Sales Momentum #350 – This week: Incentives, Repetition, Dog work

Sales and marketing Newsletter

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

In this issue:

– Thoughts on Momentum
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Thoughts on Momentum

  • Incentives have a lot to do with momentum. Our friends in finance are quick to point the finger at sales (and vice-versa) but if they work together on designing incentives more than loosely connected to profitability, momentum continues.
  • Bad incentives can cause friction, slowing momentum. Often, it’s all in how an incentive is perceived. Learn to wallow in comp plan changes just a moment, then turn thoughts to maximizing the new plan to keep moving.
  • Sales incentives don’t all have to be about money. In an aggressive, high performance culture, we’ve found ways to use security as an effective incentive. Know your people.
  • A favorite sales incentive for the money only crowd is an oversized check. Publisher’s Clearinghouse sized checks. With pictures. Shared company-wide. It may even lead to the recruiting of a new sales person or two from operations.

Being Human – Again. Again.

“There is always more to be found by exploring the same subject again and again.” – artist Dion Archibald


Maintaining momentum in a long sales cycle is a challenge. The biggest challenge is that the selling vendor does one thing: sells the product. The business who is buying, however, is doing many things. The new product is just one part of the operation.

I have seen, watched, experienced, and participated in a number of tactics and techniques to keep things interesting. From complicated ROI calculators, to convoluted rapport building schemes. They all work to some degree, sometimes.

The one tactic which works best for keeping momentum, no matter how long or complicated the sales cycle, is restating the objective/value/outcome, and getting agreement that it’s still valid, meaningful, and accurate. Doing this with all buyers, at the start of every call.

A simple, ‘before we get started, I want to confirm. . .[state objective/value/outcome] is still a priority,” does the trick.

It works because things change. Different buyers have different objectives. The daily press of business obscures the future. It may seem repetitive or borderline insulting, but asking gives them a chance to confirm or modify their objectives. There’s magic in their answers. It’s crazy how often the answers change or new information comes out.

Try it.

Random stuff


“A calm dog is a happy, obedient dog that won’t get into trouble.”
– Cesar Millan

nolte in trouble

Thanks to all the well-wishes for my son’s nuptials. When this note is sent I should be on my way to the church for the rehearsal. Then to the rehearsal dinner, which in case it’s not tradition everywhere, is the party the parents of the groom throw for the families.

The best part of being the host is I get to do a speech. It’s like the law or something. I told my lovely bride I’m ready, and she shoots me a look. You know, a look. Like, “don’t embarrass me, my son, or anyone I have ever known, met, or may be introduced to.”

Mind you, I have never embarrassed her at a family function where I’m required to do something. Like when I married my nephew. My initial inclination when they miked me up was to say, “Maawedge,” but I resisted. I didn’t crack any jokes, mumble, or try to be the center of attention. I’m an adult. I can be serious when the occasion calls for it.

Now, on the other hand, when there is nothing required of me there may have been a few unfortunate occurrences over the years. But I take responsibility for those transgressions. Although it’s usually someone’s fault. Uncle Bill. Uncle Greg. Uncle Kirk. Darling Suzie with all the Bacardi. But it’s ultimately my actions, so I apologize and move on.

The lesson, if there is one: dogs need work. Give me a job to do. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings or something like that.

Thanks again for the notes!

Good stuff.


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