What’s your currency?

June 26th, 2006

The value of unused frequent flyer miles in global circulation currently exceeds the total amount of US dollars in worldwide circulation. The calculation is based on 14 trillion miles at 2 US cents each giving a total value of US $700 billion. Ref: The Economist (UK)

What do you collect and measure in your sales life? Is your currency phone calls? Prospects? Closed deals? Time spent in the office? Time spent at home?

Great business pros measure everything they can think of – in order to create balance and have those numbers generate awareness of their weak and strong areas.

Select one currency this week and begin to measure it. You might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

Sales Rookie in the Saddle

June 23rd, 2006

(true story) My brother, Eddie decides to go horseback riding. Although he has had no previous experience he skillfully mounts the horse and appears in complete command of the situation as the horse gallops along at a steady pace, Donna admiringly watches her husband.


After a short time Eddie becomes a little casual and he begins to lose his grip in the saddle, he panics and grabs the horse around the neck, shouting for it to stop. Donna starts to scream and shout for someone to help her husband as Eddie has by this time slipped completely out of the saddle and is only saved from hitting the ground by the fact that he still has a grip on the horse’s neck.

Eddie decides that his best chance is to leap away from the horse, but his foot has become entangled in one of the stirrups. As the horse gallops along Eddie’s head is banging on the ground and he is slipping into unconsciousness. Donna is now frantic and screams and screams for help!!

Hearing her screams, the Walmart Security Guard comes out of the store and unplugs the horse!

Okay, so maybe only part of it was true, they shop at Walmart. But how are you in the selling saddle?

Are you going on each sales call or making each phone call as if it’s your first?

Even experienced salespeople can limit their skills and success to rookie level – when they don’t make a decision to make an effort to improve interactions with prospects (you might want to read that again).

Are you still a rookie, despite years of selling? What are you doing to become a true expert at your craft – riding faster and farther than the competition?

Why not respond to this post, share with what “it” is that you’re doing to improve your skills, riding herd on your prospects?

Guerrilla Marketing Whales

June 22nd, 2006

The humpback whales swim in corkscrew patterns toward the water’s surface near the fish. As the whales swim in ever-smaller revolutions, they discharge bursts of air through their blowholes. One burst of bubbles, forming a bubble cloud, discharges every second during this process.

The result is a bubble net that may be close to 100 feet wide. Similar to a fisherman’s net, the bubbles enclose the herring, preventing escape. Whales capture schools the size of a house containing close to a million fish in this manner.

Diachok and his colleagues believe whales may even classify fish before they catch them. The scientists observed pairs of humpback hunting teams. One whale would swim beneath a school and herd fish towards the surface. A second whale on top of the school then emitted tonal sounds.

Guerrilla Marketing Whale.jpg


How strong is your sales funneling technique? Are you drafting lots of prospects, perfect prospects into your reach?

Get better at smart lead generation. Go read some books by Guerrilla Marketing Guru Jay Conrad Levinson. And you’ll feast on fantastic prospects.

NBA Finals Cold Calling Lesson

June 21st, 2006

Congrats to the Miami Heat for winning the NBA Championship, with a bit of help (okay, lots of help) from the guys in striped shirts. Dwayne Wade was fantastic, but the refs helped him to the free throw line constantly, turning fantastic to spectacular.

But something really strange happened to Heat guard Gary Payton who is the biggest loudmouth and trash talker of all time. He dribbled up the floor and passed the ball to a teammate, then turned to start jawing with an official.

So Payton is yelling at the referee – just as his teammate returns the ball to him and, as Payton is engaged in speaking to someone else, the ball hits him in the back. The defender grabs it and takes off the other way.

A player who talks during a game like this is incredibly selfish. There is plenty of time to talk to the official, during stoppage of play. Does Payton think that the ref has nothing to do during play? The ref is going to be interrupted from watching ten guys who, in this age are built like football players, and are just as physical?

The two-fold parallel between Gary Payton’s actions and a bad salesperson are scary.

1) Bad reps talk too much and so sell themselves and their products poorly, and

2) Payton interrupting a man from his job is just like a cold-calling clown, implying that the individual is not busy and open to interruption. It’s as if the rep says, “hey you must not be too successful, just sitting around waiting for me to show up unannounced.”

Don’t “Gary Payton” your prospects. Learn to listen and only cold call if it’s forced down your throat by management. Cold-calling is almost always done poorly and is often an act of desperation.

Figuring it out

June 20th, 2006

My six year old daughter Bekah (short for Rebekah – notice how as life’s pace quickens, more people get nicknames?), figured out that a pony tail hairstyle was very similar to a bun.

She told me “When my hair is up in a bun it looks like a bunny tail.” Hence, bun, a nickname for bunny tail. My wife and I got a great laugh at this insight and here’s the sales-related thought for you…

Have you figured out your prospects?

Do you know what motivates them? What criteria they use to make decisions? How fast they will decide?

Pay attention to their words and ask great questions.

Figure out how to figure out your prospects and you give yourself a raise.

Transparent Buildings & Sales

June 19th, 2006

Someone has invented “see through” concrete. Obvious applications include transparent security barriers and giving the appearance of space and light in small houses and apartments. Ref: New York Times (US)

How wild is that? There’s an interesting parallel with this invention and the old ways, the old days of sales.

The buyer rarely knew what was going on. Today they’ve experience our techniques for so long, our approaches can be predictable and irritate prospects.

Are you a bit too transparent, too “old school” in your tactics?

Ask yourself this: “How obvious are my selling strategies?”

If the answer lands somewhere around “they can see right through me,” you need to alter your approach, be more real and help others buy, rather than coming across like badly portrayed salesman from an old movie like Used Cars.

So don’t let ’em see you coming, don’t let ’em see you sweat and don’t let ’em see where you’re going either – no “see through” techniques.

Hamster Selling Tip

June 17th, 2006

My brother bought a hamster. The smell was AWFUL!

But the hamster got used to it.

Getting used to something signifies moving out of your comfort zone.

Great selling comes with doing things you’re not used to, not good at.

Where in your sales life are the boundaries of your comfort zone? Do you need to make more phone calls each day, spend money on a more professional appearance, get training?

Write down three things you need to do better, and decide to do what it takes to move beyond the comfort zone of your current selling performance.

Once you’re comfortable with the results you’ll quickly get used to the smell of success.

Superman Returns – your Selling Hero

June 16th, 2006

Saw a sneak preview last night of the Superman Returns movie and I won’t be giving anything away, except to say great story and the best evil villain plot ever.

But from a sales growth perspective Superman made me wonder (and you should be wondering right now, too); who is the best, the strongest salesperson you’ve ever met?

And wouldn’t you love to be mentored by this sales superman or superwoman?

The tip for today is to go find a mentor. Just ask someone great at what they do to help you get great at it, too. You might be surprised to get a yes!

Get a mentor, shorten your learning curve to success and you’ll be just super, man.

Home Depot, Drugs and Selling Surprises

June 15th, 2006

Large quantities of drugs were found inside merchandise from at least two Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, and authorities are investigating, police said Wednesday. CNN

So people are finding marijuana and cocaine hidden in vanities at a couple stores. Imagine how many people are now rushing out to re-design their bathrooms.

Your sales thought on this:

How do you surprise your customers? I’m not referring to giving them more than you promise – that concept is almost common practice today.

Do you follow-up after the sale, immediately and later, to show how much you appreciate them? Send notes, a gift, something to surprise them to let them hear and see and feel how grateful you are. After all, they don’t just represent money; they support your family, your lifestyle and they make a statement about your selling skills and success.

So go and surprise ’em all, today.

Translation, Please…

June 14th, 2006

Researchers at Nagasaki University (Japan) are developing software than can turn a baby’s crying into human speech. The Times (UK)

Your selling tip today is this: Attend closely to the words a prospect uses when they speak to you. For example, “you’re too expensive” is not a question so it doesn’t call for you to get defensive (talking about what a GREAT value your product or service is) or to get offensive (blasting them with company data, testimonials and more reasons to buy).

Your job here is to get a translation of the phrase, “you’re too expensive.”

Respond by asking for clarification or more data. “What, exactly, does that mean?” Or, “So what other prices are you seeing that contrasts so much to ours?”

Practice having the prospect interpret their own objections and you’ll perfect your verbal selling skills.