So this is a first post; not like there aren’t a few sites, blogs, groups, communities, associations, etc. available that talk about selling! Or another several hundred that wax eloquently about marketing!
You may find this accidentally, you may know me or my company, Blue Collar Sales and if so you might get my droll sense of humor. If this is your first exposure I mean no offense; just imagine a Jersey (Soprano’s) accent from a guy who drink’s way too much coffee/red bull, talks to fast, works way too hard for too many hours, and faces pressure like a piece of coal hoping to become a diamond. I expect that you’ll understand the strong sarcasm – what we in Jersey usually find funny and translates into a sign of real friendship – if we are successful in creating this community or eventually connecting in this Web 2.0 world.
Welcome to my blog. I started selling life insurance commission only some 20 years ago. I was green, scared, broke, and proud. Since then I have moved through many companies in B2B sales, sold millions of dollars in product and services and lost many more millions of dollars in product and services opportunities. I have had the as mentioned short lived pleasure of achieving targets and receiving large commission checks and the unforeseen termination for not achieving enough. In this blog I will share many of those experiences as I hope you share yours and through that collaboration we will discover new ideas and perhaps even a chance too LOL.
It is here I hope to espouse my learning’s and insight into selling, accumulated during 20 year’s of chasing quota. I say chasing because I have said ‘exceeding quota’ in enough interviews to frighten an MBA grad. If you are a seller, one that seriously measures yourself or is compensated on achievement of quota, you know that the moments of satisfaction are far too short. Everyone you work with will let you know, “Great job, what are you projecting for next quarter?” No one really cares, not your manager, not your executives, not your spouse and perhaps not even you care about what you did lately. They and you are for more caring about what you are gonna do next!
Blue Collar Sales as a name; Do you get it? You would not believe the questions I get asked. “What do you sell, Laundry?” another person asked if I sold tools, another asked if it was cleaning services. I told them in not too many words, “What different does it make, the name is not to describe what I sell but how I sell it.” Needless to say they did not become customers. I am curious, what does the name Blue Collar Sales bring to mind for you?
And so there is our introduction: It is not about what we sell but how we sell it. Do you work your white collar job like a blue collar laborer? Is it as important for you to understand your pipeline and activity numbers and meet those blocking and tackling goals as it is for a guy building a foundation to mix concrete correctly and sweat it out to be on time for other contractors to achieve their goals? Do you spend more time with your SFA tools, pipeline reports, prospect lists, than you do your significant partner? Do you lose sleep thinking about discovering untapped markets, forgotten prospects, and uncommunicative customers?
If so, this is the blog for you to share and grab ideas and hopefully work a little smarter. If not then this is the blog for you to learn something, improve your work hard ethic and achieve goals. I’m not asking for your money here, your not gonna get steak knives or a Cadillac. There is no commission check, pat on the back, or pink slip. I plan to introduce topics and create discussions that help salespeople take back control of their territories, leverage internal resources like they were your employees, discover tools that leverage technology and allow you to get back to delivering the value you thought you would when you claimed the title of salesperson.
So, here we are on the eve of a new calendar year, in the midst of the worst economic climate since my father’s father facing the inquisition of management as to how you are going to hit your number? If you are fortunate enough to work in a company with a marketing department then it is likely you are calculating this achievement on some promised number of leads delivered, events planned, etc. You are analyzing the deals that slid and looking to find ways to get prospects to turn loose the funds to purchase your product. if you are like me you are concerned about what is going on in the world but realize there is little to do except tighten the belt, cut your own costs, and find those prospects that can and will become customers.
Mentioning the economy, I am thankful that I am currently one of the employed. During the last 5 weeks I have been averaging 16-18 hours a day revisiting the basics I have learned and forgotten, began investigating new means of optimizing selling, and promoting collaborative work practices for both my employer and my side job, owner of Blue Collar Sales.
What are you up to? How are you getting ready for the new year, the new quota, the new manager, the new job, whatever? If you are in sales or marketing and facing some of the pressure I mention let’s COLLABORATE!
Best Regards for a Safe, Humble, and Joyous Holiday!