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Category Archives: Sales

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7 Steps to World Class Customer Service

By | Business By The Book, Organization & Strategy, Sales | No Comments

“Where’s the Beef?” Clara Peller made an indelible impression on television viewers in a 1984 Wendy’s commercial playing the part of an elderly fast food patron who wasn’t happy with her meal. You can find the original commercial on YouTube. Clara and her friends are standing at a restaurant counter eyeing their food order, a tiny burger sitting atop an immense bun. Suddenly, Clara bellows, “Where’s the beef?” There was something irresistible about the diminutive octogenarian snarling at the fast food chain’s competition. Wendy’s credited that ad with helping boost sales 31 percent and profits 24 percent in 1984. Furthermore, the…

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Cloudy Outlook

10 Ways Sales Managers Fail

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Sales | No Comments

Just like sales, sales management requires training. It’s an uphill battle to walk into such a complicated role and see success without any help. Unfortunately, far too many organizations take their top performing salesperson and turn him or her into a sales manager. Other organizations just hire someone for the Sales Manager position and say, “go do it!” That simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because – more often than not – we see sales managers (veterans and rookies alike) making mistakes. Here are 10 ways Sales Managers fail: Unilaterally raising quotas on star performers… or making quotas impossible for…

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5 Things High Performing Sales Managers Should Be Doing with Excellence

By | Business By The Book, Leadership, Sales | No Comments

The sales manager plays a critical role in determining a sales organization’s success or lack thereof, and that pressure and responsibility requires a unique personality and the willingness to wear many hats. Leading a sales team to high performance levels isn’t a “one size fits all” task, as successful leadership in one company’s culture may not produce the same result in another. High performing sales managers are skilled in adapting their leadership style to fit the needs of their unique sales team. While this flexibility is key, there are 5 things that every great sales manager should be putting to…

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Is Your Brand Selling A Lie?

By | Business By The Book, Marketing, Sales | No Comments

On September 12, 1940, 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat scrambled through a tiny hole in the mountainside in Southern France. Just inside the mouth of the cave, Ravidat lit a grease gun from the garage where he worked and slowly walked deeper into the cavern. As the faint light from his makeshift torch crawled across the walls, he noticed a flicker of color. Marcel Ravidat shifted the light to get a better look and consequently discovered one of the most exquisite examples of prehistoric art in the world, the 17,000-year-old Lascaux cave paintings. Besides being some of the best preserved prehistoric cave…

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Selling by the Book

By | Business By The Book, Sales | No Comments

Ask most people what they think of salespeople, and the best response you’ll often get is, “My mom told me if I don’t have anything nice to say about someone, just don’t say anything at all.” That is hardly a compliment. Why are customers so reluctant to say nice things about salespeople? Why is there this strong sense of dislike for the sales profession as a whole? The answer lies within the system of sales strategies that are prevalent today. Most sales strategies are designed to take advantage of the customer and denigrate the salesperson. The perception in the typical…

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How to React When a Customer Prospect Says “No”

By | Business By The Book, Sales, Sales, Sales & Marketing | No Comments
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I recently received an email from a couple of young entrepreneurs that I am mentoring that were a bit downcast. They had given their best pitch to a prospective client, but it fell flat and they did not get the business. Here are a few tips that I shared with them on how to think of the sales process as a pipeline (see this blog post that explains the process in more detail along with definitions of the terms used below): As in any pipeline, the more you dump into the opening of the funnel, the more will come out the…

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Defining Customer Service for Your Business

By | Business By The Book, Customer Relationship Management, Sales | No Comments
Defining Customer Service

I’m surprised at how little it takes to make me a happy customer. I’m not a demanding guy by nature, so a business simply has to offer me decent prices and good products or services to get me to come back. If the business’ salespeople treat me like a fellow human being, then that’s icing on the cake. But it’s icing I really like. Lately, I’ve been thinking that my attitude about customer service is an unfortunate sign of the times. You may feel differently, but I view bland or poor customer service as the rule, rather than the exception….

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What Exactly Are You Selling?

By | Business By The Book, Financing a Startup, Sales, Sales, Starting Up | No Comments
What Are You Selling?

As an entrepreneur, your most precious resource is your time and how you invest it. You can invest your time trying to get customers (by solving their problems) and/or you can invest your time trying to get investors. The more time you spend getting customers (selling your product), the less time you will need to spend getting investors (selling your stock). And if you spend enough time getting customers, you will not need investors. And just at the point that you don’t need investors is when they will start pestering you to let them invest. But of course by then…

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Sales Pipeline Management

By | Business By The Book, Sales, Sales & Marketing | No Comments
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Q: I’ve picked up from some of your materials and blog posts that sales pipeline management is a big deal. What exactly is sales pipeline management?  Please explain… A: I do like to talk a lot about pipeline management in my businesses and in my presentations because this is so critical. A typical pipeline might look like the diagram above, where the Universe is the total addressable market and the Targets are the segment of the market you are targeting to win (perhaps a geographic subset or a demographic subset of the entire Universe.) The Suspects are those Targets that have…

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Feast or Famine on Sales

By | Business By The Book, Growing a Business, Growth Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Sales, Sales & Marketing, Social Media | No Comments
Juggling Priorities

Q: I find myself really struggling right now to maintain an even level of sales. My work seems to come in chunks and by the time I’m finishing up, I have to jump back into sales mode and it always takes me a month or two to rebuild enough momentum to bring in more sales. I’m not sure if you can help or not, but any advice would be appreciated. A: What you are wrestling with is the classic dilemma of a small owner/operator that is both selling the service and delivering the service. It is very difficult to do both…

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