If you were my own son…

Whenever Bob Jiguere wanted me to know how important it was that I listen to him, he would preface the advice with, “If you were my own son, I’d tell you to….” I also watched him on sales calls when he told the woman that he was talking to, “If you were my own sister, I’d tell you…” Think about how strong that is. Wouldn’t you give your best advice to your son or your sister? (or your daughter or your brother?)

So, would you like to know my latest advice to my son? Here’s the exchange.

From, my son, Matt, to a fellow alum that’s gonna do some bizdev for him.

Joe, I had a good conversation with my Dad about sales. He is going to send us some info he thinks will be helpful. He would be a good resource for you to use to help bring a few clients on. He is cc’d on this email and his cell is (###) Thanks, Matt

My reply to both.

Gentlemen, There’s a few different ways to get new clients.

    • Spend tons of money on advertising.
    • Make 1,000 cold calls. (This is the way I built my agency in the 80’s.)
    • Go where your prospects are hanging out, have a beer and collect business cards.

When I looked at this website, www.saltlakechamber.org/calendar/ I saw three types of events that seemed interesting. There’s a Business after Hours almost every month. Bring business cards, but it’s more important to get theirs. I’ll coach you before you go. My goal is typically to get 10-15 business cards per hour that I’m there. Two hours – 30 cards. There’s also a program called Networking without limits that’s probably worth checking out once. The best program is the Expo. 4 hours on May 14th. 70 booths. 600 people walking the aisles like you. Everybody looking to connect. We need to talk about your approach to this, but you won’t have any problems. Also, I would imagine that if you call the chamber and ask them how do you check them out, they’ll probably invite you to an event or two as their guests. I’d look for other chambers of commerce (Sandy, Park City, others?).

Get on LinkedIn. Follow the directions to invite people in your address book to connect with you, but ONLY invite people that are already in LinkedIn. You don’t want to spend a lot of time teaching them how to use it. If some of your existing clients are on LinkedIn and happy with your service, they can write a recommendation which will become part of your profile and the world will be able to see it. Another way that you can use LinkedIn is to search for people that might be prospects. For instance, my search for property managers in SLC area yielded 470 results. I searched Utah Business in the Groups Directory. 39 Results. One of them was Utah First Friday. This is their website. Might be interesting. You should check out the other 38 results and do some other searches. See what you find. You have to ask to join the groups, but the groups will grow your exposure and connections. There’s other ways to use LinkedIn, but that’s a start. Dad

Matt’s response.

Thanks Dad we will get on it. Matt

Enough said?

One more thing.

Did you follow the link to my brother? In August of 2007, he bought his place in St. Croix and thanked me fortelling him to double his hourly rate. Today, I was copied on this email from him.

Hi Doris, We have scheduled flights for arrival on the 6th of April. Please cease rental scheduling from that time until further notice. I intend to try to expand my Information Technology Consulting business on the island at that time, and if all goes as I expect, I will be staying to look for permanent residence while Tina returns to deal with stateside moving tasks. Hopefully the unit will be available again in a short period of time. Also, please be advised that on March 1st at about 12 to 12:30 Best Furniture will be delivering a new sofa to our unit. I’ve informed the front desk that our friend Sue Ferguson will be there to oversee the task in our absence. They will be removing the old sofa and chair. Vic Roberge

He’s moving to St. Croix? Maybe, I’m too good.

Main Street vs Wall Street

When I was doing my research for my ‘Layoffs post‘, I noticed that when a company announces layoffs, their stock price often goes up. Interesting huh? Here’s a question for you to ask your financial advisor.

How come? Who does Wall Street think is gonna buy their stuff if everybody’s unemployed?

Today, the Dow Jones dropped 251 points to it’s lowest level since May 7, 1997.



Do Layoffs Work?

Do you remember this post about Circuit City?

So, this is the story about Circuit City laying off 3400 salespeople in 2007.

This article mentions Circuit City laying off 3900 salespeople in 2003.

Last November, Circuit City filed bankruptcy.

Here we are in 2009.

Just before I left for Punta Cana, I read about another retail chain that was going to lay off 370 employees because their sales were off by $100 million last quarter. When I returned, I learned that the same chain had done it before.

The chain cited the deteriorating economy for the decision.

As an expert I wonder how much of that $100 million was due to the economy and how much was due to laziness, lack of motivation, or undeveloped sales skills of some of their store managers and associates.

Last Friday, I asked the executives of that chain this question.

“If we could quickly and dramatically have an impact on your in store salespeople, would that be worth a 30 minute phone call? “

We’ll see if they call today.

I don’t know history like The Archaeologist, but I have heard something about history repeating itself.

If you know a CEO or majority owner of a company that may be contemplating layoffs, forward this post to them with the suggestion that they contact me and mention that you sent them.


What is commitment? Why is it important? Dave Kurlan writes about it often. OMG evaluates for it. We look for it in our clients.

Why? Here’s an example.

We are in Day 2 of our Recession Busting Boot Camp. Yesterday, one of the attendees left at 1:30 (it was pre-arranged and OK with his manager and CEO) to attend a concert in Manhattan. The concert tickets were a gift from his girl friend and were purchased before he was enrolled in the Boot Camp. He promised to be back for all of Day 2.

Here’s the whole story. He left the Westboro training facility, drove to Albany area to pick up his girl friend, drove to Manhattan to see the concert, drove his girl friend back to Albany after the concert and hit his pillow at 2:45 AM. Got up at 5 AM to be the first one to arrive at the Westboro training facility, ready to go at 8:30 AM.

850 miles…………….2 hours sleep.

How’s his commitment?

Will he do whatever it takes?

Will he get it done?

Would you hire him?

Would you marry him?

5 Steps Your Sales Force Needs to Take to Survive in the Recession

It’s February 2009, Barack Obama is the president, the stock market is in the tank and you are worried about the economy.

Please join us for 5 Steps Your Sales Force Needs to Take to Survive in the Recession a critical idea stimulating web session with Dave Kurlan as your guide. The program is sponsored by Landslide who produces state of the art sales software that combines sales process consistency, on demand performance technology and access to personal sales assistants.

This one hour web session on Wednesday February 18th, 2009, from 1pm – 2pm ET will address the following:
    • Having the right people in the right sales/sales management roles;
    • Gaining your sales team’s commitment and buy-in to work harder, be tougher and do what it
      takes in these more difficult times;
    • Performing a pipeline analysis and working the pipeline;
    • Creating the necessary infrastructure. This includes an appropriate sales process, recruiting
      process, sales management systems, and software;
    • Developing the salespeople on process, skills and overcoming their weaknesses.

You can register here. Don’t miss this session, it will make 2009 easier.

Feel free to forward to a friend.

Another Twist on DIY

I have some very loyal readers. Thank you! I’ve also had some visitors that didn’t hang around long. There’s a whole other group that subscribed for a while, but unsubscribed when they got their nose out of joint about something that I wrote. When a new visitor includes their url on a comment, I always check them out. If I think they might be fun, informative, or beneficial in some way, I subscribe to their feed for a while.

The most relevant recent example of this is Elliot Ross. Elliot is a different kind of IT guy up in Canada. When he made this comment, I thought, “Well OK”. I read his bio and few of his posts. When I read this post, he reminded me of my post from July 2007, but gave me a different twist to explore. So, here we go.

His line that got me was, “You don’t need to be a chartered accountant to run your business. That is why you hire or use one.” Then he drew an analogy to IT services. Great analogy and applicable to many of us.

Would you try to build a car yourself?
Would you try to sew your own suit?
Do you have a cow in your backyard so that you don’t have to buy milk?
You don’t need to be a lawyer, but you need to know one.
You don’t need to be a doctor, but you need to know one.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Here’s the twist!

Some of you might know what a megabyte is, but do you really know enough to fix your computer when you open Outlook and your data isn’t there? Do you really know the questions to ask when you’re standing in the big box store or on line at Dell talking to the high school kid that’s about to ‘sell’ you the computer that’s gonna be responsible for keeping you going for the next year (or decade if you’re that kind of person)?

Some of you know what a blog is. a website. a key word. Google rank. Yada yada yada, but do you really think that you can do it better than Pete Caputa and Hubspot?

If you are an expert at what you do, you may feel the same way about people that Do-It-Themselves” rather than engage you.

Here’s my questions for DIY-ers in my world?

Have you tried to determine whether you have any compelling reasons to hire me/us?

Do you have enough opportunities in your pipeline to stay in business this year? Does your selling process tell you which one next? What next? When to quit? How many opportunities passed by your nose last year and you didn’t have what it took to get the business? How many of your former customers, prospects, or ‘should-be suspects’ are doing business with a customer even though you could have done it better, more efficiently, cheaper, or with a higher ROI?

Do you know what the consequences are for not using me/us?

Do you know what referrals from me/us might be worth? What’s it cost you to have me/us not remember you?

Who holds you accountable? Who questions you? Who debriefs you when you don’t close a sale? Who strategizes with you when you’ve got a ‘big one’ coming up? Remember this guy? Does he remind you of you?

Enough already. We have a Boot Camp that’s not quite full. We can evaluate you or your people as salespeople or sales managers. We can train. Coach. Mentor. Create metrics. Help accountability. Yada. Yada. Yada…..But, my guess is that you know all that. You’re just satisfied with DIY Mediocrity.

Thank you Elliot!