The Right FIT Newsletter #111 – Sleep, Lead Management, and Boundaries

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you get more done in less time. . . next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • It’s easier to stretch and try new things on a good nights sleep. Try setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed.
  • I just finished “The Day of the Jackal,” by Frederick Forsyth and was reminded that great fiction gives excellent insight into being human. Even old spy novels.
  • Stop your people from saying, “I’ll be happy when . . .” A public affirmation that you’re happy now does wonders.
  • I did a series of customer interviews this week and re-learned that my best practice is to ignore any customer analysis that doesn’t include multiple direct conversations with customers.

Being Human – Hold on, baby, hold on

“Never, never, never, give up . . . on this prospect that I’ve already talked to . . .” — Winston, your struggling sales rep

system thinking in sales

Waiting outside the director’s office I can overhear a peppy sales person following up with a prospect on the phone. Besides the piped in music on the floor, the only other sound is the clickety-clack of people on computers, so his voice carries.

“Hi, it’s XXX from YYYY and I was just following up on the proposal I sent you last week.”



“So when would be a good time to follow up?”

“Ok, I’ll put you down for next month and check back. Thanks XXX! Have a great week!”

It’s 9:30am. I feel bad for him. The undertone of his voice was depressing . . . though, to his credit, he jumped right into the next call as if nothing happened so maybe it was just me.

The snapshot reminds me of a talk I used to give on Sales Pipeline Management.

Here’s the short version:

Your job is to bring value on each and every customer contact and move the calls closer to Yes, or closer to No.

  • Have a reason for calling based on something uncovered since the last call and start with it. Don’t be a robot. [“bleep, blurp, just following up”]
  • Before you leave the appointment and set your follow-up, take a minute to ask what’s going to change between calls. Don’t tread water. [“Help me out. . .”]
  • Dump them if you’re not making progress toward a Yes or No. [“Is this a definite maybe?”]

I can fill an entire lunch talking about these points, and having done it dozens of times, I know what reps will say in response: “Mr. Pivot, I won’t give up on this lead because just last week I had a guy who I talked to 14 months ago come back and order. . .”

It happens, I agree. The sunk cost fallacy is a real thing. So, instead of beating it out of the rep, let’s come up with a system that will automate the follow up process for the long, slow decision process, and free up the reps time to get in front of people making decisions today. Right? Let’s make a place the reps trust for parking prospects that automagically brings them back when ready. A system that moves cold leads to WARM, and warm leads to HOT. If we can do that, your reps time is free to find more “low hanging fruit.”

I know. It sounds awesome.

And it exists. A system that encourages the movement of leads between marketing (cold/warm) and sales (hot) and back again.

If my friend in that cubicle farm had a system like that in place, he would have pressed harder to find out if it was worth the effort for him to follow-up. If he got a solid “maybe,” he would confidently place his lukewarm prospect into his drip marketing robot that will re-educate the prospect and pass them back at some point in the future. Freeing up his time to find new prospects.

And making it easier for my director friend to make bonus.


Random Stuff

“I used one of your things this morning.”

I’ll have my official book release extravaganzza for you by month end. I’ve put together a special package based on feedback from clients. They’ve been receiving advance copies and offering unsolicited comments, like the one above.

He said, “You know how we’ve been struggling to get that outsourced solution on track? Well, I used your football field, and we made more progress this morning than we have in months.”

Good stuff.

(BTW, I have dozens of other approaches/practices that are helpful with communication. If you need some, just ask.)


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