The Competitive Advantage
February 7, 2023
Want to Achieve Your Sales Goals? Achieve Your Activity Goals First!
As I write this, it’s early February… and even though it’s only been a little more than a month since ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ went into effect, 90% of them have already been busted! Why is that?Continue Reading
December 13, 2022
Setting Your Sales Goal for 2023? You’re doing it wrong!
Right about now, management teams from firms all over our industry are gathering around conference tables to make plans for next year. And one of the key items on every one of those agendas is, “What’s our sales* goal for 2023?”
[*For those of you afraid of the word “sales,” insert “revenue” here.]
Too often, the management team will defer to the president or CEO, who picks a number ‘out of the air’ because that’s what he/she would like to see happen in the next year. Sadly, very little thinking has gone into the president’s sales goal… it’s mostly gut feel and hope.Continue Reading
November 29, 2022
Best Sales Question Ever?
One of the key attributes of every successful sales rep and seller-doer is their ability to ask questions. Ask enough of the right kind of sales questions, and the buyer will tell you everything you need to know to earn their business.
There are all types of questions – during the exploratory phase of a relationship – that can help you to understand the problems and challenges faced by the buyer. And by understanding what’s happening there, allow you to solve their problem, and in the process, win the sale.Continue Reading
November 15, 2022
Revenue Measurement: 4 Ways to Improve What You’re Doing Now
There are all kinds of metrics that business owners and leaders need to track… but none more important than revenue. And if I was a betting man, I’d wager that you’re tracking your firm’s revenue in three or four ways:
- Revenue this month
- Revenue year-to-date
- Revenue last year-to-date (for comparison)
- Revenue by sales rep (if you’re including sales commissions in their comp plan)
And there’s nothing wrong with those. What you learn from them is helpful in terms of the health of your firm, but there’s not much ‘actionable’ you can take away. Those measurements are good… but they’re incomplete.Continue Reading
September 27, 2022
A Capabilities Presentation Is a Waste of Time
I was having a conversation last week with two senior-level contacts at a client (a large MR agency) about their capabilities presentation. We were talking about some ways to improve their current presentation, when one of them interjected, “We’re trying to do less presentations and have more conversations.” I just about jumped out of my seat! Finally… somebody that gets it!Continue Reading
September 19, 2022
Really Bad Social Selling
For some reason, I’m a magnet for bad salespeople (or, at least, bad sales efforts). And it happened again this week… only this time, the offending sales rep violated two rules of social selling.
OK, quick backstory (all true)… I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from [let’s call him] Mike just last week. Mike is in our industry, fits the profile of a potential client for us and is also supplier to other potential clients… so a good person for me to be connected to. Also, Mike is a senior-level person at his company with responsibility for revenue growth. All in all, a really good connection. But then it went bad…Continue Reading
August 30, 2022
Networking at a Conference? You Can’t Just Show Up!
The Fall season of industry events is upon us… the ESOMAR Congress, TMRE, the Corporate Researchers Conference and others. And if you’re planning on attending any of these… ARE YOU READY? Attending a conference to learn – and, more importantly – to network, should not be taken lightly. So, to help you get the most from your investment of time and money, here are 18 conference networking tips…Continue Reading
August 9, 2022
Sales Success is About Your Activity – the Quantity and Quality
I started my career at the DuPont company a long, long, long time ago as a Technical Sales Representative. [My parents were so proud!] On the very first day of training, the national sales Director – Jim Thorn – welcomed our three-man training class to the company. To this day, I still remember his words, “I don’t care if you make only one sales call a week, just hit your sales goal!” True story.
And while it’s a bit of an extreme example, that philosophy still reigns supreme in the world of sales today. As a sales rep or seller-doer, exceeding your sales goal IS the goal! And that’s great… but it’s your selling activity that makes it happen. Send no emails, make no phone calls, send no proposals and – I guarantee – you won’t sell anything.Continue Reading