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Bill Blades, CMC, CPS
5405 South Abbey
Mesa, Arizona 85212

Telephone: (480) 556-1467

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"Slice it, Dice it, It's all About Success…Cutting Edge Sales"

The year 2004 is over which brings me to two questions: what have you done in a newer and better way into the new year and what exciting objectives will you execute during the remainder of the year? If you must pause to answer these questions, it may be a long year.

To ramp up sales, I suggest you contemplate the following issues.

Firstly, here's the good news. The vast majority of your competition will keep on doing what they have done in the past. How can you capitalize on that?

Determine how you can bring more joy and value. Clients, in overwhelming numbers, decide to leave a current vendor for a new vendor because they like, trust and respect the new vendor more. A lower price does not move as many clients towards changing vendors so what are you going to do to bring more joy and value than anyone else? When a sales chief helps each salesperson to develop this formula, huge revenues will follow.

Training your clients to better use your products or to more effectively sell your products is a huge value-added proposition. Sales & Marketing Management Magazine Equation Research's survey reports that 92% of sales executives say providing training to customers helps them to win repeat business. Yet, 34% of sales teams do not provide training or follow-up help. Suggestion: ask every potential customer questions like "are you getting the training and support you need to effectively ____________"? Or, "would this type of training and support be of benefit to you"?
Another type of training to offer is to bring in a content-rich sales or management speaker. Key words are "content-rich."

Manage your time wisely. The average sales person loses 3.5 hours daily equating to 20.5 weeks annually. It's not related so much to when someone starts and ends the day as it is to spending too much time with clients, over-spending time with smaller clients, making too many mundane service calls versus sales calls, small-talking your day away, visiting customers without a purpose, calling on the wrong contact, and many other time wasters. An idea to help you gain time: always order a double martini - it works.

To manage your time better, you must plan better. I suggest you begin with a plan for the year and then break it down to four quarters and then break it down to months. Planning for the year enables you to determine the objectives to land a particular client by, for example, month 7 into the year. And work the planning backwards. By that I mean if you want to bring a customer on board by July, you plan for June as the final objective(s), the same for May, etc. A brief outline:

January: needs analysis visit

January-mid: presentation / Q+A

February: lunch meeting with support group

March: provide sales speaker

April: joy and value?, trial order

May: Q+A, final details, ball game

June: Proposal / Q+A

July: Follow-up / Decision July 17


I also suggest that you show the client your plan on the second visit. Yes, it smacks of confidence, but it also gets the customer involved in your plan. At this point, he knows you are serious about gaining his business plus it gives him the opportunity to make suggestions for revising the plans.

Self-improvement is crucial no matter how you slice it. 95% of the books are purchased by only 5% of the people. The other 95% purchase the other 5% of the books. Knowledge is power so read 6 sales books annually. Subscribe to every free industry magazine, subscribe to several trade magazines outside of the industry (read magazines other people in your industry don't read) and pick up a Sunday edition of a major newspaper such as the New York Times. Mark Twain said "the man who does not read has no advantage over the man who can not read." In other words, be a serious student.

Creativity is one crucial element to landing more business and faster. I mentioned above that they must like you so create some fun and excitement in the process. How many people do you call on that have too much fun? Not too many. So instead of lunch at Joe's BBQ, why not have lunch in a hot air balloon. Publish your own quarterly newsletter that contains 25% funny stuff. Do you know the assistant's son's birthday? Can she/he help you? And hurt you? When you buy a book from a professional speaker, buy several for clients and have them write a greeting to your clients such as:

To: Mary Jones

Joe asked that I sign this book for you.

I hope you enjoy,

Bill Speaker

I joined one of my clients for a dinner recently with one of their top clients who brought his teenager along. It turned out she was the high school newspaper editor and had plans to study writing in college. I signed a book for her and sent her a subscription to Writer's Digest - a publication for aspiring writers. The daughter sends me copies of her school newspaper and her dad boosted our business from $1.5 million to $3 million. Give to get is what I call it.

The test: what are you doing this week to get clients to like, trust and respect you more than anyone else? No matter how you slice it, it comes down to a very basic regimen.


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