KISS Trish

That title’s gonna get me in trouble, but let’s face it… If that doesn’t, something else will.

OK, the point is, that if you’ve got a boring or ineffective positioning statement, elevator pitch, 30 second commercial, opening line, or whatever else you call how you briefly explain what you do, read Trish’s post. If you still need help, contact one of us.

Who’s dream are you working on?

I was talking with a salesperson today who was unhappy with his manager. He ‘complained’ that his manager was too quick to point out faults and place blame. Bottom line was that the salesperson felt that the manager did not respect the salesperson and treated him inappropriately. He felt unappreciated even though he was a team player. The more we talked, the more I realized that the salesperson was being very closely managed. He was also being told what his goals were rather than being motivated toward something that he wanted. I remembered and reflected on Dave’s post about Bob and George. Dave’s post was written from the manager’s point of view, but let’s look at my salesperson and Dave’s post from the salesperson’s point of view.

Who is today’s salesperson most like, Bob or George?

Why does George work well without supervision, not need to be managed, and do what needs to be done without being told?

Why does Bob need to be managed, directed and held accountable? Flip the question. Why does Bob’s manager feel that Bob needs to be managed, directed and held accountable? Why does today’s salesperson’s manager feel that he needs to be managed, directed and held accountable?

What’s the difference? Could it be that George has a goal of his own?

Bob and today’s salesperson can’t manage themselves because they don’t know why they show up at work until their manager tells them why. Their long term personal goal isn’t tied to TODAY’s behavior, so they leave it to their manager to remind them why they work. Both Bob and today’s salesperson need to commit to something. Not a behavior, but something important, something that they want MORE THAT ANYTHING ELSE. It’s easy to say, “New car”, “Awesome vacation” “$100,000 extra cash”, but it’s the ‘why’ that matters. If the why isn’t strong enough, pick another goal.

Said another way:

When Bob gets interviewed he asks, “What’s my quota gonna be and how much will I make if I make it.?

When George gets interviewed he asks, “Can I make $200,000 by year end because after taxes I’ll get $130K. I’ll need $80K net to live and I need the other $50K to buy the Escalade that I promised my wife for Christmas.

Get it? The Escalade is the ‘what’. His wife is the ‘why’. George won’t need to be managed.

“You’re either working on your dream or you’re part of somebody else’s dream.”

Entrepreneurial Accountability

I was talking with an entrepreneur today about his business. We talked about a lot of stuff. His website. His networking activities. His 24/7 chat button. Pay Per Click. SEO. We talked about his hit rate. His qualify/disqualify rate. He’s been in business for eleven months, but fully engaged since March. At one point I asked if he had a business plan. He said, “Yes.” I asked if he was on target and hitting his benchmarks so far this year. He said, “No.”

That got me to thinking. Who holds the entrepreneur accountable? Who asks the business owner, did what you did today have anything to do with what you were supposed to do? Did it have anything to do with your long term goal? If you’re a one man show or a small business owner with a few employees, but you are the only key person. The rainmaker, everyone else supports your effort.

Who holds you accountable? Your banker? Your lawyer? Your accountant?

You don’t want those guys bugging you every day.

Your vendors? Competitors? Customers?………..No way!

Your employees? Your spouse?……….Maybe not.

You need to spend some time doing business development every day. Specific behavior that will accumulate and compound so that your customer base and consequently your business revenues and profits grow.

Maybe you should hire a sales manager to keep you in line, doing the stuff that you need to do?

What do you do? Who holds you accountable?

Split Personality

I received the following email, today and I was wondering if I was that transparent.

Rick I figured out why you are a great salesmen. It took me a while but I got it! You have a split personality. I can tell what person you are just by reading your blog and emails on a particular day. Hope you had a nice weekend.

So, I was wondering.

Do you notice that?

Can you give me any specific example(s)?

Should I change something?

What Do Entrepreneurs Really Need?

I started a post asking the question, “Should Entrepreneurs Learn to Sell?”

I deleted it.

I thought back to

I started writing about some of the dumb things that I’ve heard entrepreneurs and business owners say recently.

I deleted that.

You’re up!

Do entrepreneurs need to know how to sell well?

Why? Examples?

Starting Over

This morning, someone asked me what percentage of my business comes from referrals. Those who know me best already know the answer….100% and honestly, it’s been that way for a long time. Thirty years ago, I had a sales manager that taught me to get 5-10 referrals BEFORE I did my presentation. My focus has always been getting referrals and introductions. However, (This is absolutely true.) I often found myself with so many referrals that I had no sense of urgency. I was never gonna get to all of them anyway, so I’d just plod along. Not worry about closing. Before I knew it, I was in a slump. So, my very wise sales manager says, “Bring all your referrals into my office. We’ll do an analysis and figure out what’s happening.” I probably had 100 pages with 500-1,000 leads, referrals, etc. Some had been contacted, some not. So, he takes the whole pile, starts looking through them, asking questions,”Is this all of them? Anything good here? What about this batch? What’s this mean? etc.”

Then he shredded them! All of them! Imagine what I was thinking. I’m in the middle of a slump and this creep is shredding my only hope of get myself out of it. I was bullsh*t! What are you trying to do to me? Am I fired? What am I gonna do now?

Very calmly, he asked me, “How’d you get so many referrals?”

I asked!

Go ask for more.


Everybody you meet.

What choice did I have? Go door to door or ask for referrals. So, I went door to door asking for referrals.

End of slump.

The next time that I’m in a slump, he tells me to bring my referrals into his office. I tell him that I remember what happened last time and I wasn’t gonna let him do it again. He told me to trust him and give him the papers. When I did, without hesitation, he shredded them again! Then he told me, “You know what to do.”

End of slump.

The next time that I was in a slump, he tells me to get all my referrals and shred them. “What am I stupid?”

“What happened the last two times we shredded your security blanket?”


End of slump.

So…lost your edge? No sense of urgency? Feeling comfortable?

Shred your cushion and start over.

Closing Up Front

I just read Trish’s interview of Silvana Sears.

I want to use one little snippet. It’s not out of context and it’s very important to anyone who is involved in any part of the sales process. Here’s the snippet:

Trish: What do you look for in a candidate…?

Even though we don’t close deals, I like to hire someone who has closed before. I think this skill helps them do a better job on the front end of the sales process because they know what has to happen on the back end. I think it contributes to our high conversion and close rate.

So, this is what I wanted to point out. Silvana manages inside salespeople that set prospects up (quite well I might add) for outside reps and she prefers salespeople who have closed because they know that closing is a natural conclusion to what started at the beginning.

Great interview. I hope I get to meet Silvana someday.

You can read the whole interview here.

Thanks, Trish!

LinkedIn, Dave Kurlan & Mike Eagan

Pete Caputa asked a question on my Recession Strategy post. I decided to post it on LinkedIn. You can read the question and answers here.

Dave Kurlan asked a question about motivation. Read it here. As you read it, think about what works on you and comment there.

Finally, if you’re interested in new bloggers, check out:

Mike’s Thoughts

Tell him what you think.

Mothers Day Post

As you may know, my mother reads my blog. She also reads Pete’s, Dave’s, Trish’s, Frank’s, John’s, Kai’s and Zane’s and usually follows their links. She also, at 76, works part time at the Price Chopper, lives with her cat, and talks to me almost every day during my evening commute. It’s during those commutes that, among other topics, she makes her comments to those posts. During Wednesday’s commute, she asked if Mike Eagan had started his blog yet. She was disappointed in my answer and Thursday she asked when Linda (who wants my mother to adopt her) was going to start a blog. I told Linda during my Friday morning commute. We’ll see.

Friday evening, I was watching Katie Couric interview John McCain and his 96 year old mother. As I watched the Senator during the interview, I saw various facial reactions that I could relate to. I saw incredible pride and respect. A few times I saw, “Oh, crap! Don’t ask her that!” Which usually led to a look of relief. Yup. I could relate.

Then, later that night my mother made this comment to my Recession Strategy post. I know that many of you don’t subscribe to the comments on this blog, and I don’t believe that this comment should be missed. It is probably the most important piece of information that’s ever been written here. A few weeks ago, Rich Myers watched my son, Mark, at the MIT Sales Sloan Sales Conference. He made a couple of comments that indicated that the 20 years that Mark lived with us was a worthwhile investment. Well, as you can see in my mother’s comment, I was clearly influenced by the 20 years that I lived with my parents.

So, Happy Mothers Day, Mom………….and THANKS!