Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sales Competence Isnt About Quota Performance

Writen by Brian Lambert

Compounding the problem are two myths regarding measures of competency in sales.

Myth#1: Quota performance does not equate to sales competency – A salesperson's quota is usually determined by management. More often than not, the quota is set as a way to attain a goal of an increased share price or its just pulled out of the air as a "nice-to-have-number" that is bigger than last year. It's a rare organization that can articulate how a quota was set. It's even rarer to find an organization that sits down to do the sales math and determine the realistic quota and stretch quota for their salespeople. Without this understanding, how do you know if the quota is too high? How do you know if it is too low? You don't! Therefore the salesperson that hits quota in an organization that doesn't know how to set one is not proving his or her competence.

Myth#2: Activity level does not equate to sales competency - Many organizations set sales activity goals. They will ask their salespeople to accomplish X sales calls, X phone calls, and X proposals a day. These types of measurements, and constantly hitting them, do not mean the person can sell. Sure, there is a positive correlation between activity and selling, but if I play the lottery every single day I probably won't win. If I play X lottery games, in X states, and with X amount of money, it doesn't mean I'm driving towards a win. It simply means I'm increasing my chances. I'd rather have someone that knows exactly what they are doing and not playing the lottery with their sales territory.

So what exactly is sales competency? Competence is defined as someone's knowledge, skill and internal motivation. Knowledge is the building block of competence. Effective sales professionals are continuously learning and they have developed a framework and process for accessing their knowledge. They have a solid knowledge foundation and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. Skill is determined by the knowledge a salesperson has gained plus their experience level. The most skilled sales professionals have stayed in one vertical market or industry for a longer period of time. They have also stayed in the same sales role for a longer length of time (such as outside sales). They have also followed a defined career path with increasing levels of responsibility and complexity of sale. Internal motivation is someone's self talk, drive, and purpose. Their passion for the product, zeal for the organization where they work, and their positive attitude form the cornerstone for the ability to overcome objections, handle rejection, or deal with poorly set sales quotas.

A competent sales person has the ability to move into any organization and gain the trust of the decision-makers. They work to create a situation where buying can occur within an ethical environment at a fair price. They have the knowledge to speak to a CEO, the front-line manager, or the newest employee about what issues and challenges they face. Most of all they strive to increase their knowledge, skill, and motivation so they can be the best at what they do.

Brian is the Chairman and Founder of the the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC that has addressed the concerns and challenges of individual sales professionals. Brian has authored the world's first universal selling standards and open-source selling framework for free distribution. This 'Compendium of Professional Selling' containing the commonly accepted and universally functional knowledge that all sales professionals possess. The open-source selling standards have been downloaded in 16 countries by over 300 people. Over 30 people have made contributions.

Because UPSA is not owned by one person or any company, it is a member organization and guardian of the global standard of entry into the sales profession.

Find out about the membership organization and understand the processes and framework of professional selling at the UPSA Website at

Find out more about Brian at:

Or at

Sales Meetings That Work

Writen by Mick Bradley

Let's assume you want to let everyone know that you will be having a "RED TAG" promotion. You can do it the wrong way by assembling the troops and announcing the date. You can even make the mistake easier, just send out a memo or office e-mail and tell everyone.

Or you can do it the effective way.


We will use your red tag event to illustrate.

You've made the decision to have a sale. Congratulations.

Have you bothered to see if you have enough red tags?
Have you scheduled when to place the tags on the merchandise?
How about when to take them off?. If your promotion does not have an ending date how can you create urgency?
If you have an event that requires information you do not normally use does your staff understand the information or where to find it?
Is everyone aware you are having the event? The office staff, the credit department, shipping and receiving. If you get everyone involved you can insure better results.
Do you need help in controlling the traffic, registering them, etc? (You do expect to bring in lots of customers.)
Get your salespeople excited. Treat it like an ordinary event and you will get ordinary results.

Whew, finally done!


Is your inventory ready?
Are you ready?
Are your support people ready?
Do you have a way to measure the effectiveness of your ad?
Is the phone operator or receptionist prepared?
Is your sales staff prepared?

Is there anything that would be a hindrance to the success of your sale?

It may seem like a lot to do for one meeting. Here is the point...

Use this format. It gets everyone on the same page, leaves no room for doubt and it gets results!

2006 Copyright MasteringSelling

Friday, May 30, 2008

How To Achieve Sustained Sales Growth Efficiently Reliably And By Design

Writen by Jonathan Farrington

The Sales Cabinet concept is a sophisticated process for analysing, planning, directing, and monitoring the activity of a sales team.

It is an essential tool for setting sales policies and the management, at whatever level, of a sales team, if not every sales call produces an order and there is a time lag between the first contact with a potential customer and that company placing an order.

SC is also a valuable tool for marketing and business development personnel.

The Dimensions of Sales Cabinet:

Sales Cabinet is a four drawer filing cabinet and each drawer represents not only a stage in the buying cycle, but also the critical tasks a sales team should be performing if they are operating in a "balanced" mode. The aim is to elevate as many of the inhabitants of the bottom drawer up to the top drawer as possible, whilst continually finding replacements for them.

The Buying Drawers:

We have two buying drawers, the top two. In the very top one, we keep our long term stable partners. We might well have preferred supplier agreements with them or a clearly defined and established purchasing history.

In the second drawer, we place the less well established clients, the occasional buyers or the one off buyers.

A great deal of purposeful, strategic, objective-based selling can and should be done within these two drawers. In the precarious second drawer of the cabinet, every piece of business has to be fought for and often secured through sacrificing margin. Whereas in the secure environment of the top drawer, the inhabitants respect the added value we bring to the relationship and seek stability and value for money rather than lowest price. However, developing and promoting Drawer Two occupants has obvious benefits to the growth and profitability prospects of the Company.

The Working Drawer:

In Drawer Three, we keep our prospects, potential customers who we have visited and qualified, but have yet to win the first order. Though this is a crucial part of the development of an ideal customer base, sales work in the Working Drawer is, in general terms, the least cost effective unless rigorous qualification processes are followed.

Its importance and its costs make it, therefore, yet another important focus for the Sales Manager.

What can we do to heighten our success with a major sales opportunity? When are we best to back off? How can we capture big opportunities more quickly? Etc.

The Marketing Drawer:

Drawer Four, is where we keep our suspects, those potential opportunities identified but not yet visited or qualified. As with most things in life, the more work that is put into the preparation phase of the sales process, the less effort will be wasted in the long-term.

The selection of the right opportunities from the market place can ensure better sales, better profits and can reduce the cost of the sales work.

Selection criteria have to be established and graduated by experienced sales personnel. Once in operation and proven, their continued use can be maintained by other members of the organisation who will develop, to a much higher level, the specific skills needed.

Banks of qualified prospects can be built up if appropriate – ready for a concerted attack on a targeted part of the market place.


When I first designed Sales Cabinet, I realised just how important it is that balance be maintained between the four drawers (where market conditions permit). Excessive top drawer activity will constrain the growth of the business into those areas that are identified as the opportunities of the future. It is also a symptom that the organisation has got itself into a rut or a 'comfort zone', that the communication of policy is poor, that management is not controlling the work, or that people lack the confidence to tackle new areas (or a combination of all of them).

Too much emphasis on the bottom two drawers is inefficient and will dramatically reduce the potential for growth, will increase the cost of sales unnecessarily and could well lower the reputation of the Company.

The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted. All rights reserved. This publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.

Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group jf-assocs.

To find out more about the author, read his latest articles or to subscribe to his newsletter, visit

Why Every Franchise Should Use Electronic Ufoc Distribution

Writen by Jason McKay

In today's world time is very important, if not everything. Time to prepare, time to market, time to close, time to roll out, and many other time related events can determine in great part whether a franchise venture is successful or yesterdays news. Franchises have been burdened, or perhaps mandated is a better choice of words, to comply with Uniform Franchise Offering Circular ("UFOC") law for 25+ years. During this 25+ year period the UFOC has changed dramatically, and the legal bodies controlling its function and purpose have also changed, but one thing has remained constant over these years, and that is UFOC's are expensive.

They are very expensive to create, super expensive to produce and distribute, and unbelievably costly to store and audit. UFOC's are one of the single greatest expenses new franchises face, and for the first time there is a cheaper and more effective way to do business. It is legal, it is safe, it is secure, it is encouraged and it will make an existing franchise more efficient and lower the barrier to entry for new franchisers. This revolutionary technology has only been around for 135 years, so it is about time the legislators let franchisers take advantage of the savings. What is this new technology you ask? It is electronic signature capturing, and New Hampshire was the first court system to rule on the validity of electronic signatures in 1869, it was in relation to the telegraph and signing for invoices for goods shipped by railway cars, but it was and is legal, so why not use it in other forms of business?

In the 1980's businesses and courts started to ask this same question, and voilĂ  there was the fax machine. The fax machine got the proverbial electronic signature ball rolling again in business, but the Internet will take it to its rightful level of use in business. Practically everyone has access to the Internet now. Public libraries, schools, businesses and 100's of millions of homes have Internet connectivity available to them on demand. The fax machine was certainly prevalent, but it could never have the wide spread use and functionality that the Internet offers, and therefore the Internet is the best logical way to spread the use of electronic signatures.

Franchises may send their UFOC electronically to potential franchisees. They may do this by building internal delivery systems, or they may use external delivery services. The delivery method will depend on the size and nature of the franchise, but the purpose will be the same, cut costs and reduce time to close business. Any franchise that is not actively looking for an electronic UFOC delivery service is going to be left behind. Electronic delivery will shorten sales cycles by allowing franchises to start the 10 day waiting period immediately, and open up additional markets by reducing the cost of entry.

Franchisers that embrace electronic UFOC delivery will save money and time in multiple ways. Take a look at the following chart.

Costs Associated with a 150 Page Paper UFOC's
  1. (1) 150 + Ink + Paper + Wear and Tear on printer = $3
  2. (2) Binding = $1
  3. (3) Outbound Overnight Shipping = $20
  4. (4) Inbound Overnight Shipping = $20
  5. (5) 150 Pages 1 Year Storage Using Government Estimate = $19
  6. (6) Labor @ 2 Hours for Total Process – Sending and Receiving = $40
  7. (7) 2 Days Opportunity Time for Best Delivery Option = $Unknown
Total Cost of Using Paper = ($103.00)

Costs Associated With Paperless UFOC Using Electronic Signatures

  1. Labor @ 15 Minutes for Total Process = $5
  2. Sending File Electronically = $5
  3. Delivery Is Immediate = No Lost Opportunity Costs
Total Cost of a Paperless Transaction = ($10)

Total Savings Using Electronic Signatures vs. Paper = $93.00 per UFOC

The FTC has issued several Informal Staff Opinion Letters to electronic signature companies acknowledging that these services comply with the current FTC rules., located at is one of the companies that received such an opinion letter, and additional companies may be found at the website. By utilizing an electronic signature and UFOC delivery service, like PrivaSign, franchisers will save hundreds and potentially even thousands of dollars a month delivering their UFOC's, and capturing new business.

Franchisers who are slow to adapt new electronic signature methods will undoubtedly lose business to the faster and more aggressive franchises. Speed and timely delivery of materials will allow technology savvy franchisers to approach and win more business. In today's franchise world prospects generally look at multiple franchisers before selecting which one is right for them. Therefore the franchiser who has the fastest response time, and the first chance to earn a potential franchisees business is more than likely going to win.

Electronic UFOC distribution combined with an efficient electronic signature capture service is the right choice for virtually every franchiser. Explore the market and try out different providers to discover which one is right for you. The cost savings, the time savings and the efficiency gained by using electronic signature technologies is worth the effort.


Jason McKay

Jason McKay is a Founder of the Electronic and Digital Signatures International Standards Commission. Mr. McKay is a well published author on the subject of electronic signatures, and has written many research articles and informational articles on the subject of electronic signatures.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Emotion Winning Peoples Hearts

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Whereas logic is the language of the conscious mind, emotion is the language of the unconscious mind. We know that emotions are reactions to perceived and imagined stimuli, not based on logic, but on one's own personal experiences. Emotions often outweigh our logic. Imagine placing a plank of wood on the ground and walking its length a few times. Easy enough, right? But suppose you placed it a hundred feet in the air between two buildings. You know you can walk that plank--you just did it over and over again. Yet now, emotions and fears outweigh logic. Your "what-ifs" and your imagination supersede the concrete knowledge of your ability to walk the plank.

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman asserts that understanding emotions is more pertinent to leading a successful life than having a high intelligence. Often people of high IQ struggle at work because of their weaknesses in fundamental human relation skills. Goleman calls this skill "emotional intelligence." He emphasizes that emotional intelligence largely determines our success in relationships, work, and even physical wellness. Emotional intelligence "is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions." Emotional intelligence includes emotional management, personal motivation, empathy, self-awareness, and social skills.

When you are persuading someone, emotions provide the springboard for a successful execution of your argument. In fact, I would even say emotions are the energy and very fuel of the persuasion process. Without tapping into your audience's emotions, there is no strength or energy in your message. Emotion is a power you can harness and use in practically every aspect of persuasion. Remember, logic is important, but emotion helps you catapult an otherwise dull or flat exchange to the next level.

Consider the following advantages of emotion over logic:

1. Arousing the emotions of your audience engages your listeners and distracts them from your intention to influence and persuade.

2. Emotion requires less effort than logic. Logic solicits cognitive effort, whereas emotion is automatic.

3. Presentations aimed at engaging the audience's emotions are usually more interesting than logical ones.

4. Emotion-based arguments are often easier to recall than logic-based arguments

5. Emotion almost always leads more quickly to change than logic does

You must know when to create positive or negative emotions and when to dispel negative emotions. You have to find ways to tap into your prospects' emotions, such as hope, love, pride, gratitude, and excitement. If you can do this, you can inspire anyone. Decide ahead of time what emotional climate you want to create, capture those emotions within yourself, and you'll be surprised how you can transfer those emotions to your audience.

Kurt Mortensen's trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

6 Steps To Avoid Losing Summer Sales

Writen by Kara Kelso

It's a fact - the online world dies down in the summer time. Kids are out of school, families are on vacation, there's fairs to attend to, and many are just spending too much time outside to be online. For those that market mostly online, the summer months could be eating your profit. The good news is, it's easy to take your product to where your market is - offline.

While some of you may moan and groan about leaving the comfort of your home to make money, if you don't want to loose out on sales it's the only way. Also you will get a chance to meet some local people in your area, and getting out can be good for you!

So what is there to do offline in the summer time? PLENTY! There are hundreds of events going on right under your nose, just waiting for you to be a part of. State fair, county fairs, town celebrations, music events, craft fairs, expos - all renting tables and spaces for you to sell. The hard part of marketing the events has been done for you, all you have to do is show up!

Use the following 6 steps to make your offline event a success:

1. Locate the events
This isn't as hard as some make it out to be. There are many different ways to get in touch with those in charge of organizing events. Check with your local City Hall or Chamber of Commerse first.

2. Get Ready for the Event
Make a list of items you will need to take, plus take inventory of the products you have in stock. You'll need a good variety and some eye catching items to take with you

3. Set Up Your Table
Your table should be neat, but eye catching. Table clothes are a must! Don't forget to have a drawing box on the table as well, to catch leads.

4. Attend the Event
You will need to have someone at the table at all times. Don't leave - not even for a second - unless there is someone there to cover you.

5. Take Notes
Was there something you could have done differently? Take notes and do better next time!

6. Follow Up
As they always say, the money is in the follow up! Be sure to stay in touch with all those contacts you made at the event.

Avoid losing sales this summer and get involved offline!

More information and help on staying organized while attending local events can be found at:

About the Authors: Kara Kelso & Anita DeFrank are two busy wahms, and the owners of Direct Sales Helpers. Learn how you can be successful in your company by visiting:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Managing Salespeople At A Christmas Tree Lot

Writen by Lance Winslow

For those who have ever run a Christmas Tree Lot you know that if those people leave without buying a tree they may not come back and this is why sales are so critical indeed. Sales management, staffing and careful scrutinizing can make the difference.

Of course you need to find sales people with at least some experience too and mold them from there because selling Christmas Trees is somewhat unique really. But since your Christmas Tree sales lot is only for a couple of months how can you train the people doing the sales properly in such a short amount of time?

The trick to managing a group of Christmas Tree sellers is to set them up in a zone defense pattern and make sure they know what they are doing. If not buy some sales tapes for them to listen to each not night as this will also increase sales.

They need to get to know the Christmas Tree lot like the back of their hands and also know exactly what the customers are looking for and then be able to find it quick, while maintaining a proper attitude.

How do you insure that the attitude of all your Christmas Tree Sales People is correct? Well, you need to talk with them and congratulate them on making multiple sales per hour and figure out a bonus program to get a little bit of competition going but not so much that they try to steal each others customers. So, consider all this in 2006.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Moving A Business Relationship From Free To Fee Turning Strangers To Friends With Power Of Freebies

Writen by Debbie Jenkins

In the last issue I shared with you a technique for getting permission to follow up with people who have seen you speak on stage. This was just one example of a tactic for filling your pipeline.

In these next two issues we'll look at one of our favourite and most powerful tactics for attracting new leads and turning complete strangers into customers as efficiently and enjoyably as possible.

So buckle up and hang tight as we take another trip down the Lean Marketing Pipeline...

Whenever we attempt to attract new business, we're paying for the privilege. You're paying to educate, inform, attract and persuade. Right up to the point where they pay for the product or service you provide, you're parting with money and time in return for nothing but their attention.

So, if you're already giving all this time, energy and money away for f'ree then it's not going to hurt to give something away that they actually value, want and need. In fact doing this sets up a nice chain of events and really helps to move people through your relationship pipeline.

Believe it or not, people don't like being sold to. We like to believe that we make decisions based on rational thought. That we chose a particular course of action because we were shrewd and well-informed. We like to feel in control and expect to be treated respectfully.

Being sold on a freebie?

Well that's another thing entirely. If we're offered a f'reebie and it looks interesting enough then we'll take it. There's nothing wrong with being guided to something of value - we just don't usually like the hard sell.

So a f'reebie can be seen as a little sweetener for getting strangers into your pipeline or as a bonus incentive for people deciding to buy what you sell. We'll look at a few categories for the freebie, how you might use them in your pipeline and the pros and cons but first, let's just consider why a f'reebie is probably your most powerful persuasion tool.

5 Reasons Why The F'REEBIE Is Good:

1. You're Paying Anyway...

You're usually paying to get people to do something that they'll initially resist. Give something for f'ree and they'll usually gladly give you useful information and permission to contact them in the future.

2. Everyone Loves a Bargain...

People who found the f'ree information useful will probably tell their contacts how to get hold of the same information. This applies equally to potential customers, the press, resource guides and websites. You can get a lot of unpaid sales-people on your side with very little effort.

3. Humans Are Generally Reciprocal...

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours is the mantra for many animals but especially humans. Many of us even have an aversion to being 'indebted' and may go out of our way to ensure our 'debts' are repaid. Potential customers might just be tempted to give their business to you over a competitor, because they 'owe you one'. Once they've made the decision all you have to do is deliver what you promised.

4. Feel Good Marketing...

By deciding to give away information to others without expectation of reward you'll feel good. For those people who've always thought marketing was a form of manipulation then approaching the process from a place where you give first can make the whole process far more pleasant.

5. You Look Like A Hero...

If you provide something truly useful and don't even expect payment then people will think you're a trustworthy character. If you provide big value without asking for a penny in return you could look like a hero. People look to, trust and admire heroes. It's good for business to have your customers looking to you, trusting you and admiring your work don't you agree?

In the next issue I'll give you ideas for creating powerful freebies of your own. But as a really easy start to get you into the spirit of things why not just share something of ours for free with your contacts today? I've found that pointing someone you've recently met to some useful information is a great way to start a new relationship off on the right foot.

You could...

* Tell them to join you on the Lean Marketing Champions eZine by sharing this link...

* Point them to a selection of f'ree eBooks by sharing this link...

* Let them know about a fantastic publishing package that gives authors 50% royalties by sharing this link...

Givers Really Do Gain - Try it today and see for yourself!

'Dangerous' Debbie Jenkins

(c) Copyright 2005

But don't let that get in the way of your success.
This is the ideal time to work on your business
rather than in it. Get 2 F'REE eBooks and prepare
for more success with less effort here...

A Coachs Handbook For Sales Managers

Writen by Nicki Weiss

This article may be reprinted in its entirety with express written permission from Nicki Weiss. The reprint must include the section "About the Author".

Quote of the month: "A leader is the relentless architect of the possibility that others can be." Benjamin Zander, Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic

Sales organizations have access to more or less the same resources. They can draw from the same pool of salespeople in their niche or geographic area, and they can all learn the same sales or management tools and techniques.

Yet some organizations perform at a high level and other stay at the bottom of the heap. What accounts for these gaps? I believe two words answer the question: effective leadership.

Too many sales managers are bosses, technicians or even bullies. They kill team spirit, arouse mediocrity and suck the energy out of companies. The results are poor morale, loss of talented people and low performance.

Effective leaders, by contrast, define themselves as coaches and teachers. Rather than constantly dealing with problems and telling people what to do, strong leaders empower and enable others to solve problems on their own, take risks, make decisions, tackle new challenges, and learn from their experiences. They don't just see their salespeople as who they are today, but who they could be in the future.

Here are the best practices of sales managers who lead through coaching and teaching:

CLARIFY GOALS Research shows that only about 20% of managers write down their goals. If you don't have any written goals, how do you know if you have accomplished what you set out to do? Telling team members, 'Okay everyone, go make the numbers' doesn't provide guidance and support.

A more effective goal for the sales manager/coach would be along the lines of: "By the end of March, I will have completed a developmental plan for each salesperson in our division. It will focus on how to help each salesperson meet their sales targets and increase their leadership skills. Each person will have three reasonable goals, and one superhuman goal. After collaboratively setting these goals, I'll ask each of them to complete a plan outlining how to reach these goals. I'll follow up with each person by having a monthly one-hour coaching conversation to help overcome any problems and track their progress. I will not cancel these coaching conversations - they are business meetings."

Strong leaders invest in coaching for themselves so that they stay on track and explore what else is possible.

MATCH INDIVIDUAL GOALS TO ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS Effective managers ensure that the plan each individual draws up reflects the needs of the organization, customers, and sales team with their own desires.

They work with each salesperson to clarify their goals, asking questions such as:

· Does your performance reflect the organization or team mission?

· What stretch goal would foster your performance and development? What is important about that to you? What do you love about it?

· What would be a meaningful role for you in the future? How would you need to develop to reach it?

· What's missing that would make a difference to you?

Strong sales coaches give people a chance to develop what they are passionate about.

CONFRONT POOR PERFORMANCE Given the rapid pace typical in today's organizations, sales managers can get so bogged down with their own work that they miss the opportunity to correct a performance problem before it is too late.

It's also tempting for sales managers to ignore "borderline" cases, hoping they will quit or move to another department. However, procrastination rarely helps. Team members need to know what managers expect of them. They can't read minds.

Confronting performance problems is generally more humane than letting the individual and their co-workers suffer. An underperforming team member is often unhappy and likely mismatched to the job.

Many problems can be headed off through regularly scheduled coaching conversations. Adopting this strategy will encourage team members to bring up problems early, when they are easier to solve.

STAND BACK AND SEE CLEARLY Sales managers whose identity and income is too tightly wrapped up in the successes and struggles of their team may not be able to disassociate themselves enough to clearly see what each member needs to thrive. Those who act as coaches and teachers start by building agreement with their team members on roles and goals, then guide them to reach their full potential. Conversely, strong sales managers acknowledge when they are can not detach themselves enough from a salespeoples' performance, and help that salesperson find a more appropriate coach.

This process of serving the well-being of team members is called "stewardship". Leaders who use a stewardship approach regard their teams as separate from themselves and their identity. The opposite method of staying involved in every detail of your team's functioning might be termed "smothering." Managers who smother make it difficult for people to get their work done.

ASK AND LISTEN Many managers feel that the members of their team have misguided views, and they need to straighten out their thinking. This strong need to be right can sabotage any attempt at meaningful conversations.

There is an 180 degree difference between coercing people to accept your ideas, and collaboratively talking through issues to come up with the best solution. A strong leader deeply believes that other people are naturally creative, resourceful and wise, and their job is to help uncover the answers, not dictate them.

Mediocre sales managers do all the talking; those interested in acting as coaches and teachers ask probing questions and listen attentively to the answers.

CHEERLEAD It has been said that there are only two types of people who thrive on being recognized for their achievements: men and women. We have all experienced the incredible energy of getting recognition or appreciation from people whose opinions we respect.

A common complaint of people in low-performing organizations is that they don't get recognition and appreciation from their boss. They feel like a piece of furniture. It's a huge contributor to declining levels of morale and self-motivation.

Strong sales coaches understand the power of sincere recognition, genuine appreciation and celebration. These are what provide the atmosphere of encouragement that develops confidence and builds on strengths. Have fun with it!

About the Author

Nicki Weiss is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Sales Management Coach, Master Trainer, and workshop leader. Since 1992, Nicki has trained, certified, and/or coached more than 6,000 business executives, sales managers and salespeople.

Nicki guarantees increased sales performance when sales managers become better sales coaches. Sign up for her FREE monthly e-zine, Something for NothingTM, which has powerful tips and techniques for sales managers who are ready to make this transformation at . You can email her at or call 416-778-4145.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fighting The Irrational Ghosts Of New Account Development

Writen by Rick Johnson

Ghosts can seem very real to someone that is charged with making cold calls over the telephone to companies they have never talked to before in an effort to qualify them as potential customers. A common scenario could look like the following little story.

Half asleep but with a look of fear still present in her eyes, Julie stared into the bathroom mirror. Her right cheek displayed the remnants of pillow wrinkles and still revealed a telltale sign of the drool that escaped her mouth during the night as she slept. Sleep hadn't come easy for Julie that entire weekend. In fact, this was the worst weekend she could remember having since her Grandmother passed away. Julie looked into the mirror only to see an unsympathetic face filled with anxiety staring back at her.

"Just call in sick," she commanded to her own image in the mirror. "Better yet, why don't you just quit, that'll fix that Bozo of a boss. I'm the best Inside Sales person our company has. They'll miss me when I'm gone."

The coldness of the water on her hands coming from the faucet she had turned on brought Julie's thoughts back to reality. She knew she couldn't "Just Quit." She was a single Mom and they paid her a good salary.

"Besides," she thought, "I've got ten years with this company. They shouldn't treat me this way. What am I going to do?"

What caused Julie to be so upset? What caused her to lose so much sleep over the weekend? What filled her with anxiety and fear? What made her consider giving up a ten-year career as an Inside Sales person?


As an observer or reader and to our more aggressive "A" personality types it may seem like Julie is "Fighting an Irrational Ghost". But, let's be honest, even the most experienced field sales people and the most experienced inside sales people don't like making cold calls. There is always some level of anxiety that exists in the callers mind. It is called the "FEAR OF MAKING PERSONAL CONTACT WITH THE UNKNOWN"

So is that fear an Irrational Ghost or is it a legitimate concern, challenge or roadblock to prospecting and new account development? The answer is….. it is both.

Being that it is "a given" that every distributor has to be concerned about new account development to some degree, just who should be responsible for cold calling and lead qualification?

Using field sales reps for cold calling is the most costly of all sales strategies used in the distribution industry. Field sales reps and their managers value face-to-face time with customers and prospects. Their goal is to increase in-person contacts. Cold calling and lead qualification by the field sales force is a costly, low return on investment exercise.

In the past several months, Sales Managers and field sales people have asked the question --- "who should really be responsible for cold calls (prospecting) and for qualifying leads?" One sales manager asked if we could train their field sales force on making cold calls over the telephone. I suggested that this may not be the best use of the field sales person's time?

Making phone calls to set appointments, follow-up personal calls and building relationship equity with existing accounts is a routine part of the field sales person's duties, but, making cold calls by telephone is not the answer to new account development.

Voice Mail is a reality in today's marketplace. That means telephone calls to contact ratios may be 10 calls to 1 contact versus 5 to 1 in the past. These tasks eat up an inordinate amount of time and are not perceived to be within field sales area of expertise. Additionally, field sales DNA just seems to lead to, inconsistencies in implementation and proficiency when telephone prospecting is done by many field sales reps. There may also be a lost opportunity to build a consistent data base of market intelligence for the company.

Prospecting is the most expensive of all sales tasks, closely followed by lead qualification tasks. Using field sales people compounds these costs.

Getting field sales in front of customers should be the primary objective in most industries. If in-person calls are important to achieve sales and profit goals of the business, then you should consider a different perspective for new account development. Other more efficient and cost-effective methods exist that offer additional benefits to your company. But, how do you fight the Irrational Ghosts?

The answer to that question is training, education and preparation. Outcall is an exceptionally good Marketing/Sales tool if it is done right. There are a lucky few that can just pick up the phone, make a cold call and it comes naturally to them. But for most of your employees, making that call is the most unpleasant and difficult task you could possibly ask them to do. They fight the "Irrational Ghost of Fear of the Unknown". It's actually unfair to send them onto the "Outcall Battlefield" without arming them with the proper weapons. Those weapons are generated through training. It's true that for some people making that cold call is no big deal. It's also true that for some people no matter what you do, or how much training you provide, they just wont be able to do it successfully.

However, for the vast majority of Inside Sales people and Call Center Agents employed in this country today, outcall training can be extremely beneficial. A solid outcall program with trained personnel can provide a major impact to revenue and bottom line profits. Think about it. If you have only five inside sales people making ten outcalls per day, that totals 250 calls per week which equates to 1000 new proactive customer contacts per month. Consider a Different Perspective: When a business needs considerable prospecting and lead qualification, a two-step process is recommended:

1. Marketing Coordinator: an inside sales lead person (or Outcall Supervisor) could be dedicated to manage all responses to qualify needs and interests, gather and record prospect information, and to coordinate a proactive outcall program. Qualified prospect information in the form of a Prospect Profile should be provided to the field. A profile might include a business description, products and value-added services of interest, company name, address, phone and FAX numbers, contact name and title, products and services used by 'like' accounts of the same SIC code, best time to call, or, specific appointment date requested, identification of literature sent, and name of the field sales person to whom the lead is directed (determined by prospect ZIP code). A Marketing Coordinator's tasks include using a 'contact management' software program to build a consistent data base. The job may include sending appropriate company literature, i.e., catalog, line card, and a thank you note with a confirming sales call date and field sales rep's name.

2. Outcall: Inside sales is one of the most critical and important positions in the company. It is the face seen most often by our customers. It is a combination of order taking, selling and customer service. The strength of the sales team will determine the future of the company. Field sales and inside sales must work as a team on new account development. Inside sales can do the initial contact work but field sales must work in tandem to call on high potential accounts face to face. Of course, it's likely that inside sales may actually start generating business before the field sales rep ever makes an in person call. In some cases an in person call may not be necessary. However, it is extremely important that inside sales and field sales work together as a team on new account development.

Today's sophisticated sales environment is based on this century's demand from customers that their suppliers become total solution providers. Inside sales people play a key role not only in support of field sales but, I repeat, Inside sales is one of the most critical and important positions in the company.

A positive mental attitude or a constructive and optimistic way of looking at ourselves, our work, our people and our management goes hand-an-hand with being successful at inside sales no matter what company we work for, no matter what industry we are in. A positive mental attitude is the key ingredient necessary to fight off the "Irrational Ghosts" of cold calling and lead qualification.

Developing this attitude of unshakable self-confidence and enthusiasm, no matter what is going on around us is our passport to becoming successful in the development of a successful outcall program. Essentially, the development of a proactive outcall program with the proper training and education backed up by a well designed incentive program specific to new account development for inside sales will chase those ghosts away forever and increase sales while maximizing profits. E-mail to request additional information on "Outcall Development". – Sign up to receive "The Howl" a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today's issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution's "Leadership Strategist", founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail

Why Sales And Marketing Recruiting Is Different

Writen by Andrew Rowe

Our company specializes only in hiring sales and marketing people, from front line contributors, to mid-level and all the way up to the executive level. We hire sales representatives, account managers, national accounts executives, directors, and vice presidents of sales and marketing. Through that process, we've developed a tremendous amount of expertise in these two functional areas that most recruiters don't have. In addition to that, our sales and marketing team expertise comes from accumulating over a hundred years in the trenches of sales and marketing, actually working for companies and building and leading many successful sales and marketing organizations. When we approach sales and marketing, we approach it with deep experience. This is what you should look for in a sales & marketing recruiting firm.

Most recruiters don't have that kind of experience in this particular domain. In fact, a lot of executive recruiters or headhunters are generalists. They hire CFOs, CEOs, CTOs and CIOs and they may be very good at the executive level in performing those duties. But when it comes to hiring sales and marketing talent, there's nothing like having a recruiting or executive search firm which is focused in sales and marketing. We believe that it offers a powerful advantage to companies that are trying to make sure that they make the absolutely right hires for their company. We hire sales and marketing talent on a national level for clients who seek us out, looking for that special headhunting or recruiting firm who only focuses on making critical sales and marketing hires. They seek us out because many of them have suffered the burden of having made mis-hires.

In our Recruiting Guide, we quote statistics showing that 53% of all sales hires are mis-hires. This number is so high because most people don't have the skills or the experience to hire sales & marketing employees, and so they get "sold" through the interviewing process, as opposed to determining whether or not a candidate can and will sell for their company. In particular, executives with backgrounds in finance, operations, engineering, manufacturing, or other non-sales and marketing fields are easily duped by slick, well-dressed, smooth-talking sales and marketing folks. While many of those people are actually very capable, often times the smoothest and the slickest ones who are the best at selling themselves in the interview aren't necessarily the best people to represent and sell for your company. This is why outsourcing your recruiting function to an experienced sales and marketing recruiting company can have huge value for your business.

Cube Management helps companies accelerate their sales, by providing the Sales & Marketing talent they need to grow their business. Cube is a leading recruiting and consulting partner to mid-market and emerging growth companies in the technology, manufacturing, healthcare and business service sectors. We work across the spectrum of Sales, Marketing and Business Development, providing holistic solutions that drive revenue and profit success. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process and People, to produce great results. Download the Cube Management Recruiting Guide and the Cube Management Inside Sales Guide.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Accepting Responsibility For Your Sales Success

Writen by Dave Kahle

That we live in a time of relentless and pervasive change is no longer news to anyone. There is one important implication of this situation that continues to be a challenge. That is that our employees need to continually change their behavior to adapt to the world around them.

My work of helping companies develop more effective sales organizations always involves making changes in the company. And sooner or later, that means that some of the employees must make significant changes in the ways that they think about, and do, their jobs.

This is particularly true of the sales people, who must decide to change their behavior and to implement the best practices that I teach. Beyond that, ultimately, helping people change is the work of every executive, manager, consultant and trainer.

Which brings us to the heart of this article. What is it that empowers some people to change smoothly and effortlessly, while getting others to modify their behavior seems like moving a mountain? What is the fundamental building block for individuals that, more than anything else, equips them to successfully implement change?

It is something that is becoming increasingly rare -- a motivating sense of personal responsibility. That is, a deep and imbiding belief that one is responsible for one's own behavior as well as the consequences of that behavior.

That seems so basic and common sense, yet I am constantly amazed by how few people actually exhibit it. Over and over in my work in developing sales people and their managers, I'm struck by how many people fail to accept responsibility for their own success or lack of it.

It's far more popular to be a victim. We have all shook our heads sadly over some newspaper account of someone who commits some act of irresponsibility, and then successfully sues someone else. In our litigious world, being a victim often pays. That is an unfortunate consequence of an unhealthy belief.

As long as we view ourselves as victims, we're unable to change ourselves or our circumstances and achieve better results. It is not our fault that we're not doing better, we tell ourselves. Someone else caused it. And because it's someone else's doing, the power to fix it and make it better is with some one else. We're powerless to fix it.

While few people admit it, or even realize it consciously, this "victim attitude," the direct opposite of personal responsibility, is very common, and embraced to some degree by most of us. This is especially true of sales people, who could always do better if only something were different - something that someone else controls. If only... we had lower prices ...our quality was better ...the boss was more understanding ...customer service was more responsive know the litany because you've chanted it.

My wife is a crises counselor. One of the biggest eye-openers for her occurred when she realized that she was counseling the same people over and over again. You'd think, as she did, that a crisis would be an isolated event. Not so. Many of her clients find themselves lurching from one crisis to another. Why? Because they don't make the changes in their behavior and character that got them into the crises in the first place. At some deep level, they see themselves as victims, not personally responsible for their own character, their own behavior, and the consequences that behavior brings. Where there is no sense of personal responsibility, there is little hope for positive change.

I had a personal experience that brought this lesson home to me in a way that I will never forget.

I had been the number one salesperson in the nation for a company - my first full time professional sales job. I had it made: adequate salary, good benefits, company car, bonus potential, and the respect of my employer and colleagues. But the long term opportunities were limited, and I decided to move onto a job that was 180 degrees different. I took a position selling surgical staplers to hospitals. It was a leap from the secure job I had to one that paid straight commission, required you to buy your own samples and literature from the company, and provided only six months of a draw to begin.

But I was cocky, filled with the success of my previous job, and sure that I could make this work also. It wasn't hasty. I looked at the amount of existing business in the territory I was slated to get, and determined that if I could double the business with in six months—a doable task, I was assured - I'd be back making about what I was used to. Then, as I increased the business, my income and life style would evidence the difference

It all sounded good, and I left my old job, and arrived in New York City for six weeks of intensive training on the new one. During the time that I was there, my district manager moved on, and was replaced. When I arrived home after the training, he was anxious to meet with me. In our first meeting, before I had a chance to begin working, he informed me that he had revised the sales territories. The territory that I thought I had -- the one I was hired for - was not the one I was going to get. Instead, I was going to receive just a fraction of that.

The new territory only contained about 1/3 of the existing business of the previous one. This change meant my plans for making a living were shot. It now became an impossible task.

I was upset and angry. How could they do that to me? I immediately began to look for another job. Determined to quickly leave this unethical, uncaring company.

Things got worse. As I interviewed several companies, I discovered that they saw me as the problem. Instead of understanding what the company had done to me, they thought I was an opportunist who was looking for an easy way out. It became clear that no one else was going to hire me!

I grew more and more angry and bitter. In addition, I had little success selling the staplers. After six months, my temporary draw came to an end. I owed the company $10,000, was making almost nothing, and had no prospects for another job. I felt squeezed between the proverbial rock and hard place. I was a victim of a dirty deal.

Then, out of the blue one day, I had an inspiration. It was me! The problem was me! Yes, the company had treated me poorly. Yes, they had been unethical and uncaring. But, the product was still exciting, and the opportunity still great. The real problem was my attitude - my bitterness and anger were getting in the way of everything.

I was responsible for my own behavior, my own thoughts, and my own attitude. When I had the realization that it was me, I felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders. If the problem was me, then I could change! If the problem was somebody else, then I was a victim, and powerless to do anything about it. What a motivational and exhilarating realization. I began to work on my attitude. I began to take control of my thoughts. I looked up Bible verses that were very inspiriting. Versus like, "If God is for you, who can be against you?" "If you have faith like a mustard seed..." I wrote them down on 3X5 cards. Then, as I drove into my territory every day along I-96 in Detroit, I held them in my hand on the steering wheel, and read them over and over to myself. Slowly I began to do away with my bitter attitude, and replace it with hope and expectation.

My results began to change also. Things began to go better. Six months later, I had paid off the debt to the company, and was making more money then I thought possible. The job became more fun, more financially rewarding and more fulfilling then anything I ever expected.

The turning point for me occurred at the moment I accepted personal responsibility for my circumstances.

Once again, the lesson is clear: When there is no acceptance of personal responsibility, there is little hope for positive change. Where there is a personal responsibility the future holds unlimited potential.

Your struggle to bring about significant change in your organization will depend on the depth to which your employees embrace their responsibility to make personal changes. Your efforts to improve the productivity of your sales force will ultimately depend on the degree to which your sales force accepts personal responsibility to make the changes in behavior that will improve their results.

Can you instill a sense of personal responsibility if it is lacking?

This is one of those aspects of character that is always easier to hire then to instill. In other words, if you hire people who already have a sense of personal responsibility, your job will be much easier.

However, if some of your current employees lack this characteristic in sufficient quantity, it is not hopeless. By understanding the importance of this quality of character, and regularly making it a part of your conversations, you can raise the awareness of this fundamental building block for implementing change. Talk about it, write about it, and preach it in company meetings in the hope that many of your employees will see the light, in the same way that I did.

About Dave Kahle, The Growth Coach®:
Dave Kahle is a consultant and trainer who helps his clients increase their sales and improve their sales productivity. Dave has trained thousands of salespeople to be more successful in the Information Age economy. He's the author of over 500 articles and five books. His latest is 10 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople. His "Thinking About Sales" Ezine features content-filled motivating articles, practical tips for immediate improvements, useful resources and helpful tips to help increase sales. Join for NOTHING on-line at

You can reach Dave at:
The DaCo Corporation
3736 West River Drive
Comstock Park, MI 49321
Phone: 800-331-1287 / 616-451-9377
Fax: 616-451-9412

4 Marketing Myths Threaten Your Sales

Writen by Bob Leduc

These 4 marketing myths can cause you to lose sales if you base your marketing decisions on them. But the related marketing tips I included with each myth will boost your sales if you act on them instead.

Myth 1:
People Always Buy Where They Get the Cheapest Price

If this was true, only businesses that charge cheap prices would exist. Some people buy where they get the cheapest price. But most people are more interested in getting value for their money than in getting a bargain.

Tip: Look for some low-cost ways you can enhance the perceived value of your product or service. Then test raising your price. Don't be surprised if both your sales and your profit margin go up.

Myth 2: v Offering Your Customers Many Options Will Boost Your Sales

Presenting your customers with options usually reduces your sales. Here's why...

When confronted with several options, most customers have difficulty making a clear decision. They often react by procrastinating - and never making a decision. When this happens, you lose a sale you already had.

Tip: Try to limit your customer's decision making to either "Yes. I'll buy." or "No. I won't buy". Don't risk losing them by including "which one" decisions.

Myth 3:
Everybody Needs My Product/Service

That's what YOU think. Most of them don't think they need it ...and most aren't ready to spend their money for it.

The hazard of this myth is that it causes many marketers to believe they can succeed without doing much marketing or selling. They think their product or service is so special that it should automatically generate hordes of paying customers. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that way.

Building a successful business is hard work - most of it devoted to finding customers. Even if most people can use your product or service, you still need a marketing strategy to reach them and a persuasive sales message to close sales.

Tip: Look for narrowly defined niche markets where your product or service solves a unique need of the customers. Focus your marketing on them instead of trying to reach a broadly defined general market. You'll generate more sales and enjoy a better return on your advertising expense.

Myth 4:
Keep Changing Your Advertising or Your Sales Will Decline

This sounds logical but it's not true. Never abandon advertising that's working. I know many businesses that have been using the same advertising for years and they're still growing. Here's why...

The goal of most advertising is to attract new customers. Once someone becomes a customer, they won't respond to that advertising again. But you can use different (and cheaper) advertising to generate additional sales from them.

But there's still a large population of non-customers who didn't respond to your regular advertising. Most have not seen it yet ...and those who have usually need to see it numerous times before they will respond.

Don't abandon advertising that's working - but keep trying to improve it. And regularly test new things to see how they work for you. If you never make any changes in your advertising, your sales will eventually decline.

Tip: You can automatically keep your advertising up to date by allocating 80 percent of your budget to proven promotions and 20 percent to testing new things. When something new works better than your proven promotions, move it to the 80 percent group and start testing something else in the 20 percent category.

Don't believe these 4 marketing myths. They're not true. Marketing based on them will cause you to lose sales. Instead, apply the related marketing tips I included after each myth to boost your sales.

Copyright 2004 Bob Leduc

Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards... and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. You'll find his low-cost marketing methods at: or call: 702-658-1707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Developing Sales Discipline Heres What It Means To You

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

In an earlier article I asked whether selling is more of a skill or a discipline.

My take on it: It comes down to about 80% discipline, and 20% skill.

Some people took umbrage with my view, probably because they want to glorify this fine occupation of ours, making it seem difficult, and therefore somehow more professional.

But the real difficulty is summoning the discipline to do what has already been proven, in millions upon millions of transactions, over many decades, to get buyers to buy.

For instance, it's well known that smart practitioners sell benefits and not features, alone.

The car salesman doesn't simply push a hybrid because it consists of two styles of propulsion under the hood. He talks about its overall economy and efficiency, which during the course of ownership will add up to big bucks, especially as gas prices soar.

That salesperson has learned to say: "This is a hybrid, AND HERE'S WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.

That "meaning" phrase is crucial, not only because it prepares the client to hear the benefit. It is a prompt to the seller himself, to ALWAYS SELL THE BENEFIT after he has mentioned a feature.

This is sales discipline at work. It isn't something we do some of the time: We must do it all of the time.

Likewise, the ABC's of selling, as you've probably heard, are translated as follows: Always Be Closing.

There should be no such thing as a sales talk that isn't driven to a close, or an objection that is countered that isn't followed by a close.

You have to ask for the sale; that's basic, and once may not be enough.

What makes you ask, over and again?

You've got it: discipline.

Remind your salespeople about its importance, and if you sell on your own, keep selling yourself on what discipline means to you!

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 750 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered the world's foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at:

Friday, May 23, 2008

When There Is Not Enough Staff For A Trade Show Booth

Writen by Julia O'Connor

It happens on occasion that you don't have enough staff, or the right staff, for a trade show. Often this occurs to small and/or new companies, when two shows overlap or there are staff conflicts – sales meetings vs trade shows. What to do? Here are Five Tips for finding appropriate folks to work the show for you....

..... CUSTOMERS are your number one cheerleaders - if you have done right by them. Offer to pay them real money. Some will decline, but if they accept don't begrudge them the bucks - maybe they think it just good business, maybe they really need it for a reason that is none of your business. It's a cost of doing business. Yes, pay for expenses proportional to their time - if they were planning to attend. If not, yes pay expenses as you would for any staff member. Give them time to attend an educational session or two. TRAIN THEM. There is company information they are not privy to, so be sure they know what they can talk about and what you don't want them to talk about. Discuss any problems with your product and this client in advance.

..... RETIREES, who are recent, especially those well respected within an industry association such as former national or show city chapter officer. Maybe your former top sales guy/gal. As long as the reputation is clean and they left on good terms - did you fire him, did she get her full pension? - this is sometimes a draw. Bring him up to speed. Pay him and-or offer a package such as (1) all expenses for the event, though he only works one day (2) expenses for retiree and spouse - offer but understand if he just wants to come by himself - it's a vacation for him.

..... CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS are great, especially who handle inside customer service or inside sales. Why? They know both company and products. They are attuned to voices, names, problems - plus customers love to put the voice to the face - Hey Gloria, I've been talking to you for years.

..... VOLUNTEERS because I always suggest to clients to write a job description and post it internally. Would you rather have an enthusiastic staffer who can be quickly trained than an assigned drone who doesn't want to be there? You know you can spot a bored and boring staffer from 70ft out.

..... HIRE AN EXPERT - There are two kinds - the hostess who greets, takes info but does not market the company, and the professional presenter. The first can often be found through local or national staffing companies. Be sure to ask for someone with trade show experience. The second is with companies such as that of Heidi Miller whom I do recommend -

Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - writes about practical aspects of trade shows. As president of Trade Show Training, inc,, started in 1995, she works with companies in a variety of industries to improve their bottom line and marketing opportunities at trade shows.

Julia is an expert in the psychology of the trade show environment and uses this expertise in sales training and management seminars. Her most popular program - Camp Sho-M-Sel-M, will be held in Las Vegas, December 5-6, 2006. This is a 2-day program - Day 1 is How Trade Shows Impact Sales and Marketing Seminar. Day 2 is Field Trip Day - Walk-through of the Las Vegas Convention Center, discussion about unions and a half-day visit to a real trade show.

Contact her at 804-355-7800 or check the site

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Positional Authority

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Those who have authority based on the position they hold in the community have Positional Authority. This includes your boss, the U.S. President, or a police officer.

A landmark study conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale University illustrates just how powerful Positional Authority can be. In his experiment, Milgram had some participants pose as "teachers," while others portrayed the "learners." The "teachers" were told they were going to help the researcher test the learning levels in the "learners" by giving progressively more intense shocks each time a "learner" answered memory questions incorrectly.

Of course, no real shock was administered, but the "teachers" were not aware of the false premise, and the "learners" were instructed to act as though the pain were real. It appeared as though the "learner" were suffering intense pain. The purpose of the study was to see how far the "teachers" would go in obeying the head researcher's authority, even if it meant inflicting great pain on a fellow human being. The results were astounding: Two-thirds of the subjects delivered as much pain as they could (450 volts), pulling all 30 of the shock switches, even when the acting "learners" pleaded, begged, and even screamed for them to stop the experiment.

This experiment strikingly demonstrates the concepts we've made about Positional Authority. Consider the following key points: First of all, the "teachers" were noticeably uncomfortable with what they were doing. In fact, they hated it. Many of them asked the researcher to please end the experiment. But when he refused, they continued on, trembling, perspiring, and some even laughing nervously. In spite of their extreme discomfort, almost all of the "teachers" continued to obey the head researcher until the experiment was over. The converse is also revealing: When the scripts were reversed and it was the "learners" ordering the "teachers" to deliver more shocks, while the researcher protested, not even one single person obeyed! One hundred percent refused to obey the "learners" over the researcher. After obtaining the shocking results of this experiment, Milgram wrote, "It is the extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority that constitutes the chief finding of the study."

When someone has a higher position or more authority than you, the automatic trigger is that whatever that person says must be true. The FAA found that many errors by flight captains were not challenged or corrected by other members of the crew. This blind obedience to position and authority resulted in catastrophes. One airline, concerned about this evidence, tested their own flight crews via flight simulators. They created conditions that would lead to mental overload and emotional stimulation. The captains (in one study) would make fatal mistakes at a critical moment. The airline was shocked to find that 25% of the flights would have crashed because the subordinates did not take corrective action and challenge the position of the plane's captain.

Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal. Get your free report 10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands and explode your income today.

Kurt Mortensen's trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sales Managers Boost Your Credibility Amp Sales By Updating Your Database

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

I've been driving a Porsche Cayenne for more than two years, yet my leasing company keeps sending me letters imploring me to trade in my Mercedes SUV.

They should know the Mercedes is long gone because they bought it from me!

That's how I got into the Porsche to begin with.

I'm a reasonable customer so I cut vendors a certain amount of slack, but I don't need to keep receiving special service coupons for that Benz. By the way, if it hadn't been a service nightmare, I might be driving it still.

Getting these mailers not only tells me that my leasing company is sloppy, but that their special, supposedly customized offers are anything, but. I'm just one of many contented sheep grazing in their fields, and when they want to clip me again, they can more or less do so, at will.

When I contact my inactive accounts I search the Internet to see if I can find anything that's new about them. Recently, I did this with a Florida insurance company client.

I found they had grown, and they were starting to do some publicity which discussed how consumers can better understand the soaring homeowner rates that have blighted the state in the wake of recent storms and hurricanes.

By the time I spoke with them, I was up to speed with their issues, knowing it was a different company in many ways than it was a couple of years ago. That knowledge helped me to earn more business from them.

To me, this is stuff that belongs in Selling or Marketing 101.

Do your homework. Treat customers as individuals, and profit.

Make a point of updating your database, and by the way, this is a perfect excuse to call your clients NOW.

You'll be amazed at what you'll learn, and they'll probably teach you exactly what you need to know to sell them again!

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 900 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered "The Gold Standard"--the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Five Crucial Things You Forgot About Selling

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

I remember signing up for a seminar at USC taught by the incomparable Donald C. Bryant, a Professor Emeritus from the University of Iowa.

It was one of the smartest moves I ever made as a graduate student, because, arguably I did my best scholarly writing under his guidance.

More than simply edifying, this experience was nearly transcendental. There were only a handful of us in this doctoral seminar, and it was rare company, indeed.

In a telling comment, one of my peers looked at me as the first session was about to get underway, and he whispered with reverence: "This guy has forgotten more than most scholars will ever know!"

Of course, it was a compliment.

The best salespeople have also forgotten more than mere amateurs will ever know.

But even the best need to prepare their "lectures" or sales performances, too, and this means going over what has become hazy, or has been pushed out of our routines.

Here are five crucial things most salespeople have forgotten:

(1) With new clients, you always have to establish your credibility, right away.

Just this week, after having communicated by phone and email with a prospect, I sat down with her and her associates, and after making some small talk, she said: "So, Gary, why don't you tell us about your background in this field, and how long you've been doing it."

For just the slightest second, I thought, "Didn't you read the materials I sent you?"

She was doing me a favor, though. We all need to explain why and how we've earned the sales opportunity that is before us. What makes us uniquely qualified to win their business? Prospects want to know and need to know, and it's all too easy to assume our reputations precede us. If you're leaving a Credibility Step out of your selling, and many of the most experienced sellers do, then put it back in!

(2) When possible, listen more than you speak.

Ask questions, not only because you'll get prospects to disclose needs. Ask because you really don't know this person's specific situation. Minimally, new prospects don't think you know them, and they expect you to make an investment to get better acquainted. Also, by listening more, especially at the beginning of the encounter, you send a signal of respect that suggests that after the order is taken, you'll still be respectful when servicing the client. You may think you've heard it all, but you haven't. Even if you have, give yourself a chance to be surprised and to learn something new.

(3) Don't wing-it!

You must sound organized to come across as expert in your field. Allowing happenstance or the client to take complete control of the situation is foolish and it usually backfires. They can't sell what you're offering better than you can, and most prospects will not close themselves. If you have a basic presentation that you follow, stick to it as much as you can, while still providing enough give-and-take to LISTEN, as mentioned, above.

(4) Never get too chummy with the prospect.

Some prospects are more charming and disarming than we are! They can beguile you into disclosing your manufacturing costs, competitors' names, and miscellaneous weaknesses and disadvantages that you wouldn't bring up in a confessional. Recall that World War I poster that said: "Loose lips sink ships!"

Reveal enough to be personable, but take care of the business at hand, first and always.

(5) Remember the ABC's: Always Be CLOSING!

You can lead a client to water, and you CAN make him drink!

The way to do this is by closing, by asking for the sale in a stylized, effective way.

"I think we've covered everything, so let's get you started with this program and I know you'll be pleased, Okay?"

If you hear an objection after closing once, address it as well as you can, and then, CLOSE AGAIN!

Because you've been using closes for so long you might become unduly cynical about them, believing that clients will be aware of your techniques or resistant to them, or that they'll lose effectiveness over time.

Not true.

In my hometown, they used to joke, "Vote early and vote often!"

In selling, close early and close often!

Refresh yourself on these five practices before each and every presentation, and you'll return to and stay at the top of your game.

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 800 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered a foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at:

Sales Cycle Reduction Equals Sales Acceleration

Writen by Andrew Rowe

Sales Cycle Reduction Equals Sales Acceleration. What would it be like if you could reduce the time it takes you to close orders from new customers by 10, 20, or 30%? Think about how a reduction in your sales cycle could lead to rapid improvement of your sales results and your revenue generation. Many companies neglect to take time to analyze their sales cycle and look at ways to reduce it…which can be done by more clearly defining their sales process and looking for areas to eliminate lengthy steps or delays.

Best in class companies are constantly analyzing their sales cycle and their sales process to look for areas of duplication of effort, missing links in the hand off between marketing inside sales and field sales. The development of sales tools to improve their sales process and also looking at improving the qualification so that they are only working on customers who truly have the best opportunity to buy from them. These are just some of the things that great companies are doing to reduce their sales cycle and accelerate their sales.

If your company is suffering from a long sales cycle and it feels like longer than it should be, now is a good time for you to pull your sales team leadership together to meet with a sales pipeline development consultant to analyze your sales process and look at the typical steps in the process and what the delays are associated with each step… particularly as it relates to customer decision making, but also as it relates to internal process steps that you can reduce.

If you pull your team together and brainstorm on each of the different aspects of the sales cycle and how to reduce duplication and reduce delays, you'll find that you can probably come up with some improvements relatively quickly that could easily improve your ability to close deals faster, focus your resources on more qualified prospects, and win more proposals. Think about sales cycle reduction as one of your strategic initiatives in 2006.

About Cube Management

Cube Management delivers sales acceleration services to emerging growth and mid-market companies. The experts at Cube Management work across the entire spectrum of marketing, sales and business development to provide customized solutions (whether recruiting, interim management or consulting) that drive revenue and profit growth. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process & People to produce winning results. Download the Cube Management Inside Sales Guide and the Cube Management Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just What Is A Broker

Writen by John Buckle

In most circumstances a broker is a third party to an agreement to purchase a commodity, the item being bought and sold is neither owned nor controlled by the broker who simply acts as an intermediary and is normally paid on completion of an agreement. Brokers who also act as sellers or as buyers become a principal party to the deal whereas an agent is one who acts on behalf of a principal.

Lets look at a real estate broker for example.

Real estate brokers are in the business of brokering real estate transactions; Simply put that means, finding sellers for those who want to buy real estate and finding buyers for those selling real estate. The real estate broker doesn't own the property they are selling and would normally find potential buyers by advertising and from their own customer lists.

Real estate brokers and their salespersons assist sellers in marketing their property and selling it for the highest possible price under the best terms and also assist buyers by helping them purchase property for the best possible price under the best terms.

They also sell mortgage...

Those who specialize in selling mortgages are known as mortgage brokers and would normally have access to a range of mortgage and loan packages from a number of finance companies and is then able to offer these to people wanting to purchase property with finance.

A mortgage broker would typically work in close association with both real estate and insurance brokers because often these all go hand in hand

Who pays the broker?

There is no hard and fast rules on this, brokers may take a fee from either the seller or the buyer and in some case both parties will pay the broker. Real estate brokers will often work to a fee which is payable regardless of success in finding a buyer.

Brokers and the law

In many jurisdictions, particularly in the United States, a license is required to be either a real estate or mortgage broker. In particular, any of the following could refer to either a real estate or mortgage broker in America: A person owning, managing, or being in charge of a real estate or mortgage brokerage firm, even if the broker just works for him- or herself.

The broker brokerage.

The brokerage is the firm or business of the broker which can also called a real estate agency in the case of a real estate broker. A licensed professional who has obtained a broker's license (which entitles them to operate a brokerage).

By default, brokers of this kind has already met the requirements of "salesperson" or "agent" licensure. Brokers can still be designated as such without owning a real estate or mortgage brokerage, some people may refer to any licensed agent as a broker.

A licensed real estate or mortgage agent is a professional who has obtained either a salesperson's license or a broker's license.

This article was written by John Buckle and you are free to use it in any manner you like providing this resource box remains intact. Read more of John's work at What is a broker?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Red Flags Of Sales Recruiting No Need To Take Action Dont Hire Them In The First Place

Writen by Thad Greer

If you've seen the movie adaptation of David Mamet's stage play "Glengarry Glen Ross", no doubt you're familiar with Alec Baldwin's infamous scene in which he delivers one of the most memorable motivational sales speeches of all time. If you've worked in sales at any time during the last 14 years since the movie was released, chances are either yourself or someone you know can recite chunks of Baldwin's speech, or at least some of the key takeaway phrases ("coffee is for closers!"). For those of you who haven't seen the movie, Baldwin portrays a real estate shark (albeit briefly: he's only onscreen less than 10 minutes) brought in by fellow brokers Mitch and Murray in order to rally their sales team and roll out the guidelines for the monthly sales contest. The top two salespeople get to keep their jobs while everyone else is canned. At the end of his tirade, Baldwin responds to Ed Harris's question of why he's there. "I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me for a favor," Baldwin sneers. "But I said the real favor is follow my advice and fire your (rear-end) because a loser is a loser." Meeting dismissed. Harsh? Absolutely. Motivating? Without question it motivated the unproductive reps to take action, just not the actions Mitch and Murray would have hoped for (you've got to watch the movie to find out what truly desperate people in these circumstances will do). The first five minutes of movie blatantly establishes that the entire sales department, with the exception of top-producer Al Pacino (nominated for an Academy Award for his role) has already begun the downward death spiral many salespeople go through once industry burn-out has begun to set in. For those of you with a background in sales management who have seen the movie, you probably recognize that the intent of the sales meeting at the fictional Rio Rancho Properties was not to motivate the reps to sell; it was to motivate them to leave. Mitch and Murray's reasoning: turn up the pressure to an unbearable level and the ensuing war of attrition will weed out the ones that can't take the heat, thus saving the management team from the unpleasant tasks of either confronting the reps regarding their lack of production or terminating them in person.

For many sales managers across companies of all sizes, turnover is a way of life. Dealing with performance issues comes with the territory: either you address it with your reps individually or someone will be addressing yours with you. Whether a sales rep leaves voluntarily or is escorted to the door by security, it's a painful process to watch someone go from excited candidate to promising newcomer to frustrated rep to underachiever to latest casualty. I have yet to meet a manager who wouldn't rank firing people at the bottom of the list of "most rewarding aspects" of their job. Looking back at the interview process, most sales managers will admit they recognized the red flags that ultimately led to the undoing of a particular candidate once he or she became an employee, but for whatever reason chose to overlook or downplay them. I've spoken with sales managers and business owners who, after an exhaustive parade of unsuccessful hires and terminations, have come to the conclusion (incorrectly, I might add) that it's virtually impossible for them to predict whether or not any one candidate will be successful in their organization based on a handful of interviews. "Salespeople are professional interviewers, right? Aren't they trained to tell you exactly what you want to hear?" So they devise a recruiting strategy that consists of establishing some rough hiring guidelines (ie., Bachelor's degree, minimum of 2 years sales experience) bring on the first person that looks presentable, throw them a bunch of dead leads and/or disgruntled customers, point them to a phone and if they fall to produce in the first 90 days, get rid of them. Recruiting the RIGHT people is no easy task, so it's understandable how one could adopt this scattershot philosophy. My advice would be that if you want to make every working day feel like a week while ushering in your own demise, then adopt this strategy immediately.

While this is an extreme example, most hiring managers would concede there have been occasions when they have overlooked critical flaws in a candidate's background, character, etc. simply because they were desperate for someone to step into the position, only to watch it blow up in their face down the road. If you are the type of manager who is swift in taking action upon the realization you have made a bad hiring decision (and by that I mean terminating the employee), then I applaud you. There is nothing worse than watching someone toil away just to collect a paycheck. But wouldn't life have been easier if you hadn't hired them in the first place? One of the keys to successful recruiting (particularly in sales, where the candidate criteria can be more subjective than with other roles) is to pay close attention to your gut instincts and if something about a candidate doesn't sit well with you, move on to another candidate! If you're an individual with a lot of pet peeves, then you'd better do your best to determine early on in the interview process whether or not a particular candidate has the potential to drive you crazy. You can save yourself a lot of frustration by recognizing those subtle indicators of future "termination-worthy" actions. Here is a handful that I watch out for when interviewing sales candidates:

The Inaccessible Candidate. It bothers me when I am unable to connect with a sales candidate on their cell phone after 2 or 3 tries. If I'm not able to get through to them after a reasonable number of attempts, why should I assume that one of their prospects or customers would be able to? I can appreciate not answering calls from blocked numbers, but I don't think refusing to answer because they don't recognize the phone number is a legitimate excuse. Who's to say I'm not a referral from a client?

The candidate who gets too personable, too quickly. Like many of our clients, sales reps in our industry are essentially consultants: we do not sell a product and the services we provide are highly customized based on the needs of our clients. In addition, our firm operates on a retained basis (whereas the majority of our industry is comprised of contingent firms), so in order for us to justify an up-front engagement fee it's imperative that we establish credibility and capacity very early on in the relationship. Our clients look to us as professional consultants and solution providers, first and foremost. If a personal relationship develops beyond the scope of our obligations, great, however, our clients to do hire us to discuss deep-sea fishing, my nephew's wedding and whether or not the Marlins can pull a rabbit out of a hat this Saturday against the Cubs. If this is the route a candidate takes in an attempt to immediately try and establish rapport with me, what makes me think he or she is going to act any differently with one of my clients? There is a time and place for those conversations: just make sure they're not in the first 15 minutes of our initial conversation (that is, of course, unless I happen to mention the Marlin's current winning streak).

The Agreeable Candidate. It always bothers me when someone sits across from you, looks you in eye and agrees 100% with everything you say. It's one thing if I'm at a cocktail party making small talk with my co-worker's spouse with whom I've just met. It's another thing when I'm having a serious business conversation with an individual I'm either considering recommending to my client or adding to my own team. If you're interviewing a candidate that appears to be in agreement with everything you say, you've either got a "yes man" on your hands or you're talking way over their heads and they're too intimidated to say so. There's an old business cliché that says if you have two people within an organization that think exactly alike, you have one too many people. Either way, you need to keep looking.

The Blame Game. The majority of people leave their jobs either because they do not get along with their immediate supervisor or they simply do not like what they're doing from the hours of 8 to 5 each day. That's understandable; I think all of us have been there at one time or another. The problem I have is when a candidate consistently points the finger at someone or something that stood in the way of their success, thus forcing them to look for a new line of work. This is particularly troubling when you have a candidate with a less-than-consistent work history (more than 2 jobs in the last 5 years). "The job was not as described," is a way of saying "I didn't fully investigate the opportunity." "The company was not financially sound," in the candidate's mind is better than saying "I failed to do my due-diligence and research because I was desperate for work." "My boss had unrealistic expectations." They probably should have figured out what those expectations were before they accepted the position.

Thad Greer is the Business Development Manger for Priority Recruiting Solutions, Inc. a retained executive search firm headquartered in Hollywood, Florida (just north of Miami). Thad contributes to the Priority Recruiting Report, a bi-monthly newsletter containing topics related to the recruiting and staffing industry. He can be reached at 954-920-8814 or