Productive Insights

27
Mar

25 Years and Counting: Part 1

In January, Productive Strategies celebrated its 25th anniversary.This month we’d like to celebrate our clients-the people and the companies that have made it all possible. We’ll do that here by introducing you to the varied industries and professionals they serve-and the impactful, often innovative things they do. Next month, we’ll help you understand how we work with clients-and how they

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14
Feb

Leveraging Time in Sales

What’s your number-one sales challenge? What obstacle, if you overcame it, would most help you increase sales? We ask that question when we survey participants before the first session of our consultative sales training course, FOCIS. The survey helps us understand how to tailor the course to the needs of any given company, class, or business developer. Specifically, the survey helps

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22
Jan

Vision, Sales Process Create New Customer Value

Brendan Kelly has become one of the most successful commercial/industrial tenant rep real estate brokers in the US. Yet his story, and that of his team, is not only about selling commercial real estate services successfully. It’s also about making higher value sales of any product or service in a business-to-business environment. And it illustrates how thinking differently about markets

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20
Dec

The Best Business Gift Ever?

This time of year, especially, giving and receiving command a lot of attention. In business we all pursue these activities throughout the year, though perhaps more along the lines of “give and get” or “give and take.” Unfortunately, business in general is too often perceived as emphasizing the getting rather than the giving. That’s not surprising, but is it fair? Even though a common thread

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14
Nov

Where Do You Get Your New Business?

“Where do you get your new business?” is a question we’re asked a lot, especially since we teach business-to-business consultative selling skills and sales process development.  People expect us to have a good answer, and we do-“referrals.” Unfortunately, those same people usually aren’t satisfied with that answer alone. More often they’re surprised or even disappointed. They expect our answer to

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18
Oct

Scariest Sales Calls Ever!

“What is the worst sales call you have ever made, watched, or been subjected to?” A cringe-worthy question, to be sure, even scary this time of year. But it’s one worth spending a couple of uncomfortable minutes thinking about. OK . . . . Now, once you’ve zeroed in on the worst, or one of the worst, take a moment to

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18
Oct

Disruptor or Disrupted: Which Will Your Business Be?

n September, I moderated a panel on market disruption for about 40 middle-market business owners, CEOs, and presidents. Information and insights came not only from the expert panel members (listed below) but also from the senior leadership audience. The panel was part of a larger, day-long event attended by 125 C-suite leaders who networked, heard speakers, and shared experiences. The day

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21
Sep

Do You Uncover the Need Behind the Need?

In our experience, the very best salespeople–the 20 percent who outperform their colleagues significantly–have the ability to discover “root cause.” The root cause is the true problem a prospect needs to resolve. The remaining, and less successful, 80 percent can identify that problem only occasionally or not at all. And they usually don’t know how they did it. They tend to

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24
Aug

How to Invest Your Sales and Marketing Dollars

A prospect once came to us saying he needed more leads–80, in fact. Naturally, we wondered about the reason for such a specific number. After we learned more about his business, especially his goals and challenges, he told us: Since he hadn’t closed any of his last 80 leads, he wanted to get started on another 80. This example, though perhaps

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25
Jul

Sales and Marketing: Shake Hands!

At a meeting of the American Marketing Association’s Chicago chapter earlier this month, I began my talk with a critical question: “Has there ever been a time for sales and marketing to be more closely aligned than now?” I was speaking at a program on “Managing at the Speed of Change,” which we co-sponsored with Morningstar, the research and investment company.

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