Dave Kurlan told me that he was tempted to make a one word comment to my last post………..”Subtle!” Frankly, subtlety is often missed because people don’t always like to face the truth, especially about themselves. I meet a lot of people. Most of them are in sales or own a small company and are trying to sell their stuff and the fact is that most of them can’t picture themselves earning a lot more money than they already do. They don’t believe that any of the ‘prospects that got away’ could actually have been sold if they were better at sales. They also won’t admit that they ARE the problem.

Fact is, most businesses fail.

Fact is, people file bankruptcy.

Fact is, many divorces are due to financial problems.

Fact is, less than 6% of the people in the United States earn over $100,000.

Fact is, I like some of those people in the 94% regardless of income level. My lack of subtlety doesn’t work on them because they believe what they believe. I’m only talking to the people that want to be in the 6% and those people will recognize that if they commit, I’ll do what it takes to get them there.

Rule of Ratios

If my last post hit a nerve because you are already behind your sales goal for 2008, this post could end your struggle once and for all….One way or another. Either you’ll get help or you’ll resign yourself that this is the way it is and the way it always will be.

First, the lesson. Dave Kurlan talks about his Rule of Ratios in Baseline Selling. Simply stated, ‘the cost of the consequences of doing nothing must be at least twice the cost of your solution’. (I apologize for the original typo and thank Rob Jewett for bringing it to my attention.)

OK, back to you, your missed goals, your struggle and your future.

If I asked you to pay me $1,000 every month for the rest of 2008 and as a result you earned $100,000 more than you did last year, would you do it?

What if you only earned an additional $50,000?

What if you paid me that same $11,000 and only earned $25,000 more than you did in 2007?

Would you do it?

Would you change?

Would you do what it takes?

Call me or email me if you want to talk about what’s involved. We’ll talk for 20-30 minutes. At the end of the call you’ll say, “Thanks.” and go away or you’ll give me your credit card number to get started.

How far behind are you?

I had a great group in my “Applications” session yesterday.

One of the topics was, “How many people made a New Year’s resolution on January 1st and have already broken it, remade it and broken it again?”

Seriously, today is January 26th. We have already ‘used up’ 19 of the 263 weekdays that we started the year with. That’s 7% of the days. Have you done 7% of what you resolved to do?

If you resolved to make 2,000 sales calls this year, have you made 144 of them already?

If you resolved to work out 3 times a week, have you worked out 11 times since 1/1?

If you resolved to lose 20 pounds this year, have you said, “No.” to 5,000 calories, so far? (or done 7% of the behavior that you need to do?)

What will it take to get and keep you on track?

Do you really want another year to go by?

Do you really want another month or even day to go by?

It is not a sin to be human.

It is not a sin to need help.

Get a coach!

If it’s weight, join one of those you-know-whats.

If it’s exercise, get a personal trainer.

If it’s sales, hire a sales coach.

Know anyone?

American Idol

So, I’m sitting here watching American Idol with Elaine. Some of these people are really terrible. What’s really funny is when the ‘contestants’ argue with the judges. It’s one thing to sing off key in the shower. It’s totally different to do it when strangers can hear….AND….it’s delusional to think that America should pay big money for their records.

Tonight, American Idol claimed to have had a crowd of 10,000 auditioners in South Carolina and they sent 9,977 home. 23 out of 10,000 were deemed good enough to “go to Hollywood” and continue in the competition.

It got me thinking about the people that are struggling as salespeople, as small business owners or as entrepreneurs because they think they can sell. Funny thing is that if I notice something about the way they sell and suggest that they should have themselves evaluated, sometimes I feel like a judge on American Idol.

So, often, I don’t mention it, and let them continue to struggle.

But, I don’t feel good about it.

How many ‘no’s’ do they have to get before they realize that they’re doing it badly?

OMG Conference Lessons

Those of you who have ever attended multi-day conferences, symposiums or conventions will be able to relate.

This weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to Objective Management Group‘s International Conference in Boston. Don’t misunderstand. I like the real world, but imagine being in a room with 150 sales development experts from around the world for the better part of two days. Confidence, Professionalism, Experience, Talent were everywhere. The conversations and sharing were everywhere. I did a lot of listening.

I want to share two ideas that I will change my life, today.

The first, I got from Dave Kurlan. If your goal is important and you’ve developed a plan and your plan requires a specific behavior………….Adopt a NO EXCEPTION RULE!

How hard is that? If you’re on a diet and the rule is no dessert, that means no dessert. No exceptions! If it’s 10 calls a day, that means 10 every day. No exceptions! If you make an exception on Tuesday, thinking that it’s only one day, you might make another exception on Friday figuring that you already blew the week. If you blow the week, at the end of the month you might make another exception because you already blew the month. Before you know it, 2008 is no better than 2007. So, if it’s important, NO EXCEPTIONS, starting NOW!

Thanks, Dave!

The other idea came from the keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Kriegel.

He told a story about taking a skier to the top of a black diamond trail. The skier looked all the way down the hill and decided that he couldn’t ski the trail. Dr. Kriegel pointed about 10 feet down the trail and asked if the skier could make one turn there. Yes and they did. Then he pointed a little more down the hill and asked if the skier could make a turn there. Yes and they did. They did it again. After the skier made three turns, successfully, he started to gain confidence and eventually skied down that black diamond trail.

Let’s apply the ‘can you make one turn’ process to losing 20 pounds this year. So, wanting to lose 20 pounds is like looking all the way down the hill. It’s a big job. It’s scary. It’s gonna be a lot of hard work. Can you make one turn there translates into can you stick to your diet, today? Can you say, “No.” to 192 calories, today? A beer is about 150 calories. A Dunkin Donut (glazed) is about 180. One slice of cheese pizza is 260. I’m neither a doctor, nor a dietician, so consult with a professional.

Now, let’s apply the ‘can you make one turn’ process to selling. I’ll make up some numbers, but you can apply the real ones. Let’s say that you want 50 new clients this year. Let’s say that last year you closed 1 of 3 that you presented to. So, now you know that you need to present to 150 prospects this year. Let’s say that last year you had to make 20 calls to get one prospect to meet with you. You’ll need to make 3,000 calls in order to present to 150 prospects and close 50 new clients. 50 new clients is a big job. It’s like looking all the way down the hill and saying, “Boy is that steep. Can’t do it.” Same thing for 150 prospect meetings and 3,000 calls. But, can you make 15 calls today is like asking, “Can you make one turn right there?” So, can you?

So, let’s combine the two lessons. First decide on your goal (the black diamond). Then, figure out what your daily behavior needs to be (how and where you can make your first turn). Then, do it. Every day. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Inquisix Invitations!

You may remember that I mentioned Inquisix a while back. Well, they’re live and I was one of the first to join. It’s all about giving and getting referrals. It’s free. If you’d like an invitation to join, click here and mention that I referred you.

If you like face to face networking and/or want answers to your questions, click here.

I updated this post with more accurate links.

Grizzly or Coyote?

A few days ago I posted. Rob commented and I replied. The following is Rob’s inaugural post.

I sometimes feel jealous of guys like Rick Roberge. He sells a product (please allow me to group tangible products with services for this discussion) that can help almost anyone he bumps into. He and his colleagues can go to any trade show they choose and consider the folks in virtually every booth to be prospects. Rick is a grizzly bear wading into a stream full of tired salmon. All he has to do is reach out his big paw and grab hold of a fish.

Our customers are few in number, and they’re scattered all across North America. My products are useful to a select few people and companies that build or perform specific products or tasks. When I attend a trade show for one of the industries we address, I’ll be lucky if 2% of the exhibitors can be prospects. If we are exhibiting at the best shows for us, it is unlikely that more than a handful of the attendees can use our products. Picture Wile E. Coyote chasing that darned roadrunner!

When I stop feeling sorry for myself after a bad day, I come to recognize that Rick is not close to being the only grizzly wading into that stream. In order to eat, Rick has to be quicker than his neighbors. Sometimes, he may even have to fight them off if they try to steal his salmon. When I speak to a prospect, there is only a small chance that he knows of anyone else who can do what our company can. He may have other methods he can use to achieve his goals without using my products, but if he is convinced of the benefits we provide, he won’t have many other choices.

So, who has the better deal? Would you rather sell to a huge market against lots of competitors, or to a niche market that doesn’t attract a lot of other players? Is it better to be a grizzly or a (fictional) coyote?

Critical Ratios

I was reading Dave Kurlan’s latest Baseline Selling Tip and it got me thinking…………

(Don’t skip ahead. Go read the tip. Then read the rest of this post.)

Do you know how many calls you made last month (or year) and how many of them became first base meetings? How many of them converted to prospects? How many qualified? How many closed?

If you don’t know where you’ve been, how can you predict where you’re going?

I’ve been trying to figure out how to end this post for five minutes and I’ve got nothing.

How would you end it?

Would you buy from you?

Have you seen the commercial. It starts off with Karen sitting in front of a desk with a guy in a suit sitting behind it. (Apparently, they’re in a bank.) Karen says, “I just wanted you to know that I was going with Lending Tree.” He asks, “Why?” and she goes into a list of benefits that justify her purchase.

The final exchange goes like this.

Him: “But Karen, you work here!”

Karen: “Awkward, isn’t it?”

That got me thinking…..”Would you buy your solution from you and/or your company?”

Don’t give a ‘knee-jerk’, “Yes.” Think about it.

Are you the cheapest? Do you deserve to be because you have the crappiest solution?

Are you the most expensive? Are you overpriced? What causes you to be pricey?

Are you

  • the most complex? simplest?

  • the most comprehensive? basic?

  • the most leading edge? old-fashioned?

How’s your service department? Are they they busiest because your solution has so many issues? or lonely because there’s never any issues?

Is your company not profitable and going out of business?

There are many other questions, but the bottom line questions are:

Knowing what you know, if you were your prospect, would you buy from you?


If your customer knew what you know, would they buy from you?

Can you sell the truth and will your prospect buy it?

If you can’t but you want to, contact me.

Utah…Business or Pleasure

First, you need to read this post.

As soon as I clicked, ‘Submit Comment’ on John’s blog, I thought, “I forgot social networking sites.” Sites like and (There are others.) give you the ability to interact with interesting people around the world. Read some of the questions that I’ve answered on LinkedIn, then look at the people that are asking them. I’ve not only interacted with businesspeople in several states, but you’ll also notice people from as far away as India.

Another point about John’s post. Sometimes a blogger makes a point, but doesn’t notice it.

John would like to be a regular blogger, but life gets in the way. But, today, he was moved to post and he felt good. He may post again tomorrow. He may not. But he did today. One day at a time.

How many times do we try to create a good habit and feel really bad when it doesn’t work the first time we try? Did you make a New Years resolution? Have you broken it already? So, you’re human? Why not try it again tomorrow? If you did your daily behavior one day in a row, start again and go for two in a row. If you can’t do it three days in a row, start again. Break your own personal best!

I feel like this is a different kind of post for me, so if you have a comment, please share.

Also, please feel free to vote & see the results.