Friday Faves – 8.29.14

labor dayRobopost, while enjoying the Labor Day holiday with friends in NC.

Enjoy your holiday!

Listen, Excellent Customer Service is Going to Become THE Differentiator – It already is, if you establish value with your customers.

The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Ask for What They Want – What’s the worst someone can say “NO?”  Then you start a dialog.

Ten Mandatory Sales Disciplines – Think there’s a coincidence it’s the same number of Commandments?

You Get What You Focus On – Zackley!

3 Ways The Beatles Will Make You A Better Cold Caller – And playing their music while cold calling will relax and inspire you.

You Can’t Do Strategy Without Input from Sales – True dat!

Friday Faves – 8.15.14

gitrdoneThis week?  Read my other blog and you’ll know what it was like.  You have one of those?  Killer, huh?

Here’s the Best Time To Prepare for Your Follow-Up Call – This just makes SO much sense!

Never Stop Prospecting. Ever. – The math on this is amazingly consistent.  Gaps in prospecting show up in your next cycle.  Always.

Why implementation matters – Consider this “after the sale” logic.

 Leads Don’t Hatch Themselves – I’m working with lead gen/nurturing software to automate part of this process.  Auto or not, nurturing leads is critical to your success.

Defining Sales Functions And Programs – Why You Need Vision, Mission, Purpose First – Sometimes Vision/Mission statements are as useful as you know whats on a bull.  But, a relevant focused statement that is put into practice can help drive the results you seek.

Doing the best I can – File this with “no problem.”

The Professional’s Guide to a Stress-Free Vacation – Taking a long weekend next week.  Will try some of these ideas.

Friday Faves – 8.8.14

emptyData mining, eblasting this week.  Now my brain is on empty.  Good thing I have a weekend to recharge it.

Schedule a 15-Minute Break Before You Burn Out – I call it a “Think Break” but this works.

Analytics without action – And vice versa, Seth.

 Don’t Try to Be All Things to All Buyers – It’s hard to resist the temptation to say “We can do that,” but it always comes back to bite you if you get too far outside your area of expertise.

 INFOGRAPHIC – Best Email Subject Line for Salespeople-  This is a mind-blower!

Can You See the Forest for the Trees? – A great discussion of learning options and blending them effectively.

The Upside of a Wimpy Handshake – Can you see Judges, Docs or CEOs fist bumping each other?

Should Employers Ban Email After Work Hours? – And the debate rages on.

Cure for the Summertime Blues

summertime bluesThe Summertime Blues phenomenon was first discovered by Eddie Cochran in 1958.  Although Eddie was more concerned with making money so he could borrow Dad’s car to go out and have some fun, every summer sellers get the blues, too.  Deals stall as deciders are either preparing for, on or just returning from vacation.  But monthly or quarterly, you have numbers to hit this summer.  And hitting them can be more challenging in Q3, which stretches from the 4th of July all the way past Labor Day.

Unless you’re taking the summer off, you need to adapt your tactics for the summer,  just as you dress for  it. Here are 10 tactical recommendations for avoiding disappointment.

  1. MORE TOUCHES – If 5% of your prospects are on vacation in a given week, then you need 105% of your normal activity to reach the same number of prospects.  (Go to 110% and you’ll also seed Q4 with longer-term deals.)
  2. WORK THE GATEKEEPER – If leaving a message with your prospect’s assistant, ask if/when your prospect it taking vacation, so that you don’t bother him/her while the prospect is away.  Now, you’ll know when this prospect won’t be reachable.
  3. SHORTEN THE LEASH – Set your callback /email dates closer than you usually do.  If you don’t, and schedule the callback during the prospect’s vacation, “out of sight, out of mind” could lengthen your time to close.  Or at least for the next step.
  4. RE2PECT (Homage to Derek Jeter) THEIR TIME – Don’t schedule your callback for the prospect’s first day back.  What’s your first day back from vacation like?  See what I mean?  Set it at least 3 days later.
  5. READ AUTOMATIC REPLIES – You know, those “Thanks for your email…” responses you get.  You will see when the prospect is returning and then apply #4 above to schedule your next touch to increase your chance to connect.
  6. LISTEN TO VOICEMAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS – Just like #5 above, some prospects will change the outgoing messages to indicate they are on vacation and when they will return.  This just saves you time.
  7. NEW CONTACTS – Everyone has gaps in their database.  This is a great time to find new contacts where they are missing and begin to contact them.  It is YOUR responsibility to grow your territory database.
  8. WAKE THE DEAD – Use lost deals, prospects you’ve not touched for 6 months or more to add to your touches.  Not only will this add to your activity (with meaningful touches), but things change and you could discover that change has worked in your favor.
  9. RE-THINK – As you are exploring new contacts, accounts and regions of your territory, this is a good time to re-think some of your processes.  Don’t blow it all up, just start trying new things.  We should be doing this anyway, but when running and gunning, most of us don’t take time to re-think things.  Now that it’s a little slower, take advantage of the opportunity.
  10. RELAX – It’s summertime and the livin is easy.  People who are going on or have been on vacation like to talk about it.  This can be a great opportunity to learn more about your prospects, what you may have in common (vacation spots) to grow new and expand on existing relationships.

The summertime blues is NOT a given.  But you have to adjust to the season to make summer sizzle with revenue.  Yes, Eddie, there IS a cure for the Summertime Blues.

 

Friday Faves – 8.1.14

tough thumbs upHalfway through summer, 1/3 through for what most of us is the toughest quarter.

Be tougher! (Like this guy.)

The Invaluable Nature of Mistakes – Sometimes we learn more from our failures than our successes.

The Subtle Art of the Follow Up – Subtle is important.  Relentless even more.

If you can’t sell it, you can’t build it – What you finish is much more important than what you start.

On Seemingly Adversarial Questions – There is no such thing.  Read my take: Prospect Engagement:  I HEART objections!

Pregnant Pipelines Do NOT Win Prizes! – Accuracy wins over size, but it’s still ok to kill more than you can eat.

Trading favors – True dat!

 

Friday Faves – 7.25.14

keep-calm-and-catch-up-37When you travel on business, is it difficult getting caught up quickly when you return?  Please comment with some effective ways you deal with it.

I got caught up on my blog reading and here are some I particularly enjoyed.

You Have One Set of Values – Honesty is easier than remembering your lies.

Have It Your Way – Are you as flexible and responsive handling client requests?

Same as it Ever Was – You don’t have to be unique, just different.

4 Things You Thought Were True About Time Management – Some interesting ideas on an issue we deal with daily.

What Are You Known For? – What would your clients say?

WHEN WE STOP CALLING IT “SOCIAL SELLING”, WE’RE FINALLY DOING IT RIGHT – YUP!  And the same goes for Consultative Selling.

Friday Faves – 7-18-14

trade-showBooth duty this week at a conference cramped my reading time, but here are some posts I hope you enjoy!

Back from Vacation? Time to Get Your Prospecting Mojo Back. – Some good ideas to help you get back up to full strength more quickly.

When in doubt, re-read rule one – I have my own version of Rule #1 as well.

The ROI of Softer Stuff – Important, but make sure these activities do not overshadow prospecting and follow up.