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July 06, 2006

The New Sales Cycle: Forecast Failure in 8 Easy Steps

Every motivational speaker uses Babe Ruth as the example to just keep swinging for the fences. Joy always comes with persistence. Keep Swinging!

This is a lie.


Your Business Blogger
with sales baubles:
Always avoid
braggards and
like this.

Managing salesfolks is the best job in the world.

And the worst job in the world. Your Business Blogger has had a number of sales teams full of Babe Ruths. The swings, the misses, the whining. The winning.

The pain. Even for the Babe, striking out would hurt.

But not all sales guys have Ruth's talent.

Most fail.

And here is the script so that you, too, can see failure coming down the track. Like a whistle before the train wreck, listen for these clues.

It starts in the interview. The bragging sales guy [ tout chapeau aucun betail ]says, "Hire me..."

1) I can sell anything, (You Want Refrigerators in Antarctica? I'm Your Man) and so he begins,

2) Exaggerate the client's interest, (They Love Us, Baby) with

3) Unfounded optimism, (The Deal is Done -- Good as Booked) then

4) Excuses Galore, (The Order is Coming -- Next Quarter, You Can Take That to the Bank) -- here it is:

5) Disaster, (My Contact Quit, Stabbed in the Back, Poor Bugger.) followed by

6) More Optimism (We'll get 'em Next Quarter -- Guaranteed) and later

7) Finger Pointing (It's a terrible territory; It's not the man -- it's the land.) finally

8) Abandonment (Great concept; a little too soon...Sign this expense report.)

And he's off to another start-up making even more money. (Not that I'd know.)

So, if your need something to sell; You Want Refrigerators in Anartica? I'm Your Man.

Meanwhile, check out my upcoming post on working with super star Bono -- coming tomorrow. U 2 can be a star. (See #2 and #3 above.) "Hire me..."


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to know When to Quit.

And visit my weekly column in Anita Campbell's Small Business Trends.

Posted by Jack at July 6, 2006 09:07 AM

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The reason Babe Ruth held the strike-out record was that any batter who struck out that often and delivered nothing but singles when he connected would have been off the team.

Posted by: triticale at July 7, 2006 10:12 PM

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