Seven Sales Lessons from Mark Stevens

Today I read a very interesting article by Mark Stevens entitled Sales Lessons From a Fly Fishing Master and found at Entrepreneur.com. Mark Stevens is a bestselling author and the CEO of MSCO which is a management and marketing firm. In this article, Stevens offers seven lessons about sales and being a salesman which I found very valuable. I quote these nuggets below:

1. If there are two versions of you, the salesperson and the civilian, people will see you as disingenuous. There must be only one you.

2. Relate to people exactly as you are. Imperfections are not seen as reasons not to do business with you. Just the opposite, your willingness to be transparent is seen as vindication that you are the genuine article — a trustworthy individual one can reliably do business with.

3. Tell your clients and prospects what they don’t want to hear when you believe that the painful medicine will be in their best interests. They may be upset with the messenger in the moment of truth, but you will stand out from the yes-men when the dust clears.

4. Always carry yourself with great pride, knowing that a salesperson is a “prince of the company.” Others can work the books and make the factory hum, but as IBM founder Tom Watson said, Continue reading “Seven Sales Lessons from Mark Stevens”

5 Tips for Beating a Sales Slump

I recently read a helpful article on advertising, sales and marketing. It was written by Adrian Miller and entitled “How to Beat a Sales Slump.” In this article, Miller offers five pieces of advice for digging oneself out of a sales slump.

Since slumps seem to be inevitable and affect virtually all entrepreneurs, I felt these thoughts were noteworthy. I also wanted to share them so I (or you) will remember them next time either of us experiences such a slump.

1. Go After the Low Hanging Fruit.

In essence, this means setting attainable targets for the short-run by going after proven prospects that can produce revenue now. Now is not the time to go after the long-shots that have a high probability of failure.

2. Get Critiqued.

In short, we all have blindspots and can all use some good advice. It’s wise to seek out an honest evaluation of your abilities from an objective source. Ask somebody you respect who is knowledgeable of your industry or marketing needs to evaluate your performance and to suggest ways to improve.

[An objective evaluation (with both free and paid options) along with other resources can be obtained online at YourPitchSucks.com. I know the founder Jim Kukral. He offers a wealth of information that can improve your marketing and help fine-tune your sales message.]

3. Read Up.

Take time during the slump to improve yourself. Read and learn from others. Look for ways to be more innovative. Learn new techniques.

4. Stop the Blame Game.

Whether the fault is your own or that of others, the bottom line is you are in a slump and must get out of it. Don’t focus on placing blame but instead on finding answers (solutions) that address why you got into the slump and how to get out.  Focus on developing strategies that will improve your situation.

5. Try Something New.

If you repeat the same thing that failed the last time then chances are it will fail this time also. Don’t repeat failures. Explore new strategies, methods and options. You just might find something that is much better than you ever dreamed possible.

So, with thanks to Adrian Miller for spawning the above tips, I challenge everyone to look for ways to do more with less. Identify the time and resource wasters and eliminate them. Focus on what works and produces success now and do more of it now. Then look for ways to innovate and grow that success into more and bigger successes down the road.

The bottom line: You can get out of a slump!