LinkedIn Tip for Salespeople that Read Blogs

You want more people to look at your LinkedIn profile?

Follow these directions.

Scroll down to the “Leave a Comment” section.

Enter your Name. Mine would be “Rick Roberge”.

Enter your email address.

Enter your LinkedIn Profile Link into the “Website” field. Mine would be ““.

Write something insightful or inciteful as a comment. Enter the security code. (Sometimes twice.) Click submit comment.

Your signature will look like this “Rick Roberge ” (except with your info instead of mine.).

Readers will read your comment and think, “Holy cow! Is that insightful/inciteful!” and click on your link to see who you are.

Please be green and recycle. Pass this on. Forward it to a friend.

Tips for FaceBook Users & Bloggers

As you may know, I read a few other blogs. I was catching up over the weekend, and thought that I’d share a few.

How to Change Your Facebook Username – Easy to follow directions from Linda Sevier.

Avoid Confusing Words When Writing for Business  – Phil, over at, shares a few misuses. Do they bug you, too?


Sales Luck

A few weeks ago, Dave Kurlan was interviewing Chris Mott and myself on Meet the Sales Experts and we were talking about coaching styles and our mindset when we’re coaching salespeople and their managers. First, understand that coaching  is different from sales training. Note as you read their descriptions, they may have different timelines, different goals, but both are necessary to see the best results. So, I received this “Possibility – Be Lucky ” enewsletter on Friday and was reminded of that radio interview, my coaching results and what it takes to grow YOUR sales.

From the enewsletter:

Emily Dickinson says, “I dwell in possibility.”

Benjamin Franklin says, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

Luck is a noun that means “a force that makes things happen”
Now the enewsletter also says, “You want more luck? Be the force that makes it happen… ” and if I ended this post here, you might think, it’s not luck. It’s something else. You can’t influence luck. That’s hype. It’s voodoo. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!

During my aforementioned interview, I explained my coaching process and why it gets such great results.

Most of my clients believe they are different. Their industry is different. Their experience is different and although they wish that I could double, triple or exponentiate their sales, they don’t believe. As a matter of fact, they may believe that it’s IMPOSSIBLE.

If at this point, I tell them that I know what to do and I can definitely help, they dig deeper into the state of impossibility. Making someone like this ready is a four step process and requires that I help them go from:

Impossible to Possible to Probable to Definitely to Done.


My job, as your coach, is to get you to “dwell in possibility” and be diligent about making the little changes that I ask you to do long enough so that luck takes over and makes things happen. Sometimes it happens in a few days. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, but it always happens. Want to double your sales in 90 days?

Friday, July 20, 2010

An interesting day…

One of my associates started his day by attending a meeting of a local referral group. A banker stood up at the appropriate time and said that he just got two new customers that were startups and trying to grow sales. So, he was looking for introductions to more startups. Was he looking to introduce them to my associate who might actually be able to help them grow sales, their bank balance and their need for more banking services? Duh! As usual, the typical referral group member is all aout incoming referrals and has a very difficult time thinking in  terms of who in their group might be able to help their clients.


We talked about the elephant, the rider and the path and how they relate to our clients. You’ll understand when you’re older.

This afternoon, I let a few chamber contacts know about a special program that Dave Kurlan had been offering to chambers as a fund raiser. One responded with, “First need to find out – Is there a speaking fee?” to which I replied, “We didn’t charge either of the chambers below because we’re a member (and they kept the gate). One charged $50. The other charged $35. However, Dave needs a full room.”

She replied, “I will forward this to the Program Committee but if you need to have us confirm a count in order to have him they would most likely not commit to that. Let me know.”

I forwarded this to one of her associates saying, “Now I’m sorry that I included her. Talk about setting oneself up for failure.”

The losers were out today! I was scheduled to attend an after hours at Playa Del Carmen in Sturbridge and thought about blowing it off, avoiding any more losers and heading home to the great cook that I married, but as luck would have it, Vinton told me that he was going, so I went. 5 miles before the exit, I was in three lanes of stopped traffic because of a car fire just before the exit and I’m thinking, “Shoulda gone home!”

Bottom line: Had a great time tonight. Met some great people. Thank you, Dan, Christine, Dennis, Natalie, Cheryl, Steve, Tina, Adam, Paul, Aaron, Dick and a few others who shall remain nameless.

Selling vs. Begging

I was talking to an innkeeper this weekend and he told me that his business is off this summer. I asked what he was doing about it and he replied that traffic was off throughout the town. I asked if had called all of the people who had ever stayed at the inn. He replied that he didn’t want to beg.

OMG! WTH? Selling is begging? I like this guy! That’s what he thinks I’m all about? Finding creative ways to beg?

You know what? He’s not alone. I’ve seen business people not ask for referrals because they don’t want to beg. They want prospects to call them because they think that calling is begging. They want customers to ask to buy because if they ask, it’s begging. They’d rather starve or go out of business than beg.

If this is you or someone you you know, the fix is a two step process.

  1. The mind twist – It’s not about you! How many times do we have to hear that? It’s not about you starving; business being off; the town not being as attractive; the competition having a bigger advertising budget; etc. It’s about how happy your customer was when they used you. It’s about reminding them how happy they were. It’s about giving them the opportunity to be that happy again or telling a friend how happy they were.
  2. The how – Call everyone that you’ve ever done business with. Here’s your script. “Hi, (insert customer’s first name). Rick Roberge (insert your name) from Kurlan (insert your company name). Haven’t talked with you in a while. Everything OK?” If you’re talking to them, ask, “Where you going on vacation this year?” If you’re leaving a message, say, “Call and let me know if you want.”

This isn’t begging. This is AIDA in it’s simplest form. I can think of a gazillion other things to say or do, but just this two step process will be a start.

Getting to the Decision Maker

Let’s start with this. I believe in the golden rule and that buyers and sellers should stop playing buyer/seller games, treat each other the way they want to be treated and that both should stop using tricks to get their way.

Now, the story…

I’m coaching a client that’s on an ‘approved list’ for a mother company. The plus side is that he gets calls. The minus is that his competitors are above and below him on the list and they get calls, too. However, we’ve increased his sales by 500% in 6 months. So, if I suggest something he does it.

On 7/1, he asked for help with an upcoming appointment with a manager who said that they were the decision maker on a project. So, I coached him on the appointment.

On 7/13, I received this email, “That manager stood me up for our scheduled appointment a couple of weeks ago and then was late for our last appointment so I didn’t call them back. I didn’t call the CEO. What action (if any) do you think I should take?

More background: I know and respect the CEO. He’s at least as good as me and probably better. However, it bugs me that he’s using a manager to waste my client’s time. He ‘tasked’ his manager with the research even though he was the one with compelling reasons, motivation and decision making authority.

I suggested that my client send this email. “Your manager is so busy playing silly prospect games that they’re losing focus on the reason that you want my help. Mr. CEO, I recognize that you are a valued customer and were referred to me by the mother company. I value my relationship with the mother company. Nonetheless, I can’t work this way. Please put yourself in my place and hopefully you’ll understand. Thank you for the opportunity. Sorry it didn’t work out.”

My client received this email from the CEO.

7/14 – Sorry it didn’t work out.  Not sure (why you responded the way you did) but I assure you that it had nothing to do with our decision to work with another provider.  I understand that you are one of the best and wish you great success.  I don’t know that I wouldn’t call a prospect if they were a no show or if they failed to call at exactly on time.  My largest account is notorious for lateness and an occasional cancellation.

Naturally, I got this email from my client. “Any advice on how to respond to this one?”

So, I coached him again.

He received this email from the CEO, today.

My manager doesn’t know anything about your comments so that didn’t enter their thought process.  Before I called you yesterday I called them to find out where we where and here is the gist of that discussion:


1.  Very impressed with your company

2.  More expensive then others

3.  We are in belt tightening mode

4.  We will attempt to do what we think we need to do with internal resources for now


So we didn’t contract with anyone and we will go at this internally for now. The mother company speaks highly of you and my manager was very impressed with your services and work and am sure given different circumstances we would have worked together. things change so keep my manager posted as to what is happening at your company.  My manager also has a tendency to recommend people to strong sources.

take care,


Did you notice that the CEO wrote, “it had nothing to do with our decision to work with another provider.” on 7/14 and “we didn’t contract with anyone and we will go at this internally for now” today? The bottom line is that the truth didn’t happen until my client got the attention of the CEO. “They’re in belt tightening mode.”

My client is absolutely the best at what he does. He works long hours and bends over backward for his clients. My client closed his file on this prospect until I called him and said, “I like this CEO. Call him and say, ‘Mr. CEO, I want to help you. What if you and I talk a little about what you really want to get done and where you want to be. I’ll do it and when we’re done, you pay me what you think it’s worth?'”

I’ll let you know what happens.

If you want to get to decision makers, stop playing with people that don’t make the rules.