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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Is 2013 Your Fiscal Cliff or Opportunity to Soar?

Monday’s article, “How to be a Sales Rock Star in 2013” is probably going to be one of my most popular articles of 2012 even though it’s only going to have been published for one week at years end. If you haven’t read it, you may want to do so now to have it as a backdrop for this article. The United States has been ‘in business’ for a few hundred years and has weathered hurricanes, earthquakes, the Great Depression, wars, etc. Many have died, but some ended up better off than before the catastrophe occurred. Every time I turn on the news, I’m hearing that we are approaching a “Fiscal Cliff” and that people should worry. Respectfully, I don’t know how it will turn out and I don’t care, because I, for one, won’t die. I’ll use the opportunity to do what I do best and that’s definitely not ‘hunker down’ and prepare for bad times and interestingly, my sons, my clients, my closest associates aren’t hunkering down either. Each one of them is getting ready to have 2013 be they’re best year ever.

Switch gears to your business and Monday’s article. Are you gonna be a Sales Rock Star in 2013? If you answered each of the 5 questions, “Yes!” You go girl! (or boy!)
If you had any no’s, why haven’t you called me? Over the past few years, I’ve realized that there’s a lot of mediocrity in the world, but you don’t have to be mediocre unless you’re ‘hunkering down’ and waiting to die. Which of the five questions got a “no”? Would you like to fix it? Look around you, Are there people doing better than you that aren’t as good as you? Do you work harder than they do? Aren’t you sick of it? Are you looking at your fiscal cliff and wishing that you could turn it into the opportunity to soar?
I just finished a conversation with somebody that I worked with in 2011, but did not work with this year. Interestingly, 2011 was his best year ever, but 2012 wasn’t as good. However, I’m totally confident that 2013 will be his new best year ever and no, he did not sign up to be coached. He just needed his head twisted.
Want your head twisted? Want to change a no to a yes? Want the opportunity to soar and have your best year ever in 2013? Click here.

#FF (Fun Friday Post) Buyer’s View vs. Seller’s View

This came as a joke. Please read it. Then re-read the title. Then comment if you wish.


Remember, it’s a joke with a lesson!

Distracted Driving Incident

This morning on the Interstate, I looked over to my left and there was a Woman In a brand new Cadillac

Doing 65 mph With her Face up next to her Rear view mirror Putting on her eyeliner

I looked away For a couple seconds… to continue shaving

And when I looked back she was Halfway over in my lane, Still working on that makeup.

As a man, I don’t scare easily.  But she scared me so much; I had to put on my seat belt

and I dropped My electric shaver Which knocked The donut Out of my other hand.

In all The confusion of trying To straighten out the car Using my knees against The steering wheel,

It knocked My Cell Phone Away from my ear Which fell Into the coffee Between my legs!

Splashed, And burned Big John and the Twins, Ruined the damn phone,

Soaked my trousers, And disconnected an Important call.

Damn women drivers!

How to be a Sales Rock Star in 2013

Five questions:

Are you looking to change the world? Rock stars have a passion for what they do. They’re on a mission. It’s probably not about the money. Do you have a personally compelling reason to get up every morning and a plan to get there?
Do you believe that it’s all about sales? It’s not about what process you use, new ways to close, new ways to get leads. It’s about the number of customers that are incredibly happy for having bought from you and telling the world about their experience because they want everyone to be as happy with you as they are. It’s not about helping you get rich. It’s about you making more people happy.
Do you have a sales mentor? Sales Rock Stars have math teachers, English teachers and people that taught them how to swing a hammer and sew. They also have people that have taught them sales in a classroom or managed them in the field, but they have one person that they’ve come to realize changed their life when they worked together. (BTW, you can’t hire a mentor. It’s something that you realize after.)
Do you understand your network and is it relevant? Rainmakers of old seemed to know who to talk to when. They always seemed to know the right person that can move things along. That’s a lot different than having a gazillion followers on Twitter or thousands of LION connections on LinkedIn. Do you continuously cultivate your network? Are they connected to you the way that they want to be connected to you? Do they proactively share your content? Are they actively evangelizing on your behalf?
Are you regular? When I read the book, Passages, the author mentioned that at some point in your 20′s or 30′s, you realize that your mentor and your father were just regular guys trying to get through life. Rainmakers and Rock Stars don’t usually seek the attention or title. They’re typically going about the daily business of attracting new prospects, nurturing those prospects into customers and converting those customers into evangelists. They seldom say, “I am wonderful!” and usually exhibit quiet confidence.
I recognize that this article might not be what you expected, but recognize that millions of kids play baseball. Some play professionally in the farm system, but very few make it to the majors. The same can be said for musicians. How many of us took lessons as kids, sing in the choir at church, or even get to play night clubs, etc, but never Carnegie Hall or Madison Square Garden?
If I can help or you’d like to talk about yourself, feel free to schedule a call.
If not, have the best 2013 that you can!
BTW, if you enjoyed this article, please forward it, tweet it, post it, or write about it and link back to it.