Archive for September, 2006

Friday Thinking

Friday, September 29th, 2006

The end of your Friday should be the start of next week.

Don’t waste time launching into your Monday workload when you show up after the weekend. Begin to plan your activities, everything, for Monday during the last 30-45 minutes on Friday. Which phone calls and when? Who needs to be emailed? Best times for both?

TIP: Optimal time for email is reaching someone after 1pm. Inbox is clear from overnight junk and early day emailers crying for attention.

This strategy applies every day of the week. The last half hour of today is always the start of tomorrow.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more you’ll accomplish when you begin to blast into your workday – without first thinking through it.

That’s smart Friday Thinking.

Help! (that would be you asking)

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

I spoke yesterday at the Motivation Show in Chicago. You’ve got to go sometime. It’s for all the companies that provide incentive trips to sales forces, company events, etc.

So all the airlines are there, and hotels, and both the usual and unusual gifts you might expect to receive or give as rewards.

In my talk I tell people that the association has hired me to speak and, to that end, everyone in the audience is my client.

Feel free to call me or email me with anything that might be a question related to your sales struggles.


This baffles me. It has always baffled me since I began offering this six years ago. I’m now overly baffled and not sure this condition is good for a sales pro and good-hearted coach.

Having the guts to say, “Can you help with this one thing…?” is a big step toward higher success levels.

Why struggle alone?

So, I’ll say it to you, my blog audience, got a question? Lay it on me.

Don’t be surprised if a little brainpower and teamwork with the Sales Autopsy guy doesn’t get you past the hump.

And you’ll not suffer from this confusing condition prospects put you through – death by bafflement.

Brinkmann Corp on how to Antagonize Prospects

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Just yesterday visited the Motivation Show in Chicago where I am speaking today (11am cst).

A friend of mine, ex-fighter pilot and professional speaker Rob “Waldo” Waldman stood in line with me for about 15 minutes waiting for a sample hot dog or sandwich from the Brinkmann booth. They were showing off their grills.

As we got to the front a woman stopped us and said “customers only.” She said it loudly and from about 10 feet away. We had our backs to her, so she had to have seen our badges (speaker badges, no less!) earlier.

No sign or indication that this is an “exclusive invite” to offer a 15 cent incentive to people. And I understand that not everyone at a show is a prospect, too.

But, it might have been smarter of that employee to just let us have a bite to eat, rather than generate animosity toward her and her firm.

Add to that the fact that EVERYONE on the show floor, showing up for the food, was neither a customer nor a prospect, and you realize how silly her actions seemed to my friend and I.

How are you doing interacting with EVERYONE? Do you push some away, simply because you pre-judge them? I’m not talking about disqualifying bad prospects, that comes shortly after connecting. I am talking about welcoming interested potential fans and friends with open arms. It’s a consumer product for goodness sakes! Buyers are distributors AND end users (that would include Waldo and I), right?

Brinkmann was a bust from a public relations standpoint. I’m embarrassed that someone’s attempt to embarrass us had to be so public and loud.

Treat everyone well, you never know who might be writing for 2 million readers a month.

Thinking Ahead, Way Ahead…

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Homeland Security has now, in its infinite wisdom, decided that some liquids are okay to carry on the plane. IF you buy them at the airport after going through security!

As my brother who sent this to me noted, “The powerful airport terminal store lobby strikes!”

Hey, let’s figure out a way to rip off passengers! They can only buy from us at outrageously inflated prices. You know where they got this grand idea? Sounds a bit like the oil companies.

This choice is a perfect example where the ability to predict the future distinguishes great decision-makers from professional screw-ups.

Think about this;

Liquids/gels could be dangerous.

But they can now be purchased in the airport itself.

Are security procedures in place related to shipment and stocking of product at the stores?

Are security procedures in place related to the manufacture of lipstick, shaving lotions, perfume and more? Anyone could smuggle a dangerous version of these products into a box meant for airport store delivery.

Are security procedures in place to screen retail personnel when they’re hired?

Think, sales pros!

Look at every way that your actions could have an effect on the world, your world of prospects, clients, colleagues and family members way, way down the road.

Again, great decision-makers have the ability to predict the future.

How do you rate yourself? Great, okay or need work on this?

Bono and Bill

Monday, September 25th, 2006

I watched a video yesterday of U2’s Bono being interviewed by Bill Hybels who runs one of the largest churches in America – Willow Creek (and its training association). Amazing video and it’s, at least for now, unavailable because of the use of U2’s music.

I was shocked at the wit and wisdom of the rock star as he passionately called for viewers to help end global poverty and it’s evil cousin, the AIDs epidemic.

Bono was recently named Time Magazine’s person of the year (along with Bill & Melinda Gates). He’s using his rock star status to gain audiences with kings and prime ministers to literally embarrass the well-to-do into balancing a world that has too many with too little or too much of nothing.

His eloquence should inspire sales pros to carefully craft their words for maximum influence. My favorite Bono example was a phrase that explained the zeal for his cause and countless hours he puts into this work “When I throw a punch it’s not my strength behind it. It’s the strength of an idea whose time has come.”

Can you take the time to re-write the words you use in order to better motivate buyers? The payoff is higher earnings, but you also will impress prospects with your eloquence and passion.

Resources: Bono – Willow Creek –

Town Disappears!

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

ELKPORT, Iowa (AP) — Within days, tiny Elkport will be wiped off the map.

It’s rare that a 150-year-old community disappears, but the heavy rains that caused Elk Creek to swell and breach its dike in May 2004 were anything but ordinary.

Within hours, the northeast Iowa town was consumed by floodwaters that left homes under as much as 15 feet of water, prompting a disaster declaration by President Bush.

“Never in my life did I think we’d get flooded the way we did,” said Roger Bolsinger, Elkport’s 56-year-old mayor. “The only thing we could do was get people out of town as fast as possible.”

The northeast Iowa town has been deserted ever since.

What if you as a salesperson could make anything disappear? Anything! Bad prospects, horrid managers, caller i.d., the word “NO.”

And would you be satisfied if “it” simply faded away or would you like it to explode in a dramatic fashion, showing the world your power, while showering other salespeople with the benefits of your ability?

If you think about this, you really can make things disappear.

Learn to recognize bad prospects and avoid them.

Don’t work for horrid managers, go somewhere else. But it might even be easier to stick around, do more than your job and ignore the joker.

Clients wouldn’t react to caller i.d. by hiding from you, if you had a better relationship, right? Treat them like family (the good members, not the other ones).

Finally, NO is a good word. You don’t want to get rid of that. Good reps love “no,” it helps them move on.

The point of all this is that you have more control over your life, and over others, than you realize.

If it takes a flood to finish off a whole town, you should be delighted at how easy you can wash away the things that annoy you. Take control – today.

Surfin’ & Sellin’

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

If you were in South Africa recently, you might have seen 73 surfers — ages 7 to 67 — ride the same wave for five seconds and break a Guinness Book of Records best of 44 people in Ireland.

Surfing Selling

That’s total teamwork. But in selling are you really “on a team”?

You compete with yourself long before and much, much more than you compete with your peers.

Even before you match wit, strength and pricing with competitors, you compete with yourself.

How many more calls can you make each day (in person or by phone)?

Can you cut out some time-wasters during your selling hours?

Stop competing with yourself. Start focusing on your performance.

Surf solo, surf smoothly, surf swiftly. Forget the team for one week and see if you don’t set some personal Guinness World Records of your own.

Selling the New James Bond

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

The controversy over actor Daniel Craig taking the role of James Bond has reached epidemic proportions.

Traditional Bond fans are sick of the idea of a blonde Bond. They see Craig as a wimp. He runs like a girl claim many macho fans and it was leaked that he chipped a tooth while filming a fight scene. There’s even a rumor that his next film will have him with a male love interest – CIA counterpart Felix Leiter. This is James Bond?

So it’s no surprise that an anti-Craig website is getting massive attention:

Here’s the truth of it all. The creators of the Bond films decided to go back to the beginning, to create a new character, in essence re-writing the origins of the world greatest super spy.

By doing this they revive their brand. Everything that springs from Daniel Craig’s personification of Bond is now new.

How does this idea sound to you? How does it sound FOR you?

Do you need a new you?

Go back to roots of your sales life. Remember the emotion packed into those early year?

Passion for a new job mixed with confusion about handling prospects. Learning about the sales life was critical to surviving.

If you could rewind your life, return to re-create a new you, what would it look like?

What would you change, fix, do over? What would stay the same?

Selling can be an exotic existence. Fascinating characters, expensive cars, remote locations, good prospects and evil ones.

Sounds a lot like the life of James Bond.

Revisit your roots, re-discover the reasons you got into sales, and renew your passion for our profession.

Skier’s Anonymous

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Since I grew up going to the beach, I can’t relate to this like my midwest friends, but a Skier’s Anonymous Club has been formed.

If you get the craving to ski, they send someone over to break your leg.

Almost every successful sales professional has a someone like this.

Someone to shout “STOP” when your behavior is becoming destructive.

Someone to shout “GO FOR IT” when you behavior is right on track for success.

It’s all about accountability.

Do you have someone who cares enough about your future to serve you this way?

Find an accountability partner. Use this person after you return from a conference or read a book or want to debrief after good or bad sales calls.

They might visit or handle you by phone, but either way, this key person in your life can be anonymous to the rest of your world, while helping smooth your path as you ski through the mountains and valleys that come with a life in sales.

Accountability. You got it?

Door to Door Salesman

Friday, September 15th, 2006

A guy is working a neighborhood selling and he rings the bell of a beautiful suburban home.

The door opens, revealing a nine year old boy who is puffing on a long, black cigar.

The shocked rep tries to cover his amazement, asking, “Uh, good morning sonny. Is your mother home?”

The boy removes the cigar from his lips, flicks off some ashes and says, “What do YOU think?”

Great sales reps can be identified simply by their ability to ask outstanding questions.

Questions that make you look dumb or appear to be asked as part of a memorized script will only generate disdain for people in our profession.

How are you doing? Asking questions that dig deep into identifying prospect problems?

Or are you pleading for information with words that you’re embarrassed to offer?

Write down insightful inquiries to ask. Or better yet, talk to someone who is truly successful in the business and get this mentor to share his or her potent queries.

When you nail down some great questions, and you see how well they work, it’s then time to treat yourself to a fine cigar.