OK, I realize it’s bowl season, so let’s just get this out in the open right now: I love watching football; I’m just not that into college ball.
Maybe it’s because during my undergraduate career I worked at a bar that was stumbling distance from a dry, but very popular football college stadium, whose team was mired in scandal that my tuition helped pay for.
Or maybe it’s the professionalism of NFL players, or the closer games, or the fact that I always seem to be busy on Saturdays. Regardless, I was a little worried I wouldn’t “get” Jeff Beals’ new book, Selling Saturdays: Blue Chip Sales Tips From College Football.
On the contrary, I really enjoyed learning more about college ball (without having to actually watch it). Beals’ first five chapters are almost exclusively stories from the gridiron and the recruitment trips that back it up.
While the stories are interesting, the initial advice Beals pulls from them lacks the specificity that leads to inspiration. “Adapting to unfamiliar surroundings” and “keeping up with the changing game” are vague action items that lack the “easy-to-implement sales and marketing techniques” Beals promises in his preface. Later in that same preface, Beals encourages readers to picture themselves in the situations he describes throughout the book and “imagine how the situation relates to the marketing and sales work you do.”
Wait. If coming up with my own brilliant analogies of how your sports stories relate to me is my job, I’d rather read a Vince Lombardi biography. Continue reading »
We all know a sales manager or two like Brad Hutchinson, the main character in Brian Souza’s new book. Seems like they always have three things:
- amazing numbers,
- endless confidence,
- and no clue how to manage people.
But how do you break it to them that they should be more concerned about leadership than their own leads?
In The Weekly Coaching Conversation: A Business Fable About Taking Your Game and Your Team to the Next Level, Souza has created an short, breezy tale in order to teach such managers how to become true leaders. The story begins with Brad heading out to a local bar to toast his “Sales Leader of the Year” award, as well as his general awesomeness. He invites his whole team out to celebrate, but when he gets stood up by the lot of them, he’s forced to question all that he set out to celebrate. Luckily, “Coach” Mick Donnelly is at the bar and easily explains why Brad’s all alone.
“You said that you crushed your number, right? Well… how many people on your team crushed theirs?” Coach asks. Continue reading »
For their new book—Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies From The World’s Sales Leaders—Thomas Baumgartner, Jon Vander Ark, and Homayoun Hatami observed the inner workings of successful companies. Based on interviews of more than 120 of today’s most successful global sales leaders, this book offers real-life examples of how they overcame difficulties and found growth in a challenging market.
Part of finding growth is developing a sales team. While mentoring is a learning process, it shouldn’t feel like going back to a high school lecture hall. In this excerpt from the book, the three partners in McKinsey & Company talk about trainers and coaches who apply the tenets of successful adult education to their programs. Adults retain the most new information by doing—not hearing—and companies that integrate hands-on learning into their mentoring programs can benefit from that built-in bias. The authors also address how to reinforce successes while also giving special attention to those who need it. The excerpt closes with an innovative method of coaching the coach, an investment that for one company yielded an impressive return in close rates.
Coach Rookies Into Rainmakers
Unlocking people’s potential to maximize their performance is about helping them to learn rather than teaching them. This form of coaching is critical in sales because adults learn best through “experiential” learning—that is, by doing. Studies have shown that adults retain 65 percent of experiential learning compared to just 10 percent of material they receive in a lecture setting or in demonstrations. Continue reading »