Friday Faves – 7.15.16

071516Hot Hot Hot!  It is where I am and I hope you describe your pipeline the same way.  Here are some good ideas to help heat it up at various stages.

The top of the pile – Woody Allen said “Half of success is merely showing up.”  The other half is people noticing you.

Dissonance Creates a Compelling Case for Change – The arts, music in particular, creates drama with tension and release. Ddim6 G7b9 Cmaj7 Tension and release, in which dissonance (notes that clang in your ear) are frequently present.  Dissonance demands resolution, which you provide.

3 Foolproof Ways to Get Past Gatekeepers – The “foolproof”  is a misnomer that almost prevented me from listening.  But, these are 3 Great Ideas, though not foolproof IMHO.

Friday Faves – 7.8.16

070816In the midst of a searing heatwave where I am, but found some cool ideas to heat up your sales.  (Sorry, must be the heat.)

How To Change Your Default Setting – This is hard, but if you realize it’s something you must do, you’re halfway there.

Why Your New Sales Technology Tools Won’t Solve Your Sales Problem – It’s never the tool that makes the job come out perfectly, it’s the skill of the worker using them.

How to Be Increasingly Less Dumb – A provocative title and good thoughts, but it misses the first step – COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG LEARNING.  No growth without that.

A One > Two Combination That Still Delivers Sales – It also works with managers/reps.

8 Sales Books to Read in Summer 2016 – Self=promotion notwithstanding (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I enjoy seeing what others are reading.  (and wish I had more time to read them all).

No One Can Hurt You as Much as You Can Hurt You – Sales – the original equal opportunity employer.  No one is in more control of your results as you are.

 

Friday Faves – 7.1.16

070116Momentum.  It cures lack of confidence, phone fatigue, pipeline deficit, under-prospecting and most any other sales disease.  Yet, so many sellers let up on the gas precisely when they’re on a roll.  That’s JUST the time to throttle up ALL your sales activity.  When you’re 105% to goal, put forth 125% effort.  Increase your personal metrics targets by 25%.  Why?  Momentum creates:

Confidence – Prospects hear it in your voice, see it in your body language and everyone gravitates to confident people.

Energy – Like the quest for the perpetual motion machine, momentum creates energy.  If you allow it to escape like air from a balloon, it takes twice as much energy to restart it.

More momentum.

So, enjoy your Independence Day Weekend, but take care not to lose the momentum you built in closing your Q2.

Here are some good ideas to consider at the beach, lake or on the couch.

Dead Trees, Sales Pipelines & Loss Aversion – Do you love success enough to let failure go?

Stop Swimming in Circles – You can make 10 calls in the time it takes to make one excuse.

The One Budget You Need To Succeed – Time.  The finite, irreplaceable resource.

Why sales reps are always “Just touching-base”! – Ugh, just ugh to touching base.

Better Is Better Than More – But more qualified prospects is best!

 

Friday Faves – 6/24/16

062416Ahh, summer!  Beach, mountains or wherever you like to vacation and relax, summer’s got it all.  It’s important to get away, refresh and recharge.  But it’s also important not to pay for it by coming back to a wilted pipeline.  Touching key opportunities before you leave, and scheduling next steps for after you return is a good way to keep things moving while you chill out.

Are Your Sales Relationships Painful? – There’s been a lot written lately about shifting from probing for pain to goals, objectives.  Here’s one to consider.

Protecting Your Relational Capital – I wince sometimes when a rep tells me they have a “great relationship” with a client.  Just because they may share some personal information with you, doesn’t mean that you’re buds.

What You Control, and What You Do Not – My reps find it frustrating when they have an issue that can only be addressed by others that don’t report to me – IT, Marketing, etc.  While I know “I don’t control that” is not the answer they’re looking for, it reflects an understanding of the points in this blog post.  Tilting at windmills didn’t turn out well for Don Quixote.

The Secret to Getting Calls Returned – Persistence.  What a concept.  Persistence = Frequency * Variety  You can’t sell someone who won’t talk with you.

BTW, the image is my beach, about 4 miles away.  (Although it’s never that vacant.)

Friday Faves – 6.17.16

061716Summer’s coming.  And with it vacations – yours and prospects.  Are you in touch with deciders for your key opportunities to know when they’re off this summer?  If not, your pipeline and forecasts may be off, too.  Sure, things slow down in the summer, but you need to keep these opportunities moving to close.  And, you need to put new prospects in your pipe during the summer, too.  (Sales never takes a vacation.)  Give it some thought now, and you can avoid the Dog Days of August.

Feature/Benefit – Or – Feature/Price – Interesting take on a time-honored belief.

Take One Small Action Now – For years, I’ve taught that closing a deal is the last of a series of smaller closes.  Here is the same principle applied to personal/professional development.

PROBLEM VS NEED – WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SELL TO A CUSTOMER’S NEED – Sorry for the CAPS, but it’s this writer’s style.  If you go this route, and discover problems, you must follow with these questions:  1.  How long has this been a problem (degree of impact on client company)? 2.  What have you done about it (what hasn’t worked)?  3.  How committed is your organization to dealing with the problem (willingness to listen/buy)?  If you start pitching to the problem before you ask these key qualifying questions, they could just be throwing you a bone.

Friday Faves – 6.10.16

061016Time challenges can create the most stress.  Lose a deal?  Well, there’s more in your pipeline and you can always prospect more. But time is a finite asset.  Some deadline pressure is forced on you, but the self-inflicted is what you need to control.  And make sure you save some for yourself – FUN matters!

Why the Hard Close Isn’t Working – Maybe this works for more emotional B2C sales like cars, but your decider is smarter, has more knowledge and is more sophisticated than ever. What will it take for you to buy TODAY simply won’t work.

Do Facts Matter? – Here’s where the tectonic plates collide.  You cannot sell without data, hard data, to support your argument, but people still like to buy from people they like and trust. Keeping the two in balance to satisfy the bean counters and end users is your challenge.

How the Best Sellers Treat Prospects – Expanding on the previous post.   So, what do you need to establish this sales buoyancy?

Lies You Tell Yourself About Writing – A comedian once said, “The most important thing in sales is SINCERITY.  Once you learn to fake that, you’ve got it made.”  Do we fake ourselves out?

Negativity Has No Upside – I spent some time with a senior executive yesterday, who is having a rough quarter.  You’d never know by his relaxed, confident and positive excitement about the opportunities he sees.  Glass half full in action.

Understand These 13 Customer Laws – Solid and logical.   Warren Buffett in a commencement address told graduates, “Don’t please your customers, delight them!”

Try better – Then, try harder.

 

Friday Faves – 6.3.16 (Sunday Edition)

060316NOTE: Work/family travel delayed Friday’s publishing, but the advice is just as good to start your week.

Summer’s coming, and so do the Dog Days of sales – when deciders and influencers vacation and deals slow to a crawl. What can you do NOW to push your pipeline forward and load it up for the Fall? Some good ideas here.

Many Have Forgotten the Most Important Attribute for Success – Character matters – always.

Sales Blind – Periodic honest  self-assessments can uncover deal-killing behaviors.

In the Best Sales Teams, About Half of the People Are in Support Roles – It takes a team and everyone’s contribution matters.

Leading or Following the Client – The fine art of driving the sale.

The Bad Sales Cycle – Just like networking, what you give is in direct proportion to what you get.

Stop Doing Low-Value Work – Time is a finite asset and how you use yours is critical to your success.