RainMakers and Rock Stars

I have a special relationship with my evangelists. Today, three of them rocked my world and with your permission, I’m going to share the story, but maintain their confidentiality.

It starts a few weeks ago when Mike introduced me to Joe.
Joe and I have now been working together for a couple of weeks and he told Mike about a coaching session that we had last week and how it affected the actual call. 
Mike shared Joe’s success story with me. I sent Mike an email reminding him that it was he that put Joe and I together and thanking him for that.
His reply is what rocked my world.

Good Rick. I’m glad it’s working out. I look at what you did with Jerry and George. Smart guys. No sales experience. They are now sales rock stars because of you. That is really hard to do. I don’t have anyone else that can do it. And, there are lots of cases like that. I happen to get introduced to a bunch of them. It seems like there is a need, you are good at it, you enjoy it, and it is lucrative. I’ll keep it coming as I see them.

Rock Stars! because of me! Thank you Jerry and George! I was out to help you be RainMakers and you turned out to be Rock Stars. Freaking Awesome!
Wanna be next? How bad?

Ephphatha!

Ephphatha! translates to “Be opened”.  Yesterday’s gospel related the story of Christ touching the deaf man’s ears to allow him to hear. The priest then said that if we call it a miracle when someone who cannot hear, can, what do we call it when those who can hear, cannot?

As salespeople, we all have a story about the prospect that just doesn’t listen, but it may not be the prospect’s fault. Read the story. There’s a second part to the miracle. Christ touched the man’s tongue to cure his speech impediment. How many salespeople babble on without realizing that their prospect can’t hear them?
As prospects, we all have a story about the salesperson that showed up, told us how wonderful their stuff was, but was totally surprised when we weren’t prepared to buy, then or ever, but we didn’t want to tell them because we didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
As employees, we all have a story about an employer that didn’t listen when we told them that we could run their business better than they could.
And as business owners, we can talk about why financiers don’t think we’re worth the investment, why employees don’t see our vision, why potential partners can’t see the synergy.
Regardless of what our title is, our ability to get others to hear depends first on our ability to open their ears. Want to learn how to open their ears, schedule a 15 minute call with me.

Closing Urgency via Social Security

I’ve reached the age that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has decided that I need to receive an annual Social Security Statement. This statement estimates what my benefit will be when I retire at various ages. (Boy am I glad I invested for retirement!) It also shows my annual earnings for every year all the way back to my ‘part time job in high school’ years. Here’s the thing. The SSA bases your retirement benefit on your most recent annual incomes, not the incomes of 40+ years ago. Good thing. I don’t know about you, but last year’s income was 100 times better than way back when.

That got me thinking. Maybe the SSA has a sales lesson for us.
(This is my favorite part. It’s where I get to screw with your head!)
What is the value of an hour of your time, TODAY?
I was taught that you take what you earn and divide it by the number of hours that you work and that is the value of your time. So, if you earn $100K/year divided by 2,000 hours, that’s $50/hour. Half that if you earn $50K/year. Double it if you earn $200K/year. Pretty simple right?
So, now let me give you some ‘pretend decisions’ to make.
Play Angry Birds or Solitaire for an 12 minutes/day or engage with prospects?
Invest in Hubspot to grow your business, or not?
Get your professional sales assessment done, or not?
Take an unscheduled, undeserved day off, or not?
So, let me help with the math. (I love this part, too!)
At $50/hour ($100K/year) Angry Birds will cost you $50/week, or $2,500/year. You can’t get it back. The day off will cost you $400. Can’t get it back. How many times a year do you do it? Hubspot and assessments are tools of growth. How much growth are you missing out on? 10% = $10K/year? Every day that you delay a decision that could put $10K/year in your pocket costs you $50. Delay your decision two weeks and that’s $500, gone forever! Oh well! $500 isn’t that much! But what if you realized that growth takes x amount of time. Whether you start now or two weeks from now, it will take x amount of time. And after you do that you’ll continue wanting to grow and continue doing things to grow. So, that eventually, like me and like the SSA expects, your time will be worth 100 times what it is today. What then?
Playing Angry Birds today costs your family $250,000 in future dollars.
Taking that undeserved day off costs your family $40,000 in future dollars. (One day!)
And delaying a step that could grow sales by 10% could cost your family $5,000 a day for every day that you delay. Delay for more days or increase the amount of growth expected…Well, you get it.
You want to argue or fix it, get on my calendar.

August was Awesome!

Thank you, Arjun Moorthy, for “Sales training for an engineer – lessons from a master“.

Thank you, Carole Mahoney, for “True Colors and Personal Branding.”
Thank you, Carrie Kuempel, for “The Postwire Post“.

Thank you, Dale Berkebile, for “Business Definition: Fortune 100, 500… and a great branding strategy!

Thank you, Kirk Hill, for “2012 Maine Entrepreneurs Conference“.
If I missed you, send me an email. I’ll add my apology and the thank you.
BTW, one more thank you.

Sales Blogs, Business Blogs, Company Blogs

If you’re in business and you haven’t started a blog, you are on your way out of business. Start a blog today.

Here’s why.
I wrote my first article for The RainMaker Maker blog on March 18, 2006. So far this year, it’s my 7th most popular post. Six years later! It still brings readers to the site.
I’ve published 569 articles in the past 6+ years and every one of them was read this year. As a matter of fact, my least read article was published on December 6, 2007 and was read 62 times in 2012. 62 times on an article that I haven’t thought about in almost six years.
So, here’s the point. If I can do it, you can do it. 291,932 people visited my blog so far in 2012, but not all of the visits were do to my current efforts. Six year old articles are still working for me. So, if you haven’t started, start. If you’ve started, but haven’t stayed with it, get to it. And if you need help, contact me at @RainMakerMaker or on LinkedIn.
One last thing…There’s a guzillion marketers that can’t sell and most of them will tell you that a blog is the foundation of inbound marketing. I believe that a blog is one of the best SALES tools ever conceived. So, if you want to grow sales, start a blog.