Don’t ‘TRUMP’ the Competition

July 27, 2015

Trump Fires GOP

Whether you are following politics or not, you most certainly have heard of Donald Trump, now GOP presidential candidate. You may also have read about some of the names Trump has been calling other candidates. For example, Trump has called Gov. Jeb Bush a “jackass”, and he also called Sen. Lindsey Graham an “idiot”. For the record, Trump hasn’t has many nice things to say about anyone, especially those he’s running against. That’s a big mistake!

You probably realize that bashing and demeaning your competitors is no way to conduct yourself in business. It’s unprofessional under any circumstances. When you bash, or ’Trump’ the competition, you only make yourself look bad, and you come off as being desperate for the business. When you appear desperate for the business, your sales prospect begins to wonder why. When sales prospects wonder why you sound desperate, they tend to stay with their current supplier? Is that really what you want?

Never have a bad word to say about your competitor no matter what, and no matter how it may pain you to do so. Take the emotion out of the picture. You lose bonus points with prospects when you sound desperate for the business and say bad things about your competitor. I suggest you stick to the business points, and put your competitive advantages across in ways that don’t demean your competitor, but serve to elevate the quality and value of your offering compared to others. Keep it professional and maintain a level head and you won’t ‘Trump up’ your business.


Talking Yourself into ‘Sales Depression’?

July 17, 2015

depressionYou choose to feel the way you do! You might not think so, but it’s true. For example, if you look out the window on a Monday morning and find that it’s raining, and realize that you now have to wait in the rain for the bus, YOU DECIDE at that moment how you feel – probably lousy!

Disappointment in sales, and with business in general, is completely unavoidable. I bet we could all write a book filled with those ‘let down’ incidents that made us wonder why we chose sales as a profession. It’s how we react, or better yet, how we DECIDE to think and feel that determines whether or not we can chase away the ‘blues’ and move on to the next sales call.

The issue is that every time you face disappointment you CHOOSE how you feel about it, and how long you are going to ‘carry that weight’. You can actually talk your way into feeling depressed if you give yourself enough reminders about how crappy things are. Do you hear that little voice in your head too?

My advice to you is to catch yourself every time you start focusing on the negative and making a conscious DECISION to feel awful. STOP right there! Realize that YOU, and YOU alone are DECIDING to feel lousy.
Here’s an important note – If you DECIDE to feel lousy, then you can also DECIDE to not feel lousy. You have the power to control how you feel and what to do about it.
So… STOP listening to that little voice inside your head that tries endlessly to talk you into feeling depressed. Turn down the volume on the negative and amplify the positive. If you CHOOSE how you feel, then why not CHOOSE to feel positive every chance you get?

You Lost Me At “Hello”!

January 20, 2015

C Ya LaterToday I received yet another poorly written sales solicitation message in my in-box. The opening sentence told me all I needed to know abut the person that sent me the message – he does not know how to write. He lost me at “Hello”.
Here’s the message…
I wanted to reach out to see if we could briefly discuss how you use documents within your sales operations”.

Reaching Out…
I wanted to…” What does this mean? Is the writer trying to tell me that he wanted to “reach out” but had second thoughts? Is he trying to tell me that he wanted to reach out (whatever that means) and decided some other way to make contact with me? I don’t get it…
I would have responded positively to this:I’m contacting you to see if we could have a conversation about an annoying problem I solve for small business owners”?

“How you use documents…”
Huh? How we use documents as opposed to what – stone tablets? What kind of documents? The problem with this snippet is that there is no specificity as to to the meaning behind why this person is writing me, leaving it up to me to interpret his meaning of “documents”. I’m busy – not a chance…

What you say vs. What you write
The problem most people have articulating themselves in the written word is that they write like they speak. It doesn’t work. What you write and how you speak are two different means of expressing your point. When you speak you are communicating in one form. When you write you are communicating your ideas in a different form. Be aware of this at all times. What you say is NOT how you should write!
When you try to articulate and transpose your speech into the written word, the correspondence loses some of its effervescence, and your words end up ‘tasting’ like flat soda.
The written word lacks emotion. It lacks energy and it lacks delivery. So… if you are writing like you speak there is a very good chance that your words will not carry the energy it needs to to get your message across and have it understood in its intended terms.

Write what you mean – Mean what you write!
In today’s inattentive world you need to keep your written messages simple, and get to the point quickly. Attention ‘evaporates’ at room temperature, disappearing in an instant.
Think of Twitter – 140 characters to make your point. When you write avoid using any cliche sales rhetoric. Sound like a salesman pitching product and you’ll lose them at Hello every time.

If you solve a problem, then simply explain the problem you solve and in as few words as possible and ask for the attention of your sales prospect to determine the possible fit for the solution you provide. Cut to the chase and you won’t lose them at “Hello”!

Eleanor Roosevelt – Never take a “NO” from someone that can’t say “YES”

December 10, 2014


Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Never take a “No” from someone who can’t say “YES”. That scenario played out for me on the phone this morning.

Here’s my story...
I have a client that sells regulatory reporting software to banks. I have a list of target prospects I dial each day, and a Gold Call Script at the ready should a prospect answer their phone.
As often happens with telephone prospecting, the call I made was to the wrong person. Once I got to asking my “Focus Question”, I was immediately met with resistance. The person on the phone, an auditor, told me that he didn’t have anything to do with regulatory reporting, and that the controller of the bank was in charge. But before I could ask for the name of the controller I should be calling, he jumped in to tell me that the bank had no problems with filing regulatory reports because they outsource all their reporting work – blah, blah, blah.
He wasn’t the right contact, but he knew all about why they didn’t need anything I was selling.
Do you have sales prospects like mine?

Not being one to give up easily, I decided to search the Internet for the controller’s name, and found the name and phone number, and I made the call. Nothing ventured – nothing gained, right?
After opening the call with my ‘Lemonade Statement’ I was surprised by the response I got from the controller. He told me that the timing of my call was perfect! He went on to tell me that he is looking to buy software within the next 30-days and he’d like for me to come and meet with him to discuss the sale of my product. I stopped him mid-sentence and explained what the other guy told me on the phone, that they outsource, and it didn’t sound like the door was open to anything I might have to offer. Then my prospect made me laugh – He told me that the other guy didn’t know what he was talking about, and that he’s “just an auditor, and what do they know”? He continued with, “We need help, and I’d like to see you right away”.
As we continued our conversation I found that the auditor was simply telling me “no” because he couldn’t say “yes”. I bet it made him feel good as he quickly brushed me off the phone and hung up.

One of the top priorities of any call you make to a prospect is to make damn sure you are talking to the right person. If you’re call is met with resistance, make damn sure you aren’t being told “no” by someone who can’t say “yes”. Otherwise you run the risk of bailing out and quitting early. There is a second chance for a “yes” after being told “no” the first time!
People in low positions, and those that can’t spend the company’s money are starving for power because they have none. And they know it. Then you, the cold calling salesperson calls them, and now it’s their moment to shine. They tell you “NO” because it’s all they can say. Beware of these people!
Eleanor Roosevelt was right, “Never take a ‘No’ from someone that can’t say ‘Yes’. That piece of advice paid off for me today…

Negative People…

July 24, 2014

debbie downer  Ever spend some time with a negative person? (Wonk-Wonk) Everything is a downer. The sun may be shining, but to ‘negative people’ it is pouring rain every day. There are seven days in a week, but to a negative person, every day is Monday.
When speaking to negative people, no matter how much positive spin you put on a story, a negative person will always attach the downside perspective. I wish they would all just shut the heck up.

The big problem with negative people is that you have to live with them, work with them, travel with them, and sometimes wait on the supermarket checkout line with them. Their persistent whining about things they have no control over is worse than the sound of nails scratching on a blackboard.

The bigger problem with negative people is that their ‘vinegar’ tends to splash all over us whenever they are around. We are a captive audience to their constant pessimism. We hear the negative, and if we’re not careful we can join the “boo-hoo choir” and wind up feeling negative ourselves. Not good!

The sounds of Negative People:
“Our product costs too much”
“No sense in making cold calls in July – everyone is on vacation”
“Why can’t you be like…”
“You can’t do that”
“Why bother”
“That won’t work”

There comes a time when you have to turn your ‘hearing aid’ off and pay no attention to negative people. Negative people tend to assume they can pull friends & co-workers into the negative abyss with them. Misery loves company , but don’t let it be you!

Whenever you encounter a negative person simply nod politely and explain that you have to run to a meeting, or jump on a call. No sense sticking around to hear their ‘sob story’ – you’ve got a job to do.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

July 17, 2014

Tim's PlaceWatch this 90-second video and I dare you not to cry.
Here is a fellow named Tim who Is not about to let life’s challenges get in the way of his dreams of owning a restaurant, and achieving happiness and success in life.
As you will soon see, Tim knows how to live. He is passionate about everything he does. He loves coming to work, owning his own business, and most importantly, Tim has a never-ending passion for showing people his appreciation.

Imagine what you could achieve in this world if you only had half of Tim’s passion, and his penchant for seeing the positive side of EVERYTHING. The power of positive thinking can propel you to new heights you never thought possible. Tim shows us how…
Watch Tim’s Place Video (90-seconds)

Go Down Swinging!

July 11, 2014

Go Down SwingingIt’s hard to be positive in a negative world. There are times when nothing seems to go right. The purchase order didn’t arrive when promised, your messages aren’t returned by prospects, your boss is an idiot, and perhaps your ‘take home pay’ ain’t enough to take you home. In a negative world there are more than enough frustrations and disappointments to go around.
If you’re stuck in a ‘rut’, and not sure what to do, the last thing you want to be thinking is about ‘throwing in the towel’. Giving up is no answer to a problem. If you’re an optimist, then you realize that there really are answers to every problem if you know how to go about it.
The first step towards filtering out the negative and focusing on the positive all starts with your attitude. Negative things that impact your career and personal life can tear down your confidence and cause you to spend more time lamenting about your circumstances rather than seeking solutions that will refresh your ability to carry on. And carry on we must!
So… How does one go about thinking positive in a negative world? Again, it all comes down to attitude.
Ever hear the phrase, “I’d rather go down swinging”? Sure you have, but what does it really mean?
Go down swinging is an attitude. It means you’d rather fight than quit. Quitting means defeat, and allowing whatever affects us negatively to conquer our thoughts, and sense of being. Is that any way for a winner to think? Certainly not, but for many people quitting is the easy way out, and for some crazy reason, quitting is actually seen as the solution to the problem by default.
Whatever your circumstances are I’d rather see you fight than quit. Don’t let that boss, customer, sales prospect, or whatever drag you down. Fight back with attitude. You can do it.

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. So take that shot anyway, and manage your expectations to avoid a sense of disappointment and frustration later on. You have two choices to make everyday; either you’re going to allow ‘it’ to get to you, or YOU are going to go out and get ‘it’. Even in the face of possible defeat you should take pride and give yourself credit for at least trying. That’s how winners think.

So, for those of you feeling down, and perhaps feeling a bit defeated, let me suggest that you should not let the negative get the better of you. Easier said than done I understand, but still, are you going to allow circumstances beyond your control make you feel worthless? I certainly hope not. You are better than that.
It’s far better to go down swinging than take no swing at all. Consider this, right now there is someone somewhere that would benefit from your product or service, and it’s up to you to go and find them. Customers are waiting for your call, so it’s just a matter of making the effort, and realizing that sooner or later someone is going to buy your product, or hire you. Make that call…

Consider this – the plight of Thomas Edison as he tried to invent the incandescent light bulb:
When asked about failure Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” “Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe.”

Now get out there and make it a great day!

The Power of Positve Thinking – Redeux

July 7, 2014

IMG_1012When: Thursday, July 17th @ 1:00 PM EDT 10:00 AM PDT

Wanted to let you know that I’m fine tuning my presentation ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’. Looking forward to greeting each of you on the 17th!

I live on Long Island and I occasionally get to the beach. This past weekend it was Jones Beach, and it was mobbed! Having lived here on Long Island all my life I can say without hesitation that the traffic here is unbearable. This past weekend was no exception. As my bad luck would have it, it seemed that everyone else decided to head to Jones Beach at the same time. I was stuck in traffic, and I wasn’t happy about it.

After a few U turns and frustrated waiting times for a parking spot, I was about to throw in the proverbial beach towel and head home for another boring day in the back yard. Then it struck me. Why was I allowing circumstances beyond my control to alter my otherwise joyful frame of mind? Why was I allowing traffic to intrude on a beautiful day with blue skies, and a look at the sandy beach and blue ocean? Why? Because I chose to be miserable instead of thinking about the positive outcome – like putting my toes in the sand, having a cold beer, and a chance to relax and read one of my favorite books, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’.

Often times we focus our attention on the bad, and the good gets very little, if any credit. That’s human nature.
One of the best ways to achieve a more positive life is to start conditioning your mind to prioritize and accent the positive whenever you encounter a negative moment. Rather than over inflate the reality of the problem, why not try and discount it, and try focusing on the other positive aspects of your life?. Easier said than done, but certainly possible if you can train your mind to stop panicking about the stupid stuff and focus your energy on seeing the lighter side of things, and understand that there is a solution to every problem if you can exercise a little patience.

By the way, after taking a deep breath and deciding to take one more lap around the Jones Beach parking lot to find a spot, someone just happened to pull out of a spot in the front row right in front of me. I couldn’t believe my luck! A short walk to the beach later and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for being so ticked off about the traffic and parking. Things really do work themselves out eventually. Oh happy day!

If you looking for some great insight from personal experience on how to re-program your mind to thinking positive, then Join me on Thursday, July 17th @ 1000 PDT, 1:00 PM EDT for a discussion on how to harness the ‘Power of Positive Thinking’

Click Here to Register

Topics of discussion:
* You are luckier than you think!
* Bad sales calls are NOT the end of the world
* Quick ideas for chasing the ‘blues’
* You’re #1 no matter what

Click Here: ‘That’s Life’ – Frank Sinatra

You Think You Have Problems?

July 2, 2014

Lou GehrigNo matter how bad things may seem there is always someone less fortunate than you. We don’t often think of things in this way, and that is the prevailing reason why our thoughts are often negative despite the positive. The strongest people in history have always faced some form of adversity, but they found a way to persevere despite the obstacles. Think of Jackie Robinson. Despite the vitriolic hate spewed from the mouths of racist haters in the stands at Ebbets Field, Jackie Robinson took the field and let his bat and glove do the talking. Jackie was an American hero to say the least. He had the passion to persevere, and he did so with the utmost class.

Another American hero did something similar back on July 4th 1939. Lou Gehrig, in spite of his health, and knowing that he would eventually die from his illness, took to the microphone and let a Yankee Stadium crowd know just how lucky he was despite his “bad break”. Could you or I even contemplate doing something similar?
Most people dwell on the negative, and allow it to control their lives, but not Lou! Despite his “bad break” he was grateful for what he had. When the ‘chips’ are down, be like Lou. When you face adversity, walk tall and proud like Jackie Robinson. Don’t let the ‘turkeys’ bring you down!


Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939

“Fans, for the past two weeks, you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body — it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying . . . that I may have had a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.”

Mastering First Impressions…

March 5, 2014

first-impression-1cpq5ujIn a broadcast of ABC World News Tonight that aired back in February 2004, I learned of a study that Tufts University had conducted that studied how quickly people can draw a first impression conclusion about someone.

What you will read below is a summary of a study about how quickly people, including prospects, can draw a first impression conclusion about someone else in about 2-5 seconds. There’s no margin for error with first impressions.

What we should learn from the study is that before we make a cold call, or any call to a prospect or customer, salespeople should seriously consider the first impression they are giving to their prospects in the opening 2-10 seconds of any cold call. One misspoken word, or the weak sound of your voice can create the wrong first impression, so you have to be careful what you say and how you speak to sales prospects if you want to avoid creating the wrong first impression of yourself and hurt your chances of success. Read on…

ImageQuick Encounters, Lasting Impressions

Nalini AmbadyResearch by a Tufts psychologist indicates that humans can form a lasting impression of another person after just a few-second glimpse.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02-17-04] Political candidates, job seekers and public figures take note: first impressions count – and they may be made a lot faster than most people think, according to a Tufts psychologist’s research. In an interview with ABC News, Tufts’ Nalini Ambady said humans can make a lasting judgment about someone after seeing their face for just a few seconds.

“Human brains, says professor Ambady, can decide a lot in [just a few] seconds,” reported ABC News. “So quick impressions matter.”

Ambady proved the point in a unique experiment she designed to test the power of brief encounters.

“She asked students to come to a classroom where she showed them short videos [10 seconds long, without sound] of teachers they’d never met,” reported ABC. “Then the students were asked to rate the teachers in a variety of categories.”

Ambady compared the results with course evaluations submitted by students who took a course from the professors over a full semester.

The results, Ambady told ABC News, were startling.

“Students who saw professors for 10 seconds gave the exact same ratings as students who knew them for months,” reported the news report.

Ambady shortened the clip from 10 seconds to just two seconds in a similar experiment and achieved the same result.

“There was very little difference [in their evaluations],” the associate professor told ABC News. “It was amazing.”

During just a brief encounter (“It passes by fast,” Ambady jokes), humans can make what appear to be quick, but lasting, judgments. The roots of the phenomena may date back to earlier, more primitive times.

“From pre-historic times, we have evolved to look at faces and make snap judgments – is he going to hurt me? Is he going to help me?” reported ABC News. “Even the briefest glimpse makes an impression – a bigger impression than you know.”