At the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, in addition to shepherding 450 enthusiastic and curious students a semester among 16 wicked smart professors, I've been focusing on building an event structure throughout the year that leads up to our $100K New Venture Competition in the spring. Right now, you should Mark April 5th in your calendar and come and participate in what Forbes ranks as one of "The top 15 business plan contests in the country."
You cannot not like Michael Porter...
The guy is just brilliant! Been around for a long time. Lots of books. Got the Five Forces Thing down. Senior professor at HBS. Has a building on campus named after him. And, he's a true Renaissance Man, who continues to do research, write and still actively teach. The Real Deal !
Thanks for closing the Q on time and even squeaking in those last few orders on Friday afternoon before the closing bell ! This morning, whatever the number was, it feels good to have the wind at your back and a new page open to a new week, a new month and a new quarter ! Still lots of room between now and the end of December.
"A clean forest is a happy forest !"
In the tiny town of Bondville (Federal government's name) and/or Winhall (the State's name), population 647, I was out in my Vermont woodlot this past weekend. Always a work process of love for the land that is good for my head, the soul and especially for the woods!
My family has lived in this valley for over 250 years, and I have enough great grandfather and grandfather stories of real entrepreneurship to fill a book. I think that it's not by coincidence that I'm now director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, just two miles from my grandfather's first retail store opened in Davis Square in 1908. Bapa left the not-so-rural town of Poultney, just 20 miles up the road a piece from where I live in Vermont, to settle in Somerville next to the Tufts campus.
Last Friday, Mike, my trusted co-worker, and I were deep in the Vermont muck with chain saws and ATV's cutting, bushwhacking, and generally cleaning up the final damage of the winta'.
Today's critical number is seven!
- Seven days in the week
- Seven is a very spiritual number; just like three
- Seven continents and seven seas
- Shakespeare's "seven stages of life"
- Seven colors in a rainbow
- Seven letter in "SUCCESS"
- ...and, of course, just seven days left in Q2 to make quota !
For years, I've always been a countdown guy ticking the numbers down from here to there, or more typically, I start at the "there" and back into where "here" is so that everything...quota, work, travel, and my work at Tufts with my extraordinary students and professors, gets handled efficiently...and most of the time, effectively.
Time is obviously finite and allows for zero expansion in life, in projects and certainly in Sales. The month closes, the calendar page turns and BAANNG, it's a new month, a new quarter, and we're on the other side of that measuring bar. Same as in sports when the buzzer sounds! Zero difference since Sales is just like any professional sport. Always remember that we're all professional athletes just like any professional sports figure...we just chose different careers. Same requirements for training, motivation and the clarity of our drive!
- Limited time to work. On average a "very good" salesperson works 57.5 hours a week, only slightly less than the 63.2 hours for a "very good" CEO...most of whom are what? Salespeople!
- Limited time to sleep. I guess that there is still a rule of thumb that the average adult needs eight hours, but there are those of us who have gotten by just fine, thank you, for decades on four or five, and last night on three.
- Limited time to live. 'Nuff said about that depressing note, since today I chose to "Be Happy!"
A beautiful happy day here in Boston having finally shrugged off the ugliness of a cold wet spring to now bask in the excitement of the startup capital of the world. Just a great day to be alive..."and sell some stuff"
Looks like it'll be a pretty good start to the weekend.
Must admit, I'm working from home today at the NH beach, where I just decided that I needed to do some field research so I've just relocated the office to the sand.
Definitely, a beach day, and, for me, a time to think, to read a book (on Social Media, of course) and begin the summer task of sorting through a rewrite of How to Write the Winning Business Plan and a total overhaul of its two accompanying ebooks on writing marketing and sales plans.
Nothing like blue sky, the sound of the ocean and the bliss of knowing that I, once again, successfully beat back the tentacles of yet another New England winta'.
13 Weeks Later @ Tufts
- I start looking for new sales & marketing projects on 10/01 and 5/1
- The syllabus w/projects are sent out on 12/26 and 07/05
- 6 marketing & 4 sales projects for 2 very oversold courses
- 1 week later, the newbies need to tell me which project and why
- Bios are circulated to me and teams of 5-6 are formed
- Reading and research begins 30-45 days before class begins
- 13 weeks later, complete plans are presented to management
On the last day of the course in the last 15 minutes, I talk about, 'Jack's 3 Rules'
Rule # 1: Connections are Forever
Make all the connections that you possibly can. Cherish them. Treat each of them with extraordinary care. Store them, use them and communicate to them all of the time in LinkedIn, Twitter, FB and Insta. Never let those connections go stale and unused!
This week, I met with David K. in my office at Tufts. Haven't seen David, a brilliant product/market genius, president-level guy in 15 years since we sold EarCheck, a wonderful startup, founded by Sandra Kimball, where I was CEO and Dave was a critical part of our success. David's daughter is now at Tufts, and he found me when I made some recent noise at Tufts...which I often do, so he stopped by to chat.
Dave and I played the "whatever happened to..." game for 15 minutes, and he mentioned a critical person on our EarCheck team. While Dave was sitting there, I looked up that person on LI, and we talked about how important our success was due to that person.
Two hours later, I was talking to one of my seniors about a potential job. She mentioned the company, which seemed very familiar, and then I realized that the familiarity was because I had just pinged the company two hours before when David and I were reminiscing about "whatever happened to?". My student now has an interview next week with that long lost person, who is the president of that company.
In life, in business, in love and in family, cherish your connections!
Rule # 2: Learning is Consistently Continuous
Each semester-now 20 years at MIT and 10 at Tufts-I realize just how much I don't know.
At the end of every semester, I tell my students that everything which had been learned over the prior 13 weeks, is on that last day, obsolete.
Whether you're 21 or 33 (the age now of my oldest Tufts alums) or 43 or 53, to be in business at any level, I believe that you must consistently push yourself to learn more, to study more, and to test yourself all of the time.
I read a book a week, and in the summer often two. I'm fascinated by the intersection of technology in Healthcare and in Sales and Marketing, and I like nothing more than exploring new apps and platforms. My Summer Beach Bag is filling up quickly, and below you will find two new MUST READS if you want to push your own world of Sales & Marketing.
Tags: Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales plans for 2018, jack derby professor at Tufts, how to write a marketing plan, marketing projects, student intern marketing projects, Tufts marketing projects, sales management effectiveness
All about the team, a strong sales culture...and having fun
I was sitting in a board meeting at Brainshark yesterday and listening to Colleen Honan, the highly experienced and talented Chief Sales Officer, talk about activity planning. Colleen has all of the background, the years, and the depth of experience to truly be qualified as the head of sales of a leading tech company. She's disciplined in her approach, fluent in new processes and technology and unrelenting in her approach to sales coaching, sales planning, sales training while having fun at the same time.
So when I walked in to the headquarters in Waltham at 7:30 yesterday, I was not surprised to see the salespeople already at work planning out their activities for the day and getting in early morning calls. I was however, a bit taken back by the fact that one of the leading teams of 20 or so, was dressed in tuxes and gowns. And then I learned that Colleen had been talking to them about the Gatsby generation, which inspired this very hard working team of classic millennials to dress the part for the day. So very cool...and engaging...and being part cementing the team!
Tags: sales plans for 2018, sales effectivness, sales management productivity, how to write a sales plan, jack derby professor at Tufts, Sales Hiring Perfectly, sales leadership, interns for marketing projects, Tufts marketing projects
-120 applications in November
- Mentor workshops from January to March
- Selection of "The Final 16" in March
- Consistent individual hands-on coaching
- The final judging and awards on April 4th & 5th
- Excitement & disappointment at the same time
- Connections and advice everywhere
A continuous learning experience!