This Week In The Sales Playbook Communities

by Paul Castain on April 12, 2014

Here are a few of the things you may have missed this week in our Sales Playbook communities.

On Facebook

How important is happiness when it comes to doing our job or can anyone just “fake it til you make it”?

How do you typically schedule your prospecting activities? On a daily basis or on a certain day(s) of the week? Please share your thoughts.

Do you feel that a leader must earn the right to be followed? What qualities compel you to follow those in a leadership position?

Please click the banner below to see these discussions and more. Please “like” us so you can continue to receive updates! Be sure to get involved too!

LinkedIn Sales Playbook Group

Jim Steele asks . . .

How would you manage this one?

I take a client through all the stages for a fairly large sized order and end up in a meeting with her where she shows me the PO she’s done up in our name. Tells me she just needs to get her boss to sign it and she’ll send it through to me by email in the next few days.

All good, but that happened 2 months ago and I still don’t have the PO signed by her boss.

I speak every friday with her and we have a good laugh about it, but it’s always the same story, boss hasn’t got round to signing it, he will in due course, just have patience.

I want to do something to jolt the process but can’t think what.

Randy Agee is curious about . . .

Remaining Involved After The Sale?

This morning’s rant by Seth Godin got me thinking…how involved are we after the sale…I mean really involved? You’ve spent months gaining the trust of a client only to have someone in the billing, service, or collections dept. really screw it up for you. Do you make excuses or do you predict this and take preventative measures, if you can?

The thing is, a customer is never out of warranty, even if his product is. ~ Godin

Mary Topham is wondering . . .

What CRM products/programs are you using? What has been your experience?

Ann Wagner asks . . .

Best Questions to Interview a Direct Sales Candidate?????

And that trouble maker Paul Castain started a discussion . . .

Here’s a topic we’ve pretty much never covered . . . Pre-Call Planning!

Please click here to catch up on the rest of the great discussions!

Right Here On This Blog

Read This The Next Time You’re Doubting Yourself

10 Ways The “Cold Call” Is Misunderstood

Are You Responsible For A Team Of Sales Reps?

A Sales Team Should NEVER Be Led This Way!

How I’m Using A “Sales Mix” To Generate Business

The Truth May Hurt But It Still Needs To Be Dealt With

One Simple Way To End This Week Better!

I Wonder If You’re Guilty Of This?

One More Thing . . .

If you are responsible for a team of sales reps, I hope you’ll consider my online sales leadership course.

There are 6 awesome (if I do say so myself) session waiting for you and we record each one so you can go at your own pace.

Please click here to check it out and to take the first step in taking your awesome leadership skills up a notch or 3!


I Wonder If You’re Guilty Of This?

by Paul Castain on April 11, 2014

There’s never a shortage of information for you and I to consume but . . .

there’s always a shortage of people who are wiling to take action on that information!

If you’re like most people, you read my blog posts on the fly.

Sadly, it might only consume your thoughts until the next bright shiny object whisks you away.

Don’t ever forget . . .

Consuming without acting just means you know lot’s of “stuff”.

Knowing should NEVER be confused with doing!

Your results depend on that distinction!

Sales Leaders and Business Owners . . .

Check out our online sales leadership course by clicking here or the gigundo button below!


One Simple Way To End This Week Better!

by Paul Castain on April 11, 2014

Take a few minutes today and reflect back on your week.

Commit to writing all the thank you cards that you didn’t get to.

Think clients, prospects, co workers, your boss, vendors, people in your network, friends, family etc

Not only will you display superior jedi skills to the recipient . . .

You will have taken an informal inventory of some things to be grateful for.

And that little thing . . . helps you feel so much more wealthier!

Go ahead . . . I triple dog dare ya!

I just gotta ask . . .

Why aren’t we working together yet?

I help sales reps, sales leaders and business owners sell more!

Click here to learn more about ALL of my services.

Click here to learn how my coaching program creates sales rock stars!


The Truth May Hurt But It Still Needs To Be Dealt With

by Paul Castain on April 10, 2014

Sometimes we kid ourselves when we aren’t getting the result we want.

We blame lots of things and quite frankly, we might be right for the most part but;

Many times we simply don’t want it bad enough!

And what constitutes “wanting it bad enough”?

A willingness to cast aside whatever excuses you are giving yourself.

A willingness to learn from both your failures and your victories and . . .

A relentlessness attitude of  . . .

“I will keep trying something different UNTIL I attain the result that I want”

Stop putting your head down and pretending its all someone else’s fault.

Why would you ever relinquish YOUR control like that?

Any who . . .

How bad do you want it?

Talk is cheap dude!

I help sales reps, sales leaders and business owners sell more!

Click here to learn more about ALL of my services.

Click here to learn how my coaching program creates sales rock stars!


I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit today and take you through how I used a “sales mix” to generate new clients recently for my business.

For those of you who are new to my blog, a “sales mix” is a mix of sales activities or “touches” designed to move you closer to a sale.

Sadly, most people either don’t mix things up or they just cling to a phone and perhaps an email. Usually one immediately after the other but don’t get me started on that one!

Anyway, here are a few things that I did recently for a new class I have starting next month. You can easily duplicate the steps and tweak them to your style and your audience.

In my case, I decided to leverage a really strong Linkedin network. Emphasis on the phrase “really strong”. Mine is incredibly strong, because I’ve been building it long before I needed it.

Step #1: Since I was marketing a Sales Management course, I did an advanced search on LinkedIn for every Vice President of Sales, Sales Manager and business owner that were 1st degree contacts in my network. I compiled a list complete with all their contact information. As a side note, there were some things I did with all my other sales contacts asking for intros to their VP of Sales etc but for the purposes of this blog post, I just want to focus on one type of prospect.

Mistake: I was really pissed off at myself for waiting to transfer many of my contacts into my CRM. Sound familiar? Because of this, it cost me a tremendous amount of extra time. Please learn from my mistake and make sure that every time you make a new connection, you get them into your CRM if they fit your criteria for an ideal client.

Step #2: I sent the following direct mail piece.


Inside (Answer To Question)

Inside Of Card With QR Code

A few notes about this piece . . .

The envelopes were not branded with my company name etc and hand addressed because I wanted it to resemble a personal card and get opened. Time consuming? Yes and so is having your piece thrown out without ever being read. People have a crazy habit of prejudging your message before even reading it. You know “Castain Training Systems? We don’t need any training!” and away the unopened piece goes to the round file!

I included a QR code which sent readers to a landing page for the course. On that page I included testimonials and a risk free guarantee to eliminate risk and get people off the fence of indecision.

Note: I like QR codes because they add mystery and inspire immediate action. My website stats tell me, we succeeded in getting them to the website. I talk about that in greater detail in a moment.

I wrote a personal note in each card. Time consuming? Yep, but I wasn’t sending it to 10,000 people and I wanted it to stand out!

Step# 3: For those who didn’t buy upon receipt of the card, I gave them a few days and then moved in with an email to the same group.

Step #4: I followed up within 48 hours with a phone call. My message wasn’t one of desperation, or “please buy from me” it was simply “I hope you’ll be joining us?” It was “inviting and helpful” instead of “aggressive and salesy”.

Note: I used technology to help me out big time. I checked my website stats to see which companies had visited my landing page but didn’t buy. I put these companies at the top of my list to call. My feeling was that many might have liked what they saw but then had the old “bright shiny object” syndrome kick in and take their thoughts somewhere else.

This step paid off big time because at the very least, I didn’t have people asking me “Paul who?” or “What sales management training class?” In fact,  in many situations, I had people tell me, “I was just on your site today and have been meaning to enroll” Don’t ask me why but I had this sudden flashback to the old Calgon commercials where they said “Ancient Chinese secret huh?”

Note: Whether people bought at this point,  or not, I always asked them if they knew of anyone else who would find value in the program. I helped jog their memory by providing 3 groups of people where they might know of someone. Here are the three I offered: Other sales leaders in their organization, their clients and their LinkedIn network.

As a result of this simple step, I turned many single enrollments into 2-3 enrollments and many “no sales” into intros and ultimately,  sales with other organizations.

There are a few more steps that are involved but I’d rather not write about them now because I’m in the middle of doing them. Bad luck to talk about stuff while you’re still doing it!

Overall, the campaign has been a huge success but here’s why I believe it’s working.

1)   I didn’t go in cold. I had built a strong network, long before I needed it. Please stop and reflect on this step because most just build networks when they want an immediate result. I’ve been building my Linkedin network since 2008!

2)   I actually decided to use my LinkedIn network. Too many times we collect names and wait for the world to beat a path to our door. Good luck with that one!

3)   I sent out a mailing piece that was hand addressed and made it past the “Should I open this or sh*t can it” phase. (at least that’s what they call it in the marketing books)

4)   I created some curiosity and inspired people to get involved by scanning a code.

5)   I emailed to get immediate yeses or immediate no’s so I could concentrate my efforts on higher probability contacts.

6)   I used technology to see which companies visited the landing page and made them the first companies I called.

7)   I asked for referrals (even when I didn’t get the sale)

8) I utilized an approach that was not only premeditated (as in not making a “what do or say” snap decision when the alert in the old CRM goes off.

9) Each one of the “touches” I used, “smiled” at or created a segue to the next “touch”. In other words, each “touch” worked in unison with the other “touches”.

I saved the most important part for last . . .

I used a mix of sales activities for many reasons but the most important reason is that everyone (especially our prospects) have their own preferred method of being contacted. We limit our results (and become really predictable) when we only cling to one type of “touch”!

Everyone has their own preferred method of being contacted

Could I have simply picked up the phone and called someone? Yes and no. With my network, I have a strong bond with many and could get away with it but . . . too many people go from invite to sales pitch or connection to “buy from me now”. More importantly, people don’t give their prospects an opportunity to check them out anonymously, from a safe distance.

What are your thoughts?

How have you mixed things up?

Sales Leaders and Business Owners . . .

Check out our online sales leadership course by clicking here or the gigundo button below!

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