Town Meetin'...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Mar 20, 2013

 The 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp

Sales Management Boot Camp   Copy resized 600We're dialed in for another exciting, engaging, and exhausting Sales Management Boot Camp from late Sunday afternoon, October 6th through Tuesday afternoon, October 8th at the MIT Endicott House.
-Six years, 350+ highly satisfied graduates!
-Everyone attends is focused on two simple questions:

1.  How can I improve my own sales effectiveness?
2.  How can I enable my salespeople more effectively?

We've confirmed senior executives from Brainshark, Salesforce and Hubspot as speakers. In the meantime, click HERE for more information and Save the Date.  Just email for more details.

Town Meetin'

Last Sunday afternoon, as I was leaving Vermont for an early Monday morning sales meeting in Boston, I stopped by the Winhall Transfer Station (aka Winhall Town Dump) for a couple of reasons.  Primarily to get rid of the weekend's collection of food scraps and wine bottles, but I always like to share a couple of ideas, comments and Vermontisms with Scott, who with his sidekick, Jody, rule the highly organized place with an iron fist.  Woe to the flatlander who comes there with trash in anything but a clear plastic bag or makes the more grievous mistake of mixing cardboard in with the recycled paper.  But this Sunday, I also wanted to congratulate Scott on the local front page newspaper article that praised his officiating of the recent Winhall Town Meeting as... "the most efficient in years". 

Scott's a true Vermonter with many Vermont generations stacked up under him so when I congratulated him for his management of herding the cats, his answers, in an accent so rich that it always requires concentration on my part, were direct and to the point....

  • "Ain't that hard to do"
  • "Gotta' organize everyone on the important points"
  • "Get 'em settled down to do business"
  • "...and, get everyone out of there on time and back to work".

sales meetingsPrior to Scott's management, town meetings would drag on and on for hours and sometimes for multiple days.  People would spend 10 minutes to approve a $750,000 fire truck and then take three times as much time arguing about whether a new stop sign would spoil the picturesque nature of the road down by the Winhall River.  And forget about the divided camps that were created just a couple of years ago on whether the town should sponsor a shooting range as part of the recreation committee's budget.  Just to put that very heated argument into perspective, I should point out that there are no gun laws in Vermont...other than not being able to shoot from your car.

Small town America for sure, but Scott's four points above bear remembering when you're organizing your next internal sales review meeting or your planning out your next Discovery Call with a prospect.  Just think about how much time we typically waste just because we think that we need to "break the ice" first or slowly get into the rhythm of talking about business. Obviously, one needs to be courteous and not abrupt, but in today's world of huge time constraints on the parts of both buyers and sellers, the pressures on everyone are overwhelming and everyone really appreciates meeting efficiency.  War stories abound regarding poorly run meetings of every variety, but also those managers who have the strong leadership skills that can command a presence and have the discipline to create consensus and move ahead "to get 'em settled down to do business" are legendary. 

Scott obviously has that presence, but so also did one of my best CEO's, Betty Brennan, who led her weekly staff meetings by having all of her managers stand (as in not sittting down in chairs) with her and talk through what needed to be done in the ensuing week. Short, highly focused, and tightly organized meetings...and one of the best performing companies where I had the privilege of being a board member.  I'm not necessarily suggesting you try Betty's approach of making your managers or sales teams stand up for your meetings, but she clearly has the leadership and charisma to pull it off. 

sales meeting managementWhat I am suggesting is that you think through the planning management of your next meeting whether it's with your staff, your sales team, your board members or, most importantly, with your customer. 

Check out HBR's many articles on meeting management tips or click on here. 


 Good Selling as you close this quarter during the next week!  
    -Remember:  Q1 always sets the tone, pace & success for the year

Jack Derby 


Head Coach
Linked In and Sales


Tufts Marketing 


It's that time of year again, when I'm searching for six company projects for my seniors and juniors marketing class at Tufts for the fall semester.  For the last six years, I've had the privilige of being a professor of Marketing at Tufts in a fast-paced, highly interactive course where the students are continuously immersed in the real world of today's marketing strategies, tactics and tools. 

One of the means through which this is accomplished is that six teams of five students are focused for the 13 week semester on completing complex marketing projects for companies in the NE geography.  These no-cost projects vary widely from developing market research reports, to new product launches, to creating full marketing plans for small and middle market businesses. 

If you are at all interested in participating for the fall semester, just email me at, and I will send you an outline of what's involved.

Tags: Sales Optimization, sales management, sales management effectiveness, sales plan process, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, sales management training, sales plans, sales jobs, sales boot camps, sales checklists