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 Difference Between Skills Training & Knowledge Transfer

The Difference Between Skills Training & Knowledge Transfer

There’s a huge difference between the knowledge of something and the skills needed to actually DO that something. At a concert, you as an audience member may know all about opera (or rock and roll) but would be helpless on stage. At a sporting event, you might know all the stats, but against an actual 99 MPH pitcher, you would strike out every time. That’s the real challenge of training. Knowledge is universally obtainable. Skill only comes with relentless practice, fitness, and dedication. To explore the difference between skills training and knowledge transfer, let’s dive into what they really are.…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 >
Leader of the Pack?

Leader of the Pack?

There are many popular misconceptions about wolf packs, especially when we over-simplify phrases like “alpha male” or “alpha female” and use them to explain human interaction and teamwork. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from the way hunting animals rely on each other to survive and even thrive. Case in point: The photo in the Snopes piece is from a BBC documentary that points to the alpha female clearing a path through the snow, to save energy, making it easier for the rest of the pack to get through. She’s clearing the path. That example of literally “leading…read more >
How to Sell Like a Rock Star

How to Sell Like a Rock Star

The other day, I moved some boxes and found a cache of CDs from my college days. (Remember CDs? They’re the 8-tracks of my generation, just like MPs and thumb drives will be some day.) So I dusted off my boombox (yes, yes, I know) and played Gorillaz’s Clint Eastwood. Instantly, I was taken back to all-nighters, disgusting fraternity floors, and red solo cups. I could remember every single word, even though it’s been years since I last heard it. I’m sure you can relate. A song comes on that used to be your jam. You remember the whole thing,…read more >
The Art of the Email Subject Line

The Art of the Email Subject Line

Believe me, people tend to make snap judgements about incoming emails based in part on the subject line. Even if you’re not super busy, you’re likely to ignore and/or delete any email whose subject line doesn’t pass the “is-this-legit?” test. I’ve been on both sides of the email subject line: the person crafting it and the person receiving it. For years, on the outreach side of things, I’ve been crafting email subject lines that got opens, responses, and content placement from places like Mashable, Entrepreneur, CNET, and Business Insider. While there is no scientific method or exact theorem, there is…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 >
The Misleading Debate Over Text “Versus” Video

The Misleading Debate Over Text “Versus” Video

Here’s a question that plagues trainers and eLearning professionals: “When teaching or learning something new, do you prefer video or text?” Frankly, it is the wrong question. According to “everyone,” video is supposed to be the most powerful way to learn. Many assume that online video inherently makes eLearning better or more effective. So, they resist the idea that some people—actually a lot of people—still prefer text over video! The reason is simple: control. With text, the end user has complete control over the experience, based on his or her reading level. The quality of the writing and its presentation…read more >
The One Problem the Sales Enablement Industry Hasn’t Solved Until Now

The One Problem the Sales Enablement Industry Hasn’t Solved Until Now

In Norman Juster’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth, many of the book’s characters obsess about measuring things. Words, colors, sounds, and numbers are just things to be sorted and classified. Real life is askew—lacking both Rhyme and Reason. Sales is in that position today. More specifically: sales enablement. Measuring detailed performance indicators has become an obsession, and technology for doing that is on the rise. Valued at $600 million in 2015, the sales enablement software industry was considered undervalued. In a 2015 Marketwired post, Doug Winter, the co-founder and CEO of sales enablement software firm Seismic, said, “only around ten percent…read more >