Blog

19
Dec

Good News-Bad News for US Manufacturers

US companies with sales of $1 billion or more want to make 44 percent more of their products in the US over five years, or nearly half of all their products, reports Fortune(November 17). But when they look to US manufacturers to produce those products, they can get an unpleasant surprise: They can’t find anybody to do the work or, sometimes, anybody who

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22
Sep

New Customer Service Chaos in Big Companies?

A few paraphrased responses to a recent inquiry to “the phone company”: –“You can’t do that. It’s part of a package of features.” –“You can’t do that,” and then, after consultation with a supervisor. “That’s an Apple           feature and our contracts don’t allow us to alter Apple features.” –Rep: “I can’t do that. I’ll transfer you

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2
Sep

Networking’s Dirty Little Secret for Lawyers (and the Rest of Us)

Why don’t lawyers network more? Why don’t the rest of us? Common sense says that more networking means more billable hours means more income and advancement. These days, in fact, more and better networking can mean keeping your job or getting a new, better one. Personal marketing plans for attorneys set goals for networking activity, if not results. Yet actually getting attorneys

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7
May

Why Visuals Make Great ‘Discovery’ Tools

Nearly every sales rep uses visuals in formal presentations, usually in PowerPoint. But are you using them effectively in discovery, too? In a complex, business-to-business, consultative-selling environment, visuals can be powerful tools for advancing a sale for several reasons. They can: Drive your point home clearly and succinctly. Make terrific leave-behinds (if printed) that prospects can review and consider after you leave. Help

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23
Apr

Match Making: Process to Prospect

Are you a successful sales matchmaker? Do you match a sales process with a type of sale with a type of audience? Some salespeople wing it. Others use the same process with every prospect. But the best salespeople use sales processes customized by type of product or service and by type of audience. “Best” means the 20 percent who consistently bring

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5
Apr

When Is “Doing the Right Thing” the Right Thing?

“Always do right,” Mark Twain once wrote. Sounds simple enough. But then came Twain’s inevitable zinger: “This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” And, of course, knowing what is the right thing to do can be complicated. One of our clients, for example, once offered a new technology to an oil company. The technology was an attractive opportunity because it delivered

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12
Mar

Hate Cold Calling? Embrace Your Fate

Raise your hand if you like to make cold calls. No one? No surprise. In our experience, just three out of every 100 sales reps like to make cold calls. The rest don’t like it and aren’t very good at it, which may be in part why they don’t like it. So recently I was encouraged by the sincere, if skeptical, interest

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15
Feb

When a Competitor Badmouths Your Company

Occasionally, one of our clients learns about a competitor that tells prospects and even customers something about our client that’s not true or significantly misrepresented. As a salesperson, you might know this is going on, or, rarely, a prospect or customer might bring it up, either as a challenge or as a favor.  Fortunately, even though many companies compete hard

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6
Feb

Can Lawyers Learn to Sell?

Can Lawyers Learn to Sell? One of our large, global law firm clients has been tracking the results of our small-group consultative sales training of their attorneys. We’ve trained about 50 attorneys in eight cities. The study is controlled for gender and experience. For the full 2013 year, the gap in billings for lawyers trained in our approach, called FOCIS®,

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28
Jan

What’s Your Hunting-Farming Ratio?

Does your hunting-farming sales ratio go up and down like a playground seesaw? Or maybe the ratio is lopsided one way or the other and doesn’t move much at all. Do your salespeople spend more time tending to current customers (farming), for example, than actively searching for new customers (hunting)? Do you even know? If you don’t, you might want to figure

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