Category Archives: Tech

Selling 101 – The Cold Call

One of the elements of the sales process is finding prospects to move through the funnel. There are also a number of ways to accomplish the location of your prospects, and cold calling can be one of them.

If not done properly, cold calling can be a tremendous waste of time so you’d be better off sitting at the office. However, with the five steps I cover (six really) in the video, you can make the time profitable.

What do I cover?

  1. Preparation with research
  2. Determine the desired outcome
  3. Make the approach
  4. Gather the information you need
  5. Thank the helpful person profusely
  6. Conduct a postmortem

Sounds simple, but in working with young reps over the last four years, it remains the secret of the masters. It’s time to share.

What’s your favorite cold calling tip?

West Texas Wind Turbines

Yes, the wind blows in West Texas and the wind provides electricity.

Each tower is about 300 feet tall and the blades are 150 feet each. The video has a lot of wind noise, but the turbines make a lot of their own.

There are many interesting facts I’m learning this week, but won’t share now.

 

from Droid2

How many times have you bought the same album?

Beach-Boys-Pet-Sounds I just bought a Beach Boys album for the fourth time. Yeah, I’m ready for some stability in the music format so I can keep one for longer periods of time.

It all began in 1966 when I received a stereo for my 15th birthday. One of the groups I immediately bought was the Beach Boys. I enjoyed that LP for years in the house, but the car was a different issue.

In 1968 a friend got a new 8-track player for his car and handed down his old 4-track player to me. The first thing I discovered was the 4-track unit was 12-volt and my 1952 Plymouth was 6-volt. It took some doing, but I converted that old car to 12-volt so I could install the player.

Of course, the 4-track music format gave way to the 8-track, then the CD and finally the digital format. That was in several different formats until recently. At first, they were DRMed (digital rights management) as WMV or ACC, but finally gave way to the more popular format … MP3. The other formats, ACC and WMV are still with us with no DRM because of iTunes from Apple and Walmart Music store.

Now, all the 4-track tapes are gone and I gave away the last 8-track years ago. I did get a car with a CD player in 2008, so I skipped most of the CD spending. I think we have 15 or 20 CDs we play in the house, but I rarely take them with me in the car. I carry my whole music collection on my Zune which includes the ripped CDs and the music I’ve bought online.

My question is, what is the next format that will require a complete re-do with our music? Will we be able to easily convert our MP3s to the new format or will it require buying our music all over again?

Oh, by the way, I recently bought the Beach Boys album from the Amazon MP3 store … again.

What are your thoughts on the the music format wars. Who wins, who loses in the next evolution of music?

Do You Track Your Business Mileage?

IMG_2465.JPGTracking un-reimbursed business mileage is a must for any salesman. Trying to go back and remember where you were and when is not something the mind is very good at. You need to keep track either analog or digital … your choice. I’ve used both analog and digital and I assure you, digital is better. By keeping it on my Palm, I can export it to a spreadsheet at the end of the year and have all the information I need.

My current company has a mileage reimbursement, but not the full amount the IRS allows, so for tax purposes, the balance is un-reimbursed business expense.

Early in my sales career, I kept a small spiral notebook in the car to write down the mileage every day. From that I would manually calculate my mileage monthly. That took a lot of time.

My first electronic mileage keeper was a Sharp Wizard. I used a memo field to keep the numbers, and again, would manually calculate the mileage monthly. Again, a lot of time spent doing the manual calculations.

I bought my first Palm handheld January 26, 2001 at the Circuit City in Sugar Land, Texas. How do I know that? I recorded it in the Palm and synced it to Outlook where it still shows up every year. I soon discovered the huge collection of software available for the Palm and bought a mileage tracker for 19.95. That was a life changing experience. No more manual calculating at the end of every month. It was all handled automatically and synced to my computer. Unbelievable.

Some years later I found a free application called AutoBase. It had a lot more options and allowed for more details about each vehicle. This application has transitioned from my Palm Vx to my Palm Tungsten T5 and now my Palm Centro.

Last week I saw a reference to TealAuto. It is not a free software program, but I decided to download the trial to check it out. Wow! If you want to slice and dice to see which grade of what brand of gasoline gives you the best mileage … you can. And it tracks an almost unlimited number of options for more vehicles than I have.

Everytime I think I’ve found something it won’t do, I check the manual and discover it will not only do it, but do it several ways. I am throughly impress with TealAuto. It is now added to my salesman toolkit.

How do you keep track of your mileage?