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22 February 2014

Created: 22 February 2014
Category: /?id=45





Courage By Monika D'Agostino

Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes. Eleanor Roosevelt

Some words of wisdom from the Wizard of Oz. Since lions are supposed to be "The Kings of Beasts," the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard's gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.

Recently, I had a delightful conversation with one of my female clients who is also one of the smart women I am privileged to have in my professional circle. We were talking about sales (what else?) and prospects being hesitant to buy when she pointed out that the lack of courage is often the reason why people don't buy. She said that if she had a wish, she would send a bottle of courage along with her business proposals. We then   continued to chat about courage in general, The Wizard of Oz and my client then suggested that I write a blog about it, so here it is.

Let's look at the Wikipedia definition of Courage


Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

Pretty straightforward and clear, but what lies underneath?

People who are not courageous are usually afraid. Afraid of the consequences of their actions (not understanding that not taking action also has consequences), afraid of trying something new, afraid of their own courage.


How much courage does it take to choose a new product/service?

My client who is the CMO of a newly established brand with a very compelling concept is trying to break into the marketplace and their offering is clearly new, innovative and of enormous value to consumer brands who in turn want to introduce their products. The approach is affordable, fun and with a clear benefit to CPG companies and the end consumer. So, why doesn't the approach fly off the shelve? Because most people don't have the courage to introduce a new concept and being a first adopter. It takes a lot of guts to take the first step. It's a lot easier to follow but also more predictable and boring.

There is a really good saying that I quote a lot and that is "Nobody ever gets fired for hiring IBM". IBM is a well established company with huge brand recognition. Let's just say (for the sake of the argument) that there are companies out there who offer the same solution as IBM but even better and cheaper, it would still be hard to sell. I know that, because some of my clients have tried.


Why is it easier to buy from a known brand?

There is no risk involved. Even if the solution turns out to have some areas of improvement, it's still a safe bet and whoever made the decision to buy will hardly be questioned. But imagine, you are buying from a newly established company and there is problems. That choice might get a decision maker in trouble if things turn out the way they were presented.


The Courage potion

On the other hand, choosing a new company not only helps diversity but also innovation. When my client said that she would like to bottle up a bit of courage in a bottle and send it to her prospects, just so they take the leap of faith and explore her new offering she really meant it. Sometimes it's wise to stay with the "devil you know" but it's also important to choose carefully and give new kids on the block a fair chance. If we live our life or do business, always trying to be on the safe side we will not be able to grow or innovate. The most courageous people are the ones who changed our thinking and the way we live. Nobody would have thought 30 years ago that a handheld device will help us to navigate through most situations, from getting driving directions to finding a good restaurant. I remember the times when people were afraid of computers and now grandmothers are on Facebook (for better or worse).  


Courage also helps sales people

In sales we often lack courage as well because of the fear of being rejected and not wanting to lose the sale. Many times sales people accommodate rather than push back. They oversell because they don't want to lose the sale, forgetting that overpromising will have long-term effects.

Courage is essential when doing business in a successful way. Most successful people had to overcome ridicule and criticism and they had to muster up an enormous amount of courage to prevail. There is no success without failure and without courage we just stay mediocre.


About Monika D'Agostino

I am the Chief Consultative Sales Officer of the Consultative Sales Academy. My goal is to help companies and individuals grow their business through a mindful, consultative sales approach. My background was not in sales and to this day I believe that it has worked to my advantage. I learned the ropes by copying things that I liked and avoiding approaches that I disliked. The secret to my success is humor, tenacity and perseverance and following a Consultative Sales Process!You can reach me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call me at: 203 299 1645 Find me on LinkedIn at:

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20 February 2014

Created: 20 February 2014
Category: /?id=45

author-Jeffrey Gitomer








Good to Great. Are you “good” or maybe slightly below?


By Jeffrey Gitomer


Jim Collins immortal business bestseller, Good to Great, created a revolution in many businesses and an explosion in book sales. The book was adopted, adapted, taught, and implemented. In many instances, companies did go from good to great – or at least from good to very good.


The key is these companies sought improvement. Self-improvement. Whether it was from within, or from an outside group of impartial experts, the concept was and is to “get better.” Great is an illusive target. Collins knew it.

The concept is not complicated. It revolves around self-assessment, an agreed-upon game plan of action, measurable results, and an overall spirit that includes individual work, teamwork, and remarkable leadership. So far it’s simple.

The real issue is, and the thing that has always bothered me about the book, is that the beginning premise assumes you are “good.” Most companies and their people are not. Most businesses are not. And you see them every day, going out of business.


Many companies try to maximize profit by cutting costs, or worse, cutting quality, or way worse, cutting service offerings. Then customers get angry and tell other potential customers through social media, or some form of online reporting like Trip Advisor or Angie’s List. Then reputation is somewhere between questionable and lost. Followed by a downturn in business.


In 1996, I wrote this customer service truth: “It never costs as much to fix the problem as it does to not fix the problem.” Eighteen years later, that statement has never been more true.

Good to Great was published in 2001 way before social media dominated the scene. Companies no longer have to self-assess; all they have to do is go to their Facebook page where their customers have already done it. And there’s usually a huge gap between what companies and their leadership THINK they are, and what their customers SAY they are. I will always take the latter as the true picture.


So the real challenge is not how you get from good to great. It’s how you get from crappy to good. Things like rundown hotels, lousy food in a restaurant, rude clerk in a retail store, long lines to be served, long waits on hold, not keeping up with technology, and poor management seem to be pervasive in our society.


An easy way to begin your march up the ladder to greatness (or even just goodness) is to talk to more of your customers. Get their views both online and in person. Get video from them if you can. Create a YouTube channel that features their



“Voice of customer” in any format forms a clear picture of exactly where you are in their opinion, what they like, what they expect, and what they wish was better. It creates a solid foundation from which to start. What better place to start than from the customer’s perspective of what would help you get better?

Oh, it’s also your reputation. And it’s also FREE!


This same lesson applies to salespeople. How “good” are you? Is “good” your starting point? If you didn’t make your sales goals last year, can you honestly say you’re good? Or would you fall just below good? Somewhere between crappy and



Keep in mind that as I’m attempting to help salespeople assess themselves, they are the lifeblood, and the cash flow, and the profit of the business. Businesses that don’t make enough sales go out of business. Were they good businesses gone bad? Were they good businesses with bad salespeople? Or were they bad businesses that failed? I’ll take the latter.

And while I realize that I’m taking a superficial view, not going into detail about quality of leadership, quality of service, quality of product, employee retention, or customer retention, I maintain my premise that “voice of customer,” both internal and external, will net better truth and a better foundation than a bunch of leaders and consultants sitting around a table coming up with ideas. Many of them self-serving.


Back to salespeople for a moment… There is no quick fix to get a salesperson from good to great, or from below good to above good. But there is a real answer: training. Repetitive training until the salesperson goes from understanding and willingness to application, to proficiency, and finally mastery through daily action.


Be willing to measure your results. CAUTION: Measurement isn’t: How many cold calls you made this week. Weak measurement. Don’t measure failure, measure success. Measure pipeline dollars. Measure sale to profit percentage. Measure new customers secured. Measure reorders.


Make measurement a learning experience, not a punishment.


Good to Great isn’t just a book and a concept; it’s also a challenge. The ultimate desired outcome, wherever you enter the


process is: IMPROVEMENT. Where are YOU on that path? How big is the “room for improvement” in your world?

Want to see the best online experience for repetition, mastery, and fun? Take a look at the challenge by going to and entering the word REPEAT in the GitBit box. You’ll get information, and a link.



Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His best-selling 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling is now available as a book and an online course at For public event dates and information about training and seminars visit or email Jeffrey personally at  .

© 2014 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

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20 February 2014

Created: 20 February 2014
Category: /?id=45

author-Jeffrey Gitomer








Online subscriptions offer amazing perks and value.


By Jeffrey Gittomer


Online publications are the rage and the future. They offer amazing value for the publisher, for the advertiser, and for the reader. They also offer more than significant cost reduction for all three players.

BACKGROUND: I moved to Charlotte in 1988. I brought as much of the Northeast with me as I possibly could. That included my subscription to The New Yorker magazineThe magazine doesn’t just have the best articles in the world; it also has the best cartoons in the universe.

The magazine comes out 47 times a year. As you can imagine, oftentimes, for one reason or another (as with your subscriptions), the magazine did not get read. Sometimes there would be an unread pile of five or six. Guilt would set in.

Finally after about eight or nine years, I stopped my subscription. Occasionally I would pick up one in the airport gift shop and read it on the plane and I continued to subscribe to the cartoon newsletter. It came to my email inbox with all the cartoons once a week. Then they changed it, and made you click onto their website in order to see the cartoons, so I quit reading it.

TODAY: This morning I got a random email listing the contents of this week's New Yorker magazine. I guess they had my address and decided to quasi-spam me. I bit.

I clicked on the link and found out that for $59.95 a year, I could get a digital subscription that included the current issue, a one-year subscription, and access to EVERY back issue since 1925. Plus they throw in The New Yorker cartoon calendar. I couldn't resist.

I bought the online version, and from now on I will only buy the online version of anything I want to subscribe to or read. Here's why: I go on the airplane, I click The New Yorker magazine icon on my iPad. Then I read this week's issue, I look at this week's cartoons, and I can go back and look at nearly 5,000 other back issues that are searchable by content. Holy magazine, Batman!

REALITY QUESTIONS: Are they trying to discourage me from buying their printed issues? If you have an e-reader, why would you buy any printed magazine?

REALITY FACTS; Newsweek, which had more than 100 years of printed issues, STOPPED PRINTING their magazine. Now you can only get the magazine online.

TODAY: I used to subscribe to Selling Power magazine. It's the voice of salespeople, sales tips, sales techniques, sales lists, and sales products.

THE FUTURE IS TODAY: They stopped printing the magazine a few months ago, and only offer an online version. Brilliant. Gerhard Gschwandtner, the founder, publisher, and visionary saw that print versions were declining in revenue, and it was time to decide on the future rather than lament the present.

REALITY: Online cuts costs. DRASTICALLY. Online makes advertising more affordable. Online offers more options for the reader to connect with the advertiser. With print ads, the reader has to make a call or go online and search. With online ads, the reader is already online and only has to click the ad to find out more, subscribe to a blog, get a video, go to the advertisers website, or buy something.

I’M ALL IN: Am I missing something here? Value, versatility, and instant access. Look for my ad in Selling Power magazine in April. It’s an ad I would have NEVER placed in the print version; an ad that is 50% less expensive than it was in their printed version; an ad that gives their reader (my prospective customer) instant access to my offer to buy.

FOOLS GOLD: Five years ago I had a talk with some Yellow Pages executives. I asked them how much longer the Yellow Pages would be printed, and when they would be switching to an online version. They smiled and proclaimed, “We’re not going to stop printing. The book is our cash cow.” And they changed the subject. In the last five years, the book has gone from a cash cow, to a cash calf, to a cash rump roast. And is more than ten years late to the dance.

Please don’t read this the wrong way. Print is not dead. In fact, it will always be alive. Many people still don’t have the ability to get online publications. But the market is making a HUGE shift. There are “only” a few hundred million e-readers and tablets, and a few hundred million more smart phones. The print impact felt by online availability is undeniable.

THINK ABOUT YOU: How much of an impact has your e-reader or tablet made on your reading habits? What are you subscribing to? Has online reading brought you greater convenience and availability? Easier access and more incentive to stay current?

And finally, what are your plans to make your products and services “online available”?

THINK ABOUT THIS: Every time you see someone reading on a tablet, they could be reading about you!

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His best-selling 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling is now available as a book and an online course at For public event dates and information about training and seminars visit or email Jeffrey personally at  



© 2014 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

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20 February 2014

Created: 20 February 2014
Category: /?id=45




Leveraging satisfaction

By Dave Kahle

So, you have created a customer, you've actually sold something, and you have some money in the bank.

Before you become too enraptured with yourself, let me remind that you are not finished.  There is a greater goal, and a larger and more encompassing strategy into which this transaction fits.  If you focus all of your time and energy on creating sales, you will, unfortunately, miss the mark.

          In a very fundamental sense, in face-to-face, one-on-one selling, the ultimate goal is something larger and more significant than the sale itself.  It is the creation of a positive business relationship, because the relationship supersedes the transaction and makes all future transactions much easier and more profitable. 

          For example, if you have a great experience with the place from which you bought your TV, you are much more likely to go back there again.  The next time, you are inclined to buy from them, less likely to price shop, and more likely to be less critical and demanding.  You may even tell your friends about that place.

          From the seller's point of view, he has succeeded in creating a relationship with you such that you are favorably inclined to come back, buy again, and refer your friends.  The second sale is so much easier than the first, because now you are less risk to the buyer. That's the net result of a positive business relationship.

          And the ultimate positive business relationship is something I call a "Partner.”  A partner is someone who trusts you, believes you consistently bring value to him, sees you and your company as an integral part of his business, and buys almost everything he can from you.

          The illustration below depicts a different way of looking at your fundamental strategy as a one-on-one, face-to-face sales person.                   

It is not just about this sale; it's about the relationship.    

          Your fundamental, long term strategy is to develop and nurture a passel of partners.  Your partners then become an asset to your organization, providing years of revenue, in the same way that a brand or product line is an asset to the company.  You can't note them on your balance sheet, but they are, nevertheless, one of the sources of future wealth for both you and your company.

          One necessary step in this process of moving them to become a partner is what I call the ROF call.  That stands for "Relationship building, Opportunity identifying, Follow up” call.  It's the sales call you make after the customer has purchased and implemented your offer.  For the realtor, it's the call you make on your buyers after they have moved into their new home.  For the car sales person, it's the phone call after the customer has driven off the lot with the new car.  For the B2B sales person, it's the visit you make after they have begun to use your new service or product.  And for our free-lance grant writer, it is the visit you arrange after the grant application has been submitted. 

          Why would you do it?  Because you understand the bigger picture.  It's not just about this sale; it's about the relationship.

How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” 
Buy it now at a discount. Click here.

           It's powerful because it's unusual.  When was the last time you had a sales person contact you after the purchase?  Since you will be one of the very few sales people who actually care enough to follow up after the sale, you will stand out, head and shoulders, above your competitors.

          Here's an example.  Fifteen years ago, I needed to hold a small meeting with about eight of my customers.  I rented a small conference room for a couple hours in a local hotel.  No meals or rooms involved.  Just a small conference room.  I think it cost $25.00.  It was probably the smallest sale that the meetings department of that hotel could make.  Two days after the meeting, I received a phone call from the sales person who rented the room to me.

          "Was everything satisfactory?” she wanted to know.  "Was the room clean, the temperature OK?”

          I was so impressed by the fact that she cared enough to call that I recommended that hotel consistently, and used it for every local meeting I held for the next 15 years.

          The ROF call is powerful for one more, very specific and tangible reason.  It often produces additional opportunities.  At the end of this very specific sales call, you ask for other opportunities. 

          Here's how you do it.  After you have delivered what they purchased from you, then call them for an appointment.  When you are one-on-one with them, first ask about their satisfaction with what they bought.  At this point, either of one or two things will happen.  They will indicate they are satisfied or they weren't.  If they weren't, you need to apologize and do whatever you can to fix it.  It's good that you found out right now, before it has a chance to fester and spread to other potential customers.

          If they are satisfied, great.  Confirm it.  Then ask them what other opportunities they have for you and your service or product in the near future.  If they indicate something, good for you, you have an additional opportunity to work on. (You have 'found out what they want' again)  If they don't, it's OK. 

          But you are not done yet.  Now, you want to probe for external opportunities.  These are potential relationships and opportunities for you outside of the confines of this customer's reach.  Does he know other people to whom he can refer you?  In a large organization, it could be other departments or plants.  In a smaller one, it could be business colleagues.  For an individual, it could be friends and neighbors.

          If they provide you with a name or two, you now have a short cut into an engagement with a "right person”.  And you are back at the start of the sales process with someone else.  Since you have a recommendation from a trusted reference, you are entering that engagement with an advantage. 

          For the astute B2B sales person, the ROF call is a necessary step in developing the 'partner' relationship. ###

Read the expanded version of this article:  Click here.    

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He has written ten books, and presented in 47 states and ten countries. He's personally worked with more than 300 companies, and helped thousands of sales people, sales managers and sales executives be more effective. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, "Thinking about Sales," and contact him to help your team sell better!

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