3 Selling Characteristics for the Age of Covid, Politics and Recession

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 08, 2020 @ 06:09 AM

poliltics

This is a longer article than usual and includes many links to related articles so grab a snack and a beverage, settle in, and stay with me.  It will be worth it because I know I'm going to get you fired up.

In the first 1,825 of articles from my fourteen years of Blogging, only 21, or less than 1%, mentioned politics.  When I do use political examples I refrain from lecturing, don't take sides, and use what is taking place as a metaphor for sales.  I found that by remaining objective and using current political events as examples of effective and ineffective selling, I receive minimal negative feedback and most come in the form of emails taking a side and lecturing me about what they think are my political views.  They are usually wrong but they won't be wrong after this article!

These are the articles I have written which mentioned politics and/or politicians:

Articles from Before and Inclusive of the 2012 Election

Two Fantastic Examples of Handling Objections  (Links to the next 5 articles also appear in that article so you can skip them here or there)

Sales Force Lessons from Gates, Crowley and Obama  

Obama and McCain - Competing Salespeople Fighting for the Big Sale 

Obama and Friends on Stage - Implications for the Sales Force 

Did President Obama Do More Damage to the Image of Salespeople? 

Two Keys to Selling Success from Ann Romney and Chris Christie 

Articles from Before and Inclusive of the 2016 Election

Best Non-Sales Video Ever on Handling Objections  

A Great Way to Handle Objections, Challenges and Push Back   

Latest Debate Had Some Great Sales Leadership Examples   

A Sales Expert's Take on Who is the Most Deplorable  

The Benefits of Completely Bashing Your Competition  

The Rise of Trump   (article appeared on LinkedIn)

Articles Leading up to the 2020 Election

What Sales Organizations Must Learn from the Impeachment Hearings

Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility With Their Prospects   

Managing and Overcoming Resistance is a Key to Sales Success   

It's OK For Salespeople to Lie When This Happens   

Perhaps Hope is a Selling Strategy After All   

How Sales Coaching Utilizes a Quid Pro Quo     

Sales is Like Baseball and Baseball Can Save Law and Order, Capitalism and Liberty  (I took a side!)

FOX News and CNN Can Help You Conduct Better Sales Opportunity Reviews  

5 Keys to Get Your Prospects to Trust You and Then Buy From You  

Thanks to the non-stop political news cycle, I went from averaging just over one article that mentioned politics per year to two!

This article will be different.  For the first time in fourteen years of blogging, I am going to share what I think, uncensored, and despite some concern for what you think, not quite enough concern to stop me from writing about it.  There will still be a sales tie-in so stay with me as I build the case for 3 powerful sales characteristics.

I didn't pay much attention to politics prior to the 2016 election cycle. I'm a registered Independent and never voted based on party.  For example, I voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.  Now Conservatives and Liberals, Democrats and Republicans all have reasons to hate me!

I have clients all over the world but most of them are in the United States of America. 80% of the partners who represent Objective Management Group (OMG) are also in the USA.  Despite warnings to stay away from Politics, I'm curious as to which side of the political spectrum people are on.  When I think it's safe, I'll sometimes ask a sports question like, Indians or Reds if they're in Ohio, Yankees or Mets in if they're in New York, or Dodgers or Angels in Los Angeles.  Then I might say something like, "Are you in Trump country or Biden country?"  Depending on whether they answer enthusiastically or disappointingly, I can tell which side of center they are on.  When I tell them that I share their sentiments we can talk about it - especially about how the next election will affect our businesses and lives as we know it.

My clients are mostly CEO's, COO's Presidents and Sr. Sales Leaders and they are representative of most of the leaders of the four million B2B companies in the US.   While the personal feelings of the leaders of B2C companies could be similar, they must first and foremost protect their brands from being cancelled by the mob.

One paragraph on where I stand.

I'm for the safety and security that results from law and order, not rioting, looting, violence and shooting.  I'm for democracy, the flag and freedom of speech, not the cancel culture.  I'm for low taxes, limited government and limited regulations, not economy killing tax increases, regulations and a government that controls everything but can't get anything right.  And you and I need a robust economy.  I'm for all that way more than I'm for a particular candidate or politician. 

One paragraph on Trump.

Like him or not, embrace him or puke, however you may feel about his tweets, believe most of what he says or call him a liar, think he's hilarious or a clown, think he's fighting for Americans or his own personal glory, think he's a narcissist or self-proclaimed King, he fights for the issues that I care about and as a result, Trump will get my vote despite his many character flaws.  

One paragraph on Biden.

I like Joe Biden. He's more likable than Trump, but thanks to his alignment with socialists like Bernie and AOC, he stands on the opposite side of these issues or on both sides depending on when he last stated his position.  If you're on that side of the issues, it's fine with me, I respect you for it, and won't try to change your position and certainly won't attack you.  I believe that it is critical to hear both sides of every issue whereas the cancel culture will aggressively act to cancel me if they don't agree with me.

Now let's get to selling and for that, let's use 3 of Trump's characteristics.

Trump does have three desirable selling characteristics but before I share them, keep in mind that I am singling out these three characteristics, isolated, from his more undesirable characteristics.  I apologize for having to state this 5 times but I do.  Remember, isolated, without the undesirable characteristics which, as some insist in their comments, would come along with Trump as salesperson.  Yes, they would come along with Trump, but we don't want Trump on our sales force, only the 3 characteristics described below.  Just the 3, OK?  No more, "But Trump this" and "Trump that" comments.  Just these 3 characteristics.

Trump is a fighter.  Whether or not you agree with his position on an issue or like him, you have to agree that he is a fighter.  If he is attacked he fights back, even if the attack is justified.  If he wants something he fights for it.  He may piss off some people along the way but that's unavoidable today.  I wish more salespeople could fight for what they want the way that Trump does.

Trump is persistent.  To fight for your beliefs is one thing, but if you aren't persistent you won't win too many of your fights.  I wish salespeople were more persistent.  Not annoying, but persistent.  There is a huge difference between annoying and persistent.  While many find Trump's tweets annoying, he is persistent.

Trump is entertaining.  He engages people with humor and shock, and by getting them riled up or angry with him. Whether positive or negative, people get emotional when it comes to Trump.  I wish salespeople were more entertaining and could get their prospects and customers more emotional.

Objective Management Group (OMG) does not measure fighter, persistency or entertaining.  Perhaps we should.  Or perhaps they would be a distraction from the 21 Sales Core Competencies which, by the way, will be the recipient of an update this month.

We are introducing a new Sales Technology Competency which will include Video/Virtual Selling, CRM and Social Selling. Reaches Decision Makers, already a full blown competency, gets promoted to one of the 21 Core Competencies, and Remote Seller, an important finding for the last 10 years, will be more prominently featured.

Should we add these three selling characteristics?  Let me know!

Do you agree with my political position?  Let me know. I understand that just because I showed you mine you might not be comfortable showing me yours.  I won't have a problem with it but I know there are others who will.

Image Copyright 123RF

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales competenices, Obama, romney, Donald Trump, joe biden

Best Non-Sales Video Ever on Handling Objections

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 09:12 AM

romey-obama

In the past few weeks, I have written a lot about some of the top articles of 2014, but today I want to highlight 8 top audios and videos from the past year.  There is a boatload of good stuff in these video/audio recordings and I strongly urge you to watch.  The best of the bunch is the last one, featuring Bill Whittle, on handling two real-world objections.  If you watch only one video all year, this is the one!

Jim Lobaito, host of BizTalkRadio, interviewed me about Sales Selection in this really fast-paced 30-minute podcast.

Dan McDade interviewed Koka Sexton and me about Leads and Lead Follow Up in this intense 30-minute video.

Evan Carmichal conducted a terrific interview of me in this video where I talked about The Pitch at the 18-minute mark.

Gerhard Gschwandtner interviewed me and we discussed a myriad of sales leadership topics in this short video below:

This video on SOB Quality won a Silver Medal for Top Sales & Marketing Video of 2014.

This Webinar on Mastering the Art of Sales Coaching won a Silver Medal for Top Sales Webinar of 2014.

This Webinar on How to Sell Value in Modern Times was top-rated by its attendees.

Finally, this last video was an after-thought in a 2012 post, but it's still the best video I've seen on handling objections.  It runs for 10 minutes, features Bill Whittle and this is what I wrote in 2012 to introduce the video:

Examples of Addressing Objections

I'd like to share a 15-minute video clip of Bill Whittle.  This is NOT a political statement on my part.  I'm simply sharing HIS two examples of how Romney and Obama should have responded to their critics.  Bill was speaking to a conservative Republican audience.  Forget the politics because this isn't about that in any way, shape or form.  Instead, get the lesson on how objections should be addressed!  The point is that both Romney and Obama went on the defensive and attempted to hide information, and confuse people with their spin on the facts and history.  
  
These are GREAT examples!!!  In the clip, Bill handles both objections (in Romney's case - "you're too rich and can't relate"; and in Obama's case - "Benghazi was a disaster") head on and aggressively takes responsibility for what both were accused of.   At this point, it should go without saying that I advise you to first ask questions to better understand the objection.  Then, at some point, either the original objection or a newly uncovered concern must be addressed.  

It doesn't get any better than this.  It's worth the 10 minutes that it will take to watch.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales objections, bill whittle, Obama, romney, best sales video

What Happens When Sales Expectations Aren't Met?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 06, 2010 @ 06:04 AM

There was a tremendous amount of hype surrounding the Red Sox-Yankees opening day game.  Two ace pitchers were to take the mound when Josh Beckett, pitching for the Sox, would face CC Sabathia, hurling for the Yankees.  Two of the best pitchers going head to head against two of the best offenses in baseball.  What a pitching duel this could be!

Well the opportunity to watch a pitching duel never materialized as both teams hit better than they pitched. The game itself was fun, but the pitching matchup failed to meet expectations.

Yesterday must have been an incredibly slow news day.  The 11 PM News had a brush fire in Boston (a brush fire?), Josh Beckett's contract extension, Tiger Woods' first day back to the PGA, The President throwing out the first ball at the Washington Nationals' Opening Day Game, and two women who, while walking in their neighborhood, were struck by pellets fired by bicycle riding teenagers.  I kid you not.  For the Beckett, Woods and Obama stories to be included as part of the news instead of the sports shows just how slow a news day it was.  Yesterday's news really failed to meet expectations.

Yesterday, one of your salespeople learned that their opportunity with that nice large account is not going to develop.  While they were simply out kicking tires, your salesperson got excited about the potential.  In the end, the prospect decided to stay with their incumbent vendor.  This opportunity failed to meet expectations.

What's the difference between a baseball game or the news failing to meet expectations versus one of your salespeople's opportunities failing to meet expectations?  (Rick was writing about the same thing this morning!)

The game and the news are quickly forgotten and don't impact your life unless you bet on the outcome of the game or happen to be the leading story on the news.  When your salespeople focus too much of their time and resources on a large opportunity and it doesn't materialize, you can lose 6-12 months of productivity from them.  Not only that, your forecasts fall short, your budget goes to hell, and you could have a frustrated, demotivated salesperson on your hands.  The worst part is if you have a long sales cycle, say 8-12 months, and the salesperson devoted most of his time and energy to this opportunity for 8-12 months, it will take an additional 8-12 months before the pipeline will produce new, meaningful revenue.

Has this ever happened to you?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, salespeople failing to meet expectations, Obama, beckett, sabathia, lost sales opportunities

A Call to Action for the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 @ 11:01 AM

Al Gore has become more famous for his call to action against global warming than he ever was as Vice President of the United States.

Pope John Paul II was noted for his "stand up for life" call to action.

The charities that you support have calls to action that either inspire you or embarass you into giving.

Yesterday, Barack Obama included a call to action in his inaugural speech.

In this week's Baseline Selling Tip, I redirected the President's call to pick yourself up and dust yourself off - to your salespeople. It might not be what they want to hear, but it sure is what they need to hear.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales motivation, call to action, Economy, Obama, selling in the recession

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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