Sales Prospecting on Steroids

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 @ 06:09 AM

With all of the articles written about sales and cold calls being dead (I usually write the counter arguments to that.  How would you find new business if the only thing you could rely on was a lead?) it was a breath of fresh air when Michael Strickland, my guest on this week's edition of Meet the Sales Experts, spoke about prospecting on steroids.  His five tips for sales success in today's economy are:

  1. Review your prospecting strategy - prospecting on steroids - redouble everyone's efforts
  2. Have a signature communication - own a channel - communicate your value proposition
  3. Leverage technology - CRM - to identify and manage opportunities
  4. Have a web presence - make sure people can find you by Googling you
  5. Identify all of the weaknesses in the sales organization - fix them.

Michael, the former banker, turned banking consultant, turned sales consultant, turned Vistage chair also spoke about how executive teams and sales teams spend 97% of their time planning and only 3% of their time doing.  He strongly suggested reversing those percentages.

"Action conquers fear.  Make a strategic decision to grow."  That was his comment when asked about the fear that has paralyzed so many businesses, causing them to wait and see what happens, rather than do something about their slumping sales force and revenue. 

Listen to the showContact Michael Strickland.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, grow sales, sales management, prospecting, cold calling, fear of failure, sales evaluations, steroids, sales tests, michael strickland, identify weaknesses, sales assessments

Sales and Customer Service are Just Like Steriod Use in Baseball

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 @ 21:02 PM

Alex Rodriguez, one of the greatest hitters, if not the greatest hitter in baseball, admitted that he used steroids when he was with the Texas Rangers.

Last year, it was Andy Petite admitting to using and Roger Clemens denying.  Barry Bonds continues to deny while Jose Canseco was the first player to blow the lid off of the steroid scandal with his book Juiced.

The lesson here is that Andy Petite disappeared from the news the day after he admitted using steroids and apologizied.  Rodriguez will be out of the news by next week too.  Yet Bonds and Clemens, because of their repeated denials, will not only fail to make the Hall of Fame, they continue to be in the news despite no longer being active players.

Sales is just like Steroid use in Baseball.

If a customer attacks, complains, whines, demands or points fingers and you simply say, "you're right.  I'm sorry," the issue goes away.  However, if you get defensive, place blame, make excuses, deny the issue or fail to apologize, your customer will never forget and as a result, may no longer be your customer.  The customer is always right - even when they're wrong.

How many times have you experienced the thick-headed customer service or sales person that simply didn't care about your problem enough to apologize and fix it?  I've posted about these very issues with Verizon, United, US Airways, and Paychex over the last several years.

Many salespeople have a problem with doing this the right way.  Their ego gets in the way.  They cite principles.  They won't allow themselves to take responsibility for something they didn't do.  They let the truth stand in the way of the relationship and, in essence, ruin the relationship.  While some people hold grudges, most people have a short memory and if you simply allow them to vent, it somehow clears the cache and then both parties are able to move on.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, ARod, Clemens, Petite, Canseco, Bonds, customer service, steroids

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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