Most Popular Apr Posts at SalesTactics.org

Most Popular Apr Posts - Click to Enlarge PictureThe most popular Apr posts here at SalesTactics.org begin with a bit of an anomaly. A post on the potential price of success that had been fairly popular since its publication in February was listed on Reddit. This lead to well over 600 views of the post alone. That's great, but most of the people who saw it were kids interested in Transformers; not adults with life experience. Nor were most of these viewers looking for success or sales advice. So they weren't interested in other articles. Still, a high number of people who otherwise would not have visited this site were attracted here, and I appreciate that.

I considered lopping this result off our list as an outlier. However, it legitimately did get many views and is worthy of the attention it received. Additionally, a comment by a Reddit viewer prompted me to add more detail to my analysis.

Most Popular Apr Posts at SalesTactics.org

#1 - How Badly Do You Want It

We look at an example not of success itself, but rather the price you might have to pay for your definition of success. Megatron is a cartoon and a "bad guy", so he never really wins. However, he is a clear symbol and leader of his movement. And he has a huge price to pay for being so: he can't take a day off just because he feels like it.

What Megatron is mirroring here, and what I'm talking about, is a real-world situation. The leader has worked their way into becoming a symbol, and their public behavior cannot vary from the mental picture their public has of them. If they do, they'll lose all their power.

My purpose in writing this article was to get you thinking about what success means to you. As I said in my follow-up piece below the original text, I've worked with many coaches. From that experience, I can tell you that when people find out what their life purpose is, often they do not like it. They have to do it, but pursuing that purpose is going to be an awful slog without much in the way of redeeming feedback. Is that what you want? On the other hand, can you stand turning your back on your purpose?

#2 - Negotiating Is Bad And Here's Why

If you find yourself in negotiation, you've made a mistake in your sales process. The prospect doesn't see you as unique, or different in any way. They've lined up you and your competitors in a spreadsheet to figure out how to get the most for the least. And they will be coming to use the quotations you and your competitors so cheerfully provided against you.

#3 - How To Sell More Girl Scout Cookies

In this article, we look at the relentless and well-composed marketing machine behind the sales of Girl Guide cookies. If your business had its sales & marketing system together as well as the Girl Scouts do, you'd be in a much better position--and you'd know what to do. Their site is a great example of how to provide organized marketing tools to front line sales staff.

My Take On the Most Popular Apr Posts

I believe we're continuing our search for the building blocks of selling. People want to see and know what works, and beginning with the questions of, "What am I aiming for?" and "How do I know when I get there?" is a useful beginning.

Recognizing the peril and error that has put you into negotiations is a powerful realization. If you don't know what's happening to you and why it happened, you are the victim. In selling we must be in the driver's seat; otherwise, the prospect is in control. Since it's our responsibility to communicate effectively, ceding that control to the prospect--accidentally or on purpose--is giving up your integrity as a salesperson.

Early in April we also looked at Qualifying. Spending energy on, giving price quotes to, and inviting into our business prospects who are not a good fit is a huge mistake. Allowing unqualified prospects to become clients will result in badly-behaved, financially unsound customers upsetting you emotionally and damaging your business. Don't let that happen: qualify effectively...and mercilessly.

Yes, that's a strong word. This is your business, your livelihood, we're talking about.

PS. Really LOOK at that Norman Rockwell painting above. Something's going on there; it's not just a bunch of heads. Once you've figured out what's happening, imagine how this same process occurs between you, your prospects and your competitors.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Was there a post you think should be on the list that I missed? Comment below to let us know! And if you're operating an established, profitable business earning over $250K in revenue but want to take it to the next level, come visit with me to figure out the whole detailed plan on how you're going to reach your next income goal over the next 12 months. <<


Most Popular Feb Posts at SalesTactics.org

Most Popular Feb PostsThe most popular Feb posts here on SalesTactics.org were all about how to sell today, and what it takes to do so.

Why am I reviewing these? I get the impression that many people believe once an article, book or video is made, it's done. Over. In the past. No longer relevant. Think this is kind of silly? Let's go look at a post from 2005.

Wait, you say. That's old. Ah ha.

My point. The information continues to be relevant and important! So don't write off content just because it was first presented some time ago.

Most Popular Feb Posts at SalesTactics.org

The top three posts of the month are:

#1 - How To Sell In the New Economy
The rules and expectations of selling have changed. Throwing features and benefits at your prospect and hoping something sticks, or putting your faith exclusively in developing a "relationship" with your prospect, are methods that no longer work. So what is working?

#2 - How Badly Do You Want It

A cartoon gives us a startlingly clear example of what it can take to be the best in your field. Sometimes the price of success can be painful, and different from what we thought it would be!

#3 - Sales Prospecting by Claude Whitacre

Sorry, the freebie period is now over; however, $2.99 is a tiny investment for this amazing book. If you're having trouble getting conversations on the phone, Claude's book is the best resource you can find for the price.

My Take On the Results of the Most Popular Feb Posts

So here's my take on these results. I believe it represents a thought process in you, the reader: first, What has changed about selling? A look at the outside world. Then, second, introspection. What do I need to do to make that change in myself? And third, what specific techniques do I need to be using to get there? Pretty cool!

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Was this info helpful to you? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know! <<


How Badly Do You Want It: A Lesson from Saturday Cartoons

How Badly Do You Want It - Megatron Can't Take The Day OffIt's Saturday morning. So I'm going to talk about cartoons.

One cartoon, actually, and the antagonist of that story. Oh boy--I've wanted to write about this one for a long time.

The big 4-0 is staring me in the face and that means I was a kid in the early 80s. In 1984 a show came out promoting a line of toys that changed shape from humanoid to a machine, vehicle or something else. In English it was called The Transformers.

Our antagonist is a gravelly-voiced megalomaniac named Megatron. He is a strategist, though of the low animal cunning kind. His plots are not elaborate. But in a show for kids, should they be? He leads a police force-turned-banditos from the legitimately ruling group of the planet Cybertron, down and out for several million years or so after chasing rebels to a mutual crash landing on Earth.

Upon wakeup, a central computer reforms all the Transformers' non-humanoid forms into things that should blend in to our society: cars, trucks, jets, and the like.

Megatron, the epitome of naked force, is naturally given the alternate form of a handgun.

The rebel team--called Autobots--determine that while they need to find alternate sources of energy to power a return to Cybertron, they ought to be nice to the natives about it. And protect the humans from Megatron and his followers if they can.

The bad guys--called Decepticons--have never felt a higher emotion in their collective existence. So nothing gets in the way of their idea of enslaving the Earth. Then they can drain the planet dry of energy to crush the Autobots and triumphantly return to Cybertron and end the civil war.

Got the story so far?

What Megatron Has to Teach Us About Answering "How Bad Do You Really Want It"

Here's why we're talking about it: the only character I find really interesting in the series is Megatron. The Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, is represented with a cowboy mask over the lower half of his face. So you can't even see him emote clearly. But Megatron's face is bare to the world. There's nowhere for him to hide.

Decepticon society is based upon power. That power can be founded in strength, but it also has a big dash of perception. Starscream, a hyperactive teenager of a lieutenant, is perpetually scheming to remove Megatron and take his place; however, he's too often afraid to take the first shot and simply grumbles from the sidelines.

And here's the rub: Megatron doesn't get to take a day off.

Why Megatron Can't Take the Day Off

Other Decepticons can disappear into the background and sulk. Autobots can do the same. Even Optimus Prime can go hide in the control room of his base with the supercomputer Teletraan I. And it won't make a difference. When he pops out again, the other Autobots will still respect him.

But Megatron? He doesn't have such luxuries.

He needs to be visible.

He needs to be leading.

He needs to recover quickly from setbacks.

If Megatron is not visible to his followers, they will begin to doubt him. They will suspect he is weak. And in such a perception and strength-based society, that will soon lead to overthrow attempts. He must constantly appear before them, showing a state of ultimate power.

Should Megatron not be leading with some new stratagem to capture energy, destroy the Autobots and effect a swift return to Cybertron, the other Decepticons will look for someone else who will. Regardless of their moral alignment, this group is highly motivated. They do not want to sit around and wait for something to happen.

And if Megatron is emotionally crushed by the failure of his latest plan, that loss of faith will immediately trickle down to his followers. Adult criticisms of Megatron include the observation that he is too quick in the face of real resistance to shout, "Decepticons, RETREAT!" and get the heck out of there. (All of the Decepticons can fly, though most of the Autobots cannot; this makes an exit to Stage Up an easy option to take.) But he is always back with a new idea and refreshed enthusiasm.

Again, if Megatron--and he alone of all the Transformers is in this position--did not do these things, he would quickly be killed and replaced. Megatron does not get to take a day off.

How Badly Do You Want It: Megatron's Lesson for You In the Real World

Now take this to the real world.

Many leaders are in a similar predicament. Call it obsession, call it knowing their true purpose, call it a bad idea. Whichever you like: they have worked themselves into a position where they are symbolic as well as active, and they cannot disappear without consequences. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of these people, for example. I'm sure you can think of others. People who stand for a cause or an idea and stick with it. Their commonality is that after a point, they cannot publicly behave in a manner inconsistent with the world's perception of them. They cannot vanish for awhile. They have a place to hold. Ground to keep covered. Ideals to uphold.

Consider this with your own business or role.

Really consider it. Not being able to take a day off can be miserable, I know. But it is the possible price for "success"...when you are known for something and you can't stop. Do you love what you do? Have you staked your life on it? Or are you just playing around?

Notice how the three things Ol' Megs has to do are the same things you must do as a business owner to stay alive:

Be Visible


Recover Quickly from Setbacks.

Curious, no? There aren't right or wrong answers here. I just want you to think about Megatron's situation and compare it with your own. Where do you find yourself? What do you want? How badly do you want it?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development expert from the planet Earth. Did this discussion help you? Please Share, Like or Comment to let others know! Also, you can subscribe with the big red Follow button at the bottom right. Want help with positioning your own business for success? <<


(I don't want you to miss this, which is the first Disqus comment below; please feel free to respond there!)

My thanks to the individual who submitted this to Reddit. I appreciate it!

One reader commented on Reddit that I was suggesting people be more like Megatron, or that he should be a role model for motivation (and the reader didn't agree). This is incorrect and not the point of the article.

The article is about the price of success, to get you thinking about what it means to you, and what you're willing to pay for it.

Paying for success, however you define it, like Megatron does can make you miserable. Not being able to take a day off can make for considerable unhappiness. It's not necessarily a good choice, and I talk about that in the write-up.

Having been an employment coach and worked with many other coaches, I will share with you that when people find out their "life purpose", they often don't like it. Their life purpose isn't fun. It's a real slog, to get done what they need to get done. The BS sales pitch of the self-actualization dreamers is that discovering your life purpose is going to be all fireworks and leaping dolphins and applause and confetti. Sometimes it can be absolute misery...but it HAS to be done.

Megatron has his "life purpose." He is fully engaged in it, and *he cannot change his behavior*. If he does, he will cease to be himself. (Why do you think so many people have problems with 'retirement'?) That is a little scary, isn't it?

This is what I want you thinking about.