The key to success in communication to and from sales is to understand your company’s sales culture, and what might be fun and engaging for them to be cooperative in sharing what they learn in a timely manner. Go to where sales is to get them to engage. Many sales people travel extensively, so they have time in the car or airplane to write, tape or text about what they’re learning. They also value information from their peers. Maybe you can facilitate more sharing among peers, even informally. In my experience it takes a couple of years to get sales information to flow. You have to earn their trust to build that relationship.
I realize how much choice I have for just about everything I do in life, especially how I spend my time. The same thing is true when I conduct an interview to gather information to help clients make important strategic or tactical decisions or conduct a coaching session. How do I realize choice when interviewing?
Follow these 7 steps and you will be prepared for a choice conversation, that is you will have the choice to direct the conversation flow, since unlike the person you’re interviewing, you will be in the zone to maximize your collection during this conversation.
Conversation will always be a key to sprouting creativity. We need fellow human beings to help us develop our creative seeds. They also remind us about the marketplace of products, services and ideas that are out there–keep us from being blindsided. We all have biases and blinders. It’s human nature.
This is the first in a series about how I evolved in my career in competitive intelligence, and what I have learned over time. Overall I am glad I had a start back in 1985 for the critical thinking and deeper relationships I developed. I am glad to still be in this field today where I can reach out to sources quickly that I would never have dreamed even existed in 1985, thanks to social networking.
How many times have you heard people say, “I am too busy. I am soooo busy.” Are most of us really busier than we used to be? Or are we imposing busyness by all the distractions of everyday 21st century life? Do people really need to know what you’re doing all the time and where you ate and what airline you’re flying? Knowing when to connect on social media is a competitive advantage for individuals and for companies. Knowing when not to connect gives you more independence.
Here are a few takeaways from today’s AIIP webinar, “Going Local: Techniques & Strategies for Finding
Local Business Information,” presented by Marcy Phelps, CEO of Phelps Research and author of recently published “Research on Main Street.” This includes many valuable links to sources for local US sources, and how to buy “Research on Main Street.” If you’re an Independent running a research, private eye, library or competitive intelligence practice, AIIP is the place to get invaluable advice and resources to help you start and run your business successfully!
Recently, I wrote about the Extreme Presentation format for presenting material to smaller audiences. At the conclusion of that post, I gave an example of how Extreme Presentation looks. This post describes and illustrates an example of Extreme Presentation by defining what and how to use cooperative intelligence in competitive intelligence or research.
Trade shows are a Mecca for competitive intelligence. Nowhere are there more people who want to share their knowledge and insight with you: industry experts, prospects, competitors, other industry participants such as suppliers and distributors and journalists. This is cooperative intelligence at its finest since everyone is marketing to you whether at formal presentations, exhibitor booths or even informal places like the conference bar or hotel café.
Most of my experience with cold calling is following my intuition. However, in the spirit of cooperative intelligence I will share some of the practices that I have developed over the years as a researcher. Like anything else, practice makes you a lot better. I am always thinking about ways to empathize and be more sensitive to the other person and am most effective when I forget about myself while keeping an eye on the clock to respect their time.
Last week I attended a webinar to improve my selling skills led by Colleen Stanley, Founder and Chief Sales Officer of SalesLeadership. Effective selling will help competitive intelligence professionals, product managers and researchers gain respect, cooperation and appreciation from internal peers. Combine emotional intelligence practices and selling with the collection skill of elicitation and watch your effectiveness soar!