Recently I wrote about how being more creative in sales opens up bigger opportunities for you and your company. It has caused me to think about creativity and concrete examples.
My friend and a very successful best-selling author, Michael Port, has written a series of books to help small businesses grow. He could have been extremely happy with that. In fact, he could have gloated for years about all the successes created from the tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands?) who have read one of his books and taken action. Thousands of others have gone through his online and live programs.
The thing is, lots of people buy a book like the ones Michael has written with the best of intentions, but then don't read it or they just don't take any new action. It's like the people who come to your company website or your conference and don't take action. We typically write people like that off, don't we?
Rather than saying, "That's their problem.....," Michael just launched a NEW version of his first book, Book Yourself Solid called, Book Yourself Solid Illustrated. Take a quick look at his landing page - it is fantastic.
Michael says that the new book is 453 pages of "pure awesomeness." As a visual learner, I wholeheartedly agree. I know he felt that way about his work before, but he REALLY is excited because he found a new way to help MORE people, and that's exactly what I'm talking about when I say that creativity plays such a huge part in how you think bigger to new opportunities.
By the way, Michael's new book is launching TODAY. He has some great offers, and I am not an affiliate of his, just a friend - and someone who knows his work. It's a great primer on selling, no matter if you work for a corporation or yourself. Buy his book.
Michael admits he can't really illustrate - so this idea would not have come to him on his own - it happened through him meeting an exceptional artist / illustrator named Jocelyn Wallace. He was able to imagine the collaboration and the result is an elegant read which will help a whole new crowd - possibly millions - to build business.
Translate that to your sales career. I noticed three things about this renewed product offering for Michael Port:
1. Michael looked at his offerings differently and he is solving an issue that some would not even think about. Instead of focusing on what IS working, he focused on all the people who didn't make it work, and now they have a better opportunity for success.
2. He also was receptive to a collaboration outside of the normal business environment. Business books aren't visual, right? Why did Michael think this would work?
3. Michael found a way to invigorate his brand - not that it needed it, but instead, to expand on it.
If you just don't feel creative, take a look at three of my favorite books on creativity:
Learn about the Parallel Thinking Process created by Edward deBono and his book The Six Thinking Hats. (link to author website)
Learn How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci by Michael Gelb. (link to author website)
A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech. (link to author website)
How can you apply what Michael Port did to your own method, process, or offerings?
Is it time to brainstorm with marketing on a new twist or angle?
Who is your unlikely collaborator to help you gain visibility?
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I'd love to see this conversation continue via comments since it is such a rich topic. What are your thoughts?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.