Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan’s Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. You can find Dave’s blog articles here.

  • Sales Process and Why So Many Salespeople Lose Their Way
    by Dave Kurlan on October 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Last night I was on Interstate 90, the MassPike, driving home from the airport in a wind-driven rainstorm.  It was so bad I couldn't see the white lines that divide the three lanes nor could I see the Jersey barriers dividing the eastbound from the westbound traffic.  It was almost as scary as the plane's rocky decent from 30,000 feet in gale-force winds last night or driving in a blizzard! 

  • What is the Sales Stack and Do You Need it?
    by Dave Kurlan on October 2, 2019 at 12:03 am

    You bought a really nice, new, laptop computer and you thought to yourself, "Now I'm all set!"  But are you?  You needed a case to carry it around, a thumb drive for quickly moving files from your laptop to another, and a printer and if you have a Mac notebook, a port that will serve as adapters to your various cables.  These are your accessories.

  • Elements of an Effective Elevator Pitch
    by Dave Kurlan on September 24, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Why is your favorite sports team better than my favorite team? Why do you like your political party instead of mine? Why are you so loyal to the make of car you drive instead of the make of car that I drive? I bet you can make a passionate pitch for all three, and probably have them come out better than an elevator pitch or your unique value proposition. At Objective Management Group (OMG), we ask salespeople to record their elevator pitches and value propositions as part of our sales force evaluation.  Some are OK, most are not, and for most companies, there are tremendous inconsistencies between each salesperson's messages. Elevator pitches and UVP's are usually so poorly constructed that it makes me wonder if anyone in sales leadership puts any time at all into formalizing these messages. That said, I thought it might be helpful to discuss the elements of a good elevator pitch and/or value proposition.

  • New Data Shows That Top Salespeople are 2800% Better at Disrupting the Flow
    by Dave Kurlan on September 18, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Fish, rafts, kayaks, canoes, sailboats and swimmers all find much more success when they are moving with the wind or the current rather than going against it.

  • Using the Most Powerful Sales Tool to Get What You Want
    by Dave Kurlan on September 16, 2019 at 10:00 am

    My wife and I have been binge watching a TV series called Blacklist which rivals 24 for its drama and intensity.  James Spader stars as international bad-guy Ray Reddington.  He's on the top of the FBI's most-wanted list but works with the agency to help them track down bad-guys that are as bad as he is.  Somehow, he gets the FBI to help him get what he wants and he gets the bad guys to give him what he wants from them.  Everybody gets what they want because he is so good at using leverage.

  • Change in Approach Leads to 304% Increase in Sales Effectiveness
    by Dave Kurlan on September 9, 2019 at 10:00 am

    You're famished and someone suggests that you go on a 2-day fast! You're late, it's a two-hour ride by car to your destination and someone suggests that you walk! You're exhausted and ready for a nap and someone suggests you should clean out your basement! You've decided to eat better and lay-off carbs, and someone suggests ordering pizza! These are all crazy opposites of what you were focused on and they cause you to ask, "whaaat?" So now you'll understand how I responded when, during a two-day training program, I was asked about messaging for a talk track.

  • You're Normal and Your Sucky Salespeople are Probably Normal Too!
    by Dave Kurlan on September 3, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Do salespeople report up to you?  Do you get frustrated with half to three quarters of them?  

  • Did You Know That The Beatles Taught us About Selling?
    by Dave Kurlan on August 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

    While this should be a fun, end of summer article I'm guessing that you don't actually believe that the Beatles taught us about selling. The Beatles recorded 18 songs where the lyrics talked about selling plus I included two bonus titles by other artists to bring the total to 20! The Beatles.  Can you name the song that went on and on about building relationships?  Of course you can.  It was: I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND  Can you name the song about prospects who refuse to schedule a first meeting or appointment with a salesperson? YOU WON'T SEE ME (Time after time you refuse to even listen)

  • How Big of a Role Does Age Play in Sales Effectiveness?
    by Dave Kurlan on August 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I'll be 64 in November which means that just like everyone else, I'm getting older.  There are certain things that younger people do that change when they get older.  For example, younger adults : go to bars and night clubs but tend to choose dinners out or nights at home binge watching TV when they become more mature go to concerts but tend to choose movies when they get older backpack across the US or Europe but tend to choose cruises as they age want freedom at work but are more open to structure and accountability when they become more mature focus on themselves but tend to focus on their children and then their grandchildren when they become older The same applies to salespeople.  Young salespeople (0-2 years experience) tend to wing it, while older salespeople (20 or more years experience) tend to be more skilled and structured.  Want proof?  Let's dig into the data.

  • The Bearded Lady, My Shaving Pattern and Your Sales Pipeline
    by Dave Kurlan on August 8, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I can grow a pretty decent five o'clock shadow  - above my upper lip and only after about a week.  Unlike the bearded lady at the circus, when it comes to facial hair, there's really not much there!