Sales and Selling Newsletter #249-Finding new customers, Job training, Nicknames

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

  • No one made it a rule you have to use a video conferencing tool. The phone still works. Email still works. And if you have to video conference, focusing on the camera, turning off self-view, or turning the camera off can help keep you sane.
  • Teaching your vendors to identify new contacts for your services is a great way to expand prospecting efforts. Using them for introductions doesn’t work as well because it’s best to go with money flow versus against it. Just get the names.
  • Listing the steps in your customer acquisition process is the first step in bridging the gap between marketing and sales. The second is getting marketing to understand the sales rep’s goals and comp plan. It’s an eye-opener, believe me.
  • You’re not alone in the thought that keeping a customer is cheaper than getting a new one. Consider this though, the more time your team spends in the marketplace with non-customers, the closer they are to predicting where the market is heading.

Being Human – At least as hard as the job

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” ― Leonard Bernstein


There’s a lot written about new employee onboarding and as I review it, one item is consistently missing.

The training needs to be at least as hard as the job.

There are two ways to simulate the pressure of performance.

  • Time limits.
  • Presentations.

Time limits are a feature of television cooking shows and standardized testing because it adds stress and impacts performance. It’s a low stakes way of simulating the harder parts of their work.

Presentations work because new employees consume a lot of information and get a surface level of understanding. Presenting that information back to peers who already know the details is stressful. And humbling.

Why bother? Momentum.

Or as Mary Poppins says, “Well begun is half done.”

Good stuff.

Random stuff

“Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.” – Ernie Harwell


I rarely see the friends I grew up with. Part of the reason is not living in the same city, but the other part is it takes work to maintain relationships. On occasion, an old photo or a random event will trigger a memory, starting a text thread guaranteed to get the nostalgia flowing.

This group is known by nicknames. Almost to the point where I have to think twice to remember their given names. There’s Birdie, Duck, Bon, Mud, and JD. There’s Gup, Dewey, Earl, Ridge, Meanness. There are one word names: Lyle, Devine, Thorell, Miller, Harry, followed by the one word names signified by how they are pronounced, Heath, Scott, Scott, or Scott and so many others I can’t remember right now. Further down the list are nickname sounds, “ooehh” or “nurph.” (None of these people get my newsletters. One feature of this group is none of us are quite sure what the other does for a living except through our mothers. “Did you hear about Brent. . .?” = “Did you hear about Hairy?”) Lots of nicknames.

I am listening to an interview with the recently deceased legend, Bob Gibson, ace pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. He grew up in Omaha and went to Creighton, my alma mater. As an underage, undergrad I used to sneak into his bar, Gibby’s. The reporter is asking him about his legendary brush-backs which kept the batter from getting too comfortable at the plate. The way he describes hitting a batter in the back triggers a memory of Dewey plunking Becker multiple times in a single game (and Becker heave-sob-crying that the pitcher must not like him very much – probably true. Dewey didn’t seem to like anyone.)

This memory starts me texting. The replies come fast. The thread is glorious. Tears are running down my face. Laura walks in and I start to explain it from the start, a Becker story she’s heard a dozen times. (I have many Becker stories. All told in a high, squeaky voice, and most involving tears.) She nods along, a good listener, but not one who grew up with brothers.

She says, “I still don’t understand why you let them call you Poops.”


If you need to set up a time to visit, follow this link: