Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I was flying out to California today - minding my own business on the plane. Then the two folks next to me crack open their laptops and start working on a presentation. Curiousity being a natural human habit, I kept sneaking a peek at their efforts.

Finally the guy (VP of Sales for a SAP VAR) challenges me and says "so what do you think?".

Never one to be a shrinking violet I responded with "it looks really boring and you have wayyy too many bullets". His companion smiled and then she gave me a quick smile.

"How would you do it?" she asks

So I tell her. We cut and paste the eight bullet points on each slide into the notes. We insert a couple of appropriate visuals and include a small amount of text relating to the two most important points on each slide. Voila. It's cleaner - and even the sales guy nods in approval.

So Marcus and Heidi - if you are out there - let me know how the big presentation goes today in Palo Alto.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hope Floats

We are in the business of selling hope!

So said a relatively well-known politician speaking to a collection of business-finance-economics students at a local college last week. I'm not sure how to categorize my initial reaction - except that i resisted the impulse to hurl my shoes at him. Yet after a few minutes I thought .. "well, yeah!". It's really a classic case of current state (misery), desired state (happyness and security) with hope as the bridge to get you there.

Of course, when you look at the bridge of hope in more detail ..

My point is that using good ol' Solution Selling terminology - we are in pain. Some of us have latent pain, most have real pain, and a distinct few have the vision as to how they may overcome their pain. So Selling In a Down Economy does need to focus on economics, tangible ROI, extensive differentiation - but don't forget to throw in that little shining nugget of hope.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Content

The March updates to Mastering Technical Sales were published over the weekend. You will note that I am doing a lousy job of updating the MTS Blog. So March will be better!

New content includes

The Stress-Free Demo

BLUF - Bottom Line Up Front

Ask John - Rewards with no cash.

Last month's talking point Selling In A Down Economy is still generating a lot of interest and is the most downloaded file from the site this year.

Over the course of March I'm going to be updating the Leadership section, as well as working on a project I'm calling S3e - Solution Selling for Sales Engineers.

Stay tuned.