After college at BC, I went into the Peace Corps returning to the world from Tanzania three years later to face the reality of finding a job. A couple of twists and turns, and I found myself working as a purchasing expeditor for Honeywell as the company attempted to shift from manufacturing and selling heating systems into what was then called the first "mini-computers". It was a brave attempt that failed when a little local company called Digital Equipmentdid it better. Most of the time I've come to learn that the phrase "first mover advantage" is a startup myth more often eclipsed by the truer phrase that "most pioneers get shot in the back."
Tags: the economy, Sales Optimization, improved sales management, sales boot camp, small business management, strategic planning, best sales practices;, sales management productivity, writing sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World
In my tiny town (pop. 735) in Vermont...called Winhall by the state and Bondville by the feds...there are only three bastions of commerce:
- the 7/11 gas station which doubles as a state liquor store
- the brand new Ace Hardware store branded "Lincoln Maples Hardware" to countrify it
- and the decades-old Winhall General Store
I've lived in this valley for a very long time with five generations before me, and over the years I've seen many owners of the general store come and go. There were a few serious Vermonters back in the day, lots of city folk who were looking to own "a little slice of Vermont" , but lasted only a couple of wicked cold winta's, and then there's Lorraine.
Like many, Lorraine came for the skiing and the beauty of Vermont and stayed to successfully build the business and support the town. She's done a remarkably consistent job of paying attention to the local Vermonters looking for coffee and a solid sandwich while knowing how to cater to the weekend flatlanders form New York and Jersey.
Tags: improved sales management, sales management training, sales management boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales management productivity, inordertoselltodayyoumustchange, planningsalestodayinacovidworld, whiteboardingmarketingsolutions, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics, whiteboardingsalessolutions
Too often we business types roll our eyes to the ceiling when we think about academia. Our images of university life immediately flash back to our own college days, but that image has little to do with the reality of university life today.
Today, college students are wicked bright, very hard working and highly focused on jobs, careers and the social impact of making a difference in the lives of others. As a group, current students and alums for the past eight or ten year are a massive category with huge numbers, but they also have far less spending power due to the very high cost of housing in general and the massive student debt that they carry.
"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'.
Saturday mornings are always perfect...
- up later at 5:00 AM, not my usual in-week ritual of 3:15 to get into Boston early
- Keurig's KenyanAA in my favorite Orvis cup
- most non-winter weekends, walk up from the NH beach to my office in the studio
- during VT winter weekends, same regimen, just keep an eye on the time since the lifts open at 8
Typically, uncluttered time, with only a customer project or two to complete by the end of Sunday, and, most importantly, it's my time to think, to plan out the week or the month ahead by taking just a couple of hours to view the world from 100 feet off the deck.
My Marketing Course at Tufts is quickly winding down with the first of the exam days yesterday afternoon. For the last 13 weeks, six teams of five very talented students have labored, learned, questioned, and, most importantly, collaborated on very complex marketing projects given to them by six companies at the beginning of July.
Presentations were made to the senior management of three of the companies yesterday, and the same will happen next Wednesday with the last three companies. Basically, every piece of marketing content, strategy and tactic that was taught over the semester has been incorporated into these marketing plans complete with market and competitive research, primary inbound and outbound strategies and a host of carefully planned and budgeted tactical recommendations.
Lots of very hard work, a number of speed bumps and surprises, like the unplanned acquisition of one of the companies mid-semester, but overall, very successful both for the companies in that they've received marketing deliverables that would have cost them thousands, and for the students, who have been paid both in real world experience and in grades.
By now, I figure I've taken over 2,400 trips to Vermont over the years traveling back and forth from either Boston or NH. At three hours, the trip takes about the same amount of time from either starting point, and the distance evens out between 150 and 180 miles.
The problem, as the Boys on the Bench down at the Winhall General Store frequently tell me is that "you can't get there from here" whenever I mention that I'm leaving the mountains to drive to the NH beach...and they're right. There's no easy way to go east and west between Vermont and New Hampshire, and every trip presents a variety of decisions that ultimately end up just frustrating me.
Tags: summer networking; rolling stones, martha and the vandellas, Sales Optimization, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, improved sales management, closing sales, sales boot camp
Cold enough for ya’?
Last Saturday and Sunday were wicked cold on the hill. Temp was around 10 when I left the house, about the same at the base, and who knows what is was on top since I couldn’t see anything due to the blowing snow from the 50-60mph gusts. Wind chill? Off the charts. At the same time, perfect snow, great cover everywhere, but just wicked cold. And, of course, to make it colder, we all told one another riding up the lifts that it was…what? Wicked Cold. This weekend, it looks like we're all going to be either complaining or rejoicing in the 15" of snow. Glass half full, half empty?
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales, sales management effectiveness, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, improved sales management, sales management training, closing sales, sales plans, how to close sales