Tuesday, May 22, 2007


After College I Stopped Reading Books . . . And Then

Actually, after college I started reading books. I wasn't much of
a reader during school. I was too busy working 40 hours week to
pay for my education. So my reading was limited to what was
necessary. If I knew then, what I know now - I would have been a
much better student.

As it turns out I'm a better student today than I was in college.
Okay, that's worth 1/2 of a Kudo.

But a lot of people turn their learning spigot off as soon as they
get their college diploma. It's like I'm finished with school.
That's a choice you should never consider.

In last week's Wall Street Journal, there was an article profiling,
the soon to be retiring CEO of United Technologies Corporation
(UTC) - George David.

His results speak for themselves. He took over the reins of UTC
in 1994 when UTC had a market cap of $6 Billion. Today the market
cap is $66 Billion - which is nothing short of phenomenal.

Here's this week's sales tip for you. Make education a continuous
process and you will always grow your business and of course your

But don't take my word for it. Listen to what David George says
about it.

UTC has spent more than $600 Million for employee education benefits.
In fact 13,000 are currently enrolled in programs.

The WSJ asked him was it worth it and here's what he said:

"Categorically. Flatly. No argument. I think that's been the
best thing we ever did for employee benefits. Is it worth it?
I guess I go back to my basic principle, which is education is
definitely the most powerful force in life. Educated people are
more thoughtful. They're more widely read. They're more alert
to change. They're more confident."

Education is the most powerful force in life.

Don't make education a secondary priority. Invest in yourself.

And always remember - self-improvement doesn't cost it pays!

The most powerful force in life - don't let it slip through your

Use these Learning Tools to BOOST your income

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'd Rather Eat Than Smoke

Let me explain. Last month, April 28th to be exact, Bernadette,
my wife, and I were in Chicago to attend a wedding.

Everything about the wedding, including the weather, was perfect.

On Sunday, April 29th we headed back to Palm tree country - Lakewood
Ranch Florida.

My life is my laboratory and I'm always paying attention to what's
going on around me.

I get a lot of my newsletter ideas this way including the idea for
this issue.

After we cleared security we headed toward the American Airlines
gate for I'll flight home.

We were walking behind a young couple, I guess in their mid-20s,
pushing two strollers - with two very young kids.

My first impression was a young and happy family on the go.

And as we got closer to them, I heard the father say, "I'd rather
eat than smoke."

We were approaching the food court when he said, "I'd rather eat
than smoke." And I should point out his wife nodded in agreement.

Let me say this about that - I don't have an attitude about smokers.

This is a free country the last time I checked.

When I heard the words, "I'd rather eat than smoke," it just reminded
me, with a sledgehammer, that life is all about choices and we make
them every day.

And our choices have a way of affecting and influencing our lives.

Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? You are where
you are and I am where I am because of the choices we've made in
the past.

The sum of past choices equals your reality today.

The choices you make today will affect your reality in the future.

Observing this young couple, pushing two strollers with two young
kids, was a powerful reminder to me about priorities and choices,
that we make everyday.

In this case, a young couple walking briskly through the airport,
with two young kids, choosing between eating and smoking.

In your case, do you have everything you want out of your life?

Do you have a personal plan for achieving what you want out of life?

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In Sales Little Things Mean Everything

The Embassy Suites is one of my favorite hotels.

I just like their concept and up until last week I enjoyed my visits.

The purpose of this letter is not to gripe about poor service.

The purpose of this letter is to remind you (sales professionals)
what happens when you screw up the little things.

The little things add up. The lifetime value of a customer also
adds up.

Here's an example of what I mean.

My experience has always been positive at the Embassy Suites Tampa -
near the Airport.

But my Boot Camp May 2-3 was a totally different experience.

Here a just a few things:

I had 21 people stay at the hotel. Some people had to call 3-5 times
because they were told the hotel was sold out. Several people called
a day or two before the program and got reservations.

About 6:30 AM on May 2nd – I went down to the Font Desk ask asked
the woman if she could get security to open my meeting room, so I
could get set-up. She said it should be open and I responded “Well -
it isn't open.” She gave me a look that would frighten an NFL linebacker.

Ten minutes later I went back downstairs to see if she located security
and she said he’ll be right there.

They ran out of rooms so I was upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite #601. That
should have been good news. The bad news was - there’s no desk, but
there is a table and 4 chairs with cave-like lighting.

I ordered a room service lunch, as I have every time I have stayed at
the hotel, for 12:15. I placed the order with room service at 10:00 AM.

At 12:35 I called. No one in the restaurant picked up. Called the
lobby and was told someone would go check for me. At 1:40 I went
downstairs to check on the room service myself.

I went back upstairs and the server was at my door – with apologies
of course. My grilled grouper sandwich was ice cold.

The same thing happened the next day and it took even longer. I
ordered the tuna fish sandwich, because it’s already cold. When
the server got there, once again she apologized. She left the tray,
no bill, and no napkin or silverware. Since my intention was to eat
the tuna and not the bread, I did so with my fingers. Sucking the
tuna from my fingers really made my day.

At breakfast on the first day, the hotel had bananas and spoons. On
the second day there were no bananas and no spoons – so I ate my
yogurt with a fork. Another unique experience for me.

Speaking of yogurt, the door handle, which is attached to the
refrigerator door, with a handle and two screws – only had one screw
so the door handle was left to dangle.

I also think someone was selling the Hotel day old donuts – both days.

The juice dispenser had no label for orange juice. There was orange
juice the second day and I’m not sure what was being dispensed the
first day.

I had dinner at the restaurant both nights. The server was polite,
but her perfume was overwhelming, at a distance of 10 feet, and some
one should talk to her. Forget it - I'm not volunteering.

The hotel has had a lot of turnover and maybe that's why so many
little things didn't go according to plan.

None of these little things is a big deal. When a lot of little
things go wrong it then becomes a BIG DEAL.

I estimate my group spent (including me) $7876 on sleeping rooms.
Add to that another (I’m guessing I haven’t seen the bill yet)
another $2000 for the meeting room etc. – bringing the total to
$9876 for two days. Truly not a lot of money for a big hotel.

What is a lot of money is the estimated lifetime value of my
business which is $296,280.

Now, that's the story and here's the point if you're in sales.
You'd better take care of the little things for your customers if
you don't want to risk losing the lifetime value of those customers.

My next Sales Training Boot is scheduled for May 7-8, 2008.

I won’t be back – Marriott, here I come. I signed the contract today.

In sales, little things mean everything.

PS - When it comes to little things you clearly have two choices. You
can screw them up or do them up right. If you'd like to take a gander
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What Makes Your Customers Wince

What Makes Your Customers Wince

You probably never considered this, but every customer/prospect you
call on has a built in wince-o-meter. The meter is activated every
time you do or say something stupid or pathetic.

Here's a list of things to avoid if you don't want to activate your
customer's wince-o-meter:

Wince - when calling for an appointment, avoid saying you're going
to be in their area and you want to stop by and introduce yourself.

Wince - when you're talking with someone and they seem agreeable to
seeing you, never ask, "When would be a good time for you," - you're
giving up your calendar. It's something only an amateur would do.
It won't make a prospect wince - but it makes me wince.

Big Wince - don't show up late for an appointment without calling
to give a good reason why.

Wince - don't begin your sales presentation by saying, "I know
you're busy, so I won't take up too much of your time." Everybody
says this.

Wince - don't end your sales call by saying, "Before I go are there
any other problems I can help you with?"

Wince - don't use questions that begin with are you, do you, can you,
and would you, because they invite one-word responses. It's also
the language of the mediocrity brigade.

Humongous Wince - never start talking about your product/service
until you know how it solves a specific dollarized problem.

Wince - don't talk too much - because the less you say, the smarter
you'll sound.

Wince - never say, "How soon do you need it," because it triggers an
"I need it yesterday response," which puts you in a reactive fire
drill mode. This one will make you wince!

Wince - never leave a sales call, with a qualified prospect without
setting up and confirming the next appointment. Failing to do this,
guarantees you'll be jettisoned into the telephone tag zone. This
may not activate your customers wince-o-meter but it sure does
activate my cringe-o-meter.

Let's switch roles for a moment. Imagine you are the customer and
you are scheduled to see 14 salespeople during the next week.

What can you expect to hear and see?

=> you'll see salespeople twitching and sneaking a peek at their
vibrating blackberries and cell phones.

=> you'll hear salespeople, before they ask the first question,
tell you how they can save you time and money.

=> you'll hear salespeople talk sales babble because they really
like the sound of their own voices.

=> you'll hear salespeople bring up the subject of pricing before
you (the customer) can do it.

=> you'll see salespeople who show up without a written sales call
objective - you can always tell.

=> you'll hear salespeople pepper their conversation with seal
talk - "Ahs" and "Ums."

=> you'll hear and see salespeople get discombobulated when they
try asking for the business.

These behaviors are enough to make anyone wince.

If your customers are wincing you won't be doing any convincing!

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it takes to do what it takes to run circles around your competition?

Do you have a system for working new leads, a system for making
appointments, a system for qualifying your prospects, a system for
presenting your products and services, a system for dealing with
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system for following up, a system for securing the commitment, a
system for getting referrals?

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