What’s Most Important to You?

Geschäftsmann auf Straße mit Hinweisschild über kurvige Umsä

My friends in sales, a recent customer experience bought me to this posting after being away since September of last year.  It’s good to be back!

Before I ask you to answer this question as a sales professional, let me paraphrase a quote from the great Zig Ziglar, “ Money does not bring happiness.  However, I have experienced having money and I have experienced not having money.  Overall it’s better to have money!”

I encourage you to think about it and answer this question for yourself now.

Was your answer to make $1,000,000; be the top performer; close your company’s largest sale; exceed quota by 50%?   These are all great goals and worthy of being on any list of objectives for a high performing sales professional.

I was reminded of my answer as I reflected on a short note received from a former customer.  Thoughtfully he shared that my persistence was one of my biggest strengths.

So being persistent is what is most important?  Although it’s a very important contributor to long term success, my answer is “No”.

The most important thing to me as a sales professional can be observed in the one thing I am proudest of.  This is the individuals by name who I have had the privilege to serve as my customers multiple times over my 30 year sales career.

I encourage you to strive every day to look for opportunities to make what is most important to your buyer; your top priority.  If you can do this your map to success will better reflect the terrain, your sense of internal balance will be reinforced, and you will be well on your way to being a consistent high earner!

Your Friend in Sales,


“Strive to make every individual interaction an opportunity to lift the other”

Creating an Effective Map – The Buying Process


Greetings friends,

In the last post on setting goals we touched briefly on the aspects of training, quota, and territory assignment.  In this posting I would like to explore a fundamental measurement of success for a sales person.  This is the outcome of closing a sale.  My view of the terrain in the “sales person/buyer exchange” is one where the power to buy rests solely with my buyer. Let’s spend a few minutes using this lens to identify the steps we would consistently observe in the buying process.  Since we are looking at this from the buyer’s perspective perhaps a better outcome for the high performing sales person would be observing the buyer getting his expected results from the purchase!

Consider these events:

  1. Our buyer has a need and is motivated (ahead of other competing priorities) to make a change.
  2. Our buyer has the ability to make a change.
  3. Our buyer can articulate how my product or service will help her meet her need.
  4. Our buyer believes the risks and costs of making the change are outweighed by expected benefits of making the change.
  5. Our buyer has resources (money/budget) to buy and the resources (time/people available) to address his need.
  6. If the buyer is buying from me, he believes that I will, better than any other alternative, help ensure the greatest opportunity for his success.
  7. Having already made the purchase decision our buyer has confirmed she is now seeing her expected results.

We will come back to each of these topics in future posts.  For now, let me leave you with these thoughts:

  1. Take a look at your “sales process or methodology.”  If it has not been documented, consider doing so.  How are each of these items facilitated and tracked as they are completed?  Remember these steps will occur with or without you. Your ability to predict (or forecast) success will be directly linked to your success in anticipating and adding value to each step.
  2. In a business to business sale it’s very likely that an exchange will occur with a   funding executive or someone other than your primary contact.  This individual will make or approve the final buying decision. Are you anticipating this event in your planning? How might a high performing sales person be proactive in helping this event occur without unnecessary delay and in seeing a positive outcome of this inevitable step?
  3. Next to helping your buyer get to this point, make it a top priority to be able to clearly articulate your buyer’s needs, motivation to change and how your product or service will uniquely help your buyer meet her needs.   In addition to getting better at predicting the likelihood of success in each engagement, it is an excellent step in ensuring the high performing sales person’s continual growth as an effective prospector and value add resource to his buyers!

In my next posting we will discuss how a high performing sales person or organization might articulate the buying steps into it’s personalized framework or sales process.  At another future point we will come back to this topic when we explore the interesting topic of forecasting!

Your Salesman for Life!


Quote on my mind:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

The True Starting Point

Old Young Women


Greetings my friends in sales!

Have you heard the term, “Beginning with the End in Mind?”  It encapsulates the practice of establishing what the destination looks like before taking the first step.  It’s the starting point for constructing and navigating the map of the journey.  In subsequent posts I will share some thoughts on how a high performing salesperson might work in setting goals, creating his map, and navigating the voyage.

For this post, I would like to summarize the key aspects of the material covered to date. In many respects I believe the content attempts to encompass the essence of the true beginning point of any journey: A clear understanding of where you are now!

Let me start by reinforcing this thought; ” The map is not the terrain.” As a high performing sales professional, my success is linked directly to the clarity of the lens  through which I see the world; and the degree to which the map that I have created to navigate it, accurately reflects the terrain as it truly exists.

As you  read the summary below, have you thought about my view of the terrain and the lens that informs it.  Do you think my map is accurate?

Those things that are most personal, are most general.”  Just like I cannot expect to cram for the harvest, The Golden Rule governs consistent behavioral consequences in response to my actions on both my internal and external worlds.

“Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing.”  If customers are not buying, I am not successful. If I am not constantly looking for ways to personally engage buyers (to understand and meet their needs), chances are I am not focusing on the highest leverage activities that will result in the outcomes I am seeking.

Understanding “Power” and who has it.   I do not sell, my customer buys!  This was a very powerful realization for me and it took many years to internalize.  Choosing how I spend my time and how I make make commitments based on this awareness (part of my power), has a major impact on my productivity and internal balance.   Think about how you might respond to the immense power of an oncoming 50-foot wave?  One could exert tremendous energy fighting the wave for a return of only fatigue and stress; one could give up and allow the wave to consume them, or one could learn to surf and leverage this tremendous power as a guide to the destination facilitated by the surfer.

Yes, the high performing sales person is an expert surfer!

If you have any questions on these topics I encourage you to look through my previous posts for more discussion.   Of course, I would be delighted to hear from you!

Your Salesman for Life!



Quote on my mind: “Let every interaction be an opportunity to lift the other up”

Being Proactive

Gabby Andrrew

Greetings my friends in sales!

Let me start our visit with a question. If you had to observe a behavior that is consistently demonstrated by every highly performing sales person, what would it be? At the top of my list would be the highly developed practice of “Being Proactive.”

What do I mean by this? Before going into the short answer, I encourage you to read through  Habit 1 of Stephen Covey’s novel “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In this section on private victories  he talks about four unique compositional elements we possess as individuals in our common life experience.  Covey points out that the most highly developed and successful people, are those that manage life experiences, regardless of external conditions, in a proactive manner!

Now the short answer: being proactive is the practice of increasing the space that exists between stimulus and response; and being consistent in using this refined awareness to keep promises made to one’s self.

To clarify, let me ask you to think about an achievement  in your personal or professional life that brings you satisfaction? To what degree are you able to credit the outcome to your success in delaying gratification; and to consistently following a plan that credible sources would agree was sound?

My take away thought for today…. We are fast approaching the time of year that many in sales would say is the slowest.  Are you being proactive in keeping your pipeline development commitments…? If yes, I humbly salute you!

Your Salesman for Life.


Quote on my mind: There is no standing still.  We are going either forward or backward.


What is Personal Power?

Bar Harbor Light House 2.jpg

Greetings my friends in sales!

I must apologize for the time that has passed since my last posting.  My intent was to publish something weekly and I have found that other obligations and my desire to publish thoughtful content have made this goal more challenging than I should have anticipated.

A short thought and very important life principle for me. The word “power” can be defined as “the ability to influence.”  Part of being a highly productive sales person lies in my ability to consistently make and keep promises to myself.  Doing this builds personal power and failing to do this has the opposite effect.

At the end of the day, my own grounding is based on my sense of personal reliability.   Further, my ability to influence others, perhaps in no greater measure, is directly related to my ability to influence myself.  Think about this!

My takeaway; Think about your commitments, no matter the size, before you make them.  If you don’t keep a promise, acknowledge it and correct what you can.  Don’t be too hard on yourself and be tenacious in your life long commitment to developing this golden character attribute.

Let me close by first thanking my wife Reguina for her consistent, patient example.  Second I ask your pardon and that you allow me to commit to Biweekly postings for the remainder of 2017.

Your Salesman for Life!


Quote on my mind:   What you are doing is screaming so loudly I can’t hear a word you are saying!