Category Archives: featured-articles

Do you train your employees? Odds are, NO!

Employee training should be the gold standard for every company, but over a life-time of working for companies, I realize it is not. The position most lacking in training is also the most important to the company … sales. The very position that generates the revenue that supports the company.

I have worked for far too many companies in my life and with only one exception, the training is as follows: “You see that map of our territory? You can call on anyone east of this line. Now go sell something.” And that is one of the better ones, but at least it pointed me in the right direction.

The one exception? Lanier Worldwide. They took training to a level I had not seen before nor since. A new sales person spent the first month in the hiring office studying spec manuals for their products, followed by a week at Corporate putting that knowledge to work. The emphasis in their training was on how to communicate that information to the prospect and make them a customer. They were also the best company I worked for at communicating information, but I’ll save that for another shortcoming of companies article.

I’ve heard lots of excuses for the lack of training programs … it costs too much, it takes too much time, it’s not practical, the new hire is experienced, etc. If I had a dollar for every sales person thrown into a territory completely unprepared, I could retire. And I suspect the results reflect the training. Little training, little results, fantastic training, fantastic results. I know this from my personal experience.

I’m curious, how much time does your company take to train the sales people it hires? Now don’t count the time the new sales person spends in the office filling out paperwork and meeting with HR. I mean real product, territory, and sales training.

In my experience, the only position that receives less training than a new sales person is the newly promoted Sales Manager.

My 2 Most Important Sales Tips

Over the last few years, I have worked with a lot of Distributor Sales Reps (DSR) and found that fundamentally they have problems with a couple of the basics of selling 101.

In this video, I give my two most important sales tips and look forward to what you can add to the discussion in the comments.

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What are your two most important sales tips for young or old salesmen? If you had to boil it all down to the simplest form, what is the bottom line.

A team is a group of people who may not be equal in experience, talent, or education, but in committment — Patricia Fripp

Where did you hear the Texas Panhandle was Flat?

One of the misconceptions of the Texas Panhandle is that it is flat flat flat. What many people don’t know is the second largest canyon in the United States is located there, Palo Duro Canyon. Only the Grand Canyon is bigger.

Recently I was cutting through the back-country and began taking pictures as I started down into the canyon. Here are a few of them that start to represent the scope of the canyon.

As you can see, the Panhandle has a great big hole in it, but don’t tell anyone.

This is the country I grew up in and when I get close, I get this feeling of home. I’m sure you know what I mean. There is this familiar feeling that makes me very comfortable in the Panhandle.

Don’t Try This At Home

I took these pictures on my Palm Centro while driving 55mph.

Where do you get the feeling of home? I’m listening.

Stopping to See the Path

Photo_092709_002 One of my shortcomings is getting to where I’m going as fast as possible. That means the minimum stops done as quickly as possible, and combining stops when possible. For instance, stopping at the gas station with the Burger King or McDonald’s attached to fill up and grab a bit to eat for the road.

Recently, I’ve been working to slow down and take time to look at the path I’m traveling. I do notice the country around me, but sometimes don’t see the obvious. This bridge is the perfect example.

It is located on Highway 83 north of Wellington, Texas and I’ve driven through it many times in the last two decades, but I never saw it slower than 70mph. Yesterday I not only slowed down, but I stopped to take a look and snap a few pictures.

I don’t know when this bridge was first built, but it must be solid. It has changed very little over the years, getting only a new coat of paint every now and then.

This was the original two-lane bridge before the divided highway was built and another bridge was put in place for the south-bound traffic. With cars the size they were in the 1950s, this was one crowded bridge when meeting another car. And trucks … I don’t even want to think about meeting an 18-wheeler in the middle of this narrow, enclosed bridge.

What shortcoming are you working to overcome? Are you making any headway?

Sure-Fire Gas Saver

The wide open spaces of Texas

The wide open spaces of Texas

A sure-fire way to increase the gas mileage on any car on the road is to control the appendage at the end of the right leg known as the foot.

Long stretches of lonely roads await travelers to remote portions of Texas. Because of the distance between some towns, a higher than normal speed limit is allowed and makes sense (in a way).

This photograph was taken while traveling on Interstate Highway 10 a few hours west of San Antonio. As you can see, the speed limit on this section of highway is 80mph. The first time I saw this, the temptation was too great. I had to see what it felt like to legally drive 80mph. My excursion didn’t last very long because of my front tires: a little out of round, a little out of balance.

The new Perelli P4s have solved that issue, so I did give it a try next time I ventured that way. Let’s just say … awesome. The stripes fly by and the telephone poles are moving rapidly in the opposite direction. However, I looked down to see my gas gauge physically dropping and thought, “self, this might not be the smartest thing you’ve done this week” and slowed back to 70mph.

Yes, the mileage gets even better at slower speeds, but the optimum speed for gas mileage is 18mph and it takes too long to drive the 600 miles to the Texas Panhandle traveling at 18mph. My compromise is 70mph where my average gas mileage is good.

So, to save gas (and therefore money) ignore any speed limit signs showing a speed higher than 70mph.