The Axioms of Selling Blog

Mike Bybee

Mike Bybee
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19 Sep by Mike Bybee

Sales people are often told that the key to prospecting is to find business problems that haven't been solved yet, and then demonstrate how their products or services can solve them.

That's a simple concept, and it's difficult to argue with the logic behind it. It's one that's easy to forget, though, when leadership drives sellers to focus solely on the quantity of opportunities in the funnel, rather than the quality of those opportunities.

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22 Aug by Mike Bybee

Yesterday I spent over two hours perusing the richest mother lode of entertaining time-wasters ever gathered into a single assemblage: YouTube.

What began as a search for a certain clip from a political speech devolved into a delightful, meandering sojourn through my past in the form of two-minute snippets from sitcoms, sports moments, concerts, and comedy routines. Rainy Saturdays haven’t been the same since the invention of broadband.

It was while watching some old Saturday Night Live clips that I came across several featuring my favorite SNL character, Father Guido Sarducci. The Cleric of Comedy could always make me laugh, but it was one of his routines that got me to thinking.

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11 May by Mike Bybee

A Sales VP for one of our clients recently asked me to spend a day in his sales branch observing what he said would be coaching sessions.

"The managers will conduct one-on-one meetings with their sales people and you can give them some feedback on their coaching," he said. Sounded like a good idea, so I agreed.

I've always believed that a common failure on the part of most sales organizations is the lack of time spent coaching sellers to improve performance. Also, sales managers at this company had recently been introduced to a new coaching methodology and I thought it would be interesting to see what impact that coaching model was having on their efforts at this one branch.

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09 May by Mike Bybee

"You're really just looking for problems that haven't been solved yet."

That was the advice of my first sales manager as to the best way to sell office products. It would constitute the bulk of what would pass for both sales and product training.

This was before I was turned loose to find customers whose office workers surely needed my company to deliver them from the grip of inferior office machines that were the source of their inefficiency and despair.

My first boss was always parsing out morsels like that one, as if from some sort of sales manager's PEZ dispenser. Another of his pearls that has stayed with me over the years is, "Timid sales people have skinny kids."

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23 Mar by Mike Bybee

I love watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I sometimes find myself glued to games in which I couldn’t tell you the city or state where one of the schools is located. (I’m still not sure where Gonzaga is and they seem to be in the bracket every year.)

I'll watch two teams playing a game in March that I would have clicked right on by in January. There is just something about the tournament’s “one-and-done” format that makes even games between #1 and #16 seeds compelling.

Beyond the games themselves, I find myself drawn to the personalities surrounding them: The announcers, analysts, sideline reporters, and especially the coaches. I like being able to hear what the coaches actually say to players during timeouts and in the locker room. Occasionally, television gives us a glimpse into the locker room and captures coaching at its very essence.

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