#328 – This week: Behaviors, Right solutions, Dreams

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

  • When hiring a salesperson from your industry who brings a large contact list and promises fast results, do this: Take your close rate guess and halve it. Take your ramp up time and double it. Then do it again. Do you still want them?
  • During the interview process, determining whether a new hire candidate’s behaviors are going to work for you is hard. To help, think of the interview extending into the first 60 days and re-evaluate. Make your probationary period a real trial. 
  • Big companies rely on bureaucracy to be profitable at scale. The best ones, however, have a handful of “bureaucracy busters” around to cut through the hierarchy to get things done. You don’t want too many, but you need a few.
  • Will machine learning or robotic process automation make the biggest impact in your business this year? Next year?

Being Human – The right solution

“Stephen Covey’s sixth habit of highly successful people, ‘Seek first to understand—then to be understood,’ applies to highly successful business developers.” ― Mahan Khalsa


I’ve been on a small project interviewing executives for a new product launch. I have them tell me stories about similar products to get an idea of where they might categorize this offering, how they like to learn about similar offerings, who they might delegate a sales rep to, and other big projects they’ve been part of. It’s eye-opening to hear the other side of a successful sales process especially when they talk about what they know today they wish they knew in the past.

The surprising thing is how many times the buyer has alluded to, or come right out and said, the sellers were unethical. “We asked for X, they said they could do X, and now two years later we’re learning they can’t do X.” One person’s cynical advice for me to give the client is to hire marketers who aren’t afraid of ambiguity. Yikes!

What we want

We want to sell the right solution, one that meets the exact needs of the client. If the client thinks our product doesn’t meet their needs they don’t buy it. If a lot of clients come to this conclusion we go out of business. We don’t want that. Worse, however, is what happens if the solution isn’t right, and they buy it. At some point the clients figure out it’s not exactly right then we get stuck spending time, money, and effort fixing it.

What the client wants

The client is looking for the right solution, one that meets their needs. If they don’t think the product meets their needs they don’t purchase it. Makes sense, but when they don’t purchase it the problem they are solving doesn’t get solved, or the results they want are not achieved. Similarly, if they think the solution meets their exact needs, but they’re wrong, they still have the problem and no results. In addition, they’ve spent time, money, and effort implementing the wrong thing. So what happens? We get stuck spending time, money, and effort fixing it.

Either way, we get the blame.

I know what you’re thinking. Hey! We get the blame and get stuck with the bill no matter what? That’s not fair!

I agree. Blame the tens or hundreds of thousands of salespeople who didn’t take the time to set clients up with the exact right solution. The clients have been burned and are wary/looking to limit their risks. The salespeople need to make quota and stretch the truth. Everyone involved shortcuts the process.

No one ends up happy.

You can change it

What can be done? It starts with a mind shift. Commit to finding and delivering the right solution from the start. It takes more time. Some clients won’t dance with you. The payoffs are not immediate. But it works.

Trust me, it’s good stuff.

Random stuff


“There is no happiness where there is no wisdom. . .” – lifted out of context via Sophocles


As happens to me every once in a while I woke up to what I thought was a booming sound. I lay in the dark trying to determine if it really happened (am I under attack, is someone breaking the house) before realizing I need to take a bathroom break. I was over age 50 when I learned a trick to keeping the light off in the bath after midnight. The old method was one eye kept shut, one open, but a friend said “just keep the lights off and pee lady style.” It changed my life. I tell you this because it explains how I was able to look out the window at night without my vision being disturbed. As I looked for a source of the mystery noise I noticed the pergola. It has a lattice top, and it looked like 1/2 of it was missing. That must explain the noise I think and go back to bed.

I’m back up minutes later because, well, where did the lattice go? How did I not notice it during the day after the winds died down? To find out I have to make a trip through the house for a better window to look from, and I see the lattice is still there. The full moon and a tree made a shadow that fell over half the pergola making sleepy eyes think it’s gone.

Now I’m wide awake. 1am. Typing this. It’s very quiet.

I have urge to vacuum. It’s not something I usually have the urge to do but right now I notice the place is very dusty. The construction project is messy. I now dust instead. Lots of dusting. A little picking up. Just no vacuuming. Only quiet cleaning.

I eventually get back to bed and get a short nap in before the day begins. Once I get up I have to get things ready for the construction crew and take Wilson the ABC out for a minute. Soon after, my lovely bride wanders down from the bed chamber. Rubbing sleep from her eyes she says, this place is a mess.

If she only knew.


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