Do you have a minute?

Think about...for just a minute...how many times you will hear that phrase today at work. 

Of course, this weekend you will be reintroduced to a slightly modified version from your partner in words such as "I only need you to help me for 5 minutes."   The reality is that in all of our work, in our family lives, and in our social environments, time is the number one denominator that factors above everything else since it is totally inelastic.  

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Tags: sales and marketing best practices, marketing productivity, marketing planning, writing your marketing plan

Bayer?  Beah?  Bare?  Bear?  Gotta use the same language!

It's been a superb summa' so far.  Rain or shine, I don't really care; all I know is that any day from May through September beats February in Vermont!

A typical week has me working from NH the first half of the week and then mid-Wednesday afternoons I take  the red summa' car to let the ponies run on the three hour drive to Vermont. I typically work from the VT house for the balance of the week returning to the NH beach at some point depending on the weatha'.

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Management Best Practices, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan

Celebrate, Celebrate & Celebrate some more!

It all comes down to today:  e nd of the month, t he quarter, and the first half of the year.  Hopefully, your high on the charts...and you always have the next 10 hours or so.  An adage in the profession of sales has always been "never give up!".  Put it to good use today...I know that I will be!

Somewhere among the results of the first half of the year are lots of reasons to celebrate, and this weekend is the perfect time of year to do just that.  As we power through the last hours of this month making sure that every drop of quota juice gets squeezed through this quarter's wringer, once that's done, and you've cleaned up paperwork tonight or tomorrow morning, just stop!  Get out of town, go to the beach, hang out in the backyard, and just celebrate!

Yes, I know that this does not sound like the normal workaholic seven-days-a-week, Jack, and no, I did not get mellowed out by the heat, but I'm also a student of the science of when it's time to hang it up and step away for a few days. Plus, I love both the simplicity and the complex history of the 4th.  Later tonight I will be jumping in the fast red car to get to Vermont, where the 4th of July takes on a whole new meaning in this quirky state of my ancestors.  I'll get to watch the West Wardsboro parade twice since there's only one main road in town, and what goes one way, needs to come back.  Simple Vermont practicality.  Then another fast trip back to the NH beach to watch the outlandish fireworks and huge bonfires that are part of the tradition here ever since my parents brought me to this beach at the age of 5.  

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Tags: sales management coach, sales enablement, sales planning, sales tools, how to close sales, sales boot camps, strategic planning, how to write a sales plan

Are you Orvis or Carhartt?

Working in Boston, now back traveling to the offices of our clients, teaching at Tufts, hanging out in NH, and digging in the dirt and snow of Vermont, I go through lots of different clothes, boots, shoes and jackets.  Like you, I greatly appreciate quality, style and especially value in what I wear and the cars I drive, which is why I drive a Subaru Outback most of the time.  When it comes to clothes and shoes, being a Vermonter I love both the brands of Orvis (the headquarters is just down the road a piece) and Carhartt (the basic uniform of most Vermonters).  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, marketing plans, how to write a marketing plan

Gettin' your fingers in the dirt

This time of year, in between Zoom and Team calls, I've been ankle-deep in the dirt and last weekend's mud in the gardens in both NH and Vermont planting, cutting and weeding.  It's good for the soul and my hyper-sense of organization to be able to dive into the deep end of the mud and "get er done" no matter what the weather...or the business...forecast is.  

  • Right here at the beginning of June, our Q2 business forecast is looking pretty good among all of our clients now working through the details to end with a robust close to the quarter.  Concerns about supply lines and labor unknowns are obviously top of mind, but business forecasts in general seem to be solid for the next four weeks.
  • When I got in the car last night to drive from Boston to Vermont for a day of morning meetings and garden work this afternoon, the weather forecast also looked pretty good, and I planned my calls and meetings for the day around that forecast.  Early this AM, it's a raw 55 degrees and pouring rain, but somehow the outside work still needs to be completed between lawyer calls at 10, a weekly Team meeting at 11 and a F2F 3:00  new client meeting this afternoon.  

Bottom line is that weather forecasts change all the time, and of course, we have zero control, but yet, the work still needs to be completed.  Business plans and sales forecasts go through just as many variations as the unknowns of the weather, but at the end of a week like today and the end of the quarter in less than four weeks, sales quotas still need to be met and operating plans and product commitments completed just as we forecasted. 

As anyone who has seen my Vermont woodlot, everything is "neat & tidy" especially in the spring and summa'.  That organization allows me ready access to a season's worth of kindling and two of the four cords of wood I burn every winter. 

Having everything organized and "in its place" is the way I work out in the woods and also in my management consulting work since that level of organization allows me to have "extra time" when the weather changes or in the case of work, unexpected client speed bumps occur.

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Tags: sales and marketing best practices, sales effectiveness, sales management training, marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan

You want success?  You gotta sell more stuff!

By this time in my life, I've experienced lots of companies, products and management teams.  Worked for a few, founded or co-founded 9, invested in many and have had the privilege of consulting and working with some hundreds. 

I love Mondays and what I do and have no intention of stopping, slowing down or doing anything else...except continuing to teach at Tufts and MIT for as long as they will have me.  

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The problem is actually making the marketing choices!

Discussing marketing is fun, until we need to decide...

"Discussing" Marketing is exciting, challenging and lets our brains run free...at least that is until we need to make the choices of what we need to do in order to move ahead.  And today, given the hundreds of both strategic and tactical choices available to us in both Sales and in Marketing, the task often seems to be overwhelmingly difficult.  Actually, that's not the case compared to making choices about...for instance...milk.  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing management, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, Making Tough Choices, marketing planning, sales management productivity

It's not enough to Lean In...gotta Step Up!

For all of us, the last 16 months have been more than challenging in every possible dimension of how we spend both our personal and business lives.   The very positive news is that we've moved from abnormal to a new way of working, but we can do better...much better!

As we look toward the summer of '21...only a month away...it would appear that...

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Tags: how to close sales, sales success, racial and gender diversity, diversity, step up to inclusion, inclusion

...just plain ol' Vermont grit

Vermont is a tiny state with a very diverse grouping of residents.  I'm not talking here about the 13 "gold towns" inappropriately named by an infamous prior governor who overtaxed the flatlanders who came to VT to ski.  I'm also not talking about Burlington where 50% of the population lives. To know the real Vermont, one needs to get down into the dirt and understand their own grit and exceptionally hard work. 

When one takes a look at the stats, it almost defies logic of why the state even exists...except for grit.

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Tags: sales coaching, sales plan process, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

end of semester & the 3 Rules of Jack


Drove late last night here to VT for a fully packed day today of normal Derby Management meetings and the first two of our seven final student presentations for the semester.

BTW, although snow is still on the ground here at the house in the woods, down in the big city of Winhall (pop.769) 2.8 miles away at the general store, our own VT version of outside dining at Starbucks, the sun is out although a brisk 50,

 

 

13 weeks after that first always-a-bit-awkward, full-tilt, information-packed start to the semester back in January, we're now down to the final 90 minutes of meetings with the senior management of our marketing project companies:

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, business planning, marketing, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, value propositions, whiteboardingmarketingsolutions