Category Archives: Time Management

Ride out!

Ride out!

 

Since I got an earlier than expected start to my ‘No Net’ sales experience, I requested a ride along with a team member.  Richard Howell set me up to get with Steve Trevillion.

I plan to ride out with Steve in Carthage, TX Wednesday the 18th.

I’ll post when I get back to document the trip.

I have to get out of the house by 5AM to make it to Carthage at 7AM.

Until next time…

Keith Porterfield

a Student of Sales

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No More Net!!!

O.k. people…it’s on!!!  It’s time to start documenting my true journey into the world of sales.

Until now it was all theoretical.  I studied and studied and did not much in the way of selling, because I had a net.

Now, I have NO NET!

I want to tell you all about it.  It’s the reason blogs exist.  I can say what I want here and no one can fire me!  Which brings me to my first point.

I am so glad I left my hourly job!  I can honestly say that I don’t care right now that I have no guarantees for next week’s pay check.  I don’t care that I’m having to pay for COBRA a month or two.  I’m just so glad to be out from under the rule of my immediate supervisor there…I’m actually happy to be unemployed.

Here’s the story…

The company is a pretty good place to work.  They take care of their employees.  My division just hired a new V.P. of Wholesale.  I think he’s a great addition to the team.  He’s really got a great vision for the sales team.  Unfortunately, I was not part of the sales team at this company. 

I worked for nearly two years under this guy who’s name is not worth mentioning (NName Small Man from here on out).  I did my job and I did it well.  I have a college degree and I was working the graveyard shift for hourly wages.  I work twelve hour shifts and had about two hours worth of work to do.  I like to think I used that down time nicely.  I studied and studied and finally built up the courage (with the help of Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist) to step out of my comfort zone.

I waited and consulted several people before sending a respectful “form letter” two-week resignation letter to NNSM, V.P. of Wholesale and H.R. Director.  This was not accepted well from NNSM as I had told him previously I would probably be out around August 1 (the notice put my last day as July 20).  He didn’t speak to me for the entire week after I submitted my notice.

The last night I worked I made a mistake that could have happened on any night.  I slipped up and made an honest mistake.  It wasn’t huge and has been made by myself and several others many times in the past.  When the morning guy came in, I told him about my slip up.  I told him I wasn’t going to beat myself up about it and that at least I couldn’t get fired over it.  Well, guess what…the morning guy is trying to work his way up the ladder in this company.  So, he’s buddy-buddy with NNSM.  He tells NNSM that I popped off about not being able to be fired and that I wasn’t doing my job.

So, I get a week of un-paid vacation.

So, here’s to No Nets!  Wish me luck.

p.s.-I also went to my MySpace page and found that NNSM had deleted me from his ‘Friends’ list.  What a tool!

Until next time…

Keith Porterfield

a Student of Sales

Get Over Yourself

So you think…

when you just get started, you don’t know enough to speak with authority about your product or service. If you don’t know the answer to their question…people won’t take you seriously.

One piece of advice, Get Over Yourself.

Everyone started somewhere, but they started. No matter what they are doing, they started somewhere! Do you know that your product or service is valuable? (If it’s not, you might think about selling something else.) Can you describe it in general terms? Can you describe the benefits to your client? What else are you waiting for?

If someone writes you off because you didn’t know every detail, you didn’t need them as a client. I’m assuming here that you’ll be professional, prepared*, and persistant. In other words, if you walk into a place with cut off shorts and a tank top on trying to sell your bookkeeping service to an accountant…you might still make the sale as long as you follow up. It’s unlikely, but possible.

*When I say prepared, I mean that you have an idea of what your client does, what you do, and how you might be of service to them.

You don’t have to know the answer to every question if you know where to find the answer and make sure you follow up.

I know people who have been selling for twenty years and still don’t know the answer to every question. Do you think they get self conscious about having to tell the prospect, “You know, I’ll have to look that up.” I doubt it. That just gives them time to work up a proposal or figure out an angle.

One thing that helped me begin to get over myself was the following statement:

It’s all about the baby!

It’s not about you. You can make it about you, but you’ll be wasting time!

I have been told that I spent so much time learning and studying that I never seemed to get anything done. It’s called PARALYSIS of ANALYSIS…then I realized, “It’s all about the baby.

If you are in sales to make money, you have to get in front of people. If you hide away and become an expert on your product or service, only to realize that your entire warm market was sold by your colleague while you were learning…you’ll starve.

Here’s another few thoughts. Work above your potential, dress nice, go to the doctor, and get spiritual.

Work above your potential: How can that be possible? I don’t know, just do it! If you’re stuck, do something. Call a potential client. If you are like me, that’ll get you in the mood to call on another potential client. I guess what I’m saying is grounded in science. You know potential energy vs. kinetic (motion) energy? An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. If you are more motion than rest, you might tend to stay more motion than rest. So, action produces more action.

Dress Nice: If you wake up one morning and feel like staying home, do me a favor. Take a little longer shower (If you take your shower at night, take another one in the morning). Spend a little longer on making your appearance A+. Dress in your best clothes. I promise it will help at least a little. If you make it a habit to look your best at all times, you’ll grow more confident. Just don’t take it too far, that’s called a narcissist. Then you’ll really have to get over yourself. If you still don’t feel like doing anything after you’ve dressed nice then you might try the following:

Go to the doctor: There was a time in my life that I didn’t want to do anything. I went to work because I had to. I ate only when I had to because I would get so hungry I would shake. I medicated my depression with alcohol. I was generally a total mess. I know many people who are probably in this same situation. They are undiagnosed and depressed. If you can’t get over yourself after a good soul searching and conscious effort to present yourself appropriately…go to the doctor.

Get Spiritual: I believe this is one thing that can help anyone. Whatever your choice of spirituality includes…practice it. I believe in Christianity. However, I don’t believe you have to go to church everytime the doors are open. At any rate, maintaining that there is a power greater than yourself makes it much easier to…you guessed it, Get Over Yourself.

Molly Gordon, Tonya Pinkins, Kevin Eikenberry, and James Roswell Quinn all have their own take on ‘Get Over Yourself‘.

I personally like Molly’s article best. It’s a top ten list of Ways to Get Over Yourself.

Tonya Pinkins has written a book on the subject with activities to complete throughout. It’s $23.95 17.96. I haven’t read the book yet, but that’s the title, Get Over Yourself. I’ll post a book review as soon as I’ve read it.

Kevin Eikenberry has a blog and the link above is an article he wrote on ‘Get Over Yourself‘. He talks about Adult Pouting and Picking Your Battles.

James Roswell Quinn might know a lot about the subject. However, I’m not sure if he truly has learned how to get over himself. He sells his eight CD set entitled, Get Over Yourself for just under $200. Let me know what you think about it if you pick it up.

As always, any feedback is appreciated.

Until next time…

Keith Porterfield

a Student of Sales

Time Management

Time Management for sales people is one of the most important subjects to master. I’ve recently read a book by Dave Kahl entitled:

10 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople

This book gave me some valuable insight to the methodology of a career minded sales professional. Dave Kahl has been in sales for over 30 years and I do recommend this book to anyone looking to become more effective with their time.

Here are a few of the things I learned by reading this book:

  1. Get grounded. (For me this meant to get over myself. I’ll tell you more about that in a later post.)
  2. Think about it before you do it. (This is all about planning. You’d be amazed at how much more effective you will become when you plan your work. It goes further than simply making daily to-do lists.)
  3. Create systems. (What a concept! It’s almost so simple you overlook it. Most every desired result can be broken into parts that create a system. Start with the output if you have to. Input, process, output, tools, discipline.)

Dave has included what he calls ‘Tips from the Troops’. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below:

· Call yourself and leave a voice-mail message. Then listen critically. Would you return a call to this person? You can improve your results by practicing and refining your messages as you listen to your messages to yourself.

· Have lunch with prospects. This is one of your best uses of time. You’ll eliminate the need for an additional sales call during the day, and you’ll develop a more personal relationship.

· Before every meeting, distribute a written agenda with an estimated ending time.

· Launch the new habit strongly.

· Always leave a message on a voicemail. Every time your customer hears your name, it registers—like a repeat advertising impression.

· Just do it. Indecision is a big waste of time.

 

These are just a few of his tips. I won’t go into great detail about the contents of the book because I want you to go buy it. I truly believe you will find it a valuable use of your money and time. As I implement the lessons I’ve learned from Dave I will talk more about each one.

 

If you want to know more about Mr. Kahle click here.

 

P.S. – If you don’t have the money for the book, go to his site anyway. He has a ton of articles available free of charge!

 

Until next time…

 

Keith Porterfield

a Student of Sales