Blog Introduction

In this blog, I will post content on the current digital marketing landscape. I am especially interested in strategic thinking, the big picture, and where things are going, as Wayne Gretzky said:

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been”.


Sales Training – confidence or competence?

There is little difference between face-to-face selling and skydiving. They terrify most people and rightly so. You are quite literally “putting yourself out there” and if you fail, everyone will know. This failure happens in front of people we don’t know. It is a failure that can not be hidden.

So as a simple thought experiment, let’s think of sales and skydiving as the same thing. An exhilarating experience that can be both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. It requires a lot of courage to jump out of a moving plane and freefall through the air. So what do people need most when skydiving? Confidence or competence? How should you be thinking before jumping into the void? Would you rather be thinking: “Woo hoo! Let’s do this!” or rather “First I need to jump then I need to this then I need to do that, I need to keep an eye on this and hit my target landing spot.”

Confidence and competence are two different things. Confidence is the belief in oneself and one’s abilities, while competence is the ability to perform a task successfully. When it comes to skydiving, both confidence and competence are important. But anytime you jump out of a plane you want competence over confidence – every time.

Confidence is hard to teach and it has its place. It helps to calm the nerves and reduce anxiety. When confident, a person is more likely to enjoy an experience. This also helps to build trust, which is crucial for safety. Psychological safety is not just the key to learning but to any top performance. That is why we go to extra lengths to ensure we teach in a safe environment. We are not talking about just “Can I leave my wallet and laptop here and get a coffee?“. Rather learning in an environment free from thoughts like “Will I get fired if make another mistake?”.

When people feel safe they will reveal things to another person that they would never put in an E-Mail or say on a video call. This is why selling face-to-face is where the heavy-lifting of most B2B sales should take place. Another reason is it is the best and indeed fastest way to tackle the infinite complexity of most B2B interactions – by starting with with a warm handshake and a structured conversation. Here confidence plays a role but as the icing rather than the proverbial cake it’s self.

Competence is also important when skydiving because it ensures that the skydiver knows what they are doing and can perform the necessary tasks correctly. This comes from training and practice. It is why we not only offer an Initial Sales Training (IST) product covering the basics – and – ongoing sales coaching. An added option that few other companies offer.

While Sales without confidence is never going to work. Sales without competence is simply throwing resources at a problem and hoping for the best. An expensive exercise no matter what your budget is; not to mention a waste of time.

With both competence and confidence, skydiving and selling can be thrilling and enjoyable for everyone involved. Yes, even your customers!

Looking for help with your Sales Training and coaching? You can get in touch here.

Business to Business Lead Generation

There is a German word called “die Königsdisziplin” and it has nothing to do with discipline rather it means the most difficult project possible. Business to Business, Lead Generation is it’s the “Königsdisziplin” of digital marketing.

What makes it so difficult is that almost all algorithms (be they Google’s core search Algorithm, YouTubes, Bing’s, Facebook’s or Twitter’s) are that they are written for the consumer or Business to Consumer (B2C) traffic. This makes sense as the bulk of all web traffic – is consumer traffic. So the platforms are set up perfectly for you to sell new shoes to consumers with tired feet. If you are selling Human Resource software – not so much.

The difficulty faced is to understand how these algorithms work, and then work with and around them. Simple – but not easy. 

The starting point for much of this work starts with Search Engine Advertising. Search Engine Optimisation also plays a role but typically this comes later.

Google launched a beta product a few years ago to help with Business to business targeting allowing for interest, intention, and classification targeting. A welcome if long overdue addition to its Ads platform.

When one conversion can deliver €30,000 of turnover as opposed to an extra pair of shoes sold the value of Business to Business, Lead Generation is simple to see – but not easy to get.