Hello everybody,

HBK asked a very interesting question that has a broad range of ramifications.

HBK wanted to know if it was alright to get close with co-workers if you had plans to become an executive manager one day? My first question to HBK is what exactly do you mean? If you are referring to dating your co-workers as I suspect you mean, in a simple word the answer is NO! Now there are exceptions to every rule. Why the answer is NO is simply because business and pleasure usually don’t mix very well. Once you are dating a co-worker despite the reassurances that nothing will change, trust me EVERYTHING DOES!

Any time there is any constructive criticism depending how things went the night before in your social life will determine the response you get from the other person. Of course then you have the favoritism thing to deal with, not to mention the acrimony that will exist when the relationship ends. Now, lets address the management side of this. How can you possibly manage someone you are dating? It is almost impossible. Again, there are exceptions to everything. I, as the loyal readers have figured out do not deal in the “exceptions”. I do everything in sales/management to give myself the optimum chance to succeed.

HBK, getting close to your co-workers, as you so coyly put it, is not giving you much chance to succeed. If you are asking this question you are obviously relatively new to the business world and you need all your attention committed to the task at hand. Sorry I couldn’t give you the answer you were looking for.

“The Specialist”

Rhythm in Sales

March 30, 2007

Hi everybody,

It’s Friday night and as usual I am always in the mix with something to do with sales/management.

What I am about to discuss is only for the very advanced sales professionals. I was watching a salesperson that had a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement in his sales presentation when I couldn’t help but notice something that if corrected would dramatically increase his closing percentage. What this person was doing was talking and moving his hands and body in a very sudden and startling style that almost scared the prospect. What I am referring to is instead of moving and talking in a sudden cadence of starting and stopping, starting and stopping, what is important is to get in a rhythm with your hand motions and voice so they are synchronized and appear very fluid.

Enthusiasm does not come from hand motions. It comes from the excitement in one’s voice and the ability to create excitement with your voice like a fine instrument. When you are giving a presentation and your body and voice are one in the same with fluidity, you can with your voice actually become so good that you can actually mesmerize the prospect. Any sudden jerk of your hands or abnormal dramatics with your voice will actually break the thought pattern you have developed with your prospect because the sudden changes tend to startle them and break the great connection you have with them.

This is a very tough technique to develop because it takes the ability to get your body and voice into a nice soothing, reassuring rhythm. Remember tomorrow is “Open Forum”, so get all of your questions in tonight or first thing in the morning.

“The Specialist”

Back By Popular Demand

March 30, 2007

This a blog posted previously that has been republished by request…

Goal setting is one of the most important things, not just in sales but in life! Imagine playing darts at your favorite neighborhood bar but you have to play BLINDFOLDED! How could you possibly hit your goal? The sales profession is exactly the same. You have to have something you can shoot for. It is imperative that you write your goals down so you can see them daily. I kept impeccable records during my 39 year sales career. I have ledgers of every person I sold since 1972. It is very difficult to plan where you want to go if you don’t know where you have been. So you say, I set goals and after a few weeks of not hitting them I throw the paper away or conveniently misplace it so I don’t have to see it. I understand. You HAVE to set goals that are obtainable. For example, lets say you wanted to lose 100 lbs. in 3 months. What is easier…lose 100 lbs. in 3 months or lose only 33 lbs. a month? Or better yet loose 8 lbs. a week? Or better yet, how about only 1 lb. a day? Anybody can do that! The secret of successful goal setting is taking your big goal and breaking it down into a bunch of little obtainable goals.

I once knew a man that religiously saved 10% of every dollar that ever came into his hands, even birthday money he received from his relatives. By age 45 he had amassed over $500,000 in cash! His big goal was to have over $100,000 in his savings account by a certain age. Instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of his goal he just did 10% at a time and not only did he achieve his goal but after reaching his goal he took the next step and reevaluated his goals and set new ones.

With sales I did the exact same thing. I didn’t get overwhelmed by the enormity of what it would take to win my 1st “man of the year” award. Instead, I took it month by month and was the best salesperson in the company, one month at a time. That year I only won 11 of the 12 months but no one else was even close. Result…I reached my goal and became “man of the year”. Whether it be sales, finances, management goals or something else, there are a few basics that will ensure that you reach your goals. One is, write your goals down and post them somewhere where you will see them everyday. Second, break the ultimate goal into a bunch of little goals that are in your reach. Finally, set a deadline for your goal. If you say you want to lose 100 lbs. but don’t put a deadline on it, you have given yourself a way out. NO GOOD! You must have a deadline. I know this will be of help to you and in further postings I will elaborate more and will be glad to help anyone with setting up your goals with you. Have a great night…

“The Specialist”

Hi everybody,

It’s me again. I have a very interesting post for you tonight.

As usual I was talking with a salesperson today and they were explaining to me how they went into this business and got past the girl at the desk and managed to speak with the decision maker. This particular salesperson proceeded to go to great lengths to bond with this owner of the business assuming that the sale was imminent.

Well a funny thing happened along the way. After the salesperson got done with the presentation the alleged DECISION MAKER pointed to the girl at the front desk and informed the salesperson that whatever the girl out front decided was fine with him, but he leaves it all up to her. What a SHOCKER!! The salesperson went up front to speak to the young lady only to find out that she was really cold to his idea. You see, the error that the salesperson made was that along the way to the decision maker he has to win over everyone in his path and semi-close all of them into liking him. The salesperson completely missed this point and is now trying to figure out a way to get back into her good graces.

When I am prospecting or going to give a presentation everyone around the person I am trying to sell becomes my new best friend. I leave no stone unturned. Just imagine, if on the way into see the alleged “DECISION MAKER” I had made that young lady feel good about herself and took an extra second to make her feel important. I assure you the results would have been completely different. When you think people are insignificant or irrelevant to the sale, that is when you should stop and go out of your way to go the extra mile. Not only will they feel better, even if they don’t effect the sale directly, you never know what they will say about you behind your back after you leave. The extra bonus is if you make this a daily habit you will feel terrific about YOURSELF!

“The Specialist”

Hi everybody,

Some of you will like this post, others not so much.

People have often asked me outside of technique what is the one thing, if I had to pick one, that enabled me to excel in sales for so long the way I have? My overwhelming response has always been the same. Physical and mental conditioning. I found it to be imperative. On a smaller scale I always conditioned myself to make the last presentation of the day my BEST! Why? One, because it took mental and physical toughness to pull that off. When you are tired after a long day it is very easy to give a lazy presentation, AND MISS! Now in order to pull this off you have to work on keeping yourself in shape physically as well as mentally.

There have been a million times in my career I just wanted to go home or dish off the prospect to someone else because I was tired. Hence the heading “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”. Many times during my career that last sale of the evening was the difference between a double, triple, or even a personal record, not to mention the times it resulted in a company record. When you develop this mental and physical toughness you will see yourself separate from the pack as your peers even with more talent don’t know about this important key in being a true professional. It goes back to hard work, but it actually gives you the inside track as to how to channel your hard work.

Remember the statement “Work Smarter not Harder”.

“The Specialist”

I’ve Arrived…

March 26, 2007

Hello everybody,

Today’s post is about something very commonplace in our great industry. The “I’ve arrived syndrome”.

It is incredible that when new sales persons enter our industry it is almost without fail that when they accumulate some product knowledge and start to make sales they all of a sudden hit that brick wall and they don’t understand why, but all of a sudden they can’t make a sale. Relax, it’s normal. What happens is that when they start making the sales they forget what helped them get the sales to begin with and think they HAVE IT! They also stop doing all the RIGHT things they WERE doing.

Selling is a never ending education and combination of never ending good work habits. So the new salesperson thinks they have all the knowledge necessary and at the same time stops working as hard as they once did because THEY’RE GOOD! Stop it. Unless you can sell everyone that approaches you, there are many mountains still to climb.

The art of a true Professional Salesperson is the ability to keep his axe sharp by constantly learning regardless of how good he or she perceives themselves. Most importantly, constantly developing good work habits so you can capitalize on your increased skill level. I have seen many people fall into self induced slumps because after a sale they relax and get careless in their presentation and decide after the sale they deserve some time off. Gosh, they can make a sale anytime they want to. They don’t need to work that hard. When you finish a sale that is the time to apply yourself even more and eventually regardless of your results you will learn to always work consistently hard and you will always be striving to learn something new that will enhance your chances with the next prospect. You will be learning one of the hardest lessons in sales, WORK HABITS!

If you are a regular reader of this blog you are one of the few that take your profession seriously. You are definitely headed in the right direction. Keep it up and the future will be yours!

“The Specialist”

An Honest Day’s Pay

March 25, 2007

Hello,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Today I want to talk about earning an honest living.

Not too long ago a young person reported to work in my friend’s business all exhausted and spent complaining of a headache and other assorted goodies. My friend was beside himself because he could just not reach this person and get them to understand that he expected their best. We sat and talked for a while and I asked him if I could share a story with this young person? Of course he agreed and brought the young person over and introduced us.

I compassionately asked the young person what was wrong and she went on to inform me of her list of ailments. After listening I asked her if she was about 80% of her normal self? She nodded as if to imply it could be worse. I then asked her if maybe 60% to 50% was more like it and she, feeling the compassion in my voice, readily agreed. I then proceeded to ask her how much she made per hour. She informed me she made $8.00 per hour. Well, I then expressed my concern that since she was a person of extreme honesty I know that she would only want me to pay her $4.00 per hour on this day since she admittedly was only up to about 50% of her potential. She got the message and decided that she was feeling better already.

I asked her to excuse herself and come back with the 100% attitude that my friend had originally hired. Especially if she expected him to pay her 100% pay that day. Whether you are a salesperson or manager, always give your employer, your team, but most importantly yourself an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay!

“The Specialist”