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Your Never Interrupting... You have the Solution Posted 6:18 PM on 10/14/10 - Reply to this post

Old saying goes " stick around long enough and they will put you to work ". When prospects seem unhappy that they have been interrupted, 9 times out of ten it has nothing to do with you but more about what they are being interrupted From. I was putting gas in my truck one morning and the windshield chip repair salesman comes over to me and asks if he can wash my window. I motioned him off and away and continued my phone conversation and gas pumping. His co sells partner comes over to my truck, starts pumping the gas for me ( literally guiding me out of the way and holding the nozzle ). I was so impressed with the understanding of my situation I hung up the phone. I said, thanks and then he proceeded to allow me to buy what he had and I needed. Moral of the story is, your never interrupting when your helping! Good Fortunes


CRM Compliance Posted 12:11 AM on 09/28/10 - 

I need some advice, my company has been using for about two years now. I am a Sales Manager with 12 Direct Reports, we all work remotely out of our home offices. The reps are responsible for visiting accounts in their assigned zip codes and after each sales call they are supposed to enter the sales call into on their blackberry. I have been responsible for this team since Feb 2010. I have had conference calls, emails, memos, one on one discussions about the importance of using the CRM. It has improved but it is not consistent that every rep enters each sales call. The best method that has worked was sending out an email Ranking each person weekly by the sales calls entered from the previous week. This improved the compliance, but I am not where I want to be. My next step is to start writing people up for disciplinary action. Any suggestions or thoughts to motivate sales people on using CRM?


CRM - what's in it for sales? Posted 2:44 PM on 10/13/10 - Reply to this post

Randy, my experience tells me that sales people will comply with company policy regarding CRM systems (like, but not until they see the value in it for themselves. As sales managmers, it is our responsiblity to ensure that the field sales teams realize the explict value of the CRM. How does CRM increase sales win rates, sales productivity, sales revenue, and monthly commission dollars? I would keep posting the socre board but also maybe start sharing best practices and sales wins that can be contributed to having and utilizing CRM. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. -Mad Max


Dealing with a rouge collegue Posted 11:53 AM on 09/21/10 - 

I am a cold calling representative who works on a sliding commision scale with 4 tiers. All of our bonuses are payed based on weekly performance so at the end of the week the sales are worth much more because it is silding scale ie (0-1 sales per week =0$. 2-4 sales per week =30$ per sale and so on). One of the newer agents in another deparment decided to come sit next to me at the end of the week, I thought he was just trying to listen to my calls so he could get another perspective. I got into a sale and immediatly he calls a customer and starts talking so loud that i can barley hear my customer. He does this all the time to other people also. When he dosen't have a customer to call he calls some one on his cell phone and does the same. I guess he thinks it looks better for him if other people dont make as many sales. I was wondering if anyone had some advice on how to deal with this problem. It's like trying to count to ten while someone is shouting out random numbers.


What have you tried? Some suggestions... Posted 9:17 AM on 09/22/10 - Reply to this post

What have you done so far? Have you tried to talk with this person about what he is doing? I would suggest this via asking questions. If you ask questions you can often get the person to think about their actions, which is much better than possible accusations which might put the person on the defensive. If that gets no response, or no results, I would suggest going to your supervisor. If that gets no results go to HR. If your job is to make sales, and someone is making it more difficult to do so, I would think that there would be someone in your company that would want to help you to do your job without interference. Isn't that how your company makes money? Good luck!


Dealing with a rouge agent Posted 8:30 PM on 11/08/10 - Reply to this post

I've tried just ignoring him. It is a very tricky situation because he sometimes forgets to disrupt my sales so if he notices me then I run the risk of making the problem worse. There are rules here. It seems he has found a loop hole because the problem continues. I was hoping that he would get tired, but he hasn't. I guess I will give him a taste of his own medicine. I don't like to play dirty but I don't see any other option.


Time for Social Media marketing to work? Posted 4:36 PM on 09/20/10 - 

I run my own company, and if cold calling is not my least favorite activity, it is close. So when work was slow this summer I launched a new marketing campaign. I bought a new web site, I have been making a new video blog each week to provide hints and ideas to potential clients. I post the videos to youtube, and tell people about them in my linkedin groups, my email newsletter (1400 distribution), linkedin updates, and twitter. I have been doing this for about a month, and I have about 500 hits on my (5) videos so far. How long should I keep trying this? Six months? How many hits before I can expect to start getting calls or emails? 10,000? I have a few people saying that I am crazy to do this and that it will never work (mostly in polite terms) and that I should be taking marketing classes (while some of my previous customers have told me I should be in marketing). Your thoughts? (And as a side note I do not see anyone else in the staffing industry doing what I am doing on youtube). Any help is appreciated.

Jeff Blair

Feedback Posted 5:16 PM on 09/23/10 - Reply to this post

My suggestion is never stop doing it! Then I would combine it with other forms of social media marketing so that the results (sales) start happening faster. It takes at least 10 touches to begin getting some results in the form of people noticing you and then contacting you. If you're brand new to blogging, it may take longer. Becoming a person who is known as an expert takes repeated actions. I would also add video of customer testimonials for your staffing company and let others sing your praises. Take your camera to a client's office and shoot a short video. You could also do an interview with a client and post that on your blog. Be natural and humorous. Tweet your new posts and tips so that you get multiple exposure across social media outlets. Above all - keep with it especially since no one else in your industry is doing it. Quite an opportunity to become a brand.


Social Meditative Patience SMP Posted 7:09 PM on 10/14/10 - Reply to this post

I agree with Jeff. Social Media is here to stay and keep doing what your doing. Good insight here is to proceed as if it is already working in getting the responses you are shooting for. The reason it takes persistance is because there really is an invisible barrier that you are breaking through. I made a video of a tool I was selling last Halloween. In the video I faked cutting off my finger with this brand new battery operated pvc cutting tool and sent it to my existing and prospective customers. The responses I got were veried to say the least. My co sells men thought I was being too out of ordinary. I was laughing because it wasn't 3 weeks later I sold over 21 of those tools to 1 of my new prospects. In the middle of those 3 weeks I did question the approach because it was so out of the standard for my industry. We are suppose to sell tools that are safe, you know. But after the order was in I realized how efficient and effective it is to utilize and customize the communication tools we have available to us, today, as salesmen. Have fun with it and you can always go right by being the leader.


Cold calling dilemma Posted 3:52 PM on 08/31/10 - 

Any feedback to this story would be great... I (and the entire salesforce) am in a position where I am required to make several cold (phone) calls a day, the boss is dead set that this is the way to win new customers. I started the position 4 months ago, after being laid off from another employer who had the whole marketing thing figured out (we answered calls and made few). Also, when I started I was not given any current customer database from the previous rep, although it exists (they say they cannot find the password to open the database), so I have no data on who was called, what was said, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but this information would be very helpful in follow up calls with current customers, preventing "cold calling" a current customer, etc. We have very limited marketing, mainly industry sites where companies can search for our parts, a horrible website, and no social marketing at all. As far as I can tell, the cold calling and "customer check-in" have very minimal impact and usually just annoys the party on the other end. But when I receive only 2 or 3 calls a day and have no database to analyse, I have no choice but to cold call. I feel like I've been told to build a house but not given a hammer or nails.


Cold Calling Posted 11:40 PM on 09/05/10 - Reply to this post

I hate cold calling too, but I have to. What am I doing, I went to my local library and got a library card. This was necessary to access their online copy of Reference USA. That way I could access the Reference USA database of businesses. I can research the business, competitors, and most companies, there are names. Next time you call, you can ask for a person by name. Heck, I do not call, I go there. It takes me 10-15 doors to set an appointment and 20-25 doors to be able to give a presentation. With my product, I find people are a little more engaging face to face than on the phone. That same number of cold calls takes 35 calls on a Tuesday to set an appointment. It takes 50 calls on a Thursday to set an appointment. I prefer the face to face cold call, plus I like being out in the air and getting some exercise.

Andy Conte

Success begins with relationships Posted 4:58 PM on 08/28/10 - 

Jeffrey, I have always enjoyed your messages and writing style that can be applied globally to sales efforts. I especially like the message of buying from friends. I do my best to create a relationship before any business is done. I am especially flattered when "friends" seek me out. I have had a recent event where two key "buyers" contacted me to arrange a meeting to discuss an opportunity to do business. One of the principals was a former HR Director with whom I have done business. The other was an HR Director who had followed me each time I have changed jobs and brought my expertise in each time she had moved on. It is almost effortless sale when your reputation precedes you. How does your reputation precede you, by creating that relationship in the first place.

S Johnson

Customer Complaint Posted 5:20 PM on 08/27/10 - 

I have a customer who did not receive all of their product and is very upset (and rightfully so). This is not a common occurrance. Production is expediting the part early next week. But the customer was planning to install over the weekend. Now they cannot. What are your suggestions in alleviating the situation?


Service Recovery Posted 12:19 AM on 09/28/10 - Reply to this post

Practice Service Recovery...look all companies make mistakes at some's how you remedy them that makes the customer loyal. Offer him a discount, or a nice gift to offset his disappointment. We had a similar situation in my company, I wrote a hand written note with a $50 Amex card apologizing. All was forgotten :)


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