Is the Lunch-N-Learn Dead?
One of the most coveted meetings to get with an A&D Firm has always been a Lunch-N-Learn. To get on the calendar with the major firms, you have to schedule these events way in advance — sometimes starting in January, to ensure you get your spot. These important meetings historically gave you the opportunity to meet with key specifiers for almost an hour and share your latest and greatest products with them.
To prepare for these meetings when I was in sales, we’d spend hours getting ready, preparing our presentation, making sure we had the product samples necessary, enough brochures or fabric samples. We’d spend hundreds of dollars on the right food and drink and coordinating the delivery or pick up. We’d make sure the event was as perfect as it could be — this was the moment for us to shine. This was the face-to-face opportunity we’d been waiting on, sometimes for months, and we always wanted to make sure it was a...
What I learned without meaning to: Lessons from a 2021 graduate's dad
I’ve been anticipating the month of May 2021 for some time, and not always with a good, excited anticipation. I knew it was going to be a challenging and emotional month for many reasons, but I’m also excited for the new beginnings it has created.
As I write this column, we are about halfway through Spring Breakout 2021! What a great event this roadshow has been for so many reasons. I’ve met amazing new people, developed meaningful relationships, eaten some great food, had some good laughs, interacted more than I have in the last 12 months combined, and a bit of fun along the way. If you haven’t been able to join us yet, don’t miss the opportunity to come hang out with us at the Merchandise Mart on Wednesday, June 2nd!
But today, I’m headed home to spend the weekend with my family and then rejoin the group in a few days. I’m headed home to celebrate my daughter...
A New Business Development Strategy
Almost every day, business leaders and salespeople ask me about new, creative ways to find leads, develop opportunities, and build relationships with potential clients. Now more than ever, it can be challenging to reach prospects, especially since most of them are still working from home.
However, business is happening and companies are making decisions about office space, furniture, and making plans for their employees to return to the office. As we’ve all experienced, traditional methods of outreach and networking are not as easy in a virtual world. I’ve written a lot about social selling and things you can do using LinkedIn and other on-line tools, and I hope you are implementing some of these strategies and seeing good results.
But today, I want to share with you how I respond to the question about new leads and why you need to embrace new strategies for today’s market. My answer is one word — Clubhouse! Yes, you need...
Lessons in Leadership from Ted Lasso
Back in March, my family and I had the opportunity to take a mini vacation to the Grand Canyon. What an amazing place to visit — the perfect Spring Break getaway after a year of being at home. On this trip, I met Ted Lasso, an English Premier League soccer coach for AFC Richmond.
But here’s the thing, Ted is not a real, live human being — he’s a fictional character on AppleTV’s, Ted Lasso, that debuted last October, and I got the pleasure of meeting him while on vacation.
Now, if you know and follow me, you know I don’t watch a lot of TV... in fact, I hardly watch it at all. If I have down time like that, I’m usually reading, listening to a podcast, or just hanging out with my family. But a couple of weeks before our trip, I was chatting with a friend and he shared this series with me, and I decided that while we were traveling, I’d watch it and give myself a break from professional...
What Did I Learn Today?
If you follow me, you know I’m an avid learner. I’m always exploring new ideas, ways to improve, new processes, new tools and resources. I learn in a variety of ways, including listening to podcasts, reading, taking online courses, attending seminars, and joining in the conversations on Clubhouse. Learning and growing is something that is part of my daily activity, and though absorbing and retaining tons of information in a short period of time may not be the best learning method for every individual, everyone should focus on growth at some point throughout each day and at a minimum, during at least once each week.
A few days ago, I came across a very informative article and wanted to share some insights with you (my learning and thoughts) on the information it provided, in order to support you on your learning and growth journey. Remember, learning is a journey, not a race — there's no finish line with growth. If development as...
Don’t be part of the 80% — Stay the course
If you are like most people, me included, in January of this year, you made a few New Year’s Resolutions and set some personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. For the first time in many years, I really enjoyed the process of goal setting for this year. Why? Because with the help of my coach, I developed a lot of clarity around what I wanted to accomplish this year. But it was not an easy task, it took a lot of work to get my goals mapped out and a plan in place to ensure I would stay on task and accomplish the goals set before me — but staying the course is the harder part of this process.
Based on recent studies, we are at the time of the year that almost 80% of people give up on their goals for the year. The timing of giving up goals 3-4 months into the year can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the fact that many goals might be too big — too aspirational and not focused...
Best Practices to Successfully Manage Remote Employees
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of industry leaders about the best practices to manage remote employees. As we well know, our clients are currently evaluating their workforce strategy, deciding how to structure their teams, and implementing what return to work looks like for their unique situation. The fact is, all businesses are facing these tough decisions right now — and at the center of this discussion is how to manage moving forward, especially if managing remote teams is a brand new practice.
Managing remote teams can be difficult for many business leaders to answer, because they’ve never been faced with this challenge before. Throughout my time in leadership positions over the last 15+ years, most of what I’ve done is manage and lead remote teams — and let me tell you, it’s not always easy. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, but at the same time,...
The Power of Intention
What is an intention? It’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot lately. But what is it really? Intention is defined as having something in mind such as a plan, purpose, or an action to take, and intentions can be very powerful. Intentions should be focused and connected to something you are doing or some overarching goal you want or need.
When setting intentions, leave any fears you have behind and hold yourself accountable for your planned intention. These are not like goals, they are simply used to help you change your mindset and switch from negative thinking to positive. You can also use them as food for your brain — good food! If you set your focus on being intentional, your brain will filter through all the other clutter at the moment and help you focus and achieve the intentions you’ve set! That’s why setting intentions are so powerful. Remember, your brain is always searching and filtering, and you’re...
Everyday decisions, BIG impact
According to research from Cornell University, adults make nearly “35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day” — which means on the average day that we’re awake for 16 hours, we make a choice every 1.6 seconds. Every 1.6 seconds. Reading that sentence — that was a 1.6-second decision. That’s a lot of choices (and a LOT of responsibility if you think about it), and each and every call we make impacts our lives and likely those around us, too.
We make choices in many different ways. Some are impulsive, like buying something you don’t need, but makes you feel good; while some are intuitive, you just feel in your gut it’s the right decision for you at that moment, like holding the door open for the person entering the building right behind you. Some are instinctive, like swerving to miss that big pothole on your drive to the office.
Other decisions are driven by our emotions and how we feel in the...
The Future of Sales
For the past week I’ve been involved in a conversation on LinkedIn and Clubhouse about the future of sales. It’s been really interesting to hear the different perspectives from salespeople and sales leaders in a variety of industries, looking in on the current status of things from different vantage points. Obviously, every industry is different and there isn’t one right consensus to come to in this discussion… because none of us really know for sure what the future itself is, let alone what the future of sales holds.
But nonetheless, the conversation really got me wondering — what IS the future of sales in our industry?
Have you thought about this question in light of recent events? Admittedly, our industry is being transformed right before our eyes! And though sales are down and sluggish, I’m excited about the future and the evolution our industry has already started — not just with products, but also with...