Sales and Sales Management Blog

February 26, 2011

Guest Article: “How to Set Goals That Will Excite You,” by Daniel M Wood

Filed under: goals,success — Paul McCord @ 10:10 am
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How to Set Goals That Will Excite You
by Daniel M Wood 

Anyone will tell you that setting goals is required for success.

“If you do not know what you want, you won’t have a reason to go after it.”
Your motivation stands in direct relation to your goals.  If you do not know why you are working, there is no reason to work hard.

This is the first thing I teach new employees at our company.
To set meaningful goals that motivates them to work hard and achieve results.
They do not have to share their goals with me, the important thing is that they set them and use them.

The below method of setting goals has helped many improve their results, their motivation and to find a better balance in their lives.
What is difficult is knowing if the goal is one you feel is worthwhile or if it is one someone else thinks is worthwhile. 

A goal someone else thinks you should set, won’t help you

Listen to yourself
If a goal you set for yourself in the future makes you feel happy and motivated now, it is a good goal. If it doesn’t do anything for you or if it makes you feel stressed and anxious, you are aiming for failure. The goal isn’t one you really want and care about and therefore you won’t be able to complete it. 

A fatal mistake
I set a goal for myself when I was 14 years old to be financially independent and play baseball all day long. This goal worked for me for a long time, it was a source of motivation. 

But one day I started noticing that I wanted something else, I updated my goal to fit my new reality, I still have a goal of being financially independent, but I do not want to only play baseball. I will now be helping people, making a difference, with the freedoms financial independence gives me.

Set goals that empower you
The whole point of goal setting is to become more motivated. To want to do more to accomplish your goals, to try and find opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t. If you don’t care about the goal, you won’t lift a finger to complete it.

4 Steps of goal setting
1.    Think about what you want in the major areas of your life. Family, Health, Career and Finance.

2.    Write down your goals on a piece of paper in the positive present tense, as if you already have completed them.

3.    Set a deadline for each goal

4.    Read your goals, listen to yourself, what do you feel? Do you feel motivated to start working on your goals at once? Are you motivated to take action?
If not the goal isn’t worth your time. Go back and set one you really want.

If you want to succeed, in any aspect of your life, you need to set goals.
You need to give yourself reasons to go the extra mile.

Start today by setting goals that motivate and inspire you to perform.

Daniel M. Wood writes the blog.  He writes about Sales Technique, Motivation and Success



February 23, 2011

Guest Article: “Your Customer’s PIR: Price Investment Ratio,” by Mark Hunter

Your Customer’s PIR: Price Investment Ratio
by Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter”*

Have you ever really considered how price affects your customer with regard to their *perceived benefit*?  Too often, we use a simplistic approach to determining a price – figure the cost to produce a product or service, tack on some arbitrary percentage, and call it good, right?

Price, though, is consequential in ways we may not initially consider.  The price a person pays for something goes a long way in determining the perceived benefit they expect to get from it.  The perceived benefit cuts two ways. First, the expectation of service goes up the more a person pays for something. Second, the perception of what they’re gaining also goes up with the amount they pay.   The two are not opposites; they work in tandem, and in nearly all businesses, this tandem relationship can and does work to your advantage.

Many companies, hopefully including yours, are known for delivering incredible service.  This quality service may be what your customers comment upon and why they are willing to refer you to other customers.  This level of service comes at a price. One of the things you always should be doing is explaining to and showing your customers how your level of service helps them.

The more you share this type of information with your customers, the more comfortable you become in seeing the value of what you offer.  Having confidence in your service allows you to increase your “Price Investment Ratio” (PIR). This all has to do with what you expect customers to pay.

For the customer, the PIR is revealed when you help frame their expectations.  To help explain this best, let me refer to what I call the “IBM paradox.” This is the belief people have that although you will pay more for anything you buy from IBM, you will never be fired for using IBM.  What this means is there are plenty of companies that sell the exact same items and services as IBM, but at a less expensive price.  Although other vendors will be less money, there is a level of safety and confidence in using IBM – so much so that it translates to a premium price that customers will pay.

The “Price Investment Ratio” (PIR) is the amount over the minimum amount a person would have to pay for something. They are willing to pay it to feel confident in what they are buying.   You might say the PIR should really be the CP – the “Confidence Premium.”

There are no two ways about it – when you have great service but do not reflect it in your PIR, then you are underselling.   If you are underselling, you are not making the profits you could be making.

I can hear some of you at this point thinking, “What if we don’t have a solid sense of how good our customer service really is?”   In other words, maybe your company receives very few complaints, but at the same time, you are not sure if your service is at a higher caliber than what your competitors bring to the table.

In order to find out your “Price Investment Ratio” (PIR), you must do a deep dive with your existing customers to get them to tell you what your service means to them.  Once you do this, you can then match up what existing customers are telling you with what prospective customers are asking you to do.   When you grasp this, you begin to understand what the PIR really should be.  How much “investment” is the customer willing to make in going with you instead of your competitor?

As I have often said, in the B2B arena, companies don’t buy anything, they only invest.   If your customer can’t see the return on investment, they won’t *invest* – they won’t pay the price you want to get.   When they *do*see the value, though, then you can feel very confident in charging a price above what your competitors charge.  Don’t settle for a lower price when doing so is detrimental to your bottom line.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.  For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit


February 22, 2011

Process: Can Success Really Be Just Mechanical?

Today you hear some version of the same message almost everywhere you turn:

“What makes a company successful is process . . . . [successful companies] find a formula that works.”

“You simply cannot be successful in complex sales unless you have a solid process.  A proven process is more important than anything and everything else.”

“If you want to be successful, you must concentrate on developing an effective sales process that produces the results you want because that IS the secret of success.”

“Top producers have a repeatable process.  Everyone else has only unfounded hope.”

All of the above were picked from things I have read in just the past week.  And these are far from the only ones, I could go on and on with statements in the same vein from recent articles and forum discussions. 

Process is the concept du jour. 


No process=Fail 

Everyone’s on the bandwagon promoting the current hot topic.

Now, don’t me wrong, I’m a firm believer in process.  I have a process for almost everything I do and I’m a strong promoter of process.  I’ve written numerous articles and two books that are centered on process.  I firmly believe that a proven, effective, repeatable process is one of the foundations to a successful sales career or a successful business.

I don’t, however, think it is the most important ingredient or the one that determines whether or not one is successful.

Important, yes.  Absolutely, positively, 100% critical?  No, not really.

Success in sales or business is far more than simply turning the right mechanical knobs or punching the right buttons.

Don’t we wish it were that easy?  Simply create a formula that seems to work and success is guaranteed.

We can all think of companies who have a formula that works and appears to be the cornerstone of their success.  Let’s take three examples that we all know: McDonald’s, Disney, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I’m taking these because they are familiar to everyone and the real reason for their success is easy to identify.  We could take examples from any industry and any selling situation, but these three are very simple, straightforward examples of where the cornerstone of success for them lay.  In each instance their business formula helped, but it wasn’t the thing that exploded these companies.

What made McDonald’s, McDonald’s?  Was it Ronald or the Hamburglar?  Not at all.  Was it the machine like efficiency demanded of each franchise and the requirement that the food taste exactly the same no matter what franchise one visited?  No, that came later. 

McDonald’s success lay in the heart and soul of Ray Kroc.  Kroc was a never tiring evangelist for McDonald’s.  He lived and breathed McDonald’s.  In a sense, Kroc forced McDonald’s success because he wouldn’t settle for anything less. 

McDonald’s successful formula was built and perfected over time.  Kroc’s drive and determination gave him the time needed to refine and improve the system that the original founders of the McDonald’s concept had begun to devise.  It took Kroc three years and a bunch of money to develop his successful process—a process that is still being perfected today.  If Ray Kroc hadn’t had the passion to demand success, there wouldn’t be a McDonald’s, at least not as we know it today.

In the same manner, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto didn’t create Disney.  Disney was more a creation of Walt Disney’s drive and passion than Mickey’s popularity.  Long before Mickey was born, Walt had to overcome lost contracts, a former buyer of his cartoons stealing his entire staff of artists save one and his at that time one original cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.  Oswald might have been lucky, but Walt wasn’t.  Most would have folded their tent and given up after having everything they’d built torn down—especially by someone they had worked with and trusted.

But like Kroc, Walt had passion and unlimited drive.  He believed in himself and he believed that success was right around the corner—if he just continued to sell his passion.  His dedication and drive paid off.  Shortly after losing his staff and Oswald, he found Mickey.  Although Mickey was a success, he still wasn’t the success formula that “made” Disney—Mickey gave Walt the money and time necessary to find his ultimate mega success formula which was turning cartoons into feature length animated movies and the spinoffs from them that continue to this day.

Likewise, Colonel Harland Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s success isn’t due to a business formula but rather to a man who believed so passionately in his product and his vision that retired and broke, he hit the road to sell his chicken formula to cafes and restaurants across the country—and his share if they used his secret recipe?  A nickel for every chicken they sold using it.  It’s hard to make a living at a nickel a chicken—even in 1955.

Process is a tool for a salesperson just as a paintbrush is a tool for an artist.  Put a paintbrush in the hands of an artist with the passion and drive of a Leonardo and it becomes an instrument to create beauty; put it in the hands of someone one who is only looking to make a buck and it is nothing more than a tool used to paint a wall.

The same is true with sales.  Put an effective process in the hands of someone with the passion and drive of Harland Sanders and it becomes an instrument for changing lives; put it in the hands of someone who is disconnected and only interested in making money and it becomes nothing more than a way to make a sale every once in awhile.

By all means, find a predictable and effective process; it will help you make sales.  If you want success, you must marry that process to deep, heartfelt passion and drive because whether we like it or not, success isn’t mechanical; success is nothing more than the outward expression of one’s passion, drive, and vision.

February 17, 2011

Reality or Unfounded Hope? Poll Finds Salespeople Optimistic About Sales In 2011

Filed under: Economy,small business — Paul McCord @ 9:50 am
Tags: , , ,

 ****I wasn’t thinking when I posted this, so let me now clarify–The first half of this is my analysis, the last half (after the dashed line) was taken straight from a SalesDog press release.  Sorry for not making the distinction earlier–sins of slothfulness, trying to hurry rather than taking time to do things right.  Thank you, Michel and Gary, for your comments which got me thinking about the need to make sure SalesDog’s analysis wasn’t mistaken for mine.****

A recent poll conducted by discovered that an incredible 93% of salespeople surveyed expect an increase in their sales volume in 2011.

With such a high positive response rate, the natural question is: were their sales so low in 2010 that they can’t do anything but go up, or do they really believe the economy will strengthen enough that increased sales will be the natural result?

Unfortunately, SalesDog didn’t ask that question, although they did find that only 50% of respondents have had a decrease in sales volume in the past 12 months.  However, since the recession started three years ago, it would have been helpful had they inquired about what the impact on their sales has been since the recession began.

Be that as it may, their optimism is at least partly fueled by an increase in lead generation efforts by their company.  According to the poll, seventy-one percent of respondents say their companies have increased lead generation activities.


Despite the rosy outlook for 2011, seventy-three percent of survey takers said their overall compensation has been negatively affected by the down economy. This may account for the fact that thirty-six percent of respondents are considering an occupation change.

According to those polled sixty-nine percent want their companies to provide more sales training.  That comes as no surprise given that sixty-seven percent are dissatisfied with their current compensation.

The poll also revealed that despite the plethora of internet selling options, sixty-nine percent of salespeople make the majority of their sales in person rather than over the phone or online, suggesting that in a business world increasingly ruled by technology, salespeople are still using old school selling methods. For complete survey results visit:

February 15, 2011

Free Roundtable Discussion: The Changing Face of Professional Selling Tuesday February 22, Noon Eastern

Filed under: career development,Sales Resources,success — Paul McCord @ 10:21 am
Tags: , ,

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin  

Whatever got you where you are today will not be sufficient to keep you there. A rapidly changing environment is the regular background against which organizations must develop.  

Change is continuous and will become more rapid as we move forward over time. The one constant that we can rely upon in commercial life is change – everything is changing, everyday.  

We can choose to embrace the changes, adapt, and thrive, or we can resist, and risk extinction.

The questions we should all be asking ourselves right now are:

What will the sales landscape really look like in five years time?

Who will survive?

How will they survive?

Who will perish?

Join seven of the world’s top sales experts and recognized thought leaders in the sales space, for what promises to be a highly thought-provoking debate.

The Panel

Joanne Black – is the leading authority on referral selling, and the author of No More Cold CallingTM: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust. Wherever genuine sales thought leaders have congregated, you will always find Joanne, and also in that company, you’ll discover….

Paul McCord – is the president of McCord Training, author of the Amazon and Barnes and Noble best-selling book on referral generation, Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals (John Wiley and Sons, 2008), and SuperStar Selling: 12 Keys to Becoming a Sales SuperStar, not forgetting Bust Your Slump, which he released last year.  

Colleen Francis – is the president and founder of Canada-based Engage Selling Solutions — a thriving sales-training organization that delivers tailor-made, winning solutions to sales and marketing professionals internationally. Colleen is high-energy and high-commitment, personified.

Jeb Brooks – is Executive Vice President of The Brooks Group, one of the world’s top Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine , Training Industry, Inc., and The American Business Awards. Over its 35 year history, The Brooks Group has helped more than 2,000 sales-driven companies in nearly 500 industries select, hire, train, and retain top performing salespeople.

Nigel Edelshain – is the man who first coined the term “Sales 2.0” and he is CEO of Sales 2.0 (LLC). Sales teams trained by Sales 2.0 get radically superior results by employing social media and Sales 2.0 tools in their sales processes. Sales 2.0 works extensively with companies in sales-intensive industries like IT services, insurance, software, printing and telecommunications  

Dan Waldschmidt – is one of the founders of IntroMojo, a popular inspirational speaker, expert author, and a sought-after strategist on creating edgy conversations in the marketplace. He blogs regularly on his popular motivational selling blog Edge of Explosion

The Chairman

Jonathan Farrington – is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, and consultant. He is Chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates, the creator and CEO of Top Sales World and the man behind the Annual Top Sales Awards.

‘When a collection of brilliant minds hearts and talents come together – expect a ….. lively debate”‘

When? Tuesday February 22nd at 12 Noon (Eastern) 5pm GMT

How Much? Registration is FREE

Where? Please register HERE

In fact, don’t just join, join in!

February 11, 2011

How Salespeople Use Social Media Survey

Filed under: marketing,sales,Sales 2.0,selling — Paul McCord @ 7:48 am
Tags: , , , ,

Richardson and McCord Training have teamed up to develop a research report on whether or not salespeople are using social media in their sales and prospecting efforts; if they are using, what platforms are they using and how effective it is.  

All salespeople and sales leaders, whether you use social media are not, are encouraged to take the survey.   The survey is designed to gather information on whether or not the seller uses social media as a selling and prospecting tool; if they do, which platforms do they use; about how much time they devote to their soical media usage; and what impact it has had on their sales.

The survey is short and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. 

All who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win an IPod Touch.  In addition, all participants will be sent a copy of the final report.

We value you participation and I invite you to take a few minutes  to take the survey and maybe win that IPod Touch

February 9, 2011

Try to Impress the Prospect–Lose the Sale

Filed under: sales,selling — Paul McCord @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , ,

Knowledge should be one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. 

Knowing how to use specialized industry vocabularies should also be one of our basic and power tools.

In reality, for many of us, knowledge and specialized lingo are powerful—in costing us business.

Naturally a great many new salespeople are tempted to try to impress prospects and clients by demonstrating their product knowledge and slinging their newly learned industry vocabulary around.  They tend to oversell, answer questions no prospect has ever had, dazzle with words the prospect and client may not be familiar with.  They talk about the fine points of their product or service; discuss how their service or product will impact ROI; how best to onboard new employees or products or services;  how their product or service creates a new paradigm to address the prospect’s issues or needs; and the list goes on.

Impact ROI?  I see, you mean whether or not it makes me more money than it costs.  Onboarding new employees or products or services?  I get it, you mean purchasing and integrating a new product or service or hiring and orienting a new employee.  Creating a new paradigm to address issues or needs?  You mean a different way of dealing with the problem, right? 

You can say ROI, onboarding, or paradigm, or you could just talk to your prospect.  Some say that if you want credibility with your prospects and clients you have to speak their language.  I don’t have a problem with that in the least—if you’re actually speaking your prospect’s language.  But how many prospects actually talk about onboarding a new product or service or creating a new paradigm to address an issue or problem?  And there’s certainly something to be said about just talking to the prospect in plain English.

And very often new sellers butcher their newly acquired vocabulary and confound and frustrate their prospects with their enthusiastic demonstration of their knowledge of the minutiae of their product or service.  Many lose more sales than they capture because of their lack of discipline and their need to impress.

Unfortunately I’ve noticed over the past three years that this desire to impress isn’t confined to new sellers.  I consistently run across experienced sellers who should know better that are making the same rookie mistakes.  The only real difference between these experienced sellers and new salespeople is experienced sellers tend to have a better grasp of the industry lingo.

In the current tough selling environment even experienced sellers are falling into the trap of trying to oversell and to impress with their knowledge and ‘deep’ understanding of the prospect’s issues.  We tend to pull out all the stops and often end up losing our discipline and the prospect’s attention.  We try to force the sale.

Rather than creating new clients, we end up alienating them. 

Whether you’re a relatively new seller bursting with enthusiasm and wanting to impress your prospects or an experienced seller feeling the pressure to produce, you need to step back and relax.  Giving in to the pressure to oversell and force the sale is self defeating.  Address your prospect’s needs and leave the unnecessary demonstration of knowledge and the impressive vocabulary at the office. 

February 8, 2011

Survery Says Possible Sales Talent War Looming

Filed under: hiring,sales,small business — Paul McCord @ 11:47 am
Tags: , ,

My friend Jeb Blount for Sales Gravy sent me the following this morning and I think it well worth being published here.  I encourage you to go get a copy of the report.

As we enter 2011 the economy is showing real signs of recovery. Savvy business leaders are assessing how the recovery will impact their respective organizations and developing strategies to take advantage of the improving economy.

The 2011 Sales Hiring Trends report – (download free HERE) provides a quantitative snap shot and analysis of expected trends in sales recruiting and hiring in the emerging economic recovery. The data was gathered from surveys sent to more than 26,000 sales leaders, business owners, senior executives and human resource professionals.

One clear finding is that sales recruiting continues to pose one of the most daunting challenges for today’s business leaders. In 2011 the pressure on sales leaders and HR managers to recruit, hire and retain high-performing sales organizations will only grow more intense. Our goal with this report is to arm front line and strategic level leaders with information that answers these questions:

* How will the economic recovery impact sales recruiting?
* Are sales organizations planning to increase or decrease sales headcount?
* What is the level of concern over the available pool of sales talent?
* Will a new war for sales talent begin?
* Should sales organizations focus attention on sales talent retention?
* Should companies invest more in sales recruiting resources?
* What should sales and human resource leaders do now to maintain a consistent pipeline of sales talent?

You may download a free copy of this report HERE

February 3, 2011

Top Sales World Publishes Free EBook Featuring the Top 10 Sales Articles of 2010

The Top Sales World has just released a free eBook featuring the Top 10 Sales Articles finalists of 2010.  Selected from the hundreds of sales articles published each month, Top 10 Sales Articles selects the 10 best sales articles published on various platforms each month and then a panel of top sales minds selects the top article of the month.  With articles in the competition written by household names in the sales industry such as Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and Tom Hopkins to new, up and coming writers, competition is tough.  At the end of the year the articles of the month vie for the top article of the year award at Top Sales Awards.

Every month you’ll be directed to great articles and, of course, at the end of the year you have some of the best thinking of the year at your fingertips. 

The articles for 2010 are:

Plan Goals and Plan on the Means of Hitting Them, by Tibor Shanto

Sales Call Reports—Are They Worth the Hassle? by Paul McCord

Sales Lessons Learned From a Recession, by Kelley Robertson

Pipeline or Pipe Dream? by Gil Cargil

Why Social Networking You Way Won’t Build Your Business, by Joanne Black

3 Secrets of High Performance Selling, by Daniel Waldschmidt

The Prospecting Dilemma, by Kendra Lee

Are You Customer Centric? by Stu Schlackman

Instilling Pride—A Key to Eliciting Excellence, by Michael Beck

Marketing—Stupid Marketing Tricks and Other Topics, by Dave Brock

Networking: It’s Only Natural, by Diane Helbig

I encourage you to go to Top Sales World, look for the Top Sales Articles widget (about half way down the page, just below the penguins) and click to download your copy of the eBook.

In addition, I encourage you bookmark Top 10 Sales Articles and head over there each month to get the best sales articles published the previous month.

And since you’re at Top Sales World anyway, why not click on the Top Sales World Article of the Day which is my article: Are You A Sales Professional or Semi-Skilled Laborer?

February 2, 2011

Are You Connected? You Can Be With New Social Media Aggregator

Filed under: Networking,Sales 2.0 — Paul McCord @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , ,

Do you have contacts on LinkedIn?  Followers on Twitter?  Friends on Facebook?  Contacts in Gmail?  Do you have appointments with some of these contacts?  Do you try to keep up with their blog posts, tweets, birthdays, job changes, and other activities?

If you do, you probably have a bit of a problem keeping up with literally thousands of business and social contacts.  It takes time to navigate through all of the platforms.  It probably has become such an issue that you really only keep connected with a few dozen select individuals and/or companies.

There’s a new service, Connected, that offers a way to take all of your contacts and aggregate their activity from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, including their blog posts, any interactions you’ve had with them on these platforms, as well as their recent Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn activity and put it at your fingertips.

Navigating Connected at first was a little confusing as not all of your contacts will appear under ‘contacts.’  Many appear under their company link instead of on the visible contact list.  Even then I had something of a problem finding a few of my contacts, although with a little detective work they were eventually all located.

A bit of a bonus if you happen to use Google Contacts, Google Voice, and/or Google Calendar, those contacts and updates can be imported and linked to the profiles in Connected also.

In addition, you can make the data in profiles into an actionable agenda that you can then have Connected email to you dailiy. 

How much time and effort will Connected save you?  That really depends on the number of platforms you are involved with and how many connections you really stay in close contact with—or that you wish to stay in contact with.

Unlike many other sites that offer resources to help you manage your social media contacts, Connected is a fee site, charging $9.99 per month with a free 14 day trial period (a nice touch by Connected, you DO NOT have to give your credit card information to get the free trial.  At the end of the trial period you’ll get an email from Connected directing you to set up your payment form.  If you don’t want to continue the service just don’t do a thing.  Much nicer than those sites that automatically charge if you don’t unsubscribe).

Is it worth the ten dollars a month?  At this point I haven’t decided as I’ve only just begun using it.  That being said, it does have some nice features (with the recognition they have more work yet to be done).  Time will tell—about 12 more days to be exact—as to whether I find it worth $120 a year.  I’d suggest, however, that you take a look and a trial and decide if Connected will work for you.

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