Archive for November, 2009

The Performance

Monday, November 30th, 2009

A musician was performing a solo recital in Israel. When he ended the last selection, a thunderous response came from the audience, including many cries of “Play it again.”

He stepped forward, bowed, and said, “What a wonderful, moving response. Of course I shall be delighted to play it again.” And he did.

At the end, again there was a roar from the audience, and again many cries of “Play it again.” This time the soloist came forward smiling and said, “Thank you. I have never been so touched in all my concert career. I should love to play it again, but there is no time, for I must perform tonight in Tel Aviv. So thank you from the bottom of my heart – and farewell.”

Immediately a voice was heard from the back of the hall saying, “You will stay here and play it again, until you get it right.”

Hey, selling pro do you know what one of the best of the best practices there is for sales?

It’s PRACTICE.

Practicing your dialogues, your opening, your handling of resistance, your closing and doing all this with your peers.

Great sales pros do not practice on prospects. They nail down every influential word, every nuance long before they stand, sit or phone potential clients.

So go practice, again and again and again, until you get it right.

Thank You without a Sales Strategy Attached

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Two weeks ago I did a radio show with Tony Parinello, one of my favorite people on the planet and one of the sharpest sales minds in the same locale. http://www.vitoselling.com/

He recommended (so I’m doing it for my readers) that you send a thank you note to everyone in your world.

Just a simple “Thank you for working with me. Your business helps feed my family. And for that I’m very, very grateful.”

No special offer, no business card inside, nothing but pure appreciation.

Then maybe skip the holiday card in December anyway.

If you want a fun, other perspective on gratitude, check out my previous writing on “Poorly-paid Insects”
http://www.salesautopsy.com/blog/poorly-paid-insects/2006/08/18/

And thank you friends and fans of Sales Autopsy, it’s been a fantastic, fun & funny ride. You’ve put me where I am as an author and sales consultant. And I, as well as my precious Princess Bride, am grateful.

May you experience rich blessings and great surprises as you move from Thanksgiving, into the Holidays, and through the New Year.

-Dan

Football Dummies & Sales Smarts

Monday, November 16th, 2009

A great coach somehow become both ordinary and stupid in front of an international TV audience last night as New England played Indianapolis for bragging rights to the best NFL team in their conference.

You can read the article here at ESPN.com, but I’ll summarize a single play that turned a winner into a loser;
http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/columns/story?columnist=reiss_mike&id=4659027

In what might easily be called the worst coaching call in the history of football, New England had the ball, winning by six points with 2 mins left. On 4th down and 2 yards to go, at their own 27 yard line, coach Bill Belichick has his team go for the first down!!!

Didn’t make it, so Indy easily moves down and scores to win the game.

This quote keeps popping up: “We tried to win the game on that play,” Belichick explained.

You dummy, you were already winning! You just had to punt it to the 20 and let Indy try to go 80 yards.

As a sales coach I recognize that you can divide the world into two categories: Those that make good decisions and those that make bad decisions.

As an award-winning guard on the US Masters basketball team, I recognize the same thing about players on the court.

2 categories, it’s pretty simple.

Where would you place yourself? Good decision-maker or bad?

Where would others categorize?

Focus on making good decisions, in every part of your selling day – whether you’re dealing with prospects or clients or managing yourself or peers. And at the end of the day focus on the same for family and friends.

Good decision-makers have longevity on the job, their earnings are higher than most. They have sweet relationship on the home front, too.

Don’t be a Belichick, bad decisions can define you and cling to your reputation for a long time.

It’s all about choices in life, isn’t it. Smart sales pros make good ones. They even help prospects to do the same.

Desert Ants Teach Salespeople…

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Ants use an internal pedometer to find their way home without getting sidetracked, a new study reports.

Desert ants on foraging expeditions use celestial cues to orient themselves in the homeward direction, but with few landmarks in the barren land, scientists have wondered how the insects always take the most direct route and know exactly how far to march.

The new study reveals that counting their steps is a crucial part of the scheme.

The ant “pedometer” technique was first proposed in 1904, but remained untested until now.

Scientists trained desert ants, to walk along a straight path from their nest entrance to a feeder 30 feet away.

If the nest or feeder was moved, the ants would break from their straight path after reaching the anticipated spot and search for their goal.

Try that on stilts

Next, the researchers performed a little cosmetic surgery.

They glued stilt-like extensions to the legs of some ants to lengthen stride. The researchers shortened other ants’ stride length by cutting off the critters’ feet and lower legs, reducing their legs to stumps.

By manipulating the ants’ stride lengths, the researchers could determine whether the insects were using an odometer-like mechanism to measure the distance, or counting off steps with an internal pedometer.

The ants on stilts took the right number of steps, but because of their increased stride length, marched past their goal. Stump-legged ants, meanwhile, fell short of the goal.

After getting used to their new legs, the ants were able to adjust their pedometer and zero in on home more precisely, suggesting that stride length serves as an ant pedometer.

The study is detailed in the June 30 2006 issue of the journal Science.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,201594,00.html

Selling pros, like desert ants, feed themselves best when they follow a system to attain their goals.

How well do you forage for prospects, find what you need, then return home to celebrate and feast?

Fall a few steps short and you never cash a check. Travel too far and you work too hard instead of too smart.

A very wise man, Solomon said it best…

You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. Proverbs 6:6

Put your system into play and watch your numbers grow!