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.

  • The Crucial Step Missing from Most Sales Training Programs
    by Dave Kurlan on September 21, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Most companies don't understand that crappy customer service is really a sales issue.  When a company's customer service is thoughtful, helpful, kind and thorough, that great customer service actually serves the sales organization.  It becomes easier for salespeople to renew accounts, cross-sell, up-sell and succeed.  When a company's customer service sucks, it has the opposite effect, creating objections, resistance, disdain and animosity.

  • Masks and Sales Assessments - You Lose a Little Freedom and Control for Safety and Confidence
    by Dave Kurlan on September 18, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    A short end-of-the-week post.

  • How the Correlation Between Restaurants and Covid 19 Applies to Sales Assessments
    by Dave Kurlan on September 17, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Do you hate meetings as much as I do? They're the worst.  But I have one weekly meeting that's always uplifting and productive. I'm talking about my weekly meeting with John Pattison, COO of Objective Management Group (OMG). He happened to mention a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) pointing to the correlation between people who recently dined at a restaurant and later tested positive for Covid-19.  Of course the media was doing its best to spread misinformation as the article titles below suggest: The report actually included facts they didn't share in their titles, like: It was not known whether they dined inside or outside It did not say that they contracted Covid-19 at the restaurant or because they ate at a restaurant John pointed out that this is a clear case of correlation, but not causation.  In other words, there is no proof that eating at restaurants caused anyone to contract the virus.  He said there could be many reasons why people eating at restaurants also have higher rates of infection.  For example, people who don’t like to wear masks might be more likely to eat at restaurants.  Assuming that is true, the cause is more likely to be a lack of mask wearing, not eating in the restaurant.   But does it really matter whether this is causation?  Is there that big of a difference?  Is correlation enough?  It depends on what you are trying to show.  Let's take sales assessments for example.

  • Most Companies Can Boost Sales From 30-100% in Just One to Two Years
    by Dave Kurlan on September 10, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Your teenage daughter, growing 4-6 inches per year, asks for two new pairs of sneakers.  She's already outgrowing 3 pairs each year and these two, which are completely unnecessary, would keep her in fashionable footwear for only a few months.  It would make total sense for you to say, "Let's wait a few months until you've stopped growing so fast." An employee asks for a new car, believing that an SUV crossover (not the Maserati in the picture!) would be more practical than a mid-size sedan.  There are 8 months left on the lease so it would be completely reasonable for you to say, "Sounds good.  Let's make that change when the lease comes to an end in 8 months." In both 2012 and 2016, companies everywhere were telling salespeople, "We're going to wait until after the election."  There was tremendous uncertainty surrounding those two elections and companies didn't want to commit to anything until they were sure who the next President of the USA would be. Surprisingly, in the year of the pandemic, salespeople are not hearing the dreaded, "We're going to wait until after the election."   Despite the polling, pandemic, and incredible divisiveness, companies are not pushing the pause button.  But why?

  • 3 Selling Characteristics for the Age of Covid, Politics and Recession
    by Dave Kurlan on September 8, 2020 at 10:00 am

    This is a longer article than usual and includes many links to related articles so grab a snack and a beverage, settle in, and stay with me.  It will be worth it because I know I'm going to get you fired up. In the first 1,825 of articles from my fourteen years of Blogging, only 21, or less than 1%, mentioned politics.  When I do use political examples I refrain from lecturing, don't take sides, and use what is taking place as a metaphor for sales.  I found that by remaining objective and using current political events as examples of effective and ineffective selling, I receive minimal negative feedback and most come in the form of emails taking a side and lecturing me about what they think are my political views.  They are usually wrong but they won't be wrong after this article!

  • The Best Solutions for Hiring Great Salespeople for Your Company
    by Dave Kurlan on August 28, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Would you fly on a huge jet from Minneapolis, Minnesota to St. Paul, Minnesota, usually a 15-minute drive? Would you take a train between intersections of the same city block, usually a 2-minute walk? Would you take a bus to the bottom of your driveway - usually a 1-minute walk or less? Would you walk from Boston to Miami - a 3-hour plus plane flight? These are all examples of inappropriate solutions to the simple question, "What is the best way to get there from here?" How about the simple question, "What is the best way to assure that the salespeople I am about to hire will succeed in the chosen role?"

  • FDR and Sir Isaac Newton on Why Salespeople Fail
    by Dave Kurlan on August 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

    There we were, in the dark, in the middle of a hotel parking lot, at 3:45 AM.  Why?  The hotel fire alarm went off and we didn't want to ignore the warning that was so loud my wife and I couldn't hear each other speak.  Why was every other guest in the hotel parking lot with us?  Well, what if the hotel was on fire?  What if our lives were truly in danger?  

  • FOX News and CNN Can Help You Conduct Better Sales Opportunity Reviews
    by Dave Kurlan on August 17, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    I don't really care whether or not you like, approve of, tolerate, or agree with President Trump and/or the issues he stands for.  Doesn't matter to me.  And you shouldn't care what I think of him or which side of that invisible center line I am on.  Shouldn't matter to you.  While this is an article about coaching salespeople, I am going to use the current divisiveness as an analogy to help you better understand how sales leaders can have a huge impact on your salespeople.

  • 15 Things Salespeople Must Do to Make up for a Lackluster 2nd Quarter
    by Dave Kurlan on August 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Last week we moved our son into his dorm to begin his freshman year of college. The college President's opening remarks were virtual, so we joined the Zoom stream from our hotel room and listened in.  He had some really useful things to share with the new freshmen and while his thoughts were targeted to the students, they apply quite equally to salespeople.

  • Data Shows Sales Commitment and Motivation Changed During Quarantine
    by Dave Kurlan on July 22, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Steve Taback and I started our respective sales training firms at the same time back in 1985.  We became great friends and he became the second licensee of Objective Management Group (OMG) in 1990.  He emailed me asking if I had seen a change in any of the scores of the 21 Sales Core Competencies since the Pandemic had hit.  Specifically, he was wondering if there was an increase in the number of salespeople who lacked Commitment or whose Outlook wasn't good. OMG! (the other version of OMG this time)  Was he asking me to do some research on sales assessment statistics?  God, I love that! Damn that Steve is good.  Turns out he was right.  Below I'll share the changes in Commitment, Outlook and Motivation, all of which fluctuated during the past several months.