My Book Available NOW on Amazon

front-coverI know that I’ve been very lax on new posts here – but its been for good reason.  First, because I’ve been hard at work at FunnelFire – which is moving along very well.  Second, because I’ve been putting all my writing effort into finishing my startup sales book.  It’s taken a while (I do not recommend trying to write a book AND launch a start-up simultaneously).

It’s available on Amazon now in paperback and kindle versions.

The book takes many of the themes on this blog and puts them into book form, organized nicely – and I expand on most of them.

Damn You Kevin Costner

Ask most people what the key line is from Field of Dreams, and nearly everyone will say:

If you build it, they will come.

On a near regular basis, I talk with people who subscribe to this methodology.  If you build a great product, if you send out the mass emails, if you do all these things – well then customers will magically appear and money will start to flow.  There are quite a few stories these days about how salespeople will become irrelevant because people will just magically find web-sites and buy stuff.

“Building a Business” means something very different to me.

I saw this post today on VentureBeat about free courses being offered by Stanford to “Build Your Business


It doesn’t matter how much “cryptology” you use, or how good your “graphical models” are, or how “creative you are”  if you can’t get people to buy the product – if you don’t have people who want to PAY you for it.  You will eventually go out of business!    (BTW:  are they seriously trying to teach how to be creative?  isn’t that in your nature or not? of course, I feel the same way about teaching you how to be an entrepreneur, you either are or you aren’t – it can’t be taught).

The Best Jelly Donuts: Bold Pitches Are OK if You Can Back Them Up

  On Long Beach Island, NJ, there is an italian bakery, Ferrara’s Italian Bakery, that has a sign outside their shop claiming that they have the “Best Jelly Donuts On The Planet.”  This summer, every time I passed the shop, I was struck by this sign.  That is a really bold statement.  When you make a bold claim like that, I am compelled to find out.  I can’t let a statement like that go unchallenged.  Already, their marketing/sales campaign is working because… well…  if you make a comment like the best on the planet then I am compelled to come in and at least purchase a donut.

Sales lessons from a pop song: “Call me, maybe?”

My five year old daughter has been walking around the house over the past few weeks singing constantly, “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number.  Call me, maybe?”  Carly Rae Jepsen’s song is incessantly catchy, and is therefore in my own head constantly.   It does not help that I picture this cute five year old bouncing around singing it.

Of course, i hear the words and I think of how it relates to sales – in particular how it relates to “not so great” salespeople.

Long Sales Cycle? That is NOT OK.

I recently sent a note to an entrepreneur friend of mine whose company is doing well, but I heard thru the grapevine that he needed some help in the sales department – that things just weren’t moving along as fast as he would like them to.  So I reached out and let him know that I had some cycles available if he wanted some help putting together a sales plan, and figuring out how to accelerate his growth.

He very quickly, and politely replied that the type of sales planning and assistance that I do at QuotaCrush really wasn’t applicable because, “his product has long sales cycles and long lasting relationships.”

It’s a presentation not a lecture

In sales there is a rule that many sales people know, and that is, “he who talks least…wins.”  And of course, there is the old adage that God gave you two ears and one mouth and you should be using them in that proportion.

When you give a sales presentation, you should remember that it is a presentation – a chance to present your solution/product/offering.  When you present something, you are offering an introduction to it so you should be providing your overview, and then be using the rest of the time to determine how, if at all, you can solve your customers problems.

The 21st Century Rolodex: The Sales Network

I wrote a while ago about how I think the value of the rolodex is gone, yet still so many people hiring sales people want to know about your Rolodex.  Who do you know at their target companies, and who do you know in a particular industry.

The wrong metrics force bad behavior in salespeople

Metrics are used all over in sales organizations:

  • How many calls did you make?
  • How many connects did you make?
  • How many meetings did you schedule?

Metrics are how managers feel good about how people are doing – its how they can point to things and say, “look – my people are working.”  Often, tt is how managers and CEO’s can turn to their board and investors and say, “I have no idea how we didn’t make our numbers this month, we made 4,000 outbound calls!”

Fail 7 out of 10 times? You might become a legend.

One of the most frustrating parts about being a salesperson is the constant rejection, the constant stream of failure.  The more neophyte salespeople I work with, the more I see the frustration over this simple fact of sales.  Sales is a numbers game.  You can’t win them all, and you have to get out there and talk to lots and lots of people, to find those people that need your solution, have the means to pay for your solution, and decide that you have the correct solution against all the other alternatives.

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