Real Time Selling (And Newsjacking) To GET ATTENTION!

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, keynote speaker, best-selling author, seminar leader, and the pioneer of the Newsjacking concept.

On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, David explains what NewsJacking is and why B2B sales professionals need to be more customer-focused in the internet selling age.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - David Meerman Scott
Pioneer of Newsjacking

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Do you want to know how you can get a huge advantage over your competition by simply being quick and watching the news? Well, this episode is for you. Hello Sales Nation. I am Will Barron, host of the Salesman Podcast. And on today's show we have David Meerman Scott he's written 10 books. He's had three international best sellers. He invented the term news hacking, and that's what we're diving into on today's show. So let's jump right. David, welcome to the Salesman Podcast.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Hey, thanks Will, it's great to be here.

 

How to Sell to The Web-Educated Buyer · [00:30] 

 

Will Barron:

I'm glad to have you on. We'll dive straight in and this is somewhat of a touchy subject with other guests that come on the show. So I'm excited to get your opinion on David, with a, I think you used the word web centric or web educated buyers, has this shifted sales into a state where sales professionals need to be even more experts and even more knowledgeable about the products than the potential buyers, or has it shifted sales people in the B2B realm to have to be customer focused and customer service centred as opposed to actually proactively selling to them?

 

“A lot of people assume that with content in the selling process, that you have to create your own content. However, a lot of times salespeople can be great content curators, essentially looking for the kind of information that will be valuable for person at a particular point in the selling process, and curate that content or email that content, share it through a social network like LinkedIn at the moment that buyer needs that particular content.” – David Meeramn Scott · [02:05] 

 

David Meerman Scott:

I'm not sure that it's going to be an either or answer to the question you posed. I think it does mean that sales people have to be smarter. So I was a salesperson. I was a bag carrying salesperson for many years in Tokyo and Hong Kong and New York. And I sold high end financial information products. And at that time we, the sales people, had all the information because there wasn't a web. There wasn't a way to gather information. So the balance of power was sort of in our favour, that balance of power has shifted because of the web, because so many people can do their own independent research. But that simply means that sales people need to be smarter than they used to be. I don't mean that they need a higher IQ, but they just need to sell smarter.

 

“The one thing that has significantly changed in the last five years or so, is that the most successful salespeople have gone to a real-time selling model. Whereas before salespeople could sell on their time, there's no longer that luxury. You can only sell on the buyer's time today.” – David Meerman Scott · [02:35] 

 

David Meerman Scott:

I think what's interesting, is that a lot of people assume that with content in the selling process, that you have to create your own content. A lot of times salespeople can be great content curators, essentially looking for the kind of information that will be valuable for person at a particular point in the selling process, and curate that content or email that content, share it through a social network like LinkedIn at the moment that buyer needs that particular content. I think if I were to say the one thing that has significantly changed in the last five years or so, is that the most successful sales people have gone to a real time selling model. Whereas before salespeople could sell on their time, there's no longer that luxury. You can only sell on the buyer's time today.

 

What is the Real-Time Selling Model? · [02:58] 

 

Will Barron:

What does a real time sell model mean, for someone who hasn't come across that term, in a practical sense? Perhaps you can use medical devices, which is my background of me selling endoscopes, endoscopy equipment to surgeons.

 

David Meerman Scott:

So there's a number of different aspects to this idea of real time. But the basic background to it is that all of the social networks that are popular today are popular because they're real time engagement tools. So if you go onto Twitter and you send a tweet, people see it instantly. If somebody tweets about you, you should be seeing it instantly. If somebody is on LinkedIn and they change the name of the company that they work for, or they change the job they have at that company, that's available in real time instantly right now this second. And if you're watching your feed and you're looking at the customers that you have, and you see that one of your clients just got a promotion or just changed jobs, you should be the first person to congratulate them. You should be the first person to say, “Hey, how can I help you to become more successful now that you've gotten a promotion or now that you've gotten a job at a new company?”

 

“When some people are searching for a product or service to buy, they might reach out to multiple companies to get quotes or multiple sales people to find out who can help them. And there's a growing amount of evidence that suggests that the person who responds first gets the deal. It may even be a slightly higher price, and you still get the deal.” – David Meerman Scott · [04:21] 

 

David Meerman Scott:

So those are a couple different aspects of real time. Another aspect of real time is that when some people are searching for a product or service to buy, they might reach out to multiple companies to get quotes or multiple sales people that they work with at different companies to find out who can help them. And there's a growing amount of evidence that suggests that the person who responds first gets the deal. It may even be a slightly higher price, and you still get the deal. And the reason is because if somebody needs those something or other scopes that you used to sell or still do sell the… Say it again, endo…

 

Will Barron:

Endo endoscopes used for endoscopy. So a [inaudible 00:05:13] used up inside you.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Endoscope, so if somebody needs endoscopes and they need them now, they might send a request to three of the sales people that they work with at different medical supply companies. And if I respond in three minutes and say, “Sure, I got a hundred, I can send them tomorrow,” then you may just get the deal because you're the fastest, you are the most real time of the sales people.

 

David Meerman Scott:

But the way that we were taught to do selling back in the day was that you had a very specific process that you needed to follow. And you were in charge of the timing of that process. And I remember sales managers who I used to work with would tell me, “Always wait till the morning to place a call because you're more likely to get someone.” Well, no, that's not correct. Contact them now, when they're ready for you to contact them. So anyway, those are just some elements of real time selling, but it's an essential part of where we are today, I believe, real time selling.

 

The Most Effective Tools For Real-Time Selling · [06:25] 

 

Will Barron:

So two things on this Dave, one, inadvertently, you've brought up a real example of me as a buyer doing this, which I'll share in a second. But then before that, you said the word should be seeing this instantly and I could feel the pain, as you said, should, as in, you've worked with people that know this and should be putting into practise, but they aren't. Are there any tools-

 

David Meerman Scott:

Well, and there's a lot of people who don't know it. So there's people who don't know it and there's people who do know it, but don't think about how important it is. So there's all sorts of ideas around this idea of real time, we just shared a few.

 

Will Barron:

For people listening to the show, now they're aware of it. Are there any tools that you could recommend other than perhaps refreshing LinkedIn every 15 minutes to see if anything's popped up with our customers, is there any way to pull all this data together so it gives us an email or a notification or some other ping on our phone when we should be reactive to certain business situations?

 

David Meerman Scott:

Well, there's a bunch of different social monitoring tools that we can use. And there's a lot of different social networks that depending on our business, depending on what we like to do, depending on what our customers are active in or potential customers are active in. There's a number of different tools. I myself use TweetDeck. And I use that typically to monitor Twitter. I do have the various notifications setting on my LinkedIn set so that I actually get emails that alert me when people's statuses have changed. So that's something you can do.

 

David Meerman Scott:

I think as well, it's incredibly important to set up Google alerts for your best customers, so that you're aware instantly if they've done something that you need to know about, “Oh my gosh, my biggest customer just announced that they're acquiring a new company. That's interesting. I should be the first person to reach out to that customer to find out what this means.”

 

How to Use Newsjacking to Position Yourself as an Authority · [08:25] 

 

David Meerman Scott:

And then one other aspect that we can, we can talk about at length if it's interesting to you, is the concept that I pioneered called newsjacking. And newsjacking is a subset of the idea of real time marketing and real time selling. But the idea of newsjacking is that if you follow what's going on in the news and every single breaking story in the world follows a typical bell shaped curve in terms of that news cycle. The news breaks, it grows in popularity and interest reporters and editors are looking for people to quote in their stories. People are looking for information about this topic on social networks. At a certain point, the news story peaks, and it's become really important and popular. And then at a certain point, it starts to go downhill until it drops off and disappears.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Now there's a number of different news stories that are possible for sales people to want to understand. So it could be the news story about something in your marketplace, medical supplies, for example, or the hospital industry, or a health insurance business, or whatever it might be in your case that you talked about. Or it could be in your geographical area. If you're a salesperson and your territory is New York city, maybe you need to be aware of what's going on in your local area, your local territory. And then you can also be aware of what's going on in global and international news.

 

“The way that newsjacking works is that when there is a story that you can comment on, that you have an area of expertise in, then you can create real-time content about that story. Now it might simply be sending a link to the story to all of your customers or the customers that might be interested. Or if you want to get more involved, it means that you create real-time content around that news story. But what you're doing is you're saying, “Hey, I'm an expert in this particular topic. And here is my take on this breaking news story.” – David Meerman Scott · [09:57]

 

David Meerman Scott:

So the way that newsjacking works is that when there is a story that you can comment on that you have an area of expertise in, in your case, medical supply products and services, then you can create real time content about that story. Now it might simply be sending a link to the story to all of your customers or all of the customers that might be interested. It could be that simple. Or if you want to get more involved, it means that you create real time content around that news story. That real time content could become a blog post that you write, a YouTube video that you shoot and publish, or it could go in another video channel, doesn't have to be YouTube could be a live stream on Facebook live or Twitter live or something like that. Or just simply a tweet with an appropriate hashtag. But what you're doing is you're saying, “Hey, I'm an expert in this particular topic. And here is my take on this breaking news story.”

 

David Meerman Scott:

Now you have to be quick, you have to do it right now. You have to do it this second. And then what might result by doing this is number one, you might get quoted in the media stories because you are an expert and you're commenting on the news in real time. Or number two, in the case of sales people, I would be very surprised if you didn't start to have potential customers or existing customers that say, “Well, shoot. Now this is the person who's really seems smart about this breaking news story. I should work with them the next time I need the product or service that is being discussed in this news story.”

 

David Meerman Scott:

Newsjacking I invented back in 2011. It's become so popular that the Oxford English dictionary listed newsjacking in 2017 in the dictionary and citing my work as the pioneer of newsjacking. As well it was named to the word of the year for 2017. Sorry, it was shortlisted for the word of the year in 2017. [inaudible 00:12:13] but how big and important newsjacking is. And most sales people don't understand what it is or if they do, they do it wrong.

 

Will Barron:

So I'm actually launching, and the audience know this, a science podcast. That's my side hustle to this main podcast. And it's an interview series and I'm using, and tell me if this is totally off here, I'm using news hacking to grow that in that I'm doing a daily science video covering the top five science topics of the day, and people are going back and forth over that. Certainly not “viral”, but that's certainly getting more views, leveraging the YouTube algorithm of people searching for things on that day. It being one of a hundred videos on a specific breaking piece of science versus one of 5,000 pieces of content on something that's more mainstream, well covered in science, and I'm having great success of it.

 

How to Leverage Newsjacking For Your Content Creation Process · [13:00] 

 

Will Barron:

How does this look? How does this look real practical for a, I'll use me, medical device salesperson? Is this me adding the urologist that I'm selling to on LinkedIn, having that network there and then when urology news comes in, I take my take on it and put it up as a short post and share it with them? Would that be adequate? Would that get the momentum going for this?

 

David Meerman Scott:

Well, there's a bunch of different ways to do it, but typically the way it would work is there would be some kind of news story that would be breaking that your customers, urologists, would be interested in knowing about. And if you see that news story, because you're monitoring the news. Now I suggest people monitor Google News, they monitor Twitter Moments, they read a daily newspaper, they read the industry trade publication and websites in your business. And this device, your mobile device, that's sitting in your pocket right now, is a fabulous tool for newsjacking.

 

David Meerman Scott:

What I personally do is I do three things for newsjacking. Number one, I have Google alerts set up on words and phrases that are important to me, Google alerts. The second thing I do is I look at Google News, which is simply news.google.com with no filters on it, to find out what are the breaking news stories of the day. And then the third thing that I do is I look at Twitter Moment. So I just go to the main Twitter page, either on mobile or on my desktop or on my notebook computer, and then click the button that says Moments. And that brings up the most popular stories in Twitter at that, at that particular moment.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Now what I'm doing is looking for stories that I might be able to comment on, but in your case, you're looking for stories that will be important for urologists. And so when you find a story, either because you have a Google alert set up, or because you've seen a story that's interesting, you have a choice. You can either link to that another story, and essentially curate that content. “Hey, I just found this particular story out of a medical journal in Australia, might be interesting to you.” That's curation. So you're not adding any commentary or just sharing. That's not technically newsjacking, but it certainly is real time selling.

 

David Meerman Scott:

But where it becomes newsjacking is when you create a blog post or a LinkedIn update or a YouTube video, or a Facebook live, or some other piece of original content that you are sharing your expertise on the topic because of you are a salesperson in this particular market and you know all about this market and you provide your valuable insight into what this new story means.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Now, let me give you an example, perhaps there's a recall of a product that's related to the kinds of products you sell. Or perhaps there's a change in the health insurance regulations, where all of a sudden, one of the devices that you sell is no longer covered under a certain medical insurance policy that it used to be covered. Or perhaps there's a story around doctors and medical school and urology and how the course of study has changed in some way.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Any of these, I'm making this up, I have no idea what you tell for a living, but any of these kinds of stories can be fodder for you to create a piece of content to showcase your expertise and provide value to the breaking story. Two things can happen, well two broad things can happen. One, you could get quoted in other stories that come out about that breaking news. And number two, you could have your existing and potential clients say, “Wow, this person's really clever. I should do business with them,” or, “Hey, that prompts me to actually buy something right now.”

 

The Psychology of Why Speed Is So Important in Sales · [17:33] 

 

Will Barron:

So you're setting yourself up to be the number one person to get these inbound requests. Which is different to where we started off the show. And I want to drag it back to this for a second and that's speed. And then I want to get your take and we'll wrap up on this David, of the psychology of why speed is so important. And we'll start with an example of I, by massive request of the audience, I've started doing a bit of coaching and I've hired a local sales trainer to do the sales coaching elements of it. I'm then kind of managing the audience, managing a funnel of people to come in to do the coaching. And I'm helping out on the back end as less of a sales trainer expert coach, but more as someone to ask, bounce questions about and go back and forth with different ideas.

 

Will Barron:

I put out a post on LinkedIn asking people to tag local to Yorkshire, to Leeds where I live sales trainers that are recommended. Bunch of people came in and then messaged each one of them and said, “Look, can you give me a day rate? And then kind of we'll get on the phone and have a chat.” Almost everyone did what I guess we're taught to do, which is let's go on the phone and chat before I give you the pricing and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And obviously trying to get himself on a phone call so they can sell multiple things, different things. I hired the first person who had a legitimate website, had content on there that give me a day price. I think it was like 650 quid a day with the day price. And so I've hired him for eight weeks, one day a week to take all these coaching calls from listeners of the show. He didn't do anything special. He just did what I asked him.

 

David Meerman Scott:

No, he did do something special. He responded to you quickly and provided the information you were looking for. And it's sad that's special, but it is special because most people don't do it. And I'll give-

 

The Shift In The Modern Selling Environment: The Informed Buyer Wants Speed · [19:15] 

 

Will Barron:

Let me just ask you this, because clearly you've been a quote carrying salesperson in the past. Is this a modern, recent shift in that customers know what they want, they just want it, and if you give it to them, they'll, they'll buy it immediately from you? Or has this been a gradual shift over the years that along with more information on the internet, they've turned to that mindset rather than accepting the fact that the salesperson wants to grab all of them on the phone first?

 

David Meerman Scott:

Well, I mean, it's been gradual, but recently I think it's the pace of change has accelerated. I mean, there's no question that buyers have way, way more information than they did before. And there's no question that buyers do their independent research before they make a decision. And there's also no question that most sales people are still working off the old playbook, which is you got to get them on the phone and sell them. But in fact, people want to buy. When you're ready to buy, you want to buy, you don't have to be sold to. And people have already done their research. Like you said, you looked at people's websites in your region. You've already done the research. All you're looking for is a little bit more information and a price quote.

 

David Meerman Scott:

So I had a similar experience. I'll give you a little quick tour of this office, but I'm in my office here. This is my new office.

 

Will Barron:

Very nice.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Thank you, thank you. And so I needed to move my office from one place to another in the town I'm in. So it was not a very significant move. But I thought it would cost maybe a thousand dollars. I don't know, I didn't know how much it was going to cost. So I went to the Google machine and I live in the Boston area. So I went to the Google machine and typed in moving companies in Boston. And I got a whole bunch of results. I looked at approximately six. It's somewhere between, I forget the number six and 10 websites that appeared in the first two pages.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Now, first of all, you have to appear in the first two pages for me to even consider you. And then of the six or 10 websites that I looked at, I chose three to reach out to and ask for a price quote. I sent them each a picture of my former office and I said, here's the office. Here are the things I need to move. Here's my rough timeframe. Please let me know if you can help me. And I sent those three emails at exactly the same time.

 

David Meerman Scott:

The first company got back to me in two hours, they sent me a price quote, based on what I sent to them. And then the second company got back to me in six hours and left a voicemail. Now actually let me back up. I sent the emails to three people at the same time. The first company emailed me back with a price. Second company called me and said, we'd love to work with you. Here's our phone number, give us a call we'll talk about it. The third company emailed me back 24 hours later with a price quote that was lower than the first. So you tell me, Will, who did I go with?

 

Will Barron:

If it was me, I would've gone with the first email price quote.

 

David Meerman Scott:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. That's exactly what I did. That's exactly what I did. I'm going with the company that reached out to me quickly. I'm going with the company that wants my business. I'm going with the company that I think will arrive at my office on time because they send their email replies on time. And even though there were slightly more money, it wasn't a lot more money, but even though they were slightly more money, I went with the company that was the fastest to respond.

 

David Meerman Scott:

And you would've done the same. I think there's a lot of people out there, I mean I shouldn't say I think, I know there are a lot of people out there who are doing just this. And yeah, there are also people who are price conscious, but as a salesperson, do you really want to work with them? Do you want to work with the one that's going to beat you to death at the lowest possible price so it's not even worth writing the order? No. You want the person to say great done here, where do I sign? And that's all about being fast and quick.

 

Parting Thoughts · [23:38] 

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well with that David, tell us a little bit about, I guess the relevant book is The New Rules of Sales and Service, any other books that you find appropriate and where we can find out more about you as well.

 

David Meerman Scott:

So yeah. New Rules of Sales and Service, there's a newish paperback edition that's out. I talk about all of these kinds of things that we've just spoken about. I've also got a lot of free content on newsjacking.com and you can get some charts and some infographics and learn about newsjacking. Also have a pretty cool news feed that I publish of interesting newsjackings that have happened and people who have been successful with the ideas of newsjacking. So that's newsjacking.com. Twitter, I'm DMScott D-M-S-C-O-T-T. Always willing to connect with people on LinkedIn as well. But I think this whole idea of instant engagement is really where we're at.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. And I guess there's multiple levels of this, of we need marketing, we need companies websites to be able to pass leads across. And it's perhaps not just a sales role, perhaps it's integration between it all. And perhaps that's a conversation for another episode, but with that, David I want to thank you for your time, insights on this and for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

David Meerman Scott:

It's great to be here Will, thanks so much. You're a fantastic interview and I enjoyed myself.

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