Sales

Reputations are Sticky

“We have a great reputation in our industry.” In thousands of hours of coaching and facilitating I’ve never heard a business owner say “We have a lousy reputation.” The myopia of working hard to deliver a product or service leads …
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My Interview with Robert Morris: Part 1

Robert Morris is the number one reviewer of business books for Amazon.com. A few weeks ago he posted a great review of Hunting in a Farmer’s World, and asked if he could interview me. Bob’s questions were really fun, and the interview …
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You are Never too Busy to Make Money

Last week I was having lunch with a client who owns a substantial construction firm. His phone pinged during our conversation. He apologized for looking at it, but he was waiting to hear on a couple of large bids. “Dammit!” he …
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When a Salesman isn't a Salesman

A business owner decides to beef up his company’s sales talent. He forks out a hefty salary for a “proven performer” from another industry; then…nothing. The salesman (or woman) is glib, professional and hard working. The owner devotes more resources …
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Can You Outgrow Customers?

When you start a company, it’s like shopping at the supermarket when you are very hungry. Everything looks good. Any suspect might be a prospect. Any prospect is worth pursuing, and your ideal customer is anyone who is willing to pay you for …
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Who Owns the Portal?

We are 30 years into the computer revolution, which I am arbitrarily marking as beginning in the mid-1980′s, when Apple II and IBM compatible (286) computers began to show up on the desks of people who weren’t in the “computer room.” …
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Small Business and Social Media II

Last week’s column generated lots of comments, and probably requires some follow up. First, the army of social media fanatics that go ballistic at any hint that SM isn’t the be-all, end-all and answer-from-above for every marketing need on the planet …
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Why Great Salespeople Make Lousy Sales Managers

It’s been said so many times that (at least I hope) it is a business axiom on the same level as “cash is king.” Promoting your best salesman to sales manager is guaranteed to cost you a great salesman and …
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Sales: Do You Have Customers or Clients?

Whether you have customers or clients is more than a matter of semantics. Some businesses use the term “clients” in an attempt to class up their image. Attorneys usually have clients. Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn’t, regardless of what they might say. Nordstrom? …
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Is Distribution Dead?

It’s difficult to talk to any owner of a small distribution business without hearing complaints about competition from the Internet. Their criticisms are pretty universal, regardless of the goods being distributed. “Customers call with prices they claim to have found …
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