Sunday, August 31, 2008

The 10 Most Important Quottodosquot Of Any Successful Salesperson

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

1) Define your Target Market

3 questions that set you up for success (or failure)

1) Who do I call on?
2) What do I call on?
3) Why should I call them?

Here's why:

1) Your average revenue per account is directly proportional to what companies you decide to call on.

2) The level of responsibility you call on directly affects your sales cycle and first appointment to proposal ratio.

3) And the reason you call on them directly influences your closing ratio.

Get the picture?

What this tells you is that you do have absolute control over your performance metrics.

However, you need to be able to clear on the "who", the 'what", and the "why" to understand the most effective prospects to call on.

Your answers should relay:

Vertically by industry
Horizontally by title
Benefit-based by application.

2) Develop a 'Targeted Selection Process'

Sales people without targeted prospects are like trees without leaves. Eventually, you wither and die!

Your target list is one of the most vital ingredients to begin your sales process. Getting targeted, prospecting data should be an ongoing project. It must be done prior to and independent from the act of communicating to set a first sales appointment.

Regardless of whose responsibility it is to accumulate this target list - (the sales person or the company) - it MUST be done ahead of time. Think of it as the preferred destination on your road map, and a necessary item to check off before you start your trip.

3) Understand & Identify your 'Magic Number'

Your 'Magic Number' is the number of new appointments you need each week to assure your revenue goal is met each month. It's a derivative of your sales cycle, average revenue per sale, 1st appointment to proposal ratio, closing ratio, and revenue goal.

It too is a dynamic number which is based on your individual competency ratios and performance numbers. So, it's personal to you, and directly linked to your success.

Let me say that again.

You magic number is personal to you - and DIRECTLY affects your success.

By meeting or exceeding this activity number, you can routinely eliminate fluctuating sales results and virtually assure achieving your income goals.

4) Interpret your 'Hourly Rate'

The lure of flexibility, the temptation of low supervision and the idea of freedom from a regimented time-clock makes professional selling a very attractive career choice for the dreamers, visionaries and idealists among us.

To borrow a quote from Phil Helmuth, two-time World Champion of Poker…"It's the hardest way to make easy money there is."

It's true. We don't punch a physical clock or necessarily have someone monitoring our time on the job. But we do have an internal clock of accountability.

It's not accountability to our company per say, but to our desired results and to us.

It's called our 'Hourly Rate.'

You can calculate yours by dividing your income goal by 252, and again by 9.

Want to join the 100K Club?

You don't need cumbersome time management courses to make the right choices in your daily routines if you are aware of what you are worth.

5) Block 90 minutes a day, for 'Opportunity Creation'

If you want to leap over the heads of your colleagues - adopt this strategy:

Block off 90 minutes per day (Every day) to initiate contacts for new appointments.

You can slide it up and down during the week, but do not eliminate any blocks until you achieve your 'magic number' for the week. Consider this your weekly quota. Not in revenue, but in activity.

Use the 90-minute block for contacting targets, not figuring out what targets to call. Have your list ready and complete. Discipline yourself to daily routines to achieve weekly goals for assuring your monthly results.

6) Define & Measure a minimum objective for the 1st appointment

Do you know what your objective is for your first appointment? What is it that you are trying to achieve? How are you measuring it?

Simply put…your objective should be to gain commitment to take the next step in the sales process.

This evaluation will lead you to a results oriented training process to improve your 1st appointment to proposal ratio. You should develop a 'gateway' definition and business rule to gauge how may times you achieve it. Then be sure to measure it and find a strategy to re-adjust your product or service.

7) Assemble a checklist of strategies & tactics between appointments in your sales cycle

Want to know the difference between a sales leader and a sales follower?

Just watch what they do during their "in between time".

You may be shocked to know that the difference between excellence and mediocrity is what routines and processes a person puts in place between appointments, not just during appointments.

Use these tips from the X2 system to help you develop good habits between appointments.

1. Will you have all the decision-makers present for the 'closing 'appointment?
2. If not, what can be done to get them involved?
3. Is there a perception of risk because of brand identity?
4. Fax over any pertinent industry articles and testimonial letters from businesses similar to theirs.
5. Do they think you are expensive? Develop a ROI model exclusive to their business.

And on it goes.

Meet with your team to brainstorm around each scenario that happens in the sequence of appointments, and develop Powerful Routines to raise your closing ratio and quicken your sales cycle.

8) Integrate 'Customer Creation' programs

The secret of being a "master of cold-calling" is NOT actually having to do it - Jeff Hardesty

If you've been in your sales position for more than 4 months and you're still relying on cold-calling 100% of the time, you're working way too hard.

The key to efficiency is to work smart, not hard….here are a few ways to leverage your success.

Set up a process of routinely asking for referrals at the end of your sales process, (win or lose).

Join or start a lead group.

Develop your own referral program.

Identify clients with customers that you can help.

Contact businesses that have services that compliment yours, and educate them to your collaboration program. Use these 'Customer Creation' models and reap the rewards of a true entrepreneur.

Remember…the key is to LEVERAGE every available resource you have.

9) Pro-actively Procure Testimonial Letters

One of the most powerful 'grass roots' marketing tools is scenario-based testimonial letters. Set up a process in your daily routine to let loose when you hear opportunities for testimonials. They are abundant, and can be born out of both good and bad scenarios.

In fact, a 'bump-in-the-road' letter is 5 times more powerful than the standard 'Golly-gee, you're great!' letter because it shows that someone had a problem and you fixed it.

Everyone knows stuff happens. So when you solve problems for people - get a letter. Strive to secure a testimonial letter from each of your customers or inquire about what you must do to get one. If you will do this, you will build an arsenal of "trust building" "customer getting" and "sales closing" tools that will be more valuable to you than gold.

10) Train for a High 'Conversation to Appointment' Ratio

Most sales organizations die a slow death from not setting enough "new" appointments on a routine basis. That's because the average conversation to appointment ratio is between 5-18%.

Therefore, the most important competency to "train to" and "ratio to measure" in sales is converting conversations to appointments.

With the myriad of potential roadblocks in your way such as voice mail, gate keepers, and busy schedules…it's hard enough to just get a conversation with your prospect.

So you must dedicate some training time to this core competency. Then you can improve your conversion ratio and you will need fewer conversations to achieve the necessary number of new appointments. Less hits, more appointments.

Less time, more commission.

Jeff Hardesty is President of JDH Group, Inc. and the Developer of the X2 Sales System®, a blended training system that teaches sales professionals the competency of setting C-level business appointments. Jeff has been featured in numerous National publications such as Business First, Dartnell's SELL!NG , Chief Learning Officer and Training Magazine with reference to Blended Learning Systems and improving sales teams Key Performance Indicators.

He travels the country conducting live X2 'Boot Camps' and Train-the-trainer sessions helping sales organizations get more reps to Quota in less time, shorten new-hire 'Ramp-to-Quota' and eliminate Turnover costs due to low sales activity. Jeff can be reached at To view a complimentary suite of sales training ROI calculators and determine your sales team's Key Performance Indicators in line with your sales objectives visit

Business Goal Setting Comments

Writen by Lance Winslow

If you will do small business did you may realize how important is to set goals and if you work with others who are also in business with you then you know it is important for the whole team to stay motivated and to set objectives. You see, in business it is a competitive environment like sports and dually get out what to put in. If you fail to play out you have inadvertently planned to fail.

Many people dream of a business of their own and many of those who take the plunge to start their own business and risk their own capital and hard work dream of rags to riches and living the good life. However, simply dreaming of all these wonderful things that you may have in the future is not necessarily going to bring them to you. You must set goals.

An interesting case in point; Reverend Doctor Martin Luther king Jr. had a dream. It still has not been accomplished yet, some day hopefully it will. But had he had a goal with quarterly objectives that dream may have been accomplished sooner. You can sit back a dream about conquering your regional market, but if you want to win that market you need a definite and definitive game plan.

What you did yesterday is great, what you will do tomorrow may seem too many to be impossible to others. Your only enemy is not the competition it is procrastination. You must believe in yourself in your team and if you want to achieve the dream you must set goals. Consider this in 2006.

Lance Winslow

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Five Steps To Maximize Success In Targeting For Growth

Writen by Rick Johnson

Targeting is the process of selecting high potential customer accounts to receive intense sales focus. Goal setting translates that high potential into achievable numeric objectives, i.e. revenue and margin growth.

Each Territory Manager should select a predetermined number of Target Growth Accounts (TGA). Creating focus on this group of selected accounts doesn't mean a Territory Manager should ignore other accounts; he is always expected to service his entire territory. When making decisions regarding his or her time, however, he or she should always consider these selected target growth accounts a priority.

The primary purpose of targeting and goal setting is to keep Territory Managers focused on the strategic objective of becoming the Supplier of Choice. The Target Growth Account platform can be used as a flexible guide to successful growth through targeting, goal setting and action planning. The Target Growth Account platform reflects the evolution of the outside sales force from being primarily transaction driven and self-sufficient to developing customer intimacy and using team-based selling. It's the evolution from being a Lone Wolf to becoming a Lead Wolf; it supports growth in profitability, revenue and market share!

Selecting Target Growth Accounts requires careful thought and substantial effort. Annual sales, margin and goals are established, and detailed action plans must be created for each of these accounts. For most Territory Managers, TGA's will contribute a substantial portion of total territory sales growth. This "big effort for big reward" means that the number of TGA's must be limited, and that sufficient time is allotted to succeed with each one.

An account action plan ensures that the Territory Manager is proactively pursuing sales growth and that there is a solid basis for expecting account goals to be met. By monitoring these action plans, both the Sales Manager and Territory Manager can manage activities rather than wait for results. In short, the Target Growth Account platform provides:

* Focus

* Process

* Best Practice Discipline

* Accountability

The Territory Manager needs to submit a predetermined number of target accounts that have a high potential for growth with a high probability for success. These accounts are approved by the Sales Manager and become the focus of the Territory Manager and the Sales Manager. This account selection should include a number of prospects that are currently doing very little or no business with the company. This will keep the account pipeline full. Every salesperson loses accounts. Without the development of prospects, eventually the pipeline will run dry and the territory will shrink and lose market share. Individual sales goals are established for each of these accounts and agreed upon by the Territory Manager and the Sales Manager.

The intention of planning and goal setting is to provide focus on Target Growth Accounts. These are the accounts with the most potential for growth. This doesn't mean the Territory Manager now only has a limited number of target accounts. He must continue to service his entire account base. These are target accounts that have high growth potential and have been identified to receive a proactive, aggressive focus for growth.

Managing the TGA Platform

A Sales Manager has many competing priorities. One of the most important is the need to manage the sales functions. The TGA planning and reporting platform and the various activities which are a part of it are intended to help the Sales Manager improve sales management skills.

From a management perspective, the goal of TGA is to improve the quality of the targeting, goal setting and action planning efforts of your salespeople. Its primary purpose is to provide focus, process and discipline that will enhance territory performance. This enhancement will lead to an increase in the sales, profitability and market share for each individual territory. The process itself becomes an effective sales management tool.

An initial TGA territory meeting between the Sales Manager and the Territory Manager is the most important step in the TGA process because this is where the company's expectations of sales performance are defined. This meeting creates territory dialog that is essential for effective sales management ,support and knowledge transfer. Each Territory Manager should prepare by organizing some key information for each of the TGA accounts selected.

The Steps of the TGA Platform

The major steps in the targeting, planning and goal setting process are depicted in a description that follows for each.

Step 1: Account Selection

The TGA platform is intended to increase the focus of your sales effort on the kinds of specific activities that will lead to growth in sales, margin and market share. Before these activities are precisely defined for the TGA platform, the Territory Manager must select his Target Growth Accounts and review them with the Sales Manager. Target Growth Accounts should be selected on the basis of their potential dollar growth.

Careful selection of TGAs is obviously critical for the success of all subsequent efforts. Selection must be based on unfilled "real potential." Territory Managers should explain their rationale for their selection backed up by data justifying that selection.

Step 2: Customer Profile

When a customer makes his buying decision, he does so based on certain assumptions, perceptions and expectations. When the customer places an order, these assumptions and/or perceptions become reality in the customer's eyes. Your failure to understand these assumptions and perceptions often leads to costly misunderstandings, resulting in a disappointed customer. The key to avoiding these misunderstandings is to get the "book" on the customer. Only by understanding his needs, perceptions and expectations can you avoid misunderstandings.


* The customers' perceived value of your company drives their expectations

* Your company's performance value drives your customers' satisfaction

Getting the "book" on the customer means defining the customer profile. It contains information about the internal workings of your customer, including everything from the company's history and ownership to its day-to-day ordering process. Territory Managers should complete a customer profile for each of the accounts that they have selected. E-mail This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it for a sample customer profiling form.

The customer profile is the core of the TGA platform. Each profile element becomes a building block in the program's foundation. Without good dialog with target accounts, securing the information necessary to formulate a meaningful action plan becomes very difficult. To ensure maximum benefit from the information collected, the questions asked and the answers given should be documented. This allows both the Territory Manager and the Sales Manager to improve their knowledge of the account. Suggestions for getting the information needed include:

* Analyze internal historical data

* Do outside research on the customer's industry

* Ask the customer directly

* Develop a relationship with the gate keepers

* Use the internet to research the industry and the customer's customer's

Understanding the customer's market and business is necessary to develop a plan for growth. You need this intelligence to determine and allocate the necessary resources. You need to understand your customer's business in order to understand how to meet his needs, cure his pain and sell to him. Understanding his business involves knowing his markets, customers and competition. The market profile is used to gain knowledge of your customer's customer. In which market segments do they participate and what is your customer's strategy for growing market share? This requires serious discussions with numerous people in your customer's location. You will define the key players and your contact points on the customer profile tracking form.

Areas to explore include: what types of markets are they in? Are their markets growing or shrinking? What is their market share? Are they exploring new markets? What types of customers are they after? Who are their major customers? How do they generate new business? What is their large to small customer ratio? Who is their competition? What price or profit pressures are they experiencing?

This helps you get a better understanding of their business. By understanding their types of customers you will be able to determine the timelines from order to delivery. What is their ordering lead-time? What could be done to shorten the cycle time and perhaps determine what your customer's pain factors are?

A. General Information ---A Customer Overview

This provides an important snapshot of the TGA account. It tells you exactly what kind of company you are dealing with. Areas to explore include: when were they founded? How did they get started? Is it a partnership or sole proprietorship? Is their family involved in the business? Where are they headed? Do they have a strategic plan? What are their growth expectations? Who are the principals of the company? What are their demographics as it relates to their market, their office locations? What is their current and forecasted revenue? How many locations and employees do they have? What is their sales and margin split between products and services? What is their financial condition and credit rating?

B. Products and Services

What kinds of products and services do they sell? Are their products and services seasonal? Do their products and services go through sales lifecycles? If so, how long do they last?

C. Buying Process

What is their inventory control process? Do they buy based on forecast, material requirements planning (MRP) or the empty cabinet methodology? What is their ordering practice? By understanding their process, you can better determine the pain factors and the opportunities to become a hero.

D. Vendor Practices

Are they implementing a vendor reduction program or any other type of program that has significant impact on their purchasing practices? What kinds of buyer programs do they have? Are they members of or considering a buying group? Do they pay their bills on time? Are there any special terms required?

E. Special Requirements

Determine any and all special requirements such as packaging, receiving certifications or electronic commerce.

F. Becoming the Supplier of Choice

A current analysis customer profile is the baseline that allows you to understand your current position with the TGA candidate. It provides the starting point of where information will help you understand the customer's "Rules of Engagement." Look at all opportunities to prove your value as the supplier of choice. This includes product related issues, service related issues and even e-commerce. Keep this information current as opportunities come and go. What do they look for in a vendor? What do they think of you? Who are your major competitors for this account and what are they doing to win the business? These are suggested questions to get you thinking. Don't stop there; be creative. The more you know about your target account, the better prepared you will be to shorten the time required to meet your objectives.

G. Customer Contacts

A critical aspect of the TGA platform is the identification of all key contacts. This is more than a contact list. Sometimes just obtaining this data can be an adventure and a learning experience for your sales force.

H. Decision Makers

Some portion of the contacts identified in the previous section should be considered "key decision makers" in your customer's organization. They are the people who heavily influence the buying decision or heavily influence those who make the buying decision. These people deserve special consideration. You should understand the opinion that each key decision maker holds about their critical needs from a supplier and what it takes to become supplier of choice.

I. Competitive Profile

Who are your customer's major competitors? How do they sell against them? Why do their customers choose them? What is their competitive advantage?

J. Key Questions:

o What would their customers say that they really value from your customer?

o What are your TGA customers' key skill sets, i.e. what are they really good at?

o Who are your customers' major competitors?

o How is your customer positioned in their market?

K. Customer Requirements

Customer requirements are all of the specific criteria that you must meet to do business with a customer. Often, these are mundane issues like payment terms and quality certification. Think of these as the hurdles that you must clear in order to be a qualified supplier to your customer. The rules of engagement identify the conditions that are necessary for your company to win the business. Consider them to be the minimum qualifications. Your Territory Managers must identify these requirements for each of their selected accounts. Although they are most important for prospects, you may be surprised to find what you will uncover during your investigation for existing customers. You may find that your existing business is at risk because you are not currently satisfying their minimum requirements!

The following is a partial list of the typical areas in which rules of engagement are enforced:

* Inventory requirements

* Credit terms

* Payment terms

* Return policies

* Contract pricing

* Quality programs and certification

* Integrated supply

* Special shipping and handling

* Drop ships EDI - Internet communication capability

* Credit card sales

* Training

* Strategic alliances

* Consignment Frequency of vendor communications

Step 3: Define Goals

After the Territory Manager has selected his targets and collected critical profile information about them, it's time to quantify goals. For each TGA account, the Territory Manager should now define goals for sales revenue, sales gross margin and potential product objectives. The first item to be considered is exactly where you stand as a supplier or potential supplier right now.

Served Available Market (SAM)

The first step is to quantify the potential for each TGA account. Total available market, less other channel supply that you do not participate in, equals Served Available Market. This is the true potential revenue that you have the opportunity to go after. Just because the customer buys a total of $XX does not mean his total purchase is realistically available to you. We have now entered the age of multi-channel distribution. Your SAM must represent a large potential with a high confidence for success to warrant engaging the resources necessary to capture the account. This candidate should match the abilities of your company to perform. You must understand and be capable of performing under this customer's requirements, or their "Rules of Engagement."


Territory Managers should forecast sales revenue, sales gross margin and sales, by product line or vendor monthly. This is not "pie in the sky" guessing. They should be able to back up their forecast with solid data and a reasonable thought process. In other words, why and how do they feel they can accomplish this goal? Note that these forecasts should be revised based on the action plans developed in the next step.

Step 4: Action Plans

The action plan is the plan of attack - the steps that will enable the account to reach its goal. It should develop naturally from the knowledge the Territory Manager gained from his research and customer contact. A detailed action plan should be developed for each target account. Of course, the plans for accounts with which you currently do business and have relationship equity may be more extensive than those for newer prospects. This action plan determines how to match your company resources to every opportunity that exists within that account.

Each task in the plan includes three critical elements: a "deliverable" or result that the task will produce, an owner responsible for the task, and a due date. Defining a clear deliverable ensures that you are not confusing motion with progress. You must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish in each step to be sure that the overall plan will produce the desired result. Deliverables are the difference between passive forecasting and active planning. The owner of the task is the person responsible for its completion. This is not necessarily the person who will do all the work involved. Each participant in the plan must acknowledge and accept responsibility for his portion of the plan.

Task owners could include:

* Inside sales

* District Manager or Regional Manager

* Vice President of Sales

* Credit and collections personnel

* Operations manager

* Branch manager

* CEO in special cases

Definitive action plans are more than personal account visits once a month. They are more than introductions to upper management and they are more than a commitment to work with management to submit the lowest bid. Action plans must be precise, definitive and measurable. They could include tasks for getting specific customer information, introducing new product lines, entertaining key players, etc.

Do not make the mistake of putting all your energy into your largest accounts. This is especially true when you are getting the majority share of spend from that account. Remember, the TGA process focuses on the greatest potential for growth. Instead of simply learning to "do what we have always done a little better," we need to become aware of and practice understanding that involves re-examining everything we do - including how we think about our customers and our role in their future.

This often means letting go of our existing knowledge and competencies, recognizing that they prevent us from learning new things. This is a challenging and sometimes painful, but ultimately rewarding, endeavor.

Step 5: Track Progress

Progress on TGA action plans should be tracked, and specific TGA discussions between the Territory Manager and the Sales Manager should occur on a regular basis. The Territory and Sales Managers should also discuss and update the action plans where appropriate. A Territory Opportunity Action-planning Discussion should occur on a regular basis (monthly is recommended) to monitor results and make the appropriate course corrections.

Targeting for growth is not a complex process. It is built on best practice sales principles. However, commitment on the part of the Sales Manager and the Territory Manager is essential to success. The WIIFM (What's In It For Me) is simple: MORE MONEY.

Effective targeting produces growth in revenue, profits and market share. Such growth increases sales incentive and enhances performance. Improved performance leads to more money for both the Territory Manager and the Sales Manager.

Dr. Eric "Rick" Johnson ( is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in Distribution. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with distributor executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit for more information.

Rick received an MBA from Keller Graduate School in Chicago, Illinois and a Bachelor's degree in Operations Management from Capital University, Columbus Ohio. Rick recently completed his dissertation on Strategic Leadership and received his Ph.D. He's also a published book author with four titles to his credit: "The Toolkit for Improved Business Performance in Wholesale Distribution," the NWFA & NAFCD "Roadmap", Lone Wolf-Lead Wolf—The Evolution of Sales" and a fiction novel about teenagers called "Shattered Innocence

5 Keys To Crm Success

Writen by Patrick Gray

In the early days of marketing CRM software, gushing articles detailed its many benefits, presenting the product as a near "miracle cure" for problems with any customer facing business process. The IT landscape has more recently been littered with several large implementations that failed to deliver on their promised organizational benefits, tempering much of the early enthusiasm. Like most disruptive technologies, CRM implementations are long, costly and require extensive changes to the organization. What can be done to ensure their success?

Start at the Top – as CIO, one of your key roles in any implementation is to ensure support from the top of the organization. Your CEO should be well aware of the project and its organizational impact, and if he or she is not asking you for regular updates then you need to do a better job selling the importance of the project at the highest level. Your sales job must continue down to the highest-level sales and marketing executives. CRM, if done correctly will change the very core of their business, and they must be involved beyond giving mere lip service to the project at the annual sales meeting. You should jointly be driving the project with your counterpart from sales or marketing.

Get the Right Team – If you look at many of the teams that implemented a failed CRM project, the biggest surprise is that most were well funded, with excellent project managers, IT staff and consultants. However one key ingredient was missing: team members from the business community. If you want to succeed at CRM, from the day the project charter is approved to the final post-implementation status meeting, you must have at least 30% of your full-time team composed of people from the sales and marketing organizations. These folks will drive your process change efforts, ensure requirements are appropriate and correct, and serve as change agents when communicating with their counterparts back in the organization. It is often difficult to pull sales people from their job of selling, but this is an excellent gauge of how committed the organization is to CRM. When you start asking the SVP of Sales for people, you are effectively asking Sales to "put their money where their mouth is" in support of the implementation effort.

Change the Process – CRM will change the very core of your sales and marketing business. All of the major CRM packages are not merely software, but business processes facilitated through software. Resist the temptation to adopt the software to your current business processes and instead seek the reverse. Unless there is an exceedingly compelling reason, modify your processes rather than the software and remember that "we've always done it this way" is not a compelling reason to modify software. The ROI and organizational benefits touted by vendors assume you adopt their processes; do not let your implementation be another case of using technology to merely accelerate a bad process.

Avoid the "Customer Centric" Trap – Many of the benefits touted by CRM vendors surround enhanced customer service and the building of a "customer centric" organization. While these benefits may help sell software, remember that the core goal of any organizational change, software implementations included, is to reduce costs and increase revenue. While a good CRM implementation certainly improves customer service, it never does so at the expense of the top or bottom line. If you design convoluted processes and technologies to satisfy every customer whim without respect for the financial implications, your CRM implementation will be unwieldy and ultimately fail. An efficient process increases customer satisfaction through its ease of use, and also reduces costs.

Positive and Negative Reinforcement on the User Community – There is nothing worse than spending months of time and millions of dollars on a system that remains unused. Despite your best efforts to involve senior sales executives and get the sales force excited, there are still those that will resist the new system any way they can. As part of your process redesigns in concert with the sales organization, rebuild the commission and compensation structure to encourage use of the new system. All is takes is for one naysayer who ignores the new system to not receive full commission on a large deal to show the sales force that your organization is serious about CRM. Similarly, immediately after the system is live, provide bonuses for those who enter the most correct orders, or document all their leads and opportunities correctly in the new system.

Constantly evaluate your project in these five areas and attack any issues before they escalate into project-threatening problems. If you find your project is lacking in most of these areas, it may be time to evaluate your organization's readiness for CRM, and make an honest assessment before throwing good money after bad. CRM, done right, will provide many of its promised benefits. With solid organizational support, the right team and enhanced business processes that focus on the top and bottom line, your company will be a case study in CRM success.

Patrick Gray is the President of Prevoyance Group, the leading consulting company dedicated to helping companies ensure their large IT projects deliver organizational value on time and on budget. To find out how to increase the value produced by YOUR IT organization and become a hero in the C-suite, please visit for a complimentary whitepaper.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Top Consultant Says In Sales Amp Service Training 4 Stages Of Development Are Needed

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

I was watching a "Candid Camera" video last night that dramatized just how little people pay attention to us when we're communicating.

It features a man who asks various walkers for directions to a local place of interest. He is dressed normally, but he has a bag of golf clubs slung over his shoulder.

As the unwitting person recites directions, a large white poster board comes between them, shuttled by apparent workmen, and when it passes completely, the direction seeker's clothes have changed colors, and now he holds a tennis racket.

(This was accomplished by using identical twins, who exchanged places quickly as the poster board moved past.)

Nobody noticed that his entire SPORT had been altered in, literally a few blinks of the eye.

In one vignette, the sportsman asked if there was a golf course in the vicinity just before the partition came by. Then, when it had passed, he was outfitted for tennis.

Still, his contacts just continued reciting directions to the golf venue as if nothing had happened!

Of course, this astonishing video reminds me of what I've concluded about seminar training. Yes, people do leave with a certain amount of information, but like the messages transmitted in the video sequence, it is incomplete and distorted.

To be successful in teaching people to be better at their jobs, say in selling or in customer service, we have to get their FULL ATTENTION. And just talking to them, whether there is give and take or not, is insufficient.

We need FOUR STAGES of training, as I see it.

Yes, we can start with (1) Seminars. These provide an introduction to techniques while justifying their implementation. Certain cognitive and attitudinal purposes are served by them.

But behavioral change is what we're after. If we want people to work better they need to work differently.

Seminars, unfortunately, don't (2) Sharpen skills or (3) Summon discipline or (4) Create new habits and lasting behavioral change.

For these outcomes we need coaching to assure that mere information "degenerates into practices," as management guru Peter F. Drucker described it.

You've probably heard the adage that says "A word to the wise is sufficient."

Very few of us are wise enough to simply hear and then do.

But don't take my word for it.

Just watch Candid Camera!

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:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prospecting Your Future Is Dependent On Your Present

Writen by Bill Truax

One saying seems to be appropriate in my business life and it starts with, "if I had only... "It seems that hind sight is truly 20/20. But when I think of all the decisions I should have made or the actions I should have taken one fact stands out very clear. I knew what I should have done; I simply didn't do it!

There are many good reasons why we don't do the things we know we should. For example, when the doctor told me for the 5th year in a row that my cholesterol was too high, I once again assured him that I would start exercising and watching my diet.

About two weeks later I was at a meeting and during one of the breaks a friend said that his neighbor had dropped dead of a heart attack while taking a shower the day before, he was only 37. The next day I was talking to another friend, who said that one of the men in his company had died of a heart attack over the previous weekend, he was 35!

I was 47 at the time and started thinking, "If I had only started that exercise program and diet control 5 years ago when the doctor had first warned me, I wouldn't be so worried right now." So I did, better late than never. (I had a good excuse however, we were out of the country for 32 weeks one year and everyone knows how hard it is to diet and exercise when you are traveling. If I had died, they would probably have said, "If he had only taken the doctor's advice and watched his diet and exercised...")

When I started sharing that story with a friend one day the conversation immediately shifted to a discussion about our experiences in sales.

For all of the training that I do in the art of Prospecting, I am one of the best examples of the guy, who says, "If I had only..."

You see, I have the same problem most sales professionals have. That is the tendency to let other activities interrupt my prospecting. The result is I often get to the point where my other activities start to run out and I realize that "if I had only" kept up the prospecting, I would be comfortably busy, not scrambling for more business.

It is really amazing how often we let the more comfortable activities take precedence over the less comfortable, even though we know that we will suffer for it in the future.

Knowing this I have tried to develop a system to prevent it from happening to me and, being a sales trainer, I want to share it with you.

Business got slow for us a few months ago, because I had slacked off a few months before that. (Just like I had told the doctor for 5 years, I will do something about it, but really didn't).

So I simply began to use our system called Statistical "Prospecting" ControlTM (S"P"C). With S"P"C you simply determine how many people you need to contact each week in order to achieve your new customer goals, and then just do it. Sounds pretty simple and it is. But it does require some organization and control.

We at least have all of the organization needs in our company; the control is where I over extended. My problem was a tendency to be overzealous. I figured that since I developed the system for prospecting, therefore I should be able to use it most effectively. So I decided I would make 10 prospecting calls a day, to new prospects I had never talked with. That is 50 a week. I was doing this strictly by telephone.

Well sure enough, the volume of activity I created very quickly overwhelmed my ability to follow up and I had to cut back after two weeks. I suppose I should read my own book in which I talk about not over doing it, but simply doing a constant number of prospecting calls every week, week after week.

The conclusion is simple, regardless of how you feel, do the things you know you need to do. Pre-empt having to say "if I had only..."

Because we all know that your future is dependent on your present.

Sell Well and Often

Bill Truax

© Copyright 2006 WJ Truax

Bill Truax is a Sales Management and Field Operations Consultant living in Cleveland, Oh. He conducts Sales Team Assessments, Management and Leadership programs, and works with Field Sales Professionals and Managers both in the field and in workshops. He has written 3 books and recorded 2 CD's on Prospecting and Making Cold Calls and conducts a variety of skill based seminars, workshops, and train the trainer programs. Bill has spent literally thousands of hours in the field making cold calls with sales professionals to teach his BLITZ CALL System. When Bill is in the field he actually makes many of the BLITZ CALLs himself, regardless of the industry. This is to demonstrate that anyone can prospect you just need to know how. Bill writes a Free weekly Prospecting Succes Tip for subscribers at his website The site also details all the materials and programs Trufield offers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can Your Superstar Sales Person Become Your Superstar Sales Manager

Writen by Rick Johnson

Finding the right person to fill the sales management role is a common quandary in wholesale distribution. It can be especially challenging when a decision is based strictly on sales territory performance without regard for the specific skill sets required to lead a sales force.. 2005 has been a good year in wholesale distribution with some industries recording double digit growth rates. With market cooperation like that, most sales people are smiling as they hit or exceed their quotas. Deciding on the right sales person to promote to sales manager can become a difficult and risky decision..

"We need a new sales manager. Let's promote Tommy, he's our leading producer in field sales."

"No! We can't afford to lose Tommy's production in the field."

"That's not a problem. He can be a working sales manager and still call on his key accounts."

Most of us should recognize that conversation but not many of us recognize the fallacies that lie within it. In wholesale distribution, it seems that the primary prerequisite for becoming a sales manager is being the top performing sales person. Promoting our top performing sales person to sales manager simply due to results is a big mistake. Personal experience tells me it has less than a forty percent chance for success. Our chance of success is decreased even further if we really believe that our sales manager can manage the sales force and still be solely responsible for a number of high volume accounts.

Different Skill Sets

It is an undisputable fact that different skill sets are required to become a successful sales manager as compared to being a successful sales person. Selling is a profession that requires professionals. Managing a group of professionals with the type of personalities required to succeed in sales is no easy task. Yet, in my humble opinion, it is probably the most important management position you can hold in a company. Sales management holds the key to meeting company objectives. Effective sales management builds the platform for success. Sales people are not the easiest group in the company to manage. If they were they would not be sales people. Selling is not easy. It takes a special talent, self motivation, self discipline, a passion to succeed and the ability to accept rejection. The reality of the situation is simple. The majority of sales people are not managed well. Let's look at some common sales management mistakes to help us develop the list of hints I promised that will increase your ability to determine which sales person at your company is likely to succeed as sales manager.

Mistake ----- Low tolerance for process.

Let's face it, there probably isn't a sales person alive that likes paperwork and administrative tasks. However, a Super Star Sales Manager will be process oriented. They understand that success in sales is driven by best practice and best practice is built around process. Sales effectiveness depends on predictable and repeatable best practice. The Super Star Sales Manager will create the kind of culture that negates the inherent aberration by sales people for process, structure, detailed and documented action planning.


If your star sales person embraces structure, pays attention to detail, is always current with required communications, documents his action planning process and doesn't whine about administrative requirements passed down by corporate, chances are he/she will have a high tolerance for process. This means he/she possesses a basic understanding of structure and accountability. Everything isn't locked up in their head just because they have been doing it a long time and have had great success.

Mistake ----- Weak coaching and mentoring skills

Relationship equity is still a primary ingredient for sales success. However, relationship equity with the customer is quite different than relationship equity with peers, subordinates and executive management. A Super Star Sales Manager will build enough relationship equity with their sales force to be able to provide effective coaching and mentoring in reviewing the sales person's activities. They understand that you must manage activities and measure results. This coaching and mentoring process includes buddy calls, monthly territory reviews that provide support and resources to leverage individual sales talent. This process includes opportunity recognition and pipeline management. What does the sales person have in the pipeline? Can the sales manager provide proactive support and resources to increase the chance of success?

Hint #2

If your star sales person is reluctant to accept or seek out help, this may be an indication of the Lone Wolf methodology. Maximizing territory performance requires a team effort. Utilization of all resources and support is mandatory to grow market share and maximize profitability. Look for the sales person that is successful but recognizes that they are not alone. Look for the sales person that shares the credit for success, coaches the inside sales staff, recognizes the contributions of customer service personnel and others in the organization. This sales person has also gained the respect of his peers and is often seen giving advice and sharing ideas.

Mistake ---- Lack of development programs and leadership skills training

Leadership skills are extremely important to effective sales management. This is especially true when managing a sales force that leans more to the route mentality, is in a comfort zone, becomes complacent or is focusing on demand fulfillment as opposed to demand creation. The ability to recognize the need to adapt your management style not only to the situation but also to the individual is a key to gaining respect and trust from the sales force. This is a learned skill. Failure to seek out leadership skills training can be detrimental to success. A prerequisite to success in sales management is the ability to recognize talent and develop that talent. A Super Star Sales Manager will recognize talent and is willing to help develop that talent to reach its highest potential. They also prune the garden effectively. This means they hire well but fire even better. Failure to formalize a development program for sales management is a big mistake.

Hint #3

If your star sales person is not interested in attending seminars, doesn't listen to self development tapes and hasn't read a sales book in the past year, chances are they believe they are as good as they are going to get. Look for the sales person that is willing to be away from his territory, sacrificing commissions to increase his individual knowledge. This is the type of sales person that is a sponge when it comes to continuing education in the fields of sales. This person not only seeks company sponsored training but is willing to invest his own money and time in self improvement activities. They have a philosophy of continuous self improvement striving to be the very best that they can be.

Mistake ---- A Member of "The Lucky Territory Club"

Numbers alone don't always tell the story. We need to analyze each individual success story. Just because a sales territory has performed well doesn't automatically mean the sales person is a star. A ten percent sales growth sounds great but how good is it if the potential growth for that territory should be in the twenty or thirty per cent range. A ten percent sales growth in that territory sounds great but how good is it if the market in that territory actually grew by thirty percent and the sales person was in a comfort zone walking by opportunities daily.

Hint #4

When evaluating your star sales person for potential promotion, analyze the numbers thoroughly. Is the sales person the real reason for that territory success? Are the numbers as good as they appear when you consider all the factors? Determine how this territory was established. Is this sales person responsible for the long term growth of this territory or did they inherit it. Analyze new account development in this territory. Evaluate this sales persons prospecting skills. How many new accounts have been developed in the territory? What kind of penetration success has been demonstrated with existing accounts?

Hint #5

Look for the sales person that has the ability to think strategically. They are willing to sacrifice personal gain for the benefit of long term company success. (A rare quality). A sales person that may be a maverick and shoot from the hip occasionally but every risk they take is a calculated risk. Their personal objectives for territory performance are in alignment with the company's strategic objectives in relationship to product development,, segmentation, vendor development and margin initiatives. Look for the sales person that has good communication skills internally, one that has learned to listen exceptionally well, a skill that often eludes some of the best sales personnel.

If you are ready to promote your star sales person to sales manager, pay attention to the hints listed in this article. If your star sales person measures up according to the factors discussed in this article, your chance of success increases dramatically. That means your Super Star Sales Person can become your Super Star Sales Manager. If they don't measure up according to the hints discussed, look deeper into your sales organization for that sales manager or go outside the organization. There is no such thing as entitlement. Remember, different skill sets are required to be an effective sales manager. Dr. Rick Johnson ( is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in leadership and the creation of competitive advantage. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit for more information. CEO Strategist – experts in Strategic Leadership in Wholesale Distribution and Sales Management Effectiveness. Jump start your sales force by getting Rick's new book -- Lone Wolf to Lead Wolf, The Evolution of Sales.

Its Time For The Fourth Quarter Push

Writen by Tim Connor

The pressure is on and management is breathing down it's employees necks to finish the year hitting or beating their sales numbers for the year.

Why is it that management often believes that the constant fourth quarter push year in and year out is an effective way to reach their sales goals? There are three principles involved here that are having an impact on the success of this philosophy or approach.

Number one. You get the behavior you reward. Your sales team has had nine months to stay on track. If for some reasons either internal (policies, procedures, new product development or the lack of it) or external (competition or the economy) your organization is behind its sales objectives for the year, rather than fostering the stress-filled last quarter push syndrome year after year, why not take a closer look at what has been going on for the past nine months.

If you have not held people accountable for nine months why are you expecting them to cave into your pressure for the last quarter? Consider;

1.Are your sales objectives realistic or some pie in the sky number that no one really believes is possible. That your approach is to create an unrealistic objective and hope that people will achieve it.

2.Are your salespeople sloughing for nine months knowing that every year at the end of the year you will offer your prospects special incentives to buy, therefore making it easier for your sales team to achieve their numbers during the last quarter?

3.Is your management style such that you enjoy the pressure and like the rush of this push for three months?

Number two. If you are not familiar with the Pygmalion effect here is a short description. People perform according to your expectations of them. If they know that every year there is going to be this fourth quarter push you may be indirectly contributing to their more cavalier attitudes for the first three quarters. Number three. If every year you have this fourth quarter push, people are going to tend to want to relax for the first few weeks of the new year to catch their breath and to recover. The problem with this approach is that the beginning of each new year should be to get off to a fast start. It's called the quick start concept. It implies that the pace of the rest of the year may be established during the first few weeks of the new year. If your people are playing catch up with follow-up actions and administrative stuff during this period they may not get into full selling gear until late in January or even February.

Thus the cycle begins again. To break this cycle why not consider a different paradigm - that each month is a calendar year on its own. In other words any short-fall in each month can't be made up later in the year. This is more an attitude than a policy. But if you foster this mindset in your employees you may be able to spread your total sales out more evenly each year therefore avoiding this end of year push.

Keep in mind that the last 45 days of the year is one of the most stressful periods for most people due to the holidays. If you add to this stress with this end of year push you are only complicating people's lives making it even more difficult for them to perform effectively.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That's Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Energize Your Organization

Writen by Joe Love

No matter what you do, it seems, your employees do only what's absolutely necessary to get along. You've handed out raises across the board year after year. You've been as generous as you can be with various incentives. Now you're at wits end. You ask in frustration, "What will it take to motivate my employees?"

The answer is not in the workers, but in your organization. Employee motivation is usually treated as a problem of the individual worker. Motivation programs and initiatives try to inspire employees to work harder, but they do nothing about the work conditions that continue to demotivate those same employees.

Discover the flaws in your organizational systems that are demotivating your employees and eliminate them. For example, if your reward systems reward speed over safety, then your employees aren't motivated to work safely. Eliminate unclear or conflicting expectations. And, at the same time, add elements that motivate your employees, such as delegating authority.

One of the best ways to motivate your employees is to break with tradition and reengineer processes. Motivating employees today means breaking away from the employee-as-cog tradition. Encourage employees to be active, think and take initiatives, and enjoy their work.

Keep your employees productively busy. In motivating organizations, employees should leave work feeling that they accomplished something worthwhile. Don't allow them to be passive. For example, instead of letting them wait for assignments, encourage them to use downtime to carry out self-improvement activities or ways to improve their jobs.

Your organizational system should encourage employees to have fun. For example, let them jazz up the physical environment with personal decorations. Part of encouraging fun is a offering a variety way of life, such as job sharing and temporary work assignments. And when you let employees make more choices in their work schedules, break times, and special projects, you'll find that productivity will go up.

Motivational production systems encourage self-measurement. Use performance measurement positively to encourage, facilitate, and guide, not control, punish, or find fault. Allow employees to measure their own performance. It's the surest way of showing that the system is there to help, not "get" them. This helps create a climate of appreciation. And well thought out expressions of appreciation are powerful motivators.

Traditional or "Industrial Age" organizations do all the planning while employees are simply asked to implement what management has planned. This separation between "thinkers" and "doers" is demotivating to non-management employees. We are now in the "Communication Age," where you need to involve all employees, from the executive suite to the shop floor, in both strategic and operational planning. This is a radical change from the past, and not easily accepted by management.

To effectively involve employees in planning you have to maximize opportunities for employee input and planning. Employees of today are more educated and knowledgeable than ever. They often have more knowledge about many aspects of their work than most supervisors. And they are often closer to the customer than the management is. But it is important to phase in employee involvement. Start them off as consultants and eventually involve them in complex strategic and operational planning.

Always involve employees in goal setting. Employees will be much more committed to goals set by themselves than by a supervisor. And never forget that employees have valuable ideas on the big questions: Who are our customers? What are our strengths? How can we improve our long-term performance?

You cannot successfully reengineer any processes in your organization without providing recognition for planning efforts. Let your employees know: "You are making a major contribution to the organization." Involving employees in planning shows the company's respect for their skills, encourages employees to increase their contributions to the company, and gives them an ownership stake in what they will be asked to do in the future. The "doers" will do things better than ever before.

In most employee-attitude surveys, one of the most common concerns employees have is a lack of communication. In fact, lack of communication is a root cause of the most common work demotivators, such as office politics, unclear expectations, unnecessary rules, and constant change. How employees perceive, and feel about, communication in their organization plays a large part in the motivational climate. Communication done right, therefore, is one of management's key motivational tools.

When you're on an airplane and it encounters turbulence, or if the flight is delayed, you want to know why. Not knowing the whole story makes you nervous. Employees also want to know what is causing the bumpy rides in the organization. What people don't understand, they often perceive as a threat.

If your employees can't find out what they want to know from you, they'll start looking elsewhere. That's why every organization has a grapevine or rumor mill to compensate for lack of information. But you will defeat the rumor mills and remove perceived threats to employees by communicating as openly as possible.

If you truly want to energize your organization you need to communicate virtually everything to your employees. Employees want to be, and should be, aware of the company's strategy, goals, sales, costs, profit and loss. These things need to be communicated frequently, and promptly. If something of importance happens, don't wait to tell employees. They'll hear about it through the grapevine, will wonder why they weren't told, and start to distrust your communication.

Make a point of sharing the good news. When something good happens in a particular area, let the entire organization know about it. Employees will be excited about working in a company where so many positive things are happening. But don't just communicate the good news. Employees know that the news is not always good. They will assume that you are keeping the bad news to just a select few if they never hear about it. And once again, they'll loose trust.

One-way communication sends an extremely demotivating message. It tells employees that their input is not valued or important. Just proclaiming that management's "door is always open" is not enough. Management must convince employees that they are truly interested in employee feedback.

You should schedule regular meetings in which senior executives sit down with employees in all areas of the company to discuss employee ideas and concerns. When you do this it is always a good idea to draft agendas for these meetings with input from employee participants. This will give employees more ownership in the meeting.

Establishing a Performance Development Process is one of the best ways to motivate employees and really energize your organization. Performance appraisal is often demotivating because appraisals are linked to compensation concerns, and sometimes to disciplinary measures. Even employees that generally perform well will be defensive and fearful about any negative feedback they receive.

The purpose of appraisals is to encourage development, not focus on compensation or discipline. A Performance Development Process reflects an emphasis on development over reward and punishment. By including the word "process," you are sending the message that performance appraisal is a continuous exercise and not just a year-end tally.

A Performance Development Process consists of four steps:

1. Performance planning. Employees and their supervisors meet at the beginning of each performance period to discuss expectations.

2. Regular feedback. Employees receive ongoing, informal feedback on a daily basis if possible, on a weekly basis at minimum.

3. Interim reviews. Employees shouldn't have to wait for the end of the year for comprehensive feedback. Interim reviews (weekly, monthly, or quarterly) remove many of the negatives associated with one-shot annual reviews.

4. Annual reviews. This should be a simple summary of previous reviews.

Any motivation program, such as an inspiring speaker, can create an instant surge of motivation. But it soon dissipates. By identifying and eliminating demotivators and establishing open and positive communication with your employees, you will create a work structure that naturally leads employees to be, and remain, motivated.

Copyright© 2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America's largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.

Reach Joe at:

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Consulting Contracts With National Service Organizations Good Idea

Writen by Joshua Feinberg

Don't do it. Why not? You'll spend a lot of money and a lot of time getting certified and learning all the latest platforms and technologies. But the reality is that hardware repair is a commodity - a low margin business. And it's becoming more and more of a commodity service every year as the components become more disposable and more replaceable than repairable. In this article, you'll learn why consulting contracts with national service organizations are not the best choice.

Computers Are Now Replaceable

Let's take a $600 consumer-grade PC for example. Who's going to spend money on an out-of-warranty repair on a $600 PC? Who's going to spend money on an out of warranty repair on a $400 laser printer? How much money are small businesses willing to spend on this kind of repair?

Low Labor Allowances for Consulting Contracts

Since national service organizations are going to primarily be dealing with warranty repairs on relatively inexpensive hardware, how much labor allowance do you think they're really going to give up on a $1,200 notebook? Many big hardware vendors are so cash strapped that they're always on the verge of going out of business constantly. Dell, HP, and IBM are pretty much the only major hardware players that are still in reasonably good financial shape (even if you consider IBM in the hardware business anymore).

The Profit Margin on Repairs in Consulting Contracts

So, what are you going to make on a repair? Fifty dollars? A hundred dollars? $150 or $200 at the absolute most? You're going to do a lot better by finding small businesses in your area that need high-level professional services on a regular basis.

Consulting Contracts with National Service Providers Aren't Profitable

Acting as a subcontractor for a national service provider is a really hard way to run a consulting business. Do you want to be in eight different offices every single day, or do you want to be in one or two? Do you want to be billing out at $100 or $150 an hour for high-end network support services and network integration services? Or do you want to be told that you're going to be allowed a $65 labor allowance to replace a system board, no matter how long it takes you?

The Bottom Line about Consulting Contracts

Repairing and troubleshooting hardware is low-end commodity work. It's work that can be done by people that are billing out at $20 or $30 an hour. It's not the high-end consulting you could be doing with consulting contracts. Don't ever confuse the two.

Copyright Notice:

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Joshua Feinberg, co-owner of Computer Consulting 101, gets computer consulting businesses more steady, high-paying consulting clients. Now you can too. Just sign-up now for your free access pass to these field-tested, proven computer consulting secrets at Computer Consulting 101.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How To Increase The Sales Of Promotional Products

Writen by Josef Baumann

I have searched for a new way to increase the sales of my promotional products. A good way is to start an affiliate-program with a commision for every customer who buy an product and who came to your page from a webpage of one of your affiliate-partners.

I thought that this is not the only way to inrease my sales and there is another problem. You need to have your own online-shop and a webpage.

So I started to look for a webpage that will give me some tips and advices on how to increase selling promotional products. I used a searchengine and tried the keywords "sell promotional products" and "B2B promotional products". I have got a lot of distributors of promotional products as search results but only a few B2B Marketplaces.

I have visited these B2B Marketplaces and found one webpage where you can sell promotional products without having an own webpage. The name is "B2B Marketplace for promotional products" at

How to start ?

First you have to register. There are no fees you have to pay to register. Then you are able to log in and add five of your promotional products without paying any money. If you want to publish more than five products than you have to pay 3$ monthly and if you want to add more than 20 and up to 100 you have to pay 10$ monthly.

The best of all you don't need to pay any fees when a costumer who have been send to your webpage buy a promotional product. When you don't have a webpage you can publish you telephone number so that customers can conact you by phone.

Where can I find the Informations of my promotional products?

When you have added your promotional product you can find all the information you have made at the "Promotional Products Shop"-page. There customers are able to compare the prices and the informations of promotional products from different companies.

What's my opinion?

I think you should try this webpage and add five of yours promotional products for free. You will see if more customer come to your webpage or not. And there is an another advantage because you will increase your link-popularity at all the searchengines.

About The Author

Josef Baumann is an Marketing Expert and the owner of Bender Technology.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hire A Six To Consistently Produce Sales Success

Writen by Virden Thornton

For many years as a sales manager, I would only hire the stereotypical sales representative. You know the type—on a human relations continuum or scale of zero to ten, with the ten representing a candidate who is totally gregarious and outgoing and the zero, someone who is introverted with few people skills, I'd always recruit the ten. As an advisor to businesses and professional service firms on how to build an effective sales team, I would also council my clients to hire "tens." Big mistake!

Pareto's principle (the 80/20 Rule) is vividly illustrated in most industries by the fact that 80 percent of the sales are closed by only 20 percent of the sales professionals. After 24 years of working with literally thousands of sales representatives and service industry professionals as an advisor, trainer and coach, I have learned an important truth--that the ten personality is rarely found in the ranks of the top 20 percent of the sales professionals who produce 80 percent of the sales. For this reason alone, I now hire candidates that fall about a six on the personality continuum and I council my clients to do the same.

Why hire a six? Because the six personality makes up the vast majority of today's top sales producers. And they are successful at selling, simply because they have a six personality. They are a bit reserved and a lot less outgoing than the ten, but they still have the people skills to communicate well. They do less talking than a ten and they listen better, giving them a decided edge in communicating effectively. Although six personalities have less charisma than a ten, they have a much greater ability to deal with the details of the selling process. This helps them to consistently find new prospects and to organize their day to get more done than an eight ro ten personality. Their ability to produce leads, the effective use of time and their systematic approach to presentations, gives the six personality a selling edge. Most sales professionals with a ten personallity absolutly loath prospecting, paperwork and organizing themselves, so they simply rely on their personality and charm to achieve their sales objectives.

You have to hire smart to develop a sales team that are all "top producers." You don't have to live with an 80/20 rule sales team, if you truly understand the personality of the sales or service industry professionals who make up the 20 percent and then only hire candidates that fall into this demographic. However, there's one problem with this suggestion. You rarely can find a candidate that is in the top 20 percent, who is actively looking for new employment. And, a company or firm would be crazy to let their top producers leave them. Most employers usually do everything in their power to retain their best performers. Your only recourse then is to hire someone from the 80 percent grouping with potential to be a top producer. And how to do this must be the topic for another article

Best wishes for continued sales success.

To Obtain a discount on 101 SALES MYTHS manual click on:

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.

Virden teaches for the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and in the School Of Entrepreneurship, J. Willard And Alice S. Marriott School Of Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Determining Sales Fit The Key Growth Process For Your Business

Writen by Brian Lambert

Help your organization grow by assessing the right indicators in individuals slated for revenue-generating positions within your company. "Growth Talent", such as sales, account executive, consultant, sales engineer, or other individuals responsible for top-line revenue growth. The SalesFit processes addresses the individual uniqueness of your organization and the candidate. The power of the methodology is its ability to ensure an objective understanding of where the candidate is a good fit within your company.

To find the right salesperson for your team, you must analyze the candidate within the following parameters:

Does the Individual's Purpose fit within Your Organization's Future?

An individual's purpose is comprised of their needs and personal vision. More importantly the factors that motivate them are the catalyst that fuels their quest to fulfill their purpose. Individual need for achievement and personal goals are analyzed within the context of the client company vision, organizational values, and organization goals. If the individual cannot find the inner motivation to help the organization attain its future goals and vision, then the ability to help the firm grow is hampered and the candidate would most likely not be a good fit.

Does the Individual's Character fit within the Your Organization's Culture?

The culture of the organization is identified as their team values, norms, and beliefs in how they seek to achieve their corporate (or team) future. The vision of the organization must be embraced by the individual. The Growth Talent profile for character is comprised of their personality traits (such as extraversion, openness, agreeableness, etc) and their emotional intelligence. Finally, a person's beliefs and ethical mindset must fit within the culture of the firm where they will work. Our research and experience has shown that the "character to culture" component is the number one reason why Growth Talent succeeds or fails in fitting in and having an impact to their new organization.

Does the Individual's Ability fit within the Your Organization's Selling System?

A key component of competence, the candidate's abilities to perform are based on their knowledge of their position requirements as well as their capacity to perform the necessary work. For Growth Talent positions, these abilities could include the ability to understand where the future customer is in their buying process as well as what type of buying style they are using. Abilities are also comprised of the underlying knowledge needed to succeed. The nine knowledge areas outlined by the United Professional Sales Association serve as a guideline for understanding the knowledge needed for Growth Talent. Different types of knowledge are needed for different types of sales environments and sales processes. As an example, the knowledge needed to sell into the federal government is different then the knowledge needed to sell commercially.

Does the Individual's Skill fit within the Your Organization's Business Model?

Both the individual's skill and the business outputs are assessed through past experience and track record. Past performance is important to determine applicable skill of the individual as well as the viability of the company.

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

Foundational Principles Of Persuasion

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Central to understanding persuasion is the concept of neutrality. The laws of persuasion are neither good nor evil. They simply exist. Just as nuclear power can be used to create electricity or an atomic bomb, persuasion can be used to create unity or to force compliance. Whether the outcome is good or bad depends on the person using the laws and how that person applies the techniques of persuasion.

Some people desire to win at any cost, using any available tactics including misusing the laws of persuasion. These individuals are willing to use guilt, violence, intimidation, temptation, bribery, and blackmail to get the desired result.

However, when used properly, persuasion is our best friend. Through persuasion we create peace agreements, promote fund-raising efforts, and convince motorists to buckle up. Persuasion is the means by which the coach of an underdog team inspires players to win. It is also the method employed by the Surgeon General to convince people to have regular mammograms and prostate examinations, by managers to increase employee performance and morale, and by hostage negotiators to convince criminals to free their captives.

Misuse of the laws will only come back to haunt you in the long run. You might get short-term instant results, but your long-term future will be bleak. The tools outlined in this book are powerful and are not to be used selfishly. They should not be considered a means of gaining a desired result at any cost. Rather, you should use these tools to get your desired outcome only when it is a win-win situation for all involved.

The fable of the sun and the wind provides an excellent example of properly implemented persuasion. The sun and the wind were always arguing about which of them was the strongest. The wind believed he was stronger because of his destructive power in tornados and hurricanes. He wanted the sun to admit he was stronger, but the sun held fast to his own opinion and could not be convinced. One day the sun decided he wanted the matter settled once and for all, so he invited the wind to compete with him in a contest. The sun chose the contest carefully. He pointed out an old man taking a walk, and challenged the wind to use his power to blow the man's jacket off. The wind felt this would be an easy contest to win and began to blow. To his surprise, each gust of wind only made the man cling more tightly to his jacket. The wind blew harder, and the man held on tighter. The harder the wind blew, the more the man resisted. The powerful blows of wind even knocked the man down, but he would not let go of his jacket. Finally, the wind gave up and challenged the sun to succeed in getting the man to take off his jacket. The sun smiled and shone radiantly upon the man. The man felt the warmth of the sun, and sweat began to appear on his forehead. The sun continued pouring out warmth and sunshine upon the man and, at last, the man took off his jacket. The sun had won the contest. If your attempt to persuade is a win-win, others will be eager to do what you want them to do.

Everyone persuades for a living. There's no way around it. Whether you're a sales professional, an entrepreneur, or even a stay at home parent, if you are unable to convince others to your way of thinking, you will be constantly left behind. Get your free reports at Magnetic Persuasion to make sure that you are not left watching others pass you on the road to success. Donald Trump said it best, "Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding of its profound value across all aspects of life."


Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.

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!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quotno Phone Calls Pleasequot The Dumbest Recruiting Phrase Ever

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

Ah, we live in a world of emails and the Internet, and isn't it easier than having real-time conversations with people?

It may seem easier, but when it comes to recruiting, especially for call center positions, it's absolutely essential to screen candidates by phone.


We need to hear their voices, because what we hear is what we get. We're not hiring resumes; we're hiring communicators.

Specifically, telephone screening accomplishes these crucial things:

(1) We can scope out the basic pleasantness or unpleasantness of their voices. If you can't stand hearing that candidate's voice, your customers will probably have the same reaction.

(2) We can challenge them by asking questions about their capabilities, experience, and other job related factors. If they hesitate or freeze up, guess what they're going to do when customers are on the line.

(3) If they have sold before, by phone, we can ask them to role-play their last script with us. This will enable us to hear if that sort of selling style is compatible with ours, and whether they were scripted, at all. If they say they just improvised, you have a chance to tell them they'll be using a script at your company. Can they handle that?

(4) You can discuss the pay plan, and you should do so. Whether it's good, bad, or indifferent, it is a crucial factor. If they won't or can't work for the dollars you're providing, or under a commission plan, screen them out, now.

(5) Any anomalies in their resumes can be covered and clarified right away, without wasting time with an interview.

The ONLY factor is whether they're good on the phone, if it is a phone job.

Therefore, can you believe how stupid it is for recruiters to staff call centers by insisting there be "No phone calls, please!"

Well, that's what you get when you delegate a phone task to a non-phone person!

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:

Dont Tie A Rabbit To A Cow

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

When I was first promoted to management, I had to make a very difficult decision.

I had been the best salesperson on the crew, and Bud was number two. He and I vied for the management job, and the fact that I got it meant that he had to report to me.

This irked him.

So, when I recruited, trained, and launched the careers of new salespeople, Bud found a way to poke holes in their boats, to slow them down, to discourage them from challenging his sales supremacy.

In essence, my new people never made a credible challenge to his informal leadership.

He lorded over them, mostly nonverbally, with cold stares and by invading their work areas. I firmly believed he was trying to make himself look good by keeping them down.

And, I sensed his notion was if he could destabilize my leadership, by making it appear that I wasn't doing a good job of staffing, training, and motivating, he'd step into my job, sooner or later.

This was intolerable, and in the privacy of my office, I set forth my observations, with a challenge that he had to pick up his sales and stop torpedoing my crew.

He denied everything, calling me paranoid, and effectively, he left in a huff.

Later that evening, my boss called for our sales numbers, and after hearing how paltry they sounded, I explained what had happened, and why. Boldly, I asserted with Bud out of the way, our overall sales level would rise.

His cold reply: "Well, I just hope you're right."

One way or another, I made it right, and our sales surpassed all previous highs. As far as I'm concerned, Bud, who had been the top producer, was keeping sales down, and for expectations to rise, for new and better producers to come forth and assert themselves, he needed to be out of the picture.

Look at your crew. Who is the leader?

Ask two questions:

(1) Can I afford to lose him?

(2) Can I afford to keep him?

Consider this homespun saying: You never want to tie a rabbit to a cow to see how fast the rabbit can run.

Look again at your salespeople: Who are the rabbits, and who are the cows?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Leverage Sales Management With Emotional Intelligence What Is Your Lasting Imprint

Writen by Ron Foss

Sales management careers should be fulfilling and fun and I have had the wonderful opportunity, or in fact privilege to sales manage and influence sales people. I see sales management as one of the most important obligations and responsibility of any sales leader. I have always tried to sales manage and lead with more emotion and passion for each individual as an individual and not just an instrument for generating profits.

Social theorists and academics have suggested that the beliefs in people, their intellect, abilities, emotions and ethical values are the core of our social existence.

One of these theorists is an individual by the name of Dr. Clayton J.C. Lafferty who had studied the management competency of humanistic-encouraging or what is now often referred to as emotional intelligence has defined it in the following way:

"Humanistic-Encouraging measures an interest in people, a tendency to care about others, and the ability to encourage them to improve."

Sales managers with stronger humanistic-encouraging competencies are more able to have these conversations, according to Lafferty, as they accept others for who they are – without question or criticism. I believe that humanistic behaviour encourages personal growth and the development of human existence within the multiple layers of our varied social frameworks. We therefore have a social obligation to become better, more caring sales managers so that we are able to engage all of our sales people individually.

I have come to believe, based on personal observations and experiences that what seems of utmost importance to my role as a sales manager, was to leave behind legacies for others to continue. Using a nickname from my past I call these Fossils. Fossils, by my definition, are ideas or impressions left on sales people that have proven themselves over time. They have become embedded permanent imprints or disciplines in how I sales manage people.

I have personally defined the role of a sales manager in the following way:

"An individual with the accountability and responsibility to create a working environment where sales people are able to enrich their thinking, abilities and experiences on a continual basis while maximizing value for their clients."

It all starts with your thinking or your mindset. The best in sales and sales management are positive thinkers. They think positively about their desire to achieve results and about their relationships with their clients. They regularly review their activities and goals and they think in an enthusiastic, "can do" mindset; Aligning the creative mind in harmony with their emotional intelligence which influences their focus, motivation and confidence.

I have found significant gratification in supporting an environment where each sales person has the opportunity to apply themselves, fully leverage their intellectual curiosity, align positive thinking, enhance ability and enrich his or her value to each client relationship. Sales management thinking and behaviour had become of great personal importance to me over the years as I assessed my own achievements.

They were collective achievements, largely due to the thinking, ability and motivation of sales people who strived to meet sales targets and personal bests but who also sold on the basis of mutual benefit. The more I had been able to assist in developing sales people's thinking, ability and their desire to achieve, the more likely I was able to achieve what I set out to accomplish and the more rewarding it was for me personally. The more humanistic-encouraging the practices the more I have had a positive effect on enhancing the thinking, abilities and motivation of sales people. I believed these competencies became my own competitive advantage and brand.

In conclusion, it is important to note that sales management careers should be fulfilling and fun. If done with heart, emotion and the right mindset your career can be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying aspects of what makes up a large part of your life. It is my hope that for those I have had the opportunity to influence that I have done so with a positive and memorable way. I hope that I am remembered for bringing an aspect of enthusiasm and emotion to a role that is at the heart of organizations; that of a sales manager.

Ron Foss is the Director of Operations of SalesDialogue Systems Inc. a company committed to assisting sales professionals better understand how their thinking and internal conversations impact sales success. Learn more at

Ron Foss is the author of "From Mindsets to Heartbeats", based on his work and research on the Humanistic Competencies of Managers now referred to as Emotional Inteligence. He is a top sales and sales management leader in Canada with 30 years experience working with and developing sales people.