Business Storytelling

Are you focused on business storytelling? Or have you reverted to those old, tiresome sales pitches that go on and on about why you’re so great? Newsflash: Nobody wants to hear that. What do you remember about a speaker, a movie, a novel? Not the ads for those events or products. You remember the stories. People are riveted by stories.

“Facts tell, stories sell.” I heard those words years ago from a prominent speaker, and they’ve stuck with me. Facts are important when you’re a scientist, when a client asks you for proof, or when you’re taking a history test. But in the real world, it’s storytelling, not sales pitching, that makes all the difference. Why, then, do sales reps spew facts instead of connecting with people through stories? We have sales playbooks, when what we really need are sales storybooks. (Read “Want Results? Stop Your Pitching and Try Business Storytelling.”)

Why You Should STOP Cold Calling Immediately (Updated)

I want to scream every time I read articles about cold calling—the ones where “expert” cold callers explain how to capture a prospect’s attention in 10 seconds, craft a message to reach the decision-maker, navigate through gatekeepers, overcome sales resistance, create voicemail messages that will actually get your calls returned, and build a sales pipeline that can’t be beat. Garbage!

Message to cold callers: Pestering strangers is NOT the way to prospect. Cold calling is a duplicitous, disingenuous sales tactic. Cold callers tell you to just pick up the damn phone. It’s as easy as that. Well, cold calling is a total waste of every salesperson’s time. (Read “Why You Should STOP Cold Calling Immediately (Updated).”)

Why Should I Trust You? [Answer Me That]

We all view business trust differently, but everyone knows that trust trumps price and that trustworthiness is a valuable trait for a salesperson. Yet, only 18 percent of salespeople are classified by buyers as trusted advisors whom they respect.

That’s embarrassing, unforgivable, and downright scary. Much of the mistrust goes to salespeople who pitch products, don’t listen, don’t know how to have conversations, and only focus on making their quota. They have no regard for their customers and what these people need and value, and so they don’t earn business trust. Instead, they hide behind technology, annoy prospects with cold calls, and pester strangers on social media. (Read “Why Should I Trust You? [Answer Me That].”)

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Why Account Executives Should Travel

Sales leaders say they don’t need for account executives to travel. Worse yet, salespeople tell me they don’t even need to talk to anyone. Ridiculous, right? I used to think it was because I lived near Silicon Valley, but technology addiction is everywhere. It’s become an epidemic—people typing away and not having conversations.

Digital dependence is an even greater problem for salespeople, because sales metrics actually encourage them to hide behind screens. Reps are accountable for sending X number of emails and making X number of social media connections. Beyond that, I question whether they know how to put a sentence together. (Yes, I know that’s snarky, but if you receive the lame sales emails that I do, you know what I’m talking about.) Over the past decade, companies have cut back on travel because of the assorted tools that enable video conferencing. That’s a great backup for account executives, but there’s nothing like being in-person and seeing the whites of someone’s eyes. (Read “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Why Account Executives Should Travel.”)