World Cup Followup

July 10th, 2006

Micro chips and soccer stars…

Manchester United players could be fitted with microchips so their movements on the pitch can be scrutinized.

However, players are not keen as they are concerned that their off the pitch activities could also be monitored.

A device would be injected under the players’ skin. Then satellites would plot exactly where they run during a game. When the data is downloaded onto computers it will help boss Alex Ferguson fine-tune tactics and training.

Hey selling pros – get used to the daily changes in technology that impact our lives during sales competitions.

What new devices can you adapt to increase performance – generating leads, increasing communications and tracking current clients?

Let us know what you’re using to help you sell more, and more often?

Steal Office Supplies

July 7th, 2006

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Young workers in the United States are twice as likely as older colleagues to steal office supplies for home use without thinking it is wrong, a new study says.

And all those missing paper clips and pens add up to more than $50 billion a year.

One in five workers age 18 to 24 did not feel it was wrong to take home office supplies, said the Spherion Workplace Snapshot, an online survey.

Time for a tough question;

Are you completely honest in your selling life?

Or do you steal from your company, yourself, or your prospects?

Just take time itself as an example. Giving all your available time means you exhibit integrity. Stealing time (a harsh term for simply wasting available resources) means you’re not totally honest.

Office supplies are the tip of the integrity iceberg.

So don’t steal anything – from your boss, marketplace or career.

Pour Water on his Head

July 6th, 2006

I called a friend whose kids are close to my kids.

Her six-year old Lane answers the phone, “Can I help you?”

I know that her eight-year old brother sleeps late. So I tell the little girl, “Lane, I want you to fill a glass with water and go into Nolan’s bedroom and pour it on his head.” She has no idea who I am.

“Okay.” The little voice answers.

I repeat my instructions again, adding I’ll call back in a few minutes to see that she’s done as she’s been told.

Three minutes later she answers the phone and I hear laughter. The whole family is expecting this followup call (except Nolan who is asleep).

Evidently mom asked Lane who was on the phone and why she was filling a water glass.

The little girl told her what happened and mom removed the liquid weapon from her daughter’s hands.

Mom got on the phone and said, “Dan, is that you?” Isn’t it nice when your reputation precedes you? Mom has a great sense of humor and wasn’t at all angry.

Who do you take orders from as an entrepreneur or salesperson?

There might be managers above your head, but I hope you also take orders from your heart.

Your heart encourages you to sell with integrity. It prods you to give 100% to your job, because that’s the best way to maximize your potential. Your heart also knows how to best respond to tough prospects and good clients.

Stop doing all your thinking with your head and start again to take orders from your heart.

SkySails & Faster Sales

July 5th, 2006

A company called SkySails is experimenting with giant inflatable kites to pull ships across the sea. The idea is not to replace the engine but to use wind power to supplement the engine when the wind is blowing strongly in the right direction. Ref: New Scientist (UK)

Where can you increase efficiency in your selling life?

Is it by buying better tools? Planning your day more effectively? Simply deciding to pay more attention to selling during selling time (when you have access to buyers), rather than doing paperwork or non-revenue generating activities?

An efficient selling pro sails faster to his or her destination – the close – without falling off the ends of the earth.

You know you’re in Trouble…

July 4th, 2006

You know you’re in trouble when you go to the airline desk to complain about losing your luggage and the guy behind the counter is wearing your clothes.

Travel question for you sales reps and entrepreneurs – how efficient are you at planning your trips?

It’s expensive to hit the road today, so are you thinking of every possible activity to tie into that appointment?

For example, when I fly out around the country to speak, I bring extra copies of my Sales Comic Book and Revenge of the Reps video game. I give them to the Director of Sales at the hotel where I’m staying.

I also look for other companies with events at the same property to give them my promotional gifts as well.

Additionally, I invite other local contacts to come see me perform, it could lead to more business.

So next time you begin planning a trip – by air or car (or boat, if you’re that fortunate), think of all the ways you can spin that time into some guerrilla marketing efforts.

That’s smart sales planning!

World’s Oldest Animal Dies

July 3rd, 2006

176 years old! 330 pounds! Harriet, a giant tortoise and the star attraction at Australia Zoo in Queensland died of a heart attack this past week.

Harriet made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest living animal. However, a tortoise who died in India earlier this year, Addwaita, was said to be about 250 years old, according to the Calcutta zoo where he had been living since 1875.

176? 250? The great thing about great salespeople is that their longevity is a trait that means three things;

1) You plow through any economy, good or bad, because your skills keep you above the earnings of common sales reps.

2) You never have to retire, unless you choose to.

3) You can sell anywhere you want. Rather be on a beach, in the mountains, in the locale of your dreams? Go for greatness at selling.

Slow and steady wins the race. Find a mentor, find sales training, be regimented in your daily selling life and you could leave a legacy of longevity and success in the world of selling.

Car Tale

June 30th, 2006

A woman rammed her car through a wall of the house and it finally stopped in the living room. Her husband was incredulous, “How did you drive the car into our living room?”

“I turned left at the bedroom.”

Great salespeople have a map in their mind of exactly where they are in the selling process.

They are truthful with themselves about the possibility of closing each prospect.

They are aware of next steps.

They know when the brain of the prospect has arrived at the close, so the rep can close.

Think about that one prospect you really want. Do you know when and where your next move is? Which direction you’re turning?

Map out your selling process and you’ll get to the goal that much quicker.

Bad Parent, Bad Prospect

June 29th, 2006

A childcare centre in Israel was having problems with parents that were picking their children up late. As a result they introduced a fine for lateness. The result was that lateness increased. Why? Because the fine normalized the behavior. Also, in UK schools, parents that take their children on holiday during term time are being fined up to GB £200. Ref: Prospect (UK)

What bad behavior are you reinforcing in prospects?

Here’s one example; when you finally reach them by phone and they ask you to send literature, do you do it?

Aren’t you just teaching them that their method for getting rid of reps actually works?

Or do you delight in chasing people hiding behind voicemail?

Refuse to endorse and validate bad prospect behavior.

Decide ahead of time that you will not tolerate requests that are destructive to your sales process.

Snakes & Sales

June 28th, 2006

A Newly-Found Snake Can Change Its Color

June 27, 2006 — Researchers scouring swamps in the heart of Borneo island have discovered a venomous species of snake that can change its skin color, the conservation group WWF announced Tuesday. The ability to change skin color is known in some reptiles, such as the chameleon, but scientists have seen it rarely with snakes and have not yet understood this phenomenon, the group said in a statement.” I put the reddish-brown snake in a dark bucket,” said Mark Auliya, a reptile expert and a consultant for the group. “When I retrieved it a few minutes later, it was almost entirely white.”

Great sales professionals change colors to survive in a world of diverse prospects.

How flexible are you in your language and behavior? Do you respect others by having custom conversations? Or are you still pitching like the old snake oil salesmen of days gone by – shoutin’ the same message to every face in every town?

When you help potential customers to talk about their specific needs they will lead you down many different paths. Your job is to see that as many paths as possible end in a close.

Sales Autopsy vs the Gay Parade

June 27th, 2006

I was speaking at the big National Association of Health Underwriters ( conference this past weekend. My first session was a riot of funny stories, witty attendee comments and great learning moments.

So I was shocked when the second session had about 25% less people showing up.

Farren, the NAHU director of education, met me after the program and apologized, “I’m so sorry you had missing people there. The San Francisco Gay Pride Parade was going on outside the hotel and a bunch of our people heard the noise and headed out to watch.”

So I was competing with a parade! I caught the tail end of it myself, and even though most adults aren’t too big on parades anymore, this was something so unique and memorable, I couldn’t blame my people for no-showing on their training.

Here’s the tie-in to your sales life…

What are you competing with that you perhaps didn’t consider competition?

1. It could be unexpected circumstances that distract prospects, causing cancelled appointments.

2. It could be that you’re competing with reps who are better training – in skills and product knowledge – than you.

3. It could be that you’re competing, with not another firm selling what you sell, but a different expenditure of your prospect’s funds. For example, you want them to buy your product, but funds get funneled to hire another rep.
Good questions will reveal any potential surprises, like #1 and #3. Getting better at what you do will eliminate #2.

So what will you do?