Millions of Millionaires

successful-self-made-millionaire

The newsfeed tells me that last year, 1.1 new millionaires were created in the US. That brings the USA’s total number of millionaires up to 15,356,000 according to Credit Suisse, the financial services company. What is your guess on the number of these new millionaires that got there following the advice of millionaire self-help gurus? I say very few. Read more

Send Me a Proposal – Working Through Price Negotiations

overcoming price objections professional services

I sit through sales presentations. Many of them. Sometimes it’s with a professional sales person in traditional selling appointments and other times it’s with senior executives and labeled business development, but in every case it’s a conversation about an exchange of dollars for products or services.

As the conversation concludes, there is a thing that happens with pricing. It’s not the early ballparking discussion that I’ve discussed here and here, but closer to the final negotiation, the “send me a proposal” part of pricing. In this article, I’m going to touch on this part of the pricing discussion which sounds something like, “You said it’s going to be around $50,000 and that sounds about right. Why don’t you put everything we’ve been talking about into a proposal and send it to me.”* Both parties are in general agreement and now it’s time get into the details before exchanging money and services.

This article is about that transition. Read more

More on How to Write a Proposal

how to write a proposal

Before you send your proposal, take one more close look. Is the only quantifiable element the cost of your solution?

In the spirit of my other thoughts on writing proposals:

Writing a Project Proposal Outline
When to Write a Project Proposal
Before you Send That Proposal. . .
Decision Making and New Business Project Proposals

I am adding one more element. Read more

Greg’s 5th Annual Consulting Update

Sales And Marketing Consulting Services

It’s that time again!

Greg’s annual business update.

If you’ve been on the list, this is number five in a series. Yep, I’ve just completed the fifth year of solo consulting. Each year I’ve take a day or two and sketched out my biggest learnings from the year and I share them with you. Read more

Wait, how much?

How Do You Overcome Price Objections

My work in lead generation results in a special by-product. Pricing discussions.

In this article, I’ll give you a framework and some language that clients find helpful in working through price and pricing. On the decision making continuum from simple to complex decisions in sales, these ideas are most helpful for complex decision making. If you’re selling toothpaste, you’ll find this less helpful than if you’re selling cloud storage solutions, but it may be interesting nonetheless. In your next complex sales discussion, these three ideas will help you navigate pricing conversations and price objections.  Read more

Is that a Marketing Qualified Lead or Sales Qualified Lead?

During a recent discussion with a director of marketing and a director of sales, we were throwing out the term lead generation, and as you know, one of my communication advices is to take a moment to define terms, especially common terms inside a company. The more a company knows about a subject, the more important it is to define the terms they use around that subject. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. The number of assumptions made behind a common terms are easy to see from an outside perspective, and this was no exception.
Read more

Which Sales Training, Management Training, Leadership Training is Best?

which sales training is best

If I categorized the questions I get asked, “What do you think of. . .[insert program/methodology/tool here],” would be it’s own list. Last week it was, “What have you heard about Traction?” and just yesterday it was, “What do you think of Sandler sales training?”

The reason I’m asked is because I’ve been employed by a lot of organizations in my short work life. As part of my employment, I have been trained in a dozen of these programs. As a manager, I have been pitched by dozens more. As a general manager I have had my managers pitch countless other programs. I even ran a training company and besides delivering our own training, I listened to multiple vendors extol the virtues of their content for licensing. When clients or prospects get exposed to any of that background, what comes next is a question about sales training, management training and leadership training programs.

They all want to know, which one is best? Read more

Are incentives to blame at Wells Fargo?

200px-Wells_Fargo_Bank

The news gives us a couple of narratives regarding the Wells Fargo Fake Accounts scandal. In case you’re unfamiliar with the details, the fraud centered around employees at the bank cutting corners and opening deposit accounts and credit cards for Wells Fargo customers without their knowledge or permission. This didn’t happen once or twice. 5,300 employees opened 1.5 million times over five years. In late 2016 Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $185MM in fines. That led to the revelation that key executives, specifically John G. Stumpf and Carrie L. Tolstedt, made fortunes during this time period. Hundreds of millions of dollars that have been recently returned, the “clawback.” Read more

Selling and Robots and AI and Doctors

robot-headshot-sales-marketing

Bleep boop.

News from the Chambers Pivot ticker tape. IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein are getting together to make us smarter. It comes as I’ve been immersing myself in sales and marketing software. Researching dozens of the thousand plus startups promising to make selling automated. It’s a trend. A vision of the future where the machine is able to predict where and when a buyer is ready to purchase. Getting us to the holy grail of the right message to the right person at the right time.

It will happen. I just don’t think we’re close to having it happen today. Read more

Short Story: Leave No Doubt

Short Story - Leave No Doubt

(something I’ve been working on)

Leave No Doubt

“Can you believe it?” Sam raised a glass of champagne.

His wife smiled to herself as she typed a message into her phone.

He continued to hold the glass up as she put the phone in her purse and surveyed the restaurant.

The restaurant was full that night, like it was every night. They sat at a table along the back wall. Deep, dark, hardwood tables, ironwork and crystal goblets compete for the limited lighting. It was warm, which the female patrons enjoyed, but not quite hot enough to force the men into removing their jackets. The smell of braised lamb wafted in from nearby. The lights were low and they were surrounded by steady hum of conversation pierced with clinking silverware. Everyone looked vaguely familiar to Sam, but he didn’t recognize anyone and no one seemed to recognize him. Read more