Whenever I write something – a blog post, a video script – I usually come up with the title last. I begin with the kernel of an idea, get my initial thoughts out, organize them into a flow, and then add more content. At some point during that process a few titles start to bubble up, and then I’ll work on those until I come up with something that will hopefully capture attention.

I thought I’d follow the same path with titling my upcoming book, which will be available on Amazon on Oct. 30. But for some reason I was inspired to reverse engineer it. I had this list of titles I was keeping track of, and then one day I just typed out The Modern Seller.

Boom.

It clicked. It felt like the right title, before I ever created an outline or typed a word on the page. It was like having an anchor or a home base to work from for the rest of the process. (The subtitle was another story. That took about 15 iterations before I landed on something that worked.)

So…why that title? It seems to be a little bit buzz-wordy these days. I was even thinking that someone had to have this as a book title somewhere. While I didn’t see any book titles out there in my searches, I was seeing the idea hash tagged everywhere. I had a few moments where I was questioning myself — the little voice sitting on my shoulder telling me I was heading down the wrong path. That this wasn’t something fresh or different. A couple of well-meaning naysayers challenged me on my title choice too. And in a few moments of big self-doubt, I thought about scrapping the title and starting over.

But I decided to set that little voice and the naysayers aside. There was a reason that title clicked for me. And as I was writing the book, it all came together. Here’s how I realized it was the exact right title at the exact right time.

  1. My point of view on modern selling isn’t about the latest tools. It’s about building new mental models to succeed today and into the future. Much of the focus on “modernizing” selling covers the latest sales technologies or social platforms. Both important, but not my focus on what it means to modernize. To help our prospects and clients succeed, and in turn to be successful ourselves, it’s time to upgrade our internal operating systems. It’s why I dig into 5 key dimensions that sellers need to modernize. Modern sellers are agile, entrepreneurial, holistic, social, and ambassadors. I call them “dimensions,” because to call them simply skillsets just isn’t enough. They’re new mental models; cultivating them will make you more effective and more efficient at everything else you do in sales.
  2. Too many people talk about modern selling, but not enough do it. I still experience too many examples of selling that are completely transactional, inward-focused, and only about table stakes. I received at least three messages this week on LinkedIn from new contacts that aren’t really connections yet. All asking for one of my most precious assets, my time. Time for a demo, time to watch a video series, time to schedule an initial conversation. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the latest video tool, artificial intelligence, CRM, or social platform if you’re focused on the wrong stuff.
  3.  This is the leap I had to personally make. I tell my own story in the book, and this was the evolution – the leap – that I made myself. Also, the leap that so many of the sellers and leaders I interviewed had to make. Because one of the hallmarks of modern selling is agility, I’m fascinated by learning new ways to keep these mental models sharp.
  4. The modern seller is a leader. This book is as much about leadership as it is about selling. One of my core values around leadership is that we get to choose every day, and sometimes in every moment, how we show up. To build the dimensions of modern selling means to choose leadership. If you aspire to a leadership role of any kind – organizational, self-leadership, or community – the dimensions of the modern seller will help you get there.

Amy Franko is a sales leader turned entrepreneur, sales keynote speaker, and author. She’s passionate about two things professionally: sales and leadership. She works with insurance organizations and professional services firms to improve sales results and build future sales leaders. Learn more about Amy’s upcoming book, The Modern Seller, and download a free chapter.

 


Also published on Medium.

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