I know it’s been a while since I sent my last “Lesson.” I have not been a total hermit, rather I’ve been relatively active on LinkedIn. I wanted to see which medium is more effective, and I’ll admit I’ve been a bit lazy. I suspect like most things the quality of the content is more important than the medium. I have had a few referrals these past six months from people who told me they’ve been following my posts here and there for some years and finally had a reason to reach out to me. So, I guess I’ve been doing something right and LinkedIn is probably the winner if you have to choose one.
So, here’s what has been going on.
When the pandemic started my colleague Mark Galvin invited me to be on his “How’s your ePresence show. We talked about a lot of things. At 19:15, we focused on two questions from Mark:
First, “What are two or three things to focus on in sales given today’s physical distancing?” I answered: 1) Start with Why? 2) Get to the Point! And 3) PAUSE!
Second, “What do we need to be careful about with these virtual in-person video sales calls?” I answered: 1) Watch the visual physical environment surrounding you on your video calls.2) Be authentic in your dress given the circumstances, (later edit -but not too casual), and 3) Watch your fatigue level with so many video calls on your calendar.
Please watch and let me know your thoughts. I already know I needed a haircut, and I looked tired. Also, I have to be more still and do a better job of looking directly at the camera. What else?
In May, I gave my “What the Heck should Sales do with EOS” presentation to over 500 participants at the EOS Worldwide conference. Yes, it was virtual. Did you miss it? Well, since then I have been asked to deliver this presentation in a few virtual venues including to some Vistage groups. I’d be glad to present to your team or affinity group. In this presentation, I go through the key parts of the Vision/Traction Organizer that sales leaders should pay particular attention.
If you’ve never heard of EOS, hit the link above, browse through the web site, and read the Traction Book. I highly recommend it. My favorite “EOS and sales” presentation and the one I highly recommend you listen to is my colleague Trace Blackmore’s “Scaling Up” podcast.
If you are EOS-interested an EOS fan, or already running your company on EOS, give the podcast a listen. I’m really proud of it.
My private sales improvement workshops are still going on, but I’m 100% virtual online video during the pandemic (still seems so strange to type that). My clients are okay with it in no small part because I used two things I learned from Leadership Strategies and the Co-Active Training Institute:
1) Set foundational ground rules for the meeting with a sense of humility. For example, if you are comfortable with interruptions (I am, I encourage them), suggest hand-waving to make sure participants get your attention. Admit that in virtual meeting rooms it can be more difficult to “read the room” compared to “live-in-person.”
2) Start with purpose – Why are we all here right now on this virtual webinar? What are we going to try to accomplish today?
BONUS: These are important lessons for all our virtual video meetings, no?
I’m so grateful a client shared this screenshot:
Last month, a colleague posted on LinkedIn:
“How Can I Help”? I’ve always thought this was a strong mentality to have when developing new relationships, working with clients and meeting new partners. This Forbes article says it’s the worst question to ask. I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts?
1) Inbound referral: the referral has told the new contact s/he should talk to you. “How can I help?” is a fair initial question. Even better, the more open-ended – “What’s going on?” The referral has been led to believe you can help – it’s what led to the conversation.
Once you understand the “why” of your mutual contact’s referral, “would it help if …” questions position your expertise rather than asking them to figure it out for you.
2) Your prospecting efforts landed you with a conversation with a key player at your Ideal Client Profile target. “How can I help?” – not a good idea. You asked for the conversation, you should already have an idea of how you can help.
3) You have established a new contact or acquaintance but s/he is not a lead. Maybe you met at a networking event or a cocktail party (Remember those?)
Be specific: “How can I help with XX?” Where XX is something you’ve discussed.
Finally, At least once per week, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting or re-connecting with friends, colleagues, clients, and even complete strangers for 30 minutes due to my offer of my 30-minute calendar. Grab 30 minutes and let’s have a virtual cup of coffee together.
SalesReformSchool: Food for Thought
Hire by IQ or EQ? What about AQ? Hat tip to my Vistage Chair Lisa Dugan for having us watch this thought-provoking Ted Talk.
Earlier this year when it was unclear whether Major League Baseball would have a season, 11 friends and I put together a 12-team Strat-o-Matic 365 All-Time Greats league. Strat-o-Matic baseball was my favorite board game as a kid. Using probability and dice, we’d play simulated nine inning games in under 20 minutes all summer long. We would replay games from the previous season, pit teams from different eras against each other, and even create our own time traveling all-star games.
The online fantasy version stretched 162 games over about a month and a half this summer and was tons of fun. Every morning, I’d wake up and check the box scores of the three-game set my team the “Paris Miserables” played overnight. We even set up a Group.me so we could report and editorialize on the goings-on. It was a great covid-19 distraction. I liked it better than modern Rotisserie baseball which I stopped playing some years ago. Babe Ruth and Turkey Stearns carried my team, but Brian Harvey’s eight blown saves kept us from making the playoffs, although it came down to the last game of the season. We will likely start the next season in October or perhaps after the actual World Series, if that actually happens.