“Your stuff blows me away…”

BY: Joe Crisara

Found a New Best Friend

“Your stuff just blows me away! I thought I hired a consultant and wound up with a new best friend. I am a Nexstar member that thought he had seen everything.

I have gotten more in 30 minutes of conversation with you then I have received in years of business training elsewhere. The key is your material doesn’t just say what to do, but also HOW to get it done.

Your commitment to doing something as small as picking up the phone when I call you really means the world to me. Thank you very much for being a part of our business.”

Kyle Lumsden
Clearview Plumbing
Calgary, Alberta

Step 1: Creating An Organizational Chart

BY: Joe Crisara

A Business Organizational Chart

If you are tired of parts not being ordered, customers not being called, or bills not being paid on time, or the daily “finger pointing” that goes on when you address these issues with your employees, then now is the time to create an organizational chart. Whether you draw it out on paper or purchase an organizational software program to do it for you, creating a business organizational chart is the first step of seven in this eight- part series to organizing your service contracting office, once and for all. Continue reading “Step 1: Creating An Organizational Chart”

If Tony Soprano Was Your Sales Manager

BY: Joe Crisara

Your Sales “Boss”

I remember the not so distant “good old days” when I made sure that I was home every Sunday night to watch one of my favorite shows. You would have to be from Mars to not know of or remember the HBO hit show The Sopranos which featured an inside look at some of the “alleged” New Jersey mob figures.

I know it seems like this is a product of the twisted mind of a sales consultant who has been on the road for a few weeks too long. But one evening while watching a re-run of the show, I began to think hmmm… Continue reading “If Tony Soprano Was Your Sales Manager”

Negative Talk: The Language Of Losers

BY: Joe Crisara

The Language Of Losers

It was raining a torrent on this gray, cold day as John, a territory manager for a manufacturer’s distributor, scurried from his car and into the office of one of his clients. As he got in the door, he wiped the water from his glasses with a napkin he had in his pocket.

Kathy, the company receptionist, was there to greet him. “Geez, it’s really coming down out there!” said Kathy, understating the obvious.

“Tell me about it,” said John, “Hey, is Larry in today? I have some new products I need to show him.” He asked her without pausing. Kathy, knowing John for years has always stopped in on Tuesdays, ushered him into Larry’s office immediately. Continue reading “Negative Talk: The Language Of Losers”

The 7 Steps to Organize Your Contracting Office

BY: Joe Crisara

7 Steps to Organizing Your Contracting Office

Whether you already have an office, are moving into a new one or are just moving into an office for the first time after working out of your home, the thought of setting up or organizing your office can be daunting.

We usually find ourselves swearing to “get things organized around here for the last time.” Let’s face it. It can be very difficult to find something we need, like customers’ paperwork, check deposits, time sheets and the many other mounds of paper our business generates. We perform this vicious cycle only to find ourselves repeating the same process the next time we cannot find something.

What is the secret to getting your office set up for the last time? The answer is all in the way you plan to organize your environment. In the following series, let’s discuss how to get your office set up and stay organized, once and for all.

Continue reading “The 7 Steps to Organize Your Contracting Office”

Make It Easy To Follow Your Service System

BY: Joe Crisara

Is Your Service System Too Hard?

Last month we had a momentous occasion in our household. Wyatt, who just turned one in February, graduated from his first ever survival training class with the Baby Seals Swim Academy.

We watched our little one transform from being unsure and uncertain of the water and of his trainer, to being confident and courageous in and under the water. He is now willing and able to jump in the water and kick himself right back up to the top where he starts to float on his back, even while being fully clothed.

What started out for us as a safety precaution due to the new pool in our backyard turned into one of the best decisions we made so far for our little guy. We want to continue to build his confidence and his skills.

Continue reading “Make It Easy To Follow Your Service System”

Is It Time To Get Committed?

BY: Joe Crisara

Is Your Time Up?

You may have heard that most sales people who struggle just lack commitment. You may have wondered what that statement really means. Specifically, for me it means to be committed to bringing the transaction to a conclusion after you have made a presentation of your solutions.

This final step sounds easy but do sales people really commit to this? Continue reading “Is It Time To Get Committed?”

CASE STUDY: The Faithful Comeback

BY: Joe Crisara

The Faithful Comeback

Many business owners experience difficult times – periods when sales are low and cash flow is a dribble. But when a business is on the brink of closing, it takes hard work to keep the doors open. And a little bit of faith.

Bill Campbell, 56, has been in the HVAC business for 33 years. While Campbell describes himself as a “worker,” in 1993 he took on the title of owner and founded West Deptford, NJ-based Campbell’s Comfort System.

The 17-year-old business has seen its normal peaks and valleys, like any other HVAC company. But in 2008, as the recession worsened, Campbell’s business almost closed. Campbell recalls seeing the oncoming recession in early 2007. Continue reading “CASE STUDY: The Faithful Comeback”

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

BY: Joe Crisara

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

I can tell spring is about to arrive when I listen to my favorite sports radio show and I hear the ‘Hot Stove” league heating up. The show hosts go on seemingly forever about the same players and how they fit in to this years team. This week they started to play the pre-season games in earnest as all the players try to play themselves into mid-season shape by the first week in April.

In the selling world try to think about how you can use this time of year to do the same thing. What i mean is that we have all endured a challenging economy over the recent past. Just remember that when a person who is good at selling their services goes to work that the economy is always a lot better. At least it is for those who are in great mid-season selling “shape.” Continue reading “Keep Your Eye On The Ball”

Give Hugs Not Handshakes

BY: Joe Crisara

Give Hugs Not Handshakes

When Joe and I first discussed the possibility of me writing a “Dear Julie” blog for our Web site, I thought, “What could I possibly have to blog about? Who would want my advice? What if no one sends in any questions for me to answer? Then what, Make up my own?” I spent many hours thinking about what I would say and how I would say it and still felt I had come up with nothing.

The only other time I felt this uncomfortable was one of our very first consulting jobs. Well I should say one we actually got paid for, which was with an East Coast plumbing and HVAC company outside of Boston, MA. Joe had already been to the company several times, going on ride-a-longs with their techs and waxing philosophically, as he often does, when he brought me in to talk about some of the other problems going on in the office. Continue reading “Give Hugs Not Handshakes”

CASE STUDY: A Fateful Meeting for an Expert Salesman

BY: Joe Crisara

A Fateful Meeting For Sales Expert

Rick Picard walked curiously into the company’s sales meeting. His company had hired a consultant to help sales reps increase their revenues. A top performer and no stranger to seven-figure annual sales, Picard was not required to go. But he went anyway. After the meeting, Picard knew his life was going to change.

A Webster, MA, native, Picard began his career doing plumbing repairs and installations after he completed trade school. Picard worked hard to support his wife, Monika, and their four daughters, Ashley, Austin, Gabrielle and Kaitlin. The family moved to Coventry, RI more than 10 years ago.

In 2003, he had the opportunity to join Lincoln, RI,-based Gem Plumbing & Heating’s residential service team.

For six years, Picard has been a successful sales manager at Gem. From 2003 to 2005, Picard estimates that he was selling as much as $2 million annually, which is more than three times the industry average. Continue reading “CASE STUDY: A Fateful Meeting for an Expert Salesman”

Do You Make This Olympic Sized Mistake?

BY: Joe Crisara

Do You Make This Olympic Sized Mistake?

As the 2010 Winter Olympic games came to a close I am haunted by a certain story which involves snowboarder Lindsay Jacobellis and her failed attempt at redemption. Jacobellis suffered a disastrous crash four years ago at the Turin, Italy winter Olympic games when she celebrated too soon just moments from the finish line. She basically had the race won but could not resist the temptation at showing a little flash at the wrong moment and instead lost the race.

The reason this failure stuck with me far more than all the Olympic victories i witnessed is probably because as a sales coach I see this phenomena far more than I would like when trying to help sales people attain better results. The pain of losing is vivid to me whenever I hear the sales person tell me that they have a sale that is “pretty much already sold” and then they start talking about it like they actually have closed it. But here is the twist. After I question further I find that they aren’t even close to getting the sale. Continue reading “Do You Make This Olympic Sized Mistake?”