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Shane Gibson Keynote Speaker | Social Selling | Sales Trainer | Social Media Strategy

Posts Categorized / Sales Articles

  • May 19 / 2008
  • 4
Sales Articles, Sales Blog

Can you close too big? Downtown Partners Closes their doors

Globeandmail.com’s small business section recently noted that Downtown Partners a leading Canadian advertising agency closed their doors for good after losing their biggest client:

The advertising agency that was once one of the hottest in the country is closing its doors on Feb. 15, a move largely linked to the loss of its prized Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. business. Downtown Partners, a division of Omnicom Canada, was dealt a fatal blow last November when Labatt decided to streamline its agency roster and hand the coveted Budweiser beer account to its long time agency Grip Ltd. Downtown, which had had the account for six years, wasn’t even given a chance of bidding on the brewer’s other businesses. “The agency is a victim of consequence,” Dan Pawych, creative director and a founding member of Downtown, said yesterday. More at Globeandmail.com

This is something I’ve mentioned in a few podcasts and sales blog entries. Closing Bigger is about the 7 figure deal. Sometimes though we forget the term “deal”. Deals can be finite, and if we base our whole business on one big client, we’re not in business; we’ve got a deal. I have yet to do a full in depth read on what lead up to this event but I’m assuming that big ole Labatt Brewing Company ate up much of Downtown Partners time, energy and resources, and several critical errors were made. One was somehow being totally out of sync with the client, how do you have a business dependent on one major client, and not have the business intelligence and inside connections to see this coming? The next question is who was responsible for hunting down and landing more big clients?

No matter how successful we are (and many of us are guilty of believing our own positive press) we need new fresh leads, and new clients. It’s what keeps us sharp, fine tunes our pitch and lets us know what’s really going on in the marketplace.

Another title for this sales blog entry could have been “Prospect or Die” or perhaps “How to Be Eaten by a Whale”

One of my biggest challenges when sales training people is when their company lacks the leadership and structure to enforce a quota or at least a level of accountability where people, anyone, including sales people are held to their word and the goals they set. Over the years I’ve seen too many individuals on auto-pilot, then they’re shocked when their company goes under, yet they haven’t prospected for new business or looked for new niches in the marketplace for years.

My closing thoughts for this blog are “Closing Big but keep on closing.”

Shane Gibson is a leading sales performance and sales training authority based in Vancouver Canada. His company offers sales training, motivational sales seminars, and consulting through their offices in Canada, South Africa, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

  • Apr 03 / 2008
  • 1
Leadership, Sales Articles

Waterboarding Your Sales Team

First off my blog and podcast site is usually relegated to positive stories of empowerment, connecting with clients and staff at a deep human level, and the importance of continually investing in our personal development. With that said, sometimes contrast is good. This is a story about how wrong, and how out of touch sales organizations can be.

This is about a sales executive suing his employer for Waterboarding him at a sales conference as some medieval method of motivating him (Waterboarding was first made popular during the Spanish Inquisition). He also described his work environment as follows:

“Hudgens’s lawsuit, filed Jan. 17 in Provo, suggests the testosterone-poisoned setting of the David Mamet play “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Hudgens alleged that if the 10-person sales team went a day without a sale, members had to work the next day standing up; Christopherson took away their chairs. The team leader also threatened to draw a mustache in permanent marker on the face of sales people for “negativity,” Hudgens said. Christopherson kept on his desk a piece of wood, “the 2-by-4 of motivation,” he said. “

Wow, I first read about this on Digg.com and did a quick Google search to see if it was for real. Fox news and Washington Post both posted this story back in April.

Now here’s a great quote:

We’re not the mean waterboarding company that people think we are,” said George Brunt, general counsel for the firm, which sells a combination of online and personalized instruction — packaged as “coaching” and running $3,000 to $15,000 — to customers who are solicited by telephone.”

I love that “We’re not the mean waterboarding company that people think we are,” so if that’s not mean than what is?

You can read the entire article on the Washington Post Website. As sales managers and executives our customers, our first customers are the people on our team. If we serve them well and give them the tools to succeed then that treatment will trickle down and into the marketplace. Our team will treat our customers as humans, not numbers or quotas. Where was the humanity in this?

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