Sunday, November 30, 2008

How To Organize A Seminar Or An Event

Writen by Matt Bacak

Seminars and events have always been implemented as a holistic experience to participants. Thus, organizing an event requires extensive planning and preparation with most work implemented at least a few months before the actual event. Most of the time, seminars seem to run like clockwork with all events flowing smoothly according to schedule. In reality however, much groundwork has been worked on with the purpose of developing the right atmosphere in addition to a beneficial experience to partipants.

1. Establishing the theme of the event

Each event follows a theme and purpose which will drive the event set-up, the target audiences or the participants, the guests and the marketing approach. In general, a business event such as an international conference for a particular industry will appeal to participants conducting businesses within that industry as well as sponsors who gain mileage out of publicizing their products during the event.

Apart from that, the theme of the seminar will also determine the type of marketing channels to be used to for publicity. This also holds true for the seminar marketing team who will need the event theme to correctly identify target participants and companies to sell the event to.

2. Selecting a venue

Venue selection is highly dependent on the scale of the event. Usually this is determined by the number of participants, the presence of any guests of honor (such as royalty or politicians) the activities during the event, or if there are additional floor space required for exhibition purposes.

A typical seminar of about 100 – 200 can be comfortably implemented in a hotel seminar room, possibly in a theater style setting or classroom setting. However, larger scale events with participant numbers scaling between 500 – 1000 may require a large hall, ballroom, auditorium or a convention center.

The location and quality standard of the venue is also important especially if the event involves the participation of VIPs. With this, a reputable location would be imperative, including good quality and wide range of seminar facilities available. It is always wise to explore the possibility of a few venues and examine their location suitability, level of services, ambience, and costs before coming to a decision.

3. Seminar Marketing and Publicity

Seminar marketing is by far the most critical and often most challenging task in event organizing, and is often regarded as the most critical factor of an event's success. This is because the number of participants turning up for a seminar is highly dependent on the strength of marketing activities and publicity. Whether or not the event achieves its objective or whether the organizers will walk home with a profit or loss largely depends on the marketability of the event. This means that the right marketing strategy and seminar positioning must be adopted in order to draw adequate event sign-ups.

Most of the time, event organizers who have large budgets will turn to above the line marketing such as newspaper and magazine advertisements as well as radio and television advertising to publicize the event. Press releases may also be sent in to major newspapers, in order to create the awareness of the upcoming event. Additionally, large advertising media banners and posters can also be purchased to advertise the event in high human traffic areas. When using print advertising, the specific magazine or newspaper used must have the target audience of your event as their primary readership base. Also all print media should be copy written with an enticing approach, highlighting the extensive benefits of participation.

However, if budget is a problem, then below the line marketing may also do wonders. If the event is industry specific, mass faxing to companies belonging to the industry would be feasible. Telemarketing is a very effective marketing channel to create awareness within the right participant group. Additionally, dispatching sales personnel to attend to the requirements of large participant groups is an ideal and effective strategy. Mass emailing has become one of the most cost-efficient methods to reach out to large target audiences. This would be really useful if the event organizer already have an existing database. Otherwise, a list of names can be rented from database companies to attain the same results.

4. Collaboration with sponsors

Getting reputable sponsors to participate in an event will help boost the creditability of the event, as well as reduce costs. Sponsors can also help with marketing, as they also help publicize your event to their customers. Apart from that, some of the sponsors can chip in on venue rental in exchange for exhibition space or publicity for themselves. Some sponsors also require a short message of their company to be given to the participants during the event. Others give away sample products or door gifts to participants.

5. Managing People and working with speakers

A seminar will not be successful without the people running it, as well as the speakers sharing their knowledge to the participants. Invite speakers who are of caliber and reputation to the event, and who will provide the participants with relevant information to their work, industry or business. Prepare the speakers beforehand and work with them on their Power point presentations as well as pre-inform them of the logistics processes, timing as well as the expected audience size. Check with them on any special requests, such as the requirement for an overhead projector or additional microphones to be used for question and answer sessions.

All events require a good team of people handling tasks on ushering, registration, customer service as well as handling financials. Familiarize the team with any required event protocol to eliminate the possibility of confusion or error. In order to ensure smooth implementation, each person should be familiar with their individual roles. This can be ensured through a preparation of a detailed schedule of events coupled with roles and responsibilities for each person. Ideally, a project manager should control the whole team and ensure that everyone is carrying out their duties efficiently. Apart from that, the project manager also has the delegated authority to deal with all parties such as the venue management as well as the sponsors and event exhibitors.

6. Actual Day – Preparation, Registration, Ushering, Feedback

All seminar planning and preparations, constituting 80% of total work involved, cascade to the actual event which may last only for a few hours or a few days. On the day before the event, visit the venue to ensure that everything is in order according the requirements and specifications. Microphones, projectors, audio and video systems must be all checked to be in excellent working order. Over at the office, have a packing list prepared and get all require items transferred to the actual venue at least a day before the event. Event staff should be dispatched to work on site preparations, including setting up booths, decorations and posters, the day before the event.

On the actual day, staff should be present at the venue at least 1 ½ hours before commencement. They should report to their duty stations and must be ready to receive participants half an hour before they are scheduled to file in. Registrations must be made at the door to ensure authorized access. Name tags, door gifts and event schedules or booklets will be given out at this point and ushers will show participants to their seats in the event hall.

Staff will also be responsible for providing advice or help to participants during the event. Finally, feedback forms should be distributed and then collected from participants to determine the satisfaction level on all aspects of the event experience. This is in order to receive pointers, ideas and advice for future improvements.

Matt Bacak, The Powerful Promoter and Entrepreneur Magazine e-Biz radio show host, became a "#1 Best Selling Author" in just a few short hours. He has helped a number of clients target his specialty, opt-in email direct marketing systems. The Powerful Promoter is not only a sought-after internet marketer but has also marketed for some of the world's top experts whose reputations would shrivel if their followers ever found out someone else coached them on their online marketing strategies.

For more information, visit Bacak's site at http://www.powerfulpromoter.com or sign up for his Powerful Promoting Tips at http://www.promotingtips.com

How To Stop Sales Mishires

Writen by Andrew Rowe

Just yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with a very seasoned CEO of a technology service provider who came to us in order to do a recruiting project for a new sales person. He came to us is because he's gone through four sales hires on his own and none of them have actually produced anything for his company. As we sat down to talk about this he sheepishly admitted that this had cost him millions of dollars of lost revenue and opportunity cost as a result of not getting the sales hiring process right.

This week I also had the opportunity to teach a course to a group of CEO's on how to improve their sales hiring process in order to avoid mis-hires. Of the fifteen CEO's in the room, when I asked how many of them had consistently had problems in making the wrong hiring decisions on sales people, three quarters of them raised their hands. We talked about the consequences of those mis-hires to their businesses, and as we went around the room we realized that millions and millions of dollars had been lost as a result of not bringing in the right expertise in order to do sales recruiting within their companies.

So one of the key attributes that I've found amongst companies that have a hard time hiring sales people is that the hiring manager or the CEO of the company often times has an engineering operations or finance background and without any sales experience themselves, they have a real hard time judging what makes a good sales person and what doesn't as they go through the recruiting and interviewing process. If you are an executive with a non-sales background and you're called upon to try to accelerate your company's sales and take over the management of the hiring of key sales people, you might be prone to this kind of mistake. It might be wise to bring in outside recruiting expertise in order to help improve your hiring and reduce your risk of making mis-hires.

Companies that outsource their hiring function can have a dramatic impact on their top line performance because they're going to leave the hiring of sales people to the experts and as a result, it becomes easier to bring in "A" players and "A" talent into their company. Yes. you'll have to pay some fees along the way in order to bring in that expertise but when you compare the amount you're going to pay in relationship to the amount you're going to gain, the return on investment from that expense is well justified. We know countless CEO's who've gone through that discovery process themselves, who can testify that it really pays to bring in the right experts to do sales recruiting correctly.

About Cube Management

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tracking For Profits

Writen by Paul Lemberg

If you can't track it, don't do it.

Every high-performance venture needs a tracking system. A tracking system with well-designed metrics lets everyone know how well they are doing relative to their commitments. It is a guide to whether additional or extraordinary actions need to be taken.

It is one of the first things I set up with my business coaching clients because without a clear set of objective metrics it is hard for people to be clear about their results.

Establish intentions for your project, figure out the critical success factors, determine suitable measurements for each, and set performance targets for those measures.

For example, say your intention is to increase market penetration. The measure is your venture's sales divided by total sales in your market. Perhaps your current market share is 10% -- good, you have a benchmark, and your new target is 25% by the end of the year.

That's objective, measurable, and thus... achievable.

Make someone accountable for your project's performance against each target.

Establish a timely tracking system for each metric, which easily gathers the necessary data.

Develop periodic interim performance targets, and a reporting structure to let everyone involved know how they are doing.

Your performance tracking systems can be kept with pen and paper, or they can be automated on your computer system. However you implement them, keep it simple and don't let the overhead of your tracking system become a burden of any kind.

Below is a very simple system I used to keep track of my page output while writing Faster Than The Speed of Change. It was kept on a computer spreadsheet, but could just as easily been pencil on graph paper. Whenever I was below the line I had catching up to do.

Start with 0 in the lower left corner, write units of measurement along the left axis, and dates of measurement along the bottom. Draw a straight reference line from 0 to your goal, and plot your performance against that goal. Of course the reference line need not be straight; set it up in whatever way reflects the time-relationship of your goals.

If you want to find out how you can set up a performance dashboard and completely systemize your entire business to make it "scalable and saleable" link to http://www.turnkeycoach.com

Paul Lemberg is the president of Quantum Growth Coaching, the world's only fully systemized business coaching program guaranteed to help entrepreneurs rapidly create More Profits and More Life™. To get your copy of our free special report with detailed steps on how to grow your business at least 40% faster, even when you aren't sure what to do next, go to Paul's business coaching website.

Click here if you are interested in Quantum's Business Coaching Franchise opportunities.

How Important Is A Credit Policy

Writen by Michelle Dunn

"Know your customers". Every business owner knows how important it is to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

In "Become the Squeaky Wheel," Michelle Dunn explains how a credit policy is relevant to their customers. "If they don't know their customers and don't make their policy and forms easy, fast and simple to understand, they could lose the customer, taking the sale with them and any word of mouth advertising," explains Dunn.

So what can business owners do to make their credit policy effective? First, business owners should implement a credit procedure for any new or existing customers. They should learn exactly what customers are looking for when they apply for credit with their company.

"Business owners should place new customer packets or credit applications on their reception desk in a highly visible place, with clipboards and pens." Says Dunn. "When a potential customer walks in they can fill this out quickly and easily and be on their way to having a new account."

Catering to a potential new customer is good business anyway, so the easier you make it for them to spend more money with you, the more money and more sales will benefit you and your business.

Michelle Dunn has over 17 years experience in credit and debt collection. She is the founder of Never Dunn Publishing, LLC, is a writer, consultant and the Editorial Advisor for Eli Financial Debt Collection Compliance Alert Newsletter. Michelle started M.A.D. Collection Agency and ran is successfully for 7 years. She also owns and runs http://www.Credit-and-Collections.com an online community for credit and business professionals.

She has written 5 books in her Collecting Money Series. Visit http://www.michelledunn.com for more information on any of Michelle's books or services.

Friday, November 28, 2008

How To Keep Your Prospects On Track

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Following are some simple guidelines to keep your speech and verbal packaging on the right track.

* Don't use jargon or technical language unless you are sure every member of your audience understands the meaning.

* Don't use profanity or slang. In general, using profanity damages your credibility.8 Be sensitive to whatever language your audience might find offensive, profanity or otherwise. Avoid name-calling and other forms of abusive language.

* Speak in everyday language. You want your audience to relate to you and to feel as comfortable with you as possible. Use language that will make you seem familiar and easy to follow.

* Keep your language simple and clear.

* Keep your sentences short. Use as few words as possible unless you are painting the picture--just one idea at a time.

* Use words that will engage the audience. Use "you," "we," "us," and even "I" if you are relating a personal experience.

* Don't use vague and abstract words. They muddle your meaning and confuse your listener.

* Don't talk down to your listener by using pompous and pretentious words. Be direct; don't bluff or beat around the bush.

* Use verb-driven language. By using verb-driven language, you will arouse a greater sense of action and motivation. Using these kinds of verbs will make your statement more convincing because your audience will engage their emotions, consciously and subconsciously. Verbs that are abstract or overused do not communicate excitement.

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 http://www.PreWealth.com and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to http://www.PreWealth.com/IQ 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!

Influential Presence

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Presence is the ability to empower and influence others into believing in you, trusting in you and jumping on the bandwagon. You give them the energy they need to bring to pass the results you want. You help them see themselves in the future carrying out your vision. They become excited and energized by your passion and enthusiasm. They are magnetized and motivated by your charisma. What's more, they are lifted and inspired by your optimism and expectations. In essence, with influential presence on your side, you're a source of empowerment, encouragement, inspiration and permanency to your prospects.

For some, charisma is a mysterious attribute. It's challenging to describe someone who exudes charisma because there's really no way to quantify the effect this kind of person seems to have on others. It seems it's a black or white issue; that is, you either have charisma or you don't. Charisma is not leadership, assertiveness or enthusiasm nor is it exactly personality either. It's its own unique characteristic. Charisma empowers others to like you, even if they don't know much about you and even when there hasn't been enough time to develop trust in you. If you have charisma, not only do people want to be around you, but whether they realize it or not, they also want to be influenced by you. Charisma gives you power over, allegiance toward and devotion with your audience, without leaving them feeling powerless. At the same time, it creates instant support. So, the question remains, are you born with charisma or is it learned? The answer is both! Some attributes are inherent, while others can be acquired.

The word "charisma" comes from the Greek goddess Charis. Charis's character was one of total beauty and charity. Today, the word has to do with an individual's magnetism, intensity, vivaciousness and so on. Gerry Spence has perhaps summed up the concept of charisma best:

Charisma is energy from the heart zone. If the speaker has no feeling, there is nothing to transfer. Charisma occurs when the speaker's feelings are transferred in the purest form to another. Charisma is not a diluted feeling. It is not disguised. It is a raw feeling. Charisma is the passing of our pure energy, our pure passion, to the other.

People who are charismatic often hold us in awe. Their energy prods us, motivates us and inspires us. They fulfill our need for heroes. We feel better for having met them, seen them, listened to them and interacted with them. Why and how do charismatic people have this effect on us?

Jay Conger has identified four general characteristics of charismatic leaders:

  1. They have a strong and clear vision, and they know how to present it so it best fits the context of their audience's needs.

  1. They know how to present their vision so that the weaknesses of the present condition are apparent and the recommended changes are not only justifiable but also desired.

  1. They have a history of success, expertise and vision to make educated departures from old traditions that may be less effective.

  1. They possess the behavior they encourage others to have. They model the results of change themselves and thus help their audience feel motivated and empowered to do likewise.

So, how would one go about developing charisma? The following are eight ways to do so:

  1. Develop self-confidence in yourself and in your message. Don't appear nervous or out of balance. Be confident that you possess self-worth and that you know your message.

  1. Show a lighter side. Find your sense of humor and happiness and have fun. Don't take life too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself.

  1. Have great presence and energy. Project a presence of the Five Cs of Trust: character, competence, confidence, credibility and congruence.

  1. Have a definite opinion about your subject. Be knowledgeable about your subject matter and make sure that knowledge is based on a solid foundation. Develop a sense of your audience's emotion and conviction for your subject.

  1. Look good. Make sure your clothing, hair, shoes and jewelry match your message's tone. Dress the part.

  1. Be able to inspire and uplift others. Be sensitive to people and their needs. Develop rapport with your audience. Connect with them and become a great listener.

  1. Be organized and easy to follow. Make your points connected and your structure clear.

  1. Be dramatic, unique and enticing. Be interesting to be around. Make sure the things you talk about are exciting. Tell spellbinding stories.
Conclusion

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.

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."

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 http://www.PreWealth.com and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to http://www.PreWealth.com/IQ 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!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

If Your Sales Strategy Is Not Clear Sales Will Suffer

Writen by Tim Connor

Ask any of your sales managers to define sales strategy and you might get a myriad of responses. Some right, some wrong and many just vague. Ask them to define operational effectiveness and you will tend to get more accurate answers depending on the level of the manager.

Strategy is the what – direction of the organization. Organizational effectiveness is the how – how you are getting there. The problem is that if your strategy is unclear, vague or downright wrong it doesn't matter in the long term how effective you are as an organization – sooner or later you will fail due to any number of outside forces:

- competition
- the economy
- technology
- consumer changes in attitudes
- the global market place
- an aging population

Think of it as a matrix; Draw a four quadrant box. Along the top put Strategy down the left side put operational effectiveness. Therefore;

The lower left hand box is low operational effectiveness and a vague or no strategy.
The upper left hand box is high operational effectiveness but poor or no strategy.
The lower right hand box is low operational effectiveness but clear and focused strategy.
The upper right hand box is clear and focused strategy and operational effectiveness.

We could go on for pages discussing the various consequences and outcomes depending on which your organization is function in. Let's instead summarize a critical factor in this illustration, which is not the quadrant you are currently in but the direction you are moving. In other words if you are in the lower right (your strategy is clear but you lack operational effectiveness) but because of your clear strategy you are becoming better at your operational effectiveness, overall, you are moving in the right direction. However if you are in the upper left hand quadrant (high operational effectiveness but unclear or changing strategy) and because of your lack of clear direction you are becoming less operationally effective you are moving in the wrong direction.

Granted, no organization will ever stay in the same quadrant indefinitely. There are just too many forces at work here such as changes in management, emerging competitors, a fluxing economy and the rapid pace of change in the are of technology.

It is possible however to stay healthy in both areas and the key is to let your operational effectiveness be driven by your strategy. Herein lies the problem in many organizations today. Management tends to focus more on their operational effectiveness than developing and maintaining a clear, focused and communicated strategy and direction. Sure, many organizations have monthly or yearly strategic planning meetings. I have facilitated dozens during the past few years. And the biggest challenge at these meetings is to keep the focus on developing a strategy (The What) and not get bogged down in lengthy operational effectiveness (The How) discussions that are doomed to fail without a clear and integrated strategy.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, relationship, 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 and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That's Life, Peace Of Mind and The Male Gift Giving Survival Guide. He can be reached at tim@timconnor.com, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com

Ten Awesome Ways To Incease Your Sales In Holidays

Writen by Radhika Venkata

Everybody thinks that the businesses will slow down a bit in holiday seasons. Ofcourse everybody thinks that people don't want to start new ventures in holidays too.

But that is not true. People do spend money... a lot in holidays. On gift items, special discount goods, coupons etc.

The only thing is to know how to do business in the holiday season using this attitude.

Here are 10 tips to maintain or maximize your sales in Holidays:

1. Put a paragraph on your webpage that related to the particular holiday. Like chrismas greetings for Chrismas, Happy mothers day greetings for Mother's day etc.

Then put a picture of your product under it with a discount price for that particular day.

Advertise about this discount product on your home page from a month before the actual selling day.

2. Send discount coupons to your old customers and subscribers and tell them the offer lasts for one or two days.

3. If you use pay per click engines, change your ads a little bit to give the essence of holiday season.

If your ad is like -

"Garden tools for gardeners"

Change this to -

"Garden tools for Gardeners.Price reduced to half for the first fifty people. Limited for Thanks giving."

OK...OK...You get the idea. Right?

4. Install some greeting card cgi scripts on your site. Use them at holiday seasons. So with every greeting card your website link goes to other people. This is very cheap and affordable advertising.

5. Tell your affiliates that they will receive more commission on their sales through their affiliate links in this holiday season.

6. Always submit two or three pages of your website to search engines with holiday discount prices. So if anybody search in the search engines about discount products, your pages will show up.

7. Offer free shipping and handling to your customers.

8. Put a special pop up window that closes with in a particular time. So you can encourage your visitors to buy the product at discount price or with special bonuses through the link in that pop up.

9. Use your Autoresponder to offer special courses or tutorials for holiday seasons. Send the links to your discount products, samples of your product as a special holiday delivery. Encourage them to buy with a holiday discount.

10. Holidays means parties, get togethers and massive sales. You can do offline advertising about your product and website by keeping banners or free brochures at the reception tables, sales centers etc.

About The Author

Radhika Venkata - Subscribe to 'EbookBiz Magazine' which is completely focused on ebook business and Internet Marketing. Receive FREE Ebooks with Resale rights every month!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Use Of Attraction Will Empower Your Sales Team

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

We have all had the experience of feeling an instant connection or bond with someone after just a few seconds of being in their presence. This is the Law of Connectivity. We have probably all met someone whom we instantly did not like and did not want to be around. This is caused by a lack of connectivity and usually takes only a few seconds to manifest itself. The Law of Connectivity states that the more we feel connected to, part of, liked by, or attracted to someone, the more persuasive they become. When you create an instant bond or connection, people feel comfortable around you. They will feel like they have known you for a long time and that they can easily relate to you. When we feel connected with someone, we feel comfortable and understood; they can relate to us and a sense of trust ensues.

When we come in contact with someone of the opposite sex, the attractiveness concept is magnified. Attractive females can persuade men more easily than unattractive ones, and attractive males can persuade females more easily than unattractive males can. We see obvious examples of this all around us. At conventions and trade shows, large corporations fill their space with sexy and attractive females. In one study, men who saw a new car ad that included a seductive female model rated the car as faster, more appealing, more expensive looking, and better designed than did men who viewed the same ad without the model. It is not uncommon for a store manager to assign an attractive female sales associate to the young man who walks in the door. Most store managers (although they won't admit it) hire attractive salespeople to attract more customers.

There are four main factors in connectivity: attraction, similarity, people skills, and rapport. Let's talk about attraction. However, before proceeding, it is important to note that really connecting with others requires an attitude of sincerity, a lot of practice, and a true interest in the other person. Whatever you do, don't take your relationships with people for granted.

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 Success Advantage 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."

Attraction operates by making one positive characteristic of a person affect other people's overall perception of him. Sociologists describe this as the Halo Effect. Because of this halo effect, people automatically associate traits of kindness, trust, and intelligence with people who are attractive. We naturally try to please people we like and find attractive. If your audience likes you, they will forgive you for your "wrongs" and remember your "rights." In fact, studies show that people who are physically attractive are better able to persuade others. They are also perceived as friendlier and more talented, and they usually have higher incomes. "Attractive" means more than just looking beautiful or handsome. It also encompasses having the ability to attract and draw people to you.

The effect of attractiveness transcends all situations. For example, the judicial system, which is supposed to be based upon evidence, has documented cases where attractiveness made a dramatic difference. In one Pennsylvania study, researchers rated the attractiveness of seventy-four male defendants at the start of their criminal trials. Later, the researchers reviewed the court records for the decisions in these cases and found that the handsome men had received significantly lighter sentences. In fact, those researchers found that the attractive defendants were twice as likely to avoid jail time as unattractive defendants. In the same study, a defendant who was better looking than his victim was assessed an average fine of $5,623; but when the victim was the more attractive of the two, the average compensation was twice that much. What's more, both female and male jurors showed the same bias.

The halo effect also affects political elections. In 1974, a Canadian Federal election board found attractive candidates received more than two and a half times as many votes as unattractive candidates. When voters were surveyed about their bias, 73 percent denied, in the strongest possible terms, that they were influenced by attractiveness. Another 14 percent would only allow for the possibility.

Consider these everyday examples of one's appearance influencing their circumstances: Have you ever noticed that height often seems to have some relationship to one's position? It often seems that the taller people get better jobs and have higher salaries.

Did you ever notice that there are some children who seem to be able to get away with anything? There has been some research showing that attractive children who misbehave are considered "less naughty" by adults than less attractive children. In elementary school, teachers often presume the more attractive children are even more intelligent than the less attractive children.

The attractiveness of our clothes can also evoke the Law of Connectivity. Researchers Freed, Chandler, Mouton, and Blake conducted a now-famous experiment on how easy it would be to encourage people to ignore a "Don't Walk" sign at a city intersection. When a well-dressed individual ignored the sign and walked into the street, 14 percent of the people who had been waiting for the light to change followed him across. When the same person repeated the experiment the next day, now dressed in sloppy clothes, only 4 percent of the people followed him across. A similar effect has been found in hiring situations. In one study, the good grooming of applicants in a simulated employment interview accounted for more favorable hiring decisions than did their job qualifications. This happened even though the interviewers claimed that appearance only played a minor role in their choices. I know that when I travel, how I am treated and how often I am upgraded is directly related to how I am dressed. I can persuade the airline attendant to give me better seats, a better flight, or the help I need much better and faster when I am in a suit than when I am wearing casual attire. When I have on jeans and a T-shirt, I am viewed as less attractive and, as a result, get less cooperation.

Not only can we focus on our other abilities to make us appear more attractive, but we can also increase our physical attractiveness in many different ways. Attractiveness lies in the simple things that many people overlook, like being in shape and watching your weight, picking nice clothes to wear, paying attention to your accessories (i.e., jewelry, glasses, earrings, etc.), and having well-groomed hair. Keep track of hair and clothing styles. Styles can change dramatically, and if we ignore fashion, our persuasive ability may be put in jeopardy. When in doubt, look to national newscasters as conservative role models in style.

Research has shown that looks matter outside of advertising as well. In various studies, attractive men and women, when compared to those who were considered to be less attractive, were judged to be happier, smarter, friendlier, and more likable. They were also considered likely to have better jobs, be better marital partners, or to get more dates. The halo effect causes us to see such people only in a positive way, which gives them persuasive power. Because of the way we view them, we want to be like them and we hope for them to like us in return.

Conclusion

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.

About the Author:

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!

Kurt over a hundred techniques to give you the ability to effectively work with every customer that walks in your door. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to http://www.PreWealth.com and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to http://www.PreWealth.com/IQ 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!

Managing Sales Mavericks

Writen by Andrew Rowe

Managing the Sales Mavericks. All of us have experienced top performers on our sales team who consistently produce the highest sales numbers, but also produce the most disruption for our organizations. These people which I call mavericks, can have a huge impact on bottom line for your company, but they also can be a big drain on your organization. Often times, these mavericks won't follow the company's policies and procedures when it comes to sales process, selling methodology, reporting forecasting, using your CRM tools, etc. What do you do with these mavericks and how to you manage them to a better result?

There are certain companies that are willing to accept this kind of behavior and allow top sales people to run roughshod over their organization and essentially do whatever they want. The best companies, though, focus on working with top performers to align the rest of their performance and behavior with the company's culture and values and the company's specific sales process and procedures. It's the job of sales management to play to the strengths of each of their top sales performers to make sure that they continue to produce the results that are vital to the company's success.

At the same time, sales management also is responsible for making sure that those top mavericks are brought into alignment with the company's fundamental directives, as it relates to culture, behavior, following processes, reporting, etc. This is not an easy task for the sales manager and it's one of the reasons why they get paid the big bucks. Often times, the most talented sales people are the most roguish and the most arrogant when it comes to following the company's requirements. In particular, they tend to view themselves as superstars unto themselves as their own entity and not necessarily as a part of the team.

There are many things that can be done to break this habit of maverick behavior and bring these kinds of people into alignment. First of all, develop a corrective action plan that focuses on the person developing the soft skills. This can be done through the normal performance planning process. Second of all, sometimes it makes sense to assign a coach to an individual top producer; somebody that that individual respects; somebody who can mentor them and provide them with feedback in a way that they're able to accept. This can be done by somebody on your team or it can be done by bringing in an outside executive coach or sales coach. Often times, a third party sales consultant or sales coach is the best way to go. The next thing is working through issues of culture and behavior on a regular basis through agenda items at your sales meetings and your sales retreats.

This will help you to emphasize to your team at large how important the other aspects of the job are, in addition to just producing results. There are lots of great books out there that can be used as well to help "Sales Mavericks" understand what it is that a company is expecting from them. We'll give you examples in another blog post. So, if you have top sales mavericks who are also your top sales performers and you're looking for ways to reduce your frustration and improve their adherence to the company's policy and culture, you're not alone. All of us have faced this in sales management, and it's our job to make sure that we're clear with these individuals about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and not be afraid to take corrective action up to and including termination if these people become too disruptive to the organization. Everybody is replaceable and even the top performers who believe that they walk on water should be replaced if in fact, they're not capable of adhering to what a company needs in order for them to be successful.

About Cube Management

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sales Force Follies The Tribal Wisdom Of Many Sales Forces

Writen by Jacques Werth

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In many sales organizations, the heavy investment in existing sales practices makes dismounting unfeasible, and these creative strategies are adopted instead:

1. Providing motivational seminars, tapes, and group sessions, to encourage riders to stay on their dead horses longer.

2. Threatening riders with termination when they can't get their dead horses moving.

3. Providing riders with stronger whips.

4. Determining how more successful organizations ride their dead horses. Then, adapting those methods as the company's new "Best Practices."

5. Determining that riders who don't stay on dead horses are lazy, lack drive, and have no ambition - then replacing them.

6. Appointing an intervention team to reanimate dead horses and assure that all riders are in compliance with approved riding standards.

7. Awarding professional certification plaques to riders who learn the best techniques to stay on their dead horses for long periods of time.

8. Reclassifying dead horses as "living-impaired."

9. Directing management to find new and better ways to inspire riders to charge their dead horses into battle.

10. Teaming several dead horses together for increased speed.

11. Donating old dead horses to a recognized charity, thereby deducting their full original cost. Then using the savings to buy new dead horses.

12. Proving that the reason for diminished sales results is a combination of macoroeconomic circumstances and increased competition from other dead horse teams.

13. Developing contests and incentive plans to reward the best dead horse riders.

14. Enacting a strict dress code so that their riders look "professional."

15. Prohibiting riders from purchasing and riding their own live horses since that is not in accordance with the company's time-tested methods.

16. Promoting the most persevering of dead horse riders to manage and train new riders.

Did you chuckle as you read this? Salespeople stuck riding dead horses need a good laugh. Sales managers who read this and laugh in embarrassed recognition need to abandon their dead horses-now.

If you're ready to abandon the 'tried and false,' if you're ready to commit to a sales process that really works, you're ready for High Probability Sales Training.

©Jacques Werth, High Probability® Selling - All rights reserved.

Jacques Werth, author of "High Probability Selling," is an internationally respected Sales Trainer and Sales Consultant. HPS graduates are excelling as Top Producers in over 70 industries. Visit http://www.highprobsell.com to read more articles, preview the book, and learn more about High Probability Selling.

Management From Within

Writen by Christopher Walker

Inspiration and Management from Within – Part 2.

The more you follow the path of exploration into the mystery of life, the more life becomes revealed to you. Life begins to express its secret, its nature. What is required of us, for deeper understanding, is a commitment to follow earnestly the laws of life into self discovery. Few things have greater impact on the world, than the study of human nature and this study ultimately is found in the study of self. Through this study of self we come to know, what is really the study of God.

IF we could become fully aware of this self, then the search for spirituality would cease, we would no longer pilgrimage to sacred places, as life itself, the very thread of our existence, would become the divine mystery we all seek. Life reveals itself in every atom, on every corner and in every moment, life can be the magic in itself.

Everything in this world which appears to be unharmonious is in reality, the limitation of our own vision. The wider the horizon of our perspective, the more harmony of life we enjoy. In the very depth of our being, the harmony and simplistic working of the whole of natures plan exists. It can be heard through inner awareness. It is not the outer sound that plays the music of the soul, it is from within.

"Every external activity is directed by an inner cause. Every cause has its effect and all effects belong to us. This is our true power, the ability to reach within and temper the steal of causality. In the daily events of life, this capacity is not always obvious. People often see themselves victimized and therefore cannot attain a balance. Yet to the keen observer, awakened to the real world there is nothing but balance. Perfect harmony, exists as a hum, beneath the surface of all activity. It is only the keen observer, steeped in self awareness that it is, however, revealed. This beauty, this order reveals the balance of good and evil, right and wrong, masculine and feminine – and, when viewed by the keen eye, correspond with a larger purpose, and are therefore harmonious." Christopher Walker.. 2003.

1. It's only Natural

(exert from Innerwealth; Putting the heart and soul back into work and life. Wiley Uk.)

The laws that make self observation possible are not the laws of human morality. Such laws are for the dignity and well-being of the mass, and provide safety for existence. Self observation must be made from a larger perspective from this in order to eliminate the concepts of judgment and worthiness. Here is a small snap shot of those higher laws.

Harmony

In nature, what we appreciate will grow. Human bodies are a composition of trillions of vibrating particles with our total well being reflected in this movement. Our thoughts control this vibration revealing that by developing positive thought patterns, we can personally impact our own lives in a positive way.

Balance

Nature is pure balance. By aligning ourselves with the simple principles of balance, we can live a mindful existence. Where clear thinking, peace of mind and an open heart will together create a strong sense of centeredness. An imbalance in the body and mind can be transformed instantaneously to help you create and sustain energy and vitality for a lifetime.

Interconnectedness

In nature, nothing is ever lost or missing, however it does change constantly. An individual's perceptions can be limited and unhealthy and they are in need of ways in which to let go of the old and move forward with purpose. Once we learn to recognize that everything is changing and evolving for a reason, then we can really achieve our full potential as powerful individuals in this world.

Evolution

Nature demonstrates to us that maximum evolution occurs at the border of support and challenge. The greatest thing in life is unconditional love and the evolvement of our world depends on this. By understanding that evolution can be achieved by an individual's strength to move through difficulties with love and gracefulness, the quality of one's life will be instantly enriched.

Inspiration

The greatest gift in life is the experience of being inspired. Nature has intended us to live this way. Leadership is inspiration. Certainty is inspiration. This higher thinking is that whose essence will connect people in groups, create harmony in relationships and move organizations forward in their purpose. Every human being has the right to an inspired life.

2. To be in Harmony is the first Goal of life.

Each human being has an inner vibration, it is audible and visible. It is not visible to the eyes nor audible to the ears, but it is audible and visible to the heart. We might say, "I feel their vibrations, I feel their presence."

Harmonics can be affected externally through sight and sound. The environment in an office can affect harmony easily. For example red walls excite a person and will make them inclined to fight. A striking color will give you an argumentative environment. From a psychological point of view ancient customs use a certain colors for a wedding, and other colors for different festivals. It all has meaning, there is a psychological significance behind the subtle realities of our external lives. A change agent, must have the skill at understaning these subtlties, because it is through this change that the most powerful impact can be created in the shortest time in any circumstance.

People affect each others harmonics. People create a feeling that is given off without them having said or done anything. A person can communicate a bad feeling, without doing or saying anything. This creates a negative atmosphere, and you will be uncomfortable with them. Because people are so material in our world we do not appreciate this power that person has on another through what is going on within themselves. It is not because of their saying or doing; it is because of their being. "People hear louder what you do not speak, than what you do." It is in the vibration of life itself that the tone, and color are experienced, regardless of words or action.

If we could understand and tap into this immense resource of comprehension, we would begin to appreciate the power of life itself, because everything has a vibration and that vibration tells the truth. It will determine success and failure, happiness and sadness, sickness and health. We will have a greater scope for approaching that unlimited potential which is within ourselves when we understand the power of being. The ancient mystics speak of self-knowledge. This does not mean knowing; how old I am, or how good I am, or how bad I am, or how right or wrong I am. It means knowing the other part of one's being, that deeper, subtle aspect of one's being and it is on the knowledge of that being, that the fulfillment of life depends.

What you will begin to realize is that the first experience of your spiritual development is when you begin to feel in synch with the abundant presence of other living beings. This doesn't only mean human beings exclusively, but with animals, with birds, with trees and plants. We all have this same privilege, if we realize it. When we close our heart, when we allow our self to be smothered by life, we become exclusive, we become cut away from the whole manifestation of love. It is humanity that divides itself, people create identities, but truly, life itself is undivided, indivisible.

When you begin to take a universal perspective you begin to see that all is undivided. Then instead of saying, "this is my friend, I love them", we are able to say, "this is myself, I love me". At this time, a person can say that they have arrived at the realization of love. As long as an individual says "I feel sympathy for them because they are my friend", their sympathy has not yet been fully awakened. The true realization of sympathy is when we see our friend and say "this is myself". Then the sympathy is authentic, fully realized and there exists a communication within oneself that is of a true essence.

Identity causes us to close ourselves off from both the external life, and the inner life. That inner part of life is made of sound and light and when we get in touch with this part, then we know the language of life, nature. This language expresses the past, the present and the future. It is a language which reveals the secrets and the character of nature, it is a language which receives and gives the great messages of inspiration.

A person who is caught in their identity is living on the surface of life. They will become materialistic, and struggle to achieve only for themselves and live for their own benefit. They will suffer from morning to night. They will be bitter and in trouble, as they are in the midst of struggle and conflict, mostly with themselves. To heal, the heart must be free, free to love. The person who discovers this has reached a truly elevated state of being.

What teaches this kind of love? Where can one learn it? Where can we study it? The key to this element of love is found in life itself. As we observe humans in the world today, with all the progress of society, still there is a void. Ask yourself these questions: What is it that is lacking? Is it harmony that is the key to the unlimited store of love which is in the heart of humankind? Is the meaning of life represented in Harmony? Is it that in knowing life, and seeing the order of it, we see the divine plan, and therefore, we also see the planner?

About The Author

Change Agent, Business Consultant, Author, and Futurist, Christopher Walker is a visionary individual and one of the world's leading facilitators of Personal and organizational change. He is considered a leader in the field of human potential, inspiration and leadership. Christopher's amazing programs unravel the mysteries of human behavior, personal growth and professional development, lead to progressive change and a richer more inspired life.

Cwalker@innerwealth.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Projectprogram Management Best Practices For Success In Any Industry

Writen by Eddie R. Williams

Where is our success? Although there have been improvements, over 60% of projects/programs failed and many were canceled in 2003 (ref:The Standish Report CHAOS)! Our goal for 2004 and beyond is to contribute to a 60% and better, project/program success rate! STOP THE MADNESS-MANAGE AND CONTROL PROJECTS

WITH THE FOLLOWING:

Best Practice Processes for Project/Program Success(Outline):

  1. Program/Project Management (and Business Management) (Integration)

    • Use of Experience and Knowledge (Integration)

    • Planning and Scheduling/WBS (Scope/Time/Cost)

    • Communication Planning (Communication)

    • Status & Earned Value Reporting (Communication)

    • Performance (metrics) Reporting (Communication)

    • Risks Identification and Management (Risks)

    • Project Repository/DB (Communication/Lessons Learned/Knowledge Transfer)

    • Change Management (Integration)

    • Subcontractor/Vendor Control (Procurement)

    • Team Building (Human Resource)

  2. Development Process (Integration/Solution/Scope)

    • Selection of the appropriate model/technique (e.g., Interactive, Waterfall, Spiral, Evolutionary Object Oriented, Structured)

    • Selection of the appropriate implementation methodology (e.g., MSF, RUP, GXP, DOD- STD 2167 and other standards)

    • Selection, if required, to use Rapid Development

    • Rapid Application Development/Joint Application Development (RAD/JAD)

    • Prototypes and Mockups

    • Interviews and Facilitated Sessions

    • Collaboration

    • Selection of technical and project reviews

    • Selection of development and support tools and applications

  3. Configuration Management (Integration/Scope/Control) (described in the book "Software and Firmware Configuration Management", subtitled "Management Control and Quality".)

    • Configuration Identification

    • Configuration Control - Software/Application, Firmware (Embedded Software, and Systems)

    • Configuration Status Accounting

    • Configuration Audits

  4. Quality Assurance (Integration/Quality/Control)

    • Verification

    • Validation

    • Testing

Some of the organizations that support these practices and certifications for their professional knowledge recognized in many industries are: Project Management Institute (PMI) , American Management Association (AMA), Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Electronic Industries Association (EIA), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

About The Author

Eddie R. Williams, recognized as a highly successful program/project manager, is the author of the multiple publications written to promote successful projects through methods that have led to his outstanding success. Get the FULL Detailed Best Practice Processes case study at: http://www.rayannpublishers.com.

erwilliams@rayannpublishers.com

Selling Is A Performance Art

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

I spent one whole day in the vacuum cleaner business.

And it was long enough—to learn one of the best lessons.

The fellow I was attached to for my training day was a rumpled dumpling. He was the exact opposite of what you'd expect the company's top salesperson to look like. He wasn't cleanly shaven, didn't speak well, and appeared in every single way to be pathetic.

He drove an ancient Chevy sedan with torn seats. If this guy was a moneymaker, a top earner, number one in commissions, then I was Superman, or so went my teenage thinking.

We knocked on doors, until someone answered.

Soon enough, a housewife straight out of Stepford, greeted us. He asked if he could have the privilege of vacuuming her living room—free of charge—simply to dramatize the amazing Power Nozzle attachment that was exclusive to his machine.

She nodded, looking at me as if to ask, "Where did you get this partner, you poor boy?"

He revved up the one and a half horsepower motor and glided from one corner of the living room to the next, making small talk that no one could hear.

Then, he shut it off and said, "You keep a very tidy house, don't you?

"I try!" she beamed.

Unlocking the back door of the hot dog shaped appliance, he deftly retrieved a full bag of soot and swiftly plopped it in a pile in the center of her rug.

This demo knocked the wind out of her, she became woozy, overcome by the revelation and humiliation that there was a ton of hidden dirt that her old standby vacuum was leaving behind.

"Oh, my gosh, look at that!" she gasped, reciting her role perfectly in this domestic drama.

Suffice it to say, he sold her this Cadillac of cleaners, and I walked with him to the curb, in a daze of my own.

We drove back to headquarters, and he and the big boss debriefed me. What did I think? Could I do this?

I said I'd think it over, and as we all parted company, I noticed that the frumpy salesman had changed his worn jacket for a snazzy cashmere sweater, and he suddenly looked two feet taller as he put the key into his off-hours car, his real driver: A brand new Cadillac.

His entire sales persona was a masterpiece, carefully calculated to make buyers feel sorry for him.

And it worked beautifully.

Although I didn't feel I could do his act, I did walk away knowing one thing about selling: it is an art, a performance art, and some of the savviest practitioners don't let their offstage identities interfere in the least with their onstage personalities.

That's one powerful lesson.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman © 2006

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of www.Customersatisfaction.com, 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: gary@customersatisfaction.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How To Find And Manage Likeable Sales People

Writen by Lance Winslow

Managing sales people is a lot like managing a group of Top Gun Hot Dog Fighter Pilots in that famous movie with Tom Cruise. Indeed, sales people are a different breed, especially the egomaniac hard charging type. Nevertheless if you sales department is going to cut the mustard you better learn how to deal with these types, as you are sure to get a few in every group of sale people. And remember your department's goals are to make sales and influence people right? So you have to come to terms with this sooner or later and learn how to deal with this personality type and once you do, it is not so bad.

The trick is to locate these types of folks who are also likeable and have charisma. The smoothest sales people are not necessarily what you are looking for, as some people see them as fake. What you need are folks who seem every day humble and nice folks, like wolves in sheep's clothing. Lets face it that is not a common type, but there are enough of them out there, that you can build an excellent sales team this way.

So you ask; How do you find and Manage Likeable Sales People. Well generally likeable types are easy to spot, so that is not a problem, but finding strong sales people who are genuine, wholesome and just plain good folks means you have to do your research. You must scour their previous employment to see if they are closers as well. Please consider this in 2006.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/

You Are Not Lazy But Other Salespeople Are

Writen by Lance Winslow

Most people who are sales people are somewhat lazy in observance, however some spend a lot of time strategizing and thinking. As a Founder of a Franchise company I had often been accused by my own Bonzai and Blitz marketing teams of being lazy and sleeping until 11:00 Am or Noon, yet I had stayed up all night until 4:00 Am or 5:00 Am studying maps, making plans and lists of the best possible clients.

In fact in the mornings I would send out our teams at 9:00 Am and go back to sleep for few more hours. They would come back and report their great success and I would congratulate them and smile. Of course in reality I expected results and winning, nothing else was acceptable and if they did not perform we Sheet Canned them.

Then I would go out myself and score the biggest account of the day and several small juicy ones between 3:00 PM and 5: PM. How is this possible? How can someone sleep away half the day and look lazy by observation and yet out perform entire teams of 5-10 sales folks? Well it was simple really, I took all my observations, intuition and experience and used my mind to clearly focus on a specific target. Bingo.

Sales managers need to be the back bone and work twice as hard as the sales people in preparation, strategy and use their knowledge to make it all happen. When in the Ready Room or sales meetings, explain their strategy and focus and send out their sales people to Fu*&^%$# Win! You need to Plan, Decide, Attack and Assess. Dear Sales Managers and Sales People, Stop judging each other and the team and go out there and kick some butt. And I am not blowing smoke. Play to win, I did. Consider this in 2006.

Lance Winslow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stuck On Stupid How Too Much Time Looking In The Rearview Mirror Can Set You Up For Failure

Writen by Bob Champagne

Don't Get "Stuck on Stupid!"

Whatever your political bent, or your view of the American media, you've got to love the recent comments of Lieutenant General Russell Honore during the Katrina aftermath.

When interrogated by reporters about Katrina-related mistakes and miscues, during the immediate aftermath of Katrina and the pending arrival of Rita, the Lt. General fired back with one of the best "in your face" rebuttals in media history. "You guys are STUCK ON STUPID!", he said, "...and I'm not going to answer those questions!" Then, as only great leaders can do, he shifted the attention to what could be done NOW... going forward. In one short phrase, he showed the insanity of a backward looking fixation in a time of crisis, and the importance of quickly learning from mistakes and moving on. If only we could instill that kind of thinking into our organizations and personal lives.

We, as a culture, waste a lot of time fixated on the past. This is a tricky topic, because in order to learn, we have to be able to look backwards. I don't believe the Lt. General meant to suggest we not look backward. Rather, I believe, he intended to show us the art of WHEN and HOW we should look back.

Here are a few of my observations about backward-looking actions, and where that line exists between effective diagnosis and what the good General would call a "stuck-on-stupid" culture:

-----------------------------------

1. When (and WHEN NOT TO) look backwards- the theme I believe was most central to the Lt. General's comments was this: There is a time and a place for a backward looking assessment.

In a football game, assessments occur at various intervals- half-time, end of quarters, during time outs, in the huddle, and sometimes even right before the play during a "check off" at the line of scrimmage. But assessments and questions about fault or blame NEVER occur DURING the play. The few seconds it takes for the play to unfold is about execution only. How stupid it would appear if one of the sports reporters walked onto the field and began questioning the coaches and players in the middle of a particular play. In sports, we see that kind of on-the-field interference as unacceptable, but in other crisis situations (like Katrina), we don't think twice about the appropriateness of it.

In business it's even worse. We have management agendas, advisors and consultants, board politics, and a myriad of other factors all screaming their opinion about how the play should unfold. Let's take a lesson from our sports brethren, and save those assessments for AFTER the play is run. There's nothing wrong with good assessment. But let's save them for a time when they'll have real impact instead of being seen (appropriately) as a distraction.

One more quick analogy on when and how often we should look backwards. Think of the last time you drove a car. How much of the total time would you say you looked in the rear-view mirror. Most driving instructors will tell you that you should look up into the rear-view mirror about once every six seconds. That translates to about 15% ...probably not too unreasonable a number to shoot for in the workplace.

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2. Are our comments focused on specific behaviors or root cause? A lot can be observed by the questions we ask during a review of a failed strategy or play.

There is a great story that is told about a man who walks down a street and falls into a deep hole. He does the same thing each morning, with each day producing little or no real insight. The first few days are spent asking "why me?" type questions. The next few days are spent getting out of the hole quicker and more efficiently. The next few days, he walks around the hole. It's not until the last day that the man decides to take a different route altogether, eliminating his risk of falling into the hole entirely. For many days, we might say this man was "stuck on stupid". But he finally learned to ask the right questions, and only then was he able to solve his problem.

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3. The "SO WHAT" Test- Early in my career, I had a boss that would frequently add the margin comment "So What?" to his review of various letters and reports written by his staff. It was his way of saying, "OK I hear you... and I get your point, but what is the implication, or conclusion I should draw ?".

I've since applied this principle to much of what I do in business and life, and I believe this was one of the Lt. General's key messages in his "stuck on stupid" rant. Assessments are great, as long as they lead to new learnings, AND a new way of doing business. Most of the time, if timed right, good assessments will lead to changed strategies or actions. But there are many cases (and you see them everyday) where the main purpose of an assessment is to assign blame or channel criticism. It's those cases where the assessment is better left alone, at least temporarily. Again, you can always come back to it later after the play is run, or the game at hand is over.

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4. Setting a new bar (measure the future not the past)- One way to get "stuck on stupid" is to keep hammering away at a measure of metric that has failed you more than once. If that's the case, its time to either change your approach to the problem, change the measure, or both.

On first blush, you might say that changing the measure seems to be taking our eye off the ball, or conforming the metric to fit your situation. But in years of studying performance, I've found that repeated failures typically mean that you're not sending the right signals. That is, often you're tracking something that is too distant from an individual or team's accountability area.

Last week, I played in a "scramble" format golf tournament in which each player hits a shot, and the team selects the best of those shots from which to progress. Our team was composed of a long hitter (driver), approach man (for mid range shots), an "up and down" guy (for greenside shots), and a good putter. Each one of us excelled in a particular area. We've played these kind of tournaments many times before. But this time, we tried something different. We decided to assign goals for each category of performance, so that for example, the driver was responsible for # of fairways hit, the approach guy was responsible for greens hit in regulation, and so on. The impact on our collective performance was significant and noticeable (I wont tell you our net score but I will say it was a notable improvement), and far better than the occasions in which we focused only on the total score.

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5. Avoid the blame game / Reward (vs. punish) failures- this one is related to, but a bit different from #3 above, in that it deals with how you treat and reward accountable individuals.

In all of our organizations, we have those individuals who try new things, embrace change, and have a real bias toward action. Sometimes, improvisation is necessary, especially if the situation is very dynamic. And it's in those cases where you need to reward quick decision making based on grounded assessments and learning.

There was an old adage years ago called "Go Ugly Early (and Often)". Give me someone who learns and implements change quickly, versus someone who gets "stuck" in analysis of past performance. Looking back is good, but you've got to reward those who can also look forward and ACT. To me this is the essence of the Lt. General's comments.

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Let's face it, there's something about the word STUPID that gets our attention. We saw it in Clinton's campaign with the catch phrase "It's the economy STUPID". And while we scold our children for calling someone Stupid, none of us wants to be viewed that way. Why do you think we play the blame game so much? It's all an attempt to not be viewed by our peers as the one who "dropped the ball".

What we don't always see, however, is that it is just as (if not more) stupid to "lock in" on failures and analysis of those failures without a corresponding focus on the timing of our assessments, the changes that need to result, and the speed with which we can then move on.

Let's hand it to Mr. Honore for calling it as he saw it, and getting all of us motivated on what the future holds, rather than getting hung up on our past failures.

Author: Bob Champagne is Chairman and CEO of ePerformance Group International LLC, a privately held company specializing in performance management systems and solutions. Included in ePGI's product portfolio are a wide variety of performance tracking, reporting, and benchmarking solutions delivered in an online and on-demand environment. ePGI's services are utilized by over 50 leading edge companies across numerous industries and geographies, and are licensed by many high profile consultants committed to delivering world class PM solutions to their clients. Visit ePGI at http://www.epgintl.com/ or contact us directly at 973-343-2806.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Profitable Growth Formula For Sales Managers

Writen by John Tallitsch

Sales organizations that successfully achieve profitable revenue growth do so through a sales system encompassing sales focus, the integration of organizational and people competencies, a balanced sales effort between new customer acquisition and current customer penetration, and employee engagement.

These organizations match sales resources to the best opportunities, often overlooking customary territorial boundaries or customer assignments and applying a "best in front" approach in the allocation of sales people to high value opportunities. They've adopted cross-functional team selling approaches – emphasizing collaboration to deliver value-adding solutions and hold sales/service teams accountable for improved customer-level results. In addition, they utilize their full organizational capabilities, and those of their external partners, to create an integrated product/service offering that enhances their customers' business results, differentiate their value proposition from the competition, increase the average deal size, "win" the sale, and build durable customer relationships.

While highly effective sales organizations emphasize new customer acquisition, they also recognize that creating new customers is more expensive than penetrating current accounts. Furthermore, they know the temptation is great to discount the initial sale to "get in the door" – producing less profitable business through an expensive sales effort. So, they balance new customer selling with a focus on "deep drilling" current customers with existing and new products. They are also sensible about discounting. Pragmatic sales leaders know when and when not to discount, recognizing that in the long run significantly more discounted revenue is needed to equalize the profit generated from non-discounted sales. For example, assuming a 50% gross profit margin and a 20% discount, a salesperson must capture 25% more revenue to achieve the gross profit generated on a non-discounted sale. The amount of revenue needed to equalize the profit expands as the discount is increased.

Sales representatives in growth-focused sales organizations spend at least 55% to 65% of their time on direct sales activities. Their leaders achieve this concentration by:

> Optimizing the number of current and prospective customers assigned to a salesperson;

> Right sizing the type and number of technical and customer service personnel supporting the sales effort; and

> Providing and insisting upon the utilization of sales automation tools to move opportunities through the sales funnel, create administrative efficiencies and facilitate effective customer management.

Sales leaders that are successful at growing profitable revenue understand the negative impact of turnover and the associated affect of uncovered or inadequately covered customer relationships on growth. They strive to retain their sales people by implementing practices that create employee engagement and a passionate commitment to growth. Among these are, creating organization-wide accountability for results, setting goals set at the individual sales person level, defining minimum performance thresholds below which no incentives are paid, and uncapping incentive opportunities.

John F. Tallitsch is the founder of TopMark, a consulting boutique specializing in sales effectiveness and sales compensation. TopMark helps companies create finely-tuned, results-oriented sales capabilities through solutions encompassing: customer segmentation and targeting; sales strategies; sales force and territory design; performance-driven sales incentives; and talent strategies. You can contact John at 440-963-1240 or visit http://www.top-mark.com for more information.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

6 Tips Wheelchairs And Trade Shows

Writen by Julia O'Connor

TRADE SHOWS and WHEELCHAIRS Trade shows are hard work, and even more so for attendees who may use a wheelchair. For some, the chair may be new and temporary but for most attendees, it is where they live.

Here are six tips for making life easier for everyone on the show floor ....

1. Well, let's just be honest. Those folks in the chairs know that they are in the chairs. It's your responsibility to make them as comfortable in your space as any other visitor. Quick no-no or two -- don't gawk -- don't ask stupid questions -- don't raise your voice (they have a leg problem, not an ear problem). If you have a genuine interest, most folks will tell you their story quickly.

2. These days, wheelchairs are smaller and allow more mobility. Watch out for them as they zip around the corners and scoot out of elevators. The problem is we look straight ahead, and not down. Especially at a show, an event or in a crowded hotel, you need to sweep your eyes up, down and around.

3. It's important to maintain eye contact, as with any visitor, but rather than hunching over, pull up a chair so you're both at the same eye level and have a normal conversation.

4. Just as people with vision problem may have a person with them as a guide, so too may people in chairs. While it's polite to acknowledge the guide, address your comments to the visitor, not the guide.

5. If you're showing video, using a computer or have a demonstration at a 40" height, be able to adjust it for people in a wheelchair or who may not be able to see at that height. In a double deck exhibit? Have a duplicate on both floors.

6. Make sure aisles are wide and clear. When designing your exhibit, be sure chair and table legs don't angle out and there are no sharp edges on any item or graphic in your exhibit. These will snag not only those in a wheelchair, but careless walkers as well.

A little thinking before the show can save a lot of woe at and after the show.
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Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - writes about practical aspects of trade shows. As president of Trade Show Training, inc,, now celebrating its 11th year, she works with companies in a variety of industries to improve their bottom line and marketing opportunities at trade shows.

Julia is an expert in the psychology of the trade show environment and uses this expertise in sales training and management seminars. Contact her at 804-355-7800 or check the site http://www.TradeShowTraining.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Persistence In Prospecting Is Simply The Aerobic Training Of Sales

Writen by Bill Truax

A few summers ago I started running Triathlons. At my age, simply crossing the finish line alive is a real thrill. As my training continues my focus is on aerobic conditioning. Simply stated this is the ability to perform some form of exercise for longer and longer periods of time.

The method recommended by all of the professional trainers and doctors is Long Slow Distance, LSD. That is swim, bike, and run for longer and longer distances while maintaining a relatively stable heart rate. The results should be a stronger ability to perform at higher heart rates. As you maintain this training regimen, you will perform faster because your ability to replace oxygen increases. So, you will be able to swim, bike and run faster while maintaining the same heart rate.

Now, simply apply this idea to Prospecting and you can see the value of making cold calls on a regular basis. As you maintain your Prospecting efforts you get better and better at the skill. Also, you begin to build up a large reserve of potential customers with whom you will need to follow up in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

It doesn't take long to realize the benefits from simply persisting at your Prospecting efforts.

Let's consider how many real Prospecting/cold calls you make in any year. Now when I say a Prospecting call I mean that you "talk to a potential customer with the intent of making them a customer."

When you stop in a talk to a receptionist, get a name, leave some literature and a card, but, don't talk to the actual prospect that is only half a Prospecting call. You simply have another lead. When you call back or get that person on the phone, then you have made a Prospecting call.

Now with those parameters in mind how many Prospecting/cold calls did you make in the last year? Could you have made more? If you had, would your have been more successful in your mind?

Most of us have about 40 full weeks available in the year for selling. Vacations, holidays, meetings, etc. take up the rest of our year. Please consider the following idea.

In aerobic training, we are supposed to swim, bike, or run for a set period of time everyday of the week, weekends we can rest. For a few weeks of the year we need to add Anaerobic training, which is "speed work." This builds up our ability to go faster in the long haul.

What would happen if you made one or two Prospecting/cold calls everyday you were selling? That would be 5 or 10 new prospect calls a week, 200 - 400 per year. That could be your "aerobic selling."

Next, you could add a few "anaerobic" weeks to your selling by making several Prospecting/cold calls a day one week a quarter or so. You choose when.

What I suggest is that you simply decide IF you would like to do this or not. If yes, then start. Use our System for Prospecting and Making Cold Calls, or your own, or someone else's. The important thing is that you actually DO the calls.

The more I train the more I see the similarity between athletic performance and selling performance. Unfortunately for me we have to go out there everyday, we can't just think about it. If you don't train or you don't Prospect the results are obvious. The next time you show up at a "Triathlon" you may have trouble finishing.

Now you know why I feel that Persistence in Prospecting is Simply the Aerobic Training of Sales.

Sell Well and Often

Bill Truax

Bill@BlitzCall.com

© 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 http://www.BlitzCall.com The site also details all the materials and programs Trufield offers.

Seven Steps To Effective Delegation

Writen by Will Turner

If you manage others, delegating is a critical skill. There are many excuses why people don't delegate, but there is one important rule of thumb. If you want to develop others and free yourself up for higher level tasks, you should consider delegating anything that someone else can do 70% as well as you.

The fact is that it is highly unlikely that your staff will be able to complete a particular task or project as well as you at first. You probably have more expertise and experience; isn't that why you're the boss? If you want to grow your staff and your organization, however, you will need to develop additional skills and competencies in your people. Here are the seven steps to mastering delegation:

1. Develop a climate for delegation - By placing value in the feedback and work of others, your staff will feel appreciated and work harder. They will want to contribute in new and different ways to the success of the organization.

2. Determine your objectives - Before you get started, you need to ask yourself, "What do I want to get accomplished?" With that in mind, "What tasks can be done by others?" When you are mapping out the action steps to a goal, always consider who can handle the different tasks involved.

3. Know your workers - Who would be the best person to complete a particular task? If you understand and know your employees' strengths/weaknesses and likes/dislikes, you can match up assignments more appropriately.

4. Develop a plan - You should have an overall work plan or goal planning summary that spells out responsibilities and deadlines. This plan can be done in conjunction with the employees being held responsible for the various tasks.

5. Communicate your expectations - Your employees must have clear directions and a full understanding of the deadlines and expectations. Make sure that they understand what you're communicating. The use of clarifying and confirming questions can ensure proper understanding. If you are unsure if the employee "gets it," you can also ask them to repeat their understanding of the situation back to you.

6. Monitor progress - Make sure that you monitor and assess the employee's performance on a particular assignment and give appropriate feedback. This is particularly critical when a new assignment or responsibility is being handled by an employee.

7. Evaluate results and assign new work - At the completion of the project, review the results to make sure your objectives were met. If you outlined your expectations and the results desired on the front-end, this should be easy to measure. If the job was completed in a satisfactory manner, congratulate and praise your employee. You can also look for additional opportunities to assign new work. If the desired results were not achieved, use this as a teaching and learning opportunity. Continue to assign new work and monitor performance.

Will Turner is the Founder and President of Dancing Elephants Achievement Group, a sales training and consulting company. Will has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience and is the author of over 150 sales-related articles and programs as well as the co-author of the book, Six Secrets of Sales Magnets. Will can be reached at Will@dancingelephants.net.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rx For Sales Effectiveness The Purple Pill

Writen by Rick Johnson

The "Purple Pill"

If you could give your sales force a "Purple Pill" that would boost their effectiveness by 25% or more, would you do it? No prizes for guessing how a typical sales manager would answer this question! Sales professionals are high-energy, fast-thinking, opportunistic people. If they are good, they often shoot from the hip and take calculated risks. They can be called mavericks and that's a good thing. It takes a little "maverick" in the blood to be effective in the world of professional sales. Most are willing to try anything that offers the potential for a fast boost, a quick sale, increased value, or the strengthening of their relationship with their customer. Too often, however, this quick fix mentality reduces the long-term focus and discipline of the sales force. "This month we're trying to promote a specific product line, last month we launched our sales force automation software, next month we're bringing in that motivational speaker and the month after that we'll be introducing a new SPIF (special performance incentive formula) to move our dead and obsolete inventory." Unfortunately, there is no "Purple Pill" that you can buy to drug your sales team. There is no "Purple Pill" that will improve their effectiveness. There is no "Purple Pill" that will increase profit, revenue, or market share. However, there is a proven process that sustains continuous improvement and will help you achieve every one of these objectives. It's actually a very simple methodology. It's called a Sales Effectiveness Process (SEP). A SEP is simply a structure for continuously improving sales force performance through focus, discipline and a process built on a platform of accountability.

But we already have a system.

A SEP is not a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. CRM concentrates on the effectiveness of interactions with customers, not the effectiveness of the sales force. It is not a Sales Force Automation (SFA) system. SFA deals with improving the efficiency of the sales force: performing administrative duties more efficiently. A SEP improves the effectiveness of the sales force; doing the right things rather than just doing things right.

Similarly, a SEP is not a canned sales skills training course. Training is really only effective when the students are eager to learn and the material is immediately relevant. Offering an instruction or motivation course without having a structure that continuously encourages proper behavior is a waste of time. Training should therefore be considered a supplement to other initiatives rather than a sales management program. A SEP does not replace sales training.

A Sales Effectiveness Process provides critical structure and motivation for using tools such as CRM, SFA and skills training. It also provides a measurement system to manage the activities that are required to meet specific objectives. Without a focused sales management process, automation and training are wasted because their power is undirected. However, the SEP can provide tremendous value on its own merits even without the independent use of the other supporting tools. Used in conjunction with the SEP, these tools are much more powerful.

Why is this any different?

OK, so what is this thing called SEP? It is a set of best sales practices with a small amount of automation thrown in. SEP is built on the concept of "Managing activities and measuring results." Focus, process, discipline and accountability become the engine that drives the process.

It all starts with planning.

The key to planning is making sure that it deals with reality rather than wishful thinking. A quota from the boss may be called "the plan," but it has no relation to how the salesperson will achieve it. "I can set myself a goal of becoming 4 inches taller this year but it's probably not going to happen. If, in contrast, I decide to lose 10 pounds and I can plan out the exact exercise regimen, a specific diet and the activities necessary to get there, I have a real plan and my chance of success is much greater."

In a SEP, each field salesperson identifies a small set of target accounts in his territory to receive intensive sales focus. The number is limited because true targeting must be backed up by action planning, and that requires a lot of effort. (For more information about targeting strategies, see "TLS – Tier Level Selling" by Rick Johnson, available by e-mailing rick@ceostrategist.com or by visiting www.ceostrategist.com)

The salesperson sets numeric objectives for sales and gross margin dollars on each target customer, along with detailed action plans to achieve them. The goals could be for the next year or the next quarter, and will be periodically adjusted to ensure that they are always realistic. This does not mean that a salesperson gets to change his quota. He is still expected to reach the same final numbers. The SEP provides a realistic platform that allows him to adjust how he will get there by tweaking his individual targets and goals, making course corrections as necessary during the year to make sure he will meet his objectives. The SEP helps him identify and utilize any resources inside and outside the company that he needs to attain his goals.

Execution

The SEP circumvents the most common mistake made in distribution today: trying to manage results. Instead, you must manage activities because it's the activities that produce results. Execution involves the day-to-day activities of the salesperson. For most industries, this entails both planned, proactive tasks and opportunistic, reactive events that the salesperson uncovers by doing the right things in the right place at the right time. It's critical that the progress of the tasks in target action plans is carefully monitored to avoid surprises. This is the equivalent of monitoring your daily exercise before the effects start to show up on the scale. Once the results are in, the horse is out of the barn and everything you do from that point on is reactive. If you proactively manage the activities, the expected results will follow.

Feedback

The feedback process is where the real magic of the SEP comes in. A universal scorecard is essential for creating competitive energy within your sales force and motivating them to focus on strategic objectives. The scorecard should include a small number of well-designed metrics that are regularly updated. This information is extremely valuable for:

• Identifying the best opportunities for performance improvement

• Creating a level playing field

• Driving continuous improvement

• Providing performance feedback

• Encouraging and measuring cross functional selling

• Offering key information for the review process

Monthly territory review: the cornerstone of the SEP.

The monthly review process is a critical component of the SEP that enables the sales manager and his sales representative to discuss, plan and measure success. This is how a good manager enables his salesmen to capitalize on their natural talents and abilities. The review process should include the following:

1. Review of all target accounts

2. Review of all cross functional selling opportunities, or lack of them

3. Review of specific territory objectives, including sales to plan and gross profit to plan, and assigned account objectives

4. Knowledge of products, customers and customer organizations

5. Ability to apply this market knowledge

6. Development of a favorable attitude as it pertains to that knowledge and those applied skills

7. Required course corrections

This is not a session for reprimand or criticism. The review should be designed to achieve maximum participation by the sales representative. Industry best practice has proven that such representative participation is one of the most effective methods of developing both an attitude for learning and a drive for successful accomplishment of goals and objectives.

Next, enthusiasm must be created. Enthusiasm is one of the most important traits for a sales manager because it is contagious. Remember, sales representatives will learn very little if they are mentally falling asleep.

Finally, the sales representative must have confidence in the program. He or she must trust the content of the program and truly believe that it will provide personal benefits. The review process is extremely critical to the success of the SEP. It must be taken seriously and performed at a standard of excellence that supports the intent and objectives of the overall program. It requires 100% compliance throughout the company.

The SEP gives more than it receives

The last thing you want to do is to burden your sales force with administrative tasks of limited value. Throw away the call reports. They aren't necessary in the SEP. Besides, they are the closest a salesman will ever come to winning the Pulitzer Prize in journalism. How many times can a sales person report: "I called on Joe, everything is great and we will get to bid on his next requirement?" A well thought out action plan has more than 100 times the value of any call report.

The focus of the SEP, especially the monthly review, is on improvement through coaching and counseling. It is not a human resources hammer for "slap & point" management. It is simple but powerful for the salesperson using it (by comparison, most companies have way too many reports, measurements and programs that diffuse focus, dilute effort and may indicate that upper management is really not clear about the company's strategic direction). Sales is a profession that requires professional salespeople

Companies are in constant need of aggressive, creative and resourceful salespeople to have their products specified, accepted and used by customers. Without informed and capable field salespeople, no distributorship could hope to compete in the marketplace today.

But how often do companies consider the fact that good salespeople, the kind who can help a company really grow, don't just happen to come along by chance or fate? There is no such thing as a "born salesperson," because selling ability is much more than a personality trait.

Granted, selling does require certain attributes in a person that some people are born with and some are not. Also, the person must be intelligent, able to grasp ideas and details easily, retain them and recall them for use whenever necessary in selling situations. These factors, and many others relating to personal and emotional characteristics, are contributing elements in the makeup of the professional salesperson. However, these attributes alone do not make a salesperson nor do they guarantee success. It takes more.

A salesperson must have adequate tools, resources and leadership to maximize his effectiveness. That is why the Sales Effectiveness Process is so vital. It is the program that provides the support and the resources to give each and every salesperson the opportunity to maximize his personal effectiveness.

The Sales Effectiveness Process will not replace good sales management, but it can make it much more effective. Remember, it's not the sales manager's job to call on accounts and sell product. His job is to make his sales force as effective as he possibly can so that they can achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.

The SEP is the one thing that can light up the sales process like Edison lit up a dark room with his light bulb invention. Let SEP become your light in the darkness of the competitive world of distribution. (Download a free sales person review checklist www.ceostrategist.com)

Dr. Eric "Rick" Johnson (rick@ceostrategist.com) 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 http://www.ceostrategist.com 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."