Yesterday on Groundhog Day, it seems that Punxsutawney Phil declared six more weeks of winter. Certainly, as I sit here in Vermont this AM with the temp at 5 at 8:00 with a forecasted -25 ambient tonight, winta' like Phil is going to stick around for a while. On balance however, this has been a very mild winter, and although I'm looking out at 18" of snow in front of my office window, when I left Tufts yesterday, there's no sign of any snow in Boston.
After graduating from BC, I went into the Peace Corps, and when I came back to the States, with little else than a degree in English and Biology, I was lucky enough to land a job at a large medtech corporation that was hiring interns based on attributes rather than skills and experience.
Very quickly, I and a group of other rookies hired at the same time for a specific new product, were pushed into an intensive, week-long management training session simply on "planning".
Dick Ardia is one of my closest friends!. He's a very successful NJ and NY real estate entrepreneur who has built more than a few companies. A Vermont neighbor, Dick and I spent many years ATVing in the Green Mountain reserve that borders our land, and during those expeditions deep in the mud and winching out of rivers, I learned from him many of the management basics that I continue to apply in my own business and in my classroom.
Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center
Every morning I'm up at 4:30. First, I ask Alexa to play WBZ 1030 Radio, so I get my "5 Things You Need to Know" with the local news plus what I really care about which is the traffic and weather to gauge my travel time from the NH beach to Boston. The traffic is always wicked, so I'm just listening for the big accidents like..."yet another truck got Storrowed early this morning", which if you live in Boston, you know what this means.
I then ask Alexa to "Play Bloomberg News", while I click into my newest edition of the WSJ on my iPad and comb through whatever appeals as interesting articles for the day. Last Tuesday, I stopped on this headline of "Millennials Are Changing What It Takes to Succeed in Sales".
The next day, I was reminded of the same article when one of my most faithful blog readers and repeated entrepreneurs, Jerry Brecher, sent it to me. I'm going to link the article here, but my expectation is that by clicking on it, unless you're a WSJ subscriber, you will not get past their paywall. If you cannot, I would encourage you to hunt down the article and read it thoroughly.
Me & Millennials
I began teaching at MIT 22 years ago and Tufts 17, so where I started in this wonderful profession was initially working with Xers and then mostly with Millennials. Exciting, extremely smart, powerful in their statements and curiosity, very energetic, fast-paced and always questioning to move ahead and make an impact in the world! Clearly in numbers, the largest generation: more than the Boomers who carried that badge since the 1940's.
When I returned from a couple of years in the Peace Corps, it was relatively easy for me to find a job...even given the fact that I had zippo experience in business and only an undergraduate degree from BC with a major in English. No one really cared about the degree or my skills; they just wanted to hear about the Peace Corps. One of my primary takeaways from those early years working first at Honeywell in their newly launched memory chip initiative and then at Becton Dickinson in their medtech division was the criticality of time management.
Maybe, it was my inherent drive to make sure that I could stay ahead of the curve working with really bright manufacturing and engineering types, or maybe it's just the way I'm wired, but I've become highly focused and highly protective of my own time and that of the teams I work with both in my consulting role and at Tufts.
Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans
Tomorrow morning I'll send out my normal Friday blog on an issue that I am increasingly very concerned about which is that it seems to me that we are rapidly talking our way into the downward spiral of a recession and a very cold winter. That's for tomorrow!
Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, Tufts internships, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Teaching entrepreneurship, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans
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'.
Think about it!
- Monday morning, the 20th of July. One day among 365. 202 down with 164 to go.
- Just one day in a decade or in 100 years or in millennia since Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
- Time is always non-stop and always represented by change.
- The concept of time is self-evident, but we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time...
What this pandemic is teaching us is the fragility of time. We see it, we sense it, and now we always live it in both our personal and work lives. We live in an ever-expanding bubble of time listening to the daily chants of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and, as a result, we're much more aware of time now than we were six months ago. We anticipate it and we watch it carefully in our Zoom calls. More than ever, we constantly try to balance our own time with a myriad of new demands that we never ever considered before like "should we send our kids back to school?" and "what are the safest hours to go to Market Basket?"
Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, sales readiness
Rarely, as in never, do I get into a discussion in this blog about politics, and to a large degree this post is not about politics, it's just about the science, the data and the sources of the truth behind the pandemic and its impact.
What each of us should be doing at this time is to identify our own "single sources of truth" regarding the disease, the impact that it's making on our physical and mental health, and the devastating effect on our businesses and our jobs.
The only way we can fight back is with discipline in what we do, how we act, and how we sell and market our products
Six months into this, we clearly know the facts...
I happened to be talking to a friend of mine, Paul Kelly, President of Berkshire Bank, yesterday about...what else...Sales, of course, and he provided a very interesting perspective to approaching his sales process during these times of unknowns. Notice I just used the phrase "times of unknowns" since "chaotic" is too depressing and "new normal/abnormal" has become too much of a trite label, All we do know right now is that we will be in this "time of unknowns" for at least the next six and probably twelve months. Nothing we can do in our day-day-day is going to change the overall environment, but determined and innovative managers like Paul, who focus on positivity, motivation and specific marketing and sales tactics, impact sales at their companies every week.