Hotel Rooms Without Desks?

I wrote this post over a year ago, but it stayed in Drafts. Maybe the trend went away before it caught on. Maybe for good reason.

Know your market.
Using smart phones as room keys makes sense. Once you’re a member of the reading glasses generation, there are only so many hands to go around. A frequent and annoying challenge is keeping my room key from coming into contact with my smartphone. At the very minimum, I’m juggling bulky rental car keys, reading glasses, rolling briefcase, smartphone for GPS/calendar – and I pack light.  Thank goodness my new projector now fits inside my rolling briefcase.

But if I don’t have a quiet hotel room to do some desktop work, that will be a significant impairment to my productivity.  Some of us are very effected by the noise pollution that abounds. You cannot avoid the constant onslaught of media talking at you – in the concierge lounge, the lobby, the dining room, every SINGLE waiting room everywhere. My hotel room is the only place that I can control my distractions. Even though I keep the bare minimum in my travel bag, I still need a desktop for PC, mifi unit, water bottle, legal pad, mouse pad.

Marriott is removing desks from hotel rooms in a strange bid to please millennials

Maybe they intend to move the desks to the gym? Now that’s not a bad idea, but they need to enlarge the space and shrink the number of rooms perhaps.

Takeaway: If your numbers are down, whether your sales or whatever metrics you use for performance, look internally for answers, not just externally.  You may have sliced your target a bit too narrowly. That’s a problem only you can fix.


Pride Doesn’t Bank

A successful negotiation results when both sides feel their needs are met.  This can only happen when you are able to work in tandem toward a common goal.

The best results happen when you seek a common need and keep your eye on it.  Everything you do, say, cede or seek should further that common goal.  When you become more committed to your private agenda, you throw the relationship off balance and it’s difficult to regain common focus.

This happens frequently when ego creeps in and one starts to protect their turf, preserves their pride or tries to save face.  This unravels negotiation.  It impedes relationships.

Pride creates win/lose results.  Humility and common endeavor creates win/win. 

For me, I’d rather be humble and full than proud and empty.

Maximize your connectivity

Some people are just connectable.  I happen to be one of them.  I like meeting people; I like helping people and I’m not afraid to ask others for help.  There’s not room for a big ego when it comes to sales success.

The easiest way to smooth an introduction to a prospective client is through a mutual connection.  If you are lucky enough to find you have a connection to someone you need to call, ask for an introduction. 

Yesterday I asked for such a favor, and the recipient of my request sent a very brief email to my target contact.  It was only 2 sentences.  (Tip: if you want upper echelon management to read an email it better be brief).  To my astonishment, the person I needed to speak to actually called me!  From his cell phone!   Without this connection, it might have taken me a month’s worth of daily calls to try and break through the gatekeeper to reach this person.

Yet, there he was and within 2 minutes, I’d secured an appointment to meet him face to face.  Golden.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  And be gracious about it while doing so.  Turn on your “Tigger”.  Be the one humble enough to show appreciation for a hand extended. 

Behind every gesture is an agenda.  It might simply be because you returned the gift of gratitude that someone wanted to help you.

What does Father’s Day have to do with Sales Success?

I’m a firm believer that in order to serve, you have to have a full cup.  The best sellers see themselves as servers and seek to meet the needs of others.  It’s far harder to do this if your own needs are not met first.

In Outliers, Malcom Gladwell discusses the environmental factors in success.  Among them is the foundation provided by great parents and if you are among the lucky to have come from great parents, be sure to take the time to honor them and be grateful. 

You have some time to prepare for Father’s Day and if you consider implementing the suggestions that follow, you may need this time to muster the courage for a heart to heart chat with your dad.

Here are some questions asked by Judith Newman, which were meant to be asked to mothers, but since I didn’t discover these in time for Mother’s Day, I might pop on Dad next month.

What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a Dad?  Why did you choose my Mom?  In what ways do you think I’m like you?  And not like you?  Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?  Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents?  What’s the best thing I can do for you right now?  Is there anything you wish had been different between us–or that you would still like to change?  When did you realize you were no longer a child?

When you dress for sales success, remember to tend to the inside before venturing outside.  Your results will improve.

Impregnable Sales Confidence

“If I don’t have it, you don’t want it.”  This was spoken by a fellow attendee at the eWomen’s Network meeting today. 

Isn’t that terrific to be so sure of your product offering to say, if I don’t have it, you don’t want it.  Man that’s powerful.

There are a lot of ways to respond to a customer that says they want a lower price, a different grade, or somehow they seek something that you know to be inferior to what you provide.  You have a choice.  You can match price, but that’s no sign of customer loyalty to you.  They just want the lowest price regardless of provider.   They can say they are willing to settle for a lesser grade of product, and you could walk away in frustration that this customer doesn’t appreciate what you offer.

Or you could start selling.  That what begins when you hear the word no from your customer.

We should all aspire to be as sure of ourselves and the value of the products and services we represent so we can say, if I don’t have it, you don’t want it.

When does tenure become cynicism?

I’ve spent the past 21 years in the same position, with the same company, in the same office.  Despite title ascension,  I’ve done pretty much the same thing for over two decades in the same location.   This circumstance has a way of making one feel like they know all the answers.  This type of thinking will bury a salesperson faster than just about any other bad practice.

One of the key elements to being a successful seller is the ability to always keep listening, learning and see the world through a kid’s perspective so you are open to the input of others, i.e. your customers.  

About a week after I was laid off, a US Airways plane went down in the Hudson River.  Cpt. Chelsey Sullenberger, heroically landed this plane on top of the river, saving all 155 people on board.  Sully was credited with excellent judgement earned from 40+ years in the cockpit.  I remember thinking, good thing US Airways didn’t see longevity as a negative, or we might have had 155 folks in that icy river.

However excellent one’s judgement might be as a result of lengthy tenure, it is a fact today that tenured corporate employees who are at the top end of the pay scale in their field are frequently among the first to go in these times of contraction.  And in corporate America, where efficiency is ever more guiding decisions, this might be best move for the company to flourish.

But consider this.  When you are selling, sometimes it can work in your favor to know less rather than more.  Imagine if you didn’t know that you shouldn’t ask for the order…you’d feel free to simply do it.   Imagine if you didn’t know that Mr. SoandSo Bigtime doesn’t take appointments on Mondays…you’d likely try to see him on Monday when you are fresh.   Imagine you didn’t know that most of your customers leave early on Fridays…so you stuck around a bit late and scored a big appointment at 530p just cause you tried that.

Stay fresh, dump any mental baggage that might be holding you back.  Be alert to fighting cynicism of your own doing.

Sell like you just don’t know any better not to.

Are you irresistably hireable?

Today I just may have talked my way into a new business venture.   An opportunity was brought to me to market a product that is still in the early stage.  There’s little history to draw upon for fair sales goals or compensation structure.

I greatly believe in the product itself and the timing of this product in the current marketplace.  Although nothing is an easy sell right now, I believe there’s good potential for a highly motivated person to sell this product.

In the interview I was asked what my compensation requirements are.  I gave the most sincere and honest answer I could…that I believe in the product, am interested in the opportunity to market it, and believe that I will produce good results for the employer.  And I have the confidence that my peformance will be rewarded in fair market terms. 

What employer would say no to this?  What’s the downside for them?

This approach won’t work for everyone and certainly isn’t a fit in every circumstance.  But we are in unprecedented times right now and you need to do whatever you can to differentiate yourself from your job seeker competition.

Scott Ginsburg asks, how are you strengthening your foundation of personal credibility?

Most employers will try to engage you in a game of chicken…he who quotes the salary first loses.  Next time you are asked this question, try reminding the employer why they want to hire you in the first place.   Be 100% clear in the solution you bring.

Your faith will inspire confidence in your execution.  Happy hunting!