The Drift

The Drift

More Stuff to Write Down.

Last week I used this space to share several of the leading themes from Write this Down: Memes and Metaphors for a Better Life in Sales, a book that I've begun working on. This week, a few more, including some challenging advice for both managers, individual contributors and their fellow humans from many walks of life.

Management is a patient form of service. If you’re not in it for others, or not for the long haul, get out. There are easier ways to make a living.

Respect is the new friendship. Lose the chumminess and start with a basic respect for your customer's time and needs. You'll both value what happens from there.

Worthiness is a state of grace. A focus on getting and winning isn’t sustainable. Those who focus on deserving – trust, loyalty, investment – operate in a perpetual state of excellence.

As a manager, sometimes you just need to remind people who they are.

Never bring your erstwhile competitors into the room with you. There is only room for the customer, the problem and how you intend to solve it. Give oxygen and light to your competition and you will get the outcome you deserve.

Pay attention to your prepositions. A great sale is not something you do TO a customer. It’s something you build WITH and FOR a customer.

When preparing for an important customer meeting, ask this question: What’s the MOST SPECIFIC thing this customer can DO to advance this deal? Now base all your work on deserving that action and asking for it.

Successful sales calls don’t just end well on their own. You must have an exit strategy – a closing sequence – that is every bit as deliberate and prepared as your presentation or customer research. And you must save the time to execute it.

If you’re holding back on discussing price or dates with your customer – especially price – ask yourself why. Unless you’re drawing lines around cost and calendar, your close is only theoretical. And very soft.

Often the best follow up question isn’t a question at all. It’s an invitation to Tell me more about that…

Solid sales strategy can be boiled down to four steps. Say less. More powerfully. Sooner. To the right people.

More Posts

The Broken Scoreboard.

The scoreboard has blown up. It’s been destroyed by the Coronavirus pandemic, and its absence is the reason sales people are struggling. The smart managers and evolved sellers are adapting by building new scoreboards. They’re building scoreboards around excellence and creating internal competition around learning, and service, and empathy. Understanding that this is not a time to reap, they are choosing to keep track of what’s being sown.

Bring Something.

The five percent we remember from rough times are those who showed up and brought something. They didn’t wait for the struggling party to define the need and ask for help. They were the five percent who said I’m doing this for you and then did it. They anticipated what could be helpful and then acted – not because there would be any payback, but because it was the right thing to do. They could have chosen to be polite: instead, they chose to be useful.

Walking the Floor.

Managers in our industry are obviously challenged in leading and motivating their teams in today’s disrupted, work-from-home, shared-family-space environment. As I coach and counsel them, my advice centers…

How the Light Gets In.

For the next several weeks, I’ll be devoting The Drift to supporting our disrupted community of work-from-home executives. I hope you’ll take the time to comment and share. None of us is alone. When you…

Victim or Victor?

Suddenly everything’s different. The conferences that we used to alternately ask for and grumble about are being rescheduled. The offices in which we claimed we just couldn’t get any work done or ever…

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

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The Killer E's

Given the information-density and the significant IQ averages in our business, I suppose it’s understandable that there would be some ambivalence about saying “I’m in Sales!” Indeed, if you look at the…


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Better Choices.

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Words Never Uttered!

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Working Forward.

I decided to give myself a New Year's gift: the control of my days and bigger measures of satisfaction, productivity and closure. And in this first Drift of 2020, I'm sharing it with you. I'm calling the…

Ask the Question.

Ever wonder what mediocrity sounds like? It has the sound of the self-imposed limitation. It's the stillness of the question that goes unasked, the hypothesis never tested. They'll never pay that price.…