...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.

Read More

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:

Read More

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

If it's April 16th, must be snowin' in VT

To a boring fault, I am all about planning...

Read More

Tags: sales plans, business coaching, strategic planning, Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, student intern marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning

Does structure influence results?

The final Tufts six presentations from my marketing course were completed last Friday.   Six companies provided individual marketing projects, with five to six students assigned to a team back in July so everyone hit the ground running in September.

  • "just extraordinary",
  • "over the top",
  • "far-surpassed expectations"
...were a few of the phrases voiced most importantly by the senior management of our six host companies. 
Each of the management teams of the six companies actually provide 40% of the overall course grade for the semester. Now, this weekend I and my TAs will work through the very difficult job of grading 32 students.

Being a student or being a salesperson is always about the bottom-line reality of how many points go on the scoreboard.  Right now, before I work through the math of the actual grading, it would appear, based on the customer feedback, that there will be an overabundance of "A"s.  In addition to the actual grading, I am very pleased that two of our project companies this semester have provided job offers to three students.   

During one of the debriefs last Friday following their presentation, I asked the six-person team, who worked on the marketing plan for a $40m company looking at a new market, what defined the success of this project for them, and I was struck by the maturity and the exacting management behavior that they expressed.  So, I thought I would share this this morning for you to assess your work during these final two weeks of the year.

  
"Structure influenced our behavior" 

- "Since no one on the team knew another when we began, we defined up front who would do what and what the team and our individual responsibilities would be."
- "We agreed to strict daily and weekly timelines since we knew the reality to deliver a marketing plan in 13 weeks."
- "Yea, we elected a Team Captain, but we all agreed to complete responsibility for the project as a team."


"We committed to rAPID Group Knowledge"!

  • "We agreed to making sure that all six of us knew "everything about everything" so that there were no islands of knowledge. Yes, primary responsibilities were centered in individuals, but we agreed that "Group Knowledge" was most important especially for our research work and for our customer discovery with the company's prospects and customers."
  • "We used a strategy of writing down content quickly that we discovered and also we created as "a stream of consciousness" not caring much about making it formal with punctuation or format."
  • "We used Google Drive and avoided Slack and Teams because Google was just more personally comfortable and immediate for us individually."  
  • "We operated in frequent short sprints with no long meetings until the end" 

"We created Connective Tissue"

  • "Space, time and location were unimportant in our virtual team, and being online virtually actually worked much better than needing to get together physically
  • "Time was now...all the time."
  • "We formally scheduled customer meetings at the same time every single week"
  • "We completed exhaustive discovery up front repeating the same questions again and again until we came to very detailed answers which led to very detailed objectives"

 

As a professor, I always learn as much as I teach! 

I've thought about these comments all week.  The maturity and the sophistication of the basic, but hard things that make a project or one's quota not only achievable, but highly attainable and successful.  This morning as we look out over the remaining 12 days of December, I thought that some of these best practices of managing against the clock and to the project or to your quota might prove useful.  For other ideas, check out our site for tactics at... https://www.derbymanagement.com/sales-productivity

 

Have a great day selling Today...12 days left!

CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

Read More

Tags: Sales Best Practices, sales coach, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, sales readiness

"Jack's 3 Rules" to his students as the semester ends

a bASIC law of physics -Time is finite!

  • It can't be lengthened, shortened, bent, borrowed or stored!
  • Nowhere is that more definitive as in Sales. The quarter ends, quota points on the board. Done!
  • College the same way.  The semester ends, grades are given, GPAs are calculated.  Done!

At any university, a semester is about 13 weeks long with most classes meeting once a week, taking a total of 3 hours and bringing x number of credits depending on the university and the undergrad/grad level.  Sounds like a long time, but then we need to mix in normal holidays, 3-day weekends, extended holidays, spring breaks, on-campus recruiting weeks and sometimes very short "winterships"...just to add to the confusion and the crush on time.

This Wednesday !

And so it was on Wednesday, that we held the last of our three hour "content classes" with guest speakers, Ashley McManus, a rock star alum from our course and now Marketing Director at Affectiva, and also our very close friend, Jamie Turner, author, professor, international speaker and blogger and star of the 60 Second Marketer, talking about the rapidly changing-by-the-minute-world of social.  A great way to bring this semester to a close.  

Also, on the last day of actual classes, I always provide my outgoing 30ish students with my thoughts on what comes next in the way of jobs, careers  and business in general.  These comments additionally sum up much of what we have been doing over the prior 13 weeks in what I call "the marketing of me" as we move back and forth between the world of applying sophisticated marketing expertise and tactics for their companies to doing the same for their first jobs next May or internships next summer.  It all works!

Now, to finish the semester, the team has to complete their final presentations during the next two weeks and hand over their full marketing plans to the management at their companies.  Six companies, five or six juniors and seniors on a marketing project team.  The companies range in size from funded startups looking for full marketing plans to large corporations wanting to launch a new product or service into a new sector.  Industries are very diverse ranging this semester from toys to cars parking to hospice to software in a variety of markets. 

To make it all very real, management provides 40% of the course grades while I am my expert team of four TAs grade 60%.  It all works!

If you are interested in applying for one of these semester-long marketing projects, just connect with me right away by text at 617-504-4222, email at jack@derbymanagement, or through LI, and I will send you the instructions and talk through any questions you might have.  The syllabus and the projects go out to the new, already over-sold, class on December 26th.  It is a very rewarding process on both sides of the zoom screen.

AS LONG AS WE'RE DISCUSSING TUFTS... 

I have some gifted 2020 alums and many 2021 Seniors who are highly capable and are looking for entry level sales and marketing positions.  My computer science majors are not having any difficulty in finding jobs, nor are my finance-oriented students who have been interning for the last two summers in Wall Street firms.  Given the state of the current economic questioning, the same cannot be said for many of my other students and recent alums. 

If you are considering hiring an entry-level person as...

  • a marketing or sales intern part time for the spring semester and/or full time for the summer 
  • a full time marketing or sales person who graduated in May ( I have 2)
  • a full time marketing person graduating with an MBA from BU in May.
  • a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in December  (I have 1) 
  • a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in May  ( I have many)

Just connect with me since I have numbers of bright, hard-working, and driven individuals that I would highly recommend...all of whom, of course come with "The Jack Derby Seal of Approval" .

Have a great day selling today! 
Please celebrate a very safe Thanksgiving !

CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call. 

I'm a pretty good listener. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

 

  

Read More

Tags: sales management boot camp, Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, free marketing projects from universities, entrepreneurship, sales success, thanksgiving

Lessons from a Tufts alum on making the best presentations!

I've had the privilege of teaching at MIT and Tufts for 20 and 15 years respectively. The experience...

  • Blends in perfectly with my other passion of consulting in sales, marketing and business planning
  • Reminds me of just how much I still do not know, and my requirement to be a life-long student
  • Provides me with continuing opportunities to catch up with and engage my alums.
Read More

Tags: sales coach, sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, sales jobs, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, value propositions, jack derby professor at Tufts

Tufts Stuff... Marketing projects & jobs opportunities


With teaching every Wednesdays at Tufts, I always have a process (should not be surprising to anyone who knows me) to making sure that everything is in place since I well know by now that both time and students are unforgiving.

Read More

Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, marketing plans, how to write a marketing plan, entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Nothing Much Changes in VT & 3 Basics Stay the Same!

Read More

Tags: strategic planning, Tufts marketing projects, value propositions, sale management, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Most importantly...we all need to remain curious!!!


20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. 

Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore! Dream! Discover!

   ...Mark Twain


Read More

Tags: sales boot camp, sales management boot camps, Tufts marketing projects, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales motivation

Jack's 3 Rules for my grads, for Sales & for me

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.

Summer reading

Read More

Tags: marketing projects, sales management effectiveness, Tufts marketing projects, student intern marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales plans for 2018, Tufts Entrepreneurship