“Pull” Demand

In today’s business environment, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain the attention of potential customers. I read more blogs, articles and white papers about the customer acquisition process and demand generation than just about any other topic. The common theme of these articles is about tactical execution: sending e-mails, building websites, doing blogs, creating fan pages, tweeting,  and getting SEO right.

I’m not suggesting these tactics aren’t important, but I think that marketing organizations often view their mission as being tactical execution. What is missing is the appropriate fundamental messaging. That is what enabling “pull” demand is all about. Continue reading ““Pull” Demand”

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Overcoming the Maytag Effect

The most common question I hear in my “pundit-like” capacity is,

Why does my sales cycle take so long?

It’s really good question… Most of the time there is an obvious answer.

It’s because you decided it took that long!

It’s fun to be a pundit… as an outside observer, you frequently can see things that the management team often can’t see for themselves.  Even really good sales managers sometimes overlook obvious opportunities for sales improvement.

Let’s talk about the “Maytag Effect”.

What’s the Maytag Effect?  Look around your home, you’ll find there are few things that have been there longer than your clothes washer and dryer.  At my house, after a lifetime of marriage and 3 kids that are now grown-ups, I have gone through exactly 2 washers and 2 dryers!  They don’t break and you just don’t have to buy them that often.
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The “Connector” Trap

A long-time colleague of mine recently lamented about how start-up companies always seem to ignore sales. He commented that start-up businesses have a 4x better chance of surviving when they are founded by sales people instead of the people who invented the product.  I can’t agree more…

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How I Became a Top Sales Performer (Part 1)

Lesson 1: Sales is NOT about Selling

I am fortunate to have had a very successful sales career. But, it didn’t start out that way.  First I had to learn the most important lesson in sales:  Sales is NOT about selling.

Wait a minute! What do you mean, “Sales is not about selling”?

It’s not.

What I’ve learned as someone who has trained and managed a lot of sales people is that 99% of the things that you hear about sales when you get into it are simply wrong! Continue reading “How I Became a Top Sales Performer (Part 1)”

How I Became a Top Sales Performer (Part 2)

Sales people that properly organize and plan their sales efforts know how to analyze customer needs, and that results in more closed business!

They’re Not That Into You….

People need a reason to buy from you, and for the most part, you are not the reason they buy!

My experience starting out in sales was that most of the sales people I worked with sold under the assumption that the reason the customer bought the product was because it had great “features and benefits”.   Then one day, my sales manager said something to me I’ll never forget.  At that time I was selling computer equipment to big corporations.  He said, “Terry, a computer is nothing more than a furnace if the customer has no software to run on it!” Read More…

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