Working Vacation Day 3

Elaine’s out. I’m using some of my alone time to catch up on some blog reading.

I been able to interact with some pretty cool people and one of them is Jim Lobaito, Dave’s OMG distributor in Iowa. Last Tuesday, Jim posted about some of the impact that our parents have on our sales ability. Although I’ve preached similarly, I don’t believe that I’ve posted. So, please enjoy Jim’s thoughts here.

Thanks, Jim!

Now, back to vacation!

Working Vacation Day 2

I intended to post on a different topic today, but many of people that read blog posts do not read the comments and unfortunately, many of the best thoughts are in the comments and therefore go unnoticed. Such is the case with yesterday’s post. Frank, Catie, Mike and Tom made great points that would be missed if nobody read them.

Do appearances matter? Does reputation matter? Do business owners have any obligation to their brethren? I used to work for a furniture store. I knew several co-workers who had come from other furniture store jobs and frankly, I watched a few co-workers go to work at other stores. I don’t consider any of that poaching. However, one of my more respected co-workers left to start his own store. If he had approached me or any of my co-workers to go with him, I’d have considered that poaching. Here’s where we might diverge. If I had approached him about going with him, and he allowed me to come, I’d consider that poaching. Some might consider it free market, but in reality we probably wouldn’t know each other if not for our former employer. If my potential employer were to mention it to my current employer, notice all the good that happens. My former employer has the opportunity to see if he can satisfy my needs. He has the opportunity to replace me if he agrees that I should go. More importantly, how does the second approach affect our former employer’s opinion of my potential employer? Wherever I wind up, doesn’t it appear that my potential employer wants to ‘play nice in the sandbox’? Does that matter? If the former employer has the opportunity to announce both of us leaving to the rest of the salespeople, doesn’t that eliminate any possibility of a misunderstanding? Wouldn’t that forestall any rumors and gossip?

There’s those rose colored glasses again! I opine that employers and owners should answer to higher standards than their employees, thus setting the example and the bar.

Incidentally, Mike suggested that I post about gossip. I think that somebody should, perhaps NLE, but I’m not sure that I should. My one liner might be, “Is gossip a signal that you’re being misunderstood?”

Finally, many of you know that I spent 20 years as a bill collector. You may not know that I felt that it was a sin that that industry should exist. People (and companies) should just pay their bills, but more importantly, sellers should sell what they can deliver, deliver what they sell, not sell to prospects that shouldn’t buy and make sure that EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING BEFORE THE DEAL IS DONE. Then make sure the paperwork mirrors the deal. If buyers and sellers bought and sold thoroughly, lawyers would have a lot less to do.

So, in closing, Tom, you probably did the right thing by not taking that job. The documents shouldn’t have been a surprise. You should have known what was in them before you showed up to work, but what would have happened if you had called the owner that you met with and said, “Hey, Mr. Owner. I’m gonna be a competitor, but my local government has some red tape and I need to eat. Would you like me to help you on a temporary basis for a few months until I get set up?” Would he have refused immediately or would you have had a discussion about what happens after? Either way, wouldn’t that be cleaner?

Thank you ALL for reading and playing.

Working Vacation Day 1

I drove to Maine, yesterday. Just me and Magoo. (Elaine took her own car.) I made a few phone calls during the 2 hour drive, but that still left some time for my mind to wander and as often happens, come up with blog topics. So, in addition to the phone calls, the evaluation review, and review the Sales All Star applications that I have scheduled, it looks like I’ll have some posting to do during my vacation.

First up…….POACHING! gives these definitions, but I’m thinking much more specifically. I’m asking specifically about a person who would get involved with an organization, then start a competitive organization and steal members, customers, employees, ideas or anything else.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m a wicked capitalist. I’m very competitive even when it’s not apparent. I left a collection agency to start my own because I had a better idea. I didn’t solicit my former employers clients. When I meet salespeople and executives that are clients of other Objective Management Group Distributors, I tell them great choice and leave them alone.

I’m talking about a person who pretends to be one thing, but acts otherwise.

Am I trying to look at the world through rose colored glasses, or does this kind of two-faced behavior bother you, too?

Sorry for the vagueness. I don’t want to call anybody out. It just bugs me. I’m over it. Thanks.

Sales a la Mr. Magoo

I was watching a couple of salespeople recently and rather than post about them, I thought that I’d reference another expert….Mr. Magoo. Mr. Magoo has a very limited vocabulary. He gets by with one or two sounds. However, he’s an expert when it comes to using the tonality, volume, pace of his sounds to get his point across. Note also his facial expressions. Can you tell the difference between,
                “Are you paying attention?”                 and,     “When are you gonna be done working?”


He also uses body language and posturing. Can you guess what he’s thinking?


So, remember when you’re trying to communicate, whether it’s selling, managing, or in recreation, that communication is more than the words you use, it’s also the quality of the sound and the appearance of your physiology.

Can we go now?


This is the story of two sales calls. The calls were made by a hot shot sales coach. Let’s call him, Rick.

First, he called Owner #1. Let’s call her, Mary. Mary was referred by her friend who’s always going 100 mph in 5 directions at the same time. Difficult to focus. Short attention span. Rick assumed that Mary would be the same type of person. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Mary, was focused, paced, had a plan, great questions. He thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and is looking forward to their next conversation.

Second, he called owner #2. Let’s call him Jared. Jared was referred by a mutually trusted advisor. At a chance meeting, Jared enthusiastically asked Rick to call. Rick was looking forward to the conversation. As it turns out, Jared was an expert at everything, a cynic toward everybody, totally defensive and intentionally uninvolved with the conversation. He doesn’t have time to read. Knew everything that Microsoft did before Microsoft did and had been totally ripped off by every consultant that he had ever dealt with. I don’t have to worry that he’ll see this because he said that blogs represent the personal opinion of the author and no one could ever learn annything that way.

So, the lesson that Rick should learn, as I see it is make the call. Don’t anticipate. Don’t pre-judge. Don’t worry about what will or won’t or might or might not happen. Make the call and have a conversation.


Oscars, Tonys, Emmys for Sales?

Dave Kurlan visited the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend and, as sometimes happens, found

something to post about.

That reminded me that the Tony’s had inspired me. If we did have an awards ceremony for salespeople, I think that it’s safe to assume that the “best salesperson” award would be akin to the “best lead actor” award. It might be fairly easy to figure out “best supporting salesperson”, but who’s gonna get best producer, best director, best screenplay, best writer, best picture, etc.

Why is it that actors know that they don’t do it alone, but salespeople think that they do?

More importantly, why is it that owners and CEO’s think that their salespeople can be all that they can be without

a script,    a director,    a producer,    rehearsals,    a supporting cast,    a winning story,    etc?

Tim Russert and Frank Belzer

I was watching the tribute to Tim Russert this morning. I wasn’t watching because I’m a political junkie. I’m not. I seldom watched Meet the Press, but I really enjoyed hearing about the way Tim prepared for the show, how he felt about the politicians that came on his show, how fair he was. I listened to him ask the same question 900 different ways. It was a great tribute and it ended with me thinking that Tim was truly great.

At one point, Maria Shriver commented that Tim was hounding her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to come on Meet the Press and be interviewed. He made all kinds of excuses. He was busy with his campaign for governor of California. Other commitments. Always had an excuse why now was not the time.

And Maria remembered that Tim asked Arnold, “Don’t you know that you’re not gonna be anybody until you’re on this show?”

When she said that, I immediately thought of
Frank Belzer. If Frank wants to meet with you, just give up and meet with him. He’s never gonna give up. He’s gonna hound you until you give up and meet with him. I remember hearing Frank say something like, “Why don’t you want to meet with me? Don’t you want to know what’s holding your company back?” If you read his blog, you’ll notice that this theme runs through it. You’ll never know what’s wrong until you meet with him.

Thanks, Frank.

Customers Disciples Evangelists Members offers these definitions. Customers Disciples Evangelists Members

Sorry, God. It happened again. The priest started his sermon off this Sunday with this (paraphrased) introduction and question.

At the beginning of the Church, Jesus picked the 12 apostles as his disciples.
Those 12 were instructed to go where the Church wasn’t and make more disciples and the Church grew.
At some point, a different class developed. That of being a member rather than a disciple.
Now the Church struggles. What is it about members?

So, this is what happened in my mind. If the Church didn’t have members, if it had only disciples, would it be struggling, today? Similarly, if a business turns every customer (member) into an evangelist (disciple), wouldn’t that be a good thing? Then I started wondering what happened to the Church? How did it happen? What were the signs? Could it have been prevented? How to fix it now? Then, I made the leap to how does any organization, company, or firm ask and answer these same questions about itself?

Would that be a good thing?

No Soliciting and Racial Discrimination

Now, this is interesting.

I’ve always interpreted ‘No Soliciting’ signs as “Please don’t try to sell me. I can’t say, ‘No.'”

Frank raises interesting questions.

Do you want to be approached by salespeople as you’re heading into a restaurant, store, gas station, or any other place of business? (I’m reminded of being on a Caribbean beach, street, or parking lot and being asked to buy timeshares or my wife to get her hair braided.)

Does the owner get to pick who does business on his property? How about the Chevy guy that hands out business cards or coupons to prospects roaming the Ford lot?

I also put this question on LinkedIn. There’s lots of places for you to comment.

The tale of two messages

Remember this post? He’s very upset with me. He’s emotionally involved and he’s upset with the person that put us together. He told him not to do him any more favors like the introduction to me. Too bad because the person that made the introduction makes a lot of introductions that turn into a lot of money for a lot of people. This guy should save himself a lot of grief, aggravation and money and shut his business down now. Interestingly, he missed the fact that I might have had a referral for him. I think that he should tear down his wall.

By contrast, I share this email exchange from this morning.

I’m gonna delete names and emails, but leave times and messages.

Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 5:33 AM
To: rickattherainmakermaker
Subject: information

what is it you do here

Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 6:07 AM, Rick Roberge wrote: Tom How do I know you? Rick

Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 6:20 AM
To: Rick Roberge
Subject: Re: information


(In between, I found Tom on LinkedIn. So, I called him. Then sent the following.)

Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 7:33 AM, Rick Roberge wrote: Tom, I just called. The lady answered. I could hear you talking on the other line and you told her, “Tell him I’ll call back.” Then we were disconnected. What’s webslinger?

Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 8:26 AM
To: Rick Roberge
Subject: Re: information

sorry rick i was outside with a contractor webslinger took me to a site called alcom and you were on the site anytime i see anything to do with rainmaking i want to know more


From: Rick Roberge
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 8:52 AM
To: @gmail
Subject: RE: information

OK, you’re legit. Call my cell and I’ll answer your question(s). (and I gave him all my contact info.)

He did. We talked for 24 minutes and 38 seconds. We’re having lunch on the 18th.

See the difference? @gmail and I already have a two way relationship. The other guy’s hiding behind his wall.