Unless You’re A Cartographer, Peaks and Valleys Suck!

May 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, entrepreneurship, Marketing, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All sales reps experience some degree of peaks and valleys from time to time. However, some breeze through them with little disruption, and for others, they can be a huge problem. Why is this so? The issue, of course, is that many start and stop their business development and don’t prospect on a steady, consistent basis. So, how can you stay motivated and make sure that you keep your business flow level and moving through the sales pipeline consistently?
Make It a Priority

First, you have to consider business development as an ongoing initiative, and not one that you do when you have no work in the door, or when you have nothing better to do.
Develop a Plan and Stick with It!

Of course, there isn’t just one way to bring in new clients. It requires a comprehensive set of strategies that work together. Start by making a plan of action. Assign a specific number of outreach efforts per day or per week. Put this task on your calendar just like an appointment and make sure that you don’t blow it off. If you truly don’t have the time, hire a lead generator or business development rep to assist you with your ongoing business development.
Realize the Importance of Existing Clients and New Prospects

You can’t afford to focus exclusively on finding new prospects, nor can you only hit up existing clients for repeat business. You need to do both to level out the peaks and valleys.
Be Clear About Who Is In Your Pipeline

Not all prospects are created equal. Some are more likely to close than others. Keep tabs on how much time and effort you are putting in. With a clear idea of where they are in your pipeline, you can strategically plan how much effort you should be making with them.
Put Out What You Need to Get Back

The most important strategy to minimizing peaks and valleys is to understand that the more effort you make, the more likely you’ll minimize the chance of having an empty pipeline or no discernible revenue flow. This is truly a qualitative and quantitative activity.

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Sales 101: Just Put Away Your Smart Phones

May 16, 2010 at 10:27 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You would think it wouldn’t have to go mentioned but yes, there are still people that think it is 100% okay to check email and texts, as well as send same, while they are engaged (correction, not so engaged) in a meeting or networking event.

I don’t mean that they politely excuse themselves and go off to a quiet corner or rest room to attend to their electronic communications. No, I mean that they inexcusably work their devices when sitting at a meal, at a conference table or milling about at a networking function at which one of the sole reasons for attending is to meet the attendees live and in person.

It’s just plain rude and it happens much too often.

I’ve participated in networking meetings where it seems that half of the attendees are staring at their laps with their thumbs moving feverishly over a keyboard. I’ve been at luncheons where the hum and buzz of text messages is totally distratcting and the “live” conversation seems almost “in the way”.  And, I’ve even been speaking with someone at an event who every minute or so pulled out their phone to scroll down the new incoming messages. It’s just plain rude.

I haven’t gone so far as to ask the offending person to stop. Maybe I should. Rather, I find myself glowering at them hoping they will pick up on my not-so-subtle cues. But that rarely happens.  Seems that subtly goes nowhere when dealing with a person like this.

So, if you feel that something critical is happening and you must engage with your device, then play it straight and let the other people know so they won’t have the same negative impression that I have.

But if it’s just a case of an addiction to electronic communications, well maybe you ought to just plain quit. You just might be sending a text when your next new business opportunity appears, and then decides to walk by, rather than disturb you and your electronic companion.

How Many Send Out Cards Is Too Many Send Out Cards?

May 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Marketing, Networking, sales, Sales Training, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Don’t get me wrong. I like following up and staying on the grid as much as the next guy—um—salesperson, and maybe even just a bit more since I train the concept of “touch point management” as part of my sales training programs.

But really, enough is enough.

Remember back when everyday you seemed to get an AOL disk and you started to think that the whole thing was sort of silly. Maybe you even used those disks as coasters or made an art project out of them. Their value and what they stood for was certainly devalued and their daily appearance in the mail became sort of a joke.

Well, I’m starting to get the same feeling with Send Out Cards. Okay, I know it’s supposed to help you to stay in touch in a “personal” sort of way. But really, is it personal? I mean given the digitized signature and the Send Out Cards logo on the back. Do I feel special when I get one (or actually 3-5 per day). Nope, not really.

Now before you get angry with me—-I think when used appropriately the concept can work. And yes, I do know that some folks are not overdoing it and the sentiment included inside makes sense. (Thank you for those cards—I especially like the ones with my/our pics!)

But in the last few weeks I’ve gotten Send Out Cards from folks I don’t know; their message seems canned and the whole idea of building a relationship and/or staying on the grid, has gone the way of their automated touchpoint.

I don’t use Send Out Cards and yet I know that part of my personal brand is that I am “high touch, low pressure”.  Maybe Send Out Cards would be able to minimize the time and energy that I spend on staying on the grid, but I don’t know, it just feels wrong to me.

And truly I mean no harm here. I appreciate the cards that I get from the folks that I DO know. It’s the “strangers” sending cards reeking with cliches that are starting to get on my nerves.

It seems that “personal” has been depersonalized.

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