Wrong Way Driver…

January 18th, 2010

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.

Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on 280 Interstate. Please be careful!”

“It’s not just one car, honey” said Herman. “It’s hundreds of them!”

Hey selling pros… how well have you mapped out the direction of each key piece of your sales life?

Lead generation sources, combined with your ability to qualify quickly?

Persuasion skills?

Your ability to fluidly and confidently deal with any objection?

These three elements of selling form a sales pro like nothing else. They define you to your peers, your marketplace and yourself.

Focus on fixing qualifying, influencing and responding to resistance and you are heading in the right direction.

Ignore them and you’re headed for a collision with better competitors and savvy buyers.

Don’t be a wrong way driver as you cruise through your career.

Leading the Troops!

January 6th, 2010

My great friend Tony Jeary, personal coach to some of the world’s top CEOs, has an article you will find both fascinating and useful.

http://www.privateclubs.com/article.php?name=leadingthetroops/

I highly recommend anything he creates including his Strategic Acceleration book and previous mega-bestselling Life is a Series of Presentations.

The Concept of Selective Selfishness, Marriage & How to Start 2010

January 4th, 2010

My nephew David Guthrie the 3rd (and grandson of David Maximus Guthrie) just married Katie this past holiday weekend.

Wedding Ring

Wedding Ring


During the reception I gave the bride a tip about the perfect time to be selfish in a new marriage.

I pulled my wedding band off my finger and showed it to her – a ring of triangles, alternatively facing up and down as you see in the image.

The bottom points of the triangle represent me and my Princess Bride Wendy. The highest point represents God. ∆

My job, our job, is to WORK ON OURSELVES FIRST, to do what we need to do in order to get closer to God. In doing so, we end up closer to each other. We have then brought to our partner the best possible person we have to offer. That’s a great alliance of love and smarts.

This concept of Selective Selfishness works anywhere you are determined to improve your performance.

It applies to your business life: How are the influence skills you bring to the table?

It applies to your personal life: How well do you offer a better person to your friends and family?

Selective Selfishness – what do you need to work on? You alone are responsible for you success, your growth, your wisdom and knowledge.

Let’s get Selectively Selfish in 2010!

Christmas Collision – Flying Football Ends Sale

December 14th, 2009

GOING LONG FOR THE WIN
Edwin’s Incomplete Pass Ends a Sale

We’re calling on a major retailer during the holiday season.

We includes my trainee (whom I’m supposed to coach to be a super sales rep like me) and me, a super sales rep.

The headquarters store is huge, the company’s pride and joy. It’s decorated from top to bottom. Christmas trees sit on every floor, as do displays of Chanukah candles. Running on invisible fishing line down the length of each aisle are hundreds of spectacular glass ornaments.

In contrast to the anxious shoppers, my buddy and I are lighthearted. There’s a good chance we’ll be landing this company as a client. And if we don’t, holiday bonuses are coming our way anyway.

So it was with the joy of a school kid on Christmas break that I picked up a football and waved my trainee down the main aisle of the store. He jogged past shoppers, around some small displays and raised his hand signaling the fact that he was as open for business as the mega store.

I launched the ball toward my receiver.

Its arc took it toward an unseen wire and struck the slender obstacle, falling to the floor.

I watched in horror as the wire swung upward. It reached its peak and fell, 100 beautiful, delicate ornaments unhooking themselves, hovering momentarily in mid-air, then dropping to the ground.

Popping, shattering, tinkling – glass scattered down that aisle, showering shoppers and merchandise.

There was nowhere to hide. And nowhere to sell. The President of the company was on the floor, having come down to meet us. His only comment was (sternly), “Gentleman, call us after the season.” Of course they never returned another call.

POSTMORTEM: Edwin – Happy Holidays! Great visuals and sounds to the story. Question for Edwin & salespeople reading this; if you could play any sport in the world, then pick a teammate, who would you pick? I’ll bet nobody’s answer includes some 3rd grader who trips over shoelaces he or she could barely tie. What do you think your prospects would answer? Right, regardless of the sport, they’d pick the top pro out there. They want the same quality in vendors, the best pros out there. So act like a pro start to finish. And your sales call could end with the gift of a sale.

The Performance

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

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

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…

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!

Ballerina & Networking

October 26th, 2009

I’m at a local chamber of commerce meeting – my first visit – and I recognize no one in the room (I rarely do local events, since I work on a global scale). The President is doing announcements and having a drawing to give away tickets to the Joffrey Ballet at the Chicago Opera House.

I raise my hand with a question. A smile for the new guy and a nod says “go ahead.”

I smile back, and ask “If the ballerinas always have to stand on tiptoes to dance with the men, why not just get taller women?”

There’s this blend of awkward silence mixed with some laughter and people looking around to see who asked the really strange question.

But at the break a load of people came up to introduce themselves.

You’ve been to these events. It’s always the same thing – a bit boring; mediocre conversation; salespeople assaulting salespeople all the while hoping a buyer lurks somewhere in the wings.

So what really works in networking environments? Like a good direct mail piece (or crafty email subject line), you have got to make yourself interesting enough to have others pursue you.

Notice how so many coaching tips recycle back to the concept that YOU MUST DISTINGUISH YOURSELF from others with whom you compete? Humor does that well. Even humor that is 50 years old and has been missed by a generation (my ballerina joke is an old vaudeville line).

I encourage you to read funny, listen funny and watch funny. You’ll develop your own humorous personality and people will love being around you.

Don’t be surprised if your ability to sweep buyers off their feet with smiles and laughter doesn’t also increase your ability to close more sales.

Got Humor? Go get it, then get some more! That’ll make you a most memorable selling pro, guaranteed.

HELP! Dan is heading to Sydney, Australia…

September 22nd, 2009

To my friends across the globe, especially those Down Under…

Many of you know that I play on the U.S. World Masters Basketball team.

This is basically Olympic Sports for 35 years and older. The next international competition is in Sydney Australia Oct 4-19 – next month!
World Masters 02

This is the logo I designed to symbolize my great love for Australia (3rd trip). I’ll be wearing this on a t-shirt and sharing some with my mates in Oz.

I’m looking for help in two ways.

1) I’d like to scuba dive during free time between games. Anyone have any connections around Sydney?

2) I’d also LOVE to do some business presentations – a quick keynote, perhaps a short training session, even run a weekly sales meeting. Anyone have any connections around Sydney?

I would be eternally grateful (well, maybe not eternally, but very grateful) and would reward any of my friends well for connecting me. You know all the cool goodies I have – best-selling Sales Autopsy book, Revenge of the Reps video game, Sales Comic Book and more.

Please send an email to me at Dan@SalesAutopsy.com or call 1-847-359-7860.

Thanks a ton!
Dan

Dan Seidman
GOT INFLUENCE? Get it here!
Author of #1 Business Best-seller
Sales Autopsy & premiering in 2010
The Secret Language of Influence®
Your Passport to Powerful Persuasion

Selling Power Magazine has awarded
a Sales Excellence Award to the
Sales Autopsy Training Experience;
Finalist for BEST Sales Training Program!

For a GREAT keynote or training experience
that will change attendee behavior and improve
performance, call Dan at 1-847-359-7860
www.SalesAutopsy.com