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Category: Best Practices

Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 2

In the last instalment of this article,  I started with a preamble to selling and how it will be the saviour in this econolypse.

I have been fortunate to have been a salesman, to have run companies as a CEO and Board Member and to have been a marketer. The following are my "To Dos" for each of these points of view

Here is a list for the Boss:

Note: These are business truisms as I personally know them. I am not talking about anything here that I haven't personally experienced. These I believe with all my heart!

1. Hire properly.

  • Hire real slow – fire real fast. No one wins by keeping dead wood around the shop. It’s better for you, your company and for the folks who are probably in the wrong posts to change. It is a very stressful thing to do. I know. I have hired literally hundreds of folks and sadly had to let a few go. That is never good. In fact, a couple were friends. That hurts even more. But no one said being a boss is easy – you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.
  • I have heard umpteen times, especially at agencies that "Our assets go up and down in the elevator every night." Wow. When I hear that the first thing that comes to mind is a joke. Consultant asks company Prez "So how many people work here? Prez … "Oh, about half."
  • I have always wondered how, or why, certain people ever got hired. Folks, if you have what my Ol Buddy David Maister calls "Human Capital" issues and they are rotting on the shelves? Get rid of them. They will poison the rest of the assets, smell when customers come near them and be really nasty to look at. Enough metaphors – you get my point.

2. Price, promote and plan properly. If ya don’t know how – get help.

  • Most people running companies aren't marketers. Hell, most marketers aren't marketers! I know, Sally-  "Pete say it ain't so!" They are engineers, accountants, inventors, sales folks or simply kids whose parents left 'em the shop. If you aren't a great marketer – get help. Companies will eventually tank without great marketing.  Companies like GM, who haven't had a marketer within 1,000 miles …ever, are evidence of this fact.

3. Get out and meet the folks. You staying in your office is like the faux-hunters at the lodge I mentioned in the previous instalment.

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Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 1

Well, as we are knee deep in the “ECONOCLYPSE”, I just may have the solution for you.

It stems from something I have been noticing for years. We can’t sell. Full stop.

I can list dozens of alleged sales contacts I have had over the last few months alone, with seemingly professional sales folks who, quite frankly, couldn’t sell eternal life to a dead person. I believe this is a pandemic. And, no that isn't a sick cuddly black and white bear.

We hide behind marketing (whatever the hell that is today) with all that PowerPoint drivel with its spinning globes, throbbing gristle and jumping bunnies. And the all-too-hip glossy, marketing-speak chest pounding end-to-end-solution brochures. The sales pipelines done in spread sheets longer than Rip van Winkle’s beard and all-to-common ever-so-soft useless, pointless, make-me-feel-good titles like Business Development, Account Executive, Business Drivers, Thought Leaders, Change Agents and on and on and so on and so forth. Makes me wanna scream. If I ever see a card handed to me that says "Joe Schmoe – Salesman" I will die of apoplexy!

What the world – the marketing world that is – needs and needs right now, to get us out of this mess, is a good kick in the ass.

Lemme talk about selling.

Selling is about building long-lasting relationships. You cannot have a relationship where fear is the starting point. You can’t have a relationship built on lies. And, most importantly, you can’t develop a relationship without a lot of work.

Selling is in grave danger. True selling that is. And in all businesses – sales are key. "Nothing happens till someone sells something."

I am not talking “order taking” – which is “clerking.” That's where the customers surprise you.

I am talking about selling. Where you go out and surprise them!

My view on selling is as follows: Selling is like hunting. There are two types of hunters (Metaphor alert: I am referring to sales people).


Holiday Helpers

By Matthew Vernhout Because marketers from across industries are planning for an uncertain economy, they are working extra hard to ensure that every marketing initiative is going to yield the strongest return on investment as possible. So, to help optimize your holiday email programs, here…

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