Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Boss From Hell Quick To Criticize Slow To Praise

Writen by Nicki Weiss

So you have a boss who dumps all over you the moment things go wrong, but never seems to notice when things go right. Ouch.

Jamie is a hard-working, cheery, full-of-ideas kind of manager. She leads two high-functioning teams who support each other very well. So why does Jamie come to work with a stomachache every day? Why does her staff often feel paralyzed? It's because Jamie's boss, VP of Client Services, finds fault every day with Jamie and her team members. He seems to go out of his way to criticize. When the VP is away, the group functions like a well-oiled machine. When he is there, they gossip, avoid tough problems, and try to make themselves invisible.

As a defensive strategy, Jamie visits her boss every morning to take a reading of his mood and pre-empt any explosions. She tells him first thing what she and her team accomplished the day before, what issues they face, and how they are handling them. Sometimes the strategy works, sometimes it doesn't and the explosions come anyway. The constant stomachache is the price Jamie pays for trying to figure out how to please this overly critical boss.

Most of us can take a little criticism from our bosses from time to time when we've messed up, or haven't quite done something right. It can be tremendously demotivating, however, when criticism seems to be the only type of feedback we get, and we don't receive recognition for our positive contributions.

Chances are your boss isn't intentionally trying to demotivate you. It's doubtful that he has some master plan to make your life miserable. More likely, she has fallen into the all-too-common management trap of looking for things that are wrong instead of things that are right. Of course, this particular behaviour is not unique to managers. Many parents, coaches and peers (perhaps even you and me), fall into this trap.

If you have to deal with overly critical behaviour, there's a technique worth trying. The next few times your boss criticizes you, follow this three-step process:

1. Apologize

2. Let your boss know that you'll correct the problem

3. Finish off with a comment that gently reminds her that you do, occasionally, get things right. For example:

"Gee, and here I thought you were coming over to tell me what a good job I did on that last project." Say it with a smile, then go about the business of fixing your mistake.

It may take a few repetitions, but your boss should eventually get the message that you might like some positive encouragement.

Now, here's the part for the really courageous and truthful among you. You can actually tell your boss what you want. If you don't say anything, don't expect your boss to read your mind, or to be aware of how the constant criticism affects you. Say something like:

"I do appreciate feedback. It helps me improve. In addition to criticism, I also appreciate hearing about what I do well. It helps me know what to keep doing."

While you can't control how your boss talks to you, you can control the quality of your own communication, and how you respond. Good luck.

About the Author

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

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

Do You Know How To Fire Up Your Sales Staff When Money Isnt Everything

Writen by Tom Richard

Money is the only thing that motivates a salesperson, right? Well, maybe it is time to give your sales staff a little more credit.

If you are like most sales managers, you were probably promoted to your current position because you were a great salesperson. But can you remember what motivated you to work so hard? Was it for the hope of advancement? Was it your loyal determination to help the company succeed? Or was it your fiery, competitive spirit that made you want to outshine your colleagues?

Understanding your sales staff requires that you remember your own experiences as a salesperson and the roots that got you where you are today. Use your past incentives to motivate your salespeople, but also recognize that everyone is different and will respond differently to the same incentive.

Like your customers, your staff is made up of a variety of personalities, with unique factors that influence how and why they make a sale. Each take something a little bit different to really get their "A game" out of them. Understanding these differences will help you to create a diverse game plan that will motivate all your sales people by sparking each individual's desire to succeed.

It is best if you cover multiple motivational styles in all that you do. With salespeople you will find that many are motivated by recognition, achievement or just plain competitiveness. It is best that, in addition to money, you provide other outlets to motivate your staff. These alternatives may be more effective than just monetary incentives.

Think about it. When a salesperson receives money as a reward, where does that money go? Typically the money goes into a checking account and is used to pay bills. That is not memorable at all.

When you supplement your compensatory form of motivation with something a little less traditional, your salespeople will remember that far longer than any monetary reward. They will remember it longer because it will mean more to them; it is more important. After all, which is more memorable: receiving a paycheck, or being awarded with a prize or special recognition?

The extra level of importance and sentimental worth that is placed on these supplemental forms of motivation is the key to the effectiveness of your salespeople.

So the next time you sit down to try to find a better way to motivate your sales staff, get a little creative! Run a contest to spark their competitive spirit, or help them see their individual efforts as an important part of the company's larger goal. Whatever you do, make it big and make sure everyone has something to gain from it. Post these goals and give them a lot of attention. Your staff will draw from your excitement and will easily find the motivation to gain the incentive and to make that sale.

Tom Richard is the founder of and also produces a free weekly ezine. Please visit his website for more information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Whats On The Menu Today

Writen by Hans Bool

A restaurant is good example of a "company" that is dealing with the dynamics of consumer demands.

There are 545,000,000 search results (Google) for the term restaurant. Overture provides 100 different occurrences of restaurants that are most related to a location (New York, Washington, Baltimore, etc) or to a Type of Dish like Italian, Greek, etc. There is also a combination of both (Chinese restaurant New York). The keyword for Overture signals nearly 10,000,000 searches per month (for the word "restaurant" only).

Once you have started your culinary outlet you have chosen for both the location and the dish. The next question is; what is on the menu? This is a question all sales organizations are dealing with. A restaurant is not a typical sales organization, but sales is an important process. So the question is again;

What is on the menu?

The type of dish is not the issue. That choice has been made already. But serving the client is the issue. And this is more of a logistics problem.

You could leave the choice up to the client. You present separate items on the list and leave the client completely free to choose. This requires that you to cater for all the items on the list which is a costly operation.

You could also promote a standard daily menu, for which you will bet that 80% of the clients will go for. In order to pull your clients into this promotional direction you need to do something with the price...

If you have organized your restaurant in this way, you have chosen for the internal focus. Your operation is driving the business. The price is driving the clients (hopefully into the right direction) and you can stay in business until another restaurant pops up around the corner.

Until that moment you have time to think about a real CRM strategy.

© 2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Highest Form Of Persuasion Revealed

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Influence is a key element in mastering the techniques of Magnetic Persuasion. Influence is the highest form of persuasion. With influence, people are spurred on to action because of your character, not your maneuvers. Persuasion is what you do or say, but influence is who you are.

How does one gain this type of influence? How do you gain a strong enough influence over people that they will act simply because an idea came from you? How about having a strong enough influence over people that they are still compelled to move forward even when you're not around?

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. They are lifted and inspired by your optimism and expectations. In essence, you're a source of empowerment, encouragement, inspiration, and permanency to them.

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 that you either have charisma or you don't. Charisma is not leadership, assertiveness, or enthusiasm and it's not 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, allegiance, and devotion with your audience, without leaving them feeling powerless and it creates instant support. So, are you born with charisma or is it learned? The answer to both questions is yes! Some attributes are inherent; others can be acquired.

The word "charisma" comes from the Greek goddess Charis. Charis' 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's said it 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 to have heroes. We feel better for having met them, seen them, listened to them, and interacted with them. Why and how do they have this effect on us?

So, how would one go about developing charisma? Here are eight ways:

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

2. Have a lighter side. Find your sense of humor and happiness. Have fun and don't take life too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself.

3. Have great presence and energy. Project a presence of the Five C's of Trust: character, competence, confidence, credibility, and congruence.

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

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

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

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

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


Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. It 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.

Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale! Take your test now at

Kurt Mortensen teaches 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. 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! Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Managing A Car Sales Lot

Writen by Lance Winslow

Many customers when they are out shopping for cars go to a car sales lot and walk up to the front. The first thing they see is about 10 guys nicely dressed standing there like vultures trying to sell them a car. At first glance they look rather lazy and waiting for easy prey. As a sales manager it is important to make sure that your sales force does not act like vultures. It is essential that you hire the right people and train them to work the lot in a zone defense pattern, rather than standing together and looking intimidating to the customers who walk up.

Running a car sales lot is not easy and it does take a lot of hard work to keep the salesman in line. If a salesman is to harassing to a customer they may simply leave and come back later or never returned and buy a car from a different sales lot. Unless you know for a fact that you are particular line of automobiles is so popular that it doesn't matter how your salespeople act you will lose lots of sales.

It behooves each and every one in the automotive industry to treat the customer with respect and not as prey. All too often we see car salesman at automotive dealerships simply standing around and waiting for someone to walk up for an easy sale. That is no way to sell cars. Please consider this in 2006.

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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Retail Manager Productivity And Developing Your Team

Writen by Craig Cook

Retail Managers have a lot of information to process in the course of one day. They must decide what to act on now and what to save for later. Most of us are still expected to sell, be a leader and a team member at the same time. Depending on your management style and work ethic you may find yourself having more to do then time in a day. Letting go of some tasks may be a hard pill to swallow, but giving your team some of the control will free up some time for you to complete more important action items to achieve strategic goals, while developing a stronger team. As a manager your sole purpose for existing is to create sales. Therefore you should spend most of your time moving towards and creating that reality, not doing the same old thing every day.

Should it Be Done Now?

Priority (Now) vs. Goal Accomplishment (In between!) vs. Task (Later)

As all Retail Managers know, there is always something happening or changing at the last minute creating havoc in your life. New programs, promotions, meetings, conference calls, someone calling in sick and the list goes on as you know it. These are priority items which may need attention right away.

In between havoc and control are your goals. You are paid to create sales. "How" you do that are the actions you take every day relative to the respective goals. Managers must spend the most amount of time on these items as possible.

Tasks, your every day routine items. Tracking payroll, sales, statistics, maintaining organization and control of your environment and such. Preparing for meetings, conference calls and store visits from your boss all are routine tasks which should be done after priority and goal action items.

Who Should Be Doing This?

The first question you should ask yourself every time you do something is, "Should I be doing this?" Next, "Am I the right person for the job?" Then, "Is this moving me towards accomplishing my goals" and lastly, "Who would be better suited to do it and when?"

You may have to take some time to give clear instructions or training on the task at hand but consider it an investment of your time versus wasting your time when you do the task yourself. Next time this task must be completed you can point and shoot. Delegate it and move on!

The benefits are many. You have someone doing the task for you and they know more because of it. If you were to leave your store right now, would the ship sail forward or sink? Your ability to develop your team is a measurement of your leadership. You owe it to your self to do the things every day that accomplish your goals while developing your team.

Craig Cook is a Retail Manager and Administrator of, a resource portal for Retail Managers.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Salespeople Are You Playing Moneyball By Measuring What Really Counts

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

"Moneyball" is a book that came out recently about Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A's.

It takes a close look at Beane's successful stewardship of the team, noting that the A's have had one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, yet they've racked up an astonishing number of victories, putting them in the playoffs several times.

Beane and his staff are basically, numbers crunchers, quant nerds, if you will. They track every major league ballplayer according to certain performance categories.

But their snapshot of a hitter isn't based only on batting average, stolen bases, home runs, and fielding percentages. They look at on-base percentage, runs scored, and other measures.

This makes a player who draws a lot of walks, in addition to hitting for average, more valuable than a guy who only hits for average. It also rewards those who get on base any way they can, through errors and fielder's choices.

Beane's breakthrough is in highlighting less sexy, yet very significant statistics, which he claims are more reliable indicators of a player's value than other factors. Thus, he's been able to buy, at a discount, players for his cash-poor team, that are undervalued, under-appreciated, but who can make an important contribution to the A's, nonetheless.

This wisdom, knowing what statistics count, is incredibly important in sales, customer service, and other business areas. The real question is this one: are we measuring the right things, valuing our players appropriately, and putting our emphasis behind the best possible winning strategy or game plan?

Typically, we use measures and statistics that are traditionally used, that have been handed down to us. Seldom do we even take a hard look at whether they're serving us or disserving us. And even less do we throw them out and field an entirely new set of metrics.

My father, for instance, was the top salesman wherever he worked because he knew how to leverage his assets. He handpicked his own prospecting lists, which was the marketing side of his job, and then he called them to set appointments.

But what set him apart from his peers was his canny ability to know, through rational analysis, and after the briefest contact, who NOT to pursue.

He had a great ear for B.S. and for sincere interest, he knew the difference, and he never second-guessed his instincts.

So, overall, he saw fewer people, followed-up less, but he closed a higher percentage of deals, that yielded more commissions for him and more profit for the house.

A traditional numbers-crunching manager, and he had a few, would look at his activity logs and scratch his head. It wouldn't add up.

His approach to Dad would be to urge him to see more people; it was only logical, but wrong. Dad was seeing the best ones, ignoring the rest, but his NOT-DOING was the highest form of action.

Where is the statistic that quantifies DISQUALIFYING prospects?

We don't ask our reps, who did you choose NOT to see, today, and not to call back, and not to leave messages with, and not to take notes about, and not to dream of closing?

In baseball, Beane and Company examine the number of pitches hitters take without swinging; how deeply they take pitchers into the count. He measures NOT-DOING, which in this case is not swinging the bat, knowing when hitters take pitchers deeper into counts:

(1) They see better pitches to hit with a 3-1 count than with a 1-1, or 2-2 count;

(2) They wear out the pitchers, forcing opponents to rely on their less capable bullpen hurlers; and

(3) These advantages mean Beane's crew will score more runs and fatigue the other team by keeping them on the field longer, doing defense.

Dad didn't exhaust himself. He let his peers do that, and as long as they were under performing, he looked great, and he could claim higher and higher commissions as his rightful due.

He played "Moneyball."

Are you?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are Your Sales Meetings Boring

Writen by Bill Lee

Many sales meetings are boring and a waste of salespeople's time, say the majority of salespeople I interview. A review of what's going on in the market is good to know, but to be effective, sales meetings need to be a lot more than that venues for quick market updates.

Inviting a vendor's sales representation to present a product training program never hurts, but if product knowledge were the criteria for success in sales, about 90% of the fledgling salespeople in North America who are about to lose their jobs would be top performers. While product knowledge is important, it won't turn a mediocre performer into a top producer.

What's missing in most of the salespeople I meet is a general lack of sales skill. But rarely do I see sales meetings focus on teaching salespeople how to sell more products to existing customers or how to penetrate a prospect who is giving the lion's share of his purchases to the competition.

Here are several ideas that will allow your sales force to leave their next sales meeting with enough ammunition to improve their performance:

1. Ask two or three of your top salespeople to join the manager or sales manager on a panel. Give the sales force enough advance notice to identify several sales obstacles they are facing and jot each of them down on a separate piece of paper. At the sales meeting, call out the question and allow the panel to respond with their most effective ideas.

2. Invite three loyal customers to attend your next sales meeting and answer questions from the sales force about what services they most appreciate from a salesperson and what it is about your company that makes them such loyal customers.

3. Invite each salesperson draw a number out of a hat to determine the order each salesperson will present a 15-to-20-minute sales presentation on a key product line that the company is emphasizing. What makes this approach especially effective is to capture each presentation on video. When the presentations are over, replay the video and ask the audience to critique each presentation.

4. Ask each salesperson to present to the sales force background and details on one of his or her key prospects. Invite the sales force to make suggestions as to what the salesperson might do differently to penetrate this account.

5. Buy a copy of the One-Minute Salesperson for each salesperson to read, then at the sales meeting, go around the room and ask the salespeople to tell the group what they plan to do differently after reading this little book.

6. Announce a sales contest that will reward the sales force with a weekend getaway if they achieve a measurable goal over a measurable time frame. Goals could include:

• Bring in five new credit-approved customers who purchase a minimum of $10,000 over the next 120 days.

• Identify each salesperson's year-to-date gross margin. Improve individual gross margin by one percentage point over the next 120 days.

• Achieve a sales goal on an emphasis product line over the next 120 days.

7. Identify specific problems your company's typical customers frequently face and brainstorm specific techniques to help your customers overcome them.

8. Brainstorm what your company has to offer customers in your industry that your individual competitors cannot match. What sets your company apart from each of your key competitors?

Set a personal goal to make your company's sales meetings more fun and more effective in 2005.

Bill Lee is author of 30 Ways Managers Shoot Themselves in the Foot. $21.95 plus $6 S&H. All credit cards accepted. email:

Customers Who Are Yours

Writen by Justine Curtis

What every business has in common is that it needs customers. Sounds a little basic but what do you really know about yours? Do you know who they are, what they like, where they hang out, what they do when they're not working? And if you know these things, are you targeting your sales message to your best customers? And if you are, are your new customers becoming good customers, buying again and again?

In this months issue we start a brand new series all about customers that will help you answer all of these questions and make your Internet Marketing more effective and profitable.

Customers – Who Are Yours?

Who are your customers? Do you know who your best customers are? Do you know how much they buy, and when they buy it? Do you know how they use your web site?

How you gather the information to answer these questions can be a bit of a complex process. The clarification involves discussions between your sales and marketing departments, the web designer that built your web site and an amount of data analysis. Your marketing department should be able to clearly define who your best customers are and this should be backed up by sales data from your sales department. The web designer should be able to engineer a system to track the online behaviour of those customers.

What you need to identify first are your particular customer types. Customers fall into distinct categories. There are your most loyal customers, the ones who always buy from you and/or put in sizable orders. There are the sometime customers, those who purchase regularly from both you and your competitors and therefore have the potential to become better customers. There are the occasional customers who infrequently buy from you, particularly sale or special offer items. There are former customers who no longer shop at your web site and there are the browsers, those who have visited your web site but have never bought from you.

You can create a winning online presence by understanding how your customer base breaks down across these categories. The rule of thumb is the best 20 percent of customers generate 80 percent of revenue.

How To Categorise Your Customers by Profitability

· Finding your top 20 percent of customers.

To determine your top, average, and lowest-performing customers, rank customers by total sales over the past year. Create a cumulative total sales column, starting with the highest-revenue customer. Develop a cumulative total sales percentage by dividing the cumulative total sales by total sales for the year. You can now easily identify which customers generated what percentage of total sales and simply identify your top 20 percent.

· Determine whether customers are profitable.

To analyse these figures further you can determine a customers true worth by looking at their profitability rather than just their sales figure. It is worth calculating this figure if you market differently to different sections of your client base, as they will therefore have different associated costs. A customer is truly profitable when the revenue they generate exceeds the fully loaded costs (i.e., production costs, marketing, and overhead associated with servicing this customer).

A profitable customer = customer revenue — (production costs + applicable marketing costs + allocated overhead) > 0

As this analysis shows, all customers aren't created equal. To increase your profits, you must target your marketing to those segments with the greatest profit potential.

How This Should Translate To Your Internet Marketing and Web Site

· Enhance your relationship with your loyal top customers. At a minimum, acknowledge the importance of your loyal top customers, who comprise around the top 20 percent of your customer base.

Regardless of the software used, information extracted from the analysis of your web sites performance should help improve your marketing. Some of your best customers may always visit a certain area of your site. That may mean it should be featured more prominently on the site. Your best customers might use certain services on your site. These should be featured in your marketing. They might look for more information on certain products. Maybe you should feature that information in your sales efforts.

Use special touches to delight these customers and humanise the relationship. Consider creating a rewards scheme or a special by-invitation-only offers for your very best customers. It can enhance the cachet of being a preferred customer. Don't forget that these customers also tend to refer other good customers.

· Improve marketing to "Sometime" customers. Many of these second-tier customers, the next 10 to 20 percent of your base, have the potential to become loyal top customers. Develop programs to make them feel special without sizably shrinking your margins.

· Maintain promotion to the "Occasional" customer. Constituting about half your list, these customers will often purchase for the same reasons they did before, barring any change in either your offering or their circumstances.

· Manage bottom-tier "Former Customers" proactively. The bottom 10 to 20 percent of your customer base probably hasn't recently purchased. You need feedback to understand why. Did they only purchase a gift? Did they have a bad experience with your company? Develop a plan to market to or drop these customers by segment.

Former customers can still be profitable, implement or extend a customer win-back program. Based on customer feedback, test different offers to restart purchasing. You already have their contact information and they already know your brand, so acquisition costs tend to be less than for a totally new customer. Every win-back creates a second customer lifetime value.

· "Browsers". These are a slightly different kettle of fish as they are not yet customers. The topic of converting these browsers into customers is covered in depth in our series of DIY Internet Marketing Guides available here: and will also be touched upon later in this series.

Ensure no profitable customer is left behind by tailoring your message to meet each customer's needs and potential. All customers aren't created equal and understanding the dynamics of your customer base is critical, especially as online retailing matures and growth rates slow. Finding ways to maximize the value of each profitable customer relationship is even more critical to maintaining business momentum and maximising your Internet Marketing activities.

Is your web site driving high quality, targeted customers to your business? Our proven Internet Marketing solutions make your web site work harder for you. For a complete range of Internet marketing and advertising resources to improve search engine positions visit Enable UK.

Stop losing customers to your competitors and make more money from your web site TODAY

To catch up with previous issues of this newsletter, visit:

Coming next month:

· October 2005 - Customers - Attracting Them.

Coming up in the rest of the series:

· November 2005 - Customers - Attracting Them - Part 2 - Out of the Box Ideas

· December 2005 - Customers - Converting Your Browsers Into Customers

· January 2005 - Customers - Keep Them Coming Back

· February 2005 - Customers - How To Reactivate Them

Till next month.

Enable UK
Internet Marketing Information and Resources
Make your web site work smarter!

If you have any questions about any of the topics raised or any other Internet Marketing issues, feel free to email me at I do my best to answer all emails or to cover the issues in future editions of this newsletter.

Feel free to forward this newsletter provided that it is sent in its entirety with all links intact.

To use this newsletter in any other format, please email for permission to

Internet Marketing Tips Newsletter is a monthly publication of Enable-UK Copyright © 2005 Enable-UK.

Is your web site driving high quality, targeted customers to your business? Our proven Internet Marketing solutions make your web site work harder for you. For a complete range of Internet marketing and advertising resources to improve search engine positions visit Enable UK. Stop losing customers to your competitors and make more money from your web site TODAY.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Career Tip 1 Act Like You Own The Place

Writen by M. Glenn Shepard

I've owned my own company since 1988, and often hear people say they'd like to own a business. When I ask why, they give answers such as "So I can set my own hours", "To make what I'm really worth", or "So I won't have to answer to anyone". I tell them not to go into business for themselves, because they don't understand what owning a business really means.

While it allows the freedom to come and go without permission from anyone, it doesn't allow the freedom to come and go anytime the owner feels like it. Most business owners work more hours than their employees. The owner of a medical device manufacturing company in San Antonio recently told me that he can leave work any time he darn well pleases – after he puts in his 80 hours a week.

The desire to achieve financial independence is certainly a good reason to go into business. In their book "The Millionaire Next Door", Tom Stanley and William Danko revealed that self employed individuals are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others. New entrepreneurs hear stats like these and think they'll be the next Henry Ford or Walt Disney. What they forget is that Mr. Ford and Mr. Disney both went bankrupt before they achieved such stunning success. For every Donald Trump, there are thousands of business owners taking cash advances off credit cards to make payroll. Some estimates have placed the average annual profit of small business owners in the United States as low as $10,000 a year. While owning a business greatly increases the owner's odds of becoming a millionaire, it also greatly increases the owner's odds of working for less than minimum wage. I caution people who say that owning a business will help them make what they're really worth, because they might not realize how little that is.

While business owners don't have a supervisor to answer to, this doesn't mean they don't have people who hold them accountable. There are creditors who expect to be paid, customers who often demand the impossible, and sometimes a spouse who questions why they still can't pay the mortgage despite putting in 100 hours a week.

Hollywood has painted an unrealistic image of business owners. The mention of someone who owns a business conjures up images from greedy bank owner Mr. Potter in the 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life" to nuclear power plant owner Mr. Burns in the television show "The Simpsons". Owning the company doesn't mean sitting in a leather wingback chair all day and counting piles of money while all the workers bees make more; it means quite the opposite. You'll never hear a business owner say "That's not in my job description". Business owners refer to themselves as the chief cook and bottle washer because they have to do whatever needs to be done whenever it needs to be done.

Employers have become accustomed to employees who do the least they can to get by, which is usually what's printed in their job description. Because of this, companies add "...and all other duties as needed" to every job description. But those who excel in their careers don't need a job description to tell him what to do. They do whatever needs to be done, whenever it needs to be done, without waiting until they're asked. In other words, they act like they own the place.

Glenn Shepard lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is the author of the #1 Best-Seller "How to Be the Employee Your Company Can't Live Without". He publishes a free weekly newsletter titled "Work Is Not for Sissies" to help people excel in their careers. You can get a Free copy of his newsletter and his special report "How to Avoid the Four Deadly Sins that Can Kill the Most Promising Career"" by going to

What A Nice Thing To Say How To Give Daily Feedback For Sales Performance Improvement

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

Remember the first time you walked into your sales office? How did it FEEL to you? Was it buzzing, energetic and upbeat? Did you sense a spirit of positive competitiveness?

Or, did you notice that the air had a weight of negativity to it? Did you suspect a lack of joy or camaraderie? Maybe you recognized that the positive vibrations were simply missing.

That's the power daily feedback can have. If it's being done constructively, it can affect the very "energy" of a sales office.

Daily feedback and improvement is all about developing the right culture. And professional selling has its own common language and culture. We use terms like "hourly rate," "definition of insanity," "circle back around," "lay the obvious on the table," "soup to nuts" and "who's got the 'R'."

So, how do you give daily feedback?

Simple. You spend 5 minutes with a manager/leader.

FOR 5 MINUTES, you use strategies and tactics to evaluate your status. You promote the "right" feeling in the atmosphere. Using common language buzzwords, you talk about accountability to results. And when results are not there? You REFRAIN from finger pointing!

It's celebrating "wins" aloud, but coaching through all the bases that must be covered.

It's congratulating the close of a sale, but asking if the proper steps were taken at the point of sale.

And why do we ask this question? It's because the proper steps are essential. They leverage more revenue, more testimonial letters and more referrals. In short, they improve the entire sales process.

Management must understand the strategic use of the office door. KEEP IT OPEN!

Daily feedback focuses on Daily Routines. Daily Routines, properly performed, WILL achieve weekly goals.

And weekly goals, routinely achieved, WILL maintain monthly results. Focusing on what's wrong or how to lay blame just doesn't "cut it."

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

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How To Work A Trade Show To Find Companies To Buy

Writen by Mark Smock

Often the more "creative" you are to find companies to purchase the quicker you'll find the "right" deal. "Working" trade shows offers an extraordinary opportunity to find and quickly qualify acquisition opportunities. To take maximum advantage of these "corporate shopping malls", you need to use proven techniques to make this methodology worthwhile.

As a business buyer you want to use the most creative means possible to position yourself to get the first shot at a viable business that can be purchased, preferably a purchase opportunity where you have no other purchase competition. Herein lies the most noteworthy justification for working trades shows within industries you seek acquisitions.

10 Reasons Trade Shows are "Fertile Ground" for Business Buyers

Any proactive business buyer will tell you that finding viable companies that can be purchased for reasonable terms is a "numbers game". Thousands of company candidates, that lead to hundreds of contacts, that lead to tens of acquisition conversations, that hopefully lead to one company acquisition. Trades shows offer an unparalleled opportunity to streamline the business purchase qualification process because trade shows are:

Industry Focused:
Only attend shows in industries you prefer

Geographically Biased:
Regional, National or International, take your pick!

Time Efficient:
You can visit with hundreds of companies in one trade show day

Cost Efficient:
For the cost of a plane ticket and a short hotel stay, you can qualify thousands of companies and many related trade associations.

There is no better place to get face to face with a company CEO, who can say an immediate "yes" to a purchase inquiry, than a trade show

You can see, touch, hear, taste, smell company product and service offerings first hand – watch them demonstrated by experts

Sales Personnel Intensive:
Sales personnel talk and talk … not only will they keep Answering ALL your questions about the company, but they give you insights into how best to approach key management and whether they are viable acquisition candidates

Lead "Rich":
After "bonding" with booth personnel in a matter of minutes they will pass on other company acquisition candidate leads and refer you to specific people industry trend insightful: There is no better place to define the current status of a targeted industry. New products/ services and countless conversations tell all!

Relationship Starters:
Since you meet so many people face-to-face, you are able to start memorable dialogues, long term relationships, with key business decision makers. If reinforced with timely follow up after the show, these relationships can lead to eventual merger or acquisition discussions

When you are pursuing companies to purchase, you never know where your next deal will come from. Introducing yourself to hundreds of people, passing out business cards and company introduction booklets to trade show booth participants, can and will be passed onto other people not in attendance at the show. Your exposure to others can be exponential.

An excellent technique to guarantee your expressed interest in purchasing specific types of companies is proliferated among others NOT in attendance, is to offer a reasonable financial incentive, or "$ referral fee" to sales personnel working the booths. If they refer you to a company you eventually purchase, offer to cut them a check at purchase closing or to donate the referral money to their favorite charity.

Remember, sales personnel typically have hundreds of customers, probably also within the same industry you are interested in. They personally know many business owners who might be interested in selling. This referral technique can get you in front of many business owners in a very short period of time!

Don't Forget the Other Trade Show Attendees!

If you attend a trade show with the objective of also "working" the attendees for leads on company acquisitions you'll be amazed at who you meet and where those conversations eventually lead you to.

Be keenly aware of conversation dialogs between other show attendees and booth workers that are already in progress within the show booth. You can quickly determine who the booth visitor is and from what company they represent…name tags are priceless! If you hear something you like, or may be to your benefit, introduce yourself to the person upon their booth departure. This technique can generate many referral opportunities for you.

Other opportunities to interact with trade show attendees are conference seminars, luncheons and talks, and best of all, at the show snack bars. Be observant, read name tags, listen to and start conversations. Don't be bashful – introduce yourself, give them your business card and company brochure. These conversations are typically amazing because people in attendance at these shows see you as a "fellow show warrior" and often embrace an opportunity to share show and industry perceptions, unique experiences at specific booths, or better yet, suggest individuals you should meet at a specific company, at a specific booth … and they will encourage you to use their name when you introduce yourself!

Like in most selling situations, any business purchase lead you get from a trade show needs to be followed up in rapid fashion. Time is your enemy here. Be sure to re-contact your most viable leads within five days after the show.

Finding a viable company, that can be purchased, sometimes takes being at the right place at the right time. Working trade shows effectively will give you countless opportunities to be at that right place with the right person. Make this technique one of your primary methods to find quality company acquisitions.

About the Author:

Mark Smock is President of, the FIRST international business buyer directory of its kind. Business Buyer Directory provides a non-traditional means for worldwide that meet their exact registered purchase criteria.

The Evolution Of Sales Review

Writen by Rick Johnson

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is a huge difference."

Lone Wolf – Lead Wolf --- The Evolution of Sales is a book about practice that has been tested in the crucible of real life experience. It was originally intended for field sales representatives who worked in the wholesale distribution industry. As the book developed, it now speaks to sales representatives in all industries whether they are field sales, inside sales, or counter sales representatives. It even speaks about lessons that managers need to know in this new century.

Each chapter is a story, and some of them have case studies and other activities to help the reader translate the story to their own situation. Each chapter was originally published as an article in one or more industry publications so they have already passed the test of relevance.

The world of sales continues to change and the strategies that created success in the past are failing to generate success in the new world order. This book tells a simple, but powerful, story of managing change. There are those who are genetically programmed to play the game to win, rather than simply playing not to lose. Every reader needs to think critically so they can play their own game. Those that are firmly on the path of playing to win will recognize many of the lessons that are examined in this book.

To the superstar readers, you may not learn much from this book as you have made the hard won discoveries on your own. This will be an enjoyable read for most of you because the book ratifies your own learning and direction. To the old school sales reps who just want to be left alone and get a better price, you won't finish the book. Creating meaningful change always starts with taking responsibility for your own situation. At the most basic level, there is personal responsibility and there are excuses. There are sales reps who are 10th degree black belts at making excuses and you won't find any new excuses in this book.

This book was written for those of us in the middle: those who are driven to success, who are frustrated, but who are open and willing to learn. You have taken personal responsibility for your own career development and you look at sales as a profession rather than just a job.

Some of the stories deal with sophisticated approaches to supply chain management, including consignment and national account programs. These issues are above the typical pay grade of most sales reps. They are included because success in sales is more than personal effort, skill and talent. It is fundamentally about building and managing customer relationship equity. The Lead Wolf strategies described in this book will often require that the sales rep challenge their own management to innovate and provide creative solutions that help customers make money. The examples provide practical "how-to" solutions so your manager can't dismiss your views as whining.

Learning and personal growth are the only alternatives to the slow death of intellect. We have all seen the sales reps who have 20 years of experience – but it is actually one year of experience repeated twenty times. We each make our own decisions about how much and how fast. This book was written to help those on the path of growth to rise to the next level. At the age of 56, I have learned that there is always a faster gun, and there is always a next level. My growth is limited by my own personal ability to see my own shortcomings and my willingness to take responsibility for them. to get a copy --Copyright © 2005, Rick Johnson Author of "Lone Wolf Lead Wolf – The Evolution of Sales" Dr. Rick Johnson ( is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC. an experienced based firm specializing in leadership and the creation of competitive advantage. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with distributor executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit for more information. CEO Strategist – experts in Strategic Leadership in Wholesale Distribution. Book reviewed by: Mike Marks, Indian River Consulting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Power Pointers For Story Selling

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

Nothing disarms and invites an audience in more than humor. We are instantly drawn to people we think are funny. We enjoy listening to humorous individuals and hearing what they have to say. Humor grabs attention, creates rapport and makes a message more memorable. It can also relieve tension, enhance relationships and motivate people.

If you've got an important message to share, humor can give you a huge advantage. The actor John Cleese once said, "If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth." Don't use humor just to get a laugh out of your prospects. In humor, there is so much potential for influence. Armed with humor, you can provide special insights or teach important principles.

Humor must be used cautiously, however. If used properly, it will help your audience to like you. If used ineffectively or inappropriately, however, it can be a big turn off. The instant you irritate or offend your audience members, it's over. Nothing you say or do from that point forward will rectify the damage done. Worse, they'll always remember you as a bad comic. Be sure that you have good material before attempting to incorporate humor into your presentations. Also, cater your comedy to your audience. What would they find funny? What are some inside experiences they share that you could draw humor from? Use humor that will evoke chuckles and lightheartedness but that is still built on truth. It is a very wise idea to test the comedic waters on friends or family to make sure your humor works!

Another technique that is sometime used in story selling is the instillation of fear. As manipulative as it may sound, fear definitely motivates others when it is used properly. I would strongly caution against creating a false sense of fear, however. Doing so truly is manipulative, and by instilling false fear you will lose your audience's long-term trust. Use fear only if the threat is real and if it is in the best interest of the audience to be forewarned. For example, doctors sometimes have to be straightforward with their patients about the impending worst-case scenario if they don't get in shape. It's scary to hear, but the patient truly needs this information to be brought to her/his attention.

As much as we may wish it to not be the case, often it is only fear that will motivate and move someone off a path to destruction. There are less dramatic, but nevertheless fear-inspired, examples: Fear incites us to buy life insurance, to floss our teeth, to buy cars with airbags, to install home security systems and to purchase guns. Hopefully, fear will not be a persuasive tool you use with great frequency, but if you feel you can effectively use it to underscore a very important message, adhere to the following guidelines:

1. You must make your audience feel the anxiety and uneasiness that come from anticipating the possible, even greater, negative emotions (pain, grief, loss, etc.) that will become imminent if the problem is not dealt with.

2. Your prospects must feel not only that the fearful event is likely to happen, but also that they could be victimized by its occurrence. In other words, they must feel vulnerable.

3. You must provide a solution to the fear you instill. Give your prospects a recommended action to resolve the fear-inducing problem.

4. Your prospects must believe that they are capable of doing what is asked of them and that doing so will work for them.

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


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

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

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

Sales Manager Tip 47 Interested Prospects And How You Can Tell

Writen by Lance Winslow

A good sales manager needs to train their sales Force to recognize when someone is interested in what the company is offering. A good salesperson should notice this instinctively. If a prospect is interested in what you are selling or what your company is offering then the salesperson should spend time with the prospect and answer all their questions and work on handling any of their objections. There are various ways to determine when a prospect is highly interested and desires what you are selling.

A good sales manager ingrains this thought process into each and every salesperson in their sales Force. This insures more sales for the company. Generally speaking you can tell when a prospect is interested in what you are selling or what your company is offering by their body language and the types of questions they ask.

Folks who are not interested do not ask very many questions about the product or service, even if they need such products and services. You see, people buy what they want and desire and not necessarily what they need. Occasionally a salesperson can tip the balance and get someone who needs their product or service to become interested in it and change the interest to desire and close sale.

However, this takes time and energy and a good sales manager makes sure that their salespeople are efficient with their time. Their time should be spent on prospects, which are interested and have a strong the desire in owning and or purchasing what the company has to offer and what the salesman is selling. Please consider this in 2006.

Lance Winslow

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How To Effectively Manage Salespeople Who Are In Remote Locations

Writen by Andrew Rowe

If your organization has field sales personnel spread across the country or across the globe, it's very important that you provide them with the time, attention, and management that is required in order to make them effective. We see lots of organizations that hire expensive field sales personnel only to leave them to their own devices and provide them with little supervision, guidance, mentoring, or coaching. This is a serious mistake.

Here are some suggested things that you can think about in order to effectively manage your remotely-based sales people.

First of all, plan to spend regular time in their territory visiting customers with them. If you are not the person to do this directly, make sure that you have a sales manager or other members of your management team who can do this. A good sales person, no matter how senior, should have someone from the head office or from management visiting customers at least once every quarter.

Second of all, schedule regular sales meetings in order to bring your field sales people together. I suggest at least once a quarter if not once a month. This will give you the opportunity to train them, stay in touch with them, work through problems or issues with them, and provide an active level of supervision and engagement to them that helps them to be more successful. We see many companies cutting their sales meeting budgets trying to improve their overall expenses in sales and marketing, but sometimes when it comes to cutting sales meetings this can really mean that they're being penny wise and pound foolish.

Third, make sure that you schedule regular conference calls and telephone calls with your sales people to get updates. I suggest as a sales manager that if you're not talking to your field sales people at least every few days if not every week, then you're really not doing your job. Sales people need to have active communication with their supervisors. Some companies leave these people to their own devices and it just doesn't make sense.

Fourth, make sure you get yourself a good CRM system that gives you the opportunity to measure and monitor the activity and the performance of your sales people from remote locations. I suggest but there are lots of online web-based CRM tools today that can easily allow you to see what your sales people are doing and how they're spending their days in real time.

Fifth, make sure that you just take an active interest in building a relationship with each of your field sales personnel. If you're going to hire these expensive people you simply cannot afford to neglect them. Yet I see many companies who deploy sales personnel and simply leave them alone. This isn't a good idea.

So if you're thinking about how to improve your field sales performance, start with these ideas that I've given you. They make a lot of sense and experience has shown that they can greatly boost the productivity, motivation, and the sales results of your team.

About Cube Management
Cube Management provides sales acceleration services to emerging growth and mid-market companies in the technology, manufacturing, healthcare and business service sectors. The experts at Cube Management work across the entire spectrum of marketing, sales and business development to provide customized solutions that drive revenue and profit growth. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process & People to produce winning results. Download the Cube Management Recruiting Guide and the Cube Management Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide.

Whats The Objective Of Your 1st Sales Appointment

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

Have you defined what you want to happen at the conclusion of your 1st appointment? Only then can you actually set up a proficient sales methodology to achieve the defined objective more times than not. And with a pre-defined objective to your 1st appointment you can (1) set a realistic benchmark of success and (2) measure the outcome. It becomes part of your sales performance scorecard.

What is a 1st appointment to proposal ratio? It's simply how many times you gain commitment with your prospect to take the next step, as outlined by your sales process. Depending on your solutions-based product or service and your sales methodology, your 'Next step' may be one of the following:

An on-site demonstration
A trial period of your "widget"
A tour of your operations or manufacturing facility
A no-obligation survey
An evaluation and side-by-side comparison, apples to apples
A solution-based evaluation, apples to oranges

Whatever your 'Gateway' is, be sure to attach a business rule and definition to it, and then most importantly measure it. For example, let's look at a telecommunications company that provides voice, data and wireless services to their customer base. The objective of their first appointment is to gain commitment from their Target prospect to perform a diagnostic survey of their current services as it relates to their overall business imperatives and financial success factors for the current year and bring them back a 'Blueprint' of ROI based solutions.

With their 1st appointment objective 'Gateway' defined, they come to a decision to measure that gateway by having the target prospect sign a release form that enables them to contact their current service provider and request a specification report around line, data and feature connectivity.

The advantage of defining and measuring the first 'Gateway' is that it will provide you with a 'Reality Mirror' of how competent you are with the initial phase of your sales process. So if you have set a realistic benchmark company-wide of a 60% 1st Appointment to Proposal ratio and you have individuals below it, you can pro-actively provide them with targeted coaching and support tools to help them achieve the standard benchmark. And that drives more revenue.

If I walk into a sales division and diagnose their 1st appointment to proposal ratio is below 60%, I immediately know up to 5 specifics:

1. They are not calling on the Highest appropriate level of contact

2. They are not calling on the right type of company by industry or application

3. They have not defined a 1st appointment objective (A 'Gain Commitment' Gateway)

4. They have 'no message' or are poor at communicating the message

5. They are selling their services instead of selling the diagnostic steps in the Process and backing it up with 3rd party validations

The first two factors are directly related with whom you decide to call on. You probably know who uses your product or service, but you might need some business acumen training to better understand the critical financial success indicators of your prospect parallel to their Front Burner business objectives.

More than often not, a low 1st appointment to proposal ratio is related to a process of not calling on the highest appropriate level of contact. By that I mean understanding the level of responsibility within a company that has the most input into a buying decision. Who has the 'ownership'? Who is at the 'need to know' level? It may be more than one level or title, but it is important to resolve to a top-down selling process. A top-down selling process will raise your 1st appointment to proposal conversion rates because you are in front of the appropriate person from the start. That person has enough clout to sign on to the next step or to legitimately dismiss the process. If you are dealing with a subordinate level, to the degree of which you are will be the degree your conversion rate will expeditiously decrease.

There was a start-up company in a recently de-regulated industry that had accumulated 300 million dollars in investor money to build a business. Their primary sales distribution channel was a direct sales team. They decided to retain a sales training firm to set up all sales strategies, appropriate processes and training to execute to their revenue goals. Interesting enough, they promoted just the opposite of a top down selling process.

They promoted a strategy and process of initiating contact with business receptionists. That's right, the nice folks who sit in the lobby to answer and direct all the inbound calls. They felt if you promote yourself to these receptionists, flatter then with brand reference gifts, they would eventually lead you to the right person of authority to look at the sales proposition. After all, they know all the names and extensions, and who has what title. I guess you could call it a bottom up selling process.

At the same time, I was heading up a direct sales team competing directly with their services in the same geographical area. We followed the sales strategies and processes I am outlining.

Our competitor's sales cycle was longer and their average revenue per sale was smaller. Two years later, we had grown 509% and were acquired by a national company. That was the goal.

Our competitor filed chapter 11, let everyone go, and liquidated all assets. End of story.

The level of responsibility you decide to call on directly effects your 1st appointment to proposal ratio.

Here are (8) diagnostic tips to improve your '1st Appointment to Proposal' ratio.

1. Employ an ROI-based lead generator system that contains data recognition, classification, and custom extraction specific to your business offering.

2. Internally define what the objective of the 1st appointment is; a demo, a site visit, a survey or a proposal, set a benchmark of success and universally measure it.

3. Promote your Product/service offering in a way to provide a measurable soft or hard dollar ROI over time.

4. Call on the 'Highest appropriate level of contact' for your offering; one that that has fiscal authority if a proposal make business sense.

5. Use a diagnostic approach in your sales appointment to understand what your Prospect's business objectives are in the short and long term.

6. Get some 'Business Acumen' training to become proficient in understanding how fiscal people measure their business and support your business offering with relevant terms such as ROI, IRR and Payback Period.

7. Don't sell your product or service on the 1st appointment. Promote 'the diagnostic steps of your process' to evaluate the opportunity to increase performance, efficiencies or reduce costs.

8. Utilize a software proposal generator (non-Boiler-plate) that develops custom proposals specific to your Prospect's required deliverables and how your solutions will facilitate them getting there sooner rather than later. Show examples during your 1st appointment process.

Defining a specific objective for your 1st appointment, setting a realistic benchmark of achievement and measuring the outcome will begin to get you on track to an 80%+ 1st appointment to Proposal ratio.

Then support the sales objective by developing or outsourcing quality tools tied to technology and best practices to allow more of your sales employees to achieve superior benchmark results.

Jeff Hardesty is president of JDH Group Inc., a sales performance training company based in Powell, Ohio. He can be reached at

Calculate your sales team's 'Sales Performance Competencies' here =>

Submit your numbers for a complimentary 30-minute performance consultation with Jeff Hardesty =>

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sales Process What Can You Automate

Writen by Halstatt Pires

In the current complex and competitive market, managing the sales process is an important factor for most businesses. By automating a company's sales process and efforts, one can increase its productivity.

Sales Force Automation, or SFA, is a technique used in marketing and business that automates the business tasks of sales. Sales tasks that can be automated might include contact management, order taking and fulfillment, information sharing, inventory monitoring, sales forecast analysis, and employees' performance evaluations. Using SFA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of a sales team by streamlining and speeding up processes and eliminating errors. Through this technology, a sales force can have access to the latest information regarding customers' accounts and pricing.

SFA is almost like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which covers a vast array of topics, including areas of sales effectiveness, customer service, and marketing management. Certainly in business, each second is valuable and you can't waste it searching for information. You can save time and money as Sales Force Automation provides optimized communication services. You also get complete management capabilities for applications and users. SFA helps you in improving customer satisfaction and it also increases sales force productivity.

Currently there are a number of SFA software solutions on the market. These software solutions help sales people take better care of their customers. They change routine aspects of sales and marketing functions such as lead assignment, contact follow-up, and opportunity reporting. Good SFA electronically manages all sales activities within a company. It is a methodology that enables sales personnel to concentrate on selling by providing tools to obtain very efficient information exchange in the sales cycle. Earlier sales force automation software installations were designed for the desktop or laptop and were not easily accessible by hand held devices. With the advancement in web based SFA technology, sales representatives can use Pocket PCs to record orders on the spot. These order details can be sent back to the system in real time over a network such as GPRS.

SFA can help sales people to manage customer interaction throughout the sales cycle, from primary contact through post-sale service. SFA applications serve two different users within a company, sales managers and sales representatives, who have changeable requirements. Sale force automation is essential in those industries where the direct field sales force tends to be high and account management is important. Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing industries have obtained significant returns on sales force automation investments.

Before opting for any SFA software, research your options. A good sales force automation solution should have features such as multiple sales processing options and the ability to use multiple information sources. It should help in providing automation of customer assignments and field accessed decision support.

A sales force automation solution that is web enabled is at a huge advantage to those that are not. Web capability allows access to information and forms anywhere, anytime and also tools for accurate sales and demand forecasting. There must be strong security and flexibility to support new data and functionality without a large scale redesign of the system.

When choosing a sales force automation solution, keep in mind your clients and your sales force. Without flexibility to meet their needs precisely, you are likely to lose efficiency in the sales process. Choosing a flexible option will ensure your system will grow with your company.

Halstatt Pires is with the Internet marketing firm - - a San Diego Internet marketing and advertising company offering automated web site systems - - create web databases, e-commerce sites, business lead management systems and more.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Art And Science Of Managing Expectations In Selling

Writen by Brian Lambert

It is very easy to fall into a trap with the customer by extending offerings beyond that of what the company infrastructure is able to supply in a reasonable timeline.

As a salesperson, you must manage the quality of the sales process. With this context of "quality deal management" in mind, the theme cannot be to do "whatever it takes to close the deal". There must be a balance. That balance is achieved through managing expectations with the future cusotmer and with your own organization.

The deal in question must be evaluated and built around a solution that meets the goals of the customer, your company, and the ethics of the salesperson. If expectations are properly managed, the deal will adhere to these tenets and be beneficial for all parties. If communication is compromised, production capacity or delivery is stressed or the quality of the end product is sacrificed and the deal is not beneficial for all parties and may damage future business opportunities.

Many sales professionals argue that it's their job to "load the cart" and the responsibility of the operations staff to figure out how to address the requirement. While too much business may be a good problem to have, proper deal management ensures that expectations are managed in a way that will not over commit a company's operations resources regarding delivery and that the end product is what is expected by the customer within the designated delivery timeline.

Proper documentation will ease the strain of effectively communicating between the customer and the operations staff. Signed and executed documents including delivery specs, dates, item codes, product descriptions, etc. should always be a part of the process when passing the baton to another division of the company and should be maintained in duplicate in the sales folder documenting the project. The Benchmarks for ISO9000 certification from a process standard are good references when considering the handling of documentation within a sales force.

Good communication on all sides is the secret to effective deal management. I cannot stress enough that the salesperson should stay involved with both the customer and the operations/delivery team throughout implementation to ensure that there are no gaps in expectations on either side. Staying in constant communication with the customer allows the salesperson to solidify the relationship with the customer and to mitigate any communication issues or points for interpretation between the customer and the operations staff. Also, continuing communications from the sales person helps the customer to not feel like "just another number" and can almost always increase the chances for add on sales.

Integrity is the key element in deal management. Maintaining the respect of the customer and the operations staff involved will always offer the best-delivered good or service. Often times a delay or setback is better understood by a customer that has received good communications and straight forward answers from their solution provider. There is no substitute for a quality in the sales profession.

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

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

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

Find out more about Brian at:

Or at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Giving Customer Focused Sales Presentations

Writen by Tim Connor

The average attention span of the average adult is 12-14 seconds. If your sales presentation lasts more than 1 minute, don't flatter yourself thinking that most prospects hear or remember what you say.

In a recent sales survey, it was discovered that most salespeople cover 5-7 features during their presentation. When asked what the prospect remembered 24 hours later, they mentioned only one of the features. Guess which one? Not the first one, or the last one, but the one that related to their need, want, problem, desire or concern.

So what is the key to an effective sales presentation? Only cover the features and corresponding benefits of the issues that are of interest to the prospect. People buy for their reasons, not yours. They buy emotionally, and then justify their decision logically. Therefore a powerful presentation does the following:

1. It comes from the prospect's perspective.
2. It is interactive.
3. It is a conversation with an agenda.
4. It blends a balance of emotional appeal and logical reasons.
5. It is brief.
6. It lets the prospect tell you what he wants and/or needs.
7. It qualifies interest in the features as you move along.
8. It tests the prospect's interest along the way with trial closing questions.
9. It adjusts to the prospect's personality style.
10. It is customized and tailored to each prospect.

Most salespeople go into what I call a "feature dump." One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is that THEY TALK TOO MUCH. How about you? Are you giving more information than you are getting?

Most good prospects are ready to buy before they tell you. Just give them a chance, and they will help you sell them.

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

Sales Management And The Dealer Base

Writen by Rick Johnson

Wholesale distributors involved with a dealer channel that serves the end user have unique challenges in sales management. Ideally, this dealer channel should be strongly aligned with their wholesale distributors. That means a sharing of common goals and objectives with accountability on both sides of the equation. Dealers are not customers. They should be treated as channel partners. That means the wholesale distributor must focus on what the dealer is selling and not what they are buying.

Effective sales management in this channel includes planning sales growth, executing account strategies and using objective feedback to continuously improve performance and drive accountability. Maximizing success and profitability creates the necessity to manage this channel as a single integrated being. This means an effective sales process and structure must be in place which includes metrics, training and resources to support and improve sales performance for both the distributor and the dealer.

Effective sales management is not rocket science: "You measure results but you manage the activities that create those results." Although the transition from activities to results can be almost immediate in demand fulfillment activities, it can become an extended period for demand creation and account development. Consequently, managing results is like closing the barn door after the horses are out of the barn. It's just too late. The results you measure today are often created by activities that took place weeks and even months previously. To effectively manage sales in the dealer channel, it is imperative to define the specific activities necessary to drive results. By then managing those activities, success becomes much easier to achieve.

The key components of this sales management process are as follows:




Tool kit

Targeting should become a critically important sales practice for dealers and distributors - the difference between demand fulfillment and strategic demand creation, proactive selling. This is the process of selecting high potential accounts, developing penetration plans for each, and turning potential into achievable results. Targeting becomes a driving force for call planning and time management, as dealer sales people shift their focus to increasing market share by improving share of customer spend and new account generation. Today's customer is much smarter and better educated than they were in the 90's. Sales representatives must understand their customers' needs, find their pain and practice solution selling.

The Territory Opportunity Action-planning Discussion (TOAD) is the most important element in the process. It is the platform that creates timely feedback and a focus on meeting objectives. Sales managers should center these monthly discussions around performance improvement, coaching on best practices and providing support to the sales team.

A scorecard supports accountability and alignment throughout the network. It is a diagnostic tool and a motivator. It should include both results measurements (e.g. revenue, gross profit and market share growth) and supporting activity measurements (e.g. targeting activities, program compliance, training participation).

The tool kit is a library of best practice guidelines, reference material and other resources that anyone in the enterprise can peruse at his own convenience. The contents could include manuals, safety sheets, call budgeting, planning tools and account penetration strategy guidelines, etc.

As today's sales environment leans toward a more multifaceted atmosphere, salespeople must become strategists with a plan. This plan requires more knowledge about the business, better relationships and better solutions. Once you accumulated this knowledge, utilize it. Develop your penetration strategy around the customer's pains. What challenges do they face on a day to day basis? How do they make money? Where can you provide value, increase their ability to make profit. (This does not include price reductions). Employ all the resources in your company that are necessary to accomplish your growth objectives. Dr. Rick Johnson ( is the founder of CEO Strategist LLC, an experienced based firm specializing in leadership, strategic planning and the creation of competitive advantage in wholesale distribution. CEO Strategist LLC. works in an advisory capacity with distributor executives in board representation, executive coaching, team coaching and education and training to make the changes necessary to create or maintain competitive advantage. You can contact them by calling 352-750-0868, or visit for more information. CEO Strategist – experts in Strategic Leadership in Wholesale Distribution. Sign up for Rick's monthly news letter – "The Howl" email

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reputation Expectations

Writen by Kurt Mortensen

When people are aware of the good opinions others have about them, they want to live up to those opinions. This tendency is why we act out the roles that are assigned to us. If we receive praise, we want to be worthy of that praise.

The most effective psychological tool for getting someone to follow through on a promise is to let her/him know that you believe s/he is the type of person who will follow through. Using phrases such as "You're the kind of person who..." or "You've always impressed me with your ability to ..." or "I've always liked the fact that you..." invoke the powerful psychological law of internal consistency.

Winston Churchill, one of the greatest masters in dealing with people, said, "I have found that the best way to get another to acquire a virtue is to impute it to him."

There was a police officer who always seemed to be able to get even the toughest criminals to open up to him and tell him everything. His technique was to tell the criminal, "I know you have a reputation for being the tough guy who's been in a lot of trouble, but everyone tells me the one thing that stands out about you is that you never lie. They tell me that whatever you say, it's always the truth, no matter what."

Honestly assess how you think you make others feel when they're around you. Do you make them feel small and unimportant, or do you inspire them to achieve more? Your actions towards others will tell them how you feel or think about them. The German writer and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once stated, "Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be." Reputation is everything in negotiation.

Have you ever noticed how the people you assume are going to be tough turn out to be just that? And if there is someone you're especially excited to meet, then when you do meet her she seems great? Often our assumptions and expectations about someone we're about to meet for the first time play out exactly as we've already mentally conceived that they would. When first meeting someone, you will send subconscious messages about how s/he is to respond and behave.

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fishy Salespeople How To Finally Stop Handing Out Free Fish To Your Sales People

Writen by Jeff Hardesty

Do you remember the good ole days when sales managers used to just sit back and wait for their salespeople to come into their offices and ask for help?

Maybe they needed the old veteran to come in and nail down the close. Well, we all know you just can't do that any more. Sure, that would put a few more sales in the win column (in the short term). But in the long term what are you creating? Nothing but needy, dependent salespeople without an ounce of personal selling confidence.

Showing your people HOW to prospect, HOW to set appointments and HOW to close sales makes your job easier and everybody's paycheck fatter.

If that's the kind of vision you have for your sales team, then it's time to close down the all-you-can-eat fish-fry and open up the all-you-can-catch fishing school.

Wouldn't that be nice? You bet it would. AND profitable, too.

And so we've come to the reason for this article. You see, Self-Sustaining Salespeople are not found; they are developed. Sure, it still takes a certain style of person to succeed in this business, but once you find them, everything else can (and should) be taught. And it's all been broken down into an easy to follow step-by-step system.

But before we teach our future sales stars the secrets to prospecting and closing, we have to help them. HOW? We show them how to make the shift from just hitting their revenue goals to (with our inspiration) becoming Self-Sustained Business Professionals.

Did you notice I used the phrase "business" professional, not just "sales" professional?

That's because to be a superstar in sales, you have possess the proper insight and mindset about business.

That means having a keen insight into the details of your own business cycle, from pre-contact to revenue receipt, as well as an understanding of your prospect's world, and how it relates to their business objectives and what is important to them. Not you, but to them. You must understand how your prospects measure success.

Let me put that another way:

Sales Superstars must understand the business they are in. They must respect the business the prospect is in and they must recognize what the prospect values in that business.

To do that, Sales Professionals MUST become Business Professionals.

I've interviewed hundreds of sales people for every type of position. I found it funny that most candidates were quick to put down a "higher" level of achievement on their resume compared to their peers and the quota objective from prior sales positions.

However, when I asked them what their system and process are to achieve such "superior" results, most (amazingly) could not explain their results from a "business" level.

So, how do you do it? Inspire self-sustain business professionals?

I can tell you that just affirming the objective of executing to revenue is not enough to make it happen. Eavesdrop on any Monday morning sales meeting, and you will see that just about every Sales Manager has the same intention. They may not be "achieving" it, but is always their marching orders.

What those of us in Sales management really need to do is develop a customized Masters level curriculum in "Executing to Revenue" and "Becoming a Self-Sustained Business Professional."

To achieve that ideal, you need to indoctrinate every new sales employee to a system that develops a result-oriented plan, executes to proven tactics and manages the everyday conditions that tend to throw us off track.

Sound good. But can it really be done? And done quickly?

Well, the first step to becoming a self-sustained professional is running your business with critical metrics, processes and systems. Sounds a lot like the way an entrepreneurial business owner runs their enterprise, right?

In the Business of Core Competencies, I help sales individuals and management identify their essential components, and the performance metrics necessary for successful results.

We classify those metrics and discover how they are inter-related with each other and dynamic to preferred results. And by training specifically to these core competencies one at a time, we can control our destinies and routinely achieve our desired results.

You see, there are basically two kinds of people when it comes to results.

Those who point their index finger outward say it's not their fault things didn't turn out well. There were "conditional" reasons for their poor results. But, those who point their index finger inward evaluate what they could have done differently to avoid the negative outcome.

They know the difference between factors, which they can control and conditions, which are outside of their control. They seek out and modify routines and behaviors that are within their control, to improve efficiencies in gaining the required results.

So, ask yourself: Are you inspiring self-sustained professionals or management-sustained individuals?

Interesting question, isn't it?

Self sustained business professionals identify the essential elements and components that comprise your selling process. They realize how they affect your desired result dynamically, and make adjustments in routines and tactics to assure consistent results. No matter what month it is!

Now, here's a sure-fire method to identify self-sustained business professionals in your sales organization.

Evaluate the sales results for the month of December. Who was at or above quota? Realistically, December has only 13-15 selling days versus the normal 20-23 selling days in the rest of the calendar year.

December brings with it holidays, personal vacations, and general mental re-grouping for the new year. For most B-to-B selling individuals, if you don't have your number by mid-month or so, you might as well forget it.

But, if you understand your essential core competencies and performance metrics that lead you to desired results, you will customize a plan to achieve those results. You will start to execute to the plan prior to the holiday month, and your December revenue goal can be routinely met. And the same goes for a personal vacation month.

Makes sense doesn't it? Great! So, what are you waiting for? Go inspire those Self-Sustained business professionals on your team!

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

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