Sync & Swimm

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Archive for the category “sales”

Welcome to the party! Who are you?

Who are you questionWhen someone decides to make a purchase how do you make sure your company is even thought about?  Do they know who you are? What you are about? Did you even get invited to the party?

Have you ever been to a party where everyone knows each other? Would you throw out your hand with a big….”Hi, I’m John..Wanna buy some insurance?” That’s what you do when you post an offer on digital or social before you create awareness.  Without awareness and reputation, you are just another idiot trying to sell something.

To create brand awareness you need Reach, Frequency, Consistency and a great message (Creative).  This doesn’t come from a few Facebook posts.  It comes from engagement. Connecting to the local community any way you can.  Going to a few of those parties where you don’t know anyone, and getting to know people…Slowly, over time. Over 80% of an audience won’t click on a digital/social ad they’ve never heard of.

Build awareness through branding. Tell great stories. Be known BEFORE you’re needed. Then, target those who have the need.  Do you want to be searched on Google, or found on Google?

Now go send out some thank you notes for getting all those party invitations



(For my Sales Friends)–Feel the Fear


  1. Pick up the phone to make a new cold call—-Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  2. Making a big presentation to a board of twenty skeptical bankers….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  3. Pulling over and walking into a brand new prospect…Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  4. Giving yourself a goal to beat your budget by 20%…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  5. Giving yourself a goal to call on 100 new prospects this Qtr….Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  6. Giving yourself a goal to send out 80 new marketing pieces this month…Feel the Fear—-Do it Anyway.
  7. Hitting $200,000 in earnings in 2016….Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  8. Asking for a million dollars of business this Qtr….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  9. Making one more call EVERYDAY before you go home…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  10. Doing something outside your comfort zone…. Feel the Fear ….Do it Anyway.

Mr. Sunshine

Rainy days are the best time to see clients. People seem to be a little less jubliant when mother nature turns on the waterworks. So if the sun won’t shine, you need to.

Stop by Dunkin Donuts, grab a dozen of the fancies and a few coffees, and drop them off at your best clients. For less than $10 you just lit up a room. Those are the things that separate the good reps from the great ones.  Don’t ask your company to reimburse you.  Just do it. Invest in your own growth

Do these type things  a few times and you will become someone people look forward to seeing. A rainmaker who brings the sunshine.

My Name Is Craig, And I Have A Listening Problem


I like to talk. That’s what good marketing and sales guys do, right? Slap the client on the back and tell them a joke about three guys who walked into a bar…Well, that’s the perception, but the reality is the exact opposite. In all aspects of life, not just sales, the best listener wins. Take it from a guy who can’t wait to get his “two cents’ into a conversation. Sometimes we think we know it all, or take the speaker for granted, or they just grate on us…Well, none of that matters. If you truly want to be a success, you have to learn to listen…Now!

One of my biggest problems is thinking about  what I will say next in a conversation, and not giving the speaker my full attention–Major sin in communication–Since there isn’t a 12 step program that I know of to help me become a better listener, I’ve taken it upon myself  to hone my listening skills. Here are the top ten tips that I’ve learned over the years to help me with my “disorder”.

1. Ask yourself, “Are you really listening to this person?”

2. Don’t interrupt.

3. Ask questions. Then shut up! Concentrate on the other person’s answers, not your thoughts.

4. Listen without prejudging.

5. Use eye contact–Let the speaker know you care about what is being said.

6. Don’t answer before you hear the person out.

7. Pay attention to all the details.

8. Active listening involves understanding.

9. Listen also to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken. ..Look for non-verbal clues.

10. Avoid all distractions. Stop looking at your phone!


With a little practice anyone can be a better listener– Make it a point to learn something from everyone you meet. The best salespeople are always the best listeners…

Now what were we talking about? 🙂


Pie Are Round!

From the moment I heard my 6th grade teacher say “Pie r Squared” I knew numbers could lie because everyone knows “Pie r Round”.   Flash forward a few years and I’m in first place for a major sales contest.  The top prize will go to the biggest percentage gain.  I was at $50,000 up 10%.  The person who beat me was at $10,000–up 50%.  Drats!  Numbers lied once again, (and now it’s costing me money!)  It didn’t matter that I brought in 5 times more money, what mattered to management  was the percentage increase. 

My latest round of being bullied by the figures?  In the past week I went to a local sporting event.  A three year old on a Casio could have counted up  1,500 people in attendance  in about 30 seconds.  The official number that was released by the team?  3,600…Absolutely crazy…  Numbers can be made to say anything.  I now question everything.  Do four out of five dentists really recommend Colgate?

I know many accountant types will read this and argue that numbers are pure and there is always a right and a wrong.  No arbitrary teacher to give you a C minus on your explanation of WWII.  No sir, right or wrong..No gray area.  The beauty of life by the numbers.   I get all that, and some things in life do come down to right or wrong.  However, when you can make statistics basically say anything,  you come to realize the world has many shades of gray.  The person who knows the facts the best, and can clearly articulate  them, usually gets their way on which shade.

Don’t just take every stat you hear as fact.  Do your own research. Ask your own questions.  The history books are usually written by the victors, and sometimes you need to dig a little deeper.




Selling A Better Mousetrap–(Or Butter Spray)

In the late 1800’s Ralph Waldo Emerson is given credit for the metaphor that has proceeded every great idea…”Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”.    The first problem is Mr. Emerson didn’t actually say that quote.  The phrase is actually a misquotation of:

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The second, and even more important problem with the mousetrap quote, is that it’s just not true.  It’s not enough to have a great idea.  That great idea has to be sold. There is no greater frustration than having a terrific idea shot down.

  In 1987 I had this idea for spray butter.  I was in the Air force at a base picnic and watched as Airman from every walk of life put butter on their ears of corn.  It was painful to watch. ..And kind of gross when they rolled an already bitten piece of corn back onto a stick of butter.  So pecking away at my 1965 Smith and Corona I fired off a bunch of letters to the leading  manufacturers of margarine and butter….My idea?  “Mista” Butter.  (Yes, a ridiculous play on “Mr. Butter”–but my original thought was the butter would spray in a cool mist–Hence, Mista Butter)  I received one letter back, and it politely  told me that they would  hand my letter off to their marketing department.  No grand rewards, no earth-shaking discovery. My little idea just shriveled up and died without the power of persuasion.

When I arrived back in the states several years later, every margarine company in the world had a spray butter.  Go check your refrigerator–I bet you have one in there right now–well, thank me! 

America  knows how to generate ideas.  What the average creative doesn’t know is how to sell them.  Everything has to be sold.  Apple computer’s first ideas came from Steve Wozniak, a brilliant programmer.  The name Apple would have never been a household name  if  the sales guy, Steve Jobs, didn’t pour in his marketing magic. 

Sales, advertising, and marketing are all skills that need to be honed like any other profession.  It takes years of mastery before a salesperson really knows how to motivate the person with the checkbook.  That is why just about every product or service has the sales side and the research/production side.  It takes both left and right brain thinking to get the public to embrace something new.  The number one thing for a company to realize is decision makers aren’t interested in you..They really aren’t.  All they are interested in is solving their own problems.

Even when you do find a way to solve their problems, they still have to be shown and told.  Trust needs to be established.  If your incredible new product scratches the itch and makes your prospects pain go away, you need to prove it.  Over and over again. 

The world doesn’t have an idea problems.  It has selling problems.  If everyone was put on some type of commission plan, the human race would advance 20 years overnight—-And  have plenty of “spray” options–maybe ketchup and mustard would work!?


#Persistent Or Pest?

Everyone loves persistence, but no one loves a pest.  So, how do you remain persistent without becoming like Bill Murray’s character in the movie “What about Bob”?  Well, it takes one word. Most people don’t have it, but the ones that do go onto untold heights. The secret word is passion.

Most sales happen after the fifth sales call, but most salespeople quit after two.  This is because the rep doesn’t want to slip into the “pain in the ass” category.   A good salesman wants to be a resource, an advisor, a confidant…anything but a pest.

When we think of persistence, we like to think of this famous quote….”I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”–Michael Jordan.   Here is a guy unafraid of defeat and at the same time in pursuit of being the absolute best. 

That is where the key lies–Persistence combined with passion is an extremely powerful force.  When you weave passion into the tapestry, people know you believe in what you are doing.  This is when you go from “pest” to professional.

Learn everything you can about your product or service, your industry, your trade, but most importantly, your client.  A salesmen with passion, desire, and drive can change the world.  Look at Michael Jordan or Steve Jobs–They did. 


Thou Shall Not Commit the 7 Deadly Advertising Sins In 2012

The New Year is here!  What are you going to do to make this a great year for your company?  At some point every business has to advertise  along the way just to stay even.  That could be Yellow Pages,  web listings or  just a free Facebook page.  If you want to grow and get your “unfair share” of the money being spent in your category, you really need to find creative and cost effective ways to make sure potential customers choose you over the competition.

Advertising is the way to separate your business from the pack.  As I have written about on several other blog posts, the four keys to advertising are: -Reach,  Frequency, Consistency, and Creative  (Copy).

Now we will take a second and talk about the 7 deadly sins of advertising.  Break them and you could be wasting money.  Money that could help  your business thrive in 2012.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising

1. Failure to attract the customer’s attention: The world suffers from information overload–What are you doing to stand out? 

2. Failure to appeal to the listener’s self interest: Don’t kid yourself, most people don’t care about your product or service–They only car about what you can do for them.

3. Failure to use words that paint pictures: Tell stories, paint pictures, make what you have to sell connect with the potential customer on an emotional level.

4. Being so creative that you forget to sell: What do you remember about the most funny and creative commercials?  If it’s not the product being advertised, there is a major problem.

5. Failure to give someone a reason to act now: Allow someone to put off a decision, and chances are, they will!

6. Cliché ridden copy: Don’t say the same old crap we’ve all heard for the past 30 years..Be interesting, or don’t waste your money.

7. Too much copy: Stick to one or two points.  Laundry lists only work when you go to the laundry.  Stay on topic; don’t overwhelm the customer with too much information.

There you go,  easy right?  I will hit each of these topics in more depth in the upcoming weeks. Good luck and I hope your business has a great 2012!

STP–See The People

See the People…This little piece of advice has floated around in my brain for the past 22 years.  My sales career started in 1989 when I picked up Tom Hopkins book, How to Master The Art of Selling.  I started reading every book, and going to every seminar on sales and marketing after reading it.    One of the goals I always have is to try  and implement a nugget of knowledge from each book or seminar.   The one thing that resonated with me from Tom Hopkins was STP.   In the age of social media, See the People has never mattered more.

Staying connected with people is the lifeblood  of sales.  “Liking” Facebook posts, connecting on Linked in, an email here and there.  These are all  good ways to connect and should be part of every business person’s arsenal.  However, deep,  lasting connections only come from seeing the people.  Social media is a great way to keep the pump flowing and to kill off the dreaded beast of  “out of sight, out of mind”.  Before you can keep the pump flowing,  you need to prime it.  Trust  is what primes sales, and it only comes when the relationship has time to grow.  You can’t come across as clingy, pushy, or needy.  One coffee at a time, slowly growing a business contact into a client.  Belly to belly. … eyeball to eyeball. 

If the average salesperson engages in all the ways to properly market themselves, and makes it a point to visit at least five prospects a day, (every business is different, five seems to work for radio salespeople) eventually things will begin to click.  A good analogy is a train.  It takes a lot of energy to get a train rolling down the track.  Once it does, it takes a lot of energy to stop it, because an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

Trust doesn’t come easy or cheap.  Learn everything you can about your clients.  Another great book that changed my life was Harvey Mackay’s Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.  Harvey takes the STP concept to a whole new level… the point of even knowing your client’s kids birthdays.  How’s that for a powerful concept?

Tell your story…be passionate…..listen…..learn……grow .   If you can grow relationships with sincerity, authenticity, and transparency, you will build a world class client list.  Just be patient and be genuinely happy to help your clients win.  As Zig Ziglar says,   “You can get anything you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want”…

Go See the People!  (After that you can get back to your Facebook posts)

 How To Master the Art of Selling

Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

Zig Ziglar

How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling

It’s Not Easy Being Green

I watched the Muppet movie with my daughter this weekend.  Those Disney folks are brilliant at combining adult emotional cues in with the entertainment of kids.  Most of the shows on the Disney channel capture both audiences extremely well..The result? Parents actually don’t mind watching shows with their kids—Brilliant.

The Muppet movie really made you relive the 80’s, while introducing a whole new generation to Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang.  Most of our memories are linked together by the glue of sound.  Sound and smell are the two driving forces of long term memories that evoke emotions–

Let’s go back 15 years.. Click on this link…Close your eyes…And remember everything that was going on in your world..

Click Here

Did you try it?  The movie actually used this sound bite while introducing the 80’s robot. The real year you remember this from though is  1996–Everywhere you went you got a free America online disk.  You and your friends were  on America Online, CompuServe or Prodigy.  Bill Clinton was bidding for a second term.  9/11 was still five years away. 

 Yes the power of sound.  A certain song can make you relieve the first day of school, the entire 7th grade or  remember your first kiss.   Yes I’m a radio guy, so maybe you think I’m not partial.  I’m also a marketing guy, so I know the way to get someone to trust you, and perhaps buy from you, is to invoke emotions.  People like to pretend they are logical, but they are not..

Find a way to pierce the heart, and trust will follow– Just like Disney did with the Muppet Movie..Now go out and relive a little of the magic of your youth

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