Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Introducing The Fox Den

Introducing The Fox Den

I wanted to give a small plug to The Fox Den which is the new online community of Holden's Power Base Selling alumni of which I'm a member and for which I'm trying to garner a little bit of support. If you've ever read and enjoyed the book or better still done the course and benefited from it, I think you'll enjoy this new facility. If you haven't read Power Base Selling then you can read mine and others' reviews and buy the book at Amazon.com - I also reviewed it on the Goodreads website. I think anyone in B2B sales, (particularly major account type sales) will get something from it.





Holden International's President Ryan Kubacki sees The Fox Den as a logical extension of Holden's pioneering Power Base Selling methodology. "Selling is a science. That science is what sets Power Base Selling apart, and it's what sets Holden graduates apart from their competitors," Kubacki says. "The Fox Den will provide them with an ongoing source of valuable information, and critical connections, that will help them attain even greater levels of company and career success."

Holden alumni will be eligible to enter the inner chambers of The Fox Den, giving them exclusive access to white papers, rich media content and other Holden materials. Holden alumni and friends of Holden can register their interest now by visiting http://www.holdenintl.com/news/register.html

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If you're a business networker I'd like to introduce to a few of the lesser known sites on the web which you may find interesting to participate in; you can get an idea of the 'about.me' site via my profile, and also my profile at profiled.com and via the  professional profile site, aptly named.

Other posts on a similar theme:

Presales Qualification
The Three Biggest Killers of Sales Productivity
Sales Tips Article via The New York Times
9 of the Best Sales Tips for Hight Performing Sales People
How to be Interesting and Useful to C Level Executives
What I Love about Sales and Selling

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Lotus Esprit Sport 350

Thank you for visiting this blog. If you'd like to subscribe after viewing this article, there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment! If you'd like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can reach me at my Facebook profile and you can also send me a message via my Google Plus profile.

Lotus Esprit Sport 350

Lotus Esprit Sport 350 by Matt-Hill
Lotus Esprit Sport 350, a photo by Matt-Hill on Flickr.
This Esprit comes closest to what my ideal Esprit would look like from the bodywork perspective; I found this photo on Flickr. I like the front spoiler which has modified air intakes, much more attractive and more 'scoopy' than the standard Esprits. The side skirt also looks more curvy to me.

I would take the wing off the back - apparently these and later models have a slightly more upturned 'tail' negating the need for a spolier without which I didn't feel the Esprit looked finished. And I don't like the transfer markings on the sides too much, purists won't like it but I'd remove them, (too boy racery). Apart from that this is pretty much the ideal Esprit for me. :-) I also like the slightly fat wheel arch extensions which I haven't seen on some others.

If you landed on this page because you're interested in Lotus then I'd like to give a little plug to The Lotus Forums where I also post on occasion. :-)

My photos can be found at Photobucket and Flickr.

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Other posts on a similar theme:

Lotus Esprit Sport 350
All New Landrover to help Motorists Overcome Mountainous Kensington Terrain
Lotus Esprit Love Affair

Monday, 22 August 2011

What I Love About Sales and Selling

I hope you enjoy this article and I'd be delighted if you'd leave a comment. If you're a business networker and would like to connect on one of the lesser known business networking sites (and perhaps discover a few new ones) you can join and follow my updates at the sales community at The Fox Den, via my 'About me page', via my profile at Profiled and via the the  professional profile site, aptly named.

What I Love About Sales and Selling 

via www.FearlessSelling.com

Selling is an honorable career even though it is fraught with ups and downs, challenges and obstacles. However, at the end of the day, selling is a great way to earn a living.
Here are a few of things I love about selling.

Every day is different

Regardless of what you sell and to whom, every day in sales is different than the previous day. Every day is a new experience waiting to happen and even though yesterday was not successful, today can be completely different. Prospects can be more willing to talk, you can be more effective, and

The thrill of capturing a big sale

One of the most rewarding aspects of selling is closing the deal that was falling off the rails. Being able to recover and capture a sale is exhilarating and exciting. However, (personal admission coming up!) I do get distracted when I cIose a large deal and the rest of my day is usually not as productive as I would like.

Dealing with different people

Even though they may have similar needs every prospect and customer is different. Plus, every person you encounter has different objectives and personality. Being able to adapt your approach to address is fun and challenging.

No limits on earning potential

Unless you work strictly on salary you determine your earning potential. When I first started my sales training practice I put in part time hours and earned what I had when I was an employee. When I ramped up my efforts and doubled my revenue, I realized that I had been doing myself a disservice. The harder and smarter you work, the more money you can make.

Learning about different businesses and companies

Every company you deal with has their own idiosyncrasies and learning about their respective challenges can help you develop as a business person. Every conversation with a new prospect teaches me something new.

You can be your own boss

This doesn’t always work, especially if your boss is a micr-manager but most sales leaders give their top performers lots of freedom and flexibility. Even when I worked in retail, the best sales people looked at their job from a entrepreneur’s perspective. They couldn’t set their own hours but they treated their customers as clients and worked diligently to achieve their foals and quotas.

Figuring out the best approach

The approach you use with one person or company doesn’t always work with others. Being able to figure out the best approach is challenging and intriguing at the same time.

Delivering sales presentations

Being a sales trainer, I love delivering a sales presentation. I enjoy meeting with prospects, exploring their challenges and presenting a solution that will address those business issues. When my presentation hits the mark and my prospect’s eyes light up I know I have been successful.

Helping people solve a business problem

Decision makers face a multitude of problems and it is rewarding to determine the best solution for each prospect’s situation. This is particularly challenging when multiple people are involved in the decision making process but it’s something that I consistently enjoy.

Discussing business

I love business and I thoroughly enjoy discussing business trends and problems with my clients and prospects. Every time I talk to a new prospect or an existing client, I learn something new about business.

Learning new techniques

If you’re not evolving, you’re going to lose business to a competitor. What worked last year may no longer be relevant which means you constantly have to modify your approach and apply new techniques and strategies. They don’t all work but when you implement a new idea and it gets the desired results, it’s awesome.

Developing relationships

As a highly social creature I enjoy developing strong relationships with my clients. As you earn their trust they open up and share insights that your competition may not be aware of. These relationships allow me to discover additional opportunities and position myself as a resource rather than just someone hawking a product or service.

Developing proposals

The vast majority of sales people dislike creating a proposal; however, I enjoy crafting a proposal that accurately addresses each prospect’s issues and demonstrating why they should buy my services rather than a competitor’s. Proposals make me thing and look at the purchase from my prospect’s perspective. What do they need to know? What will seperate my proposal from my competitor? How can I clearly demonstrate the value of my products and services?

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Other posts on a similar theme:

Presales Qualification
The Three Biggest Killers of Sales Productivity
Sales Tips Article via The New York Times
9 of the Best Sales Tips for Hight Performing Sales People
How to be Interesting and Useful to C Level Executives
Introducing The Fox Den

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Ace Cafe London - Lamborghini Gallardo

Thank you for visiting this blog. If you'd like to subscribe after viewing this article, there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment! If you'd like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can reach me via my Facebook page and you can also send me a message via Google Plus.

The Ace Cafe London - Lamborghini Gallardo


Lamborghini Gallardo by Roz Bennetts
Lamborghini Gallardo, a photo by Roz Bennetts on Flickr.
This was taken on 8th August at The Ace Cafe London. I'm not a great photographer but this was my favourite shot as it managed to capture the venue and the prettiest car there.

The Ace Cafe is a licensed cafe near Stonebridge Park in West London. They are the legendary venue for bike meets and Supercar meets. The Lotus Forums have a meet-up there once a month but this one was taken at the 'Petrolhead Nirvana' monthly get together which is organised by a chap called Harsh who posts at The Lotus Forums where I also post on occasion. They've had a De Lorean at one of these before but it wasn't there this time - so I'll try again next month :-)

My photos can be found at Photobucket and Flickr.



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Other posts on a similar theme:

Lotus Esprit Sport 350
All New Landrover to help Motorists Overcome Mountainous Kensignton Terrain
Tiny Dancer - Elton John

Monday, 15 August 2011

How to Be Interesting (and Useful) to C-Level Executives

This is a truly excellent post courtesy of S. Anthony Iannarino of thesalesblog.com. I've met precious few sales people in my career that were entirely comfortable communicating at C level and I think this is because there are precious few 'C level sales people' so most of us are automatically selling outside our normal operating 'comfort' zone when we are addressing these people. If you're in B2B sales I hope you enjoy the article whether or not you think you're already good at this.

How to Be Interesting (and Useful) to C-Level Executives

More and more, there is an increasing demand that salespeople, account managers, and operations people developing the skills to engage with senior level executives in their client and dream client companies.

The level of value we create as a sales organization is limited by our ability—or inability—to have the necessary dialogue that allows us to create higher levels of value. It isn’t easy to develop the skills necessary to engage in a strategic dialogue with C-level executives. But there are some things that you can do to make it a lot easier—and to enjoy much greater success when you do.

Know How You Create Value 

C-Level executives are consistently short on one thing: time. They are protective of their time because they have so little of it when you compare it to the demands of their organization and its stakeholders or against the results that they need to produce. This means you have a very limited time get your C-Level executives attention. You are expected to know exactly how you create value for companies like theirs, and you are expected to have some understanding of what you can do for them—even before you speak with them. This isn’t always about research; it’s about knowing who you are, what you do, and how you make a difference. When you call on high-level executives, you don’t have the same time to build rapport as you might if you were calling on someone lower in an organization. Someone lower in the organization may need more time for rapport building because you are going to work closely with them should they choose to move forward with you. You also don’t have time to fish around for ideas that might indicate some dissatisfaction. That might work where and when you have time, but you don’t have that luxury here. You have to know how and what you can do to make a difference. This is why I believe it is a mistake to believe that you should always enter an organization at the top (this is, of course, a generalization and all generalizations are lies) You must able to ask questions that demonstrate you know where the issues are, and that you know how to increase revenue, increase profitability, and reduce costs (all dissatisfaction ultimately rolls up into one of these categories). Know how you create value and get to the point.

Possess the Business Acumen to See Through Their Eyes 

To sell and engage an organization at this level, you have to possess the business acumen necessary to see the business through your c-level executive’s eyes. You may not ever be the subject matter expert that your c-level executive is when it comes to their business, but you better be able to quickly comprehend the big moving pieces that you touch. You have to understand what drives their business so you can relate what you do to pull those levers. You don’t have to have a perfect understanding, but you better know how they look at their business. There are lots of c-level executives that will be willing to give you an education (or the rest of an education), but you have to have a basic fundamental understanding of how business works so you can keep up; this means you need business acumen. Your c-level executive is interested in talking about business. You have to be able to keep up.

Prove You Will Own the Outcome 

C-level executives work for all kinds of shareholders. They have their management team to serve. They have their employees to serve. They have clients to serve. They have a board of directors to serve. The last thing in the world that they need is another dependent. To get a c-level executive’s attention and be useful to them, you have to prove that you are going to own the outcome. This is what they want from you, and this is what they are willing to pay you for doing. To be interesting and useful to a c-level executive, you are going to have to demonstrate that you are going to own the outcome that you sell. They aren’t hiring a salesperson to work for them; they are hiring a manager that will own the result and do what is necessary to ensure that it is achieved. Explain that you are going to own the outcome, and that you will be there to see the objective achieved.

Own the Next Steps

What you want from a c-level executive is permission to proceed. You own the next step. All you need from them is their blessing to move forward. If they have to do work for you to move forward, it isn’t going to get done and they won’t need you. Instead, you are going to end up with unanswered voicemails, unanswered emails, and a serious sense of disappointment. If you need information, ask your c-level executive whom you should work with to get it. Then you go get the information. If you need access to people, ask the c-level executive to forward an email that you write and send to the parties you need to engage with. You aren’t interesting and useful as a dependent. You are useful and interesting as someone who is going to get things done while they move on to other priorities. You have to take initiative. You do the work. You own the next step.

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I hope you enjoyed this article and I'd be delighted if you'd leave a comment. If you're a business networker and would like to connect on one of the lesser known business networking sites (and perhaps discover a few new ones) you can join and follow my updates via the sales community at The Fox Den, contact me via my About.me page via my profile at Profiled.com and via the one page professional profile site, aptly named.

Other posts on a similar theme:

Presales Qualification
The Three Biggest Killers of Sales Productivity
Sales Tips Article via The New York Times
9 of the Best Sales Tips for Hight Performing Sales People
What I Love about Sales and Selling
Introducing The Fox Den

Saturday, 13 August 2011

9 of the Best Sales Tips For High Performing Sales People

Some more great sales tips I just came across by: Jon Gilge

If you enjoy this article I'd be delighted if you'd leave a comment and if you're a business networker and would like to connect on one of the lesser known business networking sites (and perhaps discover a few new ones) you can send me a message via my About.me page via my profile at the Profiled.com site.

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Can a collection of the best sales tips make you a great salesperson?

I doubt it.

But can the best sales tips give you something to think about, point you in new directions, help you rediscover sales techniques and practices you may have forgotten, remind you of why you sell, refresh the reasons that you got to where you are, or show you how to get to where you want to go?

Yes, the best sales tips can do that.

The Best Sales Tips From My Career in Sales
Sales Tip #1: Talent is a myth, effort is what makes salespeople successful. In business, sports, life and the profession of selling talent matters much less than effort applied to the mastery of the skills that lead to success. Those who succeed outwork those who don’t every time. Because effort is a choice, we all can be successful in sales.


Sales Tip #2: Attitude is the most important element in consistent sales performance. Attitude is the lens through which the mind receives information. It assigns value to the experiences we encounter in selling. When it is positive even negative events are perceived as encouraging, hopeful, and opportunities to learn. When it is negative, even positive events are seen as discouraging, hopeless, and without value. Consistency in selling is about maintaining a positive outlook, and a positive attitude make that possible. The good news- attitude is a choice that you make.


Sales Tip #3: Start every sales conversation by asking the prospect what they need to know about your company and product. Rather than telling them what you think they should know, ask them what is important to them. Once they tell you, what you say in response is no longer selling them, but rather a much less threatening answering of their questions. Prospects are much more receptive to this, leading to less resistance to the information and the greater likelihood that they will receive it positively.


Sales Tip #4: Dress and Groom yourself exactly as you want to be perceived. Anyone who tells you that you can’t judge a book by its cover is missing the fact that if the cover doesn’t look good no one will open it. As a salesperson your image creates an impression that influences all aspects of your customer interaction. If you want to sound smarter, seem more trustworthy, be perceived more credibly, then let your dress and grooming represent those things.


Sales Tip #5: Practice every day. There isn’t always time to practice for hours, nor is there probably the need after you have established your skills, but you should make the commitment and get in the habit of practicing something every day. When you practice, don’t just read or review dialogues in your mind, practice by saying it out loud. Learning is contextual, and what you learn by reading doesn’t do much for your ability to use the information in a conversation.


Sales Tip #6: Get comfortable with talking to yourself in the mirror. From time to time we all need a good talking to, and who better to do that than the person who knows us best- ourselves. You can’t always rely on someone else to pick you up when your are down, or scold you for not doing the things you know you should be doing. So do it yourself, in a mirror, out loud.


Sales Tip #7: Be meticulous with your follow up. For every company I ever worked the number one cause of customer dissatisfaction and lost sales was lack of communication. Excel at followup and you will excel at selling. Because people have come to expect poor follow up, when you are different you get noticed and that attention will get you sales. When you need to call someone back, give them an exact time and then call them back at the promised minute. They will be amazed and likely to put complete trust in everything else you say.


Sales Tip #8: Set goals that you look at every day. Far to often sales people set goals and then forget about them until it is too late. Don’t be that person. Sales goals only work when they serve to convince you of the inevitability of the outcome. It’s not about having an objective, is about subconsciously creating the outcome so that your mind can figure out how to get you there and motivate the behaviors that will. Read them every day- out loud- and into a mirror when possible.

Sales Tip #9: Sometimes it’s OK to give yourself a reset. We all have bad weeks, and sometimes those weeks turn into a month when we just can’t seem to make the sales happen. Oftentimes the momentum of a bad streak becomes to much to overcome and we suffer from the pressure of being unable to hit our targets. Get out from under this pressure by giving yourself a reset- forget about the first two weeks of the month and set new goals for the last two weeks- starting over at zero for zero. Taking the pressure off of coming back from insurmountable odds is often enough to turn your slump around and get you back to making sales. As a sales manager you can also apply this advice to managing your team.

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Other posts on a similar theme:

Presales Qualification
The Three Biggest Killers of Sales Productivity
Sales Tips Article via The New York Times
How to be Interesting and Useful to C Level Executives
What I Love about Sales and Selling
Introducing The Fox Den