Welcome to The Pipeline.

Time To Grow Up – Sales eXchange 1980

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

grow up

When my kids were young and they would wish for something not real, or as a way to avoid a task, like “I wish I didn’t have to clean my room”, “I wish I could grow up to be a princess”, their grandmother always responded by saying “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride”.  It’s interesting how that expression has great significance and application to many sales people and sales advisors, all now grown-ups.

I am speaking specially of advice doled out by some sales pundits that serves more to placate and patronize readers than help them improve their selling skills and success, delivering clichés and politically correct feel good myth, instead of proven and practical road tested advice based on experience.  While we all want to make our audience feel good, I think it is more important to provide pragmatic advice that yields measurable results, even when it requires effort on the part of the reader and will often force them from their comfort zones.  I for one do not see a problem in challenging readers and sellers, and do not apologize for creating some discomfort in helping them succeed.  Much better than some of the sugar coated buzzword riddled schmaltz others seem to be peddling in an effort to make sellers feel good and allow them to rationalize their lack of effort, inventiveness and results.  But as we all know sugar highs don’t last.

If you are wondering why I am on about this, it’s because once again I have someone taking a shot at my often debated, never disproven voice mail technique, not because it doesn’t work, it does, but because it does not appeal to their “sensibilities”, a sensibility that leads to no returned calls.  As usual the technique is misrepresented, making it easier to cast in a questionable light, they then schmear a load of subjectivity mixed with value judgment, and raising but not speaking to the specifics of words like “trust” or “ethics”.

The reality is that there are no absolutes in sales, nothing works all the time, every time, most things don’t work most the time, so when you have a technique that proves to be 30% – 50% effective, you have something worth adopting.  What’s more, while the technique may seem counter intuitive at first, those who try it, report back a consistent success rate.  Recently there was a debate in a LinkedIn group, there were many who questioned the technique, who once they tried it, liked it, mostly because it got them call backs and appointments.

Most recently, the technique was again misrepresented, and labeled asinine.  I bet I can find some internal memos at most record companies dating back to 10 years ago that called iTunes an asinine way to sell and consume music.  I bet there were some Blockbuster folks who called Netflix asinine.  Interestingly few are willing to challenge it head on.  One challenger was invited to debate the technique on “This Week In Sales” webcast, but declined, I wonder why; not the worst thing, I had the whole show to myself.

As an industry, “sales enablers”, we keep highlighting the fact that only 50% of B2B reps make quota, well what is our role in that?  If we do not push them to better themselves by trying, new, alternative, and yes at times outlandish but effective methods.  We should challenge our audience, not just dust off the edges of tired techniques that play to the emotion of the reader even while ignoring the fact that what is being peddled are just retreads with new labels.

In the end it is down to the reader, our consumer, they choose how they want to make or not make quota.  In the end the readers are like we the pundits, some know what is Shinola, and what’s not.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

I’d Rather You Trust Me Rather Than Like Me! – Sales eXchange 16750

Sales is not without its share of wife’s tales or empty sayings, passed down from one generation of sales people to the next.  Some are considered universal, despite the fact that it has been a long time since they related to anything in specific to selling consistently and successfully.  But they sound good, and you generally get “bonus” points for saying them in the right discussion, on social media or sales seminars.  You don’t know how hard I have to hold back from rolling my eyes or taking someone full on when they drop one of these untruths in my workshops.  In most instances, these are completely wrong, or off the mark, but go unchallenged because they have taken cultural roots in the sales mythology.

One of these is the notion that “people buy from people they like”.  BS!  We have all bought from people we did not necessarily like or would want to spend time with outside the business at hand.  What people really mean is that “people buy from people they trust”, but many sellers have difficulty creating trust, and have a much easier time “getting liked”.  Some are good at being likable, others go to the most common denominator, and buy their adoration.  One fellow I was debating the issue with this week, offered this when I asked him how his team achieves being liked: “a couple reps taking prospects to the Giants Rockies game on Thursday couple reps taking prospects to the Giants Rockies game on Thursday”.   Gee, what do you do in non-Major League towns?

This no different than the reps who rather than dealing directly with objections or giving sound reason to a buyer for meeting say “I’ll bring the coffee, how do you take it”.

Sure it is effective, it may even generate the illusion of being liked, until someone more “likeable” read bigger presents, comes along.  You don’t know how many times I speak to reps who lost existing accounts who say, “I thought he liked me”; sure he did till someone more likeable came along.

On the other hand, if you build trust, and maintain and grow trust, you build a more solid foundation for a business relationship.  And that is what we are dealing with a business relationship, if you are trustworthy in the way you do business, in how you help them achieve their objectives, you will be on much safer ground than if you pretend they like you.  There are people we all trust that may not be at the top of our “like” list; but they are at the top of reliability list, capability list, straight intentions list, etc.

If you want to start to work on your trust index, there are lots of great choices, I would recommend you start with Charles H. Green, and work from there.

I have had clients who I knew did not like me in any particular way, but when it came to trust, recommendation to others, and relying on for honest advice and helping their business, I have been their go to person for years, because they trust me, and they LIKE the work I do.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Where Do You Draw The Line?105

What would you do to get a sale?  Let’s frame the discussion, we are talking about a B2B sale, the client has options, the “other guy’s” product is very similar to yours (their shade of blue is two digits darker on the hexadecimal chart), and you are resolved not to win the business by discounting.

This was the topic of a lively discussion among four B2B reps I was recently facilitating.  We were looking at potential options in a sale that was at risk of going sideways unless some dramatic steps were taken.  In an effort to ensure we covered all possibilities, we started by listing all potential courses of action – nothing was off the table in the first go around, they were encouraged to throw out ideas to be captured on a white board.  The intent was to then narrow things down once we had a full range of ideas, strategies or tactics, after this first no holds barred round.


What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

2010 Highlights and Lowlights!22

2010 has been an interesting year, then again if you live life to the fullest they are all interesting years, like sales it is what you make of it, what you give to it, and what can you take away from it.  So what makes any year different is the specifics, the things we’ve learned, discovered, and on the down side, the things bothered us to the point of delivering an unwanted lessons.  So like most outlets this time of year, it’s time for the Highlights/Lowlights – Stars and dogs.

Among the highlights for me, was stepping in and salvaging a failing book project on trigger events; I was able to marshal some key resources and bringing life back into the project, saving it, and then have the book win a bronze in Top Sales World’s Annual Sales Awards 2010 Book of the Year.

But even the above is a distant second to the feedback from readers and sales professionals of the blog, or by extension those reading them in the various LinkedIn groups they are pushed to.  There are those who doubt your recommendations would work, and put together valid arguments as to why, and cause you to think in the process.  Then there are those who try things and write back in delight, and make your week.

Now for the dogs, and believe me I know dogs, my wife is a star groomer! (It’s probably an insult to those four legged critters to label what follows after them).  For me it is the sales bloggers/experts who are one hit wonders and persist on repeating their thin same message time after time, in response to every question and post.  Let’s be honest, those of us who blog regularly do it in some part to promote ourselves, our companies, our methodology and approach to sales.  Since sales is a varied game driven by what you sell, who you sell to, where and a host of other factors that make it different enough day to day, sales person to sales person.  Given that, there is great opportunity for most to contribute to various discussions in a number of different and valid ways depending on the subject or question at hand.  But then you get that small group who mo matter what the question asked, what the discussion is, not matter what the topic, cut and paste and post the same comment/response no matter what.

Doesn’t matter if their contribution relates to the topic at hand or as in most cases not even in the neighbourhood, they just blah blah blab the same thing every time.  Now when I say the same thing, I don’t mean same subject, I mean the exact same thing, word for word, comma by comma, cut and paste taken to an art form.  It’s gotten to the point where I can bait them because they track certain words, and regardless of how and why those words appear, you can bet your lunch money that those words are about to come, early for the east coast ones, a bit later as you move west; place the bet and that lunch money will buy you supper too.

So there you have it, I guess I am old enough to know that this will not change much in 2011, but I am smart enough to focus on the highlights and help them create often enough to drown out the lowlights.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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Please Don’t Steal This Post! – Saturday Sales Tip – 2330

I want to start by thanking everybody who reads this blog regularly, not only for reading it, but for the regular stream of feedback and suggestions to improve.  I take that to heart and work hard to incorporate suggestions.  Key being that I work hard, as do other bloggers putting out a stream of original and creative content aimed at helping the sales community.  I also want to thank those other bloggers and site owners who have reposted my pieces and those of fellow content creators and given us the proper credit and attribution.  I, and as I suspect my fellow bloggers, welcome and appreciate when our work is recognized and properly credited.

So in comes, Michael J. Roman – – Time to jeer and boo the villain of out real life drama has made his entrance.  He loves other people content so much that he adopts it to be his own, and in an effort not to confuse the readers of his “blog?”, he doesn’t credit the original author, but simplifies matters by pretending and resenting the content as his own.  For Shame! While I could go on, I think you can get a greater sense of the crime by reposting two posts by two friends and sales authors who have been victimised by Michael J. Roman.  At the end of Jonathan Farrington’s and Kelley Robertson’s posts, you’ll find links to other like minded bloggers dealing with this serious problem of intellectual property theft.  So today’s Saturday Sales Tip is simple:  Don’t Steal – Don’t Take Credit For Other People’s Work – not even mine!

Please tweet, retweet and spread the word about this form of Swine Flu!

 Jonathan Farrington’s post, originally posted on JF Blogit

When Plagiarism Is NOT Flattering – Stand Up Michael J. Roman

I would like to introduce you to Michael J. Roman – Michael who? Exactly. But after today, so many more people will be familiar with that name, as it flies around the “Blogosphere” and becomes the topic of much “Twittering”

Here is how Michael describes himself:

“Michael is a POLISHED BUSINESS EXECUTIVE with a proven history of success including nearly fifteen years of successful leadership experience.

Michael is highly skilled in effective, strategic management of sales, operations, administrative, and consulting professionals in addition to full operations and profit and loss (P&L) management…..” Etc. etc. You can read more here

You may also be impressed by Michael’s “core values” particularly this one:

“Integrity – The most important of all values. Michael’s belief is that integrity is not optional, nor is it situational.”

I always feel uncomfortable when anyone considers it necessary to promote their own integrity: In my experience, one’s integrity is gauged by one’s friends/colleagues/peer groups/clients – not  by ourselves.

In the same way, when anyone begins a sentence with:

“To be perfectly/totally/completely honest with you …” It always makes me wonder if the previous communication/dialogue/discussions/conversations, have been less than honest.

Michael posts to his site virtually every day, and the articles are of a very high quality. He goes to great lengths to protect ” his” copyright:

“©Copyright 2010 Michael J. Roman. All rights reserved.
Except where specifically noted, no information within this blog may be copied, duplicated, stored in a retrieval system or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of Michael J. Roman. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact me at the following email address:

Nothing unusual about that?

Well, yes actually. Why does someone go to such lengths to spell out their copyright statement, when they have total disregard for everyone else’s?

You see, Michael doesn’t actually write his own material – he steals it from other people. He just goes and copies it from other people’s sites and claims it as his own.

On his first page alone, there are seven of my blog posts, and in total, I  found twenty!

Sometimes he leaves the title and the text wholly intact, other times he changes it to suit himself, here is an example:
I posted “So, Just What Are The Essential Leadership Qualities?”

” I have been “leading” since I was eight years old – my first soccer captaincy – and I have been leading for most of my life.”
He posts “What Are Essential Leadership Qualities” and changes the text to:

“I have been “leading” since I was twelve years old – being the lead drummer for my grammar school jazz band – and I have been leading for most of my life.”

I am not the only “victim” – several of my colleagues and friends have also had their work pirated, and to say the least, they are not impressed.
On Thursday, I took the unusual step of adding an additional copyright notice to my post – I placed this at the foot:-

“The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted. © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This article or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.”

But that did not deter him – he not only stole my post, he also stole my copyright notice and replaced my name with his!
If that were not enough, he has now re-published an article, which I first published on Ezine Articles on October 27th 2006 –

And claimed it as his own –

This week, I celebrated my 900th post on this blog. Each of those posts took time and effort to craft. Each of the 200 articles that I have written and published on various sites over the last four years have also required a huge investment of my time. Why have I bothered – after all, I know lots of people who write so much better than me?

You know the answer to that question.

So, what to do now?

I am going to let nature take care of itself for a few days, then I will be in contact with Michael. Or maybe he will do the decent thing and contact me first.

Michael, I understand that this is the one post that you will not want to steal and re-publish – copyright violation is serious stuff, so please do get in touch with me before my lawyers get in touch with you. This is an early appeal; the later ones will be far less polite – you know it makes sense!

I would have willingly given him all of my work to re-publish, if he had asked – as long as he placed my bio underneath them, and not his own!
I will of course keep you fully updated as events unfold.

There is a chance that by the time you get to read this, he will have taken the site down, so you can download a PDF of the front page here.

Kelley Robertson’s post  Originally posted on Fearless Selling

When Imitation is NOT the Best Form of flattery

I suspect that you have heard the expression, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” While that’s true in many cases, there are situations when this statement does not apply.

I, like many other trainers, speakers and industry experts, write and post articles on the Internet. We include our copyright and respectfully ask that proper credit is given when someone uses this article in their publication.

However, over the years I have encountered many people who have taken my articles and published them in magazines, newsletter, and blog and then had the audacity to claim them as their own. As much as I dislike it, I take action to ensure these unscrupulous individual’s either remove my copyrighted material or add the proper credit and issue an apology.

Well, here’s the latest plagiarist to rip off my intellectual capital. I would like to introduce you to Michael J. Roman. Here is how Michael describes himself:

“Michael is a POLISHED BUSINESS EXECUTIVE with a proven history of success including nearly fifteen years of successful leadership experience. Michael is highly skilled in effective, strategic management of sales, operations, administrative, and consulting professionals in addition to full operations and profit and loss (P&L) management…..”

Michael’s core values include:

“Integrity – The most important of all values. Michael’s belief is that integrity is not optional, nor is it situational.”

Michael posts to his site virtually every day and the articles are of a very high quality so he goes to great lengths to protect “his” copyright:

“©Copyright 2010 Michael J. Roman. All rights reserved.  Except where specifically noted, no information within this blog may be copied, duplicated, stored in a retrieval system or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of Michael J. Roman. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact me at the following email address:

Needless to say, when it was brought to my attention that Michael may have posted some of my articles on his blog I checked it out immediately. Fortunately, only one of my articles was posted here but it was still enough to rile me up.

I have written and published about 500 articles since starting my business in 2002 and each of these required a significant investment of my time. To have someone else publish my material under their name and take credit for my efforts cannot go unchecked.

I am not the only “victim” – several of my colleagues and friends have also had their work pirated, and to say the least, they are not impressed. My good friend Jonathan Farrington discovered 20 of his articles on Michael’s site.

So, what’s next?

I plan to contact Michael directly and politely ask him to remove my article or give it proper credit. I know several other authors are planning to do the same in addition to making their readers aware of his less-than-ethical behaviour.

If you want to help you can:
1. Retweet this post to your followers.

2. Send an email to Michael and express your concern with his unethical behaviour.

3. Contact any author, trainer, speaker, expert in your network and let them know about this plagiarist.

4. Blog about this unethical behaviour.

I guess what really bothers me about this whole thing is that I would be more than willing to let this guy use my articles on his blog if he just had the decency to ask and give proper credit.

Other posts you can read and support in this cause:

Skip Anderson:  The Scourge of the Blogosphere: Plagiarism and Michael J. Roman

Sales eXchange – 43 – Partner 2.017

A lot of people in business and in sales use certain words in ways entirely different than their meaning.  In the past I have talked about the use of the word “relationship” by sales people in a way that is almost laughable at times.
Another word that is thrown about with little regard for definition or intent is the word partner or partnership.  When you compare what some people mean or what their intent is when they use the word, versus what the word means you can’t but be struck by how disingenuous some people are.

First let’s define partner:

1. a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or   endeavour; sharer; associate.
2. A person associated with another or others as a principal or a contributor of capital in a business or a joint venture, usually sharing its risks and profits.

In my discussions I tend to focus on number 2, with the key word being “sharing”, as I think most people do, but there are many who pick and choose their definition based on very selfish needs.

I remember being part of a business development team during the latter stages of the dot com boom.  We were exploring means of disseminating news and information on mobile and other devices.  I used to get people from small and upcoming companies come and visit looking to work with us, the company I was with had a high profile name due to the two parent companies at the time.  They all opened the meeting the same way, “we want to be your partner in this project”.  This did not mean they wanted to share resources, IP or technology.  What they meant was that they wanted the ability to include us in their next press release and increase their chances in the IPO derby that was so popular at the time.  When we suggested that we share resources, or co-develop, many would cringe. 

This week again, I ran into someone that had a different definition of partner than mine. 
In anticipation of my upcoming book, I find myself in discussions with potential partners, most vendors where there is a natural fit between the product and the methodology outlined in the book.  Some vendors, expect me to not only promote their offering but also expect me to not promote or work with any of their potential competitors.  I have no issues with this and understand the need for this form of “monogamy”.  What is surprising is when you ask for the same in return, that is, that the vendor not promote other competitive authors or vendors.

I use the word “monogamy” specifically, a further definition of partner is:

3. A husband or a wife; spouse.

One vendor I was speaking to was at first surprised by my definition of a partner, my conditions and insistence for mutual exclusive support.  But to his credit he quickly understood and embraced the notion of a true partnership, the possibilities inherent in working together to achieve mutual success.

Another took an entirely different view, I was to promote only his product, use only his product and supplied a list of products, I could not mention, work with or even be associated with.  When I suggested that there were some people that I would like him not to support or promote, he practically laughed.  More a reflection on him than me I think. 

These two examples speak directly to the larger issue of doing the right thing.  If one is willing to screw their partner, and remember a lot of vendors will call you their partner, what would those same people be willing to do to those they deal with that they don’t see as partners?

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Sales eXchange – 3913


Last Thursday I posted a piece about reputation in the days of Web 2.0, we referred to it as Reputation 2.0, looking at the impact of people’s “Social Media Footprint”, this piece is specifically about trust, perception of trust and the impact of loss of trust in economical terms. While clearly trust impacts reputation it wasn’t my intent to post on trust immediately, but the question of trust has come up a couple of time in business related discussions over the lat few days; fortunately in both instances neither involved me and my clients, but rather people looking to do business with me, so it heightened my sensitivity of trust and perception of trust in dealing with my clients.

While there are a number of components to trust, there two every sales person needs to be acutely aware of and fight to be on the right side of, they are intent and their track record.

Certain actions can fall on either side of the trust line, and the thing that distinguishes which side they are on is intent. This is especially difficult in sales where on the one hand you want to make sure that your buyer and their interest are your primary drivers, delivering value and exceeding expectations to support it. At the same time you have obligations to your company’s financial health and meeting quota which have direct impact on making a living and staying employed.

Good sales people with good products/solutions work hard and succeed in balancing these two objectives. Others who may not have the most robust or complete solutions have a greater challenge. Full disclosure of all the facts could always leave them as runners up. Some sales people will compensate for this by doing a thorough discovery and exploration of the buyer’s circumstance, helping clients prioritize their requirements, and showing them that based on the client’s specifics, their solution, while not having all the bells and whistles of the top players, still deliver on every aspect needed to address the buyer’s requirements and specs. Unfortunately, there are other sales people, not necessarily bad, just not great, who take a different approach, fudging or omitting facts during their sale.

Now depending on you moral compass the sin of omission may not seem to be a sin, especially in sales. But it is.  Some may be able to rationalize – apologize – editorialize matters; they can fast talk their position.  But being aware of a deficiency vis-à-vis the agreed on requirements of a buyer and not disclosing it, is a breach of trust. Working with the buyer to pin point their requirements, then mutually revising requirements accordingly so the deficiency is no longer an issue, is selling.  Burying the deficiency and side stepping the client’s needs is not.

We have all seen sales people do a nip and tuck on reality or facts to make a deal happen; we have all worked for managers who have told their reps to do whatever it takes to win the deal, and they meant it literally. The challenge for the sales professional is to resist the urge and continue to focus on maintaining trust even if it means the deal taking longer or at times not happening.

Let’s face it these days it is easy to believe that one can and should do things to facilitate their needs and relegate trust to second or third priority. While Tiger may not have harmed most of us directly, he did betray trust. While some sponsors distanced themselves, it was primarily for optics rather than conviction. Disagree?  Well let’s talk again after his “triumphant” return at the Masters, increased ratings, revenues, a commercial catharsis, and the sponsors will be tripping over themselves once more. And who can blame Tiger? He was just doing what he learned from a former president, who was no different than Newt, who just did what Jesse “Rhymin’ Man” Jackson did.  All of them betrayed trust, each with the clear intent to put their own interests first, second and third.  They each breached trust, yet suffered no consequence. 

So what is a poor sales person with real pressures to do?  Well at the risk of sounding naïve, do everything they can to maintain it, as mentioned above, even if it means the deal, because over the long run, those deals will be short lived, as will their reputation and the ability to sell more.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Actions Speak Louder Than Words29

There is a great discussion taking place over at S. Anthony Iannarino’s The Sales Blog, examining the nature and impact of competitiveness in sales.  In a piece titled In Defense of Competitiveness in Salespeople , Anthony discusses the topic along with input from Dave Brock.  As you will see from the comment I left, I would have to back Anthony.  For a couple of specific reasons; one was that sales professionals need to be judged by their actions, not their words.  Second was that it is the job of the sales person to drive revenue for their companies, while at the same time delivering value to their customers.
One of the threads was around the words and language some of us in sales use to describe our craft and actions in the process of executing our work.  Much of the language came from forums and sites dedicated to sales professionals, written by and for sales professionals, as a result there is descriptive language that is graphic for effect, and as one would suspect, containing more than a sprinkle of bravado.  The concern by some, and valid it is, is that the words we use to describe ourselves and works against us and our reputation.  Maybe so, but I am not convinced.  Main reason being that ultimately, people need to judge sales people or anyone by their actions.  I may sit around and talk mucho with my friends and colleagues, but in the most professional way with my clients, and I would expect that my clients will judge their interactions by what I do, how I treat them, the resources I bring to bear to meet their requirements, and the over all value/ROI I work to deliver for them, their companies, and investment.
The reality is that words do have a great impact, and the real professionals understand that while they may kibitz around their craft with their friends, when they are selling, when they are working with a buyer, the mucho talk needs to be replaced with action.  And while some sales people do have a bad reputation for all the right reasons, the same can be said for any profession, and I have enough faith in buyers not to confuse me and other professionals with those who deserve the reputation.
My contribution to the whole issue was to refer to sales as a predatory sport, and I will stand by that.  In most instances, I am competing with one or more competitors, (in addition to the status quo).  As a result, it becomes a “predatory” affair between me and the other potential providers, it is not a predatory approach to the client.  The blood sport aspect of it stems from the very survival nature of the game.  If I win a deal, a sales rep from another company loses, goes home with no food (kill) for the tribe that day. The tribe, the company, depends on the sales reps, the warriors, to go out every day, and bring back sustenance for the organization to survive, grow and thrive.  If I win, my tribe eats, his doesn’t.  As long as we don’t rip the customer apart in the process, I think the term is fitting. 
But in the process of the sales, the planning, the strategy, the execution, it is very much like a hunt, i.e. hunter, but we are not hunting customers, and we are very much in an all or none game vis-à-vis our competitors.
One comment I would make, is working with a number of sales teams in different verticals, it is often the sales professional who finds himself in the role of “prey”, feeling hunted, abused and injured by clients.  Rather than looking for that balance of a fair price and value, many are taking way too much advantage of the current economy, and are bleeding their providers dry, squeezing the last unnecessary penny out of every deal.  Yes, everybody needs to economize, everyone needs to take a buck further, but looking at the way some clients treat their reps and suppliers, it is only a question of time before some great companies, with some great reps, who have great families, are bled dry.  When this happens everyone loses, including the clients who are left with a low cost no value providers, which is bound to impact their ability to meet the expectation of their clients.  And all this is done the while using the most genteel words to describe what they do.
What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto


Thank you lad





The People Have Voted


Number One


Wow 48.4% of the 2,985 votes cast, 1,445 votes cast for my article “How to shorten your sales cycle” in annual run off for the article of the year at Top 10 sales Articles.  That was 16.7% ahead of the article with the second most votes, and a full 40% ahead of the article with the third most votes.  Wow! Thank you!

I want to THANK everybody who not only voted for me, but took the extra step of getting out the vote from their network of contacts. People from Australia to Israel, India to Spain, UK to USA, and coast to coast in Canada, all these great readers took time and effort to show their support.  All I can say is Thank You, Thank You!   Hope to continue to meet your expectations.

I addition I was also informed that my article “Quantify – Don’t Qualify” was the second most read article in 2009 at Salesopedia.com.   It had 2,662 read as of yesterday morning since it appeared in April this year.  By the way at the same site where “How to shorten your sales cycle” has been read over 6,150 times since it appeared there in April 2008.

So thank you again for your support here at The Pipeline, and at Salesopedia.com.

Keep Reading
Tibor Shanto

A Question Of Ethics14

Angels and devils

On Monday we shared with you the way the sales team that was the subject of our last So You ThinQ Can Sell contest overcame it’s challenge. I then had a call from someone I know asking me if I thought the solution used by the team was ethical?

Interesting question, I had not thought of it in that light, my first reaction was yes why not?  She then told me of how she was once recruited away from a job, but the intent and results were very different than for the team we discussed.

She was working for one of two or three major players in the sector, and was doing quiet well. While we don’t often think about it, our success is someone else’s failure, someone else’s declining revenues and margins. As her success mounted so did the frustration level of one specific competitor.

Turns out the competitor had their own little meeting and decided to also engage a recruiter. Not unusual, the team in the contest did it, and you can also see the comment from a recruiter on the winner post.

But here is where things went dark; it seemed the intent of the competitor was not to hire talent, but to stifle it. Once they brought her on board they limited her ability to work with clients, especially the ones she had relationships with.  It wasn’t long before it became clear that their intent was to keep her as a trophy in a case.  This move went far beyond undermining a competitor, which I think is ethical, talent is often hired away.  But curtailing the ability of the individual rep to practice their profession and earn their rewards seems not only punitive, shallow and very unethical.

The question I would ask you the readers, is do you think what our team did, that is have a hand in getting the DSS a new job, a job very he was productive and able to grow, an ethical or unethical approach.  I’ll go first; I think it was ethical because it did not negatively impact the individual, as it did in the other case above, which I think is clearly unethical.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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