Intimidating Women

No, this post doesn’t belong on Jeanne Worrick’s “Sell Like a Girl” Blog. (Where’s she been, anyway?)

As a matter of fact, this post has more to do with NOT selling, than selling.

Here’s the story:

Last week, I was talking with a businessman at a chamber networking event. He noticed a tall blonde and his gaze lingered a while. I asked if he knew her and he said, “No”. I asked if he had introduced himself, and that’s when the discussion of intimidating women started. He actually wouldn’t meet this women because she was so good looking or so confident or so something that he was intimidated by her.

What if she was the CEO of a prime prospect that had a million dollar need that he could solve?

What if she knew a CEO of a prime prospect that had a million dollar need that he could solve?

What if she provided a product or service that he needed and she was the best in the business?

He blew it! He missed the chance! He doesn’t know who she is. Doesn’t have her number. Squat!

So, maybe he (Mr. Faithful) goes home and tells his wife that he only talked to ugly people, or guys, but he didn’t go near any cute girls……………..B U T   H E   W A N T E D   T O !!!

Guys are so funny!

OK! Why?

Tendency to become emotionally involved?

Need for Approval?

Fear of Rejection?

He didn’t want the Papparazzi to catch him looking at other women?

Grow up! Do you go to work or go to drool?


Christians have this period before Christmas called “Advent”. The word derives from a Latin word that means “coming”. The theme is “to be ready”, to be on your best behavior, because although Christmas celebrates the first coming, it also serves as a reminder that we don’t know when the second coming will be and we must be ready to be judged on that day. So, be your best today because this is the day.

I’m humbled and proud at the same time, but I’m glad that I showed up ready on this day.

Selling Value vs Best Price

Some salespeople

  • claim to understand their company’s value proposition and sell the value to their prospects.

  • claim to have the best (or competitive) price and their prospects recognize it.

  • claim to sell value and if that doesn’t work they drop their price.

Which are you?

I talk to salespeople every day. Whichever you picked, you are doing it wrong.

You are letting your spouse down.
You are letting your children down.
You are letting your employer down.
You are letting your everyone else that depend on you to do your job right down.

You are leaving money on the table that belongs to people that are counting on you.
You are letting your competitors do business with people that should be doing business with you.

You don’t believe me? Read this and the article that it points to.

So, what should you do….this? or send me an email to get started?

Will it be more of the same in 2008 or do you want to give yourself and your family the best Christmas present ever?

Next Question

I don’t get this blogging stuff. I’m surprised that not one person answered the questions in my last two posts. I know that you read it. Maybe you were afraid that I couldn’t handle the truth on the “abrasive” question and perhaps the “example” question hit too close to home.

OK. Enough about my confusion…

As you may remember, I subscribe to Dave’s Weekly Baseline Selling Tips. Did you see this one?

Here’s my question.

What did you do in 2007 that you will you do differently in 2008?

Incidentally, if you don’t subscribe to Dave’s weekly tips but you should, use this link and if you want access to all Dave’s past tips, use this link.

Are You a GOOD Example for Your Clients?

Would you buy from somebody who tells you to do as they say and not as they do?

Would you have a website designer design your website if they had a crappy website?

Would you buy a suit from someone in overalls?

Should renters sell houses for a living?

Would you hire a fat personal trainer?

Would your opinion of me change if I couldn’t get referrals? If I couldn’t close? If I were afraid of cold calls?

Are You a GOOD Example for Your Clients?

Abrasive vs. Sensitive Tenacity

I had a couple of interactions on Friday that you might find interesting.

Joe and Harry both attended our Executive Luncheon on November 7th. Both answered Dave’s questions on their index card and both asked for a follow up phone call. I called both on November 8th.

When I called Joe, his receptionist answered, asked who I was, where from, what it was about. So, I told her that Joe had requested a call to follow up on the Luncheon and I was it. She went away and came back and told me that Joe had no recollection of requesting a call, so I should tell her specifically what I wanted. I told her that I thought that Joe would probably laugh when he realized why I was calling, but told her, “No problem.” and hung up. Then I sent him a copy of his handwritten note requesting the call with a copy of his business card and my contact info. He didn’t call. I tried a couple of times over the past month, but he never took nor returned a call.

Finally, Friday, I tried one more time and he answered. When I said my name, he recognized it immediately and when I told him that this was his follow up call, he asked if he could ask a question first. I said sure and he came back with, “Are you always as abrasive as you were with Lisa?” I asked, “Abrasive?” and he asked if it was a tactic or my personality. He didn’t want to talk about any of the issues that he pointed out on his index card, but wanted to talk about how important he was, and how important it was that I answer Lisa’s questions. I ended the call pretty quickly when he told me that he would take David Kirkland’s call, but didn’t have anything to say to me.

I wonder how his salespeople would handle a gatekeeper like Lisa?

I wonder how many possible solutions don’t get through Lisa?

Joe has a very successful business, so he may have just been curious.

We’ll never know.

Harry, had a slightly different course of events.

I called on November 8th and left a message. No response.

I sent and email on 11/14, to which he responded, “Rick. I am in nyc until next week. I’ll call and sched phone conversation next week.”

We haven’t connected. On Friday, I sent this email, “I just called your cell phone, but did not leave a message. You might be interested in my recent blog post. looked at your website. You run a very substantial company. Let me make it easy for you. Reply with a couple of choices of times (between 6AM and 11 PM) to talk this week. I’ll pick one. or Reply with, “Please stop calling.”

He replied with, “Rick: My partner in Hartford is picking this up, and yes, we remain interested in hearing about your sales profiling tools. Thanks for your sensitive tenacity – it come across well.”

So, am I abrasive, or do I have sensitive tenacity?

Sales Support vs. Supported by Sales

I was thinking today about some of the salespeople and companies that I’ve looked at this year.

How about a company that spends a fair amount on advertising and marketing, but has a salesperson that doesn’t take company generated leads because he’s too busy working leads that he’s generated through networking, generating referrals and working his connections. Several questions…

Should the company be upset that the salesperson doesn’t want to work company generated leads?

Should the salesperson receive extra compensation because in reality he’s saving the company money on the business that he genearates himself?

If you’re the manager (or CEO) in this company, is this salesperson a positive or a negative?

Does it matter if he’s your top producer or bottom?

How about some “what if’s”?

What if some or most of your salespeople complain that company generated leads are “crappy”?

What if you’re spending more on advertising, but either getting fewer leads or your salespeople are converting fewer leads to dollars?

What if you were in charge? Would you want a salesperson who asks, “Who do you want me to call on today?” or do you want a salesperson that says, “I’ve got people to see today.”

Sales Lessons ala Politicians

Have you ever watched a politician sell? There are 336 days left in the campaign and I bet that if we all watch very closely, we’ll be able to learn or remember at least that many lessons that we can apply to our sales world. Let’s write a book together. 336 Sales Lessons That I Learned in the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

I’ll start.

Tonight, I heard John McCain say, “I love America enough to make some people angry.” Sounds like he’s mastered any need for approval and will do whatever it takes to fix the problem. His comment reminded me of this post.

I also heard Hillary Clinton say, “America needs a president that can hit the ground running.” How many salespeople spend most of their day getting ready. Hire over-acheivers that are ready to go. Remember this post by Dave

Remember, this isn’t about politics. Your turn. What sales lesson did you hear on the campaign trail today?

334 to go.

Entrepreneur’s #1 Problem

This is a real exchange that happened on Friday, November 30th. I had been “chasing” a suspect that had asked for a call 22 days ago.

I sent this email at 7:06 AM.

Please call me today to talk about:

  • why you asked me to call in the first place

  • why you haven’t returned my calls or replied to my email

  • Entrepreneurial CEO’s in general

  • whether I should take you off my follow-up list

He replied at 8:16 AM with this email.

I do want to meet with you.

My biggest challenge is trying to juggle business, working with people who do not appreciate what I do (or look at me as a commodity), and trying to be around for my family. I also would like to create a business plan. Although you are “Sales Development Specialists,” my sense is that you could help me in these areas.

In general, I am feeling frustrated by not having another me and doing my best to stay ahead of everything.

I apologize for not calling you back, but that is a reasonable indication of where I am at. I want it all, but I can’t do it all (whatever “all” is). I would like to discuss these items with you.

So I am going to call you now.

and at 8:25 AM with 28 minute phone call.

(Sound familiar?) On that 28 minute phone call, we established the agenda for the hour and 15 minute phone call that we scheduled for 3 PM (same day).

If I could figure out what happened here, I could probably help a lot of business owners take control of their businesses. How/why, after 22 days (or the months/years prior), did this move to the top of the priority list? How can I get other CEO’s to take a breath and realize how much time and money they are costing themselves?

How do I help a business owner realize that the $10,000 salary they save by hiring a mediocre employee might cost them $50,000 in their own time fixing the problems, or worse, it might cost them customers?

How do I help a business owner realize that if their business is going to get to the next level, they’ll have to drive it and until they have a plan, work their plan, and have somebody (like me?) to hold them accountable, they will continue to spend ALL of their time putting out fires, responding to emergencies, and wondering why they’re missing their kids growing up?

How do I help a business owner see that investing some time now into learning what and how to delegate can pay dividends bigger, better and more long term than the startup capital or sweat equity that they used to get their business started in the first base?

In general, I think that my new client hit the nail on the head when he wrote that “I am feeling frustrated by not having another me and doing my best to stay ahead of everything”.

That is the #1 Problem of every entrepreneur that I’ve ever met. How can they balance…taking care of customers, prospects, vendors, employees, investors, family, their health, weight, etc.?

So, here’s my suggestion(s). If you’re a blogger, comment on your blog and put a link to your post as a comment to this post. If you’re reading and you’re thinking of someone who should read this, forward it to them and copy me. If they don’t contact me in a week or so, I’ll reach out to them.