Finger about to press "backup" button.

What’s Your Client Backup Plan?

You cannot grow your business with a particular client if you're relying on a singular point of information. Growth comes from not only the quality of contacts, but also your quantity of contacts in a particular organization.

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Live from Dreamforce, Day 2: Embracing the Future

Interesting observational research moment today during my session at Dreamforce. In a room full of 400 sales professionals, I made the case that there is no more B2B or B2C and that all selling was B2All. I stated that "the way I buy shoes, is the same way I buy $1 million dollar telecom equipment for my business." There was a visceral reaction. People in the audience older than me, (let's call them 50+) shook their heads in disagreement. People in the audience younger than me smiled and nodded enthusiastically. After the session ended I had the same responses as I spoke to people.

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Boost Your Sales Team’s Productivity

You can discuss sales strategies, ideas, tips and methods to no end. You can set sales targets for your team to hit, implement a promising new strategy and motivate your sales reps with morning huddles. But, when the day starts, it's up to your team to do the work and create the results. Salespeople don't always struggle due to weak strategy, at times poor productivity habits will seriously hinder their progress as well. Let’s cut to the chase. The best way for your team to achieve true productivity in their work day is to ask them to cut off all inbound access. Now, before your jaw drops too low, let me clarify that you should only ask that they do so temporarily, ideally an hour or two each day. Consider asking them to turn their phone to silent or completely turning it off. They will also benefit from logging out of their email inbox while they work through important tasks. When your team is focusing on outbound business development prospecting, they should not have to deal with distracting, time-consuming tasks which take the focus out of their work day. It's great to be able to multitask, but your team will always be able to accomplish more by laser focusing on the task at hand. Want a perfect example of how this simple tweak in productivity can benefit your team?

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Customer Repellant Decisions: Canada Post

When Postal Workers at Canada Post (CPC) strike, their customers are forced to find alternative couriers for their packages. Strikes, and the threat of strikes, drive customers to the competition. Some never return to CPC when the strike ends. In addition, during the strike, consumers are encouraged (and some forced) to receive more and more of their mail electronically. I, for one, have move all my statements and bills to electronic delivery this week in anticipation of another strike. Again, this is permanently lost business to CPC.

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Stop Swimming in Circles

Last week I was observing the geese in Alan Weiss's pond. For the most part, the various adults and their goslings swam along in harmony, but, every once in a while an adult sensed a threat from one of their peers, and got mad. In an instant the angry goose changed his body position from neck elongated and regally upright to a pointed dagger. Low to the water, and neck dead straight, the threatened goose charged straight at the danger; which was usually another goose. The attack was fast, and effective, straight to the point, and it all lasted about 30 seconds until the danger disappeared. After that, calm peaceful swimming reigned on the pond once again. It struck me that most sellers don't deal with threat head on. They skirt around the issue swimming in circles trying to keep their heads high. What if instead, you attacked it directly, and head on?  Here are some examples:

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S.A.S.S (Stupid Ass Selling Systems)

A long time client of mine had their sales targets set by the board of directors in isolation of a market assessment or a discussion with the sales leaders. They announced the targets to the street before any discussion. The expected growth is unattainable but it's too late...the expectations have been set. It's half way through the year and one region is meeting target, until a production problem reduces quality to such a low level that customers are returning product faster than they are buying it. In this market, where the selling season is finite and the number of customers are static, making up the lost revenue is impossible. To the team, the sales year is over.

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Travel Log: June 2016

The summer season has kicked in and airports are busier than ever it seems. Arrive early and be prepared to wait, especially if you are not TSA pre! I've seen lines this month that are (literally) snaking outside at the Seattle, MSP, Ottawa and Chicago airports. I can't say enough about the service and hotel quality of the Fairmont Olympia in Seattle. It's a gem of a hotel.

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