Wine at the Business Dinner…

By Ed Cowdrey (The Sales Manager’s Guide to Sanity)

The 7 C’s of Wine at the Business Dinner

Business dinners with co-workers and customers can be a daunting experience. You and your team will be judged on your professionalism, candor, etiquette, and good manners.  The wine list can be even more daunting, but it does not have to be.

Whether you have hosted hundreds of business dinners or never hosted one before, the etiquette, traditions, and other mysteries of the wine list usually divide us into one of two groups: one, pass me the wine list please, or two, please pass the wine list to someone else.

The rules are not as simple as they used to be. Who gets the wine at a business dinner can be based on a number of factors including who is hosting the dinner, who is the “ranking” attendee, or simply who knows about wine.

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If you end up with the wine list or think you might, here are some ways to pull off the experience. These are the basics. If you already know a fair amount about wine, these will be good reminders. If you know a little about wine, these should be of help and may unlock some of the unknowns you have questioned in the past. If you know nothing about wine, the seven C’s should start you on the road to knowledge. Remember, there is nothing wrong with saying to your guests “you know, I really enjoy wine, but would love for someone else to do the honors.” It is almost guaranteed that someone will gladly raise their hand.

Here are The “Seven C’s” to follow.

Customer Information – Why Protection is So Important

By Megan Totka (The Pipeline Guest Post: Renbor Sales Solutions, Inc.)

In the sales business, we hold the key to tons of information from customers. While it may be something as simple as their name, address, and phone number, it’s amazing what can be done with that information if it gets in the wrong hands. Sales companies also often store all kinds of other information – credit or debit card numbers, social security numbers, and so much more.

By now, surely we’ve all heard about Target’s information compromise issue. If you tuned out of the news for the holidays, anyone who used a debit or credit card at Target from Black Friday until just before Christmas likely had their information gathered by hackers. Banks are cancelling and re-issuing cards by the millions, and Target is trying to do damage control by offering free credit monitoring for a year to anyone who was affected.

Now, could Target have done anything more to prevent this major breach from happening? Maybe. But there are some valuable lessons to be learned about keeping your customers’ data safe. If nothing else, the Target issue is helping us to see how exactly consumers are affected when their data is misused. It can cause problems in nearly every aspect of their lives.

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 Here are a few tips, courtesy of InformationWeek.com, that we can do better in the future when it comes to keeping our customers’ data safe.

 

 

“Sad Talk” in the Workplace

By Sam Parker (Give More Blog)

“How was your weekend?” the banker asked me.

“Very nice,” I said. “And yours?”

“Not long enough,” she said.

(so much mediocrity … so little time)

I looked around to see if my wife, kids, or colleagues at work might be watching. I thought perhaps this was staged to watch the springs pop out of my head.

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I understand not everyone enjoys their work. I understand small talk clichés. But no one should complain about work to their customer or suggest to a customer that they’d like to be doing anything other than helping them. Ever. [...Continue Reading...]

Expert Business Travel Tips

Survey: By  (Bloomberg Business Week)

Results: images

Bill Walshe
Chief executive officer, Viceroy Hotel Group
“I leave a suitcase containing a toiletries bag, a change of business clothes, and a set of workout gear at a hotel in each destination I travel to frequently. I arrange it with the concierge, who knows me. Keeping what I need at my destination saves me hours of standing around luggage carousels, as well as trying to cram everything into a carry-on.”

Elizabeth Gilbert
Author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things
“I use an iPhone app called CheckList. It’s exactly what it implies: a simple checklist of everything I need to do, pack, or arrange before I go off traveling. The checklist now has 98 items on it, ranging from “mascara” to “speech notes” to “change outgoing voice mail,” and I’m not allowed to leave the house till every single item is checked off. I honestly don’t know how I used to prepare without it. Oh, wait, I do know: I just used to forget stuff and then panic at the airport.”

Stephen Stagner
President and CEO, Mattress Firm
“A night of tossing and turning can ruin a trip, which is why I bring clothespins or clips so I can secure the hotel curtains and keep unwanted light out. And of course, I research hotels in advance to ensure they have good reviews on beds.”

[...Continue Reading...]

Why Advisory Boards Help the Sales Process

By Ken Thoreson (SalesGravy)

Help for the Blind Spots

At a recent client meeting we discussed the need to create a Board of Directors. It is a difficult task to find the right individuals and more difficult for an entrepreneur to accept what a good board can provide. Another spin is creating a “Client Advisory Board”. This is easier to develop and can actually provide real value to your business as well as your sales process. Both topics are covered below. What are your thoughts? Experiences with these kinds of boards?

Our research shows that accountability — or, more accurately, the lack of accountability — is among the top challenges that partner-company executive’s face. We’ve also found that many partners are too close to their own organizations to have genuine insight into their own businesses, their marketplaces or their industries. Client Advisory Boards and Business Advisory Boards can help provide better visibility for both those blind spots.

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[...Continue Reading...]

How Your Thinking Affects Productivity

By Mari Anne Vanella (vanellagroup.com)

“Thoughts are Things” –  Napoleon Hill images
How you think of yourself as a sales rep will translate into how you communicate to your prospect. That is a universal truth for all things, if you believe something will happen it probably will, i.e., the self fulfilling prophecy.  If you see prospects being annoyed at your calls, they will be.  Example: if you believe your cold call is a nuisance, you will project that through your voice gestures, your choice of words, and your overall interaction with your prospect.  Reps that assume their call is unwanted, often open up with statements like “am I calling at a bad time?” or “is it okay to talk for a minute?”  Or end their introduction with a question inflection–like “Hi Barbara, this is Bill Smitherton over at Imagintech?” Sending that subconscious message of “do you know who we are? you don’t huh?” Those kinds of statements immediately create a class distinction of “you don’t know me, you are better than me, your time is worth more, will you please talk to me….”  They will also say to themselves “execs never call back, no reason to leave a voice-mail.” Or, “execs don’t take cold calls, I never call without a warm intro.”

I do a lot of troubleshooting for sales teams, and one thing I continually see is the biggest obstacle to success is the belief systems reps have about engaging with prospects.  How we think about things forms the way we DO them, so sometimes what is needed is not coaching but changing a mindset.

What are some mindsets to examine?      [...Continue Reading...]

Do You Have the Right Sales Personality and Attitude?

By Gustavo J. Chavez – Salesforce Blog

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In a previous post, 5 Essential Traits of a Sales Champion, we covered some important traits of those salespeople with a success-leading attitude, including:

  • Happily engaging in conversation
  • Lending a helping hand
  • Creatively solving problems
  • Committing to follow through
  • Delivering a rockstar presentation

As important as these points are, there are many other ways for sales professionals to adopt a game-changing mental outlook. Here are four more tips to help build that perfect sales attitude.