This is a guest post by Arjun Moorthy. Arjun is the VP of Business Development at Hubspot. He was referred to me a few weeks ago and was evaluated as an entrepreneurial salesperson. Today, we reviewed his evaluation together. These are his words.
Little Johnny watched his daddy’s car pass by
the school playground and go into the woods.
Curious, he followed the car and saw Daddy
…and Aunt Jane in a passionate embrace.
Little Johnny found this so exciting that he
could hardly contain himself as he ran home
and started to tell his mother. ‘Mommy, I
was at the playground and I saw Daddy’s car
go into the woods with Aunt Jane. I went back
to look and he was giving Aunt Jane a big kiss,
and then he helped her take off her shirt.
Then Aunt Jane helped Daddy take his pants
off, then Aunt Jane…’
‘Johnny, this is such an interesting story,
suppose you save the rest of it for supper
time. I want to see the look on Daddy’s face
when you tell it tonight.’
little Johnny to tell his story. Johnny started
his story, ‘I was at the playground and I saw
Daddy’s car go into the woods with Aunt
Jane. I went back to look and he was giving
Aunt Jane a big kiss, then he helped her take
off her shirt. Then Aunt Jane helped Daddy
take his pants off, then Aunt Jane and Daddy
started doing the same thing that Mommy and
Uncle Bill used to do when Daddy was in
whole story before you interrupt!!!
Many ‘self-proclaimed’ referral experts cite Emerson’s rule of compensation as the mindset of a good referral maker. It’s usually interpreted by newbies as ‘if you refer to me, it will help me and I will want to help you’. I’ve always felt that this is one selfish person trying to get another selfish person to help them first. This explanation works better for me.
The group owner doesn’t allow members to post their own content or introduce themselves (No sales pitches!), but does allow members to introduce each other to the group. I often don’t know the person that’s being introduced, but I read these introductions with an eye to finding someone that has an expertise that will help someone that I already know and care about. It’s not about me. It’s not about the person that I may refer. It’s about the match between expertise and an issue that my friend may have.
This article was originally published on 8/13/2012. The last paragraph has been updated. The rest is as it was.
My mother sent me a newspaper article written by Emily Hughey Quinn from Tribune Media Services. The title was “Buy the way…It’s OK to use sales techniques to advance your non-sales career.”
left. Then, last night my son, Mark told me that he gave my name to another
entrepreneur with the suggestion that he hire me as a sales coach. He added
that he couldn’t understand why I’ve been so resistant to taking on sales coaching
clients this year. I replied that it was really simple. Most entrepreneurs
don’t put a high enough priority on developing sales ability. I’m not talking
about just being able to sell to customers, although most need help there.
Coincidentally, I’ve spent the past few weeks
contemplating some of the non-sales coaching that I’d delivered to my clients
and trying to decide why it was important. So, here are a few examples.
- Negotiating with their employer (i.e. a raise, better hours, promotion, etc.)
- Hiring and managing subordinates
- Gaining the support of co-workers or other departments within the company
You might expect those kinds of examples, because they’re sales
related, but my clients have also needed help with:
- Getting financing or better terms from investors, VC’s, bankers
- Buying ‘right’ (options, service, price, terms)
- Raising teenagers and interacting with spouses
- Growing a network that works
Mark suggested that many business owners and startup entrepreneurs
needed a resource that they could use a few times a week to strategize and
rehearse from a sales perspective prior and to debrief and plan after important
So, here’s the plan.
There are 12 weeks between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. If you are
an entrepreneur or a business owner and you agree with Mark, contact me. Tell me what you want to get done ‘sales-wise’
during those 12 weeks. We’ll see if we can make it happen.
BTW, if you are not a business owner or entrepreneur, but you are
trying to do something that’s important to you, contact me anyway.
After 45 years of marriage, a husband and wife came for counseling.
When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a tirade listing
every problem they had ever had in the years they had been married. On
and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness,
feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs
she had endured.
therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to
stand, he embraced and kissed her long and passionately as her husband
watched – with a raised eyebrow. The woman shut up and quietly sat
down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and
said, “This is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you
Fridays, I fish.
Our guest author today is Michael Boyette. He is the executive editor of the Rapid
Learning Institute Selling Essentials e-learning site and editor of the
Top Sales Dog Blog. Contact Michael via email
or connect via Twitter
It’s a universal rule of business that you must keep your
customers satisfied to keep them around. But here’s another truth: satisfaction
isn’t enough. Satisfied buyers switch all the time. In fact, one study found
that 50 percent of “satisfied” customers are predisposed to switching
Here’s the problem: It’s hard to create a competitive
advantage with satisfaction alone. Buyers expect it from every supplier.
And given half a chance, hungry competitors will do everything they can to
appear more responsive, helpful and easy to do business with than you.
There is another driver of customer loyalty: the pain your
customer would feel if they were to STOP doing business with you. Research
suggests that when it comes to customer retention, these “switching costs” have
twice as much influence as satisfaction.
For some types of products and services, switching costs are
naturally high: A company uses a certain customer-relationship management
system; if it switches to another system it will lose critical data. An airline
has the only flight to Toledo on Wednesday mornings, which is when you really
need to fly to Toledo. In other businesses — such as office supplies or
commodity materials — the cost of switching tends to be low.
As a salesperson, you don’t have much influence over these
built-in switching costs.
But there are switching costs that you can influence:
the ones embedded in your relationships with your customer.
The Entanglement Strategy
Every salesperson works to create great relationships with
their customers, of course. But relational switching costs involve more than
getting your customer to like you. The key to customer loyalty is to create
“entangled relationships” that add value and become difficult for your buyer to
Here are two ways to build satisfaction and loyalty through
#1 Create more decision makers
Buyers often claim to be the sole decision maker. That can
be a good thing. It’s easier to get a decision when you only have one person to
convince. But if your buyer changes jobs, moves on or just decides she likes
another vendor better, you’re out of luck.
On the other hand, multiple decision makers favor the
incumbent. When, for example, you have five decision makers on the buying
committee, your account is often more secure because it can be difficult to
change the status quo.
Your goal: Once you win the account and become the
incumbent, seek opportunities to create more decision makers – and be
sure that all of them have a stake in keeping you around.
Find out who else in the organization has a stake in your
product or service. Ask to meet with them to find out how they benefit from
what you sell. Answer their questions and be sure they know who you are and
what you do. By doing so, you’re ensuring that the buyer’s decision has the
support of the team. But you’re also getting other stakeholders entangled in
the purchase decision. If the buyer is ever tempted to bring in another
supplier, they may stop and think. “I’d better see what the people on the team
have to say.”
Everybody knows that training is a pain in the neck.
Managers are never happy about pulling people away from their jobs to learn a
new product or service.
Conventional wisdom suggests that you downplay the need for
training. Make it seem as easy as possible to get things started.
The entanglement approach suggests that you make a big deal
out of training. “Without proper training, you won’t get the full value of what
Offer to take care of both initial training and refresher
courses. Offer to train each and every group affected by your product or
service – production, marketing, customer service, sales, etc.
Work hard to make sure your training is valuable and don’t
hesitate to ask your customer’s people to work hard too. The time and effort
they invest becomes yet another entanglement. If they later decide to switch
suppliers, most of the value would be lost – and everyone would have to get
Entangling yourself into your customer’s
business requires planning and hard work. It doesn’t just happen. You have to
look for opportunities to add value and integrate yourself and your product or
service into your customer’s everyday life. In the long run, the deeper and
more entangled your roots, the greater your customer’s switching costs, and the
lower your chances of losing a high-value account.
Not totally wrong, but way wrong about one thing.