Jun 04 2011

Moments of No Return.

Your salespeople may be


costing you more


than sales!



Not unlike a new puppy, new (and old) salespeople who aren’t trained properly are likely to mess things up. In the end, they’ll cost you more than sales. Remember it’s your name, your image, your integrity, your authenticity, and your reputation on the line every time one of them opens her or his mouth or taps out a keyboard message.


For your (actual, but names changed) Scenerio Pleasure . . . 

“Good Morning.Thank you for calling B. Bigg Sportswear. This is Sally. How may I help you?”

“Hi, Sally! I’m Larry from LLL –that’s Little Losers Limited– and I’m looking for B. Bigg, please; can you connect me?”  

“Er, no, B. Bigg is not here. In fact, ther…”

(Stepping on the end of her sentence) “Well when will ‘B.’ be back?”

(Realizing she has a sales spammer on the line, and smiling, since “B. Bigg” is a fictitious brand name) “Oh, eight and a half weeks!”

She chuckles and starts to explain that she’s kidding, but Larry interrupts her again . . .

“Alright,well, since I met with B.Bigg downtown there the last time I was in the area, I’ll just call back then; no need to leave a message.”

“Right.Well you have a nice day, Larry from LLL!” (now laughing to herself as she hangs up since –on top of there being no B. Bigg– the “town” has only 450 residents in it and the only place to meet is the gas-station-convenience-store).

Sally can’t wait to tell Mr. Star (company president, and retired world-class athlete with lots of industry connections) about the call. He will no doubt comment on how befitting Larry’s company name is.


We all know about no such thing as a second first impression, but how often do we take the trouble to monitor the first impressions our salespeople are putting out. Appropriate, targeted, perceptive training short-circuits these “moments of no return.”

So, what’s the solution? Be –and stay– on top of your salespeople until you are confident that they are representing you and your business in as professional a manner as you want them to. This doesn’t mean “get on their case.” What it means is to make sure you provide them with the proper training (and re-training) and support — ongoing!

In life and work,

one-night stands never work!


A bad economy is not a legitimate reason to slack off in this pursuit. Just consider where you’d be without sales and with a bad reputation. Reinforcement at every level is critical in sales management.

If you are too busy owning and operating, or if you’re just not cut out to be a sales manager, go get one. Get the best person you can find –NOT the best salesperson — the best sales manager.

Great Salespeople Do Not

Make Great Sales Managers!


Some outstanding resources you can count on to steer you in the right direction:

Doyle Slayton www.SalesBlogCast.com

Jonena Relth www.TBDConsulting,com

Meredith Bell www.YourVoiceOfEncouragement.com  


# # #


Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

May 11 2011

Are you a leading leader or lazy lecturer?

Being smart enough to


practice what you preach,


separates leaders


from lecturers.



Lectures are discourses packaged for delivery to “career students,” government employees, and sheep.


None of these needy creatures care about whether a lecturer has lived up to the spirit and letter of the lecture focus, or has actually practiced delivering her or his lecture to a match-up audience in order to gather advance feedback for adjustment purposes. Lecturers rarely indulge in studying themselves or their audiences.

So practice –for the purposes of this post– means doing what you ask or tell others to do, but it also means trying out and rehearsing your presentation of what you plan to say. How else can you make sure it communicates clearly to those you seek to communicate with? Simple enough, yes? But, aha! It’s rarely done, except by leading leaders.

If you’re not in a business emergency or an emergency business, slow down what you have to say long enough to think through what you have to say before you speak, before you hit “Send,” before you release or publish it. . . in person, on the phone, in emails and text messages . . . in meetings, presentations, and marketing.


Regardless of the nature of your business, are you certain your words, and vocal or written tone of voice are effectively communicating the ideas and points you want to convey? Have you tried, tested, and rehearsed the important messages in ways that encourage and generate meaningful and honest feedback? Are you sure?

You know all that stuff about first impressions, active listening, and soliciting effective feedback, but are you doing it? Have you set yourself up to be approachable? Great writers get great readers to review and edit their drafts.

Smart entrepreneurs and business owners often clear subject matter they want to transmit or present with their lawyers, accountants, advisors and consultants, investors, partners and referrers, but fail miserably to get representatives of their target audiences to tune in, understand, and respond productively to their spiels.

If you fail to get direct and primary feedback from your sales team and key customers, for example, on a new marketing direction or branding program or revenue stream, you are likely to fail with it.

It really doesn’t take much to advance-check your facts on Bing or Google.

It doesn’t take much time either to advance-check the opinions and perceptions of those you seek to impact.

The medium is (still) the message — at least half the message anyway.

Professionally-run focus groups and interviews are hard to beat for first-hand qualitative input.


HOW you come across cannot be a random hit-or-miss event when it’s an investor, bank loan, partnership, major customer account, or key employee you seek to influence. Reassurance comes from asking and adjusting, asking and adjusting, and asking and adjusting.


“Yeah, but I’m better when I wing it!”


Don’t kid yourself. That’s an excuse to not do the hard work of preparation. You may think you’re a great spontaneous presenter, but you should know that others can tell when you’re winging it!

— —————————-

On top of all this rationale, the icing on the cake, is the intangible but striking value of engaging others in your process. By soliciting others’ opinions and judgments, you are motivating, encouraging, and rewarding those you draw from. You set them apart by sharing a special level of trust with them.

Think about the feelings of importance, responsibility, and confidence you feel when others ask for your input. Leading leaders lead by inspiring enthusiasm, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking. They motivate others to achieve. Practicing what you preach motivates others to achieve.  


# # #


Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Apr 27 2011


You really have 20 seconds!


A back alley. The front seat of your truck. A corner of your garage. Your kitchen counter, A fancy reception room or hotel lobby. A sunroom, chicken farm, TV room, airplane hanger, cornfield, Grand Central Station, a website, or the excavated mud puddle of a construction project


. . . How it looks and how it feels must be appropriate to your business or profession and represent the image you seek to project. You already know that, right? But do you remember to stay on top of it? And did you know that whatever your waiting area may be, it gets “scoped out” in 10 seconds!

YOU get scoped out in the next 10.

There you are: 20 seconds to make it or break it.


Much is said about the first ten seconds of a sales encounter with someone, or group, but little is made note of about the surroundings, environment, and setting of the place where those first interpersonal seconds actually come across, or have the stage be set.

The set and setting of the place people wait is critical to creating a mood of receptivity in the minds of those who wait for you –even if it[‘s for less than one minute. If the place is a mess, so are you, and so are the products and services and ideas you have to offer (in the mind and eyes of the beholder).

If everything is neat and clean and organized, so will what you have to offer be pre-judged to be that way.

It can’t be emphasized enough that regular ongoing (preferably daily, even hourly in some high-traffic areas) taking of inventory will make a big difference in how people assess you and your business . . . to the extent it can give you a positive and competitive edge in that first ten seconds of personal interaction.

Consider the last 5-6 business locations you visited (including doctors’ offices), and what do you come up with?


What, in your waiting area, needs tending toongoing maintenance? Start with torn and ragged old magazines and newspapers (trash them!), and dead bugs in overhead lighting units (especially bad if you’re a dentist, massage therapist, chiropractor, OB/GYN, or shrink!).

Dead leaves on plants? (Plastic plants are just as unacceptable; no matter how great they look, they communicate phoniness and lack of reality.) Dirty carpets? (How hard is that? It’s called a vacuum.) Dusty countertops, outdated calendar pages, inaccurate clock time?

Here’s the biggy: KILL YOUR TV and radio if:

A) They are staticky

B) They are tuned to mainstream media networks (it’s not about what you or your receptionist think people want to watch; it’s about the mood you want to create)

C) They are tuned to news channels or channels that offer regular news updates (blood and gore and tragedy are not particularly great graphics or content to be filling people’s heads with while they wait for you, or eat a meal, or are medically stressed)

Put the radios on elevator music. The more relaxed visitors are while they wait for you, the more receptive and less-stressed they’ll be when you step into the spotlight 

# # #


Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Apr 21 2011


Businesses, like people, get


their faces locked in to 


negative expressions  



You think those who are considering a purchase of your goods or services are not paying attention to how the “package” of your business facade is wrapped? You think it doesn’t matter?

You think” the face of your business” has no power of suggestion? If you’re engaged in professional selling (who isn’t?), do you think no one notices your facial expressions? (You do of course know they’re contagious?)

Try this one.

I’m going to give you a single word that sums up my total customer experience at a business I visited recently. It was something that the receptionist did.

And you will likely do the exact same thing the minute you read this word, which should –all by itself– be a  clear enough demonstration that every business “face” communicates.

My guess is that odds are within one minute, you’ll be hooked.

You will prove to yourself that the power of suggestion is far from imaginary. Are you ready? Okay:

Read the following word and think about it for five seconds


Here it is: YAWN 

Think about the word now for five seconds.

Well? If you didn’t yawn yourself, did you at least feel that queasy little tremor in the corners of your jaw where upper and lower teeth come together?

No? Well, maybe you just woke up, or just took some amphetamines or someone just put some ice down your back.

How about this word?: SMILE


Who is “the face” of YOUR business? 

Does that person pass along smiles or stretch and yawn most of the day? (And, no, this is not intended as a corrective action seminar for air traffic controllers . . . who, by the way, it’s worth noting, get paid $160,000 a year to NOT sleep on the job; it’s stressful and requires special skills? So what! What about truck-driving and mothering!)

Similarly, a health food store clerk or medical clinic is hardly well represented by even the most smiling individual if she or he looks like a walking billboard for some local tattoo and body-piercing parlor. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

Credibility registers in the eyes of the beholder in less than ten seconds. There are no second first impressions.

So you get the WHO part of this, what about the WHAT part? What is “the face” of your business? I know of a physician’s office with an absolutely filthy-beyond-belief office front door. You need antiseptic wipes just to touch the handle. One pint of paint and a teaspoon of metal polish would do the job. It’s been that way for many years.

It probably goes without saying that this doctor is not considered the town’s gift to healthcare, and has been struggling financially for probably as long as the door has been hinged. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

If you’re in construction or landscaping and pull up to a prospective customer in a disgusting truck full of muck, don’t think your slightly lower estimate will land you work. The truck tells people that you’re a slob. People don’t hire slobs. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

Computer techies who can only communicate with their thumbs and say little more on the phone (if they answer it at all) than  “Uh” and “Huh?” OR who rattle out stuff about SEO and Mashables and Tweets to another business owner who doesn’t want to know how to make a clock when she asks what time it is, will not get hired. 

In this case —on the phone or on the screen– the face of the business is locked in a negative expression.


You have the key. It’s in your head. It’s called consciousness. Open minds open doors! 


# # #


Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Nov 09 2009


You got 7 seconds, Baby! Do it!


     So you think you can make sales  by building relationships? You think you can sweet talk a prospect into a sale? You think that starting your spiel with a joke will get that signature on the dotted line? You are helping customers to slow own, relax, take it step at a time so they’ll love you when they decide to buy?


     Statistical studies have long shown  that average adult attention span in America is 12 minutes, 7-8 minutes for decision makers, and 7 SECONDS to size you up (It used to be 10 seconds, but we’re in the WiFi age!).

     This means, dear business owners, managers and salespeople  (that’s EVERYone, btw), that you better have your you-know-what together and be prepared to make a spectacular 7-second first impression. Bottom line: No time to blink! 

     First off, junk this dumb idea  that some touchy-feely guru sold you about “relationship selling.” Assuming you still want to have a job in a couple of months (weeks, even), then be alert to the fact that the building of customer relationships can ONLY happen AFTER the sale is made.

     The sale is the starting line. When the check clears the bank is when to start all the hugging and kissing and hand-holding commotion, and not ten seconds earlier! Disregard this at your peril. 7 SECONDS! You got 7 seconds, Baby! Do it! Go for the sale, B~U~T that doesn’t mean to rush in like a ton of bricks. It means make the most of those 7 seconds. 

     One sales pro I respect says  he uses those first 7 seconds to “radiate authenticity and ask a genuine leading question.” What’s an example? “Are you looking to upgrade what you have or try something new?” will certainly get you further than, “How’s the weather out there today?” or “Hi, would you like some help?” 

     “Radiating authenticity,”  incidentally implies many things. Your appearance for one. No one expects you to be wearing a tie and jacket (or a dress and high heels) if you’re visiting farms, nor are you likely to get too far in delivering a Fortune 500 board of directors presentation in jeans and sneakers. Clothes CAN make the sale when they’re authentic and appropriate.  A GENUINE smile and fresh (not overkill Scope) breath help!

     Grooming  is the other half of appearance. And if you don’t already get that you’ll do better scrubbed and neatly trimmed, you probably need more help than this blog can provide. 

     When 7 seconds can make it or break it, when 7 seconds is all it takes for a decision maker to size you up and decide if she or he wants to do business with you or not, you need a game plan. It’s fourth quarter and you’re 3 points behind on the 50-yard line with 7 seconds. You sure better know what you’re going to do when the ball is hiked. You are, after all, calling the plays!                                                                      

# # #               

Input always welcome Hal@TheWriterWorks.com “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

Subscribe FREE to this blog list-protected RSS email…OR $.99/mo Amazon KindleCreative? Add YOUR 7 words to the 393 day 7Word Story (under RSS) Get new Nightengale Press book THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING See: http://bit.ly/3nDlGF 

No responses yet

Jun 03 2009


Don’t be waiting for unions,


government, big business,


banks, or Fairy Godmothers! 


     It’s a good idea to step on the scale every once in awhile. It’s easy to let your business get too heavy from feeding it too much fat and not exercising it enough, or making sure it gets the sleep it needs. Whaaat? Well, sure: your business has a life too. The question is–since it’s YOUR business and dependent on YOUR choices–what exactly are you doing to keep it healthy and growing?

     When’s the last time you stepped outside your business and re-entered it, pretending you’ve never been there before? Just as trying to draw conclusions about your own health from just stepping on the scale, weight is merely one indicator. Many other factors need to be inventoried.

     Beyond the obvious business health ingredients, like first-impression appearances (e.g., parking, signage, displays, employees, facilities, waiting areas) and all the components like lighting, colors, cleanliness, etc., there’s a myriad of interrelated factors, issues, concerns and pursuits that warrant your assessment or reassessment.

     When, for example, did you last–or when do you next plan to–launch a new product or service program or initiative? Have you been holding back until the economy is “better”? Considering the growing evidence that that could be a very long time, could a launch delay now drag your company’s energy level down, perhaps to a point below a more aggressive market competitor? In other words, is it worth waiting?

     If you’ve already launched your exciting new Zilch-Zapper product line and support services, are they dying on the vine while you’ve preoccupied yourself with tap-dancing around your bankers and investors? There comes a point–as with humans–when a business becomes so over-burdened, so dis-stressed, that it collapses or has a stroke. Could you possibly be cultivating that kind of trauma?

     The good news is that business trauma is easily reversed. It requires only two things:

1) Recognitionthat the negative places your business health dwells in or is headed toward are the result of your conscious or unconscious choices (It’s as easy to choose to UNdo a bad choice as it is to choose to stay with a bad choice), and

2) Awareness that a burning commitment needs to be made to act on and directly treatthe diagnosis your inventory produces, and to be made by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the immediate and long-term business healthcare and growth goals you set.

     Bottom line: If YOU don’t balance the life of your business (as well as your own… in order to grow your business from a position of strength vs. a position of weakness), who is going to balance the life of your business? Certainly not the government, unions, banks, or big business… I guess the answer kinda doesn’t leave much to the imagination. But that’s okay, because imagination is plentiful, and it’s what you need to exercise in order to get the job done. 

# # #  

Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

FREE BLOG SUBSCRIPTION? Click on ”Posts RSS Feed” (Center Column), or now on your AMAZON Kindle for just $1.99 a month after a free trial. BE A CO-AUTHOR: Add your own 7 words to the end of the daily 258 days old growing tale! Click under “7-Word Story” (center column)

No responses yet


Tag Cloud