#326 – This week: Opinions, Scouting, Brownies

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Feedback isn’t always useful. Some opinions are better than others. Just because it’s given to you with confidence  doesn’t make it true.
  • When a new idea comes your way do you consider its usefulness in your life? Do you dismiss it automatically? 
  • Observing behaviors will tell you a lot more than resumes and test scores. Unfortunately, resumes and test scores are far easier to access than observed behaviors when hiring.
  • One easy way to “get off the solution” (advice from previous emails) is to say, “before we limit ourselves too much, describe the objective,” and explore a full range of options to get there. Yes, even the options you don’t sell.

Being Human – I didn’t know you did that

“Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from people, people who know the conditions of the enemy.” – Sun Tzu


How well do your clients know your products and services? How many people in their organization know your products and services? If you were working for your competition, how would you work your way into your current company’s best accounts?

I take a passing interest in college basketball and enjoy watching the journey the players are on. Each of these players come in as freshmen and were probably the best players in their high school. Maybe the best player in their city or state. They jump into a situation where they start at the bottom, and they are no longer the biggest, fastest, or best coached. From year to year they make huge jumps in skills and awareness. One of the reasons for this is the work their teams put in over the summer reverse-scouting each other.

Reverse-scouting is when the coaches take their intimate knowledge of the player and approach them as if they were coaching the other team. What are their tendencies? Where are their strengths? What situations do they not want to be in? From this reverse-scouting report they make a plan. What if they took away your 3 point shot going to the right? Can you make going to your left a strength? What if they defended you with a bigger player? Would you be able to get a shot off?

Your best accounts should be reverse-scouted. What happens if another vendor gets to the CEO and enlightens them about a higher end service? What if a vendor combined efforts with another competitor and put together an integrated package?

Taking a look at your key accounts from another point of view gives you a checklist, a plan to work from in the off-season.

Oh right, we don’t have an off-season. Good point. You’ll have to make your own off season. Put that on the list too.

Random stuff


“I’m a big fan of pastries the size of a baby that contain enough calories for a year. That seems like an effective use of time.”
– Mike Birbiglia


. . .life is short. We know this. Life gives us regular mortality reminders, but it’s still a shock when we hear about the passing of someone we know. Or someone we used to know. Or a friend of a friend. Or someone who looks like us on TV. Time goes fast. The future is promised to no one.

It’s the cycle of life you might say.

It’s not a stretch then, for me to point out that brownies are delicious. Stick with me here. And since brownies are delicious, a whole pan is a lot of deliciousness in one tidy package.

Life is short and brownies taste good.

This is why the pan of deliciousness did not make it through the weekend. It’s not rude, as some might suggest, it’s just what happens when one tries to make the most of a short time on Earth. Brownies are promised to no one, you might say. . .


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