Category Archives: Sales

Be a Salesperson – Not a Politician (Perry Mason, Politics and Paychecks)

My latest cinematic masterpiece tries to explain the importance of answering questions that you are asked with actual answer as opposed to pivoting to something you think will make the questioner forget what he asked in the first place.

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The Three Word Job Description

The following is from an actual job ad.

As the Account Executive, primary responsibilities will include outbound calling and selling, structuring, negotiating, and implementing contracts with eCommerce companies, Internet companies, and other relationships by performing the following duties:

  • Generate new leads and sources for leads to expand and grow specific partner programs
  • Seek out, research and qualify prospects
  • Close sales to attain and exceed quota goals
  • Collaborate with marketing department to develop strategies for establishing partnerships and business relationships
  • Customize solutions to fit client needs
  • Manage relationships and contracts with various prospects, clients, and partners in the eCommerce environment
  • Provide input to the management team on new product or service features, quality issues, and customer needs and demandsSales Activities

There’s nothing wrong with that description. It details some specific activities that the salesperson will perform
but does this job description really get to the essence of what the job is all about?
Here is an exercise I learned many years ago. The idea is to take any occupation and describe the primary objective Read the rest of this entry

Never Fear Losing a Sale

Hi. My name is Rick and I am a political junkie. [chorus of “Hi Rick”]

While I certainly have my own views on most issues, my addiction is primarily based on the fact that I find politics more entertaining than The Avengers.  I know this is sad.

Putting aside my personal demons, I heard something about 10 minutes ago on Morning Joe that really struck me.  Not so much from a political point of view but how it relates to sales. Read the rest of this entry

Outside the Box and Ahead of the Curve

One of my favorite sketches from SNL’s  Wayne’s World  was when the guest star (memory eludes me) was a cool kid who was on Wayne’s show to announce what the new, cool word would be for the upcoming school year. That not only struck me as funny, it brought back memories of my own school days when it was very important to use the latest phrase.

The words seemed to evolve out of nowhere.   One day,we were showing approval to something or someone by saying it was “Neat.”  Then without warning we switched to “Groovy,” and then to “Boss,”  “Tough,” “Far-out” and on and on. Nobody really thought about who started it or why we all followed.

Think about it – do you have any idea who was the first person to wear a backwards baseball cap (other than actual baseball catchers – who have a legitimate reason.)  Read the rest of this entry

Sales Pro Central Launch Today: Articles From The Best Sales Blogs

Sales Pro Central, a new site aggregating articles from some of the most read sales blogs launched earlier today. I was excited that Sales Addiction has been included in the charter list of  featured blogs.   Check it out at the link below and subscribe to keep updated on all the latest messaging from around the sales universe.

SALES PRO CENTRAL LAUNCH

Sell the Gristle Not the Steak

Stay Right Here because These are The Good Old Days
When I turned 16 and got my driver’s license (yes – there were cars back then), the torch was passed to me  to become the official Grandma driver.  As my sister and brother before me, I now had the job of taking Grandma to the grocery store, where she educated me on how to select the best groceries.

Take frozen items from the back of the case; open the egg carton and make sure there are no cracks; pay close attention to the produce guy as he weighed your tomatoes or green beans.   These were some of the practical things that she taught me.   Other than the now extinct produce guy, I continue to follow Grandma’s rules especially as they relate to business.

Most of them made perfect sense to me — until one fateful day! Read the rest of this entry

If Client Trust Isn’t Your #1 Priority, You May Want to Turn in Your Salesman’s Badge

Part One of A Two-Part Rant On Integrity

If you think that your well rehearsed sales techniques, good looks, charm, firm handshake, thousands of Twitter followers,  a flash intro on your website, a full color ad, or the magnetic sign on the side of your vehicle will close a sale for you – think again.

It’s all about building relationships with clients.  Whether it’s a personal relationship or a business relationship, there are three elements to building and maintaining something strong and enduring.

  • Trust
  • Trust
  • Trust

Earning trust starts from day one. It can be as simple as actually thinking about what you say – which is all too rare these days. When  someone first asks if your product or service can help them, the most common answer is something like,  “Absolutely.  You’ve already missed the mark.

The answer, of course, should be in your own words but the message absolutely must be   Read the rest of this entry

The Networker’s Lament – A Doggerel on Mishandling Leads

I met her at a network group.
We chatted over onion soup.
Her business seemed to need my stuff.
Her current stuff? Not good enough.

We said we’d chat in a couple of days,
Exchanged our cards, then parted ways
I stacked her card with all the rest.
Gave it a star, ‘cause it was best.

I really planned on tweeting tweets
And setting up some real life meets.
I’d like her page and she’d like mine.
Our businesses would soon align.

When morning came, I had some tea.
I knew the task awaiting me.
My laptop squarely in my lap,
I’d enter names in my contact app.

First, I’d make a call or two,
Then out the door, with things to do.
The stack of cards just shrank away
To the far, far back of my action tray

Strong leads they were. I know I missed ‘em.
I never put them in the system.
“It’s okay” I sighed, with a droop.
“There’s always another network group.”

If you’d like to discuss setting up a process so this doesn’t keep happening to you, please reach out to me.

How Vilfredo Pareto Might Be Limiting Your Sales Team

Vilfredo Pareto

Somewhere around 1906, economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of its citizens.  Sometime later he noted that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the pods.   Thus, the well-known 80/20 rule was born.  During his career he studied this as it relates to distribution of wealth and income. As a side note, his work was very controversial during the rise of Fascism

In the 1940s, Management Consultant Joseph Juran applied this principle to business. “80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers” and so on.

Today it is primarily a “given” that 80% of the sales come from 20% of the salespeople. A debate crops up from time to time regarding the best use of a sales manager’s efforts.  Should he nurture the top 20%, the middle 60% or the bottom 20%.  Several schools of thought exist as to the best answer.

Here’s the rub.  Many people consider the 80/20 rule as a truth.  It may be a truth but it most assuredly is not an absolute truth.

The best example of truth Vs. absolute truth I have heard is this:  Read the rest of this entry

The Secret Place Where Marketing Ends and Sales Begins

The larger the company, the more of a bright line exists between sales and marketing. In fact, in most large companies there is a probability that your sales and marketing folks enjoy membership in a mutual dis-admiration society. This dysfunctional relationship costs the company money.

This is in area where large businesses should take a page from the smallest of small businesses. They know the secret: If marketing and sales functions are executed properly, no one should be aware where one ends and the other begins. Read the rest of this entry

10 Productivity Tips For Solopreneurs Who Work At Home

One of the reasons that many of us started our own businesses because we believe that our creativity and our potential are often restrained by the structure of the corporation. The challenge is that while we may be increasing our capacity to be creative, it’s very easy to decrease our capacity to be productive.

Here are some things you can do maintain your productivity.

#1. Pick a time/activity management system and stick to it. Everyone has their own opinions on the best system. If you work alone, you can use anything you want – but you have to have some method of scheduling tasks and appointments. Then you have to use it.

#2. Make a work schedule. Decide what hours you want to work over the course of a typical week. Write them down. “Work when you want” does not mean “Do everything else you must and want to do and work with whatever time you have leftover” Read the rest of this entry

Direct Your QR Traffic With A Gateway Page

When small businesses board the QR train the first stop is typically a link to their homepage or a vCard. Once they realize that it can go further, the challenge becomes deciding which URL to send their Q-Audience to.

There are so many choices of how best to use QR for your business. Where you want to send people may change from time to time – in fact it is very likely that it will change as you business grows.

I have some tightly targeted QR codes but I also have one that I call my QR Gateway. I actually have this code on a car magnet. Read the rest of this entry