Archive for December, 2006

‘Sunshade’ Could Ease Global Warming

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

For those hot days at the ocean, a beach umbrella can help block the sun’s heat and ultraviolet radiation. Now an orbiting sunshade could do the same for the planet, in the event of a global warming emergency.

The sunshade, proposed by Roger Angel of the University of Arizona in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, would be made of trillions of transparent, platter-sized spacecraft flying together in an elliptical formation.

Like a light-blocking cirrus cloud, the flock of spacecraft would diffuse about two percent of the sun’s energy away from the Earth.

As 2007 looms, ask yourself this; “What am I doing to protect myself from all those things that prevented me from have a sunny and spectacular 2006?”

Did you work too hard on prospects that didn’t turn out to be legitimate buyers?

Get beat out by competitors that had cheaper or weaker products?

Are you just thinking that you could be getting to be a better salesperson, but not sure what to do to get there?


Talk to a sales coach, attend a seminar, ask someone for book or audio recommendations (my bias is that Sales Autopsy, the book, can help speed up your success – go to or for it).

Get into the light and out of the darkness. Stop hiding from your limitations, confront them and have a sunny and spectacular 2007.

And, Happy & Merry Everything!

Salesman donates million-mile car to museum

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) — As a traveling salesman, Peter Gilbert has put a few miles on his car — 1,001,385 miles, to be precise.

It took the Glendale man 17 years to cross the million-mile mark with his 1989 Saab 900 SPG. He recently donated the durable vehicle to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum after Saab verified the mileage.

Mr. Gilbert is the ideal sales hire – a “plodder” who keeps at his craft, regardless of the toughness of the economy, the weather or the distance to his nearest prospect.

Can you develop the work ethic to put a million miles of impact on your marketplace?

Just keep selling, just keep selling (to paraphrase a famous Disney fish).

Can you be consistent, over time? That’s the mark of a true sales pro.

Spectacular Holiday Gift

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

A common theme you will notice in my writing is gratitude.

A great example is “Poorly Paid Insects” where I note that the “annual value of insect services in the US is around US$57 billion.” Then ask you to think about and thank someone who can be categorized as “Who is helping in the background?”

Two years ago I was brought in to speak at the Ball State University Sales Symposium and developed a good friendship with Jim Micklos of Motivation Excellence (a BSU grad, former football star, and board member for this event which the sales school sponsors).

We’ve referred business back and forth and I got a MONSTER thank you package in the mail this week from Jim.

The Hammond Atlas of the World is a perfect gift from a company that handles sales motivation programs by sending reps all over the world for winning award contests. This coffee table book reinforces the Motivation Excellence brand and had to be ridiculously expensive. Over 400 blindingly beautiful maps and charts pepper the pages. My name is even engraved on the cover – in gold.
So three things to note;

1) Thank you to Jim for thanking me so dramatically and memorably,

2) Smart idea to find a gift that so perfectly matches what the giver stands for,

3) If you want speak with the best company I’ve ever encountered for increasing sales with world-class incentive programs, contact Jim Micklos at – 847-202-8400

How well and how smartly are you saying thank you to people feeding your family?

P.S. Jim’s company gets its revenue from your sales increases, not by asking for a ton of money up front! How much more invested could a partner be in your newly found success?

Celebrate: Kill a Camel!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Workers at Turkish Airlines celebrated a job well done by sacrificing a camel at Istanbul airport and their boss has now been suspended.

Wow! Tradition collides with the present.

In our profession the vast amount of activity in which we engage can give us cause for relief, then joy when we finally land a sale.

So why not create a tradition, a ritual to commemorate each sale?

What can you do that’s special because you earned that sale and deserved the reward?

Create rituals in your selling life. They give you something to look forward to. In fact, if they’re attractive enough, the anticipation can actually drive you faster toward closing business.

Please share your ritual with us here at Sales Autopsy, so we can share your ideas with others.

And if you kill anything, you have to eat it, but you don’t have to share that with me.

Cowboy Up, Sales Rep!

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

The old cowboy and his son were sitting in front of the fire, smoking their pipes, just crossing and uncrossing their legs. After a long silence, the father said, “Son, step outside and see if it’s raining.” Without looking up, the son replied, “Aw shucks, Paw, why don’t we just call in the dog and see if he’s wet?”

Okay, every one of us has that little lazy streak that creeps up from time to time.

Can you pay attention to it enough to recognize what helps it happen? Perhaps you don’t have your day planned well in advance. Maybe you’re tired and that de-motivates you. Sometimes we can even hit a big sale and slow down to mentally and physically celebrate.

Any of these experiences can leave us lazy for a time.

Question for you is, are you good enough, tough enough, smart enough to keep pushing through and leave lazy behind.

Great sales pros pay very close attention to themselves and therefore improve bit by bit.

Don’t let lazy rain on your earnings. And don’t dog your performance, whether things are going well or to, uh, that other place.

Ancients & Vending Machines

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

The earliest vending machine was described by Hero of Alexandria in the 1st century ad. A coin dropped into this early vending machine struck a lever, causing a valve to open, which would allow a certain amount of holy water to flow out of the machine. During the 18th century, simple vending machines were used in England and the American colonies to dispense snuff and tobacco. The first chewing gum dispensers were placed on New York City train platforms in 1888. By the time World War II ended in 1945, vending machines dispensing a variety of merchandise could be found throughout the United States.

You’ve heard the old saying “There is nothing new under the sun”? Evidently the same holds true for vending machine as well as sales techniques.

For example, feature benefit selling is so old school.

“Here’s all the good things that might happen if you buy from us,” is a summary of this approach to business-building.

You don’t want to sound like everyone else out there.

So don’t say the same things they are saying.

Every sales pro should have at least two basic approaches to opening conversations with prospects.

One involves a benefit-laden dialogue. Another is a conversation directed toward problem-solving.

You won’t impress buyers with ancient strategies. So unless you want 1st century earnings, drop the old stuff and adopt some mental flexibility.

And, until you do this, your earnings might only allow you to be able to shop out of vending machines.

Does Dell Deserve to Die?

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

GREAT STORY! A guy buys a computer from Dell and after 40+ tech calls to people he can’t understand, decides to take a legal approach…

Finally, Dori sued Dell in small-claims court in Bergen County — with a twist. In a ploy that impressed legal experts, he had the legal papers served to a Dell kiosk — a counter where blue-shirted Dell employees sell computers and HDTVs — in a Paramus mall, rather than to Dell corporate headquarters near Austin.

When nobody from Dell showed up in court, Dori won a $3,000 default judgment. Court authorities were empowered to seize merchandise or shutter the kiosk if the money was not paid.

What a brilliant strategy for getting the attention of Dell’s highest executives, a world full of delighted Dell haters and, perhaps more importantly, the press!

How creative can you get to gain the attention of your best prospects?

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever done to inspire your market to sit up, take notice and see the value of your offering?

Later, we’ll cover some ideas that just might juice you up to do the same.

Nutcracker Season & Sales Manager Nerves

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Took the family to see the classic Christmas play Nutcracker, performed by the Chicago Civic Ballet this weekend.

If you recall the story, it’s the 1800s and at the holiday, a famous toymaker gifts a girl with this wooden toy soldier. His jaws are built to crack nuts and her jealous big brother snatches, throws and breaks the present.

That night the young girl dreams this fantastical experience, comparable to the drug-induced Alice in Wonderland saga. During the night, the gal travels the world and meets bizarre, unique and foreign characters, all who can dance like professional ballerinas. The strangest moment occurs where mice are battling soldiers and the “mouse king” appears – with seven mouse heads on his shoulders. Classic chemical encountering brain matter stuff.

Highly recommended, but by now you’re wanting the sales lesson or more detail or a little of what she had.

The reason our little ballerina star dreams is because she is anxious that her Nutcracker soldier will not be repaired from his disastrous collision with the floor.

Your sales managers are having the same dreams this time of year. Because 2007 looms near and they need to know how well you’ll perform or how badly you’re broken.

Remember that YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SUCCESS, not your company or boss.

Any part of your self that needs fixing? Perhaps your legs need to be stronger – to walk your way through more prospects. Maybe your eyes could be strengthened to see the value (or lack of it) in each of those prospects. Or your jaw might be broken, in that your command of influential language might be missing or limited to a few predictable phrases.

“Be the best you can be” is the soldier’s message. How are you doing on the selling battlefield? Can your manager count on you to blow into 2007 and take your marketplace by storm? Work hard today and you can attend your victory dance tomorrow.

Beauty in Death

Friday, December 1st, 2006

No, we’re not talking about Sales Autopsy and reps dying in front of prospects. It’s about weather and snow and winter’s entrance.

Chicago here got nailed with about a foot of snow in a few hours overnight. Nature has officially announced a change in seasons.

Winter represents death in the earth. Plants die, the ground freezes, insects and animals disappear. It’s like hitting a cold spell, a real cold spell in your seling life that just kills your productivity.

But with that death comes rejuvenation and the realization that it’s getting better from here on out. When sales begin to die, a pro steps back and asks “what is really going on?”

Is it the marketplace, economy, buyers? IS IT ME?

What selling season are you in right now? For many the holidays harken a heated-up marketplace with buyer frenzy and ringing registers. For other businesses, it’s transition time, siesta time or time to vacation and worry about sales when you get back to reality.

Realize that there are seasons for salespeople, just as there are seasons to life. If sales are hot, rejoice. If sales are not, decide whether to hide, assess yourself or just plow through the snowstorm of the season. You can get better, even when you’re not doing well.

And that’s the beauty in death.