Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remember your partners

In this industry, you have to remember your partners. I had a chance to highlight N-able our monitoring partner. Thanks to here is that highlight.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

WPC Comes to an end

WPC came to an end tonight. What a great party. Music, food, food and more food, games and several thousand of your peers. All held at Minute Maid Park. I had a great time.

I learned quite a bit this week. Will come back to work next week armed with lots of new ideas and solutions. This is where the real work begins. It is all about execution. Taking these ideas and transforming them into real revenue and real solutions. I believe this is what I do best. I already see me developing a program involving SPLA (Service Provider Licensing Agreement) Not sure what that will look like right now, but it is just an example.

One thing about sales is you have to execute. Execute all the time. Set appointments, propose solutions and ask for the close. I challenge that bad execution is better than no execution than ever. So get out there and execute.
I have to admit when I went to see Stephen M.R. Covey yesterday
at the Microsoft World Wide Conference, my expectations were low. I have been to dozens of sales trainings that repeated the same old messages. Today was different. Mr. Covey went over his newest book The Speed of Trust. It was a new message for me. I am truly excited to read this book(My now autographed book).

As a quick summary of what Mr. Covey said was a simple premise. That being you need to trust people, that is until they give you a reason not to trust them. Simply there is a “Tax” on distrust and a “Dividend” on trust. Covey gave great examples and even statistics backing up the concept.

The message is positive and unique. What a great experience. I can’t recommend this book yet but am looking forward to doing this soon.

I also had a great conversation with Pat Dolan (TCC) and Mike Wednesday night. We covered the whole HTG experience and some of the impact it has had on my professional life and my personal life. I can’t thank Arlin enough for this opportunity. I also want to thank the entire HTG3 group. From sharing their homes, family, businesses, personal successes and failures to their hearts. I look forward to our next meeting in Vancouver and letting Jenifer my wife meet these people that she knows well through stories.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Booth

I am used to being on the other side of the “Vendor Booth”. Now that I am on the sell to side, I have been thinking what works. There are lots of strategies. One example is the “Hired Gun” By this I do not mean a hired professional sales person, rather hired beauty. It is easy to spot. They are generically the blond in “Stick out clothing” and no understanding of the business. I avoid these booths. It is hard to get value. Next is the “Trinkets and Trash” An example of this was a company that was giving away toys. Sure, I picked up a toy of the kids. Did it keep my attention? No, I did spend just enough time for the sales person to ask me the name of my company. Again, no value for either of us.

There are other booths that have people behind the booths that are playing video games, talking to each other and generally avoiding potential clients. I do realize that it is hard to keep focus. But lets face it, there is lots of money invested to be there, it is important to be on the game all time.

So what is the most effective way to attract quality business at these events? My opinion is that the people make the biggest difference. They can do some simple things to gain business.

1. Have a booth that is simple. Has what you do, simple terms and not too many words or graphics that distract from the main point. Bigger/fancier booths do not attract more business in my opinion.
2. Do not have a gimmick that distracts from what you are trying to sell. Examples include playing golf, video games or other games. Sure, they do attract people. I question the quality of those interactions. Sales people that are getting quality one on one interaction gets interrupted by people wanting the trinkets or to play games.
3. Knowledgeable people that have the elevator pitch down. That would be the who you are, what you do and a quick value statement. In these type of occasions it should be mandatory to have this memorized. Yesterday it amazed me that many of the reps I spoke to could barely explain to me what it was they did in 2 minutes. THIS IS WHAT THEY WERE THERE FOR!
4. After the one on one conversation and it is identified that the two parties may be compatible, make sure you get the next step!. Again, yesterday I had a lot of people that did the RFID tag read that had my contact information. So then what will happen is I will get some type of spam I will probably ignore. I think what should happen is an appointment, schedule a call, bare minimum send a personalized email. This is the most KEY step. I may see value in the relationship at the time, but forget, not follow up or get lazy and the entire time was wasted.

These events can cost $1,000’s, $10,000 or even at larger events $100,000’s. yet the marketing people create great graphics, good trinkets and nice booths. Still without simple followup, quality people and simple sales skills it is all for nothing. Are these type of sales events worth the cost? I don’t know. You do get a large number of qualified people in a room. This should be a target rich environment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Microsoft Day One

Day one at WWPC (Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference) was great. Once again, I learned more from my peers than ever anticipated. I saw Arlin’s presentation about sales, tools and Microsoft (It had a better name) which spurred the thoughts of our own tools. And after much discussion with Mike, we decided it was time for action. Thanks to Joddey, we were armed with the ammunition to start attacking this problem. That problem is our “Dumb” phones. I figured if the Windows Mobile phones were smart, than my old Motorola must be dumb. Joddey showed us ConnectWise integration and even sent me a white paper on the value it brought his business. This is just one example of something I learned yesterday.
I expect much more learning today. With keynotes on the direction of Microsoft in the next year, to seeing what must be hundreds of new technologies in the booth area, I am positive there will be many more learning opportunities.
To be most effective in sales, you must arm yourself with some basic tools to get the job done. I want to be clear, the tools do not makes the salesperson. However to be the most effective, you have to be able to work remotely, be in as much contact as possible with clients to provide best customer service. If you are not reachable, clients will take their business places that do respond.
(This is dedicated to Brad Schow) The calendar is only as good as what you put in it. To avoid over booking or conflicts in schedule it is important to put your travel days and time. It also keeps people from calling you Brad the Bailer.

Monday, July 7, 2008

WPC and New Site today

Off early with Mike Doerfler to Microsoft's World Wide Partner (WPC) event. Looking forward to connecting with the HTG, not looking forward to travel and being gone another week. I am sure I will be adding lots of comments this week on this event.

As for now, short post. I want to introduce Aaron Booker's blog where he is showing video of the WPC along with his blog. Aaron is taking this blog thing to the next level with video and more. You will see his site is much more "Professional" than my cookie cutter.

Great site Aaron and look forward to seeing/reading more.