Knowledge Jolt with Jack

Jack Vinson writes a blog where he writes about knowledge management, personal effectiveness and more.

I was especially interested in three posts.

Learning Fast to Stay Relevant clearly states the logically obvious, but I wonder how many of us practice the whole process consistency and consciously.

Fun with Policies reminded me that although a process may need to be changed, it may be more important to learn whether there is a policy driving the process that needs to be changed first.

As I read The Value of Making Things Explicit, I found myself thinking about:

 – the reasons that we write down our goals.
 – the value in brainstorming type meetings.
 – the reason that we practice and role play.

Thank you, Jack.

I am a Sales Expert

Those of you who got to watch Dave Kurlan on Wednesday know exactly what this title means. However, Pete Caputa asked me a question which I answered on his blog. The rest of this will make more sense if you go read his blog and my comments, now.

Now, the point of this post is that there’s a big difference between you and me. You are a web design expert, or a financial planning expert, or an advertising expert, or a physical fitness expert, or a “whatever you are good at” expert. I am a sales expert. If you could put your product knowledge in my head, I could sell your stuff better than anybody else selling your stuff. If I could put all of my sales knowledge in your head, you could sell your stuff better than anybody else selling your stuff.

Now, honestly, neither of these extremes is possible because I’m not interested in your stuff enough to want to sell it full time. If I like you, I might try to help you sell it, but I like to sell for selling’s sake, not to move a particular product. I like the process. I like the game. I like turning tough prospects into low hanging fruit. By the same token, you do what you do because you have a passion for it. You don’t sell for the sake of selling, you sell because you need a customer to work for. Steve Messineo, Dr. Craig, and Rosemary Snow like seeing people leave their offices flexible, strong, standing tall and relaxed. They need to find customers, but their passion and job and “expertness” is about fixing customers, not “selling” customers. It’s fun to associate with people like Pete Caputa, Doug Foster, and Kim Corwin. They wear their passion on their shirtsleeves. You show them a problem, they want to fix it. The problem is that they have to make sure that they’re gonna get paid to fix the problem. Otherwise, they wind up being very smart, very talented, very poor people.

So, here’s a few questions for all those people that are good at what they do, but not at what I do.

Do you believe that you’re an expert?

Do you believe that you could earn another $50-$100,000/year? More importantly, are you tired of NOT earning another $50-$100,000/year?

Are you willing to commit to change, if change means learning how to determine who needs you and who doesn’t and learning how to help those that need your help to do business with you?

It took 30 years to become me. It usually only takes a year or two to become the you that you want to be.

Notice how few links there are in this post.This isn’t about selling. It’s all about you.

Do What You Suck At

I read other blogs because Pete makes me. (Like anybody could make me do anything.) Sorry! Digression!

So one of the blogs that I check directed me to Do What You Suck At, and as I’m reading it, I’m thinking, “Well, this was a waste of time.” Then I got to the last paragraph.

“As hard as _____, I get far more pleasure from having done it than I get from __________. Maybe that’s because it’s harder so the payoff is greater, but I think there’s something more than that. I think it’s because I’m just not as good at it.”

Not exactly as Dave said it yesterday, but worth consideration, nonetheless?

Thank you, Pete, Xplane and Merlin.

Features and Benefits

Isn’t it coincidental that on the very same day that Dave Kurlan presents How To Increase Sales in Your Small Business, I trip over Des Walsh’s blog, Thinking Home Business and especially this post. Benefits? Features? What? Des, get with the program. It’s all about the customer!

Who cares what RSS stands for or what it does? What problem do I have that RSS will fix?

That is the question!

Spousal Importance

I was out tonight at a networking event, but I’m not gonna take any of Pete’s glory away. I’m sure that he’ll tell us all about it. My wife, Elaine, came for a glass of wine tonight. Met a few people. Then went home to watch the Red Sox beat up on the Nationals. I also saw Scott and Darcy Cook, Neil & Lisa Anastas, John & Sandra Condon, and Doug & Sandy Foster. It’s impressive that 300 people came out tonight to network. It’s special that some spouses got to do it together.

Why can I sell your stuff better than you?

When I asked Bob Jiguere why he was such a good salesman, he put a twinkle in his eye, a sly smile on his lips and asked, “The right hair tonic?”

Here’s the real reason. I don’t care. Seriously. I don’t care nearly as much as you. Take Doug for instance. (I should use Pete, but he’s busy with Art, Wine & Networking and How to Increase Sales in your Small Business. He’s to tired to fight back.)

Anyway, Doug’s a really smart, really successful guy. MIT Graduate, Entrepreneur, Former VP, Frequent Speaker, obviously an expert in his field. If you ask him what his field is, he might respond by saying something like this, which is absolutely well written, truthful, and on point. If you ask me what he does, I might say something like this, “Different things for different clients…….What do you do here? Do your salespeople sell or take orders? How educated are they? How do you keep them informed?” Lots of little questions get lots of little answers and LOTS of involvement by your prospect.

Another difference happens sometime later when I don’t assume that the issues that we’ve been talking about are important to my prospect. Somebody who knows the answers will say something like, “I’ve got a pretty clear idea of what’s going on here and what needs to be done. When do you want me to start?” and the prospect replies, “Oh, the assumptive close! Very good, but I’m not there, yet.” Whereas I might say/ask something like, “We’ve been talking for a while and you’ve been sharing some pretty interesting stuff. It sounds like you’re not happy with some of it. Why do you put up with it?” and the prospect comes back with, “I didn’t know there was anything that I could do.” RIGHT HERE IS WHERE IT HAPPENS! The average salesperson says, “Sure there is! Wonder Dog is here! and he tells the prospect everything he needs to know to say, “No!” I ask, “There isn’t?” and they’re mine.

However, the biggest difference isn’t my technique. It’s my head and that I’m gonna leave for somebody else to comment on.

One last point: I have left out the one reason that Doug will someday be able to sell his stuff better than I could sell his stuff. Product knowledge! But not the way you think. I’m still not gonna answer there questions the way you will. I’m still not gonna make a proposal unless it’s a done deal. Someday, Doug’s gonna learn how to use his product knowledge to ask questions in such a way that his prospects will ask something like, “So, do you think you can save my business?”……..and he’ll answer with the question that gets him the business.

But, (sorry Doug) probably not today. Maybe tomorrow?