Worksheets & templates for use with SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

I expect you've arrived at this page following the link in the e-book SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS.  Here is the download, as promised:

Download Worksheets and templates for Sales Presentations and Demonstrations

If you don't already have SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS, you can order it here as either an e-book or paper book.  (If you don't have an e-reader, Amazon will provide a free app to enable you to read it on your smart-phone, tablet, or PC.

(Links will be added shortly.)

Somebody let the Apple out of the bag!

Apple was founded by a Genius, Steve Jobs, and now has emerged the secrets of how Apple trains employees to serve as geniuses (small g, as opposed to capital G for the late Genius-in-chief.)

Now it seems that Apple's sales training manual has emerged. It makes for interesting Ah-ha! moments if you've ever been to an Apple shop:  you'll be rehearing your conversations with the sales folks there.

But, from the perspective of your humble blogger, who has written a good many sales training and interpersonal skills books and courses, it is (a) well done, and (b) not all that unique in content, though (c) the presentation of the ideas and skills seems well done (from the little you can see in the leaked excerpts.)

The core article is in Gizmodo article: Apple's Secret Employee Training Manual.  I've seen parts of picked up by both Slate and the Washington Post.

But Sam Biddle in Gizmodo is most detailed.  I won't repeat, only this: "Selling is a science, summed up by five cute letters. (A)pproach. (P)robe. (P)resent. (L)isten. (F)ind."  Not all that different than my concept of the Selling Wedge (in  my book, SELLING 101, and others; pardon the shameless plug!)  The basic concept sounds to my ear an adaptation of Consultative Selling, also covered in SELLING 101 and a good many other sales training books and programs.  (Not that Apple uses the term consultative selling . . . at least not in the parts I've managed to see. But it's there, of that you can be sure.)

The Apple books also gets into nonverbals: things to do and avoid with prospects, as well as how to read what the prospect is "telling" you nonverbally. (Just in case you've missed good stuff on nonverbals, you might check out my little book, SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

But to have the APPLE acronym to work with! That made memory easy.

And, oh yes,  Apple has good products!  That makes it even easier.


My SELLING 101: Essential Selling Skills for Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Free Agents now on Amazon Prime

Amazon has recently upgraded its Kindle software, so what appears on the Kindle comes out  closer to the visual quality and layout of the printed version.

101 Cover new 3rd ed-4x6jpg Small Web viewI took advantage of that opportunity, and cleaned up the electronic typography  of SELLING 101, and at the same time entered it in the Amazon Prime program.  Here's the link:  Selling 101: Essential Selling Skills for Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Free Agents

What Amazon Prime means to you as a reader is that you can borrow it free, from Amazon, for however long you want.  As I understand it, if you're  a Prime member, and own any version of Kindle, you can borrow up to 12 books each year.  Only catch, only one book at a time.

And if you borrow a book and find it so indispensable that you just gotta have it? Just "return" it, virtually, buy it, and borrow another.

If just want to buy Selling 101 in e-format, not borrow it, same link gets you there.

The perks and pitfalls of being your own boss — in India, in the biotech field

Fascinating perspective on career reinvention and entrepreneurship in, of all places, Britain's New Scientist, Myshkin Ingawale, co-founder and CEO of Biosense Technologies. The hook:

"When I was 17, I was clueless about what I wanted to do with my life. Now I'm 27 and I am as clear as I can be – I want to a successful entrepreneur, starting and growing more than one organisation in my lifetime. Sometime over these last 10 years, I'm not exactly sure when, I made the transition from "clueless" to "clear as I can be".

Definitely worth reading on a variety of fronts.  I'll leave you to it.

 Link to article

NYTimes article cites the four key questions that the incoming CEO of IBM used to help set direction

The New York Times  this past weekend ran an article on Sam Palmisano, who is retiring after about a decade as CEO of IBM. Particularly interesting to me were the four questions he devised as a tool to help get key people thinking in productive new ways.

 "The four questions, he explains, were a way to focus thinking and prod the company beyond its comfort zone and to make I.B.M. pre-eminent again. He presented the four-question framework to the company’s top 300 managers at a meeting in early 2003 in Boca Raton, Fla."

Those questions:

 • “Why would someone spend their money with you — so what is unique about you?”

• “Why would somebody work for you?”

• “Why would society allow you to operate in their defined geography — their country?”

• “And why would somebody invest their money with you?”

 Seems to me those questions — especially the first — are equally useful for business ventures a lot smaller than IBM, including those of us who are setting up new businesses or consulting ventures, reinventing careers, or taking a fresh look at whether we're as effective as we could be. 

Further, a savvy sales person could incorporate them into a consultative selling approach, adapting these questions into a form to be asked of potential prospects … thereby establishing the need for your product or service.

NYTimes article on Sam Palmisano's four key questions

New business start-up: “A Start-Up That Automates the Process of Starting Up,” says article in NY Times

As I mentioned here recently, this  Selling Face to Face site is aimed at new business start-ups as much as at the sales training needs of experienced sales teams.

In that regard— new business start-ups and how-to — here's an interesting link to an article on
 Wicked Start   a free site designed by an experienced entrepreneur and management consultant. I haven't personally checked it out yet, just read the article  and looked at the Wicked Start website, but it seems definitely worth your taking a look.

As I understand, when you sign up you get access to a series of how-to checklists and templates to hold your hand through each of the major steps of a new business start-up from scratch.

It's free, so I'm not at all clear on the business model.

Here's the article I read, which came to me via the "Small Business from the New York Times" weekly e-mailing.

A Start-Up That Automates the Process of Starting Up — NYTimes article

“I was a Washington lawyer” — Washingtonian Magazine

Here's another heartwarming, uplifting story (in Washingtonian magazine) of a lawyer who left the field of First Class travel and lots of dollars in return for lots and lots of billable hours , then reinvented himself into a happier field. "… what I wanted to do all along was tell stories. and play rock n' roll.")

His name? Ron Liebman.  His core point: if you're a practicing lawyer, ". . .to make it work you have to live the job. and if you live the job, there goes the rest of your life. It took me a while to get that."

It took me a while, too. Like him, I (also) was a Washington lawyer. And a New York lawyer. And a Virginia lawyer.  And, to paraphrase the old saying about boats, "The second happiest day of my life was when I finished law school and got admitted to the bar (s), but the happiest day was when I walked away from law and lawyering."

Why am I including this story: because this blog is about (beyond sales) career reinvention, going off on your own, career change, and self-employment as a career opton.

In any case, for more on Ron Liebman and his books

For his article in Washingtonian"I was a Washington lawyer"



“Pulling off the ultimate career makeover” — Fortune

When I was starting-up on this blog, I expected the main readership would be among new business start-ups, consultants, new free-lancers, people new to selling and sales.  Why? Mainly because the economy was begining to slide down, and a lot of people were going off on their own— some as involuntary entrepreneurs, others as self- reinventors in advance of getting laid off.

It hasn't been that way, so far as I can tell: most of the readership seems to be professional sales people, folks who already know their way around a sales call, and were looking for fresh ideas.

Yes, that kind of info is here, but also here are a lot of the basics of getting started in sales, or starting up a new venture, finding prospects, and making a convincing case. There are also a lot of free sales training articles drawn from books (Selling 101, How to Sell Face-to-Face Survival Guide, Sales Training Tutorials, and Sales Presentations and Demonstrations.

In any case, for the "reinventors" out there, let me recommend the article, "pulling off the ultimate career makeover" in Fortune, issue of July 4, 2011.   Case studies include,

  • An owner of franchises who sold them off and is setting up his own franchise operation, Yogurt Mountain. (Full disclosure: I have not, repeat not, received any free samples!)
  • A sales executive formerly with the likes of Intel, Dell, and NetApp who, after being down-sized, first became a free-agent, then was hired as director of marketing of a social media operation.
  • A lawyer, downsized after the media burst bubble burst in 2000, who turned around to become a contractor with the same firm. That led to a further reinvention as she set up what's best described as a legal firm of part-time lawyer contractors, many of them women juggling work and school-age kids.
  • A director of strategic development and communicaitons who got cut when that company was acquired. He then did what any good consultant and strategist does, develop his "brand" after an analysis (which makes very good reading) of his passions and skills.  Now he's consulting full-time.
  • Another lawyer who left the practice (good for him!) to become an author of mystery novels. (First reinvention.) Then when the market for paper books started sliding, he moved into the e-book field and took on self-publishing his backlist for Kindle and the like. (Second reinvention.)    By the way, as a "reformed" lawyer myself, I can't resist giving a plug to another lawyer who found "real work," hence this: his name is Paul Levine and you can read more about his mysteries at  Website of Paul Levine 

Fortune article: Pulling off the ultimate career makeover, by Douglas Alden Warshaw





Sales tip: tap the power of silence

Sales tip: silence is one of the essential communication skills . . . and a powerful selling skill, as well.

Think of the questions you ask in a sales call as seeds. It's crucial to give the questions time to grow, and the power of silence gives that time. After you ask, be silent, even if it means letting the silence hang in the air. That gives the prospect time to think and respond.

Ask a question, then let it "grow" in the silence and listen closely to the response. In some cases, you'll need to rephrase the question so it's clearer, or to focus the Decision Maker's response so it's more on target.

But those are exceptions. As a rule, once you've asked the question, bite your tongue and let the prospect talk. Listening well is at least as important a communication skill as speaking confidently.

There are other good reasons to ask fewer questions and allow more silence: constant interruptions to ask new questions may irritate the prospect.

Besides, if you let the prospect go at her own pace, and in the general direction she thinks best, you may find other potential needs opening up in ways that you wouldn't have anticipated.

Above all, don't be so busy asking questions (and thinking of what your next questions will be) that you neglect to listen to the answers you do get.  That's another benefit of the power of silence: silence gives you time not just to listen, but also time to think ahead.

“Tough times often lead to new ideas when jobless (inventors) let their creativity go,” sugggests USA Today.

Remember the old saying," Out of adversity comes prosperity?"  Maybe losing the job, or getting serious about what to do IF the job disappears, may be the best thing yet.

I've seen it often enough with friends and co-workers, and here's an article with a case study of just that happening.

Of course, there is one other step, apart from inventing, developing, manufacturing, and so forth.   That step? Marketing and selling it . . .  which is where this blog fits in.

I've included the link to the USA Today archives below, but since I find anything of USA Today online to be extremely difficult and persnickety to use, the article was "Tough economic times provide fertile soil for inventors' creations," by Dan D'Ambrosio and Adam Silverman, in the issue of July 20, 2011, page 3B.

Link to that USA Today article