- by Mike
Happy Last Business Day of the Year!
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a bit odd. We bounce between celebrating important religious holidays, visiting with family and friends, sprinting to close deals to finish the year strong, wrapping up year-end financial matters, and reflecting both on the year that was and the year to come.
As I’ve been pondering my year-end blog post a potpourri of of “p-words” keep coming to mind. If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn you’ve seen me proudly proclaim that I chose to respectfully decline the 47 requests I received to offer “Sales Predictions for 2017.” You’re welcome. I’m operating under the assumption that you are as tired as I am from all the link-bait articles and onslaught of supposed experts all piling on to the same topic and overusing whatever the current sales buzzword-of-the-month happens to be. So, while I punted on the many offers to make predictions, I would like to share some promises with you, my readers, as we turn the page on 2016 – which has been a phenomenal year – both personally and professionally. [Yes, I jammed 16 p-words into this last paragraph. Thanks for playing along.]
I value and appreciate that you invest the time to read my content, and I’m fully aware that you are the ones growing my platform by sharing what I write…within your companies, to your peers, on various social media channels, and via email with your sales and executive teams. Thank you! I don’t, for one minute, take your readership for granted. And as I reflect on the voice and platform you’ve provided for my message, let me make a few promises headed into 2017:
- I am going to keep sharing what I am seeing with my own eyes (translation: I will tell you the truth), and will never shy away from confronting popular nonsense that is hurting sellers and sales leaders. You have rewarded me for being a contrarian and taking a stand against big names and big voices and reputable research organizations. Now that many consider me to have a big name with something to protect, I won’t dare start to play it safe or start pulling punches. I promise.
- I will not start reviewing or promoting sales tools and toys. Every week I get a significant number of requests from some of the thousands (yes, thousands) of sales tool providers. They’re looking for me to share infographics and articles; they want to guest post on my site or have me review their “must have” new release. It’s. Not. Going. To. Happen.
- I will not jump on the bandwagon and begin overusing newly popular buzzwords and phrases. We’ve gone from inbound to allbound. We’ve choked on #socialselling for the past four or so years and it looks like that flop has finally asphyxiated itself. Much thanks to other truth-tellers like Trish Bertuzzi, Jeb Blount, David Brock, Tony Hughes, Mark Hunter, Anthony Iannarino, and Dan McDade who joined the fight to protect the souls and livelihoods of sellers everywhere who were tempted to believe that they should spend more time tweeting, commenting in LinkedIn groups, and writing content instead of prospecting. Here’s a must read missive from Tony Hughes in Australia just published today. Read this and also check out my comment on the post. Back to the bandwagon: Last year sales enablement was all the rage. And I can promise you that you’d become rich in 2017 if every time you hear or read about account based selling or account based marketing someone gives you a nickel. I promise: no bandwagon jumping here.
- For those who subscribe to my Insider Insights and receive posts, occasional newsletters, or special offers from me via email, I reiterate my promise not to overstuff your inbox and never to share your email address with anyone.
- I am going to keep pointing you to great content and unashamedly promote books and posts of others I respect. Some joker commenting on Amazon took issue with the fact that I wrote a positive review for Anthony’s new bestseller, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. He accused me (and others) of posting fake reviews for money and even challenged me that I hadn’t read the book! The troll (which is exactly what he is) missed the fact that I wrote the foreword and that the review was so specific, I would have had to read the book! Another brilliant critic with an axe to grind commented that I couldn’t be trusted because I only have posted 5-star reviews on Amazon. But he didn’t have a comeback when I retorted that I only post reviews for books which I find highly valuable and that an author like me would look pretty small posting negative reviews for other sales books. All of this to say once again that I value that you value my opinion. I’ll only point you to content that’s helpful. And, if by chance, I happen promote something for compensation in the future, I’ll make that explicitly clear at the time.
- Politics: My long-standing policy is that I don’t do politics in business. And I encourage salespeople to do the same. The risk is just too great. No one has ever won a political argument. I have great friends and clients on both sides of the aisle. This country is so divided that it seems foolish to push your political agenda in/through your business. You read me for sales and sales leadership content, not for my political opinions. However, the 2016 US Presidential Election was so crazy, so bizarre, and so monumental that I feel compelled to write about it. In fact, I’m so compelled by the business and sales lessons from this election that I’ve outlined a brief eBook on the topic. You’ll be hearing more from me about this little book soon. But I want to be very clear with my audience that I’m not changing my policy or perspective. Writing about practical, powerful sales lessons from the campaigns and the election is not akin to “doing politics” in my business. I’m not looking for a fight or piss off 49% or 51% of the nation. So please don’t go there with me. However…
While on the topic of lessons from the 2016 Election, I share one of my takeaways in this video clip below. Gerhard Gschwandtner, the brilliant Founder and CEO of SellingPower, facilitated a roundtable discussion with three of my all-time favorite sales gurus and me before his Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia last month. We spent an exhilarating 90 minutes talking about sales and then he surprised us with a question seeking our perspective on “How Trump Outsold Hillary.” I think you’ll be amused and challenge by our thoughts in this short excerpt:
Noah Goldman from New York is new on the sales improvement scene and his wildly popular Enterprise Sales Podcast is taking the sales community by storm. He’s put together an incredible lineup of guests and is tackling provocative, relevant topics. Noah interviewed me in this just released episode and I think it would make great New Year’s weekend listening for anyone in sales or who leads salespeople. We cover everything from proactive strategic targeting to the myth that buyers go 57% through the buying process before engaging sellers. I dished on premature demos and salespeople getting commoditized because they show up late, act like pitchmen, and end up as column fodder. Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Thanks to Noah for this energizing and productive dialogue.
I wish you and yours a fun and safe New Year’s celebration. I’m honored by and thank you for your readership. Here’s to huge success, great Sales Leadership, and tons of New Sales in 2017!