Welcome to The Pipeline.

A Random Walk Up Sales Street – 2210

ARWUSS

Liar Liar Deal’s On Fire

A few years back I was delivering a three day workshop in the States, a lively group of managers, fun to work with; there was no shortage of jokes and fun. One particularly animated fellow wasted no time on the first day to point out that “buyers are liars”, several times in fact.

Next day we were working on a different part of the process, same fellow this time informed us all that “sellers are liars”. We all laughed but no one seemed to be offended by either suggestion. In some ways I was afraid to come back on third day, as trainers were the only ones left in the equation that have not been accused of being liars.

In many ways it is not surprising to hear sales people say this in as much as they have to deal with untruths on a daily basis. While I am not sure you can call everything a lie, it doesn’t change the impact. At the same time sellers also mislead, lie, whatever you may call it, to buyers. While you could spend time trying to figure out where this vicious cycle got started, it really doesn’t make much of a difference since it goes on regularly, in equal measure by both side. The question really is why?

When sellers prospect a potential buyer very few set out with the intent to mislead or lie. I also have to believe that when a prospect accepts an appointment, they don’t do it to see how much they can mislead the seller in one meeting.  But that’s what it often deteriorates to and quickly. 

Being that sellers usually initiate the process we own the responsibility setting the flow, and as such avoiding this kind of activity.  We also want to give buyers the benefit of the doubt that if they mislead sellers, it is only a result of having had experience with inferior sellers (let’s not forget how easily many buy into and espouse the 80/20 rule).

So how do you prevent from being lied to, even if it is just a defensive manoeuvre by the buyer?  By fully engaging the prospect using a thorough questioning routine that achieves at the minimum three things.  First you will get a prospect who will be fully involved as result of considering and thinking through the questions in order to provide responses. Second, you will learn a number of things about the prospect, their buying process, their organization and their propensity to act on what you sell.  Third, you’ll be able to compare what you hear to previous experiences to see if you are being plaid, or you just need to do more work to get a sale. 

There is no secret set of questions, but more a series, a sequence, with follow through questions to clarify and validate, and perhaps most important yet least executed, much like the follow through is part of every golf swing, the follow through question have to be utilized for each and every area explored with the prospect.

The questions, simple and generic, the art is in the execution, delivery if you will:

  • How are you addressing, dealing with, managing the process now?
    o Who, What, Which are you using now?
    o How long have you used had?
  • How did you go about choosing them?
  • Why did you choose them over the others?
  • What do you like most about them?
  • What would you be doing about this, the issue if I had not called?

Don’t let the simplicity fool you, the art is in the drill down, quantifying the answers, how they conclude the answers to the above, value attached or represented, emotional value, impact and potential length of impact.

By the time you patiently take them through this, not that it takes a long time, just that most sellers tend to rush is and lose the benefit in the process; again like golf, you can’t rush the shot and you have to follow through, you will know who is playing you or who is playing with you.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

An Inconvenient Truce14

A TSE Masterclass

You have to empathize with sales professionals these days, a demanding market that makes for demanding managers, demanding VP’s, demanding companies, and most importantly there is the needs of the client who pays for the whole thing.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure where to start all the things they know they will never finish, another client call, another voice mail, and there is a new e-mail.  Like George Bush said, “Its hard work”.  And underneath all that is a human being with all the realities that brings. 

To confuse things further there all the sales mavens like me who are full of advice and suggestions.  Some like Renbor actually do it every day, so bring some day to day reality to their “advice”.  Others just write about it, at times glancing out their windows for a reality check, “Yup, still sunny”.  A load of mixed signals and cross messages:

“You need to cold call”
“Cold Calling is Dead”. 

Or the proverbial favourite “Never Cold Call Again”; which is a lot like “The Never Eat Again Diet”.  Camps forming on either side, traditional approach vs. Web 2.0 approach, all vying for the minds, hearts, soul and wallets of an aspiring sales professional.  Sales 2.0 – Sales 3.0; The Four Steps to Sales Success. Not end to the advice out there to confuse an unsuspecting young (or old) rep.

While I understand the value of taking a stand, and pitting one school against the other, it is clear that there is no “One Truth”.  The best thing to do is look for the best they have to offer and put it into practice.

That is where “The Inconvenient Truce” comes in.  A Masterclass designed for the times and the time of year, as you are closing off the dreaded 2009, and contemplating sales in the Post Lehman Brothers era.  This Masterclass, hosted by yours truly, is a whimsical attempt to cut through the noise, and help you borrow the best of all worlds, allow you to create your own recipe for success in you sales, and then put it into practice.  Because the real secret to sales success my dear, is to do it, and that is what this Masterclass with focus on, execution!

Join me December 15th at 1:00 pm Eastern, and get a step closer to being able to answer the only question that counts in sales:

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

A Different Shade of Beige14

Simpson

Few in sales will argue that the Stats Quo is you biggest barrier to entry, why change if it is working.  Yet sales people continue to do the same thing over and over, sell the same way over and over to try and overcome the Status Quo.  The end result is they basically develop their own “Seller Edition” version Status Quo.  Some even see it as a “Special Edition”.

You see it everywhere, especially in industries where the client has choice and where 80% of suppliers are hardly distinguishable.  If you are a small business in Kansas, tell me the major difference between your top four options in wireless, if you find a weak sales person, maybe price.

So if for the buyer it is all about “safe sameness”, the only way you as a seller have a shot is to be different, really different, not just in the shade of beige blandness.  Some of these buyers get 10 or more calls a day from 10 or different beige reps.  Any wonder why they don’t react.  You look beige; you’re going to get beiged:

Buyer: “We’re all set, gotta a (place your product here)”
Seller: “Well perhaps I can send you some stuff, you never know when you may have need for an alternative”
Buyer: “Sure, send me some beige, and I will look at it and keep you in mind” {still some room in that drawer, on second thought} “You can just send it by e-mail instead”

But if instead you were bright red, challenging, enticing, inviting, what would that mean?  How can you do that?  Start by abandoning you and put the focus on how to make a difference beyond your buyer, on his customers.  Different than focusing on the buyer, put the light on the success he is measured on, and the people doing the measuring, his customers.  Now there is a difference, looking beyond the obvious, and concentrate on the impact you can make to his customers, internal and external. 

It is not what he is expecting; it is beyond his Status Quo, and the everything he has been conditioned to expect from the beige army of sellers who have paraded through his office and phone.  This is taking a people by from people to a an alternate space.  Doing it requires no more effort than the same old same old happening now; a bit of knowledge, a bit of creativity, and a lot of energy in engaging the buyer.

Most sellers knowingly or unknowingly spend a lot of time trying to fit in by finding their shade of beige and hoping it catches the buyers eye, why not catch them by standing out by being bold in the way you make a difference.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

No Decision24

iStock_000002705035XSmall

One trend that has grown in 2009 is the growth in sales ending in “No Decision” (ND).  While most sales people will tell you that they hat loosing opportunities most, for me the worst is the ND.  Having said that, ND’s do have one advantage over lost deals, the ability to reengage them in a shorter time span than those lost. The risk is that there is no guaranty that the result will be any different the second time out.

To avoid this you have to include it in you qualification/quantification routine. To do that you have to go back to the beginning and treat these outcomes as you do wins and loses, and do an analysis of ND’s as well. Of course you all do win/loss analysis right?  Actually it probably not true, some do win analysis, more do loss analysis, but combined they still are less than those that do not do any at all. But the smallest group are those that do analyse their ND sale efforts.

Once you have the analysis you will see specific attributes, behaviours, actions and inactions in these prospects.  Once you have enough of these, you can begin to look for commonalities and consistently recurring elements.  With that you are now in a position to not only to look for these things and address them before it’s too late.  Needless to say that when you spot them early you can get ahead of it, take steps to alter direction or at times just have the confidence to walk away.  Please remember, walking away is a viable option, while no one doubts your resolve and commitment, no one can get you the time you invest back; so invest wisely.

You can also use your analysis to draft questions that will help you understand if the prospect is displaying the tendencies of a non-decider.  The upsides to these questions is also the fact that you are taking a proactive posture that could in itself change the curse of the sale, as being proactive puts you in the lead.  Again, while the questions will serve as indicators as to whether the prospect will act or not, allow You to MAKE a decision.  As stated above, since you will have the opportunity to come back, and make use of the information you glean now.

I realize that this may seem like tedious work, and it certainly not as exciting as being “out selling”, but as with most things worth doing, there are continuous dividends both in terms of increased sales, and saved time.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto
 

A Random Walk Up Sales Street – 2116

ARWUSS

Ends versus Means

The age old moral dilemma, “does the end justify the means?”; who knows, who cares, and frankly does it matter most of the time?  Well in B2B sales it does but in a different context.  Specifically, it appears that in B2B sales, most sales people seem to focus on the means, and spend little time on the ends.

The ends in this case is the actual ultimate impact for the buyer, the tangible difference and advantage the buyer will have by virtue of buying, implementing and using the seller’s offering.  The means is the product itself, which while important to the seller and stakeholders in his company, is of little direct consequence to the economic buyer who is much more concerned about the outcome, hopefully improved in some ways by the seller’s offering.

This not that new of a concept, but by simplifying it in some ways we find many sales people are able to deal with it without many of the distractions they normally have to deal with in a sale.  The means here represent not only the product or solution, but the messaging Marketing wants you to deliver, which often the buyer does not appreciate.  Not because it is not a “work of art”, but rather it deals with the deliverable not the outcome.  Many marketing people, sales managers and sales people, get so enamoured with the product and it’s advancements over the last generation or the competition that they forget that the buyer really could care less about the “uniqueness” of the product/solution, and are much more driven by the impact it has on their end situation.

Research companies are forever trying to impress their buyers with their methodology, “proprietary process”, the thoroughness of their algorithm, and so on.  But they forget that the end user, the real economic buyer, the VP of Marketing, CIO, Product Manager, cares about how they will use the output of the research firm’s glorious process.  Sellers fail to realise that often the “end” user, the person using the processed information, not the person doing the processing, often only deals with aspects of the service, and usually in conjunction with other inputs, brought together in a way that allows the ultimate recipient to make decisions.  The measure of worth here is the impact and quality of that decision not the myriad of inputs and sources that went in to it.  Stated another way, what counts, no, the only thing that counts, is the end, not the means.

At times sales people embrace half this idea, they focus on their own ends, the sale, not the buyer’s ends which is the successful resolution of their issue, be that a problem or an opportunity.  First challenge is to fully understand who the real end buyer is.  A marketing manager may be making the purchase of a report or a subscription; an IT manager may be buying a solution, software/hardware or both.  In both cases these people may be the ones transacting and interfacing with the sales person, but they are not the end buyer.  Right away, it needs to be asked why the rep didn’t approach the end buyer.  Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, no access (we’ll deal with that another day), even then the approach should be based on the end goal of the ultimate users, not the specs of the intermediary.  The intermediary is (or should be) aware of the ultimate end of the project, not every detail but they know the end goal of the person or group benefiting from the work they will do with the goods or services you sold.  If they didn’t feel or know how they can serve that end with your product, they would not buy it, waste time talking to you.  But knowing how the game is played they get you to focus on price competition and other distractions, rather than allowing you to build value based on the end goal.  That is if you let them, do you?

You should be aware even and especially when they are not, this way you can lead the process and have the discussion at that level on the specs and views of an intermediary.

Executing the sale based on focusing on the end rather ha the means is straight forward, not easy but straight forward.  Use the discovery process to demonstrate your ability to positively impact their end goal in the buyer’s terms; conversely the risk to the end goal if they don’t buy from you.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

6 Ways to Get More Sales Appointments15

And Then Some!

Jan Visser, founder of SalesMarks.com has put together a great e-booklet highlighting how to get more appointments consistently in a competitive B2B market place.  I know it is great because I wrote the content, but more importantly have road tested each of these ways, and simply put: they work.  You can sit back and waste the opportunity presented by the market today, or you can get proactive and start driving sales.  But before you can close sales you need to have prospects, and you won’t know if someone is a prospect or not till you meet with them, which means you have to first get the appointment.
 
It would be hard to argue, however, that for the vast majority, nothing happens without appointments.
 
No matter how good one sells, it can’t happen alone, you need prospects, and that all starts with the appointment.
 
Jan has pulled together six of best practices into one FREE e-booklet, six key things you can do to get more appointments; and more appointment lead not only to more sales, but more referrals, more opportunities, more options. 
 
All you need to do is download, read and EXECUTE and PROFIT!

Just remember that in these days of global warming, the inconvenient truth is that you still have to cold call, but you can still be environmentally friendly by sharing with a friend.

Bypassing Objectoins Webinar November 17, 2009

Once you have read the e-booklet, you can register for a great webinar presented by the queen of Cold Calling – Wendy Weiss.

If you are hearing this: “We’re not doing anything right now.” “We’re not spending right now.” “We’re not buying anything right now.”   You need to attend this webinar.

Let’s face it, prospects are spending less, buying less, committing to less and voicing more objections and stalls than you ever imagined were possible. It has never been more challenging to sell. 

Challenging times call for strong skills and strong action.

Join Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling in this powerful information-packed webinar where she will share the secrets of Bypassing Prospect Stalls, Responding to Prospect Objections and Closing the Sale. 

Register now!

You will learn:

  • How to speed up your sales cycle
  • The secret to bypassing prospect objections before they are even voiced
  • How to never again hear, “I’m not interested”
  • To respond to any and all pricing objections (a big one in today’s economy)
  • And much more.***Plus: Have all of your questions answered by The Queen

Register and then submit your questions for The Queen to answer, personally.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Customer Care: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly II14

Part II: The Ugly

Tuesday, in Part I we discussed The Good side of Customer Care, using Godaddy as an example of the Good, and a couple of Canadian wireless carriers exemplifying the Bad.  Today we talk UGLY.

The Ugly category is characterized by Apple and the folks at the Apple Store in suburban Toronto.  I have to give the prize to Apple for taking bad customer care to new heights (or depths), it seems propelled by what appears to be their arrogance towards their customers. I may understand that stance if my experience with their products lived up to the hype and their attitude, but it has not.  My whole adventure and experience with Apple is a result of a continuously malfunctioning iPod Touch. For me Apple has taken a generally ugly trend in customer support to new levels.  I’ll first describe the trend, and then tell you why Apple gets the Ugly prize.

The trends is this, as customers call in to the support centre or visit an outlet, they are put off, shuffled around, made to jump through hoops as the provider avoids dealing with the issue. They slowly wear down their customers to where they either give (because their lunch hour was spent on hold); or they get so wound up by the lack of care, that they blow their cool (this is the camp I am in), and from that point on the focus of the exchange becomes the demeanour of the customer, rather than the product issue or problem that caused them to lose their cool.  Ever have to speak to Emily and her gang?

This past January my 11 year old daughter bought an iPod Touch at an Apple store in Toronto, using her own money having saved up birthday, holiday and other ill-gotten cash with great anticipation. The first time the iPod broke down was a month later. Diligently we drove back to the store (snow in both directions), lined up, and eventually were attended to. They could not make the thing come back to life, so they gave her a new one. A couple of months later, we went back again (rain no snow), this time they disappeared with the unit to the back of the store, and came back having “restored” it and off we went.

The unit broke down again in September, but this time we discovered that we now needed “an appointment” to have a unit under warranty looked at. The online “appointment setter” told us we could not have an appointment for a number of days, just like going to the doctor, take time off work, take my daughter out of school and go to the Apple store. But when we got to the store, the “nurse” lectured us a bit about a lack of an appointment, but was able to squeeze us in that day.

Appointments, hmm, got me thinking, is the Apple product line so bad, that they are overcome with disgruntled customers, and the only way to prevent the disaffected from congregating at the store and forming a mob, is to have them make appointments?

Well last week the fPod, as we now affectionately call it, broke again, oh joy, we get to go to the Apple store “one-mo-again”, (sunshine all the way), and that was our Saturday morning adventure.

Now you have to understand that having not drank the “Kool-Aid”, I don’t feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven when I go to the Apple store. In fact quite the opposite; it’s like stepping into some modern day mall version of The Stepford Wives, or the Landru episode of Star Trek, “all is good in Landru”. 

We got there early (10:00 am), not many people in the store, no one at the service counter but a few Apple employees, all with different coloured t-shirts, must be some secret rank that I was not tuned into.  Cindy, in turquoise was the first to greet us, my daughter brought her up to speed, and the first question of course was “do you have an appointment?” no, “I’ll get someone to look at this”.  In comes the Orange shirt, thoroughly trained in aggravating customers.  My 11 year old daughter, puppy dog eyes and all, begins to tell Orange the story, but Orange just wants to know one thing, “do you have an appointment”, no my daughter informs him.  Well he begins to tell her with great efficiency and in corporate speak, remember she is 11, spent lots of cash on something that in her eyes never worked quite the way it looked in the adds, “I understand, but you have to understand that you need an appointment, I can check and see what we have available”.  He looks up from his screen and says he can fit us in at 12:10.  “But there is no one here” I chimed in.

Orange: “Yes but we have appointments booked”
Me: “But they are not here, we are, so they missed their appointment”
Orange: “Yes but you don’t have an appointment”

Back and forth a few times, both of us deaf to the other, he didn’t seem to care much that we were the customers, because we had no appointment and those that did were not there.  But hey, why cloud the issue with facts?  We continued:

Me: “Well you know we didn’t need an appointment to buy the thing; the unit didn’t make an appointment to break down this or the other three times, so why are we wasting time going back and forth, let deal with fixing the unit.”
Orange: “Well we can give you an appointment for 12:10, and see if we can fit you in earlier”
Me: “What am I supposed to do for two hours?”
Orange: “You can look around, have a coffee, go and come back, we can call you”

This is when I dropped the f-bomb
Me: “What about my f-ing time, who is going to cover that?”

And that’s when everything changed.  Out of nowhere, the store Manager pops out, lecturing me on how I need to have respect for her team, and watch my language.  Hey I am considerate:

Me: “You are right, I should have used a less graphic word to describe what you are doing to us, but that does not change the fact or the act that I should have used a different word to describe”
Manager: “Well you need to have respect for my team”
Me: doing my best Ali G impression I reached out my fist gently “Respect.  Now let’s deal with the real issue, fixing the unit”

And they did, not sure if it was my Ali G, or acknowledging that no matter what words you use it can’t disguise the act, or did it finally dawn on them that given the opportunity, it is much better to help a customer than to robotically repeat a silly rule.  The time it took them to tell me about how I needed an appointment, all while someone who ostensibly had one was not there to use theirs, they could have fixed the unit.

At the end Orange reminded my 11 year old that she only had 99 days left on her warranty, so I figure at the rate the fPod is breaking down that’s another 2 or 3 visits to the Apple store, joy.  Orange started to remind me that we would need an appointment, but I suggested he leave it alone, “really not worth revisiting”

Think Different
Tibor Shanto

Your 2010 Sales Are Here Now10

Football Funnel 

The automakers are not the only ones who get a jump start on the upcoming year, by the time you will be reading this it will be mid November, leaving about six selling weeks in 2009, a year few will be sad to see go; take out Thanksgiving (USA), and the seasonal holidays, and you are looking at about five weeks of productive time. It is around the time of year that people begin to focus on closing the year on target by trying to “make those deals now”. There is no denying that there needs to be a focus on trying to do as much as you can (without discounting or cheating) to salvage a year or to bring in revenue NOW. The challenge is to do it in a way that does not adversely impact other aspects of your on going success.

It is an old familiar challenge, we are all familiar with the “You can pay me now or pay me later” syndrome. The reality is that if you have a sales cycle longer than five weeks, most of your prospecting as of now will likely be a 2010 revenue. Look at it differently if you ease up on your prospecting now to “close”, you are going to pay for it in 2010. You need to redouble your efforts right across the board to ensure no let down January 2nd, because I’ll bet you any amount you’ll have a new Target January 1st, and it may just be higher than your number was for 2009.

So what can you do?

Read On

Customer Care: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly10

Woman with headset

Part I: The Good and The Bad

While I usually focus on B2B occasionally I need to unload as a consumer, especially when I encounter three very different experiences I faced as customers. One good, the other truly bad, and the third, well, that was down right ugly.

There seems to be two trends in customer service I am running into consistently these days. An example of the plus side is Godaddy, from the moment you engage with them to after the interaction is complete, you are made to feel that you not only count, but that your business matters and is the focus of their operation. In small ways and in big ways.

Right from the start you can see the difference; while you may have to wait, you are told how long you may be on hold. This in itself nothing new, but the fact that it is accurate is; and then comes the differentiator: they give you the option of NOT listening to annoying muzak they cheaped out on. If you ever had to suffer through SOLO’s auto attended, then have to sit through their obnoxious and offensive musak for what seems like days on end, only to be greeted by someone who seems to be nothing more than a parrot reading from a bad script. A script that does not include you or your needs, and when finally it becomes painfully clear that they can’t (or won’t) help you, they pass you up to the next level of incompetence.

At Godaddy they take time to understand what the issue is and then proactively move to help you. When they can’t, they go and investigate and then come back with the answer, or alternatives.  Please understand, I do not work for Godaddy or paid by them, but after being abused by companies who choke on the word customer and only see you as a receivable.

At the end of the call with SOLO they say the most lame and hollow thing: “is there anything else I can help you with?”. As though they have helped in anyway up to that point. While they say the same at Godaddy, it has meaning, and to back it up, they send a survey no matter how big or small the issue may have been, as does PayPal.  SOLO does not, while it would be easy to think that they just don’t care, I think it also is a fact that they know the truth, so why waste time confirming it with the customer.

I understand the need for profit and efficiencies, but considering the small cost difference in providing superior customer care and experience, it is hard to understand why more people who rely on customers for their profits don’t make the effort.

But this was just the Good and the Bad, Thursday we’ll look at the Ugly.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

A Random Walk Up Sales Street – 2012

sales exchange

A Search for Superstar Nomenees and A Search for Reasons

First the search for reasons:

It was a sunny week on Sales Street this past week, so I spent a lot of time out and about selling, being sold to and interacting with other sales types.  Maybe it’s the time of year, leaves changing and falling, I am not sure, but I found myself in a reflective mood, asking why things are the way they are at times.

For example, I heard a couple of sales people use a familiar refrain of the also ran in sales when presented with some core sales concepts: “There is nothing new here”.  I buy that, most of the things you read in sales have been said before.  It is very much the truth that the wheel has been invented, at this point it really is a question of how you spin it.  The issue that remains is that if an also ran understands that there is nothing new here, then why are they not a win, place or show, why with all their knowledge are they still an also ran?

It usually comes down to execution.  Many sales people may know it, but they won’t do it or fail to do it, this continues to be the mystery in sales.  Almost every sales person knows what has to be done, very few do it.  I am not sure exactly why, if I did, I would bottle it and have more fun and make more money; but the fact is that knowing is one thing, doing is another.  Just like in music, there aren’t many notes being invented on a daily basis, but there is a lot of interpretation; it’s not like Beethoven’s 9th is being rewritten, same notes, but different conductors and orchestras play it at varying levels of quality.  Some understand practice and execute, others understand but fail to execute.  In sales the reasons are as many as there are also runs, but usually it comes down to lack of commitment and running out of time, both of which are in their control.

Further up the Street, I was struck by another interesting occurrence that got me thinking about sales people and their belief that the latest and the greatest in tools and automation may help them achieve more, and easier.  The ongoing debate, if not battle between Sales 2.0 and traditional approach to prospecting.  At the end it really is a question of how the two can work together, but it seems the propensity is to pit one against the other.  The question for me is why do sales people feel that automation will save them from having to do the work, rather than helping them do it more efficiently.  What got me thinking about it is a bit removed and bizarre, but it caught my eye and imagination.

I was sitting at a popular coffee place in Toronto waiting for a couple of associates.  From my arm chair I had a direct view of entrance.  I became aware of something I though was a bit strange (to me anyways, and hey, it’s my blog).  The entrance was a typical glass door with a comfortable handle, I used it myself when I came in, but there was also a small handicap button on the frame right next to the aforementioned comfortable handle.  The door was not heavy, easy to open, didn’t snap back or anything, yet a vast majority of the people coming in selected to push the handicap button, step back and wait for the door to slowly open.  Please remember that both the button and the handle were at the same height, about 3 inches apart; and most, I would say over 80% went for the button rather than open the door themselves.  None of the people were handicapped, most were not carrying parcels, it’s not like they were struggling to grab the handle or hit the button with their clenched fist or elbow; nope the same finger that could have pulled the door open, was used to push the button to slowly open the door.  They were all healthy, hell some of the women were even wearing those popular yoga outfits highlighting their assets and concern for physical fitness; except when it comes to opening doors?

This kept on like this right through the hour or so I was there.  Don’t ask me why, but I began to wonder. Were they lazy, was I missing something?  The button opened the door but in a measurably slower time than had they opened manually; there was it seemed to me more effort in pushing the button, having to step back out of the way to let it creek back slowly.  So why were people opting for the less efficient, only so slightly easier way of getting to their coffee?  I am open to suggestions.

I began to think it must be the same thing that keeps many sales people from taking a straight forward approach to winning sales, and in no way am I suggesting they are lazy, are they?  I thought maybe they are being resourceful, but no, there was no real advantage in using the button; the slight saving of energy in not pulling the door was negated by the energy in having to take an extra step or two. 

I began to think how this manifests itself in sales.  Sales people doing, or more accurately avoiding or deferring things in favour of something less efficient.  More to the point, using some tools or techniques for the sake of using the tool or technique, rather than for the purpose of moving the sale forward.  Is it the illusion of productivity, the ability to appear to be up-to-date?  (My Facebook is cuter than yours)

What ever the reason, I admit I am not sure, and if you have ideas please share, it does raise the notion that ease and appearances seem to carry more weight with some then productivity, and profit.

Or maybe I just had one too many double espressos.

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Do you know one?

AllBusiness and Top Sales Experts want to honor the top-performing salespeople who deliver results in today’s competitive market. You can help make that happen.

We need your nomination. The panel of top sales coaches and experts will select one salesperson each month from among the nominees.

Monthly winners will:

  • Be recognized by their peers for their outstanding contributions
  • Be profiled in a feature article for AllBusiness and its sister site, Hoover’s
  • Receive free twelve month VIP membership at Top Sales Experts
  • Receive a signed copy of a panelist’s book
  • Be offered the opportunity to receive a free sales profile (Value $195)

One annual winner will receive a package of sales training and coaching programs (Value $3000), life VIP membership in Top Sales Experts, a selection of signed books from the panel, plus of course the AllBusiness Sales Star trophy.

Top salespeople inspire those around them and help drive company success.

Take this opportunity to recognize them for their leadership and contributions to the selling profession. Nominate a true sales star!

Every nominee will receive a FREE six month VIP Membership over at Top Sales Experts

Full details HERE

PS: There is no deadline for entries each month, all nominations received are carried forward. 

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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