calehawley

Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

One Man Wolfpack

In entrepreneur, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, relationships, Sales on June 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Remember the scene in The Hangover when Allen claims to be a “one man wolfpack”? Sales and entrepreneurship is not much different. Yes it can be lonely, but it does not have to be.

I love working with new or inexperienced sales and marketers. There is a twinkle in their eyes and a burning desire in their hearts. But when that fire starts to flicker and that twinkle dims a little, it can get lonely. I try to be that person with an open ear for these young professionals. Not because I think that I am just that good, but rather because I have empathy for them. More times than not, they just need someone to voice their frustrations to. I’ve been in sales and marketing for almost 20 years and have been an entrepreneur for nearly 6 years. I find it helpful to have someone I’d like mind to talk to when times get tough, and if you do this long enough, you will see tough times.

Start adding members to your wolfpack today.

The Competition

In Image, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, Sales on June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

You know them well. It’s that company that offers the same products and services that you do. The athlete wearing the other team’s colors. Yourself. 

Whoever you have identified as the competition, flip the script. Think of yourself as your competitor’s competition.

Are you the type of company, athlete, or person that the competitor looks at and says, “they’re easy they do ‘xyz’ we can overcome that”. Or are you the type of competitor that they do not mind losing to. 

Over the years, I have had several competitors in business and in athletic arenas. A few stick out in my mind. You knew when you were up against them that you had to bring your “A-Game”. But the ones that truly stand out are just good people to their core. When you lose to them, you say, “I get it, people like them”. It reminds me of that scene in Firgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segal’s character is surfing and bumps into Aldos Snow, his ex-girlfriend’s current lover and says, “…you’re so cool. I can see why Sarah likes you”. 

I long to be that competitor to my competition. I like when I run into a competitor and they have “heard of me”. I like when my competition is “job searching” on my behalf because they know the impact and the relationships I have and the ones that I foster. It means I’m doing something right. I’m competing without malice. Doing my job serving others. Not going down the path so commonly traveled by others which is to trash the competition. 

My challenge to you is be that competitor that takes the high road. Be the competition that your competition wants to introduce themselves to. Be that competitor that others talk about in a positive light. Be that competitor that the competition does not mind losing to. 

1 More Meter

In entrepreneur, Personal Development, Sales on August 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Watching Olympic swimming and one thing seems consistent: the swimmers that are performing the best are pushing just one more meter in their under water dolphin kick. It makes sense really. There is less resistance and it’s energy efficient. 

This is not an easy technique to learn. Let’s be real, you’re under water longer. And if you’re anything like me, who wants to spend longer under water?

What if we appiled this principle to business? Do the hard work just a little longer. Make that extra call. Generate that extra purchase order. Close that extra deal.

1 more meter!

Show and Tell

In Communication, Sales on August 1, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Remember when you were a kid, and one day out of the year you got to bring something special from home and share it with the other students? I can remember this like it was yesterday. Standing there holding a peacock feather that I got from our family friend’s peacock farm. Not only could you tell how excited I was to show this item to my friends, I practiced for days what I would say about it. Everyone was at full attention as I held this 4 feet long feather and told them about this beautiful bird. Show and tell. Tell a story, and provide a visual.

As sales professionals, you should do the same thing. Have something to show your prospect. If you have a sample of the product, great. If you can do a product demo, even better. Holding a pen and pointing to a point in your literature works well too. In fact, you can guide the prospect to where you want them to focus by pointing or making a circular motion with your pen at the desired spot on the brochure. And if you have absolutely nothing to show, please use had motions. Allow your prospect to see your passion.

What will you bring for show and tell?

I Did It

In Personal Development on July 31, 2016 at 9:35 pm

31 blog posts in 31 days. I honestly did not know if I had it in me. And some days I struggled for content, but I did it. In fact, one day I forgot so I doubled up the next day.

So why do this? Why pay daily? For me the reasons are two fold. 

1) to force the habit. My goal is to write a book before this year is over. I only have a few months left. I needed to know that I could commit to writing daily.

2) I feel like I owe it to the general all of you. I’ve experienced so much over my sales career and I have recently made changes in my life to see things in a more positive light. If I can help just one person make the world a better place, then I can sleep at night.

Thank you to everyone that has taken time to read, like, and follow. It means the world to me. Don’t keep me a secret. If you like what you read, please share with others as you see fit.

I look forward to seeing you all in the future. Thank you for the support.

The Long Road Wisdom

In Personal Development, relationships, Sales on July 27, 2016 at 5:09 pm

The relationship sell. Sales is one of the most simple things on the planet when it is stripped down to the basic principles. You have a product. You find buyers. The buyer makes a purchase. Done.

Of course, it is never this simple in real life. When it is, you are typically selling commodities. If you are selling something other than commodities, you should be in the business of relationships.

Relationships take time. It is a long road. You have to continue to drive that road until you reach your destination. The trick to the destination is that you are rarely there to stay. You have to continue to drive that road and take your relationship to new destinations if you want it to survive because there are others out there driving that road as well. Some get there faster than you. They are just more skilled, not necessarily better than you.

Be warned though, if you try to rush the relationship just to make a sale; you could end up taking a turn for the worst and crash and burn. Once this happens, you rarely get to travel that particular road again.

The Lumineers’ song “Flowers In Your Hair provided the inspiration for this post. The lyrics are: “Cause it’s a long road to wisdom, but it’s a short one to being ignored.” I find these lyrics very profound.

So please be wise and take the long road to relationship building.

Excel at Your Strengths

In Personal Development on July 26, 2016 at 5:04 pm

There is irony in that statement. One of my software weaknesses is indeed Excel. I can use it as a simple spreadsheet with text, but have difficulty using it for much else. I know that Excel is a weakness, so I tend to stay away from it. Instead, I find it more beneficial to myself and my business to focus on what I am good at and excel there. I am great at presenting. I am great at marketing. I am great at sales. I am great at networking. I choose to focus my attention in continuing to develop myself in those areas where I am strong and outsource the rest.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got some personal development to continue.

I Can Hear You Smile

In Communication, Marketing, Sales on July 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm

And so can others. I used to work in durable medical equipment sales as a marketing director. My office was located with the billing department. They have the difficult job of fighting with insurance companies to a) make sure that the customer’s insurance will cover the equipment at a minimal cost to the patient and b) ensure that the company is reimbursed according to the reimbursement schedule provided by the insurance companies.

I’ve always believed that you attract more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar. To this point, I would walk by and hear the billing clerks speaking with whomever they had on the other line and thought to myself, “I would make it as difficult as I could on this person because of the tone they are using with me on the phone”. When the clerk would hang up the phone, I would tell them to smile while they are speaking, even if it is a fake smile, because it would change the tone in their voice. A few of the clerks would take my advice and guess what, those clerks ended up having better reimbursement numbers and shorter reimbursement times. On bad days (let’s face it, we all have them), I would write the word “SMILE” on a sticky note and place it on their keyboard. They would usually hang up the phone and tell me how evil I was. Regardless, it worked.

We all conjure up what we think a total stranger looks like when we speak to them on the phone. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing (or at least thinking) the person on the other end of the line was smiling while they were speaking with you. Give it a try. Smile while you are talking on the phone. I can hear it on the other end of the line.

Business PEDs

In Generosity, Image, Marketing, Personal Development, Sales on July 23, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Performance Enhancing Drugs. Chances are, if you follow sports you have heard of PEDs. More and more athletes are turning up positive for their use as tests are becoming more advanced. 

While I do not condone the use of PEDs by athletes, I understand the temptation. These athletes have to ensure that they keep their job and their job is dependent upon their performance. And let’s face it, as we age, we do not exactly recover the way we did when we were in out teens and 20s.

As an entrepreneur there is no magic pill or injection that will make us better at our job. If there was, would you take it?

This got me to thinking today: maybe generosity and gratitude are indeed the PEDs of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs that I know that give the most (either financially or of their time) seem to be the ones that are the most successful. Maybe generosity and gratitude ARE indeed business PEDs.

So the question stands, would you take them?

Then Do Something About It

In Advertising, Personal Development on July 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Complaints are all around. Complaining is easy. Complaints seem to be welcome. If we are as bombarded with advertising messages as the experts say that we are, I would say that complaints are a close second. Maybe even first considering the low barrier to entry, the relative cost of complaints, and the fact that some advertising message are indeed embedded with complaints.

If you are going to complain, do something about it. It seems that everyone complains and then just leaves it for the next person to pick up. Instead, do something about it. Don’t like the way a company has treated you? Go shop somewhere else. Speak directly with those in charge. Unhappy at work? Find a new job. Start a business. Suggest ideas to fix the areas that you feel are dragging you down.

Hate, anger, sadness and complaining are way to easy these days. Don’t be lazy, do something about it. Yes, it will be hard. Yes it is work. Yes, you may lose friends as a result. But please, stop bringing everyone down with you complaints.

Do something about it.