Trade show Tip #2; Remove fillers from your vocabulary

Trade shows.  You have 10 seconds maximum to engage and get the interest of a passer by.   Time is critical.  Time is everything.

Eliminating filler words such as “Um”,  “Ah”,  “Er” and “You know” is paramount.  It kills your presentation and will cost you the sale.

So you’ve been is sales for years and you think it’s ok?

I’ve got news for you:  When I hear constant “Um, ah, er, eh, you know” in conversation you are stamped as irrelevant.  You are an amatuer.  You’ve had some great sales months, but you are not a great sale rep.   Language and the articulation thereof is the engine that drives sales.  If your communication ability sucks time from my life,  I just don’t have time for you.  I am not alone.

I am being honest with you, right now.  You may be right out of college or have a few sales years under your belt.  Maybe you just never made the effort to improve.  You may think it is ok; your friends may talk this way and reinforce this habit.

If you are thinking this way, you are wrong.  You will never be great in sales without mastering communication. 

The first step to fixing the language filler problem is realizing you have one.  If you have the desire,  this video will help.  Good luck.

Dreamforce and a single Pen for an entire year

One Pen : One Year

Single Pen

Dreamforce is on my mind.  The RingLead team is cooking up some interesting (and fun) initiatives for the biggest tech show in the universe.  What will Marc Benioff launch this year?  Every year the industry leadership of Salesforce has stood out.  I’m excited to be going.

What’s with the pen?  First, it is a compact Fisher Space Pen. It is awesome and I have not used another single pen for an entire year.  It was a personal challenge to myself.  I keep it on my keychain and always have it with me.   It writes  upside down and does not stop working like 98% of the pens you typically get from tradeshows.

I just walked around my entire office asking for a bunch of pens (to take a picture) and no one had any from tradeshows.  The sales reps had collected a bunch of them; I knew this.  When asked, it was simple:  “I threw them out Donato.  They stopped working”.

Tradeshows, Dreamforce and advice to vendors:

Dont’ give away crappy cheap, pens

When I get back with a low quality pen that does not work.  Guess what?  I associate that with YOUR company.  I have never had a pen from a trade show last.  Really ask yourself… have you?

We are teaching our children to recycle and not to waste, to have a better world.  I paid around $20 for my space pen and I regularly give them as gifts.  After a year it is more cost effective, process efficient and cutter free way of using a writing instrument.  Think long term, think quality.  My appeal:

It’s doesn’t have to be a space pen, but here is a picture of mine.

spacepen

 

A marble on the keyboard; advice to new sales reps

marble on keyboard

Sales outreach is on my mind.  We are launching a new product, Capture! and today, two of our junior reps reached out to me for advice. Why? I am a phone animal.  I break call accounting systems, wear out wireless headsets and I’d blow the curve for the average rep.  I have fun on my calls and have learned,  failed,  explored and developed techniques to get 9 out of 10 call backs.

At this point in my life it is not a set of techniques, but a way of thinking.  It is now part of me. However, I wasn’t always this way.  It took years to cultivate the skills, to act with intuition, to do without thinking,  to blink.  Back to speaking of new people…

Working from home today, I got a call from Chris, a new sales representative at RingLead (for those who know me, I recently accepted the position of Acting CEO @ RingLead).  RingLead is a specialist in helping to Dedupe  Salesforce.  Chris was on speaker phone and he had another “Chris” with him.  They wanted to bounce ideas off me.  They developed a call plus email campaign.

New campaigns are not simple to execute.  You must A/B test and adjust as you work through the initial campaign.  We did a great job in recruiting and these guys were prepared. After bouncing a few ideas around, they were ready to go.  Why is a CEO spending time doing this?  In this case, I just built and delivered a new product where I am the subject matter expert (Capture!).

The knowledge needed to be transferred throughout the organization.  Besides, I am good at it and I enjoy doing it.  Eight minutes  (yes I timed it) of time spent coaching these new reps in the right direction can have tens of thousands of dollars of impact in the long run.  The ROI is there.

This is an important distinction that most organizations miss.  The manager is not necessarily the trainer, nor the coach.  I am not the manager, nor the trainer, but a few minutes of high-impact training can make huge impact if used strategically.  Write this down.

Back to my new sales guys.  Now they are ready.  In fact I can see they are making calls now.  Not 30 second calls, but four, five, eight and twenty minute calls.  This means they are engaging.  Capture is going to be big!  What 5 bits of advice did I give them?

  1. Sales is a numbers game. ok duh, Donato, no big secret there.  Everyone talks about this.
  2. Every call counts. This is less talked about.  Some dismiss this, yet they are dead wrong.
  3. Every call affects your attitude Even less talked about.  This is where the leader exceeds the manager. Managers rarely talk about this, leaders do.
  4. Attitude is everything.   No,  really.  This is where the coach exceeds the typical leader.
  5. Put a marble on your keyboard What the heck?

It is simple.  If sales is a numbers game, every call counts and affects your attitude (and attitude is everything), then you must control your attitude.  You do that by putting a marble on your keyboard.  Get it? Blog over, fat lady sings and I now I get to press “Publish” If I lost you, watch my video (I’ll explain it).

In addition to my video if you are facing reluctance in picking up the phone, my friend Connie Kadansky is the “Call Reluctance Coach”.  Her material is top quality and can be seen at:  http://exceptionalsales.com

Data Mining and Doctor Who

What do data mining and Doctor Who have in common?

data-miningdrwho

 

Start with data mining.  Some companies sell different versions of a database or subscription service, based on your location.  They determine your location based on your computer’s IP address.  For example, if you live in the UK and you want full access the UK version of the database, then you pay full price, but if you want to add other locations, you can get it at a fraction of the cost.   In other cases, due to licensing restrictions, if you have an IP address outside a specific country, you simply can’t access the website.

It is the same for Doctor Who.  If you live inside the UK, you can watch Doctor Who live and streaming via the BBC.  However, if you try to access from the United States, you get this message.

BBC message

Basically, you can’t view it without having an IP address in the UK.

But you really want to access a particular website and crunch all that data… or you want to really watch Doctor Who live, the day it comes out.  What do you do?

Simple:  Sign up for a VPN service.

Not all VPN options are the same.  Some have point to point utility.  For example: from your laptop you can securely connect to your company’s office router.  This is what most telecommuters are used to.  This is not the type of VPN I am talking about.  The VPN I am talking about is a location select-able VPN.  How it works:  I buy access to the service.  Next I can browse the Internet, securely, appearing as if I am in San Francisco,  Dallas, Amsterdam or London (London is in the UK).

So go out and get your private VPN.  It will take a few minutes to install the VPN client on your Mac or PC.   Next,  data mine or watch Doctor Who to your heart’s content.

Some VPN services:

http://witopia.net

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

http://www.ipvanish.com/

https://privacy.io/

The 12th Doctor’s first episode premieres live on the BBC Saturday August 23rd at 7:50 GMT.

 

My First Month with Google Glass

What was I thinking?  Spend $1500 on wearable technology that is not quite ready?  The same desire that made me get the first Apple 1, the first PC,  the first iPhone, Android (Gphone back then) and many other firsts.  When you want to understand where technology is going, you can’t live it from afar you must immerse yourself.

Glass-mouse

 

 

 

 

 

There are 2 parts of the Glass experience: (1) How others react to you and (2) what you experience

How others react

This is funny, top questions

  1.  Are you recording me now?
  2. Did you take my picture?
  3. How do they work?
  4. Can I try them on?
  5. How do I get a pair
  6. Can you see through my clothes?

From the questions,  I could tell people are a bit confused.  There has been some negative press.  “Glassholes” wearing Glass into a bar and acting inappropriate.  These are probably the same people who you would not want to be around anyway.  I think this was a mistake by Google.  The first set of people that got Glass were people that liked gadgets and had money to afford it.  They should have made the selection more stringent;  people who actually wanted to build something on the Glass.

My Glass Experience

After the first day, I had buyers remorse.  After the second day I was on the fence.  By day three, I was seeing all sorts of new applications that could be built on the Glass platform.   Fun.

Today, I drive, email, record videos, take pictures, attend conferences and generally have fun with Glass.  The battery life is short.  I always travel with the charging cable.

Today is the day that Google is selling Glass to everyone (I was on an 18 month waiting list).  It will be interesting to see how wider adoption will impact the platform,  public acceptance and applications available.

As an experiment, the next person that asks me if I can see through their clothes with Glass, I am going to do my best to say “yes” with a straight face.

 

 

 

Topics that keep me up at night