Sales and Sales Management Blog

March 31, 2011

Book Review: The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks

Almost everything in selling can be controversial.  Does cold calling work or not?  What’s the best sales process to use?  Should you even use a sales process?  Are referrals and word of mouth marketing related or are they totally unrelated marketing concepts?  Is the way buyers buy changing?  Are salespeople becoming irrelevant?

I could name dozens of other areas where there’s currently debate occurring.

I’m dealing with one of those areas today: using scripts.. 

Do you think scripts are useful and necessary?  

Do you think scripts create a “canned” presentation that is hokey and makes the salesperson come across as amateurish and unprofessional?

Although there are many who subscribe to the latter—that scripts are unprofessional and do more harm than good–the fact is that we all use scripts, even the most ardent anti-script arguers use scripts. 

What is a script?  A script is nothing more than a standardized presentation or answer.  A script can be written and memorized but that certainly isn’t necessary.  If I start every cold call I make with, “Hi, Ms. Prospect, I’m Paul McCord with McCord Training,” I’m using a standardized script, whether I’ve committed those words to writing or not. 

If I always answer a price objection early in the sale with, “I understand that cost is important.  The investment can range anywhere from a low of X to XX or more, depending upon your needs which at this point we haven’t discussed.  What would you say is your sales teams most pressing issue?”  Again, I’m using a standardized script whether I’ve put that answer to the objection in writing or not. 

A script is simply the standard wording we’ve developed to make our presentations and to answer the questions we are asked on a regular basis. 

So the question isn’t whether or not we use scripts, the question is does it make sense to think through our standard presentations and the typical questions and objections we get and develop well thought-out words to address them? 

If we don’t have a well thought-out script, we’re using an off the cuff script.  Either way we’re using a script.

Unfortunately, creating a high impact, effective script isn’t easy.  Rather than spending a great amount of time and frustration with a hit or miss script that you have to constantly refine until, if you’re lucky, you get it right, why not get professional help upfront?

Mike Brooks has just released The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts (Sales Gravy Press: 2011), the book that will help you construct the scripts you’ll need to handle your phone and non-phone presentations and overcoming objections.

Brooks will help you create well thought-out wording that will help you:

  • Overcome initial objections like, “We’re not interested” and “I’m too busy,” and “We  already have a company/supplier for that,” and many, many more;
  • Learn how to build crucial rapport in the first 5 seconds;
  • Connect with gatekeepers and getting through to the decision maker;
  • Know what to do and what NOT to do when prospecting and qualifying;
  • Deal with smokescreen objections like “The price is too high”;
  • Get your prospects to return your emails and voice mails;
  • Overcome common objections like, “We just need to think about it,” and “I can get it for less money,” and many more. 

Let’s face it – you get the same objections 90% of the time, so why not be prepared in advance with the absolute best scripts and techniques that really work.  Brooks’ scripts are focused on helping you connect with and engage your prospects instead of talking and pitching at them. 

As a bonus, Brooks has a special section to help overcome common objections for mortgage brokers, insurance agents, Realtors, and credit card processing salespeople.  Even if your product or service isn’t included in the “Top 10 Objections” section, reviewing how the specific industry objections are addressed will help you develop answers to the objections you constantly run across.

If you sell, The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts has something for you.—no matter your experience level.  Buy it and then spend some time crafting your scripts—you’ll find that making the phone calls and overcoming objections becomes a lot easier and lot more enjoyable.

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March 25, 2011

Book Review: Business Fitness by Dawn G. Lennon

Filed under: Book Reviews — Paul McCord @ 2:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Seldom do I review a book that was released several years ago.  But when I receive a copy of a book from one of my readers who thinks enough of it to send it to me to possibly review—and its a book that wasn’t written by them, well, that certainly indicates the book merits some investigation.

That was the case with Business Fitness: The Power to Succeed—Your Way (Glenbridge Publishing Ltd:  2007) by Dawn G. Lennon.  Pam Burzynski, a Realtor and reader from Pennsylvania liked the book well enough—and thought it relevant to others in the sales world—that she sent me her own autographed copy.  Talk about a sales job—I had no choice but to read the book after that.

And it was well worth the time spent reading.

There are a number of reasons I really like this book.  First, Lennon writes in much the way I try to write in that the book is “simple.”  By simple I don’t mean elementary.  Simple in this instance means highly practical and down to earth.  No high flying, impractical discussions of fun–but ultimately useless–business theory; just real world guidance that will have a major impact if implemented.  Second, Lennon uses lots of dashes.  I have an unlimited supply of dashes and spew them out unhesitatingly in my writing.  Even though she uses them far more sparingly than I–I’ve found another dashaholic.  Third, her observations, guidance, and advice are spot on.  Fourth, this is an ACTION book.  This isn’t about Lennon giving you information; it is about actively implementing what you learn.  Business is action.  Information is worthless if it doesn’t result in some sort of action—and action, not just information, is the real meaning of Business Fitness.

Business Fitness isn’t a sales book per se.  As the title suggests, it is a book about becoming fit as a business person.  The fitness needs of salespeople are the same as any other business person—at least the general business fitness areas that are dealt with in Business Fitness.

Lennon breaks our fitness needs into two broad categories—what she calls Private Moves and Public Moves.  “Moves” are the actions you take.  Some of your business moves you do in private—only you know you are taking them.  Others are, of course, the moves you make in public.  This combination of public and private moves determines where you go in your business career.

Lennon lays out four private and three public moves:

Private Moves:

  • Stay Well.  Basic?  Certainly.  So basic she need not address it?  Hardly.  Take a look around you.  How many of your co-workers or competitors are physically fit?  How many have the physical and mental stamina to out work you?  We are a nation of sloths.  Lennon’s first private ‘move’ is basi– yet one of the most important and most neglected.
  • Stay Focused.  Goals.  Making where we want to go real by creating written, specific goals, each with a completion date, is mandatory in order to stay on track.  If we don’t have specific goals we are simply hoping that something good happens and that we’ll like where it takes us.
    Think you’ve heard too much about goals?  Lennon gives you practical guidance on how to set them, monitor them, and reach them.
  • Stay Current.  One of the most critical of the private moves—and one so many salespeople blow off if their company doesn’t provide for it.  Every businessperson is responsible for their own growth.  Expecting the company to provide for your training and skill development is one of the surest ways to fail in sales.  Lennon gives a great checklist of where to get the stuff you need to “stay current”
  • Stay Connected.  Your network is one of your major keys to success.  Lennon gives an excellent overview of how to build your network—and what to do with it.

Public Moves:

  •  Attract a Following.  No matter what you do—whether you are an inside or outside salesperson, a sales manager, a business owner, or professional building a practice, your success depends upon your following.  Building that following takes time—and a great deal of effort.  But what is the right effort for building a following?  How do we create a brand with our clients or within our company?  What if we already have a personal brand—and it is negative?  Lennon goes through the process of how to create and manage a following that will help you reach the success you seek.
  • Take the Lead.  Leadership is a hot subject right now. And one that can really put you in the spotlight—for good or ill.  Lennon’s advice and guidance on how to take—or not take—and handle a lead role is really to the point and a chapter you should take to heart.
  • Implement New Ideas.  Solving problems and implementing new solutions is the culmination of all the business fitness you’ve gone through.  As Lennon says, “When you’re business fit, you see the big picture more clearly.  Ideas for breaking new ground and solving problems are in your line of sight.”  Businesses crave men and women who can help them solve their problems and make the moves that will advance the company.  Learning how to recognize solutions is important—equally important is learning how to get those solutions implemented.  Traversing the political and cultural grounds that lie between your idea and its successful implementation is the real crux of implementing new ideas.  Lennon takes you through the process to a successful implementation.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Business Fitness.  More importantly, I encourage you to read it and implement the lessons you’ll find.  Lennon not only gives you sound advice, at the end of each chapter she gives you a questionnaire or form to help you think through where you are on that particular move.

If you want to succeed, get business fit.

March 22, 2011

Using Social Media to Help You Generate Referrals from Clients

Referrals.

We all want them.

Yet most of us don’t get very many quality referrals. 

Instead we get the occasional name and phone number that we call a “referral” to someone who either has no need or want for our product or service, or couldn’t afford it even if they did want it.

What seems to be the problem with us sellers that prevents us from getting more than just a mere handful of quality referrals?

The good news is the problem isn’t with us.  We’re just fine.

The problem is the way we’ve been taught to get referrals.  It doesn’t work very well.

Most sales trainers and managers teach sellers that getting referrals is easy—just “do a good job” and then ask for referrals.  All you have to do to get referrals, they teach, is satisfy your client and then ask a question such as, “Ms. Client, who do you know that could benefit from my products or services?”

Simple, huh?

Yep.  So simple in fact that it’s just another piece of traditional sales training crap that isn’t worth the 45 seconds it takes to teach it.

The problem is the very concept of asking your client to do your prospecting for you is totally wrong.

Asking is passive.  When you ask your client to come up with a referral prospect for you, you’re asking them to do something they aren’t capable of doing.  You’re asking them to figure out who would be a good prospect for you—as though they knew your business.  As though they knew what constitutes a good prospect for you.  Unless they are your competitor, they don’t know.  It isn’t their job to know—it’s your job.  When you ask your client that silly referral question, you’re taking the future of your sales business out of your hands and putting it in their hands.

Asking is unfair.  When you ask your client for a referral you’re putting them on the spot.  Would you want someone to put you on the spot where you felt pressured to do something even if you didn’t want to? 

Asking is a waste of time.  Most of the time when we ask for a referral we are literally standing in front of or are on the phone expecting them to give us an immediate  answer.  We are giving our client 10 or 15 seconds to go through their mental file cabinet to come up with a great referral for us.  And then we’re surprised when they can’t.

So if asking doesn’t work, what does?

Instead of asking for a referral from your client, generate a referral for your client to give you.

Referral generation is proactive.  When you generate a referral for your client to give you, you are doing all the work for your client.  You’re making it easy for them to give you great referrals.  You’re taking the load off them so they don’t have to come up with a referral—all they have to do is utter one simple little word—“yes.”

Referral generation takes work.  Where asking is easy, referral generation takes work.  Like most things in life, getting high quality referrals takes work.  Although asking for referrals is easy, the result is what most easy things in life bring—little to nothing.  In order to generate a referral for your client to give you, you have to figure out who your client knows that you know you want to be referred to.  That means you have to become a bit of a detective.

Referral generation guarantees you get great referrals.  When you generate a referral for your client to give, you insure you get a great referral because it is a referral to someone you know you want to be referred to.  How would you like to get one or two or three referrals from every one of your clients, all to prospects that you know are great prospects for you?  It would change your business overnight.

The process of referral generation is really pretty simple.  You figure out who your client knows that you know you want to be referred to.  Then when it comes time to ask for a referral, you ask your client if they know the person you want to be referred to.  If you’ve done your homework well, they’ll say they know them.  Then you ask for the introduction.

The conversation goes something like this:

You:  “John, I’ve been trying to connect with Don Jones at XYZ Corporation for quite some time and just haven’t been able to make the connection.  It dawned on me that you just might know Don.  Do you know him?”  If you’ve done your homework well, you know the answer will be yes—or at least you have good reason to believe it will be yes.

John:  “Sure, I’ve known Don for about four years, why?”

You:  “Great.  Would you be comfortable introducing me to him?”  If you’ve done your job well and have a very satisfied client who trusts you, he’ll agree to give the introduction.

John didn’t have to come up with a name.  He didn’t have to fret over who to refer or what it was you really wanted.  He didn’t have to invest time or effort.  All he had to do was say “yes.”

You get an introduction to a great prospect and all your client had to do way say one little word.

Super easy—for your client.  And really not very hard for you, either.

But how do you find out who your client knows?

That may seem like the hard part, but with practice, it’s really pretty easy and doesn’t take a great deal of time.

Learning to really listen to your client is one key.  In the course of getting to know your client you can pick up a great many ideas about who they know—references to friends, family, and co-workers.  References to employers, past employers, organizations and associations, or places of worship or recreation they belong to.  All of these are fruitful areas to figure out who your client knows or likely knows.  Small talk can become one of the most informative areas of helping you generate referrals.

Becoming highly observant is also key.  If you meet in your client’s office or home, you can pick up all kinds of clues: what awards or certifications do they have on the wall?  Are their pictures with potential prospects?  Who are their vendors and suppliers?  What association or organization directories are in the bookcase?

Today social media can be a quick way to discover who your client knows that you know you want to be referred to. 

Does your client have a LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook account? 

If they do, search through their connections, followers, and/or friends to find great referral prospects for you.  Once you’ve identified a few, try to figure out which ones your client knows best and concentrate on using them as your generated referral.

What groups does your client belong to on LinkedIn and Facebook?  These not only tell you what their interests are, but can also help identify prospects that your client knows.

Does your client have a blog?  If so spend some time reading it.  It is a great way to get to know your client—and who they know.  Do they talk about specific people or companies they know or deal with?  Are there certain people that comment frequently on their posts?

Do a Google search on your client.  You might find other social media sites your client belongs to or possibly comments he or she has made on blogs or various media sites.

Social media is proving to be a tremendous help in a number of business applications.  Referral generation is one—and one that you should be taking advantage of. 

Don’t waste your time asking for referrals.  Learn to make giving you high quality referrals so easy your clients will love saying yes.

March 18, 2011

Richardson and CSO Insights Offer Free Sales Effectiveness Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 9:38 am

Richardson is offering a complimentary copy of the CSO Insights report, “Sales Performance Optimization: 2011 Key Trends Analysis.”

The report is based on a 20 minutes online survey that was completed by 2.000 companies.  Manufacturing companies accounted for 37.1% of the participants, while service companies made up 45.7% and “other” accounting for 17.2%.  Over 58% of the companies participating have less than 25 sales people, with about 11.5% having between 25-50 salespeople.  Companies with 51-250 reps make up the second largest category at 13.3%.  Combining the last two groups, those with 251-500 reps and those with over 500 reps, accounts for over 16% of all respondents.

Without going into great detail, some of the report’s findings are:

  • Sales reps generated the largest single year’s increase in the number making their quota—a total of 59.4% of respondent’s salespeople made quota in 2010
  • Turnover rates for salespeople were down, with a turnover rate of only 25.7%–almost evenly split between those reps let go and those that left voluntarily.
  • Surprise!!!  Sales and Marketing are still not aligned
  • Win rates of projected deals are near an all-time low
  • CRM adoption is increasing

When you download the report you’ll find both more detail and more findings.

CSO Insights doesn’t leave you hanging about what to do in 2011.  Naturally, the report is designed to help CSO Insights sell their services, so don’t expect to be given a golden roadmap to success—but the insights from the report and the discussion concerning a “Sales Performance/Process Matrix” can help give some structure to your thinking about how to excel in 2011.

Grab you free download of the report HERE

March 15, 2011

Five Keys to Generating High Quality Referrals

From the time we enter the sales industry we’ve heard that referrals are by far the best prospecting and marketing method in existence.  Yet, very few of us actually get very many high quality referrals. 

Certainly some of us manage to get a name and phone number here and another there.  A few of us will manage to get several.  However, most of these “referrals” are worthless–just names and phone numbers of people or businesses that have no interest in or need for or can’t afford our product or service.

Nevertheless, there are a few salespeople and business owners who have found a way to not only generate more than just a few referrals, but somehow they manage to generate enough high quality referrals to run very successful sales practices almost exclusively from the referrals they receive from their clients. 

Do they have some great secret the rest of us don’t know?

In a sense, they do know something most of us don’t.  They’ve learned that what most of us are doing to get referrals—just asking a question such as, “Ms. Client, do you know of anyone else that I might help”–doesn’t work.   

Moreover, they have learned ways that do work. 

Let’s look at five of the most basic things these mega-referral producers have learned:

1.  Ask for referrals:  Sounds stupid right?  If you don’t ask, how do you expect to get them?  Unfortunately, over 50% of salespeople simply never ask—and the majorities who do ‘ask,’ really don’t ask for referrals. 

2.  Really Ask:  Asking means a direct request for referrals.  Studies have also shown that the majority of salespeople and business owners who ask for referrals don’t really ask–they suggest.  They’ll say something like “Don, if you happen to run across someone who could use my service, would you give them one of my cards?” and then they hand the client a bunch of cards—that usually go straight into the trash.

3.  Let the client know who’s a good referral:  Very few salespeople ever define for the client exactly who a good referral is.  They assume the client knows.  Bad assumption.  Clients aren’t in your business.  Why should they know?  You have to let them know exactly who you’re looking for.

4   Better yet, make the referral easy for them:  Instead of making your client come up with the referral, do the work for them.  During the course of the sale do some detective work and figure out who your client knows that you know you want to be referred to.  Then, when it comes time to ask for referrals, make it easy for them.  Say something such as, “Ms. Client, I’ve been trying to connect with Joe Blow at XYZ Company for quite some time and just haven’t been able to make the connection.  It dawned on me that you might know Joe.  Do you know him?” 

If I’ve done my homework well, I know—or at least have good reason to believe—the answer will be yes.

If I know my client trusts me and that I’ve done a good job for her, I then suggest the referral:  “Great.  Would you be comfortable introducing me to him?”

My client doesn’t have to wonder who might make a good referral for me.  She doesn’t have to think.  She doesn’t have to do anything other than to utter one simple word, “yes.”  It’s a lot easier for a client to say “yes” than it is to figure out who would be a good referral.  It takes no time.  It takes no effort.  It’s easy.  I get a referral to someone that I know I want to be referred to.

5  Don’t get names and phone numbers, get introduced.  A name and phone number is just a nme and phone number, not a referral.  Get introduced to the prospect through an introduction letter, phone call, or lunch meeting.

Mega-referral producers have a detailed process they use to generate a large number of high quality referrals from every one of their clients–and even prospects.  They have developed a disciplined and effective procedure they use with each client that leads to a predictable end—receiving a large number of high quality referrals. 

But even without learning the process they use, if you simply implement these 7 simple tips, you’ll increase both the number and quality of the referrals you receive from your clients immediately. 

Want to learn the high referral generation process they use?  Contact me at pmccord@mccordandassociates.com or give me a call at 281-216-6845.

March 11, 2011

The Changing Face of Professional Sales Leadership: A Roundtable Debate Wednesday, March 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 9:30 am

Wednesday March 16th 2011 12 noon EST/5PM GMT

FREE to REGISTER: HERE

Recently published research suggests that the average tenure of a sales manager is now just eighteen months! These are pretty alarming findings, and during the course of this sixty minute debate, we not only intend to discover the facts underpinning these results, but also discuss how management is changing.

For example, we know that the role of a sales leader is to translate the organisation’s vision, mission, and values into a meaningful context that sales teams can relate to and feel excited by. If this is achieved, then the Sales Leader will have created a sales team with a shared mental model. This transforms an ordinary sales team into a high performing one

We also understand that for a group of people to remain “consciously competent” at optimum performance levels, they require frequent injections of stimulation, motivational guidance and prompting, otherwise they can easily lapse into” unconsciously competent”, or worse “unconsciously incompetent” After all, the primary objective of a professional Sales Manager has to be: “To achieve consistently superior results, through the performance of every key individual.”

Today, more and more organizations are waking up to the value of building a strong coaching culture. Analogies to athletic coaching are common, but especially apt. Training alone does not guarantee that a great athlete will deliver a gold medal-winning performance.

Equally, top sales professionals need expert coaching support from their managers to stay at the top of their game. Whether coaching is delivered face-to-face, on the telephone, or via e-mail, those organizations that have a strong coaching culture attract and retain the best salespeople.

Management and particularly sales management, operates on, and obtains its results from the staff that are managed, this is precisely why the sales leader’s role is evolving – in fact, it is becoming crucial to the success or failure of most commercial organizations.

Join six of the foremost sales leadership experts on the planet for this Top Sales Big Debate.

Wednesday March 16th

Time: 12 noon Eastern

  • Linda Richardson is the Founder and Chairman of Richardson, a global sales training business. As a recognized leader in the industry, she has won the coveted Stevie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sales Excellence for 2006 and in 2007 she was identified by Training Industry, Inc. as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals.”
  • 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
  • Dave Brock works with organizations to help them achieve the highest levels of performance excellence. He is the founder and CEO of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a leading business consulting company. He has held executive roles in IBM, Tektronix, and other large technology companies and he is an investor, advisor, and director of several high technology start-up companies.
  • 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.
  • Steven Rosen is the founder of STAR Results. STAR Results is a sales leadership consulting, training and coaching organization dedicated to leadership development in the Pharmaceutical industry. Steven works with sales executives to; hire top performing sales reps, develop a team of top sales managers and achieve greater personal and professional success.
  • Ken Thoreson brings more than 25 years of experience in sales leadership and management to clients. The sales management thought leader shares his proven abilities in developing and implementing creative sales management strategies through frequent editorial contributions and speaking engagements about effective sales leadership and sales management

Register HERE

March 9, 2011

Guest Article: “The Ultimate Sell: 5 Insights on Closing the Job Search ‘Sale’, by Brendan Cruickshank

Filed under: career development,Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 9:28 am

The Ultimate Sell: 5 Insights on Closing the Job Search ‘Sale’
by Brendan Cruickshank

I heard someone saying the other day that he could be the greatest salesman the world has ever known…if only someone would hire him! I found this statement somewhat amusing and definitely puzzling. After all, if a person is really that good a salesman, then how is it he can’t find a way to close the ultimate sale: the ability to sell himself to an employer?

Great salespeople can be successful promoting anything, even items that are seemingly useless. Why? Because what they are really selling is not their product at all. What they are really selling is themselves. Yes of course they do their homework and learn all there is to know about their product but what makes the sale is their ability to communicate their passion about the product and make others feel that same passion through the words that come out of their mouth, the body language they display, and the confidence they portray. None of these things are attributes of the product. All of them are attributes of the salesperson!

The funny thing is that many salespeople themselves don’t realize this. There really are some great ones out there who are unemployed because for some reason they don’t approach the job search with the same mentality that works so well for them in the world of sales. Selling yourself to a potential employer is not all that different from selling a widget to a customer. In fact in many ways it is much easier because you start out with a much larger body of knowledge about yourself than you do about the widget. Closing a sale like this shouldn’t be that difficult to a good salesperson. The important thing to remember is that in your job interview, you need to show your potential employer that you possess the same characteristics that both of you know will work well when you go to work for him in sales. Here are a few insights that might put things in clearer perspective:

  1. During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.
    Great salespeople will ask many questions of a prospective buyer. This is how they get to really know their customers! By asking questions, a salesperson can find out what the customer needs, what he is looking for, and what makes him tick. Not only does the salesperson get to know the customer better, but she becomes better able to present her product in the manner that will make the customer most likely to want to purchase it. Asking a lot of questions during the job interview will show your future employer that you too are aware of the significance of this sales technique and are able to put it to use effectively.
  2. Do a LOT of listening!
    A good salesperson knows that successful selling is not accomplished by trying to jam your viewpoint down your client’s throat. On the contrary, to be a truly great salesperson you need to be a great listener! But this is not an easy skill to perfect and it must be actively practiced. By being a good listener during your job interview, you are demonstrating that you have already mastered this skill.
  3. Show confidence in yourself.
    The very best salespeople will convey a sense during the dialogue with their customer that they have already made the sale. The client can sense this confidence and will usually follow along with it until the sale becomes a done deal. A job interview is no different. Projecting the confidence that you already have the job will go a long way towards making it happen.
  4. Be passionate about yourself.
    If you are going to be passionate about the products you sell, you first must show that you can be passionate about yourself. There are numerous ways to convey this passion. One way is through your appearance. When a salesperson looks good, buyers naturally assume that the product is also in top notch condition. Intelligence is another way. So is punctuality. Still another way is by displaying good conversational skills. The job interview is the perfect venue to showcase all of these attributes.
  5. Show the employer that you are his solution.
    A great salesperson always demonstrates a willingness to create a solution for the customer without concerning himself with his own personal goals. This is a good way to effectively knock down the stereotype of the aggressive, money hungry sales predator. In a similar fashion, when that same salesperson becomes a job candidate, he needs to show an ability to look at things through the eyes of his potential employer and show that he can do what it takes to become the perfect fit as a member of the corporate team.

Sales jobs can often be tough to land. Salespeople are the face of a company and account for much of its revenue and understandably firms are very careful about who they hire to fulfill these important roles. Yet when competing for one of these jobs, a salesperson should never forget who he really is. And he should also keep in mind that the same qualities that make him effective at selling gadget X can be equally effective when he markets himself. Viewing the employment hunt from a sales perspective can help a good salesperson finally close the deal on the job search “sale”.

Currently Vice President of Client Services for Juju.com, Brendan Cruickshank has worked in the online job search and recruiting industry for the past 8 years. His expert insight on topics in employment and jobs trends has been quoted in publications such as the Washington Post and US News & World Report.

March 8, 2011

Book Review: Make What You Say Pay, by Anne Miller

Filed under: Book Reviews,Communication — Paul McCord @ 1:45 pm
Tags: ,

Although most of us use metaphors in our everyday conversations, we tend to use them as ineptly than a toddler trying to hit a ball with a bat—we hit one on occasion but most of the time we aren’t even close to hitting the mark.  Ah, but those few times we manage to construct a gem of a metaphor it feels great, and better yet, it really turns our words into precisely aimed darts that can really impact our audience deeply.

Uh, oh.  Like so much of the time when we try to use metaphors, I’ve wandered–from toddlers playing baseball to precious stones to messing with darts; can’t have toddlers throwing darts—too dangerous don’t you know.

This is where Anne Miller steps in with her newest book, Make What You Say Pay (CreateSpace: 2010).  Make What You Say Pay is a natural follow-up to Metaphorically Selling, Miller’s book that teaches us how to use metaphors. 

In Make What You Say Pay, Miller presents more than 50 case studies of how companies and individuals have successfully used metaphors to effectively and succinctly communicate their message.  This isn’t so much a “how to” book as a “this is what you can do, too” book.  Taken together, Metaphorically Selling is the “how to” and Make What You Say Pay is the case studies book.  And I think they really should be read in that order.

Miller’s examples range from making numerical information bearable to making complex concepts understandable to handling stressful situations.  Miller demonstrates through example after example how a simple metaphor can change lives and the fortunes of companies by making the obscure clear, by creating an deep emotional impact, or by turning a long explanation into a short, simple sentence.

If part of your job is communicating with others (and whose job isn’t, at least to some extent?), both Metaphorically Selling and Make What You Say Pay should be on your reading list.  Both are relatively short and to the point, but packed with real help for those who seek to have more impact on those with whom they communicate. 

Available from Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble and all fine booksellers.

March 7, 2011

Bust Your Slump–The Benefits of Digital Media

Isn’t the digital world grand?  No waiting days or weeks for stuff to be delivered.  And the discounts companies can offer are amazing!

Now, thanks to digital media, if you aren’t bringing in the sales you want or you’re in an honest to goodness sales slump, you can get real help in getting your pipeline filled quickly—for next to nothing.

My newest book, Bust Your Slump: A Dozen Slump Busting Strategies to Fill Your Pipeline in 30 Days has received a great amount of praise and recognition—from being one of the 10 finalists for book of the year at Top Sales Awards to being named one of the top sales books of 2010 by RainToday.com to being nominated for the Chally Sales Book of the Year award.  But more importantly, it has received praise from sellers who have actually used it to quickly and radically increase their sales.

The paperback sells for $14.95 and the Kindle has sold for $9.99.

For a limited time you can purchase the Kindle version or the E-book for only $2.99.  That’s an incredible 70% off the original Kindle price and a full 80% off the paperback price.  Because of production costs, I can’t make this offer on the paperback version, but because of the immense savings that digital media affords the publishing industry; you can get every word of the paperback book via Kindle or E-book for only $2.99.

Bust Your Slump is designed for sellers who want to increase their sales quickly.  Not all of the 12 strategies will be right for you and your market, but no matter whether you sell B2B or B2C, if your sales cycle is long or a one-time close, whether you sell locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally, there are strategies that will help you create business quickly.

These dozen strategies are designed to do one thing—bring in business quickly.  But they are not designed to be long-term strategies.  Most will create a big burst of business but because of the very nature of the strategy, it can’t be relied on long-term (just how many orphan files can you find in your office?).

The first chapter of the book outlines a four step process for filling your pipeline now and guaranteeing that you never again face a sales slump.

Grab your copy of the book at Amazon Kindle or the E-book while at this incredible price and get your pipeline filled NOW!

March 6, 2011

SalesCrunch.com Lists the Top 50 Sales Blogs

Filed under: Sales Resources — Paul McCord @ 1:28 pm

SalesCrunch follows over 200 of the best sales blogs each day! This is obviously far too many for any normal human to filter and process. So when Hubspot posted their Top 100 Marketing Blogs using the new groups feature in Blog Grader last week the folks at SalesCrunch were super excited. They immediately decided to feed their list of 200+ blogs into the tool to generate the SalesCrunch Top 50 Sales Blogs. The list is generated according to the “Grade” in Blog Grader and is updated daily so the list is always accurate and up to date. The bios below the list are for the Top 50 as rated at the time we posted the list, so you can track progress over time.

They narrowed the list down to sales-specific blogs. But there are other folks out there writing great stuff that, while not 100% focused on sales, is essential to selling. So they included two of our absolutely favorite must-reads below the list as honorable mentions: Both Sides of The Table and IdeaTransplant.

I’m proud that the Sales and Sales Management Blog didn’t just make the list, but is in the top 10 of all sales blogs.

There are a number of lists of great sales blogs and SalesCrunch is one.  I encourage you to head over and take a look at the entire list.  But to get you started, here are the top 10 today:

1 sellsellsell.salesnexus.com
2 www.keithferrazzi
3 www.retaildoc.com/blog/
4 www.thejfblogit.co.uk/
5 thesalesblog.com/
6 salesandmanagementblog.com/
7 www.fillthefunnel.com
8 danwaldschmidt.com/
9 scoremoresales.com/
10 www.mwmclaughlin.com/

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