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October 15, 2012   Posted by: Britty Wagner

Interview with Jill Konrath – B2B Sales Expert and Thought Leader

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Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She’s the author of two bestselling sales books and is a popular speaker who helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business.

Jill Konrath

 

 

Britty:   In 10 words or less how would you describe Jill Konrath?

Jill: A change agent focused on helping sellers create more opportunities.

 

Britty:  Who do you help and how has it changed over the years?

Jill: Today my focus is on helping small and medium-sized businesses increase their sales. Companies bring me in to help their salespeople understand what it takes to be successful in today’s crazy-busy business environment. In the past, I worked with big companies helping their salespeople jumpstart their new products/services in the marketplace.

 

Britty:  You have been awarded numerous awards and acknowledgments. What are the main factors that have led to your growth and success?

Jill: Three things:

  1. I keep challenging myself to learn and grow – which keeps me at the forefront of my profession;
  2. I’m good at communicating ideas – which is a skill I’ve worked hard at perfecting; and
  3. I’m committed to making a big difference — and in order to do that, I’ve had to be visible.

 

Britty:  You have been extremely successful in attracting many prestigious clients such as Microsoft, IBM, Citrix, Staples, Oracle, Hilton and Medtronic. What did it take to get these clients?

Jill: Writing a couple of bestselling sales books and being highly visible online makes things a lot easier. But before that, I very selectively targeted the companies I wanted as clients, did lots of research to learn as much as I could and  then initiated a campaign to get my foot in the door.

 

Britty:  You’ve given countless training sessions on: the new rules of selling, speaking the buyer’s language, speeding up the sales process – just to name a few. What’s most in demand? Why?

Jill: Most of my clients are struggling at the front end of the sales process. They’re finding it extremely difficult to set up meetings with corporate decision makers. And, the reality is, they’re doing it all wrong. So just about everything I do is in this area today.

 

Britty:  What are the biggest challenges you face with B2B sales and marketing currently?

Jill: Personally, I have more ideas than I have the bandwidth to execute them!  My goal is to be impacting millions of sellers globally, but to do it without building a big training organization. And, I’m working on strategies that enable me to give away my expertise for free – but also make good money doing it. It’s a fun challenge to be working on.

 

Britty:  You have published two bestselling sales books: Selling to Big Companies and SNAP Selling. Do you have any other books in the works?

Jill: Yes, I’m starting on one right now that’s related to the mindset and metaskills needed for sales success. I’m really looking forward to writing about the mental game of selling.

 

Britty:  What would you say is your biggest achievement?

Jill: Impacting thousands of people. I get letters and emails daily from salespeople, entrepreneurs and consultants around the world who thank me for the impact I’ve had on their careers.

 

Britty:  Which B2B lead generation strategies have you found most effective for you and your clients?

Jill: My website, www.JillKonrath.com, is filled with tons of high quality content. I have ebooks, audios, videos, webinars, cheat sheets and more. It’s all free, but to get some you need to give me your email address. This enables me to keep in touch with people on a regular basis – and ultimately leads to business. I strongly recommend that all my clients leverage a similar content-based marketing approach.

 

Britty:  Which online tools do you recommend for businesses just getting started?

Jill: Start by creating a resource-rich website that showcases your knowledge and expertise. And, make sure you have a system in place to capture leads and automate follow-up.  That’s the foundation.

LinkedIn is also crucial. Everyone needs a well-written profile. And, you need to use it to research companies, connect with others and share expertise.

 

Britty:  What was the last book you read? What online resources do you subscribe to?

Jill: I have about six sales books going right now. I just finished Unbroken. And, I’m just starting Daring Greatly and The Fear of Insignificance. Online, I subscribe to HBR, Fast Company, LinkedIn Today and many more.

 

Britty:  Thanks again for providing LeadLifter with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Jill: Keep learning and growing!  It’s good for work. And, it’s great for the spirit.

 

As a B2B sales expert, Jill’s ideas and insights are ubiquitous in multiple forums, both on and offline.

Jill expertise is frequently published in top business media such as ABC News, Success, Inc., WSJ Start-Up Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Journal, Selling Power, Sales & Marketing Management as well as countless online publications and radio shows. www.JillKonrath.com

 

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