Hunting Big Sales with Tom Searcy

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Insights for Finding, Landing and Harvesting Whale-Size Accounts

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Get Out of the Straitjacket

Get Out of the Straitjacket

Opening your email and voicemail the first thing every day, is liking putting on a straitjacket and spending the first few hours of every day trying to escape from it.

Hyper-responsiveness creates a false sense of accomplishment. Just because you get back to someone within minutes on an issue they would have waited hours for a response on, does not make you more productive or even more appreciated. It just makes you wasteful of the most valuable thing you have to spend- your time.

If you want to get out of the straitjacket faster, don’t escape. It is faster to not get into it in the first place. Let me remind you of some ideas you know, but are not following:

  1. Do not open email until 10 a.m. at the earliest and work your way up to waiting until noon.
  2. Only listen to voicemails on even hours of the day.
  3. Plan your day for at least 5 hours of self-scheduled, self-directed work. The remainder of the available time is for work driven in response to others requests.

If you are not following these simple rules, then you are sitting around every morning without a plan and waiting to be told what to do. If you don’t like that idea, change your plan and your habits.

Posted by allisonhenk in General.

A Winner’s Mindset

Having a Winner’s Mindset

If your thoughts are a direct reflection of the thoughts of the people with whom you surround yourself, you have to ask, “What people are feeding my thoughts?”

For a starter, let’s take money and your thoughts about money. Here is a quick self-diagnosis, especially for sales people. Answer these questions:

  1. Do I make more, same or less money than my parents did at my current age, (adjusted for inflation)?
  2. Do I make more, same or less money than the people with whom I graduated high school?
  3. Do I make more, same or less money than the people I spend the most time with in my life?

Chances are that if you make more money than two out of three of those groups, you are relatively satisfied with your earnings. This is true with most life endeavors, consciously or subconsciously we compare ourselves and determine our success based upon the people within our personal reference frame and circle.

Ten years ago, I realized that I was in the top 10% of success of everyone in my personal circle. So I expanded my circle. I found other successful people who were much more successful and added them to my circle. I didn’t get rid of my current circle; I just got a bigger circle. When I did that, my view of the world expanded significantly as to what success looked like. My perspective on philanthropy, education, wealth and influence was much different with broader horizons and great examples to follow.

Posted by allisonhenk in General.

8 “Ones” that Might Change Your Life in 2015

It is traditional at this time of the year to declare your goals and resolutions. I usually do this exercise like many other people. I often come up short on my accomplishments at the end of the year, but I have enough success to keep me at it.

This year, I have designed a different way of approaching this exercise. I’m calling it “The Ones.” The idea is simple; write the answer to each of the single challenges below and then execute against it. I’ll give you the list, and then my own answers as an example.

  • One person to meet – Mine is a particular multi-millionaire financial adviser for 30 minutes. He has achieved success and balance and I want to understand some of how he did it and what he learned along the way.
  • One habit to break – Interrupting my customers. (I’m terrible at this).
  • One habit to make – Writing in my business journal daily. (I am reading old journals right now and am re-learning some great lessons that I learned once and seem to have forgotten.)
  • One book to read – I have a stack, but for a project I am working on, “Dramatica” by Phillips and Huntley.
  • One question to answer – What is the best structure to support our continued doubling growth?
  • One fight to have – Stopping work at the end of the day. True, it’s a fight with myself, but it has to be had and I need to win.
  • One fight to let go – Perfectionism.

Posted by allisonhenk in General.

Weekly Tip: Hire Right, Higher Profits

A friend of mine, Lee Salz, wrote a book recently titled,“Hire Right, Higher Profits”. I interviewed him for an article and you can find that recording here.

I took a lot from the book and the conversation. Here are a couple of thoughts when you are considering adding new members to your sales team: 

  1. Don’t hire jockeys to drive NASCAR – One of the mistakes in hiring that is often missed is that performance data that is longer ago than 5 years is no longer indicative. *SPOILER ALERT* The world of selling has changed. That’s right, it’s not the same, not even a little bit. So, if the candidate has not been successful in the new world, pass.
  2. Time and scale relevance are key – “Never hire someone to sell every day a sale bigger than their biggest sale ever.” This is a maximum of our family because of its historical truth. Adding a zero or two to a sales reps’ size of average sale amount expectation is not just a scale shift, it is a mindset shift. Likewise, if they are used to closing deals in thirty days, they will fail if the hunt cycle is really six months in your industry or market. Mindset is critical, and you need to be very careful that you don’t hire someone with the wrong mindset.
  3. Team is the new performance model – Complexity has shifted the ability of sales people to operate as solo artists. They have to be able to coordinate, facilitate and project manage.

Posted by Katelyn Marando in General, Weekly Tips.

13 Most Memorable Executives Gifts For 2013

I recently asked John Ruhlin for some advice on gift giving, specifically on which gifts to avoid this holiday season. Click here to read about the 5 worst high level business gifts and solutions to “fix” them.

Last week we gave you advice on what gifts to avoid, so this week I thought I would turn to John once again and get his holiday gift guide. Here is the list of John’s 13 Most Memorable Executive Gifts for 2013.

 

1. VITAMIX Professional. This powerful machine (don’t call it a blender, as it has a 2.5HP motor that spins faster than a jet engine) will get used daily by the whole family to make everything from your morning smoothie to ice cream, almond butter, margaritas, and 100+ other creations. If you have been to a Starbucks or Smoothie King, you have experienced this product in action. Family owned and made in Cleveland Ohio for over 80 years. $689 www.vitamix.com

2. CUTCO Santoku Classics.  Everyone these days has become a “foodie” and loves entertaining in their monstrous kitchens. This set from Cutco is handcrafted in NY with the finest materials, can be personally engraved, and is guaranteed with their famous FOREVER guarantee. 3 Pc Set comes with Santoku Chef Knife, Utility, and Paring Knife. $250  www.cutcogiftcollection.com 

3. GRAIN AUDIO Portable Wireless System.  This Bluetooth wireless speaker leverages the Grammy Winning Waves MaxxAudio® suite found in many famous mixing boards. Celebrities and audiophiles alike are falling in love with it as the solid walnut wood case makes it look as beautiful as it sounds. 

Posted by Katelyn Marando in General.

Weekly Tip: 4th Quarter Sprint

We are in the third week of October…What’s that leave for the remainder of the year? Pluck the holiday weeks out and you have… AT BEST…nine real weeks of work to finish the year strong. Whatcha-gonna-do?
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Let me make a recommendation. Focus on 9 things for 9 weeks to make the difference in your end of year performance:

  • Three biggest customers – These customers represent a lot of the end of this year’s sales and possibly a good part of next year’s. Don’t let them go quietly into the holidays. Connect with them now. Firm up their commitments, watch out for interlopers and competitors and close out their forecasts.
  • Three biggest contracts – You are in the contract phase with three opportunities. End of the year usually accelerates or decelerates the closure speed, but rarely does the steady velocity of other times of the year continue. Get these buttoned down if it is the only thing you do between now and the holidays.
  • Three biggest near-closes – You probably only have three real opportunities in the top-tier of prospects that you can get closed before the end of the year. These are worthy of your full-court press efforts.

It’s simple – you only have a little time left in the year and you can’t spend it the same way you spent the rest of the year. There was plenty of time, now there isn’t. So get after it!

Posted by Katelyn Marando in General, Weekly Tips.

Weekly Tip: Email Illiteracy

You probably answer questions when you are on the phone with prospects or clients that you have clearly already answered in an email. Have you ever had to resend an email 2 or 3 times when you know they received the initial email? Why the repetitive work? It’s simple – THEY NEVER READ THE EMAIL!

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We get so many emails that all of us are guilty of just processing email without really reading them. We file them in a folder, forward them to someone else, or leave them in our ever growing in-box. If you want to get emails read quickly and responded to, follow a few guidelines:

1)   Put a time limit in the subject line – “Need your answer by 5:00pm today”

2)   Keep the email to less than 100 words. If you need to provide a long explanation, do it by phone rather than email.

3)   State what you need up front, then explain why.

4)   Use the ‘attachment’ functionProvide attached documents for further context, instead of including the context in the email.

Most people are only “OK” at email management, that’s why yours get lost or misplaced. Use these guidelines and you’ll get faster answers.

Posted by Katelyn Marando in General, Weekly Tips.

Weekly Tip: Getting More Out of Every Interaction

Some classic communication tools are worth highlighting because they produce so much value. One of my favorites is so simple that you can use it in every meeting, extended conversation and phone call. It is a simple question:

“What would you like to get out of this meeting?”

Stephen Covey refers to it as the 2nd of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Starting with the End in Mind.

You may be thinking that this is obvious. I agree. Yet, I join so many group calls, meetings and conversations where what we are trying to accomplish is unclear. Sure, what we are talking about may be very clear. The topic is apparent in the dialogue. However, what we are trying to ACCOMPLISH is not.

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Try this simple question at the beginning of every discussion for just one week and see what it does for productivity, clarity and efficiency.

Posted by Katelyn Marando in General, Weekly Tips.