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Closed door and door knobThis is a special blog post in preparation for the upcoming Sales Babble podcast. I’m enlisting a small set of people who I trust and admire to review this first “practice” podcast. There are a number of steps that must be accomplished in order to publish an episode. I’m using this post as a means of testing those steps.It would be great if you could help out!

This episode is nine minutes in length. I’m looking for advice regarding:

  • Sound Quality
  • Relevance
  • Professionalism
  • Any thing you’d like to share that might have value

My goal is to have this podcast published in iTunes shortly, however I’m told it could take awhile before the submission is approved. When that happens, I would appreciate it if you would subscribe to the Sales Babble podcast, in iTunes, at that time.

Most likely I will delete this posting on March 22nd if not sooner. That is the launch date. Which begs the question, what are my plans for the launch? I explain all this in the podcast, but for your convenience, here’s a brief synopsis:

March 15th – Soft Launch – a few close friends will have access and provide input into my first published episode
March 22nd – The Public Launch of Episode 1. This episode will define and explain the goals and plans of Sales Babble.
If you’ve not already done so, please take a moment and subscribe to Sales Babble; both on the website and in iTunes. I’d love it if you could give me a positive review iTunes, plus retweet my promotional tweets, and share my promotional Facebook postings. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Don’t stop learning about sales now. I have  a test podcast available right now.   Subscribe to the Sales Babble blog and listen to the podcast too.

Sign up and listen at  “Sales Babble Blog and Podcast”.

Thanks Sales Babbler!

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StartI’ve decided to embark on a new adventure and start a podcast called Sales Babble. While the Tao Te Ching of Sales was focused on the Master Seller, Sales Babble will focus on the novice seller. I believe this new forum will allow me to better help the sales community in ways this blog could not.

I’m excited to start this new adventure despite the huge learning curve. Yet we know from the Tao that our lives  are always in motion. That the world  is a river, winding through rock and wood. It is never static, never stuck,  but instead alive and ephemeral. My life is no different.

I deeply appreciate the subscribers who have been following this forum for the past two years. It has been a joyous effort and expression of the art of sale. I anticipate turning these posts into a book and have worked on it off and on. I also anticipate I’ll continue to post here when the mood  strikes. The Tao is like that. The Master Seller is often inspired by the events of the day. That event creates opportunity and a teachable moment. When that moment occurs you can assure a new post will be published. The Master Seller can do no other. I hope someday to be that person.

In the meantime I urge you to listen to an episode that was made specifically for friends and followers of the Tao Te Ching of Sales.

 

You can find the post at

http://salesbabble.com/2014/01/15/episode0/

See you there.

Mountain glacier

Last week I visited Alaska to bicycle 400 miles of mountain passes. I have never been there before and it is wilderness beyond measure. Although a challenge, it was an extremely enjoyable experience. At times  quite difficult, yet I believe in the Paradox that joy is found through struggle. Throughout the ride I  passed many glaciers, whose melting waters ate away  the hard granite.  Their soft, yet  incessant flow, creates sediment and grit that wears away great crevices and gorges. The water is cold and would flow through my hands, yet over time could wear away the hardest rock.

While riding I reflected  on the numbers of people who couldn’t fathom the challenge of riding mountain passes. They see the task as something impossible and something out of their reach. Yet with time, anyone can do such a thing. I’m no athlete. Yet slowly  mile by mile, like the grit and sediment of glacier waters, anyone can “eat” away the miles. First one, then ten, then 70. Before you know it,  you’re done and ready for dinner.

This applies to many things in life, and of course Sales. The Tao commonly speaks of the power of water. Last week I saw this viscerally first hand in Alaska, how tenacity, persistence and grit can move mountains. Far too many see the hard as “too hard”, not believing that if they break the problem up into series of “one mile”, it can be completed given time.

Glacial rivers
Wear away mighty  mountains
With  time,sediment,  and grit.

With grit, the Master Seller works opportunities
Others abandon.
With tenacity they chisel away objections
With persistence they wear away concerns
Each sale has its own nature
And can be won
given enough time,
Given enough grit.

Skill Desire Value
Three legs on the stool of success
Without one leg
There is no Balance.

Skill
What we do well
Desire 
What we want to do 
Value 
when others appreciate   your skills. 

While mastering others is strength
Knowing the intersection of your self’s
skill, desire, and value is true power.

Scompass mappeak to the end
Beginning is an assumption.

Without a destination in mind
The journey is hard to fathom.

With map and compass
A path can be plotted,
But only if you know where you’re going.

Far too often we are thrilled to start projects with only a vague sense of how it is to be completed. Without an end goal in mind, intermediate steps cannot be formulated and soon the project becomes one in a number of “good business ideas” placed on the rubbish heap. Visualize the end, articulate it, share it with others and enroll them on your quest. The end is a very powerful tool for the Master Seller. Use it wisely.

Bicycle chain and sprockets
Like the seasons
Each sale has a cycle.

Some a few days
Some a few years
Prospects buying when they need to
Not when the sellers needs a sale.

Awake to the buying cycle
The Master Seller generates urgency.

By understanding fears,
frustrations
and desires,
They connect the dots
showing how they can help.

Identifying needs
They create desire.
Closing the deal
It’s done sooner rather than later.

Rainy day cloudsSome say you need to take
the good with the bad.
But the Master Seller sees no difference.

Some days it rains
Some days the sun shines.
Both necessary for
For a rich harvest.

Knowing that the easy day
is balanced with the hard,
Make hay when the sun shines
For tomorrow it may rain.

Clipping of Lau-Tzu Quotes

This week I came across one of my first exposures to the Tao, a clipping from the Wall Street Journal. At the time I was a lead software engineer for cellular networking features at Lucent Technologies. My team consisted of a half-dozen engineers of multiple age, experience, and ethnicities. It was a new challenge, and a challenge it was.

The clipping had a quote from Lao Tze that said “to lead the people, walk behind them,” and “when the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves'”. Previous to this project I commonly micro managed and ordered the team to do this and that, in a manner I thought managers should act. From that behavior came strife, troubles and fear. I wanted to do something different on this new project and I embraced this notion of “walking behind.”

One of the team members, Serge, came up to me 6 months wondered why I was not “on his case” everyday and why he let some team member struggle and not just order them to do it my way. I showed him the clip and he smiled. From then on he understood this management approach. All of the code written on that project looked like I had personally coded it. It had my style and beliefs in both comments and design. But each member thought they had “did it”. They took great pride and responsibility for their part. In the end the project was a success and deployed to a large Toll Switch (long distance) in London England called Mondial. It was on this project I was awarded two Patents.

Lao Tze’s teachings about management can be well applied to the management of sales accounts. A Master Seller leads from behind, delving deep into the needs of the prospect, discovering their pain, crafting a solution that might work, coaching the prospect into being a buyer, and soon customer. This leading from behind is true leadership. And when done skillfully, the buyer hardly notices it.

Unconscious
I drift through life
Unsure of where I am
Where to go.

Conscious
I think of each choice
Considering different paths
Choose with open eyes.

The total cost of ownership
Weighs both pros and cons
Considers trade offs
Potential futures.

No longer asleep
The automated machine
Is turned off
Replaced with wakeful decision-making.

Asleep
I am dumb to the world 
Decisions of ignorance  are folly.

Awake 
I am informed and observant 
Decisions are wise and thoughtful.

Better the sage than the fool 
With an ear to reality
A listening for knowledge.

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International Business Consultant

What is the Tao Te Ching of Sales?

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