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Tough times can take a toll on teamwork and highlight frustrations. Salespeople often take it personally when the numbers are down, and their egos mandate that they fight back. Many times the battle spills from the marketplace into the company's own ranks. It's not uncommon for some salespeople to speak negatively about their company's products, promotions, or pricing policies. To successfully control the infighting, sales leaders must curb their own aggressive impulses, calm frayed nerves, and channel their salespeople's fighting instincts back to healthier outlets.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Struggling salespeople often say, "I can't stand this daily stream of rejections." People who can't stand rejection should pursue a less stressful career than sales. Professional salespeople are professional because they've learned to mentally toughen themselves. Salespeople need to be as well prepared to succeed as Olympic athletes, physically and mentally, and they need to keep on succeeding. To be prepared mentally (in addition to knowing your products, services, etc.), you must push the "plus" button in your mind to on, and never touch it again. When we think with our "plus" buttons on, we add positive power to our selling efforts and insulate ourselves from rejection.
Apple vs. Microsoft: Microsoft's Surface Tablets Raise the Bar for PC Pals By Ashlee Vance on June 18, 2012
On a wonderfully bright Monday afternoon in Hollywood, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief executive officer, appeared at an art and film studio to deliver what looks like Microsoft’s finest, most controversial product in ages. In fact, it’s a family of products—a line of “Surface” tablet computers aimed at both consumers and workers.
As it does with the Xbox, Microsoft has opted to make the Surface tablets—both hardware and software—on its own. This stands as a huge affront to Microsoft’s longtime PC partners. Making matters worse, the Surface products look far better than anything else the PC makers have shown to date on the tablet front. Even Apple (AAPL) has been put on notice, if the hoots and hollers from the event were any indication.
The first Surface device shown weighs about 1.5 pounds and is 9 mm thick. A second, the Surface Pro, is slightly thicker and heavier. Both tablets come with a built-in kickstand, so you can stand them up to watch movies and the like. Microsoft also did something innovative with its new tablet covers. It had them attach to the the tablets with a firm click and designed them to be keyboards. The Type Cover has keys printed into the cover while the slightly bigger Touch Cover has raised keys.
The keyboard/cover combo is a fantastic idea that immediately makes you question future laptop purchases. That’s yet a further blow against Microsoft’s PC buddies. When Windows 8 launches this fall, Microsoft will sell the tablets through its own online and retail stores and nowhere else. The company declined to reveal pricing details at the June 18 event.
In an interview afterward, Ballmer said Microsoft’s PC partners had been made aware of its plans. When asked to describe how they felt about Microsoft’s moves, Ballmer responded that he had used very precise language on stage and would not go beyond that. (He said nothing on stage that I recall as to how they felt.) As for plans to sell the tablets beyond Microsoft’s own channels, Ballmer again would not budge. “That’s all we are going to announce today,” he said. That’s that, then.
During his speech, Ballmer talked about the push and pull of software and hardware: Sometimes the hardware makers can’t keep up with the software makers’ innovation. So Microsoft decided to take matters into its own hands and showcase all that Windows 8 can do at a time when the company is feeling tremendous pressure from Apple. “This is a tool to surface your passions,” Ballmer said.
Steven Sinofsky, the head of Windows, followed Ballmer on stage and was visibly nervous. His voice shook, as did his hands—to the point that he wrecked a couple of touchscreen demos. Still, he returned again and again to the industrial design work Microsoft did to make the Surface products. Gushing about the kickstand, he said: “The hinged design is like that of the finest luxury car.” About the cover, he said, “Click. You heard that. It’s solid. It feels great in your hand, like a book. It just fits there.”
Microsoft designed 200 custom parts for the tablets and said that if you tried to cram a piece of sticky tape inside the device, it would bulge with imperfection. Steve Jobs would be proud.
Vance is a technology writer for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Be grateful for your mistakes. A despondent attitude cannot coexist with a grateful attitude. Correct your mistakes as soon as they occur. To some degree, we are responsible for many of our problems. Carefully examine all facts contributing to your troubles. Recognize your shortcomings in order to shore up your weaknesses. Don't feel ashamed; there are no mistake-proof people. We become wise because failure teaches us what we must learn to move forward.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Yes, you need to ensure that your website is professional, that it conveys your value proposition and that your content is current and relevant. However, you need to optimize your chance of engaging with prospects by displaying a prominent, “above the fold” call to action. Your CTA may vary based upon the individual character of your business, but some examples of effective CTAs include:
Join us for a webinar
Sign up for our newsletter (or blog, bulletin, feed, alert)
Follow us on Twitter (or Facebook, LinkedIn)
Watch our video
Get a quote (or estimate, demonstration, presentation)
See our solution (or short video, PPT, recorded webinar)
Whatever your CTA, make sure it is prominent, highlighted, above the fold and preferably redundant. And ask yourself this simple question: When an important prospect visits our website, what do we want them to do? Once you have your answer, make it easy for the prospect to accomplish this. I’ve visited many attractive websites that fail to accomplish this simple but very important task.
Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go to www.StartUpSelling.com.
Activity stimulates energy and restores vitality. A person creates upbeat feelings through energetic actions. Walk with confidence. Sit with your shoulders back and head up. Recall the feelings associated with your triumphs. Your memories will stimulate a positive attitude. Spend at least 10 minutes before you go to sleep thinking of everything you have to be grateful for, both in the present and past. Visualize yourself accomplishing acts that will help you lead a vital and vibrant life. Eventually, expressing your vitality will become second nature.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I must admit to having some difficulties when I hear one of my fellow networkers recite that familiar line, and here’s why: I make lots and lots of “cyber-introductions,” and when I do so, I always endeavor to explain to both parties exactly why I think that the introduction could be beneficial for each of them.
Perhaps they both network with similar types of referral sources and can help each other to expand their respective sources.
Perhaps they are both on the speaking circuit and can help each other to get speaking gigs.
Perhaps they work with similar types of clients and can (potentially) see opportunities for each other.
Let me clarify further: I’m not talking about introducing someone to a contact who has actually asked me for a referral or introduction. I’m talking about the intros that are more often born from networking and are valuable in terms of “six degrees of separation” rather than immediate client acquisition.
A good networking lead is reciprocal; contacts often wonder what’s in it for them. In order to be a successful, an introduction must benefit both parties. So think about changing it up a bit at networking meetings, and when introducing yourself, make certain to tell people how a good lead for you is…a mutual one.
Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.
Many of us dream of a fantasy world without problems. In reality, we all will meet obstacles and suffer setbacks or misfortunes. Realize that security is an illusion. No matter how well we plan and prepare for the future, problems will sometimes wear us down, drain vitality and enthusiasm, and make our goals seem out of reach. Discouragement is like quicksand; we must pull ourselves out quickly or sink ever deeper. To keep discouragement at bay, recall past successes. Record in a notebook every time you've overcome a hardship. Write down every successful incident you can remember from childhood to the present, and read this list as often as you can.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
- It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long time.
- Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do ...
- As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
- A key individual had already left for vacation.
- The customer was frustrated and uncooperative.
- The engineers were exhausted.
- The customer problem was difficult to solve.
- The clock was ticking toward a hard deadline.