129: We are in a world of sameness - with Amy Franko

About Amy Franko

As a sales leader, Amy Franko built a successful B2B sales career with global technology companies IBM and Lenovo. She pivoted into entrepreneurship in 2007, launching a training firm, Impact Instruction Group. 
Known for her energetic style and practical experience, Amy is a keynote speaker and author specializing in B2B sales and leadership. Her firm’s sales training and leadership programs blend current research and real-world application.
Her book, The Modern Seller, is an Amazon bestseller.

 

What are some of the big trends influencing prospects and clients?

“One is, what I call the world of sameness. We have so many decisions that we are making on any given day and we have so much choice now that we really didn’t have even, let's call it five years ago…”

 

Your book lays out 5 dimensions that modern sellers need to cultivate. The first is agile. How does that come into play in modern selling?

“what I see are some changes or an evolution if you will, in what some of those big-picture skills are that sales organizations need to build. And that’s kind of the foundation behind the book. Skills behind the skills that can help us be better…”

 

How can modern sellers cultivate mutually valuable and strategic relationships?

“one of the dimensions of modern selling is what I call social. And not social in the sense of social selling, while that is important, and I believe it is a skill to cultivate. I think about social in the realm of social capital. Social capital, from my view, being the mutual value we create with our networks…”

 

Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“one of the biggest deals that I have ever closed in my company’s history, it was well over a half million dollars. And that opportunity came from a relationship that started on LinkedIn. I had been doing some research on decision makers in my niche, which is learning and development leaders…”

 

How do you stay in front of/or best nurture your network community?

“So, the ways that have really helped me to stay in front of or nurture my network, is I had to get better at defining who my network and who my community is. And if anyone out there kind of feels like they are boiling the ocean determining who your community is or who your networks are…”

 

What advice would you offer to the business professional who is looking to grow their network?

“If you are a seller, I would start with your sales goals. Because your sales goals will help you determine where you might start to build relationships. But more generally speaking, for the general business professional, I would start in your backyard. Start in your community…”

 

Digital networking or traditional networking?

“so, I really prefer traditional, in person, or face to face type of networking relationship building. I always look for a way to take a digital connection that I want to continue, and I look for a way to bring it offline.”

 

If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“take in as many leadership experiences as you can. And be willing to say yes to opportunities that just feel like they are uncomfortable. That they’re not the sure bets… and also that everything is going to work out. You will meet the right people, you will create the right opportunities…”

 

We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“I love Oprah Winfrey and I love what she has created, and I love that she is a relationship person. If there is someone who embodies social capital its probably her. And people that really trust and follow and her desire to be impactful in the world…”

 

Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“If building your network feels like something that is really difficult to do or you feel like a lot of apprehension about it. Where I have always felt where that apprehension is where I feel like I am asking for something but not providing any value in return. So the lesson that I learned was always to be as generous as I can… and secondly, I don’t think it matters where you are in your career. Your young in your career or your more experienced in your career, we all have something of value to add to the people around us…”

 

You can get in contact with Amy at:

Website: amyfranko.com

Or

Twitter: @AmyFranko