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Great Sales and Service People: Nature or Nurture?

When I encounter abominable customer service I can’t help thinking, How did this person ever get hired for this job, let alone pass their sales/service training course?

And that gets me thinking about something our clients often ask us: “If we want our people to have great sales and service skills, should we just search for “naturals” – people born with …

Selling yourself: Interview tips for sales reps

As the president of an appointment setting and lead generation company, I interview a lot of sales reps. I’m looking for people who understand the sales process and can produce results. In other words, people who not only can talk about what’s important in sales, but who can “walk the talk.”

So, I’m always surprised at how few job seekers use …

Hey, Small Businesses: Here’s How you Get Your DUNS Number

A DUNS number (Data Universal Number System) is a unique identifier issued by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to business entities. The nine-digit DUNS number is universally unique, making it an effective way to identify and prove the authenticity of a given business. The DUNS system has become so well known and widespread that the United States government, the European Commission …

Turning customers into clients by recognizing business opportunities and refining product offerings

As the web continues to evolve and its capabilities advance, and as e-commerce gains momentum, consumers are going to continue making more and more of their buying decisions based on what they see online. However, for many small businesses -- even in the age of interaction between websites and social media -- there are still a staggering number without a …

Paint Like Me – The Art of Sales

What do Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Di Vinci and Vincent van Gogh all have in common? They each had a unique perspective, point-of-view and talent. Instead of trying to be like their peers, they worked with their own talents and stood out.


Likewise, most people don’t succeed when trying to replicate what makes someone else unique. It’s surprising then that this top-down, "paint like …

When should my appointment setting program begin to pay back?

In May 2010, I sat across from a client and we were having a tough conversation. We had been running a lead generation and appointment setting program for a year. While some early deals were starting to bubble up, the program hadn't yet paid back against the investment. The board was putting pressure on our client, the director of marketing.

This is a common …

Creating an Open Sales Environment

Recently I read a posting on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Joseph Grenny entitled “4 Ways Leaders can create a Candid Culture”. I have long believed that the most successful sales professionals use leadership skills instead of the typical sales tactics to achieve and maintain their level of success. That led me to consider the 4 action steps …

Can You Handle a Sales Superstar: 10 Qualities to Look for in a “Closer”

You may not be able to handle one. The sales superstar is not for everyone, not for every company, every owner or every support staff. You know the saying, “be careful of what you wish for . . .” If you get the superstar you better be able to handle him/her. The thinnest pancake still has two sides. As positive …

3 Reasons Your Sales Suck And How You Can Fix Them

We have all struggled with our sales process at some point…c’mon, we can admit it, we are all friends here. So it isn’t the struggles that I am going to tackle here, but the root causes that are often hiding in plain site and how you can overcome them to get your sales team and your personal sales back on …

The Only Two Reasons Salespeople Fail. And What To Do About It.

This may sound simplistic, but there are really only two reasons why salespeople aren’t successful:

1. They don’t do enough of the right activities to get enough opportunities
2. When they perform sales activities they aren’t very good at them

You may say “So what?” But it is critical that the sales manager know which situation is the cause of the problem, because …