The Axioms of Selling Blog

15 Aug by Bob Nicols

For the first hour of my flight home I was engrossed in a conversation with a senior account executive from a technology company. It was, at least for a while, a rather pleasant conversation.

We discussed the rise of Apple (both of us carried iPads and iPhones), the economy, travel, summer plans, kids and shared overviews of our respective careers. We had some laughs about our early days in sales and lamented about the passing of "the good old days."

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10 Aug by Dave Plummer

I lived in Denver when the Broncos won back to back Superbowls. After one playoff game a local sportscaster interviewed John Elway (one of the greatest quarterbacks ever) and asked, "When things looked bad you successfully connected time and time again with Rod Smith [wide receiver] over the middle for the yardage needed. How were you able to do that with such ease?"

I will never forget John's response: "We would have never been able to make that happen unless we had practiced that play over and over." It hit me at that point; here's a guy who has played football for over 30 years, he's at the top of his game, and he still practices his craft. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find any professional athlete who only shows up for the game and doesn't practice. Although there are a few who have that reputation, it also negatively impacts their career and team's effectiveness.

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08 Aug by Bob Nicols

I'm certain many of you can relate to this: After enjoying success as a salesperson, I was approached by my company with a promotion to sales management. From the company's perspective, the logic was clear: They knew me, I knew the company and their products and services, I had a decent relationship with my co-workers, and most importantly to them, I could sell.

For me, not only was my ego stroked, I was planting my feet firmly on the next rung of the corporate career ladder. I accepted the offer quickly. When I asked for a job description, I was told that there were no significant changes in my responsibilities. My boss was very matter of fact. "It's simple. You still have to hit your targets, except now they are multiplied by the six salespeople you're responsible for. And you know those weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports you so hate? Well, you're responsible for those, too."

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03 Aug by Bob Sanders

A lot of emotion and energy goes into sales forecasting and, unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to developing a forecast that is 100% accurate.

However, it is possible for most companies to make significantly more accurate forecasts with substantially less negative energy surrounding the exercise. It may require attacking a few sacred cows that are barriers to effective forecasting, but when you don't have alignment between the various groups impacted by the forecast, something needs to change. 

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01 Aug by Suzanne Franks

This past semester my daughter was required to take art to graduate. While most kids would see this as a blessing - "Art? Yippee! How hard can that be?" - My daughter saw it as the coming bane on her permanent record.

Grace is a bit type A and she works very hard to excel at her studies. But, art? Well she doesn't have much talent for drawing and she couldn't see how she would be able to excel. I was bracing myself for a grade somewhere south of B.

What greeted me at the door the day after her first art class was something I never expected. "Mom," she said, "when I entered the art room and the teacher said, 'grab a sketch pad,' I began to sweat. She told us to look in the mirror on our desks and draw a self portrait."

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