Friday Faves – 8.12.16

081216Summertime is like when the treadmill program increases the incline.  What do you do?  Press on, with MORE effort, or just try to get through it till you hit level ground again?

Keeping Customers Continuously Infatuated – Consider how there is a rise in satisfaction, engagement and follow through after you meet with a client.  Then, consider how that energy fades, requiring another engagement to re-ignite the interest.

How to Stay Motivated When Everyone Else Is on Vacation – As I have always maintained, there is progress to be made, just in different ways.  Consider this if you work the “Tweener” week, between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

It happens around the edges – A good reminder to step outside your comfort zone – randomly, not regularly.

Answering “I’m happy with who I’m buying from” – Some good ideas for dealing with an upfront/gatekeeper objection.

Making Space for What Is Most Important – Though not a fan of elephant hunting, spending your time where you get the best return is a cornerstone of effective resource management.

A COLD Call Voice Mail; Your Thoughts? – My thoughts?  In one word – OY!

Think Sales Reps Will Become Obsolete? Think Again – Only sales reps who ALLOW themselves to become obsolete will.  Failure to learn, adapt, be aware of industry changes will do so.

Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople – This (#4 in particular) relates to the previous post.  #5 surprised me, though.  Any surprises for you?  If you are a top performer, do you feel you exhibit these traits?

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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 – 6.10.16

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.

 

Friday Faves – 5.6.16

050616Now that we’re in the 2nd month of Q2, have you revisited your territory plan for the quarter?  If not, you should.  When you do, check to see that you started everything in your plan you were supposed to.  If not, discuss it with your manager to see if the plan was too aggressive, you took your eye off it, or need some coaching on managing your time.  Also, check your progress on deals in process.  Have you touched them in an appropriate timeframe to keep them moving forward?  A territory plan that gets filed the first week of the quarter and not revisited until after the quarter ends is as helpful as sending your Mom flowers the week after Mother’s Day.  (This Sunday, BTW.)

The Power In Silence – The best ever close was a $300K deal where, after going through layers, on a transcontinental concall with the Managing Partner, I was asked what results I could deliver when.  I answered the question and SHUT UP.  There was silence, it was a bit uncomfortable, but I resisted the temptation and the MP said, “What do you need from me to make this happen?”  Closed deal – BOOM!

A Rich Source of Overlooked Leads – Years ago, a boss had a poster of a silverback gorilla glaring at you.  The caption read “Salesmanship starts when the customer says no.”  This post updates tha thought with solid strategy.

High, Wide and Deep: Better Buyer Relationships – I call this touchpoints.  Imagine a rock climber.  They want as many touchpoints on the rock as possible, for safety.  With clients, the more touchpoints you have (on both sides) the more secure the relationship.

Things That Won’t Serve You – In lieu of a spine, these will serve you well.

 

Friday Faves – 2.26.16

022616Travel forced me to skip last week’s post, but this week I’ve read some great posts. As we head to the last month of the quarter, these ideas can help you finish strong.

Sales Productivity: Stop Wasting Your Time on This – I can never read enough about improving productivity.  Time is an irreplaceable asset.

The Magic of 30-Minute Meetings – Blessed are those who run brief meetings, stick to the agenda and keep to the time allotted.

17 Costly Sales Mistakes – Do you regularly do a postmortem on lost business?  Is it done with your manager or a teammate?  You need an honest assessment to avoid repeating deal-killing behaviors.

When creativity becomes a profession… – Seth Godin’s usual pithy and insightful thoughts, this time on creativity.

Violating My Own Beliefs About Price – A real-life lesson why we should sell VALUE and not PRICE.