Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jamie Moyer: A Lesson in Persistence That We Can All Learn From

When I was a kid, I was the biggest baseball fan out there. I collected all the cards and knew just about every baseball player in the majors. I use to have my friends pick up a random card and name the player. Without hesitation, I could tell you his position, team, race, and some sort of statistics. While I know longer have that sort of grasp I had on the game in the mid 80's, I still remember a player named Jamie Moyer.

Jamie Moyer came into Major League Baseball in 1986. If you would have asked me in 1986 about him - I'm sure I would have told you the following:

1) He is a pitcher
2) He plays for the Cubs
3) He is white
4) He has a high E.R.A. and he is not that good

I would have been right about everything, except number #4 on my list. Well, let's just say #4 is half right...

Jamie had a rough go at it early in his career. This culminated in him being released in 1990 by the Texas Rangers. I can hardly blame the club. He had career record well below .500 and a lifetime E.R.A. that hovered close to 5.00.

Next year (1991), it got worse. His record was 0-5 and his E.R.A. was 5.74 with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals released him in the off season. He was then signed and released again by both the Cubs & Tigers in 1992 season. Jamie never even got to play a game that year in the majors.

At this point in his career, Jamie was 30 years old. Retirement had to seem at hand. He had his chance, his time should have been over.

But instead, this is where the story of persistence starts...

Jamie was signed by the Orioles in 1993 (for a 50% pay cut compared with his 1990 salary) and had a record of 12-9 with an E.R.A. of 3.43. Not only was this his best season, but it marked a year that justified him staying the majors. The 1994 & 1995 were mediocre seasons for Jamie, but he again pitched well enough to stick around.

In 1996, Jamie (at the age of 33) started having the kind of success a MLB pitcher dreams of . He went 13-3 with a 3.98 E.R.A in '96. From then on, he went 17-5 (1997), 15-9 (1998), 14-8 (1999), and 13-10 (2000).

In 2001 (at the age of 38), Jamie had his best season. He went 20-6 with an E.R.A. of 3.43. Jamie even finished #4 that year in the Cy Young Award voting in the American League. For whatever reason, however, he was not voted in as an All-Star.

Jamie didn't quit at that point. He stuck around and had an even better year in 2003, going 21-7 with an E.R.A. of 3.27. Finally, at the age of 40, Jamie made his first Major League Baseball All-Star team. Keep in mind, he had been in the majors since he was 23.

Where is Jamie today? You guessed it, he's still playing in the majors. He's also the last player left who played in the majors in 1986. Yes, he is the oldest man in baseball right now.

More importantly, you should look at his earnings. He could have quit at the age of 30 with slightly over $1,000,000.00 in lifetime earnings. Instead, he hung around long enough to earn another $67,000,000.00 in his career. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

Jamie is also in the top 50 in Major League Baseball history in wins (249) and strikeouts (2274). While currently playing for the Phillies this year, he will celebrate his 47th birthday in November. Whenever he decides to retire, he will be given Hall of Fame consideration.

If you would have asked me in 1986, who will be the only player left from this year (1986) come 2009? - Jamie Moyer would have been the last player I would have guessed. Instead, he gave me one of the best examples I have ever seen in what persistence is all about.

Top Sales Blog Made the Top 15 Sales Bloggers/Twitter Users List from BTS 411

Top Sales Blog made The Top Sales Blogs & Twitter Users List from the BTS 411 Blog. Admittedly, I was pulling up the rear at #12, but I am happy nonetheless to make the list. Please check it out when you get the chance as there are some great sales blogs on the list. I'm certainly happy to receive the recognition.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Don't Give Up Too Quickly on Your New Sales Process

Have you ever tried to implement a new sales process with prospective customers in your sales career? If you have ever sold for a living, you have. You have to start somewhere, right?

Whether you were just a new salesperson or were just trained on a new way of selling, we all take a first step in new way of selling in our sales careers. Any sales trainer worth his salt, however, will tell you that it takes time before your new way of selling will become effective. It is quite normal for your sales productivity to actually dip as you begin implementing your new sales process. At some point, you will be tempted to go back to your old way of selling.
If we know in our heart that we are working more...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Should I Follow My Company's Sales Process?

Most companies will usually have a sales process in place which they want you to follow. This begs the question - should I follow my company's sales process?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, you should explore and look at the way your company proposes that you sell. Most companies have spent a good chunk of money coming up with an effective way to sell their goods and services. There is a good chance that there is some really good information packed into their sales process.

But on other hand, I'm going give you a "no" answer as well. No, you should never place 100% of your sales education on your company's shoulders. This is your career, not theirs. You need to continue reading and learning on your own - regardless of what your company teaches you.

Good salespeople are creative. This profession demands no less than that. Every selling situation you will encounter will be different, so the more information you are armed with - the better. When we read - we breed creativity within ourselves, and again good sales people are creative with their personal model of selling.

At the end of the day, your own sales process will be molded by your sales manager or company management, your own time spent learning & reading about sales, and your own successes and failures.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rugged Individualism Trumps Collectivism When Working to be Successful in Sales

For thousands of years, countries, governments, and monarchies were run using a collectivist model. What was good for the country or the leadership in charge was always best for the people. The needs of the group were always far more important than the desires or ambitions of the individual. Basically, none of the kings or emperors really cared about empowering individuals to be in charge of their own future.

For a short period of time, the Greeks and the Romans got away from this way of thinking - but it never lasted in their respective civilizations. The idea of rugged individualism, free speech, and self expression didn't really take hold in our world until the founding of the United States in the late 18th century.

While I'm personally a big believer in rugged individualism and American exceptionalism, there are still times where collectivism is needed. For instance, without a collectivist effort, the world would have fallen into darkness under Nazism in the 1940's. Even in sports, your favorite team would never win a game without a collectivist effort. Without people working together in a collectivist way, your company would never be able to thrive or even stay in business.

In sales, however, I fully believe that rugged individualism trumps collectivism when it comes to being successful. The best way I can explain this is by using the sport of baseball. You need to play the field on defense as a team player. You might even be called upon to lay down a bunt or to try to hit a sacrifice fly ball. But no matter how well you play defense or are perceived as a "team" player, you cannot escape the fact that you must have individual accomplishment at the plate. If you cannot hit effectively as an individual, you won't play.

It is no different in sales. Yes, you need to be team player, but you cannot hide from the fact that your sales numbers and individual results will define your success above everything else. While you have to give attention to both areas when working in sales, remember that it is the individual accomplishment that will come to define the overall success of your career. If you fail to recognize this aspect of being a salesperson, you could certainly find yourself in a position you don't want to be in later on down the road.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Top Sales Blog's 1st Birthday!

Well, here it is. Top Sales Blog is now a year old. I wanted to share the success I've had over the past year, let you know where this blog is going in the future, and take some time to thank all of you - my readers.

When I initially started this blog, I had several goals I wanted to accomplish within the first year. I have listed them below with the results:

1) Have Top Sales Blog found on the 1st page of Google when searching for "sales blog" and "sales blogs".

I actually reached this goal pretty quickly on the "sales blog" search on Google. I have been as high as #3 in the organic search results, but usually stay around #5 or #6. A lot of you might have found me through Google on this specific search.

As for the "sales blogs" search on Google, I am currently bouncing from page #1 to page #2 but it seems I never fall past #11 overall. While this is currently somewhat fluid, I hope to secure my spot in this result pretty soon.

On Yahoo, Top Sales Blog is #1 on the first page when searching for "sales blog". I'm also #6 when searching for "sales blogs".

I wasn't sure when I started that I could accomplish this, but to my own surprise it has happened.

2) Have Top Sales Blog found as the #1 website when searching for "Will Fultz" on Google.

This was accomplished somewhat recently, but Top Sales Blog is now found in the #1 and #2 position when searching for "Will Fultz" on Google. The #1 spot is the homepage and the #2 result is my bio that is listed on the blog. Top Sales Blog is also #1 when searching for "Will Fultz" on Yahoo.

3) Get the web traffic on Top Sales Blog to be equivalent to the other top sales blogs currently found on the Internet.

Whether using Alexa or Compete to compare web traffic with other websites, I have to say that this goal has been accomplished, too. No, I'm not at the level in traffic that community sales websites such as Sales Gravy and Sales Management 2.0 are at, but these sites are not sales blogs where the author provides 100% of the material. When you look and compare data from Top Sales Blog to other sales blogs run by a single individual, I'm right there with anyone and even beat most in traffic ratings. I've past numerous published authors and well known sales trainers in traffic along the way over the past year. I want to thank all of you, because without your clicks and visits this would not have happened.

I also became a member of the Sales Bloggers Union in November of 2008, which contributed greatly to increasing the traffic on Top Sales Blog. Whether it be Skip, Brad, Karl, Ian, or anybody else over there who helped - thanks guys for letting me be a part of the SBU!

As for the future, I will be publishing details of my Overwhelming Force sales model next week. In this series, I will be detailing a new program that I developed to attack large customers and sales opportunities. Please stay tuned, because this series will be the best information I have ever given out on this blog and it will be 100% free!

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have been consistently reading, commenting, or staying engaged with me on Top Sales Blog. I hope the information you have come across on this blog has helped your sales career in a positive way. I know it is cliche, but if I helped just one person become successful, it was worth it. If you haven't emailed me before or commented, please feel free to drop a message at willfultz@gmail.com - as I would certainly like to hear from you.

Thanks again and be prepared for an even more exciting year on Top Sales Blog...

Friday, May 15, 2009

You Have to be Responsible for Your Own Motivation

Far too many salespeople turn to their boss or company for their personal motivation to be successful in sales. This is a huge mistake, as salespeople need to be responsible for their own motivation if they want to become successful.

You might have had a sales manager or boss that was an excellent motivator in your past or you might even have one in the present. While there is nothing wrong this, you can never count on it or expect it from your management team. Just like your success, you must own and be responsible for keeping yourself more...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One of My All-Time Favorite Quotes

I'm certainly not trying to say anything political by putting this up, but I've always liked this quote from Nixon in his farewell address. I'm also not defending Nixon or his presidency, but these lines that follow are truly great and his delivery was perfect when he gave this speech. They certainly ring true for all of us working in a sales capacity who are on the road to success. Enjoy.....

"It is only a beginning, always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.....Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."



-Richard Nixon, 1974

Monday, May 4, 2009

The History Channel's New Show on Sun Tzu's Art of War

This history channel has a new show out on Sun Tzu's Art of War and how his style of making decisions could have changed the outcome of several historical battles. The Art of War is one of those books that I haven't read cover to cover yet, but one that I have picked up quotes from through the years. Now that I have seen the show, I have a renewed interest in reading his complete piece. If you get an opportunity, please check out the new Sun Tzu show on the history channel which will be airing again this weekend. War strategy relates very well to business strategy, and our business is selling!

Friday, May 1, 2009

This Week's Sales Podcast Roundup

-The new episode of the Sales Management 2.0 sales podcast features your humble blogger Will Fultz in a discussion about what motivates sales professionals, and what companies should do to keep top sales performers motivated. Check out Rewarding Your Top Producers.

-In “The Essence of Selling,” the latest episode of the Selling to Consumers Sales Podcast, Skip Anderson offers six tips for getting your prospects to make a decision and get off the buying decision fence.

-The next episode of Sales Evangelist TV will be tackling the subject of “Thinking About Thought Leadership?” You will learn about the benefits of building a reputation as an expert in your industry. Visit Sales Evangelist TV on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 7:30pm PST. You can also visit the page to view past episodes which are also posted.

-What’s in Your Pipeline?, a podcast from Tibor Shanto, declares that the pipeline is important to sales success, and as such, a strong core allows you to excel in all other areas of your sport. The discussion will center around key elements which every sales person can put into practice to ensure a consistently healthy and vibrant pipeline.

-At Ian Brodie's Sales Excellence Blog, please be sure to check out his latest podcast on Lead Nurturing. Ian explains how potential clients that don't buy right away can still be good long-term prospects.

-Last but not least, don't forget about the sales-oriented podcasts on the SymVolli blog.