Archive for September, 2007

The Concept of Congruency

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Brian Blair, now a county commissioner in Tampa, Fla., asserted in a 2002 lawsuit that he had been forced into retirement from his previous career as a professional wrestler after he tripped over a tray of dishes and hurt himself at a Carrabba’s restaurant. Blair announced in August 2007 that a settlement had been reached with Carrabba’s, and thus he would not explain (according to a deposition cited by Carrabba’s attorneys) how the “career-ending” injury allowed him to keep lucrative wrestling dates in Japan months after he fell, or how he registered a .089 blood-alcohol reading that evening even though he admitted to only one sip of wine, or how a sober professional wrestler accustomed to being thrown across a ring could be hurt so badly by a simple fall, or how a politician who generally abides a pro-business, anti-lawsuit philosophy could have initiated such litigation. [Tampa Tribune, 8-25-07]

In selling, congruency is a critical concept when you are interacting with prospects.

Congruent refers to a state of agreement. And, no it’s not agreement with the prospect. This is about your behavior and language agreeing with each other. In essence do you walk your talk?

Our politician above exhibited behavior that was completely incongruent with what he claimed to stand for.

In selling you want to show that you are honest and put the prospect’s concern above your own. If you pay lip service to that, then push for your solution, you reveal yourself as a snake – a sneaky sales rep who will do anything to close the deal.

Congruency – it’s the foundation of a great rep’s breakfast (and lunch and dinner). Got it? Good!

Sumo Selling Skills

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Annual “crying sumo” events are held in several Japanese cities every year. These feature sumo wrestlers holding specially dressed toddlers out in front of them. The heavyweight wrestlers sweet talk the little ones into crying, and the first sumo holding a bawling baby is declared the winner.


How good are you at selling?

I mean, are you really great, just spectacular at persuading prospects to buy?

Think of yourself holding a competing rep in your hands, squeezing him or her until they cry like babies.

So your decision today is whether you want to be that baby getting squeezed out of commissions, or that sumo squeezing the sales life out of other reps, until they weep with fear at your presence.

What’ll it be? Overpowering strength and skill or child-like earnings?

Your choice.

Hunting Hawk Selling Lesson

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I’m looking outside, into my backyard this morning.

Squirrels scamper about.

Birds zoom in and out of trees, some dropping to the ground where they pull and stretch at long earthworms who have hidden themselves poorly in the grass.

A bunny nibbles at clover which seems to grow in spite of our regular grass cutting.

All the proper animal sounds accompany this visual display of nature.

In a moment the atmosphere changes as a Red-tailed Hawk floats onto a lower branch in the biggest tree of the yard.

Everything freezes, like pausing a video game or movie. It’s pretty strange and, at the same time, kinda cool.

Nobody in plain sight wants to be noticed by this predator.

For 6, 7 minutes nothing moves. Then as if the hawk is no longer there, the scene is taken off “pause” and everything starts back into action.

The hawk watches a few minutes more, then flies away.

Aren’t sales reps like hawks? Predatory creatures seeking the attention of prospects who are quite adept at hiding.

How well do you glide into the lives of your buyers?

How well do they stop what they’re doing to attend to your presence?

How often do they continue life as if you don’t exist?

Your job is to land on a local branch and gain attention. It’s not to blend into the landscape and become invisible to your marketplace.

And hiding prospects, even in plain sight are worthless to you and your career.

Go, go get ’em. Invade their yards, get their attention and do what your job title describes, sell.

A Sales Rep goes to his Doctor…

Monday, September 24th, 2007

A patient comes into a doctor’s office for an examination and, after it was over, the guy says: “All right, doc. I don’t want you to give me a bunch of tongue twisting scientific talk. Just tell me straight out in plain English what my problem is.”

“Okay,” says the physician, “you’re FAT and you’re LAZY.”

“Uh, fine,” replies the rep, “now give me the scientific terms so I can tell my friends.”

I’ll tell you one of the biggest secrets I reveal when coaching sales executives and entrepreneurs:


See, everyone’s a bit lazy. Some are a lot lazy.

Stop the lazy streak for a day or a week. You close more business.

Then, later on, you can focus on increasing skills. In the mean time, you make good time, making more money.

Increase quantity of behavior; number of calls per day, etc., and you can cash in with a grin.

3 ? Quiz on Web Selling

Friday, September 21st, 2007

From my friend Alan Lee who is an ACT! CRM guru on web-based leads and followups…
(the answer to #3 might surprise you)

How savvy is your sales follow up? Take this short quiz, and find out. (The answers appear at the end.)

1. How long does it take a hot website lead to go cold if not followed up?
a. Less than 1 hour
b. Within 4 – 24 hours
c. Within 24 to 48 hours

2. What time of day results in the highest conversion rate?
a. 9 am – Noon
b. 1 pm – 3 pm
c. 3 pm – 6 pm

3. Which day gets the most completed calls?
a. Monday
b. Wednesday
c. Friday


1. “C” is correct. After 24 hours, the prospect either forgets his request or finds a solution elsewhere. Studies show 4 times fewer sales conversions and 6 times fewer completed follow-ups occur if you dilly-dally. Follow up should include this 3-step process:

* Set up an autoresponder that acknowledges the inquiry instantly and prepares the prospect for the human follow up to come
* The inquiry should be automatically imported into your database, assigned to a website follow-up group and a follow-up activity assigned to a rep (there’s an ACT add-on for this!)
* Hold salespeople accountable for less-than-24-hour follow up on all hot website leads by running daily reports on this metric

2. “C” is correct. The highest conversion rates typically occur between 3:30 pm and 4:25 pm. Even though it may be hard to close the sale from 4:30 pm to 6 pm, sales people often find prospects willing to set phone appointments for the next day at that time, so the follow-up is not wasted.

3. Surprisingly, it’s “C”. Fridays can be an untapped goldmine for reaching decision makers, so don’t give in to truisms that say prospects are in “weekend mode” or already out of the office. Follow-up success increases each day after Monday. In fact, according to one study, Fridays showed 241% more connects than on Mondays.

You’ll find more information about Alan at and a workshop of Alan’s at

Contact him. The sharpest reps seek the smartest resources they can find. Alan would be one of those.

Selling in Swahili – a Language Lesson

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

From the Swahili of Kenya: Mgeni siku mbili; siku ya tatu mpe jembe. In English, “Treat your guest as a guest for two days; on the third day give him a hoe.”

I received this from a friend of mine who has moved to South Africa. Dave and I played basketball together on a tour in Malaga, Spain. He has since decided to work with a missions organization. This amazing, gutsy guy and his wife, Sherie are working with people who have MUCH less than us. He sends an email each month and gives a language lesson.

I love that phrase and it’s meaning; Mgini siku mbili; siku ya tatu mpe jembe.

If you were hanging around me the next few days, you’d hear me mumbling in Swahili and see people looking at me funny. The first place will be with my kids. Next will be on the basketball court at lunchtime.

See that phrase has significant meaning for anyone in business – whether you sell or are an accountant or manage others, you can be as friendly as you want, but inevitably you have to pull your own weight.

Are you? Do you need to print this phrase out and put it up where you can see it?

Who’s counting on you to handle the hoe? Family, co-workers, prospects and more. Great workers give joy to those around them. Great workers are treasured by all. Are you one? Have fun, but remember…

Mgeni siku mbili; siku ya tatu mpe jembe.