Infocusselling’s Blog

October 25, 2009

Sales Positions for Positive Professionals

Filed under: ACTUM Group,sales positions — Educated and Aware @ 10:52 am
Tags: , , ,

I have multiple clients looking for salespeople. My most pressing need is 1-2 aggressive (meaning proactive and not reactive), motivated (meaning it is commission oriented and we want you to have high goals), positive (meaning if you have a bad attitude about work don’t bother to call me) salespeople to join a client’s team. Great backgrounds would be catering, event planning or management, hospitality, or venue management, or some high activity B2B selling which leads to long term relationships. Most of your clients will be repeat buyers. No overnight travel, roughly 60 mile radius. Combination of existing accounts and your prospecting. Training base, strong commissions, benefits, and the world’s best sales training. Contact me if you know anyone who fits.

October 19, 2009

Nearly Free Workshop on Combining Sales and Marketing 2010 and Beyond

Filed under: ACTUM Group,INFOCUSSELLING BLOG — Educated and Aware @ 10:43 pm

Kim Brand & Jeff Bowe speak at Business Ownership Initiative:

Sales & Marketing 2009 (and Beyond)

How I wasted over $200,000 and three years on

ineffective marketing schemes and inept sales strategies

and why you don’t have to.”   Kim Brand, Presenter.

What: Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) presents Sales & Marketing 2009 (and Beyond).

This four hour seminar will be conducted over two days and will be co-presented by Kim Brand, Serial Entrepreneur and President of Computer Experts and File Engine and Jeff Bowe, Chief Sales Strategist at ACTUM Group, a leading sales training company.

When: November 14th, 9AM to 1PM

Where: 4755 Kingsway Dr., Suite 314. (Near 46th & Keystone)

Why: You won’t get a better ‘reality check’ than to hear us talk about real world sales and marketing problems and solutions for small businesses from the perspective of an entrepreneur and sales pro.

Special Bonus: BOI normally charges $20 for this class…that’s cheap!  But everyone that attends will receive a $20 discount coupon from Computer Experts – your net cost is zero and your upside potential is huge and a free chapter from Jeff’s book, Get INFOCUS Get Cash!

You need to call now to register:  (317) 917-3266 ext. 100.

Space is limited, call today

Welcome 2010!

Only 75 days to get 2010 launched towards success! Do I mean 75 days left to finish strong in 2009? That might be important, but more important is to start now on 2010. 2009 is basically over. Even if you peak in the holiday season, your product line, inventory, and marketing are probably too far along to change enough to make dramatic differences in your total 2009 results. Therefore, it’s time to focus on 2010.

      To launch 2010 strong, focus on three issues:

  1. Objectively evaluate your market for 2010. I don’t mean take 2009 and add the 40% sales increase you hope you can get. I mean look at all the economic and market indicators and very critically examine what will and will not change in 2010. Determine how big the market will be and set a sales goal that reflects reality, not stupidity. You can grow in a flat market; just look closely at issue 2 and 3 as you set that goal.
  2. Objectively evaluate your strengths in your market and know what will bring you business over your competition. This will form your marketing plan which should be implemented today.
  3. Objectively evaluate your weaknesses against the market and know what weaknesses your competition will exploit against you. This forms your development plan so that before spring comes you have minimized the opening that your competition is going to leverage for their success.

The problem with starting in January is the lag between marketing, prospecting, and gaining commitments. You have 75 days to evaluate, launch, and see immediate results in January instead of seeing the cold winter warm into the spring thaw.          

For a workshop on adding new tactics and skills to use in making 2010 the year you want and need, watch our website for the half day workshop, Launch 2010 Now!

Shine Like the Star You Are

Shoes make the man, or so the cobbler hopes. I was told once that to see if a man has money look at his watch and to see if a woman has money to look at her purse and shoes. I disagree—I think shoes show the man as well as the woman. Ever see a high dollar executive in dull scuffed shoes?

Why is this important in sales and business development? Because we are a visual species and first impressions are nearly impossible to change. Our appearance is a vital sales tool. Our clothes, accessories, and image imply success or spaciness. When you are in front of an important prospect, do you want your appearance to work for you or against you? We don’t have to dress in suits and ties and designer dresses, but we do need to appear organized, coordinated, and concerned. An organized appearance indicates that you take care in at least one area of your life. A disorganized appearance makes one question what level of attention may be paid to other areas.

I was recently interviewing candidates for a sales position. There was a slight mist coming down and while not cold, the mist and rain suggested that a coat of some type was in order. I watched who I hoped was not my candidate hurrying through the parking lot, no coat, no umbrella, portfolio and purse hanging off arms, with a flustered look on her face. She walked in, quickly introduced herself, and continued to act unprepared and disorganized. Her paper credentials were good but her presentation failed her.

Selling and interviewing are the same process. Your appearance is a key component of how you are perceived. A reader of my blog wrote how important it is to “fake it ‘til you make it.” My response was if you can’t fake it, you can’t make it. If you can’t look successful, organized, and coordinated, it’s difficult to be perceived as a professional and more difficult to be hired as one. With today’s economy and the preponderance of big box retailers, even the budget conscious can look good every day. Take the time to make sure you match, dress like you are the success you want to be, and while you’re at it, make sure your shoes are shined.

Hiring Salespeople: Much More Difficult in Down Times

Hiring quality salespeople has become very difficult. Not because they are hard to find, but because they are now mixed into a very large crowd of unemployed salespeople who range from mediocre to miserable.

 Only three years ago, great salespeople were employed and you had to recruit them. With so much downsizing in the past few years, great salespeople have been the victim of bigger problems.

The sheer volume of available salespeople has made us forget what hiring is all about. Hiring is about finding the best candidate you can afford to fill a tightly defined job description. Filling holes with bodies is not a strategy you can afford—the costs in missed sales opportunities and damaged client relationships is too great.

I had a client admit that a recent hire had been based on how well she got along with the person, how much she enjoyed the person, and that it was an emotional hire. There was only one glitch—the person was totally unqualified for the position and the result was a termination in less than 30 days. How terribly expensive and disruptive for both the company and the person.  Yet, had this person been allowed to stay in the organization, a tremendous statement would have been made regarding the level of expertise and performance allowed at all levels.

The main responsibility of a president is to set the standard for inflexible and absolute excellence.

If you are trying to grow, every hire is critical toward that goal. Hiring is about increasing the average quality level of your employee team. It is a no-compromise approach that mimics the way you expect your R&D department to innovate and your manufacturing line to produce. Commitment to excellence starts at the top and your commitment to hire only the best sets a tone that will resonate throughout the organization. Today’s compromised hire is tomorrow’s painful termination, and is the beginning of an uncontrollable slide to mediocrity. When we allow someone into our organization who does not fit our requirements, we dilute the power and productivity of all our other team members, and create a myriad of unpleasantries including loss of profit, reduction in quality, and increased employee terminations.

Do you want to shorten the list of unpleasantries as president? Be brutally and painfully honest in sales team hiring and you will have fewer terminations. Sales hiring should follow this process:

  • Consider the level of active sales management you are willing and able to perform and commit to on a regular basis
  • Know if you are looking for an internal salesperson (who will focus on account maintenance, growth, and retention) or an outside salesperson (who will focus on new account development)
  • Have a written set of expectations, objectives, duties, and minimum requirements and qualifications.
  • Interview without emotion remembering the risk in today’s terminations.
  • Consider all candidates for 48 hours–never hire on the spot.
  • Invest the time to have multiple people interview your top candidates, even if that means going to someone outside your organization who can be more objective since he or she does not feel the pain of an empty sales desk. Use people who have different goals, perspectives, and personalities so that you get different views on your candidates.
  • Invest in communication, style, and skills profiling to see if the person is as presented. A mediocre sales person can sell a non-salesperson doing the hiring an igloo when it is 95 degrees out.
  • Include the expectations and duties in the written offer letter and go through the letter line by line face to face.
  • Relentlessly stick to your written objectives and do not get caught up in hiring someone who looks good if you really need someone who looks great. Stay the course and get a great addition to your team
  • Look for bad trends on the first day. Anything that does not seem right will only get worse.

 Once a salesperson has been added to your team, it will be your responsibility to keep this person on track. Hiring a salesperson is an investment, not a cost. You are spending cash now to receive more cash later. And like any financial investment, it needs monitoring for trends and results. No matter how little sales management you want to do, every salesperson, even the best salesperson, needs a sales manager. A sales manager is a coach, confidant, motivator, consultant, and congratulator—sometimes all in the same day. You cannot hire a salesperson and expect him or her to tackle the world and bring in sales on the first day or even in the first year without your input. You know your company better than a new person and you know where you are strong or weak in your market. (If not, find out before you invest in a salesperson.)

 With our current unemployment and underemployment, there are probably 1000 qualified candidates within an hour of you. Follow the steps above to be sure you are ready to hire and ready to manage. If you are ready, then as you add people to your organization, don’t get a good one–get the best one.

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