Archive for November, 2009

A Little Thanks and Recognition!

Posted: November 27, 2009 in Sales

On this day after Thanksgiving my heart is turned in gratitude for the opportunities that are mine. I’d like to take a moment to say thanks to a few key peope.

Dave Wasden (@dwasden), Spencer Wasden and Rod Puzey(@zenwaremobile) – a phenomenal group of partners and friends.

Kathy Wasden, Melissa Wasden, Tracy Puzey and Judie Sedrick – A special nod goes to our wives who are supporting us as we build Zenware.

Nick Hession – an incredible sales man, marketer, strategizer, corporate hitman and friend (@nkugelman)

Layton Anderson – a man who I have great respect. Layton is a spiritual powerhouse, incredible friend and servant to others

Mark Eberly – My business and sales mentor. A man who always reminds me to “keep the things that matter most” at the center of all my decisions.

Kevin Benedict – another mentor and friend. Incredible author, marketer and expert on mobile strategies.

Jim Wagner – A great partner and business associate from Psion Teklogix

Jeff Batts – The bulldog! Awesome salesman and business manager for Intermec, business associate and friend.

Asha Dornfest (@parenthacks) – An incredible family friend. Asha showed me how you can build something incredible by doing what you love.

Chris Conrey (@conrey) – An incredible salesman who, while to this point we’ve only met via Twitter and blogs, has been a phenomenal resources for sales ideas and strategies.

Wayne Whitt and Bruce Saunders of Treasure Valley Solar – The ingenuity and tenacity of this entrepreneurs is exciting. I’m glad to be a partner of yours!

Roger Newby (Ryzex) – A passionate mobility salesman. Always a great resource to bounce software and strategies. I’m grateful for him pulling me into opportunities where appropriate.

Ben Escoabar (Ben Escobar & Assocaites) A man who is leading the charge to improve the lives of individuals, especially women and children, in Kenya and other third world countries. Keep up the good fight.

Past and Current Customers – I’ve built incredible relationships with past and current customers. I love working with you. It’s always rewarding exploring and implementing the right solutions for my customers

New Customers – a special nod to those who have recently engaged with me as a customer. I appreciate your confidence, your trust and the opportunity to work together.

New Partners – there are some key partners that I’ve learned that openness and collaboration create incredible partnerships. We’re still finalizing discussions or training but I’m looking forward to pursing business in 2010

I know there are many more I could list. Please know that I’m grateful to work and/or associate with all of you. May you have a great Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

Jody

Advertisements

The last couple of days I’ve been re-reading “How To Become a Rainmaker” by Jeffrey J. Fox. It honestly is one of the most influential books for me personally and professionally. Maybe perhaps the reason is Mr. Fox’s principles parallel my selling style — highly customer focused.

Whether your in sales, development, engineering it is crucial that we value and even cherish our customers. Too often I’ve worked at companies where the customer isn’t cherished until they have decided to go elsewhere. Then it’s a flurry of activity to “save the customer” when if they would’ve just cherished the customer they’d be winning new business instead of saving old.

I’m a big proponent of and for my customers. I even admit I err on the side of “too much” customer service. But is there really such a thing? Can you have “too much” customer service? I don’t think so.

I have customer’s that I’ve been doing business with for years. Why do they stay my customers? Because I’m always thinking about them. I ask myself what can I bring to the table that will help them in their business?  Notice it’s not what can I sell them, it’s how can I help them. By turning my strategies to helping my customer, I’m demonstrating that I value them as a customer not just a sale.

I constantly work to identify areas where they are struggling. Once those areas are identified, I propose solutions that will address those areas. Customer’s respond to a call that goes like this..

Sales guy: “Good afternoon, thanks for taking my call. I know you are heads down tackling ______________. I think I’ve identified a solution that could alleviate the impact of ____________ on you and your team. Would you have time on Tuesday or Wednesday where I can drop by to show you _________. In the mean time, let me send over some information to give you a heads-up  on the product I’m recommending.”

Notice I’m calling to address a problem, not find a problem? I’m calling with a solution. I’m setting an appointment at his convenience but setting a target date for us to meet.  I’m sending him information he can review in preparation for our meeting. And finally, I’m recommending not selling.

Remember customers like to buy they don’t like to be sold. By focusing on the needs of a customer you’ll start working for the customer. When you start working for the customer you earn their trust. When you earn their trust you win the sale.

Happy Customer Service and Sales!

 

 

When I was 16 years old, living in Pueblo Colorado, I borrowed Dad’s truck one Friday night to attend a party. After picking up a few friends we made a quick stop at 7-11 to pick up some gum and a Slurpee. Armed with snacks, I hopped in the truck, started the engine and backed out of the parking spot. In my rush I turned the wheel to swiping the entire right side of the car next to me. I cringed as I heard the screeching sound of metal tearing against metal.

To make matters worse the woman I hit was a crusty old lady that exited her car with fire in her eyes, brimstone on her tongue and delivering a tongue lashing that I still hear every word today. Fortunately the officer reported to the scene quickly and quenched her phenom towards me and controlled the situation.

The drive home though was far more tortuous than the brimstone tongue lashing I received from the crust old lady.  I now had to report the accident to my retired military dad . The accident report to my dad went something like this…

Me: “Dad I need to talk to you… I kind of wrecked the truck”
Dad: “What do you mean you ‘kind of wrecked the truck’ either you did or didn’t”
Me: “Well, yes, I wrecked the truck”
Dad: “Was anyone hurt and did you hit anyone?”
Me: “No we’re fine, but I ‘kind of ‘ took out an old lady’s car”
Dad: “What do you mean you ‘kind of took out an old lady’s car, either you did or didn’t. Quit talking around the topic and get to the point. Man up and tell me what happened”

My point in sharing this story is to emphasize two things; first the importance of having courage and second avoiding apologetic explanations.

Often when I listen to sales people they come across apologetic. Their apologetic presentation comes from a lack of courage, a lack of confidence in their product, themselves or most often both. They thus use weak words or phrases like I used with my dad “I kind of wrecked the truck”.
You can’t “kind of” do anything. You either do or don’t. You either sell or you don’t. Your product does or it doesn’t.

If you’re going sell you have to have courage. You have to step up the to plate, fully-ignoring the nay sayers, the potential objections and step up ready and confident to swing.

Now what if you find yourself in the position that you don’t believe in your product or company’s anymore and you really are starting to apologize. My question to you is “Why are you still trying to sell that product?” Sometimes finding courage to step away and move to a new opportunity is the courageous and right step.

Don’t allow yourself to become complacent or even fearful. Go out and find a product you passionately believe in – a product that causes you so much excitement you can’t wait to get on the phone to the customer . When you find that product or service there will be no “kind of” sales presentations. You will be passionate and on fire. That passion will ignite customer’s interest and I guarantee you will sell with greater confidence, tenacity and ultimately reap the financial benefits of your decision.

Now quit “kind of” selling and get to the business of selling!

Happy 234th Birthday to our Marines!

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Sales

marines_flagI’d like to take a different direction today and express my gratitude to those brave men and women who serve in our armed forces. In particular I’d like to join GoDaddy and say thanks for your service! Please view GoDaddy’s tribute to the Marines!

https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/holiday/usmc2009/default.asp?isc=gdr1162d

I am proud to say I am the product of a Navy Dad who served 20 years and a brother who currently serves as a Marine Pilot! I am truly grateful for their service!

You know expressing thanks is an interesting thing. Unfortunately the English language does not have the capacity to express a truly heart felt thank you to someone. We say “Thank You” to the person behind the McDonald’s counter giving us a Big Mac. We use the same phrase “Thank You” to an individual who has dedicated and even given their life in service to others. It honestly seems insufficient and even hollow at times.

I am left wondering how to truly express the feelings of gratitude in my heart for those who have served or are serving this great nation.  I think the true measure of gratitude comes from the way we live our lives. Are we taking advantage of the freedoms provided to us by this great nation. Are we living responsibly and and as good citizens?  Do we participate in the process of this great nation or do we idly stand by oblivious the to the blessings afforded each of us?

With all my heart I say thank you! And I pledge my life to being the best citizen, neighbor, co-worker, friend, father and husband that I can be. Thank you dear veterans and Happy Birthday Marines! Semper Fi and God Bless America!

Gratefully submitted!

Jody Sedrick
Zenware