H e l p i n g
y o u
s e l l
s i n c e
â€™ 5 7
S A L E S KnowHow powered by
Mapping out your
Road to Recovery s.m.a.r.t
Build your 100 day sales plan
Social Networking and face-to-face marketing
Watch the Masters
and improve your game
shorten your sales cycle
tasks never move off your to-do list
Before you call...
Tips on top-notch sales tools
Management & Innovation in a New Era
Peters In Search of Excellence
Buckingham First, Break All The Rules
allen Getting Things Done
Jarvis What Would Google Do?
October 16th, 2009 | 9am - 4pm | metro toronto convention centre | toronto in these times of accelerating change and uncertainty, the art of management responds to the growing needs of individuals, companies and organizations by delivering unrivalled access to world class management thinking. Join the most revered management authorities, that continue to shape and revolutionize the way leaders and organizations think about and address key performance issues for future success.
REGISTER TODAY! 1.866.992.7863 or visit theartofmanagement.ca
2 Sales KnowHow
Sales KnowHow By Scott’s Directories
Group Publisher Paul Stuckey firstname.lastname@example.org National Sales Manager Lindsay Rodgers email@example.com General Sales Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 2009 Scott’s Catalogue Custom database Orders email@example.com
Have an Opinion? We want to hear what you have to say!
Advertising in Sales KnowHow firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising in Scott’s Directories Barb Lebo, Lebo Advertising email@example.com Creative Services Director - Robert Murdoch Design Layout - Carolyn Brimer Programming Tyla Teelucksingh Gary Flemming
Scott’s Directories Corporate Masthead Scott’s Directories is a division of BIG Directories LP. Business Information Group (BIG) is a subsidary of Glacier Media Inc. Copyright 2009 Scott’s Directories
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Provide us with your comments and feedback on this issue of Sales KnowHow for a chance to win a $100 gas card courtesy of Scott’s Directories. Your feedback will help us to improve and may be featured in an upcoming issue of Sales KnowHow in our Have Your Say section.
2 Chances to Win $100 gas card in this issue!
We welcome your suggestions, input, feedback and more. Reach us today. firstname.lastname@example.org
[ Take our reader survey [ Take our quick reader poll
See page 24 Q4 2009
Scott’s TM WebSource Tap into the power of email prospecting the right way. Target your audience precisely. With WebSourceTM you can define your key prospect list by executive titles, geography and type of business.
The Scott’s WebSourceTM database:
Select from over 1.5 Million Canadian executives & decision-makers across the most sought-after industries and marketplaces in our economy. Updated monthly.
Tell us who you want to reach; we’ll provide a count - and a quote to run your list. You supply the message. Let Scott’s Directories handle the blast. 100% CAN-SPAM compliant.
Competitive Rates. Choose this list for your next EMAIL CAMPAIGN or Excellent Service. Quick DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN - - Act Today and get your turn-around. Proper optmessage out to the prospects you need to grow out guidelines. your business in 2009 and beyond. All email campaigns WebSourceTM raTe card include our Scott’s e-Blast Available fields include first name, last name, Click-thru / Open-rate report. job title / job function, company name, email http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/verticals.asp
address, and mailing address.
6 Sales KnowHow
Q2 Q42009 2009
Scott’s Directories & You –
On the Road to Recovery
Welcome back to Scott’s Sales KnowHow for Q4, 2009. In this issue you’ll learn from the pros in Barry Siskind’s “Watch the Masters and Improve”, while he also reminds us to correctly embrace new technologies in his article on “Social Networking”. From the Sales department, Michelle Cain provides insight into “Finishing 2009 on a High Note” by utilizing the SMART system for goal setting, and Tibor Shanto demonstrates how time is crucial to attaining real success in “How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle”. Making his debut this issue is Jim Hickman, principal of Manx Creative Inc (www.manxcreative.com). Jim reminds us to carefully consider the support mechanisms we need in professional sales – his article “Before You Call…” summarizes the modern sales tools that can assist your communications and in many cases are the best way to differentiate you from your competition. Visit the Manx Creative website to view some of their case studies. And since greater time efficiency is a common thread amongst these tips, our productivity expert Laura Stack is back with straight forward advice on how to clear your To-Do list in her article “Ten Reasons…” We hope you enjoy these helpful insights and the trustworthy advice you can quickly apply and leverage this coming fall and winter season. As always, you’re invited to share your opinion with us and let us know how we’re able to help you even further on the Road to Recovery.
s we close out 2009 and prepare to welcome in a new decade, it’s fascinating to consider how monumentally our world has changed in the past 10 years and yet despite these advancements and forces of change we see the basic strategies for success always seem to remain the same. In the past 10 years we’ve all witnessed first-hand a massive increase in personal computing & wireless technology developments and the explosive array of applications available to specifically harness the power of the web. The rapid evolution of server hardware & devices, processor speed, and amazing programming code has affected the entire world population and more precisely how the world’s population can now communicate
– and to a wide degree, publish their own content regardless of usefulness or trustworthiness. For those very same reasons all this IT development has influenced the world of professional sales and has separated the leaders from the followers. As a commission-based professional sales person, if you’re not sure how quickly or wholeheartedly you should embrace many of these online options of communicating your message and controlling your personal brand, just remember the bottom line as sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer (www.gitomer.com) puts it: “The internet is NOT going away anytime soon”. In fact, for an intellectual jolt about what’s coming next for our wired world, Google “Web 3.0” for some expert opinion. Going forward, the more you utilize the web properly the more it’ll likely increase your profile and success. The proof is around us – today’s web-based technology can assist you in achieving your goals with no apparent limit to the creativity that can be unleashed. And yet, as you employ more electronic methods of prospecting, communicating, and networking your overall outcome will still be inextricably linked to your grasp of the basic principles in selling - guidelines that can’t be abandoned in pursuit of a quick buck, or at the expense of delivering quality and integrity to your customers. Maintaining a strong foundation and striking the right balance between basic principals and these new technologies is key. No surprises there. The past 10 years has been a great chapter in the 52-year history of Scott’s Directories - and for our valued clients - as we adhered to our mandate for high quality data you can trust, and we’ve pursued the perfect blend of trusted information with cutting-edge online interfaces and features for our members. Expect more from us in the next decade – we’re working hard to remain Partners in Your Success as we drive the Road to Recovery together. Paul Stuckey, Group Publisher email@example.com
Your Piece of the Sales Pie is Ready. Scottâ€™s Vertical Custom Lists give you the custom information needed to make your sales process more cost-effective and productive. Scottâ€™s Verticals allow you to create a more effective marketing campaign for your niche products. By refining your list to the specific industry or business area that you are targeting, you will:
Cut Costs with Customization
Save Time on Niche Prospecting
Master Your Target Market
Maintain Accuracy & Increase Reach
Scott's Vertical Custom Lists allow you to choose the specific industry or business area you are interested in. Stop paying for contacts you don't need or will never contact.
Shorten your prospecting and sales cycle by reaching only qualified contacts, who can appreciate the specialized services you provide.
Our custom lists are designed to help you discover new prospects and gain deeper knowledge about a specific industry.
Scott's Vertical Custom Lists exceed Canada Post's requirements at 97.2% deliverability or better. Reduce wrong numbers, wrong addresses, and missed opportunities.
Browse Verticals Scott's Vertical Custom Lists span across multiple industries, segments, and job functions. http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/verticals.asp Browse our featured verticals by clicking here.
Contact us about our volume discounts! mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Email your request,
or contact our List Rental Department directly at 416-510-6817 / 1-800-408-9431 Ext. 28
Reliable Sources of Information
for Sales Professionals
Just some of the over 350 titles of databases available from Scott’s Directories NEW for 2009 – Alberta & Saskatchewan Business
This directory covers the fast-growing Alberta and Saskatchewan areas, an area of vibrant businesses and expanding markets.
US Advertising & Marketing Executives
Looking to identify and contact advertising and marketing executives? The Advertising And Marketing Executives Database contains names & titles of more than 42,490 advertising and marketing executives, along with full profile of the employing business containing essential company facts. Comes with unlimited usage.
Medical Device Register
The only one-stop resource of every medical supplier licensed to sell products in the US. This 2008 edition offers immediate access to over 13,000 companies, and more than 65,000 products - in two information-packed volumes. This comprehensive resource saves hours of time and trouble when searching for medical equipment and supplies and the manufacturers who provide them.
Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries
The Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries details the inception, emergence, and current status of nearly 120 flourishing U.S. industries and industry segments. These focused essays unearth for users a wealth of relevant, current, factual data previously accessible only through a diverse variety of sources. This volume provides broad-based, highlyreadable, industry information under such headings as Industry Snapshot, Organization & Structure, Background & Development, Industry Leaders, Current Conditions, America and the World, Pioneers, and Research & Technology.
Directory of Canadian Schools
Our Canadian Schools publication gives you completely verified information on schools, colleges, universities and school boards across the country. This is your guide to every educational institution in Canada - including Public, Private, Native, Special Needs & Alternative Schools, Catholic, etc.
NEW Release – 2009 Canadian Medical Directory
The Canadian Medical Directory is Canada’s #1 source for contact information on doctors across the country. You get up-to-date information on over 61,000 practicing physicians.
Canadian Residential List
Canada’s largest householder database, compiled from a variety of public directories. This dynamic database averages over 98,000 changes every month.
NEW Release – 2009 Ontario Business Directories (4-volume set)
This is Scott’s most comprehensive business directory covering Greater Toronto, its Boundary Markets, Southwestern Ontario, Northern & Eastern Ontario
For more information or to place an order please visit us at
Social networking and face-to-face marketing
By Barry Siskind
Find your six degrees of separation â€“ Each of your 200 people also has a network of two hundred, each of their two hundred has two hundred as well.
10 Sales KnowHow
n a recent issue of Trade Show Executive, I read an interesting article about Magic Stick, the winner of the TSE 2009 Innovation Award. Magic Stick is a small gadget, about the size of a computer memory stick that you carry with you. When you see someone also carrying a Magic Stick you can electronically exchange contact information. You each aim, push a button and voila you are networked. Welcome to the age of High-Tec social networking whose first victims may very well be the handshake and a business card. Twitter, Facebook, Web 2.0, SecondLife, LinkedIn, Flickr, LibraryThing, Ning, Jaiku, EventPeeps, are here to stay. There is nothing we can do about it nor should we for fear of being labeled Luddites. We should embrace social networking as a positive technology to help us build our personal networks. This discussion is reminiscent of a time – a decade ago – when the world was a twitter (oops) about something called a virtual trade show and how this heralded the death of face-to-face marketing as we knew it. What happened to virtual exhibitions was that they became an integral part of larger face-toface events providing year round exposure to products, services and education. What was feared to be an enemy became a powerful ally. The same, I am guessing, will happen to social networking sites.
Face to face marketing needs all the help it can get to maximize its potential and if technology can help, then all the better. But technology cannot replace the power of meeting a vendor or customer and talking about issues eye-ball to eyeball. Meeting face to face is how we form opinions of people and the institutions that employ them. When we can integrate the technology to enhance our interpersonal contacts then we become winners in this brand new – very old game of networking. Here are a few thoughts as you go about building a productive and profitable network. Networks are not mailing lists – Social scientists tell us that each of us has approximately 200 people in our network. When you misuse the technology and build lists that include thousands of contacts you are clearly misusing the tool. Find your six degrees of separation – Each of your 200 people also has a network of two hundred, each of their two hundred has two hundred as well. If you take 200 to the sixth power the number is slightly more than six billion which coincidentally includes everyone on the planet. Learning how to tap into these sub-networks opens you to unlimited potential. If you look carefully you can find anyone you want to contact through your six degrees of separation.
Don’t abuse your network – this is so easy when you simply use your network for commercial purposes. The people in your network are folks you have made a personal contact with. They have families, worries and dreams. When you can treat your network as an extension of yourself and treat these people as individuals you cannot lose. Stay in touch – there’s not much point meeting someone at a trade fair, exchanging information and not staying in touch. Treat your network as a living breathing thing that needs attention or it will simply wilt and die. Make it a 24/7 habit – don’t just built your network in times of need. You should be constantly looking for opportunities to expand your sphere of influence. Give something back – If your network is a living entity then it needs food to survive. The food you provide is in your willingness to give back. This means being constantly on the lookout to offer advice, contacts or a friendly word to your 200 people. Social networking is quickly finding its place in the face-to-face marketing world. When you combine the power of your interpersonal skills to build your network and then integrate technology to record the experience and maintain contact you have a winning combination.
Barry Siskind is author of Powerful Exhibit marketing. He is also President of International Training and Management Company who offers a number of services to exhibitors including the creation and implementation of a mystery-shopping program. Contact Barry at email@example.com for more information. For More Articles by Barry Siskind Click Here http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000341978
Sales KnowHow 11
12 Sales Know How
By Barry Siskind
Impr ve If you want to improve your golf game watch and learn from Tiger Woods as he drives, pitches and putts. Re-run each swing in slow motion and when you are ready practice…. practice…. practice. While the chances of you or I ever being as good as the master is next to zero, the chances of improving our game, even a little bit, is pretty good.
odeling the techniques of those who excel at what they do applies to all pursuits. Let’s say you want to improve your exhibit. Find a guru then watch and learn. The problem is that amongst organizations that choose exhibit marketing there is no one superstar. Many are pretty good, but those who consistently tower above the rest, year after year, are hard to find. Does this mean improving your exhibit is a lost cause - not at all? In fact watching what other people do – both the good and the not so good – can be a fantastic method of gathering information that will make a powerful difference in your exhibit program. Where you start is by searching out those places where company’s and organizations like yours exhibit; trade shows, special events, malls, lobbies, or conferences. Then once you have identified a few likely prospects arrange to take a few hours away from the office to attend. Begin looking at exhibits from an exhibitor’s perspective. This is not as easy as it sounds. Go back to the basics and separate the theatrics of what you observe from the substance. The goal of a display is to attract attention; the right attention. Attracting the right attention then becomes the substance. The theatrics are the tool and techniques you use to accomplish the display’s purpose. When you become overwhelmed with cool ideas and interesting technologies at face value the result can often lead you in the wrong direction. Often interesting ideas can be a distraction rather than a benefit so look and learn. A better approach is keeping the substance in focus and as you see interesting ideas weight their benefits against their ability to accomplish its purpose.
Another helpful tip is to be vigilant. If you find one of these messages is running through your head then you are missing the point of your visit; That company obviously has lots of money and we don’t, They are too big, They are too small, Their product or service offerings are different than ours. If any of these thoughts sound familiar then you may be short-circuiting the possibilities of coming away with valuable and useable information. Forget about the differences between the exhibits you see and focus on the similarities. In your case these similarities are found in your reason for being there in the first place – to attract attention. When you finish seeing all there is to see in exhibits take time to watch the people who work in these exhibits. Stop, visit and engage in a face-to-face conversation. When its over ask yourself, is that the experience I want my customers to have when they visit my display? More importantly, ask, how do you feel about the interaction. Then ask what could I have done better or in the case where you were treated well, what did I learn from this person.
Barry Siskind is author of Powerful Exhibit marketing. He is also President of International Training and Management Company who offers a number of services to exhibitors including the creation and implementation of a mystery-shopping program. Contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000341978 For More Articles by Barry Siskind Click Here
Sales KnowHow 13
Specific Measureable Achievable Realistic Time-bound
The first step is to set your 100 day goals using the SMART methodology. Your goals should be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Finishing on 2009 By Michelle Cain, CSP
14 Sales KnowHow
s we head into the latter part of September, there are approximately 100 days left between now and the end of the calendar year. For many sales representatives, especially those where their quota and performance bonuses are based upon a calendar year, this is a critical time to ensure you meet your goals and hopefully trigger significant sales commissions or bonuses. In economic times such as we have faced in 2009 to date, this is also a critical time for your company to ensure they are doing everything they can to make the overall corporate goals, or at least minimize the difference between planned and actual results. So as everybody has a lot riding on the conclusion of the year, how best can we ensure we are maximizing our sales in these last 100 days, as well as building our pipeline for a strong start to 2010? It all starts with a plan, a 100 day plan! The first step is to set your 100 day goals using the SMART methodology. Your goals should be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
High Note: a What is your 100 day sales plan?
Goal setting is the best way to ensure your subsequent actions are effectively and efficiently directed towards achieving those goals. Appropriate goals should focus on the revenue and profits you require over the next 100 days to achieve and exceed your quota. The second step is to identify the actions you need to take to achieve the goals you set. The sales profession tends to be activity based, the more effort and intelligence you put in the more return you get out. This means you can reverse engineer the activity required to meet your goal. For example, if you know what percentage of time you convert opportunities into sales as well as your average dollar sale, you can calculate the number of leads/ opportunities that you require to meet your goal. It then allows you to identify the actions that will impact upon these drivers. In other words, what can I do to increase the number of leads/opportunities as well as improve my conversion ratio and average dollar sale? These actions, which should also follow the SMART methodology, then form the basis of your 100 day plan. The third step is to execute, putting into action what up to this point is only upon paper. As Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels observed "Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."
The same will be true of your 100 day plan. Its success depends upon your ability to execute the actions you have identified. It is also incumbent upon your ability to learn from your mistakes and quickly fine tune or make corrections as you move ahead. The fourth step is to maintain a laser-like focus. 100 days is not a long period of time, and the days will pass quickly. Always assess whether your time is being spent in a way that contributes to your 100 day plan and avoid initiatives that will not contribute to you achieving your goals. Keep it simple, stay focused on the prize and you can conclude 2009 with a smile on your face and earnings in your pocket!
Michelle Cain, CSP, is a partner with Cain Sales Solutions and has assisted many organizations with improving their prospecting and professional selling skills through assessment, training and coaching programs. She is an instructor and CSP examiner for the Canadian Professional Sales Association. She can be reached at (905) 331-1590 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Additional information on Cain Sales Solutions is available at www.cainsalessolutions.com http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000341976 More Articles by Michelle Cain
Sales KnowHow 15
How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle
have a friend Barry, a professional driver who regularly drives from Toronto Ontario to Long Beach California, a trip of roughly 4,100 KM. I have done the same drive a number of times, so we often compare notes about restaurants, places of interest, etc. We also talk about how long the drive takes, and what is interesting is that if you take the weather out of it, he tends to make the drive in about 2.8 to 3 days, while it usually takes me 4.75 to 5.5 days. We both go to the same destination, covering the same ground, driving within acceptable and safe speed limits. Looked at another way, if we both got $2,500 every time we got to Long Beach, and another $2,500 every time we got back to Toronto, Barry would collect $187,500 in a 225 day work year; while I would only collect $102,272 in the same period. Wow, not what you'd call chump change! We see a similar phenomenon with many of the sales people we work with, some close a sale in 16 weeks, while the lady in the next stall closes the same type of deal in 12 weeks. What ever other skills and abilities may be at play, it is clear that with a shorter cycle, she will sell more, earn more, and probably last longer in her position than Mr. 16 Weeks.
Shortening your sales cycle is one of the easiest and most efficient ways for an organization to increase sales and simultaneously reduce the cost of sales.
By Tibor Shanto
16 Sales KnowHow
This in itself is not news or a revelation, most Sales VP's I work with clearly state that they want to help their people reduce the sales cycle, but many are just not sure how to do that, some lack the conviction, but as always, some just do it intuitively and can't seem to sustain it over time. To begin with, many sales people just don't know how long their sales cycle is,
we ask and we hear things like "depends" (sometimes it fits), "it changes" (it always seems longer during Daylight Savings Time), and the all time favorite, "well you know it's different in our business". Well it's not really. Underlying this is the fact that many reps and organizations do not know what their typical sale looks like, they have not deconstructed their sales routine, identified the basic building blocks to identify and truly understand what it should look like and when efficiencies can be had. One facet of this process is covered in "Working Backwards From Your Goals" While there are a number of ways to affect the length of the sales cycle, by far the easiest to implement with the highest rate of return, no technology required, is to always secure a next step with your prospects. Sounds simple enough, but for some reason, it is hard to get reps and managers to adopt. Session after session, we implore sales people to always conclude meetings with a clear and mutually agreed-on next step that commits both you and the buyer to not only a specific time and action. More often than not however, this either does not happen at all, or only partially. Reps tell us "my step is a call next Tuesday" We ask when? "In the morning" What time? "Around 10:00" Did she agree to that time? "Yes she said Tuesday morning would be fine" So she agreed to 10:00? "Well Tuesday morning" So if we looked in her calendar, there would be a scheduled call with your name and related actions? "I guess, ya!" What does she think the call is about and what does she have to do to get value out of the call? "I said that I would follow up to find out ......; and arrange a follow up" What does she have to do to be prepared for the meeting AND ON IT GOES.
The above is typical of discussions we have with reps. They either do not pre-plan their desired outcome for a meeting, or get a tangible indication of interest by the prospect. "In selling, a "Next Step" is tangible evidence that someone is working with you - playing ball with you. It's not a "gut feeling" that the person is interested in playing ball with you, but proof of that interest." Next steps can take different forms, could be a face to face meeting, a call, or an action taken. But what they have in common, is that they commit the prospect to meeting with you to proactively move the process forward. They should involve some commitment on the part of the prospect; after all they should have some skin in the game as well. This could be as simple as forwarding production schedules, current tariffs, plans that may help you understand their requirements; or a conference call with their technical team; a copy of their financial statements, etc. The key is that it be more than just the willingness to meet with you; other than their time, what commitment are they making? You on the other hand are going to go back, engage resources in your company, invest your time to come up with something to present to the prospect, all without testing the commitment level of the other party. In most instances, a next step does not always have to be quantum leaps, just remember that even a small movement forward gets you that much closer to close. But if you don't secure a next step, have you advanced at all? Another common occurrence is meetings ending with the prospect saying "great, I am glad we had a chance to meet, I really like what I heard, I want to bring my team up to speed so call me next week, and we can discuss things further." Worse the rep says "I'll call you next week". Even with straight and honest intentions, you usually end up playing phone tag, and when you finally connect you end up setting up a meeting a week or two out. You can easily save a few weeks, at times as much as a month, by scheduling the next meeting at the end
of the current meeting, an added benefit is avoiding the stress brought on by the whole ritual of phone and voice mail tag. Getting next steps is not as easy as just asking for one, although it may be in some cases. The proposed next step has to make sense to the prospect. In order for that to happen you have to have planned out your meeting; you need to know, plan and move towards a logical conclusion to the meeting. As you execute your plan, you need to be cognizant of whether your primary next step will pan out; if not you will need to revert to your secondary next step, (yes you have to plan that too), or other alternatives. Please remember this does not have to be a complicated and laborious process, once you know the building blocks of your sale, the same building blocks you uncovered during the deconstruction process, the basics become easy to manage and plan, and then it is down to execution. In most instances, when we deconstruct a sale with one of our clients, we find one of the easiest things to help them shorten the cycle is the insistence that anything in the pipeline has a real and clear next step (as we define it). Let's face it, if you don't have a next step, what do you have? What's in your Pipeline? There are other ways to help teams shorten and tighten up their sales cycles, next steps is one of the easiest. Download our e-book: Whatâ€™s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto is a Principal with Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., and has helped dozens of organization to fill their pipeline with real prospects and drive real revenue. You can also read the blog edition of The Pipeline at www.sellbetter.ca/blog. For more information on helping your team sell better, write to: info@sellbetter, or call 416-671-3555. You can also follow Renbor on Twitter at http:// twitter.com/renbor. For More Articles by Tibor Shanto Click Here http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000341974
Sales KnowHow 17
Tips on top-notch Your customer’s world: downsized, recessionracked, efficiency-driven, information-bombarded and changing like a kaleidoscope. Twice as much to do in half as much time.
The sales professional’s world:
in the trenches with this customer – often without up-to-date tools to rise above the competition’s clamour.
No question that lead generators like Scott’s Directories are a vital part of your sales toolkit. But is a telephone call really enough to get you in the door? Will it sway a jaded customer who claims to have heard it all before? Maybe it’s time to step back and evaluate what communications tools are at your disposal – and how effective they can be in helping you stand out from the pack. So when it comes time to make that initial sales call, you’ll have backup in the form of a consistent, value-added message. It must be powerful, emotional and clear. There must be a unique selling proposition (USP) that enhances your company’s product or service.
By Jim Hickman
18 Sales Know How
sales tools Website
Directing a potential customer to your company’s website makes perfect sense.
The most convenient way to follow-up today is with files in a portable document format (PDF). Your company’s existing sales literature can be converted to PDFs. Or a custom design can be created specifically for a PDF – one that drives home your value-added message. With PDFs, there’s incredible flexibility: they can be sent instantly by e-mail to a potential customer; or output on a colour printer as a leave-behind for a one-on-one meeting. Today, PDFs rule. Using my own marketing-communications company as an example, out of 300 recent cold calls, 31 potential customers wanted an e-mail with PDFs that showed samples of our creative work. Only three people requested that we send them a package by snail mail.
Unless… The website dates back to dinosaur days (with the speed of technology now, that’s just five years ago). Or the home page is so crowded and confusing with conflicting messages that it won’t appeal to the customer. In either of those cases, see if you can have a customized screen set up within the site to address your specific needs. That’s where your value-added message, testimonials and overall sales pitch will reside. And, with a simple forward slash on the keyboard, the customer will go directly to that page. For instance: yourcompany.com/bestsolution
Print Materials Sales literature can keep you top of mind with the customer. That’s why print materials extolling the virtues of a product or service have been around for 150 years. But… We’ve all seen outdated, amateur-hour brochures and flyers that look like they’re from the guy in the clown suit who buys your used jewellery. So, after the effort you put in to that initial cold call, is this the kind of follow-up you want to send out? Ensure that your print pieces are professional looking, written with persuasive flair and emphasize that same value-added message and USP you’ve touched on in the sales call.
Consistency Whether it’s a simple e-mail, a letter or any of the sales tools mentioned here, the key is to present a consistent message so supercharged with impact that the customer’s going to have dreams about it that night. Making an impression has never been easy. Today, it’s never been harder. The phone call is only a first step. Make sure you’re equipped with a toolkit that will help you finish the job.
Jim Hickman is creative director and principal of Manx Strategic Creative Inc., a marketing communications studio in Mississauga, Ontario. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments. Or visit www.manxcreative.com
Sales KnowHow 19
Tasks Never Move off Your To-Do List
(and how to fix it)
recently surveyed my readers on the eternal question of productivity: Why is it that some things on your to-do list never get done? Some great responses rolled in, ranging from the classic (too many interruptions) to the matter-of-fact (I don’t feel like doing it). But as diverse as the responses were, it didn’t take long to see certain themes emerge. Below are the top ten issues at the heart of the problem and some guidance on how to deal with them. 1. You haven’t made the necessary decisions. Your to-do list should be full of clear, actionable ideas—in other words, things you can actually do. If you have a vague goal, like “Have a sale,” you’ve still got a lot of thinking to do before you can hit the ground running and make real progress. Take a minute to figure out exactly what you need to accomplish: What kind of sale? When will it take place? What will it promote? Once the task is more fleshed out, you’ll be more likely to make progress on it.
2. You haven’t talked to the people involved. Are you worried that you don’t have the necessary support to make your idea happen? If you need buy-in, go get buy-in. Chances are that your first step should be to pick up the phone or schedule a meeting. Even if you don’t get the answers you want, at least you’ll know where you stand. From there, you can move forward, adjust your strategy, or simply move on. Wherever the idea ends up, at least it isn’t festering on your list.
20 Sales KnowHow
3. You haven’t done your homework. Perhaps you know you need to schedule a teleseminar series, but haven’t gotten around to researching which platforms are available. Figuring out the mundane logistics is now keeping you from making an important decision. Carve out some time to do the legwork, or better yet, delegate that part of the task to someone else. Once you have a better idea of your options, you can focus on the real issue at hand. 4. You’re ignoring your internal clock. We spend so much time focused on schedules and deadlines that we often forget to pay attention to our body’s natural rhythms. Yes, your Outlook calendar might say that a block of work will fit perfectly on Wednesday afternoon, but if that places your big task in the middle of a low-energy period of your day, you don’t stand a chance. Keep your daily energy levels in mind as you plan your day. Start high-energy projects early if that’s when your concentration is at its best. 5. The task is unpleasant. The first step is admitting it! If you’re being honest with yourself, you probably have an item on your list that hasn’t been done simply because the task is unpleasant and you’d rather not do it. If that’s the case, it’s time to get tough. Make a decision right now to either do the task, delegate the task, or forget about it altogether. If you need to do it, stop thinking about it and just get it done. If it can be delegated effectively, go ahead and make arrangements with someone else. And if you’re going to eliminate it completely, cross it off your list and for goodness’ sakes move on already!
By Laura Stack
6. The task is overwhelming. You don’t know where to start. Is there an item on your todo list along the lines of Complete Huge Multifaceted Project XYZ? No wonder you aren’t making progress! The task it too big. Large or complicated projects need to be broken down into manageable chunks or else they’ll always take a back seat to the smaller, more manageable things on your list. After all, would you rather spend the afternoon completing five smaller items on your list or barely making a dent in one? By identifying a few key steps, such as “Gather Project documents” and “Outline project scope,” you’ll know exactly what needs to be done next and be less likely to hesitate as you take action. 7. You are plagued with distractions and interruptions. Seemingly innocent interruptions like checking e-mail, answering the phone, or chatting with coworkers will eat your productivity alive. And although many of these interruptions aren’t necessarily your fault, managing them is your responsibility. Identify your time wasters and take immediate steps to correct the problem. You might need to set regular times each day to check e-mail or close your door to let coworkers know you’re temporarily unavailable. Not sure where your time is going? Keep a detailed log for a few days and find out once and for all. 8. You are constantly putting out fires. Does it seem impossible to achieve any real longterm focus as you jump from one urgent,
immediate priority to the next? Good leaders understand how important it is to make time for true high-value activities, even if they don’t present themselves as urgent, deadline-driven issues. If you spend every day jumping from one issue to the next, you might help avert disasters, but you won’t ever accomplish anything substantive. Instead, focus on the cause of all those urgent interruptions. Do they come from lack of planning, procrastination, or a team that isn’t empowered to handle simple issues on their own? Once you address the underlying problems, you’ll be able to focus your time and energy where it belongs. 9. The task requires a lot of work for little reward or recognition. Recognition is nice, but don’t live and die by it. If the task is worth doing, it is worth doing regardless of whether you will be recognized for the contribution. If it’s not worth doing (but you have to do it anyway), just get the darn thing done and move on to something more fulfilling. In the meantime, your paycheck is your reward. 10. You day is overscheduled before you even sit down in the morning. You schedule time and bend over backwards for everyone else…why don’t you do the same for yourself? Make appointments with yourself and treat them with the same level of importance as you would a meeting with a client or coworker. If you know you need three hours to get something done, schedule three hours to get it done. And I mean really
schedule it. Put it on your calendar, eliminate distractions, and treat the task with the same respect you would a one-on-one meeting with a live person. So there you have it: ten huge productivity bandits – decide which ones best apply to you. Be relentless as you kick them to the curb and get those tasks checked off your list! Make it a productive day! (TM) © Copyright 2009 Laura Stack. All rights reserved. © 2009 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in highstress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and DayTimers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit www.TheProductivityPro.com to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter. http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000341970 For More Articles by Laura Stack Click Here
Sales KnowHow 21
New Releases and Upcoming Events Upcoming Scott’s Product Releases:
2010 Quebec Industrial (Book & CD) 2010 Quebec All (CD) http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product.asp?id=288
2010 Ontario Manufacturers (Book & CD) 2010 Directory of Canadian Healthcare Personnel (Book & CD) 2010 Canadian Dental Directory (Book & CD) http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=286 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=328 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=325
2010 Ontario All (CD) 2010 Ontario Industrial (CD) 2010 National All (CD) 2010 National Industrial (CD) 2010 National Manufacturers (CD) 2010 National Manufacturers 20+ (CD) 2010 National Distributors (CD) http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=284 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=285 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=259 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=262 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=264 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=263 http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/product. asp?id=261
Did you know
Scott's Online is UPDATED MONTHLY? Online Members access our most up-to
Scott’s Directories endorsed by the ABCs of Relationship Selling through Service - Charles M. Futrell & Mark Valvasori. (McGraw-Hill Ryerson) As with previous editions, the recent Fourth Canadian Edition continues to recommend Scott’s Online as an accurate and reliable source for Cdn company profiles and contact
22 Sales KnowHow
names. This textbook is centred around a philosophy about selling: that success requires mastery of selling basics, including selecting presentation styles, and effective closing techniques. Available for sale in book stores or at your favorite online book seller. Suggested retail price for this very thorough text is $98.95 CDN.
Barry Siskind Webinars October 16 1:00 pm EST http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/Events/Upcoming.asp? Developing Powerful Booth Staff option=up&pvid=&mon=10&year=2009 The four stages to become a successful boother November 11 1:00 pm EST http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/Events/Upcoming.asp? Trade Show Strategies in a Down Economy option=up&pvid=&mon=11&year=2009 Maximizing your trade show budget when dollars are tight December 14 1:00 pm EST http://knowhow.scottsdirectories.com/Events/Upcoming.asp? Turn Trade Show Leads into Sales option=up&pvid=&mon=12&year=2009 Following up on trade show leads To register, visit www.siskindtraining.com/webinars or for more information call 1-800-358-6079
Upcoming Events October 16, Toronto Art ofhttp://www.theartofproductions.com/ Management register.html October 19, Vancouver Art of Sales http://www.theartofproductions.com/register.html October 19-22, Toronto Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2009 http://www.sme.org/cgi-bin/get-event.pl?--001766-00007-home-SME November 2-4, Montreal http://www.grandrendez-vous.com/accueil/default_e.asp OHS Show – Scott’s Booth 1602 November 16-18, Toronto Ontario Hospital Association - HealthAchieve2009 – Scott’s Booth 1627 http://www.ohahealthachieve.com/Client/OHA/healthachieve09_lp4w_lnd_webstation. nsf/index.html?ReadForm
January 27-29, Toronto HRPA – Scott’s Booth 341 http://www1.hrpa.ca/conf2010/
o-date data all year long. Start your 14-day Trial today, or contact us for more information. http://www.scottsdirectories.com/new/free/freetrial/
Attention Readers Submit your own events and products release dates and Scott’s will be happy to list them here for no charge. Contact email@example.com
Sales KnowHow 23
Reader Poll: Which direct marketing method have you found to be more successful this year?
qPostal Address Marketing qE-mail Marketing If you would like to sponsor a survey to the Sales KnowHow readership, send us an email today.
Is the economy influencing your sales & marketing efforts?
Take our reader survey and qualify for a chance to win a $100 Gas Card.
CLICK HERE Survey is sponsored by Direct Marketing News
24 Sales Know How
Did you know? Scott's Directories offers e-blasts to Executive email addresses - you pick the job functions you want to reach. See our ad for Scott's WebSource; contact us today for more details.
Explore the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM
Work is hard enough. That’s why Microsoft made Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online so easy to use. It’s CRM software that everyone gets because it works like the familiar Microsoft® software your people already know. So if they know Microsoft Ofﬁce Outlook® they know Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Try Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at no cost for 30 days. Start your free trial here: http://crm.dynamics.com Find out how a CRM solution from Microsoft Dynamics can help your business: Call: (1) (877)-886-5783 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org