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Mark LaRosa

Swingers make bad salespeople…

At the urging of some of my staff, I’ve recently signed up for Twitter and started following people on it – and attempted to use it every now and then. I’ve also gotten more and more into commenting on blogs and also on places like LinkedIn and other sites.

Perhaps I’m just too old and out of the loop on total transparancy, but I think there is a very distinct line between being transparent and using discretion in your comments.

All my competitors stink!

As the political landscape heats up here in the U.S., I am reminded about a classic sales mistake:  bashing the competition.


As I’m watching the election campaign heat up, I amazed at how many people feel the need to bash the competition in order to build themselves up.  Seriously, you can decide that a certain candidate is not the right choice – but I challenge anyone to find a candidate for president that wasn’t honestly thinking that they were not doing the right thing for the country – even if their method you oppose.  You may decide John McCain is the wrong choice, but regardless, he is a treasure to this country for his service and his drive in making this a better place.  Likewise, you can hate Obama’s need to raise taxes, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t trying to better our country in his own way.  I’m proud to call both men my countrymen – even if I do have an opinion as to who would do a better job.

Do you find it hard to leave sales mode?

Recently, my boss told me that “I needed to just talk to him straight – and didn’t need to sell him.”  My wife often asks me to stop “selling” her.


Is it possible that after selling for my entire career, that I don’t know how to conduct a transaction that doesn’t involve selling?  Are all of my conversations conducted using my sales skills?


Anyone else have this issue?

Never vomit on your potential customers

While it may seem obvious that you should never vomit on your prospects, its a very common move that sales people make.


No.. I’m not referring to actually spewing your chewed Shakeshack burger onto your customer – but spewing WAY too much information.  


The easiest thing to do in a sales call is to just talk and talk and talk.  Yet – this rarely leads to a sale.  When you are more focused on getting all of your points out, and less on what the customer wants to hear – you are essentially losing lots of opportunities to learn what the customer needs – and responding to that need.

Words are words, excuses are excuses: performance is reality

I’ve been loving watching the Olympics this past week – which is new for me.  Usually, I’m fairly ho-hum on watching the Olympics, but this year I’ve really enjoyed it.  Not just the Americans, but everyone who is performing and trying their best.  In a discussion about the amazing run of golds by Michael Phelps, someone quoted a business book (they didn’t say which one) that had a quote:  “Words are words, excuses are excuses, but performance is reality”


What’s In It For Them?

I also answered this question recently on LinkedIn and thought it made sense to add to the blog.

What is the best way to sell enterprise software?

What do you think are the pros and cons of each of these methods:

1) Promoting Features the client will find advantageous
2) Devising Operational Solutions to solve a business problem
3) Advancing Strategic Enablers to change the way the client does business

Are there appropriate situations for using one method over the others? What alternate approaches might be helpful in facilitating software sales?

My Answer:

How essential is a catchy company name?

I answered this question recently on LinkedIn and thought that my answer spoke directly to some of my recent posts – so I thought I would re-post it here:

Value sales does NOT mean ingenuine sales

Wow… I have to say that I never expected to have so many people ask me about my post on not logging into the software.     My wife, in particular, lambasted me in promoting some sort of used car salesman technique as if I’m trying to pull something over on the customer.


I would NEVER promote selling a customer that doesn’t need your product.  I believe that you always sell the right solution to customers – always be genuine.  You first should identify if the customer needs the product.  If he/she does in your eyes, and you honestly feel that you can bring about an improvement in their life/business/etc.  then you can and should continue.

Sales calesthentics: Find a mentor

Yesterday, I got a call from my mentor.  He happened to be in the city, had a few hours between meetings, and he wanted to grab a cup of coffee.  As luck would have it, I was not too busy, and made the time to go sit down with him.  The experience was so energizing that it reminded me just how valuable having a mentor can be for a salesperson.


Sell Value: The customer becomes your sales tool

My recent post The Genius Behind Never Logging Into The Software I Was Selling, has generated a great deal of off-line discussion.  I wish much of it was captured in the blog itself – so I’ll try to capture some of it and put it in here.

Certain individuals seemed to miss the point – somehow interpreting what I was saying as promoting a sale that was ingenuine.  In fact, I’m promoting just the opposite.  I’m promoting the fact that what you need to sell is the value of your software, and if YOU understand the value ABOVE the noise of how the software does it – then you will actually be better at finding the proper solution for the customer – and identifying IF they need it at all.

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