Three Hurricanes Show the Path to More Effective Selling


Three of last year’s hurricanes took unusual paths for hurricanes.

  • Hurricane Lee roared into Nova Scotia, becoming the first such storm to do so since 2003, although at the time it made landfall, Lee had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.
  • Earlier last summer, hurricane Hillary became the first tropical storm to make landfall in Southern California.
  • And in late August, hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend area of Northwest Florida, becoming the first major hurricane to ever pass through that area.

With their unusual paths, the three hurricanes did not cause as much damage as was feared. … Read the rest

Resistant Salespeople Can Prevent Consistent, Strong Sales Results


Even though this article begins as a baseball article, in the fourth paragraph it quickly morphs into a sales article.

As my regular readers know, my son is a baseball player — a rising college senior (as of the summer of 2023) — and I still coach him in the batting cage when he’s home for the summer. I started coaching him when he was old enough to hold a wiffle bat. By the time he was thirteen years old, he responded to every piece of hitting advice with, “I know Dad!” He was no longer coachable (by me), thus … Read the rest

Did You Know That You Have Woodpeckers on Your Sales Team?


The landscaper called me over to look at a tree on our property. He showed me the enormous hole and I asked, “What did that?”

“Woodpecker,” he said.

On one side of the tree, we had this perfectly cut, huge hole, and the other side of the tree had many small holes. I learned that the woodpecker that made the small holes was looking for food while the woodpecker that made the huge hole was making a home. Hunters and farmers.

Just like the two types of woodpeckers, salespeople tend to fall into the same two categories of being either … Read the rest

Sales Forecasts Do Not Have to Be as Wrong as Fortune Cookies


There has been much talk in the news about forecasts — and while most forecasts have been wrong, they are still more accurate than fortune cookies!

Thanks to satellites, computer modeling and doppler radar, weather forecasts are more reliable than ever before. Yet despite those advances, they are still guessing — educated guesses to be sure — but guessing about what will happen, when it will happen, and where it will happen. I live in central Massachusetts and between late November and early April, most winter storms track up the east coast and when a storm tracks a few miles … Read the rest

How to Get Your Audience to Fall in Love With Your Virtual Event


Do you remember April 1, 2020? The entire world was in lockdown, and at Objective Management Group (OMG) we had just 10 days to figure out how to convert our annual four-day international conference for sales experts to a three-day virtual event over Zoom. The 200 in attendance loved it!

By late last summer, we knew full well that our 2021 conference would also be virtual. The difference was that we would have seven months to prepare, and we wanted to optimize the conference specifically for a virtual event. How was it different from what we accomplished a year earlier? … Read the rest

Things for Salespeople to Do to Make Up for a Lackluster Quarter


At the end of summer we moved our son into his dorm to begin his freshman year of college. The college president’s opening remarks were virtual, so we joined the Zoom stream from our hotel room and listened in. He had some really useful things to share with the new freshmen and while his thoughts were targeted to the students, they apply quite equally to salespeople.

Among the points he made, these seemed to be just as applicable to salespeople:

  • Show up.
  • Do the work.
  • Try approaches that you haven’t previously attempted.
  • You will be uncomfortable but do it anyway.
Read the rest

Data Reveals a Finding Correlating to Sales Success


We had a request for some data from one of our longtime partners.

My knee-jerk reaction to her request was that it would be a big nothing burger. She asked for data that would show the difference between salespeople who are goal oriented and those who are not. I did not expect much of a difference except in the area of motivation but I was wrong. Very wrong! Check out some of the profound differences this data mining uncovered!

Objective Management Group (OMG) measures 21 sales-specific core competencies. We have data from our evaluations and assessments of 1,942,180 salespeople. Can … Read the rest

A Tale of Three Squirrels and Their Salesperson Counterparts


It’s been rainy and cool, so the leaves are dropping from the trees, the peak color has passed and it’s time to focus on something else.

Speaking of focus, this morning I was watching three squirrels each doing their thing.

Squirrel #1, who I named Ernest, was finding lots of nuts and burying them. His nest was full and he will reap the benefits of his hard work over the winter.

Squirrels #2 and #3, who I named MT and LayZ, were playing. They were running up and down tree trunks, jumping from limb to limb, running in circles and … Read the rest

How to Transform Your Sales Pipeline Today


Big ones, little ones, sharp ones, and stubborn ones. I was pulling weeds from the garden when it became crystal clear to me.

The various weeds were like the many types of opportunities in most sales pipelines. Big ones, little ones, those that hurt (we’re behind the competition) and those who are stubborn (they aren’t sharing important information). The flowers in the garden are allowed to remain and are nurtured with sun, water and plant food. Similarly, we must leave and nurture the opportunities that will grow and produce sales, and weed out the undesirable opportunities that distract us from … Read the rest

Your Last Chance to Make a Good First Impression


Most salespeople don’t take first impressions seriously enough. If they did, their first impressions would be much more favorable.

I can still remember my first (unintentional) lesson about first impressions. My family was gathered at my grandfather’s house to watch the debut of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan show. It was February 9, 1964 and at 8 years old, I was one of 73 million people watching the show that night. I was as excited about this show as I would be later that same year when I attended my first Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park. That … Read the rest

How Top Salespeople Anticipate and Manage Resistance


Earlier this year Tom Hopkins shared a post on LinkedIn that resembled what I have said so many times. He said, “The art of selling involves two jobs: job one is to reduce sales resistance, and the other is to increase sales acceptance.”

Many readers left comments about the importance of relationships as a means to preventing resistance from going up.

I left a comment that said, “Thanks Tom. Most salespeople fail to lower resistance because they lack the self-awareness to understand what it is that they might say or do, or how they might act that would raise resistance … Read the rest

The Top Requirements for Becoming a Great Salesperson


If you’re young enough, some of the questions in the first few paragraphs that follow won’t apply because you haven’t experienced the world without the innovations mentioned below. Don’t let that prevent you from reading this, because after the milestones, we’ll get to the good selling stuff.

For those of you who are my age or older, do you remember the first time you saw color TV? For me it was the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the early 1960s. Or the first time you watched cable with more than six channels and without snow? Wireless remote controls? OK, … Read the rest

Speed Limits, the Flow of Traffic and Sales Pipelines


I don’t get stressed anymore when I’m driving.
All it took was for me to not exceed the speed limit. I’m not sure whether it was my navigation system repeatedly telling me to “obey all traffic laws” each time I started the car, or my wife reminding me that I needed to be a good role model for our soon‑to-be driving 16-year-old son. I admit that this was much easier for me to do after I gave up my Jaguar for a Lincoln Navigator. It holds much more baseball equipment!

There is an exception to not exceeding the speed limit. … Read the rest

The Top Factors That Cause Delayed Closings and What to Do About Them


Over the past three months, my wife and I have been up and down the east coast driving our son to and from baseball tournaments and college showcases. Invariably, each drive back home has taken twice the time it should have because of road construction. On Sunday, Waze, my favorite navigation app, said that the drive would take just two hours and 32 minutes. Four traffic delays because of road construction delayed us for another two and a half hours.

Delays, delays, delays. Nearly every coaching call with a salesperson is about a delayed closing. Nearly every coaching call with … Read the rest

Does Being a Strong Qualifier Correlate to Having a Strong Pipeline?


My latest data mining project reveals that the answer to this question is a partial correlation.

Check out tables 1 and 2 in this article and you’ll see just what I mean.

All of the data in this article comes from Objective Management Group’s (OMG) evaluations and assessments of nearly 1.8 million salespeople.

The first table shows the percentage of salespeople that have the Qualifier competency as a strength. Look at the difference between elite salespeople where 93 percent have it as a strength versus weak salespeople where only 9 percent have it as a strength. Also notice that the … Read the rest

Salespeople: Inspect What You Expect!


During the summer they dig up streets, repave roads, and repair bridges. That leads to epic traffic jams, long commutes and tremendous amounts of frustration. And you’re late! I’ve been doing my best impression of the digging, without the paving and repairing. Several of my recent articles have been based on Objective Management Group’s (OMG) data from the evaluations of 1.8-million sales professionals, and like the road work, we’re gonna continue to dig!

In this article, we will look to determine whether there is a correlation between sales percentile, sales pipeline, and sales performance.

OMG includes a pipeline analysis as … Read the rest

Sales Playbook and CRM Problems


What the Data Tells Us

I can’t remember a spring where the pollen was worse than in 2018. You go to the car wash and an hour later your beautiful car is covered in yellow crud and you’re out $20. A waste.

Perhaps you have an irrigation system with a rain sensor that tells the controller that your lawn and flower beds don’t need to be watered today because it is pouring outside. Yet, when you look out the window you see that the sprinklers are running despite the existence of a rain sensor. A waste.

Did you ever spend … Read the rest

What You Should Never Do on LinkedIn to Conduct Business With Your LinkedIn Network


I don’t know about you but for every benefit I get from LinkedIn, I get an equal amount of frustration. Some people, like me, have criteria for who they will invite and whose invitation they will accept on LinkedIn. How many times has this happened to you?

Someone invites you to join their LinkedIn network or asks if they can join yours. You accept. And then it happens….

In the first example, I received this message a week after I accepted this individual’s invitation:

“Hello Dave, I noticed we haven’t had a chance to talk yet having been connected now … Read the rest

Reasons Why Salespeople Aren’t Successful at Consultative Selling


Yesterday, a sales manager I was coaching asked me to explain the difference between a great question and a tough question. I gave him the one-minute version but this article has the expanded version of that answer.

I’ll use my world as an example and ask you to translate accordingly.

In my world, while I might occasionally be on a first call with a senior sales leader, I am most frequently speaking with the CEO. With CEOs, the most-common issue they articulate is “I’m not sure we have the right sales leader.”

We have three levels of questions and it’s … Read the rest

Data Show Most Salespeople Are Dinosaurs When It Comes to Social Selling


Several recent LinkedIn posts have urged readers to pick up the phone instead of trying to find new opportunities by using social media. I wrote a very popular article about using the phone three years ago called “The Next Can’t Miss Game Changer for Sales.”

I have data that show that the very people who don’t score well at hunting (reluctant, ineffective or both) also score poorly at social selling while those who score the highest for hunting score higher for social selling too. Check out this data:

  • The weakest 10% of all salespeople own the lowest average scores for
Read the rest