Monthly Archives: February 2010

Selling and Marketing Services vs. Products


While a great number of companies make and sell products, the past 20 years have seen a revolution in the professional services industry.  So there is a good chance that you are responsible for selling services vs. products.  However, many of  the sales techniques used today still echo a product sell.  A great book on the subject of the difference here is called “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith.  He’s written some other great books too, but this in my opinion is his best.  Here are a couple of my favorites from this book… 

“The first step in service marketing is your service.” – In other words, do your craft with excellence before thinking up a wiz bang marketing plan.

“One Thing Experts Don’t Know…” – In most professions,  you ARE NOT selling your competence.  Your client can’t evaluate you fully.  They are not the professional – you are.  That’s why they are seeking your help in the first place.  Your competence is assumed.  What you ARE selling is a relationship.  Do you pick up the phone and respond quickly?  Are you a good listener?  Am I important to you? Do you deliver to me with excellence? etc.

Social Network Users Are Also Power eMail Users…


New Study from CRM Agency Merkel research shows that people who use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are also much more likely to check email often.  Traditional thinking on this topic is that social media users are done with “traditional” messaging like email.  Not so, says this study:  http://bit.ly/brrXzr.

Things May Come to Those Who Wait…


But only the things left by those who HUSTLE! 

This quote sits in my office as a reminder of a person who failed many times over his life, but always worked harder than everyone else and ended up as one of our most famous Americans – Abe Lincoln. 

Imagine if you got up each morning with this at the top of your mind.  How many more calls would you make?  How many more meetings would you have?  How many extra value would you deliver to your clients? 

…AND…

How much more success would you see?

Ode to LinkedIn


LinkedIn has reached 60,000,000 members!  RT @techcrunch: LinkedIn Now 60 Million Strong – http://j.mp/9vkPWB

Think about that.  60 MILLION members.  It is even more incredible when you think that these are people connecting regarding their public/professional lives vs. the private/casual users of other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. 

This service is one of the most fundamentally game-changing new tools for professionals.  What did we do without it?  

When I imagine what the first half of my career might have been like if I started out with this tool for helping and leveraging my network of relationships as I began in sales, it makes me want to cry.

But we have it now!

You Can’t Cut Your Way to a Funnel


Here is a link to today’s Harvard Business Review “Daily Stat.”  Interesting research numbers on firms and their behavior during the recession.  http://web.hbr.org/email/archive/dailystat.php?date=021010.     HBR says “Sales reps get hit with double whammy…”   The gist: 67%. That’s how many companies froze or reduced lead-generation budgets for sales reps last year, at a time when salespeople needed help the most, according to CSO Insights’ survey of more than 2,800 companies worldwide. The percentage of reps making quota in 2009 dropped to 51.8% from 58.8% a year earlier, the survey shows.

Super Bowl Sales Tips


What an awesome Super Bowl last night!  Watching it, you could not help but root for the Saints.  They were unstoppable.   Here are a few observations that struck me as relevant to sales people…

–  Focus & Common Purpose.  This was about more than any one star or any one game for these guys.  They were focused on winning the season and the championship for their city. Sean Payton kept them on task.  What’s your purpose?  Are you that focused?

Keep the Momentum.  One or two bad plays will not slow you down if you are charging fast at your goal.  You can absorb a touchdown by the other team or a penalty (or an objection / rejection) along the way as long as you have the momentum.

Celebrate the Wins.  Whether it was Drew Brees holding up his baby son and welling up, Sean Payton getting the Gatorade shower, or the party on Bourbon Street that looked more like Fat Tuesday than Sunday night – These folks know how to celebrate a win.  It’s been a long 18 months of recession.  Are you still celebrating when your team delivers?

Social Media Is for Sales People Too!


So often, Social Media is described as the domain of Marketing.  But “…While marketing owns the message, sales owns the relationship, so using social media to build deeper relationships on a customer by customer basis just seems like a pretty natural thing for the sales team…” 

That quote is from an article called “5 Ways That Sales People Can Benefit From Using Social Media,” by John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing.  The points it makes are very valuable to sales people.   If you are in sales, you need to read this.

I got this link from at tweet by Mike Stelzner.  Mike is the founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com, and a great source of information on social media (20,000+ followers on Twitter).  Thanks, Mike!