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Corporate Division for Sales Training Programs


5 Things every CEO Needs to know

Today CEO’s are in a quagmire. They are finding themselves running their business’s, making CEO decisions yet having to either manage a sales department or wear the sales hat themselves. What’s a CEO to do today? There are 5 things I think are imperative to do if you would like to make it through this crazy time. Interestingly enough, these things should also be done when things aren’t so crazy.

1) Scale down your existing sales staff. Decide who are the cream of the crop and get rid of the rest. How do you decide? By the 3 A’s. The first is Attitude. Do they have a positive attitude. A belief that if they can’t do it the way they always have they are willing to look at their sales situations as true opportunities and use every minute to look at things differently. The second is Activities. Activities are the actual pro-activities that they do to prospect every day, every week every month. It could be a combination of cold-calling, networking, cross-selling to existing clients, strategic alliance meetings etc. Activities are different for everyone but the ability to commit to whatever they are and stick to it day in and day out is imperative. The third is approach. The approach is what your sales rep says and does in front of and on the phone with a prospect. The other two can not really be taught, this one can.

2) Teach your best people to sell in this environment with a specific process. None have ever sold in a volatile, fear-filled time like this before. Selling is something that needs to be taught always but certainly today to attempt to be successful without it is laced with potential failure. A process to sell doesn’t mean a memorized script. What it means is an agenda of how they will approach each prospect, what questions they will ask, what they will do with the answers, how will they uncover the available budget and what will the next steps look like.

3) Train your existing non-sales staff to be your marketing arm. Sales training can not only be used to train the sales organization but the non-sales people as well. Often we have non-salespeople in our organization that have contacts with our clients and potential prospects on a regular basis. Are they asking for referrals? Do they know how? The connections that exist with this segment of your organization are often overlooked and so important to utilize today.

4) Learn to manage a sales team through the 3 “A’s”. As previously discussed, the three A’s are the basis of success. Additionally it is the easiest and most effective way to manage your team. Keep an eye and ear out for a positive attitude. If you see or hear a negative one, which is easily identified through excuse making, it will become a cancer so cut it out immediately. Use salespeople’s individual activities to help them track their success through the activities they carry out. A specific approach, will allow you to have a real post-appointment discussion on what went right and wrong as opposed to the typical discussion which of ten includes a conversation like,’ so how did it go?”, “pretty good, pretty good” which tells you nothing.

5) Build your business on referrals and networking with no cash. Today networking is the way to build a business. Don’t get me wrong there is obviously a place for advertising and other strategic marketing but to help get you through some of these tough times, help secure your brand by being out there in the community. Networking is again something that should be done also through a process and if you read my articles regularly, you know that. Additionally we are not getting as many referrals as we should from existing clients and there are two reasons for that, 1) we don’t ask, 2) we don’t ask properly. Properly means you must be specific when asking for referrals. Either a specific person from a particular organization, a position of a person in a type of business or an alliance of someone connected in the community that you haven’t met.

As we all work with the skeleton crew that we are left with, let’s work harder and better to make a success of our business. Getting back to basics, is it ever smart to get far away from that?

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“I just had a great conversation with one of my best clients. They are exporting to KC from St. Louis and I arranged a meeting for their agency and leader in the KC market to meet with Terry Hillman and Joyce Hayhow yesterday to get acquainted. He was very impressed with our relationship approach to selling and that we don’t only talk about eye balls and readership statistics. He met with the daily paper after meeting our team and he wanted to leave after 5 minutes. He said their approach was so 20 years ago and they were only interested in selling ads saying the CEO’s would notice their ads far forward in the paper. It was eye opening for him to see the difference in our approach and the value we truly deliver. I have a meeting with him tomorrow to put together a nice contract in KC. We definitely owe you a great deal of credit for your strength in consulting with us to develop our sales process skills and consultative approach to selling. It obviously separates us from the pack. Just make sure you stay away from our competition J.”

- Bruce Hoskins, Marketing Consultant,

“ I am writing because we have entered into a training program for our team to increase sales through “giving”. We are General Contractor’s who specialize in building Automotive Dealerships. In the past 22 years we have built over 200 dealerships and decided to train all our Executives, Project Managers, Estimators and Support Staff. The giving philosophy of the training is based on the book, how to “Stop Selling” and Make Money by Greta Schulz, who uses a consultative process and an unconventional approach to sales. She teaches the team how and where to Network and how to build relationships that she calls “Strategic Alliances” where our goal is to try to help the other person by understanding what a good referral is for their business. She also trains the team on how to teach others how to listen for clues and give a specific “Top Ten” list of good potential clients for our company. Our activity level has increased and so have our prospect appointments and sales pipeline. We also know exactly how to conduct a prospect appointment by not selling anything and uncovering the “real” reasons people make decisions. We learned that no one cares that we are great builders until they know how much we care about them. I have so many success stories because of implementing this sales training but don’t know if this is too much information. Please let me know if you need anything additional, I would be happy to provide it. Thanks. ”

- Linda Barnette, AUTOBUILDERS General Contracting Services, Inc

“ I wanted to send a note to thank you for your wonderful presentation at Lola’s for our physicians. I know the doctors enjoyed it as well as gained very helpful information on “proper” networking. I’d love to use your services in the future. ”

- Jill Seyfert, Director of Physicians, Delray Medical Center

“ Thank you again for an enlightening presentation yesterday at the SBS. I find new information to utilize in growing my business every time I hear you speak. Just wanted you to know I listened, I learned, and I am very appreciative for all your help and guidance. ”

- Donna Goldfarb, Catering Sales Representative, TooJay's Original Gourmet Deli

“ Just listened to your podcast and I found it most insightful and a bit inspirational; This pairs well with just finishing Todd Duncan’s book, Time Traps, over the weekend. Thank you for sharing. I also want to thank you for your column in the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Your tips and suggestions always seem to be right on and easily implementable. I was especially touched by your emphasis on professionalism in your podcast. In the mortgage business, there has always been an emphasis on how much you made on the last deal. My emphasis has always been on how I benefited the client. Perhaps that is why I have been able to endure through reputation and referrals. Keep up the great work! ”

- Robert Galitz, Loan Officer, Prospect Mortgage