Archive for February, 2011

Time To Raise the Bar

February 25, 2011

You may have already heard about the video that Johnny McEntee, quarterback for the UCONN Huskies, produced to showcase his talents in an unorthodox way.  You may not know of Alex Tanney, who just last week released his own video raising the bar that McEntee set.  I’ve included both videos below, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching them.

How is this relevant in the sales world?  Simply this:  They’ve separated themselves from everyone else in their field by doing something interesting and inventive.  And you’re more than likely not.  Time for you to raise the bar.

In Theory

February 22, 2011

In theory, you should win this deal.  Your product is newer, faster, cheaper, and comes in a cool new wrapper with a fancy logo.

In practice, though, you will lose.  You’ll lose because despite all of your product’s new features, people still buy from people they know, like, and trust…and while you were working your website, I was working on building relationships.



February 18, 2011

Isn’t it funny, that when we win a competitive deal, we imagine a landslide victory against our competitors, and yet, when we lose, we tell ourselves that it was really, really, close?  Sales people have a really bad habit of believing their own press clippings…I guess it’s how we sleep well at night.

In truth, we’re probably not that far away from winning (or losing) any deal that we truly, vigorously, pursue.


I’m adding a new feature to my blog posts:  HOT JOBS.  I will periodically post open positions that cross my desk and seem like a good fit for my readers.  They will be featured in the side bar to the right – below the “Blogs I Like” listing of my home page.  There’s one listed today for a company called VCE.  Check it out.

Motivational Triggers

February 15, 2011

As we go through life, little  windows of opportunity open up and provide the necessary “fire” for great achievement.  Let’s call them motivational triggers.  Sometimes they’re obvious, like when you get a layup quota and you know that if you can just put your head down for 6 months, you’ll blow your number out.  These are the times when you say to yourself, “I need to focus…this ride isn’t going to last forever”.

Other times, the triggers are less obvious…like the death of a loved one, getting married, or having kids. That’s when you’re likely to think:  “That was a wake up call.  I need to get serious about my life”.

This weekend, I got to spend some time with a very successful entrepreneur, who’s accomplished some amazing things in his life, and is only a year or two older than me.  It left me thinking:  “Man, I am so behind.  I better get my butt in gear.”

Motivational triggers are everywhere you look; packed with plenty of fuel to help you achieve your goals and be the person you were meant to be.  So be thankful for them, and pay attention…because they rarely stick around for long.

Roll Up your Sleeves

February 11, 2011

No matter how much planning and preparation goes into a project, something, inevitably, will go wrong.  And when it does, you can sit around and wait for your peers to “do their job” and clean up the mess, or you can roll up your sleeves, take ownership of the issue, and drive it to resolution.

The first option, of course, is much easier on you, and a much more common reaction.  But the second will earn you the uncommon respect of your customer, who’s grown accustomed to sales people who disappear when the you-know-what hits the fan.


February 8, 2011

This week’s Fortune magazine features a one-page article on serial entrepreneur Adam Rifkin (see page 27).  The title of the article is “Fortune’s Best Networker”, and goes on to point out that Adam is, well, very connected.  He has 4,978 Facebook Friends, 5,673 Twitter Followers, and 3,087 LinkedIn Connections.

It also turns out that Mr. Rifkin also has 8,989 Quora followers.  Wait a second, Quora followers?  What the heck is Quora?

Funny you should ask.  This is the first I’ve heard of it too.  Apparently, Quora is a place where people pose questions and other people post answers to these questions.  Sounds a lot like to me.  But then again, perhaps I should refrain from comment, since before today, I had never heard of the site, and our friend Adam already has more Quora followers than he does friends on old-school Facebook.

I like Rifkin’s sole quote in the article:  “It’s who you know, not what, that’s responsible for the big things in your professional life”.  I agree.  And I don’t know if Quora will turn out to be The Next Big Thing or not, but if it’s a means to that end, then sign me up!

The Carousel

February 4, 2011

Not much to say about this, except that it’s perhaps the best sales/presentation scene from one of the greatest shows of all time.


A Tough Lesson

February 1, 2011

I wonder how the current generation of kids will handle the harsh reality of this world as adults.  Somewhere along the way we abandoned the idea of winners and losers for the kindler, gentler message that participation is, in and of itself, worthy of praise.  We hand out trophies just for showing up.

It will be one hell of a shock to the system when they find out that in the game of life (as in the game of sales), there are winners, there are losers, but there is no prize for simply playing the game.

In life, there is a first place, and a last place.  Those in first place get to eat, and those in last place find themselves looking for another job.

It’s a tough lesson, but better they learn it now, than later, when the stakes are higher than mere bruised egos.

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