Bruce Lee and the Art of Selling

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This was my closing keynote session at the Sales 2.0 Conference on October 18, 2011. In this presentation I draw upon the philosophy of Bruce Lee and apply it to how sales professionals can sell without selling and build trust with customers in a digital world.

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  • Good title that’ll work for you
  • See sugested change in title. Why get people asking “so, who the hell are you? And who cares anyway?” Instead just offer up an impersonal “point of view.” It’s kind of obvious it’s you, but you’re being more polite about it and not causing extraneous nastiness on the part of the listener if you do it this way
  • Perfect
  • Get rid of that totally annoying extra space after the apostrophe and before the “t” in Don’t. I’ve fixed it above. It shows up elsewhere. Never tolerate typos, even in drafts. Suggestion: Instead of (the same is true for selling) Try: a copy of this slide, identical, but substitute the words “selling” etc. in place of what you have here. Here, I’ll show you what I mean. Now watch what happens when you do slideshow moving between these two slides. You can figure the voice-over: something like, “You know, what if Bruce Lee was here today talking about selling: might have have said [click].
  • Get rid of that totally annoying extra space after the apostrophe and before the “t” in Don’t. I’ve fixed it above. It shows up elsewhere. Never tolerate typos, even in drafts. Suggestion: Instead of (the same is true for selling) Try: a copy of this slide, identical, but substitute the words “selling” etc. in place of what you have here. Here, I’ll show you what I mean. Now watch what happens when you do slideshow moving between these two slides
  • This can be a fabulous slide, dpeending on your voiceover. Try something like: “ I like to think that was Bruce meant was exactly the right way to think about selling. If you “get” the customer from the inside out, from his or her perspective, without you imposing your sense of order on it, but rather seeking only to discover their rules of order—well that’s what he meant by the root. The root is the customer’s root—not your root. Understand that, and you can forget about memorizing procedures and processes and algorithms. Not only that, but the customer will feel listened to. “ You may know that Bruce Lee also was contemptuous of those who focused on methodologies; he felt the only reason for methodologies was to get you started. After you got good you should fight by sheer instinct and unconscious reacting. Again, he was prescient about selling.
  • Fix those damn spaces after the apostrophes, it’s hurtin’ my head! A little sharper language here, maybe Don’t think of listening as an action you do: Think of listening in terms of the result on the Other. It’s not enough to Listen: the customer should feel LISTENED TO
  • Get your wording right on this, it’s a great slide. I think key would be to say, “Now some people might argue whether this is really an evolutionary move forward. You could make the same case about the general state of mankind—have we really moved forward, or do we just have fancier toys? I won’t dip my toe into that debate—let’s just say things have ‘changed,’ and I’ll let you add the normative judgment about it all.
  • Make sure you say something about why ‘weak ties’ are strong something. Why is ‘weak’ good? Maybe everyone’s with you, but I’m not sure. Some of the legitimate strong points about ‘weak ties’ are that they let you stretch, spread, extend, broaden—considerably. 30 years ago we went deep, but there was very little reach. Now we’re getting really good at going horizontal, and a lot of that is about weak ties.
  • Remember to explain wwho Simon Sinek is (never assume everyone will know; if 90% do and you don’t explain it, 10% will feel ashamed; don’t be the cause of shame)
  • That fourth point is the most important! Mutually reciprocal obligations is the way all society works. I owe you, you owe me. Anything else is just naked self-interest doing unto others before they do unto you. You can make an argument that reciprocal obligation is the glue that conneccts all societies (it also is the source of neurosis—see Freud on this, Civilization and Its Discontents, a fabulous book if you’ve never read it)
  • That goddamn space after the apostrophe, get rid of it! The cynic in me says, “Yeah, what happens is narcissism. We need also to surround ourselves with people who don’t believe what we believe. I know, I know, that’s another point, just wanted to mention how some cynicsc in the audience will react. Be aware of it.
  • You need a slide like this to bring it all back
  • Bruce Lee and the Art of Selling

    1. 1. Bruce Lee and the Art of Selling Jacob Morgan, Principal Chess Media Group
    2. 2. Franklin Gothic font <ul><li>Franklin Gothic font </li></ul><ul><li>Principal, Chess Media Group </li></ul><ul><li>Author of Twittfaced & forthcoming book for McGraw Hill </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger on enterprise and customer collaboration: Socialbusinessadviser.com </li></ul><ul><li>Traveler, Chess Lover, and Explorer </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @JacobM </li></ul>
    3. 3. A Point of View <ul><li>Most people say they listen but they don ’ t </li></ul><ul><li>There is too much fighting within organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations need to shift towards collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>If you don ’ t trust someone, why work with them or for them? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Franklin Gothic font <ul><li>Franklin Gothic font </li></ul>“ My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting”~ Bruce Lee
    5. 5. Don’t Kick and Don’t Sell <ul><li>“ Nowadays you don ‘ t go around on the street kicking people, punching people — because if you do,  well that ’ s it  — I don ‘ t care how good you are.” </li></ul>
    6. 6. Don’t Kick and Don’t Sell <ul><li>“ Nowadays you don ‘ t go around on the street selling people, hustling people — because if you do,  well that ’ s it  — I don ‘ t care how good you are.” </li></ul>
    7. 7. Building Trust With Your Customers <ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Build weak ties </li></ul><ul><li>Give things away </li></ul>
    8. 8. Franklin Gothic font <ul><li>Franklin Gothic font </li></ul>‘ Seek to understand the root.  — It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branch, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.”
    9. 9. Listen <ul><li>Listening isn ’ t an action. It ’ s a feeling that your customer should get, they should feel LISTENED TO </li></ul>
    10. 10. Listen <ul><li>You talk less </li></ul><ul><li>You connect with the customer </li></ul><ul><li>You understand the customer </li></ul><ul><li>You empathize with the customer </li></ul><ul><li>The customer feels like they are being listened to </li></ul>
    11. 11. Listening Evolved <ul><li>In-person </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback forms </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>Comment cards </li></ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Career changes on LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Google alerts/monitoring tools </li></ul><ul><li>Blog posts </li></ul><ul><li>Comments on articles </li></ul><ul><li>Emails </li></ul>
    12. 12. Leverage The Tools To Learn About Your Customers <ul><li>Within your CRM system (and it syncs) </li></ul><ul><li>Pulls in social data </li></ul><ul><li>Find the right contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Contact information </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive information </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant information </li></ul>
    13. 13. Leverage the tools to learn about your customers
    14. 14. Build Weak Ties <ul><li>Information bridges </li></ul><ul><li>Distributes information </li></ul><ul><li>Potential to form strong ties </li></ul><ul><li>Require little effort to maintain and can have many </li></ul><ul><li>Weak ties connect to other ties </li></ul>
    15. 15. LinkedIn Is Great For Weak Ties!
    16. 16. It ’ s Hard To Trust What You Don ’ t Understand <ul><li>So employees understand: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why you do what you do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you think and make decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you approach and solve problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You as a person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to connect with you </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. So Is A Blog!
    18. 18. Keep Adapting And “Flowing” <ul><li>“ Running water never grows stale. So you just have to 'keep on flowing.” </li></ul>
    19. 19. Give Things Away? <ul><li>Don’ t give things away just for the sake of giving things away. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do it to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Connect with people who believe what you believe (from Simon Sinek) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Give Things Away?
    21. 21. Provide Value <ul><li>When you give something away that is valuable you: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show your expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become more relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate a sense of reciprocal obligation—which is the source of relationships </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Connect With People Who Believe What You Believe <ul><li>“ When we ’ re surrounded by people who believe what we believe, something remarkable happens, trust emerges” ~Simon Sinek </li></ul>
    23. 23. Emergent Collaboration Platforms Are VERY Good At This <ul><li>Discovering your company </li></ul><ul><li>Building communities of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Publicly sharing ideas or thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Building trust </li></ul><ul><li>Finding and sharing information </li></ul><ul><li>And many many other things </li></ul>
    24. 24. “ Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”  
    25. 25. Bruce Lee Brings It All Back Home <ul><li>Lee said the best fighting is not - fighting </li></ul><ul><li>The best selling is not - selling </li></ul><ul><li>The best persuasion is not - persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>The best sale isn’t a fight at all: It’s the re-discovery that 1+1 > 2, and that the best raw material for collaboration is the customer sitting in front of you </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>Subscribe to the newsletter: bit.ly/ChessNewsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: SocialBusinessAdvisor.com </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @JacobM </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>“ To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”  ~ Bruce Lee

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