Success Feed

The Best Advice I Learned from Top Sales 2.0 Conference Speakers

Joanne BlackToday's guest post is by Joanne Black, America’s leading authority on referral selling and author of NO MORE COLD CALLING™ and Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal. Connect with her at www.NoMoreColdCalling.com or call her at 415.461.8763

 

This month I talked to a number of speakers who will deliver presentations at the Sales 2.0 Conference on April 27 and 28 in San Francisco. What did I learn? Here are the five takeaways you need to know if want to create a successful sales future for yourself.

Takeaway #1 from Tiffani Bova“Current sales metrics don’t match the buyer’s journey.” 

Ever watch a bouncing ball? It goes from one side to another, up and down, and all around. It's tough to follow. That's the digital buyer. These prospects come into the sales process at different stages and go bouncing around, collecting new information and shifting their focus back and forth.

Yet, salespeople are still measured on legacy metrics, as if customers start with zero knowledge of us. Reps are measured on calls made, social touches generated, and emails sent. “But legacy metrics don't work anymore,” says Tiffani Bova, “because the digital buyer is no longer linear.”

Tiffani will discuss other dangers sales organizations face in her presentation, “Who's in Control of the Sales Process? The Customer!”

Takeaway #2 from Matt Heinz: “Sales operations should be a marketing function, not sales.” 

When Matt Heinz offered this advice, I thought it was another case of marketing trying to take over sales –- until he pointed out that sales teams boost productivity by better utilizing marketing resources. He explained, “Sales operations has evolved into sales enablement –- which should be handled by a group that can systematize and scale the repeatable tasks that are essential to sales.”

Then salespeople can focus on what they do best: Building one-to-one relationships.

Matt will suggest other time-savers in “How Sales Operations Can Double Your Sales Team's Productivity.”

Takeaway #3 from Patricia Fripp: “No matter how experienced you are, you can’t ‘wing’ a sales presentation.” 

Prospects don't care about you. They don’t want to hear how great your product is or how long you’ve been in business. They're only interested in what you can do for them. Those answers require research and practice.

Patricia Fripp says salespeople should spend at least 30 minutes rehearsing and personalizing every client presentation. “People get cocky,” she told me. “They’ve been selling for years, so they think they can wing it. No way. When all things are equal, your presentation determines whether you win or lose.”

Don’t miss her breakout session, “Superstar Sales Presentations: The Inside Secrets.”

Takeaway #4 from Michael Nick and Drew Wright"When prospects won’t decide, walk away.” 

You've already "spent" your commission. Now the customer says he's not moving forward, with you or anyone else. Losing to “no decision” is even more embarrassing than losing to a competitor. You’ve committed to a forecast, and now you have to backpedal with your sales manager.

Michael Nick and Drew Wright will demonstrate the cost of waiting in their breakout session, “Overcoming No Decision.”

Their caution: If you’re hemorrhaging dollars, get out early. If you expect a delay, make a go/no-go decision.

Takeaway #5 from Jamie Shanks, Kurt Shaver, and Anneke Seley: “The most important component of social selling is marketing.” ­ 

I had serious doubts about this advice from Jamie Shanks. Then he explained how a marketing-driven social media outreach helped him create a referral network of advocates and influencers.

As Jamie said, “LinkedIn is a tool that enables social selling. It’s not social selling. It’s the medium.” Jamie will share his secrets on the “Generating Revenue Using Social Selling” panel, alongside Kurt Shaver and Anneke Seley.

Kurt agrees that marketing should drive social selling. Everyone has to publish content now, including sales. But instead of creating new content, he says salespeople should focus on sharing content from marketing. “Marketing is staffed, trained, and authorized to create content on the company’s behalf.”

Anneke points out that because social selling is new territory, many sales leaders don’t see its value. Without the right motivation and compensation package, reps won’t follow the plan. “Managers will just be adding one more thing to their day,” she explains. “All the training in the world won’t make a difference until their peers start getting results.”

Anneke says to stay for their panel. Cocktails follow.

Thought leaders aren’t supposed to rehash the same old ideas. They’re supposed to add something new to the conversation. I learned tons from these thought leaders, and I look forward to learning more at the Sales 2.0 Conference on April 27-28 in San Francisco. As a guest blogger, I’ll share more words of wisdom throughout the event. Hope to see you there!

HeaderSF2015_blog

 


10 Leadership Secrets from Captain America

BillWallaceToday's post is by Bill Wallace, vice president of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. To hear more from Bill, visit www.revenuestorm.com.

 

 

The fictional character Captain America, a superhero and leader of the Avengers, a team of superheroes, may be a perfect exemplification of many of the fundamental leadership traits that are critical in today’s business environment. While Captain America honed his leadership skills over an exceedingly long lifetime thanks to genetic rewiring, you can learn and benefit from his approach in a much shorter time frame.

Below is a list of 10 leadership secrets I believe Captain America personifies. They illustrate that leaders are made, not born. Anyone can adapt and develop the traits of an effective leader.

  1. Have a purpose and vision.Captain America is very clear on what he needs to do and accomplish. He understands that his purpose is to right wrongs, fight for justice, and complete virtually impossible missions. Knowing this, Captain America is able to create a strategy that accomplishes the mission and execute the necessary tactics to accomplish that strategy. As a leader, you must have an explicit purpose and vision for yourself, your team, and your mission. 

  2. Be willing to both lead and follow. Captain America has an ego but will adopt a position of humility to advance the mission. He leverages the strengths of everyone on his team to accomplish the goal, allowing others to lead when their talents are stronger. He leads from the front, never asking anyone on his team to do something he wouldn’t do himself.

  3. Let every team member shine. As leader of the Avengers, Captain America is surrounded by the world’s most powerful superheroes. He understands their strengths and leverages them to best accomplish the mission. He lets each team member have a chance in the spotlight and willingly embraces team members’ ideas. Every superhero on the team has a unique skill that he can’t match, and that’s OK. 

  4. Focus on things that will have the biggest impact. Captain America has a laser focus on the important things that create the biggest difference. He doesn’t allow himself to be dragged into the small details that won’t make a major difference. Don’t get so wrapped up in details that you miss the big picture.

  5. Be a risk taker but not reckless. The job of a superhero, as well as a leader, is inherently risky. The Avengers understand the risks and trust Captain America not to put them in harm’s way unnecessarily. This inspires loyalty among his team. While your circumstances are not nearly as perilous, you may need to take risks to achieve your mission.

  6. Don’t be afraid to break rules when it’s necessary. When rules that were created with the best intentions yield unfortunate outcomes, leaders need to trust that their judgment and experience will help them make the right call. Many rules are made by people far away from the front line. While there may be a price to pay for breaking rules, leaders need to weigh the options and consider what’s best overall.

  7. Share credit with those who deserve it. Captain America isn’t in it to advance himself. By sharing the credit, he gains the admiration and respect of his team; his team is willing to follow him into battle. Effective leaders recognize the contributions of their team members – and even their superiors – who helped make the mission a success. Building the currency of others doesn’t hurt yours.

  8. Communicate clearly and openly. Captain America is clear about his objectives and ensures his team understands what is required. He praises openly and has the tough conversations privately. Instead of avoiding constructive conflict, he speaks up if he believes there is a better way to accomplish the mission. Captain America repeatedly communicates the necessity of actions and reviews the tactics with his team to ensure everyone understands his or her role and is focused on execution.

  9. Admit when you’re wrong. Captain America takes responsibility for his actions and readily admits when he’s wrong. He doesn’t worry about losing respect or being seen as weak. When he makes a mistake, he owns it and acknowledges that he must consider other actions. Don’t let being right stop you from moving on productively. 

  10. Be resilient. Captain America gets back up when he’s knocked down and never quits. He may get discouraged, but he is persistent and adaptable in order to find a way to win. He understands that intelligent actions, patience, and persistence are worth the effort.

Nothing that’s been outlined above is beyond the capability of anyone desiring to become an effective leader. If you follow the example of Captain America and work to develop the same attitude and skills, you’ll soon be overcoming challenges, creating greater results, experiencing success, and earning the respect of the superheroes who follow you.


How to Showcase Customer Success Stories in Your Sales Funnel

WillSpendlove

Today's post is by Will Spendlove, vice president of product marketing at InsideView.

 

 

Most sales professionals already use customer success stories, albeit informally, to speed up the sales cycle; however, these stories are not often properly leveraged by marketing. In most cases, this is because marketing thinks the sales team doesn’t have time to share such stories, or the company is waiting until clients have spent a few months using the solution or product to see what measurable results can be rolled into a case study.

Formalizing customer success stories is easier than you think, and one reason is that full-page case studies are being phased out in favor of stories that showcase the customer’s journey in stages, from onboarding to renewal and beyond. That means you don’t have to wait as long or put in as much time to include these stories as part of your formal messaging.

At InsideView, we’re mining opportunities to share and leverage customer success snippets at each stage of the sales funnel, every day. We are always on the lookout for happy customers who are already engaging with our sales, customer-success, and account-management teams. Here’s what we pull out at each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Top-of-the-funnel snippets showcase customer quotes or simple metrics to pique interest and drive leads. For example, a stakeholder at “Customer X” gave glowing feedback to his sales rep about his experience with your product at implementation. Use this feedback in top-of-the-funnel conversations, and post them on your Website’s home page.

Middle-of-the-funnel snippets highlight a customer’s company profile, challenges experienced before implementation, results and metrics after using your product or service, and quotes. For example, “Customer X” had a business review with its customer success manager, and together they identified a couple huge wins over the first few quarters using your product. Use these customer profiles in middle-of-the-funnel conversations, and post them on Web pages strategically. 

Bottom-of-the-funnel snippets are the most in-depth success stories. They dive into product use cases and tell a deeper customer backstory – think video testimonials and prose. For example, “Customer X” now has about a year (or more) of experience with your product. The customer success manager just renewed the account, and your account executive just closed a cross-sale deal. Use this story in bottom-of-the-funnel conversations, and house them in a public success-story directory on your site. 

The success-snippet approach allows sales and marketing to work together to tell a piece of the story at each stage of the sales cycle, and it enables the two teams to work together every step of the way toward quota. As the customer grows, the story becomes a little longer and a little richer. It also helps you build a pipeline of happy customers to talk about in the future so you can close more deals.


Solving the Sales-Training Retention Headache

Larissa gschwandtnerToday’s post is by Larissa Gschwandtner, vice president of sales and marketing at Selling Power.

 

 

Sales managers have long been frustrated by the fact that sales reps don’t fully retain all the information they learn in training sessions. Furthermore, the information they remember tends to decrease as time goes by. 

This can be a big revenue drain. Not only are sales leaders paying for an expensive program that will be a dim memory six months from now for many reps, but they’re also contributing to lost productivity by putting reps in classrooms, away from customers.

Traditionally, there haven’t been a lot of technological tools to help sales managers maximize their investment in sales training. Instead, managers have successfully leveraged ongoing coaching to make sales training stick. This year, however, as we were putting together our annual list of the Top 20 Sales Training Companies, I noticed that there’s a growing emphasis on both technology and coaching to solve the widespread problem of poor retention.

Overall, the applications submitted to us by sales-training companies showed that, to provide a vastly improved return on investment, many of these companies now offer managers real-time reinforcement tools, such as playbooks, Cloud-based coaching solutions, games, white boards, quizzes, customer relationship management (CRM) integration, and mobile reinforcement apps. The combination of coaching and real-time tools turns sales training into an ongoing activity rather than a fixed event that ends after a few days or weeks. The result is that sales leaders see consistent and continuous performance improvement among salespeople. 

In addition to retention, these tools are also having an impact in other areas. For example, in the past, training did not always match the sales process. By using training playbooks that integrate with CRM, sales managers have a way to monitor whether reps are leveraging sales training and how they’re doing it, if so. This empowers managers to better evaluate training providers and monitor rep performance.

As in previous years, we used predetermined criteria to evaluate the applications for our Top 20 Sales Training Companies list. (Note: the list is compiled exclusively on the basis of applications and customer feedback surveys.) Here are the elements we currently consider:

  1. Depth and breadth of training offered

  2. Innovative and new offerings (specific training courses or methodology) or delivery methods

  3. Ability to customize offerings

  4. Strength of client satisfaction

The client-satisfaction component is an important one, as it tends to reflect the current needs of the clients sales-training companies serve; however, the path to progress always involves trying new things and not sticking with the status quo. Over the next two years, as sales leaders’ training expectations shift, I expect that the Top 20 Sales Training companies will have a bigger focus on the innovative use of technology and expansion of sales-enablement capabilities to support and improve sales performance.

To see the full list of the Selling Power Top 20 Sales Training Companies in 2014, please visit http://www.sellingpower.com/2014/sales-training-companies/top-twenty-listing/.

What changes have you seen in sales-training offerings in recent years? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 


Seize Today's Selling Opportunities: My Interview with @DMScott

At the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco in May I had the opportunity to interview David Meerman Scott, author of Real-Time Marketing & PR. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

  • Many salespeople are so busy selling that they don't have time to actually be helpful.

  • Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story. As a story breaks (the story could be about anything, like a regulation change in your industry) people are scrambling to figure out what it means. If you are an expert, you can create a blog post, a video, a tweet to provide value instantly. This is like a wave that builds that you can surf to address a wide audience. As David said, maybe you'll get quoted in the press and maybe a customer will reach out to you.

  • The tools are the easy part -- we have all we need on our mobile phones to participate in the real time economy. But so many salespeople are in campaign mode, just pitching and planning ahead of time to do a particular campaign in future months. The problem with this is that you need to be able to react instantaneously to news that's happening right now.

  • When you're doing real time, you're focused on buyers and their needs rather than focusing on how you happen to sell. That is a major and important shift in perspective for many sellers and marketers.  

  • Today, sales teams need to be able to respond to opportunities from all directions. Conversations drive commerce today.

I really enjoyed my discussion with David, and I thank him for giving a terrific presentation at the Sales 2.0 Conference. We got a very enthusiastic response from the hundreds of B2B sales leaders in attendance. Check out the books he's written here on his website.


What Attracts Sales Leaders to the Sales 2.0 Conference?


The thing I'm most excited about right now is the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston. I've been producing these events with Sales Dot Two, Inc. (Selling Power is a media co-sponsor) since 2007 and they are only getting bigger and better.

At the most recent Sales 2.0 event in San Francisco I interviewed numerous attendees, speakers, and sponsors and put together the video above to provide a sense of what sales leaders find most valuable about the conference. Here's a summary.

  • You'll hear real thought leaders tell you what's changed, what you need to do now, and what changes you can make to impact your number.

  • You will learn what you can do to add creativity to sales process.

  • You will pick up valuable information in the hallways and during breaks in addition to the insights shared onstage.

  • You'll learn immediate takeaways you can bring back to the sales team to help them improve.

Watch the full video to grab a discount registration code for the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston on July 14. Bonus: you will also see some great examples of how we have fun at these conferences, including juggling and a backflip!


Sales Excellence Begins with You

PaulShapiro_100Today's Paul Shapiro is a managing partner at vie™.

 

 

Almost one year ago, I visited my physician for a checkup and blood work. I learned that my cholesterol was high and that I had several other indicators that weren’t very good. My doctor told me, “This is very common,” and suggested I consider taking a statin, like so many other males over 40.

I hated that idea.

So I took matters into my own hands. I watched a movie (Forks Over Knives) and read a book (The China Study). Both had a profound impact on my view of processed foods and the outcome of an American diet.

When I was finally convinced that I alone was responsible for my own good health, I did something radical: I stopped eating meat and dairy foods. The guy who loved to eat all foods, especially bacon, woke up and said, “I can make this change,” and I became a vegan.

Within six months of eating no meat or dairy products, my cholesterol went from 270 to 131. I also saw significant improvement in my blood pressure, A1C, and several other indicators. I lost 30 pounds, my body mass index greatly improved, and I never felt hungry. I didn’t even miss bacon.

It’s been a year, and I’m still 100 percent on track.

I feel so much better. I have more energy and clarity than ever before. I’m not trying to convert anyone to a vegan lifestyle (although I’m happy to discuss or answer questions about the experience any time). What I want to share is this: I realized my health experience dovetailed directly with my business experience, and both experiences share the same principles.

Over the last decade, as my vie™ colleagues and I worked tirelessly to perfect the sales-excellence process for our clients, we observed and coached thousands of salespeople and managers from some incredible companies. Here’s how the principles of success overlap.

1.  You have to create a blueprint for success, and you must follow it.

When I was creating a blueprint to achieve better health, I identified what I would eat and what I wouldn’t. I learned about the rewards of proper nutrition and the dangers of my current lifestyle, and I developed a strategy and plan to reverse my weaknesses. That was my blueprint.

How could you deconstruct your sales role and reengineer it for high performance? When you think about each step of your selling process, what things could you do differently? As a manager, coach, or leader, what approach could you change to produce better outcomes? What things do you need to stop or start doing? Write it out and create your blueprint.

2.  You are what you consume. Literally.

I admit it: I was filling my body with the wrong nourishment – fatty foods, chemically processed foods, and loads of sugar, all leading to (inevitable) long-term health problems.

What are you filling your mind with every day? Are you consuming information that could help you show your clients that you are a scary-smart advisor? Are you looking around, taking note of what competitors are doing, and collecting new ideas and insight to improve client business? Or are you just showing up with the same stale approach? Skipping good nutrition and substance in this area will have detrimental effects on your ability to help your clients and prospects.

3.  You CAN change ingrained habits.

Have you ever experienced an epiphany? Realized that something needs to change?

I was terrified by my blood work and didn’t want to have a heart attack at 50 like my father did. This jolted me to make some radical changes. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late.

What will be your epiphany? A missed opportunity? Being passed over for a promotion? A job loss? When you reflect on the value you bring to your clients, are you everything they hoped for? Are old habits keeping you stuck in place? Are you too comfortable in your routine? Could you change it up to be more positive, unexpected, and valuable?

Sometimes people wait so long to change, and then it’s too late. The competition swoops in and takes your business. These people lose out on opportunities, or worse, become irrelevant. You’ve heard the saying “Pay now or pay later”? Pay now, because paying later is much more painful.

4.  To be great, you have to practice.

You are what you practice most, and I was determined to practice a lifestyle that would lower my cholesterol and change my health.

To achieve excellence, you need to make sure the changes you put in place aren’t temporary.

When it came to my health, I needed to do several things to ensure that my behavioral change would become a permanent approach to life. I needed to make sure I was eating the right food, exercising according to my plan, and keeping my nose in the research so I always felt motivated and knowledgeable, and not just once in a while but daily. A daily practice of the right disciplines will form a new habit. I told myself I needed new habits not new medicine.

Sales excellence is no different. Ask yourself what habits you’re practicing. Are you putting in the time to prepare for every client encounter? Have you practiced for your next meeting so that you are sharper and genuinely ready? Are you focused on the right disciplines and habits that will lead to success? 

The big takeaway is this: we have the ability to improve. Will there be surprises and challenges that are out of our control?  Of course, but the reality is, there are many chronic conditions in our health and business that can be reversed, controlled, and even avoided.

No one will do this for you. It must begin with you.


Ditch Your CRM and Get More Done!

I've seen the future, and I’ve decided to ditch my CRM and get more done.

What's the secret? Contatta. It’s a brand new cloud solution that could have 10 million subscribers within the next five years. I think it’s destined to dwarf salesforce.com’s numbers. Why? Because this software works for the salesperson, not the sales manager.

Here is a little-known fact: the average time a salesperson spends on salesforce.com per day is less than 40 minutes (check Alexa.com for average site visit), which represents only 8.3 percent of a salesperson's day. Contatta is designed to help salespeople work smarter, collaborate better, and leverage social media to the max. It’s like a Swiss Army knife that has everything a salesperson needs to sell like a rock star.

Contatta has been developed and designed by the creator of ACT!, Pat Sullivan, who sold ACT! for $45 million to Symantec in 1993. He then started Saleslogix and grew his second company to more than $100 million and sold it to Sage for $260 million in 2001. He has quietly spent the last few years designing and developing Contatta, which in my opinion will lead to a business three-peat.

Here are just three of the most exciting functionalities, among many others:

1. Contatta turns email into a sales-productivity hub. You don't have to hunt for past emails or spend time searching for files that you know you received but can't locate. You can transfer emails to a workroom, which allows you to work on your projects whenever you choose. No more lost emails or dropped projects.

2. Contatta turns email into a social-media listening post that would make the NSA proud. This clever software not only allows you to see what your prospect has tweeted or posted on Facebook or LinkedIn, but you can see all your salespeople’s connections and leverage the collective social-media power of your entire sales team.

3. Contatta ends email forwarding forever. The sales team can share emails (private or public settings), and anyone from your team can collaborate and add messages, comments, and advice, so your salespeople can tap into the collective intelligence of your organization.

I've had the privilege of interviewing Pat Sullivan, and I’ve edited this half-hour video down to the most essential 3 1/2 minutes. 

 


Team Goals: My Chat with Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott

Cabrera_newToday's blog post is by Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly Corporation.

 

 

Recently, I sat down with Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott to talk about how properly aligned goals lead to motivated teams and ultimate success.

It was a great conversation and an honor to chat one-on-one with a superstar athlete who helped win multiple Super Bowls and also achieved success in business later in his career. One thing he said that stuck with me was that it’s important to recognize that the game is bigger than you. This is the first step in aligning yourself with the team and the team goals – which is hard.

My new book, Game the Plan: Every Sales Rep’s Dream; Every CFO’s Nightmare, delves deep into the science of motivation: what really makes people tick and inspires performance for the team? After decades in the industry, I’ve seen more than a few managers who unintentionally demotivate their employees, and I’ve discovered quite a few “myth-understandings” about what truly motivates in the workplace.

Myth #1: Having a job should be motivation enough.

Sure, in a world where jobs are extremely scarce (Great Recession anyone?), having a job ismotivation enough. But you can’t really call this feeling motivation; it’s more related to fear and the anxiety that comes from having no other employment options. Buyers beware: if you subscribe to this tactic during lean times, expect a major pushback as soon as the economy improves – and it always does. There was a 37 percent increase in voluntary employee termination from 2009 to 2013. This loss of personnel isn’t just problematic, it’s costly. Losing an employee will cost your organization up to 1.5 times an employee’s annual salary.

Myth #2: Money is the greatest motivator.

According to Mindflash, being fully appreciated for completed work is more important than money for most employees. Sixty-seven percent say praise and recognition from a manager is the most effective motivator. Don’t get me wrong, money matters – a competitive salary is important for retaining rock stars – but when it comes to motivating and engaging employees, pats on the back, plaques, and public recognition go far in making them feel like appreciated members of the team.

Myth #3: Nothing lights fire like fear.

How can you tell if you’ve gone too far? If you think Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada was just misunderstood, you’ve already crossed the line. Fear is a temporary motivator that creates a stressful and unhealthy work environment, not a viable long-term strategy. While being terrified of a boss will “inspire” temporarily, burnout, absenteeism, and health problems are likely to ensue. It’s estimated that $300 billion is spent every year on costs related to workplace stress.

Myth #4: Good motivation theories and practices will work for all employees.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to employee motivation. This is especially important to remember when you consider that engaged employees produce 50 percent more work than disengaged employees. Different tactics inspire people born in different generations. A Gen Yer might need accolades for every completed project, while a Gen Xer may place a high premium on work-life balance. Do your homework and you’ll soon reap the benefits of motivating according to the unique makeup of your workforce.

Myth #5: Sales reps are either naturally motivated or they aren’t.

Everyone is motivated by something; it just takes time to find out what it is. With $350 billion lost in productivity annually because of disengaged employees, companies can’t afford to segment employees into limiting categories. Everyone has the potential to be motivated. Even the rep you catch playing video games during working hours has some motivation behind his or her actions. If you don’t learn what that something is and figure out how to direct it toward work, you could miss out on a highly productive employee.

If you’ve been using any of these tactics to “motivate” your employees, it’s not too late to change your ways. Just remember that motivating isn’t a guessing game, it’s a science. Use the empirical evidence outlined above, and before you know it, your personnel will be performing at peak ability.

Hear more about motivation myths in the Webinar recording “Game the Plan: Review, Strategize, and Win in 2014.”


Jay Leno's Secrets of Sales Success

Jay Leno has ranked No. 1 among the broadcast networks in the 11:35 p.m. time slot since 1995. The success of the Tonight Show has helped NBC rake in over $1 billion in profits. As Jimmy Fallon takes over as the new host it is time to review what we can learn from Jay Leno's consistent success. 

First, success in comedy and in sales hinges on your ability to sell yourself. When Jay started out he had to deal with a ton of adversity and a lot of rejection. He once performed in a place in Atlanta where he had to step into a wire-cage that the owner installed to protect the performers from flying beer bottles. Selling yourself takes guts and courage. 

Second, to overcome the objection that he was an unknown performer he challenged club owners with this creative approach: "I'd like to perform on stage." At this point he slapped a $50 bill on the counter saying, "If you don't think I do a good job, you can keep the $50. But if you like my act, I'd like you to hire me." By showing the customer that he was not afraid to put some skin in the game, Jay got more chances to perform.

Third, after Jay got invited to perform on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, he looked like an overnight success. But the second and third time he didn't do as well and he wasn't invited back. Jay went back on the road, tested out new material with new audiences and honed his skills. Successful salespeople use the same strategy: after each setback they prepare themselves for a a comeback. 

To learn the fourth success secret, watch this three minute video. Please share your thoughts on Jay's apoproach. To subscribe to Selling Power magazine in the Cloud visit http://www.sellingpower.com/cloud

JAY SCREEN Shot 2014-01-26 at 6.20.37 PM