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The Competitive Advantage

June 23, 2020

Make Role Playing the Centerpiece of Your Sales Training. Here’s Why.

True story: My first job after college was as a sales rep for the DuPont Company. While much of the 3-month training program was technical in nature, we also spent a good deal of time developing our selling skills. And on one particular day, we were tasked with doing some role playing (and it was to be videotaped!). My training scenario was that I was visiting a client (played by the Sales Trainer) who started complaining vehemently about the terrible quality of our product. After 30 seconds of being berated by the client and trying to respond appropriately, I just froze up, looked at the camera and said, “Help me!”

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June 16, 2020

The Best Marketing Strategy? “Try It and See!”

While there have been a few remakes over the years… many of us remember the very first Life Cereal commercial featuring ‘Mikey’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgB25WBeBxA) which debuted in 1990. It features a couple of young brothers who didn’t know what to expect from a new breakfast cereal their parents gave them. So, they pass it on to their little brother, Mikey, who – to no one’s surprise – tries it and likes it!

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June 9, 2020

Marketing & Sales During the Pandemic: Invest or Wait-n-See?

I’ve talked with a lot of business owners in our industry over the past few months, and every firm falls into one of just two buckets… those that are actively investing in marketing & sales during the pandemic and those that are standing pat and taking a wait-and-see stance.

And by ‘invest,’ I don’t necessarily mean money (though a little of that wouldn’t hurt)… I’m talking about a commitment to an active marketing & sales initiative. To spend the time and effort to make it happen… and then to stick with it.

You can easily guess which side I come down on, but not because marketing & sales are the businesses we’re in… but because it really is the smart thing to do.

And here’s why…

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May 26, 2020

Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business? Find out here…

OK, let’s be honest… other than putting up a new blog post occasionally, how long has it been since you spent any real time on your website? And looked at it with a critical eye?

In today’s highly-competitive, fast-paced world, if your website isn’t up-to-date, then your firm is falling behind. So, to make sure your website is an asset – and not a liability – here are the four key website elements you need to review:

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May 19, 2020

Personal Development: 5 Ways to Make Yourself Better During the Pandemic

Right now, while you’re working from home, you’re not fighting traffic during your daily commute, you’re sitting in on fewer meetings and, unfortunately, things might be quieter with some of your clients. Do you know what that means? It means you’ve got a little extra time on your hands.

And you have three choices as to what you can do with that time. You can do more work. You can do something mindless (like watch reruns on TV and snack on Cheetos) or you can work on something you probably don’t spend enough time working on… yourself! Right now, with those available extra hours, is an ideal time for personal development. And here are 5 ways to make that happen…

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May 12, 2020

Do you have a defined sales process? No?! Ignoring it is a HUGE mistake!

Imagine you have responsibility for revenue growth at your firm and you finally decide to pull the trigger and convert a couple of your senior Project Managers to the Seller-Doer role. Congrats!

Now what? Well, one of the items you’ll need to cover in their training is to help them understand your firm’s ‘sales process.’

Sales process?! It’s not a term or a concept used very often in our industry… but it’s critical to your selling success. And here’s why…

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May 4, 2020

Selling Success Requires 2 Things… a Good Sales Rep and a Better Sales Manager

8 Keys for Effective Sales Management

I was chatting with an industry colleague this past week and he mentioned he had just repositioned two of his Project Managers into Business Development roles… one as an account manager and one to go after new business.

And then he said something that really surprised me and even made me smile. He said, “This process has made me realize that I’m no sales manager!”

Wow! He is literally the first person in Market Research I have met who has said that. Out loud. Don’t get me wrong… there are a ton of really bad sales managers in our industry – he’s just the first one to admit it.

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April 21, 2020

Stop hard selling during the pandemic… use these 9 ‘soft touches’ instead.

I’ve been involved in a number of industry conversations lately around the topic of ‘selling during the pandemic.’ As the uncertainty grows, firms want/need to continue to sell, if only to maintain their business.

For many, however, the inclination is to be too proactive… that is ‘sell harder, sell faster.’ The reality is, though, that the opposite approach will have a much more positive impact.

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