Celebrating the New Viddler Player

Celebrating the New Viddler Player

Over two years ago, I wrote about the role of video player technology in an eLearning Industry article. In the piece—re-posted here—I talked about the needs of marketing folks and trainer/educators. Their video viewing requirements are radically different, which means that player functionality is really important. I also talked about the realities of a post-Flash Web environment. As training (and all other online activities) shift to mobile, the need to shift to HTML5 and responsive Web pages is top priority. That’s why I’m in a celebrating mood. The latest version of Viddler’s HTML5 player was released last week, and it’s…read more >
The ROI of Sales Training

The ROI of Sales Training

All companies base their decisions on profitability (higher revenue + lower cost). A common formula for doing this intelligently is “Return on Investment” or ROI. It’s not the only way to measure success or justify spending. (“Net Present Value” or NPV analysis comes to mind.) But it’s certainly the easiest to explain: “If I spend X dollars on something for my business, how soon will I see increased profitability that equals or (hopefully) exceeds X?” ROI depends on changes in revenue and/or costs that are the direct, traceable, and measurable results of the thing being paid for. It sounds simple,…read more >
Handling Questions & Interruptions

Handling Questions & Interruptions

In recent blogs, we’ve discussed two topics—agendas and summaries—both covered in great detail as interactive courses in Viddler Sales Gym. To coincide with this week’s launch of Sales Gym, I’d like to conclude with the third topic in the series: responding effectively to questions and other interruptions during sales conversations. First of all, if you’re not expecting tough questions during a sales call, then you’ve chosen the wrong profession. By definition, you’re asking someone to give up their hard-earned money. Any prospect who’s still in business will want to know why. They’ll be skeptical of just about everything you say,…read more >
The Power of Summaries

The Power of Summaries

Last week, I wrote about the beginning of a good sales interaction, namely the importance of having a good agenda. This week, I’ll take it from the other end. What makes the conclusion of a meeting a good experience or a poor one? The answer is of course the summary. This topic is another one covered in the new online offering, the Viddler Sales Gym, but it applies to any meeting—sales-related or not. (I heartily recommend the free trial, by the way.) Here’s why: We’re in the midst of an attention economy, a phrase popularized by the likes of IT…read more >
Do You Have an Agenda?

Do You Have an Agenda?

Today’s political environment has taken a perfectly good word—agenda—and made it a bad thing. I’d like to reclaim the word, and make it a positive part of our interactions with others. Ideally, a good agenda is something that clearly communicates needs and goals beforehand. It’s all about transparency. For the record, I think the negative associations we have about the word come from the phrase “hidden agenda.” No one likes to find out that the real purpose of an interaction has been deliberately kept secret. We prefer openness and honesty. We also want to save time, and not go through…read more >
How To Make Awesome Presentation Videos

How To Make Awesome Presentation Videos

As a writer and former trainer, I’ve always looked for ways to add other media to my words. Text is all well and good. After all, that’s how we’re communicating at this very instant! But, as any good trainer will tell you, engaging your audience requires more than one medium. My favorite one is video. Here’s the problem. Video is a great engagement medium, but it’s not easy to produce well. A bad video can ruin your message. It can bore your audience into oblivion. It can create giant “blobs” of content that beg to be ignored. Here’s another problem:…read more >
Lessons for Salespeople from “Groundhog Day”

Lessons for Salespeople from “Groundhog Day”

Today is February 2nd—a most peculiar American holiday. If you’re reading this with a feeling of déjà vu, then you may be thinking about Harold Ramis’ 1993 comedy, “Groundhog Day.” If you’re also a salesperson, then perhaps there’s something you can learn from the film. For the handful of those who haven’t seen the film, the Bill Murray character relives the same day over and over again—aware of everything that has happened each time. All those around him experience the day normally, while he’s trapped in an endless loop. If there’s a teachable moment in the film, it’s when Murray…read more >
The REAL Reason Your Sales Team Needs Interactive Video Training

The REAL Reason Your Sales Team Needs Interactive Video Training

I was excited when we first released the practice-reinforcement-roleplay feature for the Viddler Training Suite (VTS) platform. Webcam or mobile video is a great way to learn—especially if the video is used interactively. However, it turns out I missed the real reason to get excited about interactive video training. Let me explain: The best sales training instructors and sales coaches are increasingly frustrated by the fragmentation of today’s sales force. It’s hard to overcome schedule and time zone conflicts. It’s really hard to conduct quality, one-on-one or team training sessions. Properly used, online video is a powerful way to fix…read more >
5 Ways Not to Sell Me Something

5 Ways Not to Sell Me Something

I’m a busy person, with authority to buy or recommend products and services for my company. Naturally, that means I’m a target for every intrepid salesperson. This includes companies with things I actually need and many with things I don’t. Here are five ways that will lead to sales failure, even if you’re selling something I want. Full disclosure: I go all cranky curmudgeon when it comes to unsolicited sales calls. Whatever positive attitude I had will evaporate the instant it’s obvious I’m being pitched for something. I pay attention to Caller ID. Barely one in twenty sales emails will…read more >
5 Ways Online Sales Training Can Fail (And What You Can Do About It)

5 Ways Online Sales Training Can Fail (And What You Can Do About It)

Since the birth of the Web, proponents have dreamed of the perfect “virtual classroom,” where geographic and financial barriers to learning are no more. Sadly, online training in general—and online sales training in particular—too often fall short. Here are five danger signs, and some good ways to avert them. The phrase “online training,” like its predecessor “computer-based training” can mean different things to different people. To some, it’s putting a WebEx or PowerPoint recording on YouTube. To others, it’s hosting a full-blown LMS—complete with online quizzes and compliance metrics. In any case, the dangers of failure are surprisingly similar to…read more >