Not Even A Dog’s Year Old

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number six

Not Even A Dog’s Year Old

A small trip down memory lane today.  6 years ago on this day, this blog began.   I started it to help 10 sales folks I was working with at the time and it has become something different than that – but not really.   It is an effort to write something short, perhaps interesting but most importantly, something you can use that day to help you be better at what you do, and to grow the business.

Though not even a dog’s year old, there are more than 350 posts (and over 50 others in draft form so awful that you will never see them) and 180,000+ words blathered in blog form.  Thought it would be fun to share the most popular posts based on the stats as well as some of my favorite posts and a few more of my favorite posts today.

Have fun rereading or reading these today (I did).  And thanks as always for reading and sharing.

5 Most Popular (based on your views and shares)

“Piano Man” is a Bad Song

My 25 Secrets for Selling To Small Businesses

The 6 Rules of Marketing and Sales

Treat Your Boss Well

Stumped

Some of My Favorites

I am Joe’s Lead

6 Questions Never To Ask a Customer

The Perfect I’m Sorry

Angela’s Assist

Platinum Questions Are Better

My Other Favorites (a bit closer to home- but lessons nonetheless)

My Great Pumpkin Lesson

Bailey

The Luckiest Man in the World

A Wii Bit of Advice

4 Minutes with Little Miss Dangling Arms

Fixing a Throwback Problem

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

Mark’s Blog

Mark’s Twitter

Role Players

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image from inthenetsportsacademy.com

Role Players

The New England Patriots are going about it differently this year.  The players have only received Playbooks; they are not practicing.  Sure, they’ve had lots of meetings at camp discussing and talking about the plays, why they are constructed as they are and why the plays will work.  But not a single player has practiced the routes, the blocking schemes, the throws or the running plays.

Why would they bother?  It’s not real.  Heck most of the time in camp they are playing against each other on the same team!  How silly is that? Nothing counts and someone could get hurt and what’s the point of that?  Besides, they’ve studied the plays; they get it.

Not.

Of course the Patriots are practicing this year.  Of course the Patriots are learning their roles by practicing these routes, those blocking schemes, the throws and the running plays.

But we either hate doing that stuff or just don’t care about doing it.

The day I walk through a sales site and see a coach and a sales rep leaning up against some old file cabinets on a sidewall spontaneously practicing a customer scenario about objection handling; I’ll just about have my coronary and end it right there.  I have never ever seen that in real life.

The day I can go to 3 training sessions in a row (live or virtual) where the role play portion wasn’t cut off, or skipped due to time or just wasn’t part of the session – I’ll have that second coronary (well hopefully not with the medication I’m on now and the life changing behaviors I’d have adopted) but—you get the idea.

The day that sales manager from half way across the country Skypes his sales executive and forces her to go through the competitive differentiation portion of the conversation that’s going to soon happen in the C-Suite with a real customer, I’ll have that 3rd myocardial infarction (metaphorically of course).

Maybe I need to get out more often and this stuff happens all the time now.  But maybe it doesn’t.

The sad part is I have a lot of memories when people do some intense role play and apply that Playbook in sessions with their coaches or in war rooms or in “bull in the ring” sessions.   I have lots of memories where those people said, out loud, that that was the best part of working their boss or in the team meetings or in the training classes.

The Patriots aren’t fools.  They know they have roles to play.  And they know they need to play these roles and practice even when stuff ain’t real.   They know because when the time comes; they need to be ready.

And so do we.  Hut! Hut!.

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

Mark’s Blog

Mark’s Twitter

Dear Business Owner

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Dear business owner,

It’s sketchy out there.

But you know that.  It’s been like this for a couple of years.  In my job, I get asked for advice about the marketplace and about business and about turning things around.    

Hope it’s OK I’m going to share my advice with all of you now.  The advice is real good I promise.

  • When you own a business today, taking a lot of risks probably feels crazier than ever.  Except that it’s not.  Risk taking right now is what you have to do if you want your business to survive and thrive.  It is riskier right now not to do anything or to just do what you always did.

 

  • When you own a business today, you have to step out.  Be noticed.  Look for new ways, not old ways, to sell your products and to get and keep customers.  The rules have already changed.  The basics you might think you should fall back on: the “tried and true” so to speak, are pretty much the “tried and failed”.  They don’t work anymore.

 

  • When you own a business today, you have to be indispensable to those who pay you. You have to add value and be a difference maker.  There is no “under the radar” anymore or just trying to keep on keeping on.  You must get on the radar.  

 

  • When you own a business today, even the “givens” don’t seem to be as reliable anymore. Sales are off.    Everyone is judging you no matter how long you’ve been at this game in this tough economy.    Seems like the “business” has to be earned all over again and again.  Everyone is watching you and all your touch points need to have a “wow” factor. 

 

  • When you own a business today, it’s clearer that innovation and creativity is going to rule the day.  Getting out there and doing that and actually investing in yourself, changing and updating your image and your brand, that’s going to take some serious work.  You better start now.

 

Of course, even if you don’t own a literal business; you actually do.

That business is you.

You are president and CEO of You Corp and quite frankly, the advice above is as much for you and me the individual, as it is for any traditional business right now.

Have at it. 
Till next time,

 

Grow The Business.

Mark