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.

 

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Friday Faves – 5.13.16

051316Baseball players are notoriously superstitious.  Wade Boggs, Hall of Famer with the Yankees and Red Sox reportedly ate chicken 90 minutes before each game.  Hitters on a hitting streak have been known to wear the same socks and underwear until the streak ends for fear of cursing it.

If you’re on a closing streak, why change things?  But, where hitters face the same pitchers over a season, sellers sell on a constantly shifting tectonic plate – market conditions.  Consistency is what we all seek – closing new business regularly, like an assembly line.  So, it’s almost an oxymoron to suggest that you regularly reassess, refine and adapt your tactics to changes in the market.  But, not to do so condemns you to the fate of the dinosaurs.  Harsh?

Certainly, there are best practices in discovery, prospecting, relationships development and perhaps time management that are foundation sales practices.  But two and two will never equal five, but everything except a few immutable laws (gravity, supply and demand, resistance and effort) are subject to external influence.

On this Friday the 13th, question your norms – hell, question everything.  The buyer’s world is in constant change.  It you don’t stay ahead of that change, you’ll be that log in the river the water flows over and around.

Who took Jobu’s rum?

Friday Faves – 2.5.16

020516As we hurtle through “resolution season,” the 90 days after New Years Day, are you still on track?  Maybe some of your initial plans were faulty, but changing course and bagging it to go back to yesterday’s methods will get you yesterday’s results.  Here are some good ideas to help you stick with it.

Why Will They Say No? – Objections are a daily fact of life.  Dealing with them makes the difference.

How Will You Use Your Extra Day? – Some great ideas to make this Leap Year extra day productive.

If You Are Not Asking, You Are Not Selling – The Xs and Os of selling so many sellers take for granted.

There’s no need for alarm – Your emergency isn’t mine.

 

Friday Faves – 1.22.16

012216If you’re on the East Coast in the path of this massive winter storm, I hope you’re working from home today or have the day off.  What could be better than hunkering down with some great posts?  Here’s a few to give you food for thought whether you’re shoveling snow, or walking on the beach.

The Surprising Way to Speed Up Sales | Sales Tips – “Stuck in the Middle With You”  Great song, but not where you wanna be in process.

How I Determined My Three Words for 2016 – 3 is a great number you can wrap your head around and these are 3 great words.

Use Seinfeld Techniques to Sell More – These open-ended question ideas are solid.

Instant Results – A habit is behavior repeated over time.  You gots to pay your dues.

What’s In Your Bucket – Pipeline management is art and science.  Think it’s too much effort? Read this and think again.

Close More Deals By Doing This – I’ve always maintained that sometimes we learn more from our failures than from our successes.  This is an important first step in that process.

It Matters How You Sell – It does now, more than ever because buyers are more empowered than ever.

Friday Faves – 12.4.15

120415Holy smokes, where did the quarter go?  Not something you want to be saying too often, unless you’ve been overloaded with closing deals.

PPPPP

Counting What Is Easily Counted – Focus on what matters can move the needle.

About to be – “Do or not, there is no try.”  Yoda

Is productive the same as busy? – Can you give yourself an honest answer to this question?

The Difference Between Sales Pros and Amateurs – Is The Silence – For many, the hardest skill to perfect.

Setting Goals to Create Sales Success  – Most of us have goals set for us.  The best set their own, usually higher.

Friday Faves – 11.20.15

112015Here are some posts I read this week.  I learned from some of them, agreed and disagreed with others.

They all made me think.

Your big break – You don’t want to be waiting at the airport when your ship comes in.

Being Present with Clients | Sales Tips – Some good tips in this vlog.

Recognize Any of These Annoying Communication Habits? – Ever role play with a colleague?  Ever record your call or meeting?  Amazing what creeps into your pitch when you’re not paying attention.

3 Must Have Attributes of a Real “NEXT STEP” – I call this the 3-legged stool.  Closing a deal is the last of several closes that let up to it.  Each close has:

  1. An agreement on a NEXT STEP.
  2. A TIMELINE for that next step.
  3. DELIVERABLE(S).  Preferably, mutual deliverables between you and the prospect.  That way, they are more involved.

Why You Need Targets – Without a goal, we wander aimlessly.

No post next Friday.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

Service is YOUR Responsibility

092815cLike most road warriors, I have a barful of road stories to tell.  Many of these, though, are great learning opportunities.  Take this one from last week, for example.

I try to keep my hotel points at one of two superchains, so I have status in both their loyalty programs.  I stayed in one of Brand H’s airport properties, where I had a miserable experience from beginning to end. The desk clerk insisted I had no reservation, despite my showing it to them on their phone app.  (Fortunately, there was a room available.)  Rather than find a way, he made me prove I had a reservation before he found a room was available. If I had just shown up for my first stay ever at Brand H and asked for a room, I would have been given one.  My responsibility to prove I had a reservation?

An associate was driving from home and we were to meet around 630 and head out to the North End for dinner. But, both our trips were longer than expected, so we decided to just have some drinks and apps at the hotel bar and crash.  Walking through the restaurant, I noticed the carpet was in serious need of vacuuming and tables were not bussed.  I had a bad feeling about this, but we were too tired to fight. No deuces at the bar, so we went to a hi-top.  The top of the table was sticky, like from spilled drinks not being cleaned up properly.  The second hi-top was somewhat better, though I didn’t eat the tortilla chip I dropped on it.  After a decidedly average snack, we called it a night.

When I returned home, I visited Brand H’s loyalty site and found a form to fill out (Completely Dissatisfied to Completely Satisfied) along with text boxes to tell them why. I took some time to give what I thought was sufficient detail of my experience.

Shortly thereafter, I received 2 or 3 “Sorry about your experience” emails.  Then, I got a second round of emails asking for me to provide more detail about my experience.  They don’t get it. They wanted me to spend more time helping them figure out their problem.

If I had received a phone call, or an email requesting a good time for one, I would have written an entirely different post here.  Brand H, wanted me to spend even more time (with nothing in return) providing additional detail at the cost of my time.  The customer fulfilled their responsibility by reporting poor service.  It is YOUR responsibility to make it right.

Examine your process for handing customer complaints:

  • Do you acknowledge the complaint quickly?
  • Do you accept the responsibility for investigating it?
  • Is your staff empathetic and are they good listeners?
  • Are they empowered to offer a suitable “makegood” on the spot, or do they have to go through layers to make it right?  (Is it easier for them to ask for forgiveness than permission to create a solution?)

Every organization will have customer service issues, so how you handle them when they happen makes the difference between someone leaving you for a competitor, or giving you referral business.  Regardless of the outcome, you’ll learn a lot about your business from the most important point of view – your customer’s.