Moving Forward

Moving Forward

As we close out another year, I wanted to share some thoughts with you about the future. No, I’m not going to make any predictions about the economy or business climate. What I want to write about this final time in 2022 is about moving forward.

The idea for this article came after I heard a really thought-provoking speech a few months ago. I decided to save it for this week. I took some notes so I could share some of the speaker’s insights. I hope you’ll think about your current situation and see how these might apply.

“We are all tested. We are always being tested. Success tests our gratitude. Failure tests our perseverance. No day or year is free from tests.”

There is a Hebrew word for test which is also related to another word which means to travel or move forward.

“Every test is an opportunity to move forward or to grow.”

“Sports don’t build character; they reveal it.” These words have been attributed to renowned basketball coach John Wooden and influential sportswriter Heywood Hale Broun. I think these daily tests and the way we approach and deal with them does the same thing.

The speaker said that challenges can often uncover hidden reserves and be the impetus for creating new strengths and reserves.

“We have the power to transform tests into opportunities, new understanding, and new growth.”

I’ve often heard that every client interaction should result in an order or more information. If you look at the previous sentence then you’ll see that the same things apply…the interaction is just another small test where you’re looking to find opportunities, new understanding, and new growth.

“Every day is examination day; many of life’s greatest, most valuable lessons are learned by being tested by adversity.”

While no salesperson wants an adversarial relationship with a client or their representatives, it is often an important part of the job to learn how to deal with the situations and challenges related to  winning and fulfilling an order.

As we complete another year, now is a good time for introspection, reflection, and self-evaluation.

Resolve to look inward and ask what you have to show from being tested. Life is not about just passing a test. Life’s tests are wasted if they don’t leave us a little better; a little wiser; and moving forward.

 I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators

Most businesses do some level of measurement in order to assess their position.  These are often referred to as Key Performance Indicators (or Measurements).  There are leading indicators (a piece of economic data that corresponds with a future movement or change in some phenomenon of interest)  as well as trailing indicators ( a measure of an outcome Trailing indicators come at the end of a process or program to measure success. They are also known as lagging indicators).
For example, sales forecasts are leading indicators.  Commission reports are a trailing indicator.

If you think about it, salespeople, in many ways, are running their own small business.  It’s a good idea for salespeople to analyze their own “business” to ensure they stay on track, because management also tracks these things.  Here is a list of some Key Sales Measurements you might consider:



Are you on target?  Ahead?  Behind?  Don’t know?  Now is the time to take action.

I’m not sure where I read this quote but I like it:

“If you’re going to quit anything, quit making excuses and quit waiting for the right time.”

Winning the Next Big Order

Winning the Next Big Order

I was listening to a Bay Area sports station (KNBR – 680 –The Sports Leader) the other day and the topic was “winning the prize.”  This was right after the Warriors won the NBA title again. They were discussing how hard it is to repeat, even though the Warriors have won or been in the finals many time the past eight years. They were saying how after the initial elation, there is often a big drop off. Very few teams repeat a world title back-to-back; often suffering a losing or mediocre season the next year. Why?

There was no one answer offered that answered the question… but one that seemed to make a lot of sense was that the players were very focused on the prize the year they won but forgot, let up, over-confident, or too relaxed about the journey the next year. It was the journey that had gotten them the prize; continuing to focus on and perform the fundamentals at the right time. The next year they didn’t continue the same steps that got them the prize.

This happens in sales all the time. Salespeople get very involved in a big project but forget or ignore the steps they need to take every day to continue winning the next big order. It is very common to hear a salesperson say that they don’t have time to network or prospect because they are too busy with a big project. I know large projects can consume a lot of time but it is dangerous to risk future business for one order or even a series of orders…as almost all clients slow down at some point.

It’s important to try to enjoy and perform each step of the journey known as the sales process every day, as these steps will more often than not get you the “prize.”
“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work, we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”

Earl Nightingale
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.

Don’t just sell furniture… sell the entire environment.

Don’t just sell furniture… sell the entire environment.

By now you’ve probably heard me say or write the following at least once; “Don’t just sell furniture…sell the entire environment.”

And now the CDC (Centers for Disease Control -nation’s health protection agency) and the White House COVID-19 Response Team ) agrees with me.

Now before you say, “What, another article about COVID?!,” let me tell you how you can provide an essential service and make additional sales.

I read a fairly lengthy article about preventing COVID and the many variants. We all know about vaccines, social distancing, and wearing masks. We should also be aware of the fact that proper ventilation is also critical to preventing the spread of COVID, allergens, and other pathogens.

BA.5, a new Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, has become dominant in the U.S., accounting for 65% of infections nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some experts have called it “the worst variant we have seen so far,” due to its high transmissibility and its ability to evade immunity conferred by vaccination or prior infection.

Ashish Jha, coordinator of the White House’s COVID-19 response said on Tuesday,  “We know that improving indoor air quality by improving ventilation, putting in indoor air purifiers — they can make an enormous difference in reducing infections and spread,” Jha said. “If you are a business or a school or any kind of institution that brings people together indoors, please work to improve the quality of that indoor air.”

There are many companies that make these products. Aeramax is one…but there are many others you can sell.

The worst part of the pandemic may be over but there is still a need for better, safer air quality now and into the future. There are too many companies who think that the air filtration system in their building will be enough but studies have shown it’s not enough.

This is a good time to re-visit your clients and start discussing air filtration. Fall and Winter are not that far away and more people will be indoors once more. The time to take preventative measures is now.

You can be pretty certain that if you don’t discuss this with your clients one of your competitors will. Don’t leave the door open for them to sell to your clients.