What I learnt today from Retail Sales

This morning I had an urgent need to purchase a pair of shoes for work. I arrived at work (cycle commute) and for the first time in 3 years I had no shoes! I chose Myer in Brisbane CBD because I already had a gift voucher left over from Christmas.   When I had chosen [...]

What I learnt today from Retail Sales2017-03-16T01:18:04+10:00

Customer Loyalty to the Golden Arches?

My son (9), daughter (6) and I love to reward ourselves at the end of a Saturday morning Park Run with ice cream from McDonalds. There are 2 McDonalds locations close to our house. One is amazing. I love to watch their staff work quickly and efficiently to provide good food and customer service! The [...]

Customer Loyalty to the Golden Arches?2017-03-16T01:08:26+10:00

Usability from the perspective of a 5-year old

When my 5-year old daughter helps with the family's grocery shopping she knows she will receive a small reward. Last weekend she asked me to get her "pink milk". The dairy section displayed two strawberry milk options: Dairy Farmers Classic Strawberry. 300ml for $1.50 ($5 per litre) Norco Mighty Cool. 250ml for $1.75 ($7 per litre) From my perspective [...]

Usability from the perspective of a 5-year old2016-11-25T20:56:56+10:00

What ICT can learn from the Aviation Industry?

For almost 5 years I worked for Jeppesen, an iconic aviation company that has pioneered aeronautical navigation since the 1930's. When an aviation accident occurs a detailed investigation follows. The findings from each investigation helps the industry determine if new lessons can be learnt and implemented across the industry.     The practice of learning [...]

What ICT can learn from the Aviation Industry?2016-11-25T00:29:31+10:00

Why everyone on your team should understand The Lean Startup

That new product idea that you have for your organisation? There is a 70-90% chance it will fail. Why? Because you don't know what you don't know. If you launch a fully-featured product without testing your potential customers prior you risk wasting all your valuable capital. Sure you will learn a lot, but the "tuition fees" could cost [...]

Why everyone on your team should understand The Lean Startup2016-11-25T00:11:07+10:00

Don’t oversell the first meeting

I've recently met with several startups seeking to meet with large enterprises. It can be frustrating when a potential client does not want to meet with you. Particularly if you strongly believe that your solution is designed to address their challenges. In my experience the biggest rookie mistake is overselling the first meeting. To get [...]

Don’t oversell the first meeting2016-11-17T22:13:13+10:00

Constant Follow-up

One of the most overlooked things in sales is the constant follow-up with clients You don't have the positional-power of a manager to drive commitments, you need the power of persuasion. Persuading Aristotle by Peter Thompson is a great book on understanding persuasion. He outlines that our communication needs to convey: Ethos, Pathos and Logos: [...]

Constant Follow-up2016-11-17T22:13:13+10:00

Put a smile on your dial

While completing my undergraduate degree in the late 1990's, I took up a door-to-door commission-sales job that was run by my surfer-entrepreneur housemate. His business offered a service to reduce the chance of someone's car being stolen by etching the registration number on each of the glass window panels of the car. This reduced the [...]

Put a smile on your dial2016-11-17T22:13:13+10:00

What Machiavelli can teach us about long sales cycles

If you are a student of politics then you would be familiar with Niccolo Machiavelli's book, The Prince. It's one of the best books on diplomacy and avoiding "rookie" political mistakes. In managing long sales cycles you should consider what strategy will help you keep the lines of communication open during the quiet periods. Every [...]

What Machiavelli can teach us about long sales cycles2016-11-17T22:13:13+10:00

Get out of the weeds!

While selling into large organisations, have you ever wondered if the person you are dealing with is wasting your time? You keep calling them and they are willing to speak and meet with you. So it must be going somewhere right? And here is my typical MBA-learnt response: It depends! A prospect can be wasting your [...]

Get out of the weeds!2016-11-17T22:13:13+10:00

How “Bob the Builder” can help Sales People

I'm currently reading this book by Daniel H. Pink, To Sell is Human. Pink dismisses many of the selling stereotypes that rang true 50 years ago - but are no longer relevant. He also provides some great ways to build your confidence and to avoid that "traditional hype" that does not build enduring confidence. Check out [...]

How “Bob the Builder” can help Sales People2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

Closing the deal

Alec Baldwin from the cult movie, "Glengarry Glen Ross." I   In my early career I did print and online advertising sales for the banking and finance industry. To meet my short-term sales targets I kept myself busy on the phone and at meetings. I needed to create artificial deadlines for customers signed regularly. The pressure [...]

Closing the deal2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

Signing up Big-Name Clients – the Opportunities and Pitfalls

Signing up a big-name client will give your start-up great momentum. But are you up to the challenge to secure and maintain this clients? Over the last 12 years I've had successes and failures in getting big-name clients to buy my products. Benefits of signing big-name clients: Endorsement for future customers. Nobody wants to be [...]

Signing up Big-Name Clients – the Opportunities and Pitfalls2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

Keeping Sales Employees Happy

"As a technical consultant-turned-entrepreneur, how can I successfully hire and on-board sales staff to grow my start-up ?" This question was recently posed to me by a start-up CEO, with a strong IT technical/consulting background who is seeking to grow his business by employing a sales person. If you are a sole operator, then consulting and selling is [...]

Keeping Sales Employees Happy2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

Overcoming the “Valley of Death” in Sales

Taken from "Bart the Daredevil" Simpsons Episode 8, 1990. Homer Simpson attempts to skateboard over Springfield Gorge. For a brief moment he is elated, before falling down the gorge. . Let me describe a situation I've seen countless times throughout my career. You identify the perfect organisation to sell your product. You reach out to the [...]

Overcoming the “Valley of Death” in Sales2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

10 before 10

Having discipline is an important aspect of sales success for the start-up CEO. About 90% of sales time is spent in follow-up. But getting on the phone to follow up it not always easy or natural. After several years I still struggle to pick up the phone and make those first morning calls. You start [...]

10 before 102016-10-02T17:59:56+10:00

Don’t think like an engineer!

If you have a technical background, how do you get into the "sales mindset"? I recently organised an event where a developer could demonstrate his start-up's software to representatives from various industries. At the end of the event, interest was expressed and business cards exchanged. A couple of months later, I followed up with the [...]

Don’t think like an engineer!2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

Hiring Sales People for your Start-up

Are you a start-up CEO looking to bring on a sales person? If so you will probably be contemplating: In lieu of a salary, should I induce a sales person with equity to work for my start-up? Could I afford to hire a sales person (without equity)? Can I find an organisation to be my [...]

Hiring Sales People for your Start-up2016-11-17T22:13:14+10:00

My “Picture of Success”

You're a start-up? My "picture of success" for a start-up business would be: A healthy and diverse client portfolio which validates your business to potential customers. Your brand is recognised as solving "something". When a problem is encountered, who are you going to call? (cue Ghostbusters theme). You can explain your offering in 30 seconds [...]

My “Picture of Success”2016-11-17T22:13:15+10:00
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