Blog Archives

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.

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STEEEEERRIKE! Is a Blinding Fastball Enough?

NOTE:   Here in the thick of World Series season, it reminded me of this post from last spring.


So I was listening to a Grapefruit League game on the radio yesterday and I feel the first stages of  full blown BaseballFever.  I guess it’s time for a baseball/business analogy.

Two pitchers: One consistently throws 97-98 MPH 4-seamers. He has other pitches but nothing spectacular.  The other has a fast ball that doesn’t go much above 86-87. His specialty is alternating the fast ball with a 65MPH change-up.  He also throws a great curve that drops straight down at just the right moment.

They are both about the same age and their ERAs are similar.  Which one is the more valuable pitcher.  The answer according to Schwartz’ Guide To Baseball is the second pitcher.   His variety and control can make him unbeatable.

He has BALANCE

Balance is important in your sales an marketing efforts as well.  You may be bringing in 5 new accounts per month.  That’s all fine and good, but what are you doing to retain and grow your existing clients?

Keep a close eye, not only on revenue but also on how long clients actually stay with you.  A successful business will do it all.

OK – enough of this,  back to the game!  Here’s one of my favorite Yankees combining two of his talents – baseball and music.

My Ship Came In While I Was At The Airport

This is a subject that I talk and write about a lot, because it’s one of the most important ways to maintain and grow your sales revenue.

I was recently cleaning out some old clothes (at the behest of my lovely wife) and a came across a T-Shirt that I bought about 20 years ago. I got it in a gift shop at LAX. The phrase was “My ship finally came in but unfortunately I was at the airport.” (I shortened it a little for the title of this article.)

I was on my way to speak at a convention of Photo Retailers.  My topic was how small retail Read the rest of this entry

Why B2B Sales People Should Be Working on Days Surrounding Holidays

If you’re a B2B sales person with even a modicum of experience you’ve learned that if you have a prospect or client that is tough to reach, a proven technique is to give them a call during off-hours.  Calling them early before their day hits full throttle or calling them after the end of the work day when they are less likely to be embroiled in the middle of a meeting or project give you greater odds of having a meaningful conversation.

If you do reach your contact, he will likely be impressed with your diligent follow up, which raises your credibility in the universe of sales people who are after him. If you don’t reach him – leave a voice mail.  He will still be impressed with your diligence.  You can’t really lose.

Same rule applies to the days just before and just after a holiday.This is one of the most successful sales techniques, in my experience.

While you may not reach your contact when you do this, you certainly won’t reach him if don’t.  As above, the odds are that he will make note of the fact that you are working when most people are not.

If you want to take it to the next level, just make a round of calls to your existing clients – just to wish them a happy holiday.

Some great times to reach out:

  • Mid-afternoon on the day before Thanksgiving
  • Late morning on the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • December 26
  • New Year’s Eve
  • January 2

I’m not advocating that you give up all your personal time and work 24/7.  I am far from being a workaholic.  I think it is counterproductive. Having a balanced life makes you much more successful at your job.  What I’m suggesting actually takes very little time.  The fact is that you won’t reach most of the people you call – but if you do, the contact may actually have the time to talk with you with fewer distractions.

So if you spend an hour on Black Friday making a few calls – go in an hour late on Monday.

This is about differentiation.  I doubt that your competitors are doing this.

Sorry! I’m Really Swamped!

So your spouse asks you on Monday morning if you can pick up the dry cleaning today. You say you will do it the next day as you are “really swamped and just don’t have the time.”


As you’re packing up your stuff to leave, you scan your email Inbox and notice a promo piece from a big electronics store with the subject line Selected Laptops 30% Off – Today Only.  You have been needing a new laptop for a while so you click the link in the email to see if there’s a suitable model.  You find one.  The normal price is $699 – on sale today only for $489.

You somehow manage to Read the rest of this entry

LEAD MANAGEMENT PROJECT: Step #1 – Gather

I wrote earlier that you should have ZERO TOLERANCE for not having a documented “next step” for EACH AND EVERY name in your database.

This is the first in a series of posts on how to get there and what to do next.  When you’ve completed all the actions in this series you should have a crystal clear picture of how to begin using the vast amount of information you already have to increase your sales.  Read the rest of this entry

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR INACTION

This is a pretty simple concept that is often missed.

100% of the names in your database must have a NEXT ACTION assigned to them.

The action may be to reach out to them once a year – if you don’t record that plan in your system you will forget about them.

It doesn’t matter if they’re a strong, high probability prospect or a weak “never likely to buy” lead, the fact is that you will never sell to them if you never contact them again.

If you truly believe that there is absolutely no value in every reaching out to them again – throw their name away! If you keep it, plan your next action.

Got it?