Posts Tagged ‘sales coaching’

Christmas Collision – Flying Football Ends Sale

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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.

Ballerina & Networking

Monday, 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.

Death Sentence for Destroying Sales?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

SHIJIAZHUANG, China (CNN) — The former chairwoman of China’s Sanlu dairy was sentenced to life in prison and three others received death sentences Thursday in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

Maybe we’re too easy on ourselves and our sales teams when they don’t produce.

Share this article with your reps if you want to make them grateful for a culture that accomodates mistakes and failure.

But use it to put a little pressure on them as well.

Chinese Elephant Kicks Heroin Addiction

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The world’s biggest drug addict has finally kicked the habit.

Big Brother, an Asian elephant hooked on heroin after drug traffickers fed him smack-laced bananas, is finally heading home after three years in rehab, Reuters quoted the Xinhua news agency as saying.

The bull, or male, was captured in the wild in 2005 in southwestern China by the bad guys, who controlled him with drugs.

Cops busted the gang a few months later, but then noticed the big beast was suffering from opiate withdrawal.

He was sent to a wildlife facility on the southern island of Hainan, where his treatment involved a year of methadone injections at five times the human dosage.

Big Brother, also known as Xiguang, was due to arrive at an animal park in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, on Saturday.,2933,416684,00.html

Hey selling pro – what nasty habit do you have that is undermining your performance on the job?

These habits could be elephant big or tic tiny, but they all impact the money you make and take home.

One quick example; you get your day started 20 minutes late, let’s say 3 times a week.

That’s 52 hours a year – like taking a week vacation (without the fun & sun).

If you’re earning $100,000 a year you’re offering two grand to the Sleep Gods or Starbucks Demons or whoever causes you to slow up to show up.

So there you have it, we’ve discussed the elephant in the room.

What will you do about it? And when?