Working out loud has a great potential to help with sales. However the help is not in the way most people expect. Sales people don’t need more marketing to low probability prospects. The value of working out loud for sales is the ability to participate generously in client’s work and to know when best to engage them. Working out loud is a way to build real relationships with clients that help them do their work better.
Forget the Spruiking
Many people initially see working out loud as a way to market their work. This marketing mindset leads them to share work as a way of bragging, highlighting their offers and generally pushing messages at clients and prospects.
The key problem with all marketing is that we don’t know when clients are ready to buy. This is why so much marketing has low single digit conversion rates. The vast majority of it is wasted because it arrives at the wrong time for the potential purchasers. Adding sales people to this push message strategy does not improve performance and can be a huge waste.
One of the key ways to improve sales effectiveness is better targeting of sales time to higher value prospects. Too much sales time is already wasted where there is no chance of a deal. A sales person can’t devote their time to low single digit prospects of success.
Work out loud to help Clients, not your Business
The majority of my business opportunities come from referrals or clients discovering my work when they need it. As a result my sales time is better spent where it can be most effective.
Genuine working out loud builds relationships of trust in networks. Deep and wide relationships of trust help sales people to be more effective. Sales is not a solo activity. The best sales people collaborate with their organisation, partners and client prospects continuously. Every sales person wants to expand and deepen their network and giving to others to help their work through working out loud is a key way to build the reach of that trust.
Working out loud with referral partners & client influencers is a key first step. These partners will understand clients and may have related goals. Helping these partners to do their work better through working out loud can enhance your understanding of client opportunities and your ability to convert them. Sharing your work in this exchange will help referral partners to better understand your abilities. Before you ask for a favour it always helps to do one.
Any sales person loves to know what their clients are doing. Helping your clients by finding ways to work out loud directly with them on their goals is a great opportunity. You will not be marketing your product and service. You will be a trusted partner sharing ways that they can achieve their personal and work goals. Creating a working out loud circle with clients or prospects is an opportunity to deepen relationships, understand the other and put some value into that relationship.
Highly effective sales people identify a customer’s problem and solving it in ways that create new value and support an ongoing relationship. They start by understanding others and making contributions, not marketing. That sounds like working out loud to me.