Friday, December 28, 2007

"Father of Modern Networking" puts in the Spotlight

Ivan Misner is known as the "Father of Modern Networking" according to CNN and many others organizations. When Mr. Misner speaks, networking organizations listen....intently. I've personally read and highly recommend Mr. Misner's book, Giver's Gain, a book about BNI, the networking organization which Ivan founded way back in 1985 with the core philosophy that, as the title states, "Givers Gain.". In fact BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world. So when I read his Dec 20th article on how to build relationships to generate quality referrals, I was extremely impressed to learn that authorities like Misner are preaching the importance of good old fashioned hand-written snail mail, and for those who are pressed for time, a modern-day solution that's both high-tech and high-touch, from Utah-based

As Misner astutely points out in the Dec 20th column in Entrepreneur Magaine,

"'s not about getting more referrals; it's about showing your appreciation [emphasis added] for the ones you get and making the most of the opportunity, while strengthening your referral relationships to ensure that your referral pipeline flows steadily and reliably."

Not surprisingly, Misner, is aware of the value of SendOutCards as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. In fact, he's not only aware of it, but specifically mentions it in his recent Dec 20th column in Entrepreneur magazine.

I'm so glad Misner is shining the light of day on this service which I first learned about from Diane Walker, a top-notch, standup businessperson from Florida, and a senior executive independenly affiliated with the firm. Although I'm not a distributor like Diane, I have been an extemely satisfied customer of hers since 2005. Frankly, I absolutely love the service. All I do is select a card, type in whatever message I want and then include a photo. You can even have S.O.C. insert a gift card or include a box of chocolates. In fact, I can even put the card in my own handwriting and sign it with my signature---all online, without any extra computer equipment!!! Sendoutcards does the rest. Very nice.

So what's the take-home today? Simple. While it's important to make use of technology for some communication, when you really want to show appreciation, there's nothing quite like a hand-written card you can touch and feel.

As CEO Kody Bateman wisely notes, "Appreciation will always win out over self promotion." And as we all know, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That's a lesson every quality salesperson knows AND remembers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

21 Ways to Bring in the Business

Here's a thought-provoking article from Entrepreneur Magazine. I particularly like the last one:
21. When in doubt, pick up the phone!!!!!! (!s added by me:)

Excellent B2B Sales Training

Sandler Sales Institute has an outstanding reputation for sales training that is markedly different and more effective than traditional training. The reason is their ongoing and intensive group training (they refer to it as their "President's Club") that allows business executives and staff salespeople to participate in weekly sessions with salespeople from other organizations. They also offer one-to-one daily executive coaching. They don't do 1 day hoo-rah, let's get you pumped up for a day, and we'll see you next year for another shot in the arm (the effects of which usually last for no longer than a month). Their pyschology of sales is based on Transactional Analysis.

TA is used to address the following needs, among many others:
  • Iinstitutional climate and culture
  • Self esteem building
  • Staff morale
  • Behaviour management

Sandler has franchisees all over the country. I've had the privilege of undergoing some of their training at Awareness Management, their institute in central Missouri.

Here are some of the Sandler Rules:
1. You don't have to finish the presentation.
2. Don't buy back tomorrow what you sold today.
3. Money does grow on trees; referral trees.
4. You don't have to like cold calls; you only have to make them.
5. You cannot fail at prospecting unless you fail to prospect

Some of the salespeople I have come across, including myself, that have had a lot of success with Sandler are those in retail wireless, wireless B2B, real estate, furniture sales, among others.

Any sales manager or senior executive who is looking at sales training for themselves and for their entire organization needs to give Sandler a call to at at least check 'em out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm an Aphorism Junkie

Ok, I admit it. I love aphorisms, proverbs, and fortune cookie food for thought. They help me to keep a positive outlook in my personal and professional life. Some of them I post in my work space to keep me motivated.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A few "tricks of the trade"

They're all important but i'd say #6 is the one thing amateurs most often forget to do.

  1. Prepare with the right KNOWLEDGE: Precede the call by doing homework on the person and their company. Learn all that you can, including any connections you might have.
  2. Prepare with the right ATTITUDE: You are going to treat this a little bit like a GAME. Yes, that's right, a game. Take cold calling really seriously and you are bound to burn out, and fast. Get yourself in a laughing, light-hearted frame of mind and you'll be good to go. Leave your ego at the door. This has nothing to do with your ego and everything to do with sorting through your callers for a winner.
  3. Some sales trainers will tell you to stand up when your cold calling. I disagree. You have to find what works best for you. In my experience, sitting down works just fine. Bottom line: Try both and see what gets you better results.
  4. Use humor at the onset. “someone accused you of having a big heart.”Humor helps to open people up. Use it to your advantage!!!
  5. Start with yes questions. For example: Rumor has it you guys are wanting to increase your bottom line. Is that true? Or, for fundraising: “Jim Jones said you had a big heart. Is that true?” This is extremely effective.
  6. **************************Stay focused. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT FROM THE PROSPECT. I''ve seen so many cold callers who are trying to simply set an appointment do EVERYTHING BUT try to do that. They spend 5 hours answering every single one of the prospects objections but by the time they are ready to ask what time would work best for the prospect, he's already said he needs to "Think It Over" (that's good ole Uncle TIO. He's not your friend :)*******
  7. Pause in between calls occasionally. Keep chit chat with colleagues to a minimum but DO NOT avoid chatting all together. It provides a highly effective tension-relief and helps to get you recharged.
  8. K.I.S.S. :)
  9. Remember that your goal is SORTING, not SLAMMING the person into the box you want him to go into. Some will, some won't. So what!!! Another one is waiting. NEXT!!!! NEXT!!!! MOVE ON!!!
  10. End with a commitment from your prospect to meet you at place A, on day B, at time C. and immediately send an email confirming this IN WRITING.

Inc Mag. Article

Inc. has some great articles on sales. Here's some food for thought I found in a recent issue. It includes a helpful script.

Looking for a job

I've been looking for a job lately. Lots and lots of cold calling. Lots and lots of NOs. But I'm that much closer to a YES!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Opening Lines

Well, this is it. My first blog on sales. The first thing I'd like to focus on today is cold calling and the mindset that is needed to be successful. You can be a subpar salesperson but still be an excellent cold caller if you
1. Maintain a positive attitude. Don't take the rejections personally.
2. Make the call as warm as possible by reading up on the person and the company you are calling and maybe even finding people you know who might be connected in some way to your prospect.
3. Keep it short and sweet. Stay focused.

I'll share more in detail on each of these 3 steps in the future but this is just to get the engines running.

Intro to OpenID

OpenID Bootcamp Tutorial

From: daveman692, 4 months ago

Simon Willison and David Recordon's OpenID tutorial from O'Reilly's OSCON 07.

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