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November 2011

Use an effective system for making appointments 10 Reasons You Need to Become a Master Questioner Finding your competition’s Achilles Heel

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Average and below average managers spend too much time solving the wrong employee issues. They make too many assumptions as a result of asking too few questions.

Publisher mark potter

November 2011

Marketing Manager brandon clark MANAGING EDITOR lorrie bryan


ART DIRECTOR brent cashman

I Am

Editorial board keith bax Research Data mike kyle Pace Litho chris petro GlobalSoft tom moe Daily Printing dean petrulakis Rider Dickerson david bennett Bennett Graphics tony narducci O’Neill Printing


Print In The Mix: Fast Facts

Publisher’s Thoughts P4


Marketing Insights

Best of Reflections


Use an effective system for making appointments P18

From Manager to Leader “10 Reasons You Need to Become a Master Questioner”


Finding your competition’s Achilles Heel

CANVAS, Volume 3, Issue 6. Published bi-monthly, copyright 2011 CANVAS, All rights reserved, 2180 Satellite Blvd., Suite 400, Duluth, Georgia 30097. Please note: The acceptance of advertising or products mentioned by contributing authors does not constitute endorsement by the publisher. Publisher cannot accept responsibility for the correctness of an opinion expressed by contributing authors.


Publisher’s thoughts

I Am


n one of my favorite Peanuts’ comics, Lucy walks up to Linus and finds him patting little birds on the head. Lucy says “Linus nobody pats birds

on the head”. Linus responds by saying “They like it”. In the next caption, Lucy repeats “Nobody pats birds on the head”. Again, Linus mumbles “They like it”. In the last caption, Lucy passionately states that “Nobody

pats birds on the head!” to which Linus calmly responds “I do”. Most often we find it easy to follow the crowd or get in line. It is easy and com-

fortable. We don’t stand out when we stay with the pack. It seems safe. In turn, it can seem difficult to take a diverging path. It is uncomfortable and scary. So falling in line becomes our default solution. And mediocrity becomes our destiny. Standing up and standing out are difficult choices. Take for example the survey that was recently posted in the Charlotte Observer. The question asked was, “What is wrong with the world?” As you can imagine, there were lots of answers with countless reasons. Some said that there was too much government. Others said there was not enough government. Some said there was too much religion. Others felt like there was not enough religion. Some said too much immigration, while others disputed not enough diversity. Amidst thousands of answers with remarkable variability and many of great length, only one truly stood out. In response to the question of “What is wrong with the world?” one person wrote two simple words: “I am”. It was signed by Billy Graham. Regardless of religious beliefs, Reverend Graham’s response gives us pause. He reminds us that to stand out you need to take responsibility for yourself. Blame is a waste of energy and certainly cannot help elevate your sales or your business. Taking an “I am” attitude allows you to differentiate yourself. Differentiation creates opportunities. Standing out is not easy these days. However, taking ownership for your fate is both liberating and exhilarating. Selling success in this climate demands people that stand out. In turn, standing out does not mean some wild hair idea like dressing in a gorilla suit and making cold calls. Sometimes, it can be as simple as clinging to real sales discipline and not quoting and hoping like everyone else. Providing value beyond a price may not pay dividends immediately, but it will differentiate you over time. Our November edition of CANVAS Digital is dedicated to the commitment to true sales disciplines. When everyone else is hoping for the chance to quote, we want CANVAS readers to stand out and stand for more. Committing to your clients beyond price can be uncomfortable. It can be downright scary standing up for more. But, when you stand up for a community and selling on a deeper level, you will certainly stand out. So maybe we should ask ourselves “What is wrong with our business today?” See what happens when the answer is “I am”.

Mark Potter, Publisher


CANVAS November 2011

B2B Marketers Moving Toward Online Content Strategies B2B marketers are moving away from traditional

Content Curation

marketing tactics toward online content market-

56% of B2B marketers are now using a content

ing: 82% now use content marketing in their pro-

curation strategy (relying on some content from

grams, making it more popular than search mar-

other sources), up 17% from the adoption level

keting (70%), events (68%), and public relations

reported six months earlier.

(64%), according to a report by HiveFire. Among surveyed B2B marketers, content mar-

Is content curation part of your content marketing strategy?

keting is more than two times more popular than advertising (print, TV, or radio) (32%). What strategies do you use in your marketing programs? (Check all that apply)


I don’t know 16%

80 60

No 28%




44% 43%

20 0

Yes 56%


Engage customer/ prospects

Drive sales

Educate the market

Increase web traffic

Stay up-to-date on competitors




Thought Leadership

©2011 HiveFire, Inc. B2B Marekting Trends 2011 Survey

©2011 HiveFire, Inc. B2B Marekting Trends 2011 Survey

Objectives With Content Marketing

Moreover, among those now using content curation,

Among B2B marketers, the top two objectives of con-

74% say the program is successfully driving results.

tent marketing programs are engaging customers

Lead Generation Top Marketing Objective

and prospects (82%) and driving sales (55%).


What are the main objectives of your content marketing program? (select up to three)

most important marketing objective in their organi-

80 60

zations (78%), followed by establishing thought leadership (35%), and boosting brand awareness (35%).




Increasing Web traffic (28%) and improving 44%

search results (24%), at least for the time being,


20 0


Engage customer/ prospects

Drive sales

Educate the market

Increase web traffic

Stay up-to-date on competitors




Thought Leadership

rank lower among B2B marketers. Not surprisingly, B2B marketers are faced with

©2011 HiveFire, Inc. B2B Marekting Trends 2011 Survey

financial pressures, and cite limited budget (28%)

Nearly one-half of marketers are focused on

and limited staff (23%) as their top two challenges.

educating the marketplace (44%) and increasing

However, 16% of B2B marketers say their big-

Web traffic (43%).


Overall, B2B marketers cite lead generation as the

CANVAS November 2011

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Fast Facts “Professionals Not Replacing Print with Digital”

October 19, 2011 – When professionals were asked which media they use regularly in their work, search engines, print magazines, and e-newsletters came out on top. Readex Research, survey specialists serving publications, associations, and corporate researchers, conducted Media Usage Studies between September 2010 and May 2011. The study results, examining the use of 9 forms of media, are based on 2,095 responses. Media used regularly by professionals to keep current:

74% 77%

Depend on e-newsletters related to their industry

Regular use of search engines


Rely on print editions of magazines

30% 55%

Web sites of professional publishers, associations, or others informing the industry

Use social media regularly

The survey also asked about regular usage of digital editions of print magazines (54%), webinars, podcasts or videos (49%), conferences/trade shows/industry related events (43%), and web sites of suppliers/vendors (36%). Of the nine forms of media listed, 55% of respondents indicate they use five or more; only 5% indicated they used only one. Steve Blom, Director of Sales and Marketing at Readex, explains the purpose of the surveys, “With many advertisers feeling that they have to ‘place their bets’ with certain media offerings, it became clear that helping publishers illustrate how the market uses media would help their sales efforts.” He goes on to say, “These results maintain that marketers need to gain exposure over a variety of media, and that focusing on a single medium neglects a portion of the market.”


CANVAS November 2011

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s, Regard

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CANVAS November 2011


Sales best practices Top 3 Tips

1 2 3 P10 CANVAS November 2011

Use an effective system for making appointments 10 Reasons You Need to Become a Master Questioner Finding your competition’s Achilles Heel


1 Use an effective system for making appointments By Dave Kahle

The best sales people have created a system to consistently acquire appointments with prospects, and continually work to improve that system.


ll routine, sophisticated work is most effectively accomplished by implementing a system. That’s one of the observations I’ve made in my 20+ years of experience in consulting. It doesn’t matter what area of work we are considering. For example, cleaning teeth, paving a road, painting a house, laying carpet, creating your income tax returns, etc. are all routine, sophisticated jobs that are best accomplished systematically. The job of the professional sales person is crammed with such tasks – sophisticated tasks which need to be done over and over again. Making appointments is one such undertaking. A system is composed, in its simplest expression, of processes, practices and tools. Processes are the step-by-step series of events that eventually lead to a goal. Practices are the behaviors which are part of the process, and tools are the specific things we use to accomplish the process. So, for example, when it comes to making appointments, the process may look like this: 1. Create a list of prospects. 2. Research the list, and determine the highest potential. 3. Acquire their names and contact information. 4. Deliver a pre-call touch. 5. Make a phone call to acquire the appointment. 6. Repeat at least five times, if necessary. 7. If necessary, send a personal snail mail letter. 8. If necessary, make a personal cold call.


Sales Best Practices

To improve the end results of your process, you improve each of the practices you use along the way. The best sales people understand that, and work on improving them forever.

I’m not suggesting that this is the only process you could use. I am

send, etc. Like your approach to practices, your approach is to refine these tools forever.

suggesting, however, that the best

Let’s review. The best sales people have thought

sales people have created a similar

deeply about the best way to acquire appointments, and

process, designed for the specifics

have put together a system made up of processes, prac-

of their business.

tices and tools. Then, they consistently implement that

Within that process, there are certain key practices. For example,

system, and forever work on improving each piece of it. That’s one of the things that make them the best.

the phone call that you make to the prospect asking for the appointment

Here are some of our resources to help you master this

is a key practice. To improve the end

best practice:

results of your process, you improve

•F  irst Steps to Success in Outside Sales –

each of the practices you use along

Chapter Four: Acquiring Appointments.

the way. The best sales people understand that, and work on improving them forever.

•V  ideo – Victory over Voicemail. Visit

The final piece of a good system is the set of tools you use to imple-

If you are a member of The Sales Resource Center ™, con-

ment the system. The pre-call touch,

sider Pod-32: How to create a system to develop new cus-

for example, is a tool, as is the script

tomers, Pod-38: Mastering the Creative Cold Call, or Cluster

that you use, the letter that you may

CL-87: Making appointments.
(Managers Exclusive)

About the Author: 
Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of distributor and B2B sales people and sales managers to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authored nine books, and presented in 47 states and seven countries. Sign up for his weekly Ezine , or visit his blog . For a limited time, you can purchase his latest book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, and receive $534 in FREE bonuses.

P12 CANVAS November 2011

Sales Best Practices


2 (Managers Exclusive)

From Manager to Leader 10 Reasons You Need to Become a Master Questioner


n the mid 90’s, the company I worked for asked me and two other associates to put together a new sales training program that was to be rolled out to the entire organization. I believed in the material in this program and felt that it was vital to the continued success of the company. After being promoted to Regional Sales Manager, I felt more positive than ever that it was my duty to

make sure every employee I touched communicated effectively. The only problem was that while I was jamming the program down their throats, I was breaking every communications principle I was teaching. The more I “sold” the program, the more people felt like they were being sold. Then one day, as my

It was that day I realized that leadership

frustration reached a

is sales. The same skills needed to engage

peak I sought out one

a customer are the same skills needed to

of the most respected

engage an associate. It’s not about telling

leaders in the com-

the “customer” what they need to hear.

pany, a fellow named

It’s about using your greatest weapon of

Dave Reddig. I ap-

influence to move people towards you.

proached Dave with

That weapon is…QUESTIONS.

this, “Dave, why the hell are people so resistant to the program? Don’t they understand that it will

Why Ask Questions?

with, “Brian, how do you think people

1. Questions Get Them to Tell You What They Want and Need

feel when you sit in that car seat next

Average and below average leaders TELL the people

to them and tell them all the reasons

they are leading what they should want and need. The

why this program is so important to the

PRECISE Leader instead asks the employee what they

company, without ever really finding out

want and need, and then delivers their coaching focused

what they think about it?”

on fulfilling those wants and needs.

make them better?” Dave responded

P14 CANVAS November 2011

2. Q  uestions Isolate Real Issues from Bogus Ones

with questioning techniques. If you

Average and below average managers spend too much

of the infamous Casey Anthony case,

time solving the wrong employee issues. They make too

you saw how adept some attorneys

many assumptions as a result of asking too few ques-

are at subtly “leading” a witness. The

tions. As a result, they deliver the wrong feedback and

key word here is subtle. The most

coaching. The next time an associate comes to you with

successful attorneys are ones that

an issue, FIRST understand that the problem he is com-

empathetically question their wit-

ing to you with is NOT the real issue. There is anoth-

ness, get them to share information,

er one that is waiting for YOU to uncover. Be patient,

and then help lead them to the attor-

ask more questions, and you will uncover the problem

ney’s predetermined conclusion.

had the opportunity to watch some

BEHIND the problem.

3. Questions Reduce Resistance

6. Q  uestions Get Them Fired Up

How do you feel when somebody is telling you what to

When great leaders, speakers, and

do? Do you stand firm and keep your walls up? Do you

motivators want to get their audi-

have a tendency to be skeptical of what that person says

ence fired up, the way they do it is

to you? Remember, statements cause resistance. Ques-

by asking a question that demands

tions, on the other hand, allow others to express them-

a response. Evangelical ministers

selves. When their lips are moving and yours are not, the

are masters at using questions to

“coaching” environment changes.

stir emotions in their congrega-

Average and below average managers spend too much time solving the wrong employee issues. They make too many assumptions as a result of asking too few questions. 4. Q  uestions Make Employees Feel in Control

tions. If you ever have attended

People feel in control when they are talking. When you

one on TV, you know that when the

ask questions of your employees, you are inviting them

pastor asks, “Can I get an amen?”

to talk. The more they talk, the more in control they feel.

The response is usually a resound-

The more in control they feel, the more comfortable they

ing, “AMEN.” If that pastor wants

are, and the more willing they will be to bring down the

to stir just a little more emotion, he

defenses that make it difficult for you to do your job.

will ask again. “I said…could I get

one of these services or have seen

an AMEN!” If he has to ask twice,

5. Questions Give the Leader Control

watch out, that second amen will

Lawyers are notorious for manipulating their witnesses

blow the doors off heaven.

Sales Best Practices

Your employees can sell themselves even better than you can sell them…if you let them. Ask them a question that allows them to tell you how and why something can be improved.

7. Questions Allow Employees to Sell Themselves Leader: How do YOU think we can make the team

major influence with the team and are extremely important in the successful implementation of your message. Make it a habit to ask them questions that will better prepare THEM to deliver YOUR message when you are not around.

more productive? Leader: “Mike, what part of our solution do you Employee: Well, I really think it

think will resonate most with the team?”

would save us tons of time and …

Captain: “Well, while I think they may initially be skeptical, I think if we remind them how it will make

Your employees can sell them-

our lives easier, they will buy into it

selves even better than you can sell them…if you let them. Ask them a question that allows them to tell

Leader: “Mike, how do you think it will make our lives easier?”

you how and why something can be improved. And watch how their

The more the Captain talks, the more he is selling him-

conclusions are often exactly what

self. And don’t be surprised if he gives a better rendition

you were thinking and feeling. But

of the presentation than even you!

because they “thought” of it, they own it. And if they own it, you don’t

9. Questions May Get You Better Answers

have to “sell” them on anything…

A common mistake amongst rookie managers is that

because they sold themselves.

they believe that they have been given a leadership role because they know more then the next guy. That may be

8. Questions Prepare Them To Sell to Others

the case; it may not. So don’t assume you know the best

While you may be the leader of

person or team you are coaching has input that you nev-

your team, there are Captains that

er considered. By believing that the person you coach is

make up the team when you are not

as smart as you, you will be more inclined to ask more

around. These Captains often carry

and deeper questions.

P16 CANVAS November 2011

way to handle everything. Believe, and expect that the

10. Q  uestioning Yourself Will Give You Confidence Confidence is essential in communication, and the first person that needs to be sold on an idea or corporate directive is you. So before you ever enter the team meeting or individual coaching session, ask yourself the questions that your employees might ask you. Play devil’s advocate in as many ways is possible. If you don’t have the answers to your own questions, find them. Once you are able to answer most of your own questions, you will then feel more certain in your mission. So this month, stop making so many statements and start asking more questions. By understanding and using your greatest weapon of influence you will no longer be a Supervisor, Manager, Director, VP or CEO. The people who matter most will now consider you a Leader.

Brian Sullivan, CSP teaches salespeople and leaders how to influence more people in his PRECISE Business Development Programs. Sign up for a FREE Online Training Module on How to Become a Master Questioner by going to Or visit him at

Sales Best Practices

Finding your competition’s

Achilles Heel

P18 CANVAS November 2011


3 By Peter Ebner


nless you plan on hanging out in front of the company registration office and soliciting everyone who has just registered a new business – there are no virgin markets for you to conquer. Everyone you approach is already dealing with a printer and the vast majority - about 80% are happy with their supplier. Print sales involves more than offering the prospective

that is easily identified. For example,

customer new and better solutions to their business prob-

if your competitor is a large shop

lems. To be successful in sales you need to continuously

you could exploit the fact that large

steal accounts from your competitors and you can be cer-

shops are usually preoccupied with

tain that they’ll do everything in their power to stop you

their major accounts so they don’t

from chipping away at their client base. However, even the

have time to give their smaller clients

largest, most entrenched, competitor has an Achilles Heel

the attention they deserve. On the

and once uncovered they are susceptible to a takedown.

other hand, if your competitor is a small family run printer you could at-

Apparent weakness rarely present an opportunity

tack their limited purchasing power

There’s no doubt that every one of

problem with attacking an apparent

your competitors has an ap-

weakness is that it’s apparent. In oth-

parent weakness; that is

er words, the competition knows that

to say a weakness

the weakness exists so they’ve most

and shortage of equipment. But the

likely devised a strategy to address their weakness and thereby counter your attack. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t exploit your competition’s apparent weakness but rather that this tactic is rarely effective because apparent weaknesses are usually too well defended.


Sales Best Practices

The secret to bringing down the

possible, thereby opening the door for an outside

competition is to attack them at the

salesperson to steal the account by offering the client

point of least resistance. It is when

new ideas and better solutions to their business and

your competitors believe that they

marketing problems.

are doing an excellent job and that allegiance that they are most vul-

Achilles Heel #2 Low-level relationships

nerable to an attack. All too of-

Here’s how the salesperson/client relationship usu-

ten, when things are going well,

ally evolves. Smart salespeople realize that when try-

their clients are unlikely to change

salespeople will sit back

ing to land a new account

and enjoy the rewards of

they must prospect near

their efforts and in doing

the top of the corporate

so expose the company’s

ladder. So initially they’ll

Achilles Heel.

contact the president or marketing



Achilles Heel #1 Processing their client’s order

show these individuals how

A mandate that with few ex-

keting problems. But once

ceptions, every one of your competitors has embraced is to provide their clients with fast efficient service. And although this mandate has been established with the best intention in mind, the all too common strict implementation of this directive overrules a much larger and more important mandate;



each and every one of their client’s jobs are being run in the best possible way. Fortunately for you, this more important mandate is rarely embraced. Most of your competitors are exposing



Heel by simply throwing their client’s jobs into the system and processing them as quickly as

their services can help them solve their business and mar-

Although, building strong rapport with the purchasing agent is a vital part of the sales process, in doing so most salespeople neglect the real decision makers.

P20 CANVAS November 2011

upper management has been sold most salespeople shift their attention to purchasing. Since the purchasing agent is the individual that will authorize most orders they believe that their time is well spent nursing this relationship. Although, building strong rapport with the purchasing agent is a vital part of the sales process, in doing so most salespeople neglect the real decision makers. By focusing their attention on getting orders processed, instead of earning jobs by solving business problems they expose their company’s Achilles Heel. As their relationship with the decision maker begins to wane an opportunity arises for another printer to fill this void.

Sales Best Practices

Achilles Heel #3 Taking their clients for granted

don’t have the desire to nurse them. They perceive giving

If I were to contact your expired cli-

often than not, they expose the company’s Achilles Heel by

ents; those that no longer give you

treating, even their best clients, with indifference.

their clients the day-to-day attention that they require to be a tedious and non-productive use of their time, so more

their printing business and ask them would say that they were satisfied

Achilles Heel #4 Thinking like a printer

with your service, price and quality.

Although the printing industry has undergone dramatic

In fact they would be hard pressed

changes over the past 15 years, for the most part, sales

to give a reason for leaving because

and sales management has not. The vast majority of sales-

65% of your prospects left for no

people are exposing their company’s Achilles Heel by

reason other than your indifference.

thinking like printers. They still believe that they can hold

Only 15% left because they were dis-

on to their accounts by providing outstanding service,

satisfied with your service.

great quality and a competitive price when in fact these

about your company, most of them

are the minimum requirement for

The vast majority of salespeople are exposing their company’s Achilles Heel by thinking like printers.

doing business not a reason for a client to remain loyal. But there is a new breed of salespeople on the horizon who are stealing accounts at an unprecedented rate by positioning themselves as industry experts instead of printers. Instead of selling printing, which is a price sensitive commodity, they’re differentiating their services by of-





fering their clients expert advice. Instead, of quoting a job

abounds lays in the psychological

they provide new ideas and instead of thinking like a printer

make-up of successful salespeople.

they think like their clients and offer them what they really

Most top salespeople are success

want, better solutions to their business problems.

driven and they measure their success

Although identifying your competition’s Achilles Heel

by their ability to close sales, but they

will open the door to opportunity there is a truism that

quickly lose interest once the account

says “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house” and

becomes active. In other words, the

this certainly holds true here. So before focusing your

best salespeople are usually the worst

attention on exposing and attacking your competition’s

CSR’s. That’s not to say that they ig-

Achilles Heel, ensure that your accounts are not suscep-

nore their clients but rather that they

tible to a similar attack.

Peter is a professional sales trainer and marketing consultant with over 25 years of experience. He is the author of 12 industry specific books and audio programs including Earn over $100,000 a year Selling Printing. He can be reached at (905) 713-2274 or visit his website at

P22 CANVAS November 2011

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