Sales

Are you refusing to grow your revenue?


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She runs a hot dog shack on the waterfront of a major harbor. She's a tough old bird. Her name is Abbey. She serves hot dogs, burgers and coffee to the industrial workers from around the harbor.

I was standing there along with the workers, last in line, waiting to order. It was obvious that Abbey was often in a bad mood, and always saying, "Nope, can't do that." I had already heard from others that "No" was her favorite word. Someone went to her for a cup of coffee at one point in the day, and she said, "I'm not serving coffee now." He smiled and pleaded, to no avail. She only served coffee when she wanted to serve coffee, in spite of the sign saying "coffee" to the side of the window.

Lying doesn't work anymore


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I'm beginning to wonder what all the professional liars are going to do for a living.

I'm starting to see things go really badly for a whole group of people, people who were too lazy to learn something complicated, but who were smart enough to talk their way into and out of just about anything. These people are dead weight now.

Shallow swimmers sinking


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For some time now, I've been interviewing candidates for a sales management position. It's been a tough position to fill.

We need the candidate to have experience in my client's industry, which narrows down the candidates considerably. The candidate needs to fit well into the company's culture, which is fairly progressive, further limiting the gene pool. But the two most formidable limiting factors are the need for the candidate to have matured beyond the shallow, snake-oil approach to selling, and have the ability to inspire and lead a group of experienced and "deep" salespeople.

Is "selling" obsolete?


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Back when most people lived on farms, there were "snake oil salesmen," who came around to tell residents, one by one, about a cure-all elixir. The salesperson had to be very convincing, and sell as many people as possible in a short time, because the stuff didn't actually work. He had to be in the next town before the people in the previous town discovered the truth.

Fast forward to when people moved to the cities. Buyers saw ads, and then used any means they could to determine if a product was right for them. They would visit a store, call a salesperson, get a brochure, read an article in a "consumer reports" magazine, and so on. The salesperson, and the company's ability to get covered by the press, played a large role in the completion of the sale.

It's the bloggers, baby!


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One of the most important skills of a marketing strategist is to know "where the heat is." What matters now? Who matters now?

One of the things that matters now is your buyers, trying to get relevant, useful answers in a sea of irrelevant, self-serving blather. Anyone can publish a blog and post a video. Almost everyone does. Every company has a website. Publishing companies that used to have a monopoly, those large lumbering newspapers, magazines, and networks, are now surrounded by swarms of publishing gnats. The giants are dying, one gnat bite at a time.

 

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