Business Growth Newsletter #227: Over Communicate, Close Quickly, TV Time

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

  • If you see something, say something, says Homeland Security. It works in management too and leads to more communication. Odds are you aren’t communicating enough anyway. The best time to start is when you see something.
  • Working back from your desired outcome leads to greater gains than working on daily improvement. However, it’s perfectly fine to do both at the same time.
  • One segment of your employees works for you because they identify with your vision and culture. As economic pressures mount and hard decisions are being made, factor in if this employee segment will be proud of your actions or not.
  • Never tried your hand at creative writing or poetry? Try it. Tapping into the non-business side of your brain makes you a better manager because it helps you explain what’s rattling around in your head. You don’t have to share it, just try it.

Being Human – Closing deals quickly

“We will sell no wine before its time.” – Paul Masson


How do we ensure deals close quickly? It’s a question asked by managers everywhere. It’s even led a few of them to my doorstep asking for help.

My answer is, it depends. Most of the time it depends on how the firm defines their deal stages. I use this rough guide to define my deal stages and share it with them to frame my next question:


At what point does management start the clock on a deal? From there I’ll ask about how long it takes now, what they want it to be, and what the improvement will let the company do that it can’t do today. “Deal” is a broad term, so doing this allows us to unpack its meaning before we get into details.

In general, salespeople start tracking deals too early. Finding the buyer, developing the relationship, and uncovering an opportunity takes time. This is true even if the prospect jumps into the sales cycle at the opportunity stage because the salesperson needs to backtrack in the process.

Start speeding up your deals by getting your unique sales stages out on paper. I think of sales cycles as being like dogs. All dogs are dogs, but each breed and mix has their own unique features.

Identify your breed of sales cycle to speed up deal flow.

Random stuff

“What in the world are we watching?”


I have a love/hate relationship with my television. I’ve threatened to remove it from my life but others in my household don’t share my vision of a life with books, puzzles, and witty conversation. Think remote summer cottage in Canada kind of living. Ah, that’s the life for me.

I thought sheltering in place might be a perfect time to start implementing new rules. Don’t watch it by myself, stop scrolling endlessly and just pick something, keep a book in the TV room, etc.

It’s worked a little. The shows I have watched in the last 8 weeks include “The Godfather 1 & 2,” a lot of “30 Rock,” and random documentaries. I’m a sucker for the documentary. They’re always too long, but make me feel smarter. Among the good ones are “The Last Dance,” “Free Solo” and “The Dawn Wall.” I felt bad about enjoying “The Tiger King” but washed it down re-watching the mockumentary, “What We Do In The Shadows.” The other night I found myself watching “Dealt,” the story of a blind magician who describes himself as a card mechanic. Amazing how driven people can be.

You know, come to think of it, most of the documentaries I’m watching are about obsessive types. Jordan, the Tiger guy, those climbers, the magicians. It must fulfill some missing part of me. My inability to obsess on one thing.

I tell this insight to my lovely bride. She nods her head, looks back down at her book saying, “Well, the trash isn’t going to take itself out. How about obsessing on that for a while?”*

* Author’s note: she never really says these things. . .out loud.


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