Friday, January 25, 2013

SCOTSMAN: Because time is money (in sales)!

My Dear Sellers: 

We sales people hate loosing! It's even worse when we come in second... there is NO silver medal in our job! The winner takes it ALL.. But what hurts me the most is my personal time lost.. I want to know my chances of winning quickly and either stick around or look for other places for business.. Over the years, I've learned a technique that maximizes my chances of winning.. that I'd like to share with you.

Priority needs to be given to the business opportunities we can and would want to win. Chasing all deals is unproductive and may result in us overlooking the hot ones, by wasting time on the low value sales. Our time, the most precious commodity of all, is as important as that of the boss of our largest customer - we have an absolute right to decide where we invest our time. So is there a systemic way we can objectively qualify which opportunities we spend time on?

With some help early in my career, I researched a solution (Thanks George Yen!) and it has worked wonders for me! You have perhaps have heard of this sales methodology before. But with this read, I'll give you an actual modeling tool (linked below) to assist you with using the methodology... give the thinking a clear form factor! 

It all comes down to SCOTSMAN:
Solution - can we technically / physically meet the need?
Competition - Who is our real competition? Is it internal politics or an incumbent? does my competition have an unfair advantage against me?
Only Me - what does the client perceive is unique about us?
Timescales - is it too near or far for us to be involved now? Why will they buy from us now? What's the compelling reason to act?
Size - to small or to large to be viable for us? Can we handle this alone? Should we partner, or go alone? 
Money - do they have sufficient real, spendable budget? When is the last time they spent money on something like you are selling to them? 
Authority - what is the decision making process? Who is the influencer and who is the nay sayer? Who's opinion matters? Who does the main budget holder like? 
Need - What are they looking to achieve? What is the cost of NOT doing anything?

Score each of the above...  Use the model spreadsheet below.. a score of less than 34 out of 42 should raise alerts.. the deal might not close... Through the process we'll learn of certain areas where we are weaker than others; this is where we focus our energy to improve that score.

SCOTSMAN is a simple common language that can be understood across the organisation - now the technical folk for example, can quiz you on the qualification of a deal before they invest their time to help you.

If you like to build out a model and go deeper, I have a spreadsheet that goes into more details on the topic. It has more detailed questions and allows for a deal model and progression with it. 

Contact me at if you need more details and I'd be happy to walk you through the model...


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our willingness to fail gives us the ability and opportunity to succeed where others may fear to tread...

My Dear Friends,

I'd like to share with you this powerful quote ... The words inspire me in harder times!

"Our willingness to fail gives us the ability and opportunity to succeed where others may fear to tread."
“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan

2012 was the year of experiences for me! After one failed attempt and 2-years of rigorous physical training, I fulfilled my long cherished goal of completing a Ironman triathlon race. And that attitude of striving for harder goal rubs on ;-). Observing me, both my girls (aged 11 and 7) have taken to competitive triathlon sports. They both continue to better their vocal singing talents and their Taekwondo martial arts training. The older one earned her black belt first degree and while her younger sibbing can't get enough of yelling and shrieking with her moves in the class. As for my dear wife, her passion for dance and aerobics is unmatched and she continues to excel in her career as a IT business analyst. I've attached a picture of the four of us taken in early 2012.   
We took the girls for a fun vacation to New York city and Washington DC in the summer. I also took the time to connect with my roots... first by attending my college reunion over a weekend in Miami... and then a memorable hiking/photography expedition to Zion national park.

Work is rock solid as usual. I finally moved to the Mac! I enjoy selling and can't get enough of doing just that every single day. The learnings from being a part of a sales team at IBM are unmatched. So I continue to grow and reinvent myself. I hope you too have experiences in 2013 that impact you for the better. Please do stay in touch.