Archive for April, 2009

Hunting The Hunter

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Hunting The Hunter
Dan’s target client is not worth tangling with

I used to hunt for new clients at the big trade shows in Chicago. Often small start-up companies would buy booth space, hoping to get discovered by sales reps or even big companies that might have interest in their new product. As a guerrilla-marketing expert, I could quickly analyze the value of a product to a niche, then offer to consult with lead generation and sales coaching.

This product was unusual, yet ingenious in its simplicity. It was a pet comb with a razor blade built into it. You could trim a dog or cat and the animal didn’t know it was being clipped, it was just getting a brushing.

The owner was interested in my expertise and invited me into his home. That was unusual, but I arrived on time and was lead into a living room of dead animals. Tiger heads and hides on the walls, gazelle feet on the chairs. The chairs and footstools were also covered with animal skins. There were some very serious weapons on display as well.

He grinned as I filled up the air with “oohs,” “wows” and ”very cools.” He was a big game hunter and this was his temporary office while he was in the middle of a nasty separation from his wife.

With a barking (hyena-like?) laugh he mentioned that he was in a little trouble for handling home situations a bit too physically.

I politely finished the call and never got back to him. I just got a really bad feeling about the guy. The monthly retainer didn’t seem very tempting as I wondered: what if he ever got mad at my service – would he shoot me?

POSTMORTEM: Do you trust your feelings? I found that as I got better at selling, my feelings got “smarter.” Previously, my sales managers used to hate hearing how I felt about the potential of a sales call I returned from. I was always optimistic, so I confused my hopes with my instincts. I just knew a sale was going to happen – and I was usually wrong. How accurate are your feelings while selling? Did you ever come back from a call and just know the prospect was going to buy? Were you later proven right or wrong? When you can distinguish your dreams from reality in dealing with prospects, you will avoid flawed expectations and surprises. You will then be much better mentally equipped to handle the ups and downs of a selling life. Learn to trust your feelings, it will have great value in your personal and professional relationships.

Animal Activists & Guerrilla Marketing

Friday, April 10th, 2009

A recent PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) marketing campaign was aimed to re-christen fish as “sea kittens” because “who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?”

That is hilarious, memorable, very visual, it’s rather brilliant.

An organization that promotes vegetarian eating practices by trying to protect animals is setting an excellent example for entrepreneurs and sales pros.

How creative are your marketing messages? Can you build an image that makes you most memorable?

One of the finest resources I’ve ever encountered that does this is Sam Horn’s book, Pop! Stand out in any Crowd.

Check out Sam’s work at

When you fish for prospects you don’t want to dive into the deep blue sea for ’em. You want them to crawl into your lap like kittens.

Good Hunting!

Dog Overboard (Selling Strategy)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Dog Overboard Found Four Months Later

An Australian couple’s dog fell overboard and was thought to have drowned. He was found four months later living on an island (which he reached after swimming five miles from the boat).

He survived by eating feral (wild) goats until someone came by and picked him up.

Are you looking for feral goats as you prospect during a tough economy?

It’s time for many sales pros to do what it takes to generate income, to feed their families. So while you’ve learned to do a great job of disqualifying poor prospects (see What Great Sales Pros do at, it might now be time to lower the bar a bit and look for goats to sell along with your sheep.

All that being said, my brother’s comment on the dog eating feral goat story was, “How can you sleep at night, knowing your dog has developed a taste for flesh?”

You’ll just have to learn to live with yourself, until things turn back around.

Final thought: If you want me to come in and run one of your weekly sales meetings, just to get some great tips on sweet psychologically-based selling strategies, give me a call. The offer is for local (Chicago-area) businesses, but if you want to pay expenses to bring me in, I’ll do a quick meeting for you anywhere in the country.

Good Hunting!