Today’s Lesson: Press It!

press it

“Press it!” Cousin Ira said.

Ira believes in hot and cold dealers and dice, karma, good runs and bad luck. I had been on a good run of luck and to Ira, this is precisely the time to raise your bet.


Not so much. I guess I paid attention too much in math and logic classes.

If you’ve ever been in a casino near a hot blackjack or craps table, you’ve probably heard an experienced player telling a beginner who’s on a hot streak and doing well to press his bet. The instruction is to raise the wager because things are going well; Karma or Fortuna is in your favor, so “press” your advantage.

Talk to gamblers and some, like Cousin Ira, will tell you that the way to win big is to press your advantage. Others will say – correctly – this is hogwash, the gambler’s fallacy, that all bets are independent of another.

In gambling, I fall in the latter group, though admittedly, I will sometimes press even knowing the folly of it. I just like the adrenaline rush and regardless only employ a small bankroll considering it entertainment dollars deployed.

In business, though, we are not playing in a game with house odds, but rather one that rewards among other things hard work, preparation, ingenuity, and creativity. In business we weigh upsides and downsides and then take action.

So, when things are going well, certainly keep doing what you are doing to continue with the great results. But, this is also the time for experimentation. To me, this is similar to how thriving companies increase their research and development budgets in good times in order to experiment at the margins. They press it.

My last few months professionally reminded me of Ira exhorting me to “Press it!”

Things at SalesReformSchool are going well and I’ve been “Pressing It” this year. You may have noticed that lately I’ve spent some money and put some time and effort into a few new marketing items.

First, I had the talented Kristen Myers put together the below graphic of the SalesReformSchool Proven Process to help explain what I do for my clients. It took some time, but I think we got it right.

SalesReformSchool Proven Process FINAL

Next, I joined with my partner Frontline Selling and began a live video webinar series. You can get to the first episode here.

And lastly, I went to Fiverr, and hired irfan4 from Pakistan to create a whiteboard video for me. I’m thrilled with the result and early reviews are very positive.  In less than a week and as of this writing, 2,519 people have viewed it on Linkedin. This blows me away.  Please let me know if you want to learn more about this fascinating experience.



The ideas for these projects came from others. They are all out of my zone of expertise, but with help and some effort, and because things are going well, I decided to press it. I’m confident they were the right things to do at the right time and hey, it was worth the risk.

So, I’ll ask you: If things are going well, what are you going to do to PRESS IT?

SalesReformSchool: Food For Thought 

I’m a DIYer when it comes to personal finance.  I’ve read The Millionaire Next Door and thought it was terrific.  Even better and shorter, please read The Psychology of Money.  It’s the best thing I’ve read on personal finance in a long, long time.

SalesReformSchool: Extracurricular

Full screen, sound on. You’ll thank me.

Yes, suitable for work or home.

Good Selling!

Through SalesReformSchool, I am available to you for Sales Process Design, Sales Messaging Creation, On-boarding/In-boarding Sales Team Workshops, Keynote Addresses, Facilitation, Group or One-on-One Coaching, Pipeline Reviews and other Sales Management Consulting.

Today’s Lesson: Networking – Gotta Do It, Ugh, I Hate It

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an essay adapted from David Burkus’s new book, “Friend of a Friend: Understanding The Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Career,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.   Read More

Today’s Lesson: Real Good Conversations

This weekend is both Easter and Passover, and it’s the Final Four in college basketball. And yes, April Fools Day is Sunday. It’s a big weekend for reflection, devotion, game watching and, in all likelihood: CONVERSATIONS.

So to get you ready, here’s a quick test of your conversational skills:

Imagine this scenario:

John sees an acquaintance Jane in the parking lot Friday morning and greets her with, “Hi, Jane. How are you doing? What’s new?” Read More

Today’s Lesson: What Stuck Most

A year ago, I had a full process-messaging-behavior engagement with a client that culminated with a full two-day workshop. They went on to have a terrific year. We are now rolling out an Account Growth process and met this week to introduce the idea in a quick team lunch meeting.   The team of account managers and sales executives is fully engaged – a credit to their management team.

Since I had them all in a room together, I asked during a pause:  Read More

Today’s Lesson: Can She Sell?

During or after coaching or consulting engagements, my clients often ask, “Do you think she (or he) can sell for us?”

Similarly, friends, colleagues, or former SalesReformSchool students often ask me whether they (or lately, their kids) should pursue a particular sales position.

When I think about it, I tend to use the same four criteria for both answers.

  1. Passion
  2. Requisite Intelligence
  3. Competitiveness
  4. Fearlessness

Read More

Today’s Lesson: 10 Links

I’m going to try something different this month.

When I procrastinate, I read. A lot. I also like to share stuff. Sometimes my friends and family say I over-share. Oh well, I gotta be me.

So, I hope you enjoy these 10 Links which I found interesting in the last month or so while procrastinating. Read More

Today’s Lesson: Beatus Aures

Over coffee last Friday a coaching client of mine told me about an RFP he was excited to answer. “It’s in our wheelhouse, but I have to go soon so I can get the answer out. It’s due today and they are making a decision Tuesday.”

I responded that I could see why he was so excited and asked him a few clarifying questions including:

  • Who are your competitors? Um, I don’t know.
  • Do they have a prior relationship with the prospect? Blank stare.
  • How many individuals and what are their roles do you know at the account? Just my one contact.
  • Have you asked to meet with all the decision-makers before agreeing to answer? No, she answered every question I had about the work they need.
  • If there are competitors, how can the prospect possibly make a decision in one business day? Mouth agape.

Read More

Today’s Lesson: “Social” Selling

No, this is not another post on using online sites like LinkedIn to build your pipeline. Rather, I want to talk about my friend Mitch (real person, fake name). Mitch is looking for love. He’s a good guy. Works hard, takes care of himself, and is a true mensch. Over the years, I’ve lived vicariously through the ups and downs of his love life, trying to support him.

Why am I telling you about Mitch? No, I’m not pivoting to match-making, but I do want to talk about your social life.

This year among other things, I’ve taken on two coaching clients who have the express goal of improving their business development efforts. These engagements have reminded me that the early stage dating scene which Mitch is not shy about going through is very similar to early business development conversations. The same goes for other areas of your social life, like making new friends. Read More

Today’s Lesson: Two Existential Questions

For today’s lesson we are going to explore two existential questions:

  1. Why does your company exist?
  2. Why should your ideal client want to talk to you?

Why does your company exist?

The answer to this question should scream at visitors to your web site and all pockets of social media. Every employee, not just salespeople, should be able to recite the answer in some form in every new interaction, whether in a meeting, at a trade show, cocktail party or barbecue.  For us sellers, this question cuts to the very heart of where to place your focus in your initial conversation with your prospects and key players. You’ll return to it as a qualifying tool later and possibly a negotiation tactic at the end of your sales process.

Yes, this is very similar to a mission statement. I worry, though, that the concept of mission statements too often gets lost in translation in actual conversations.

Why does my company SalesReformSchool(tm) exist? Read More

Today’s Lesson: How Do You Get Better?

You may know that I have been a member of a Vistage Trusted Advisor group for over five years. I consider it my graduate business school. While I have a Juris Doctor, I am not a Master of Business Administration. Because of Vistage, though, I feel I’m actually in a business school of sorts becoming a better owner, consultant, trainer, and coach. Maybe even a better person.

At a recent meeting, our chair Larry Hart reminded us about the five reasons for being a member. While the below list contains universal capabilities, it applies especially to sales people. We want to be heroes. We also tend to get bogged down in the immediate at the expense of the long-term.  We forget then to do what it takes to grow.

So, here are the five Vistage capabilities that sellers need to work on for professional and personal growth: Read More