2014, Here I come!

I’ve been having some pretty interesting conversations, lately.

Jill Konrath, Trish Bertuzzi, Lori Richardson, Katharine Derum and I talked about Intimidating Women, Sales Rock Stars and Me. Everybody commented and I heard that it’s been posted to in places where I’m not allowed. Katharine also shared Jill Konrath Movers and Shakers. I’m planning on making some noise in 2014.

Earlier this month, we asked the question, Should Sales Reps Be Blogging? that spurred another lively discussion. Look for more on that in 2014 as I get more salespeople guest blogging for me. Incidentally, if you’ve got an article in you that’s dying to get out, let me know.

Finally, I just read and article that Matt published Incorporating Dreams Into Your Small Business this morning. I couldn’t have written this article better myself and I suggest that if you’re not following his process, you should start today.

Happy New Year!

What is a Sales Coach? (Free Trial!)

Last year, I wrote a couple of articles trying to explain the difference between a Coach, a teacher, a Trainer and a Consultant. If you don’t remember them, you can read them here.
I actually don’t want to talk about the past, let’s talk about right now.
Do you have a sales call next week? Do you have a pile of leads to follow up on? Do you have a prospect that should buy, but is stalling? Something else going on? Would you like to know how I would help if you were a client. This is your chance to get a free trial.
I’ve opened up 100 – 15 minute time slots in the next two weeks and you can have one, free, no catches. We’ll work on one real life issue that you’ve got going on, right now.
Pick a time for your coaching call here. (Enter your question, issue or situation in “Notes/Agenda”) I’ll do the rest.
When they’re gone, they’re gone. (BTW, if you want to share this post after you book your call, feel free.)
Update: I’m enjoying the conversations. So, let’s keep doing it!

Hi,

First, thanks for being a loyal reader. After almost seven years, I’ve moved TheRainMakerMaker blog. You can find an archive of all the articles from 2006-2012 at http://therainmakermaker.com/. However, in the future, new articles will be posted at http://rickroberge.com/. If you subscribe by email, we’ve transferred your subscription to our new home and we hope that you continue to follow and participate. If you subscribe by rss, this will be the last post you receive unless you change your rss feed to rickroberge.com.
Thanks,
Rick

Sales, SEO & a Saturday with Elaine

For those of you that don’t know, my son Matt and his new wife, Melissa are part of the Hubspot community, own an awesome bookkeeping agency and THE inbound design studio, but if you read Matt Roberge on Sales Style, Numbers & Focus, you may be able to guess that they’re both avid skiers and fisher(people?). Thus begins the story…

Elaine bought a glass based lamp with sea glass in the base and a downhill skier cut out in the lamp shade and sent it to them via UPS for Christmas. Sometimes I think that UPS throws packages that say “fragile” harder than those that don’t and the lamp base broke. Elaine spoke with the owner and found that he had more in stock. So, on Saturday, 1/5/13 Elaine and I drove up to the Whimsy Shop in Kennebunkport to buy a replacement and carry it to Utah.

On the way up, we stopped at a liquor store that was having a 15% off a mixed case of wine sale. So, we bought a case of wine.
Then we went to the Whimsy Shop and they were ready for us. We immediately bought the replacement glass base for $40. I asked if they had any fishing lamps. (Do I have to do all the work here?) They did have a fishing version of the same lamp that Elaine immediately bought for $80. On her way to look at the fishing lamp, Elaine saw funky winter hats and an interesting scarf that had pockets at the end of the scarf to use as mittens and a hood at the midpoint. It was a very cool way to stay warm at $85. So, we walked in to spend $40 and spent $205. Three questions….
  1. What if I hadn’t asked about fishing lamps? Would you, the salesperson have? Would you have gotten Elaine to find the hats and scarves? Would you have increased that sale by 400%?
  2. Why don’t you have a website? How can people find you and or buy from you if they can’t Google you? (To prove this, please comment with your country, state, province.)
On the way home, we bought another mixed case of wine. We were going to have dinner in Portsmouth and actually made reservations at the Black Trumpet, but Elaine suggested, “We have all this wine. Why don’t we find a BYOB place close to home?” So, I Googled “BYOB 01608″ and came up with 6 places. I called the Black Trumpet, thanked them and cancelled our reservation saying that they came highly recommended, but eating at 8:15 with a 90 minute drive home sounded like we should do it another night.
  1. I Googled The Black Trumpet to get their number and make a reservation.
  2. I wonder how many BYOB places I missed because they don’t have a website or BYOB mentioned on their website.
BTW, this is a picture of Matt, Melissa, and the lamps. Thank you, Lee and Bonnie!

Sales Jurisprudence

I originally published this article on another blog on 8/30/2011. I hope that you like it here.

Harrys LawI was summoned to jury duty on  Monday, 3/28/2011. I’ve been called several times, but never put on a jury until that day. At first, I resisted serving, but as the first day progressed, I got into it. It was a medical malpractice case, but more importantly it was two lawyers trying to sell the jury their ‘version of the facts’ as truth.

Now, I grew up watching shows like Perry Mason and the Defenders, maybe because my parents watched them, but when I got to choose, I watched L.A. Law, the Law & Orders, The Practice among others and still watch Harry’s Law, The Good Wife and several shows like The Mentalist, Body of Proof and Castle where the plot’s about figuring out who did it.

My experience in March was nothing like anything that I ever saw on TV. There were no ‘rabbit out of the hat’ surprises. There were no emotional confessions. There were no emotional outbursts whatsoever. It was really quite boring and I was disappointed because I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a bored juror on TV.

Although there were several sales lessons, I’d like to focus on two.

First, the lawyers asked questions and asked questions and asked questions. Some of the questions seemed repetitive, but were asked to see if the witness changed their answer. Some questions were asked against the backdrop of prior answers to prior questions. When the lawyers changed topics, they prepared the witness by saying, let’s explore… and paused to change papers, etc. Then started another drill down. They seldom said anything unless they were introducing evidence and when they wanted to summarize, they asked, so if I understand what you’re saying….. Is that right?

You want to learn how to use questions? Serve on a jury.

As you might expect, the jury was instructed not to discuss the case nor form any opinions until the case was given to us for deliberation and interestingly, that’s the way it happened. The second lesson happened in the deliberation room. Both sides called in experts for testimony for their side. All the exhibits and charts were fact filled and well done. However, several members of the jury thought that an expert that got emotionally involved or defensive about their credentials, position, expert fee, etc. was less credible.

I’ve intentionally left out details and as to whether I was talking about the plaintiff or the defendant because it didn’t matter. Both sides spun the facts and evidence to their benefit which, to me, means that the facts didn’t determine the verdict. The verdict was determined by how much the jury ‘bought’ the lawyers’ and experts’ interpretation of the facts and that the lawyers’ and experts’ presence affected the jury’s view of the facts.

How good are your questions and how good are you at asking them?

How cool and in the moment are you in the heat of a sales call?

2012 in Review

There’s a conversation happening over at co-grow that I want you to check out, but not until I share this. In 2012,
  • we published 170 Posts (3.27/week)
  • Using 62,872 words (369/post)
(You don’t have to write every day and you don’t have to write a book every time.)
That generated
  • 452,354 Visits
  • and 536 Comments
  • and 854.58 average post views per day.

The 10 most popular posts this year were:

   20   RainMakers and Rock Stars (I love this post!)
Now, you’re almost ready to go. Three points to keep in mind.
  • I’ve got almost 1,000 articles. 9 out of the top 10 posts were written in 2012. If my readers think something is remarkable, they share it, but #3 and #11 have something of a long tail.
  • #7, #13 and # 18 are articles written by guest authors. Readers like relevant variety. If somebody is reading you, following you, commenting and even pushing back, they may have a following that they can attract to you. (I had a couple of dozen guest articles in 2012.)
  • My CTA’s stink. My design stinks. I don’t know how to spell SEO. My blog is only one part of this process. You can’t sell on your blog and you can’t sell if you don’t engage. The only thing that your blog can do is help you appear remarkable enough to engage.
Now, please go read Pete’s article and Todd’s article and share your thoughts with them.
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