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Quick sales tips & reminders

2 Oct

There were a bunch of quick and valuable reminders and tips on the web this week on improving your sales process.

  • Making You Suprisingly Unforgettable To Your Customers – Loved this post – in these days of too many competitors and too many choices offered to our prospects, here’s some great tips make yourself unforgettable. How many of you think of Nat & Natalie Cole when you hear the word, “Unforgettable” like I do?
  • Three Tiny Changes That Drive Success – Nice reminders to help get you out of a sales rut. Don’t forget Dale Carnegie’s, “21 Days to Making it a Habit” as you try these changes. Assuming you don’t do them already!
  • Quiz: How To Bypass a Gatekeeper – Real good quiz on bypassing the Gatekeeper when you just can’t get in. Interesting decision by Geoffrey on which department you should call into to ask for the transfer. Other ways:
    – try Jigsaw for direct dial # of executive
    – try Inquisix for a referral to the executive by someone they know.

Geoffrey’s idea is manipulative but sometimes you just have to try it. But only after you can’t get an Inquisix referral or JigSaw is not coughing up the direct dial numbe

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Dig It's Great Quote of the Week

18 Sep

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re thinking about yesterday.” — Charles Kettering

Quote of the Week – Great quote that should strike a chord in any sales rep, manager or business owner bemoaning their poor 2009 sales attainment. Sales people are usually very good at moving on whether the last month was a win or a dud but for anyone needing a reminder, read and internalize this quote. Now go get them!

Follow Salesforce.com's path to the top & other thoughts

4 Sep

The blog articles I read this week worth commenting on and sharing:

  • 111 Successful Plays That Led Salesforce.com from an Idea to $1 Billion in 10 Years – The company (and the man) that made the hosted-elsewhere software applications (whether you call it SaaS, Cloud Computing, ASP, etc) a non-issue with big business. Before <a href=”http://salesforce.com”>salesforce.com</a&gt; there were too many concerns about security, up-time, bandwidth and more. After Salesforce.com paved the way, look how many sites are now in the clouds, including Google Mail, Quicken & TurboTax along with photo sharing and desktop hard-disk backups. You can put your customer data, every email, financial data and tax data all online and not think twice about it. Thanks to Marc and Salesforce.com
  • Tips From @ChrisBrogan on How to Beat Dunbar’s Number – I’ve heard (and repeated the item myself) that the limit of real social relationships is 150. Even mentioned it during the BTR show with Jon Hansen last week. A fact I had not verified before but thanks to HubSpot’s blog and a link to Wikipedia, the source of 150 can be attributed to Robin Dunbar.
  • Have you met your competitor yet? Maybe you should. – Great article about the reasons why you should meet your competitor. Back when I was at Sybase, we were taught to hate our version of the Evil Empire, Oracle. Well, we all know how that battle turned out and many of my Sybase colleagues ended up working at Oracle. They didn’t suddenly become evil although we were both more careful about sharing war stories. Similarily, I’ve always been impressed at the end of hockey games when both teams line up and shake each other’s hands. Geoffrey’s reasons for meeting your competitor:
    1) Learn more about how they sell
    2) Use that knowledge to build credibility with your customer
    3) Never know when you’ll be looking for a new job

For those of you in the US & Canada, enjoy the long weekend!

Great Zig Ziglar quote to start the week

24 Aug

As a salesperson, are you selling to your prospects or helping them solve problems?

Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life  you want if you help other people get what they want.”  As quoted in Selling Power maagazine, June 2009 issue, page 28.

Zig’s message at first glance seems a bit naive especially since it seems contrary to messages you receive at school, on the playing fields and at work about being number 1.

But in this new Sales 2.0 “empowering the customer” environment, is there any other way to be successful in your career?

Miss Manners is never around when you need her & Tip to reconnect with customers

21 Aug

There were two articles I read recently that really resonated with me although they’re about separate topics.  Hence the long and unwieldy title. I think the first issue about saying, “No” to friend requests is a new phenomena that the rise in social networking has created.  And technology has also come in between you and your customer when you want to get your message across to one or two people.  Hmm, technology – you can use it to increase quantity at the cost of quality.  Maybe these two topics have a common link after all.

  • What’s the Right Way to Say ‘I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend’? – I’ve read and re-read this posting several times because it’s an issue that I face often. Where’s Ann Landers or Miss Manners when we need the answer to this question that only today’s times of social networks invading our personal space. Why I get business colleagues asking me to be Facebook friends I don’t know. Why I want to connect on LinkedIn with someone who openly admits to wanting to collect the largest number of connections is beyond me.
  • The talking pad – I really dislike PowerPoint presentations to get my message across to one or two people sitting with me at the table. Colleagues laugh at my laminate, as I’ll bring 2 slides printed out and laminated back-to-back as my presentation cues. Using a pad of paper or a whiteboard is just as effective. There are many & better options than flipping up the laptop and presenting. Start using them (again) and watch your conversions increase.

Inside Sales Growing at Expense of Field Sales?

12 Aug

Is Inside Sales growing at the expense of Outside Sales?

  • Some Sobering Sales Statistics – Another blog article that remarks on the trends of inside sales teams growing in importance and size while forecasts for the death of outside sales teams continue.

I’ve sold as & managed an inside sales group.  And I’ve done the same in the field so I can see both sides of this argument.  Perhaps has the market for a certain product matures overtime, the distribution of that product changes from field to inside to channel to online.  Are many big-ticket B2B products in a new market sold over the phone?  I doubt it.  But I’m sure the add-on sales of laptops once the vendor has been chosen is an easy sale over the phone or via the web.

So many professionals & businesses don’t see the end of their way of doing things.  Look at newspapers today.  Horse carriage manufacturers 100 years ago.  Is this the beginning of the end for outside sales?  Time will tell.

Better & Lighter Ways to Deliver Your Message

9 Aug

Have you seen the old Microsoft television ad of a guy walking right thru airport security with just his Windows Mobile device while the next guy struggles with laptop and projector?  And then the Windows Mobile guy just sets his phone down on the conference table and it sends the presentation to the prospect’s projector without wires?  Such a tease since it didn’t exist.  And Microsoft certainly wasn’t going to the be first one to release such a useful device.

So when I saw this posting, I was very happy.  It’s a two-fer:  projector light enough to put in your pocket and a tablet that’s smaller than a laptop but more useful then a netbook.

  • Will the Mac Tablet Look Like This? – This doesn’t have much to do with referrals but wow would I like to carry one of these instead of a Dell brick to meetings. Better yet, the advertisement on the tablet summary shows a Pico Projector that you can connect to your phone or laptop to give presentations and the projector is small enough to put in your pocket.
  • Pico

      Future of B2B sales & Effective Networking Tips

      30 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • The Future of B2B: Like It or Not – If Geoffrey’s predictions come true, selling will be 90% science and 10% art. And a lot less “interesting” especially for the traditional outside field rep.
      • 9 Tips for Effective Networking – Nice list of tips for effective networking. I’d boil them down to “get comfortable out of your comfort zone” and “Be Brief and Be Bold!”

      Other blog posts (and Tweets) I found interesting and starred this week

      23 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      Other blog posts I found interesting and starred this week

      9 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • How to Harshly Remind a Customer… – With customers and prospects not responding as often as salesreps would like, here are 3 good ways to reach out them for a response. Note that none of them use the, “Just checking in” cliche.
      • How to Stay “At Will” Employed – I guess posts with lists of to-do’s are resonating with me this week. This post resonating with me even more because a great sales guy I know just got laid off even though he was doing well. Probably because he wears his heart on his sleeve and championed the customer’s issues too loudly at corporate, which violates Garth’s first, second and third items for staying employed. I’d recommend The Sales Ladder  to Garth’s friend.
      • Make better cold calls by ending the “How are you today?” habit – There a few telesales cliches that just have to go. Geoff mentions a few. How about, “Just checking in…” as another? If you’re not making the initial calls, are you sure your inside partner isn’t making these mistakes?
      • Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group! – Loved this post! So many posts on how to be effective with networking groups but Dr Ivan Misner, with tongue firmly in cheek, discusses the ways you can waste time. Unfortunately, you waste a bunch of other people’s time as well. My favorites on his lists are also some of my top pet peeves.Like #6 Don’t rush following up on a referral. And #1, Take that call or text message during the meeting, it won’t bother anyone else.