Studio Version 1.0, the zero episode

15 01 2014

StartI just posted a test episode that was recorded in my new podcasting studio. This episode will never be uploaded to iTunes but was created for  close friends and subscribers of the Tao Te Ching of Sales. On that  blog I’ve asked them to review and critic this effort. It’s my hope to get some solid feedback on the sound quality.  I’m also hoping they will subscribe to Sales Babble.

Go to http://salesbabble.com/2014/01/15/episode0/  and listen for yourself!





Fred Greene from Golf Smarter

16 12 2013

I interviewed Fred Greene yesterday from the Golf Smarter podcast. Fred has been producing Golf Smarter since 2005 and is ranked as golf’s most popular podcast since early 2006. In 2013 he surpassed 7 million total downloads. Fred has built a loyal, global community of golf consumers, one of which is myself. As a long time listener I consider Fred the benchmark for a quality podcast. I was honored to ask him a number of questions. We talked about many things but his primary advice was:

“I’m never sure what the first question will be, I just ask and listen. Listening is necessary for a great interview”.

Fred’s thoughts echo what I’ve heard from other podcasters. But more importantly his advice agrees with my views of great sales. It’s not about overwhelming the buyer with information, but drawing out their desires.

Secondly he focused advice on engaging the audience:

“If you educate, they’ll listen, if you sell, the audience will run in the other direction.”

I must always keep the audience in the center of my mind.  They are the reason for  this new  podcast.  Without them there is no podcast.

These quotes are  just a smattering of Fred’s advice,  but it confirmed that I’m going down the right path with Sales Babble. I truly appreciated the opportunity to have Fred share a bit of his wisdom. I’m moving forward.

 





Coaching discovery questions

6 12 2013

question markI’m working with some small businesses. They have a passion for what they do, but they don’t know much about sales. I fact often times they deplore sales yet they know they need to become sales proficient in order to grow the business. Cold calling can be very difficult for these people. Calling on strangers is a real challenge. But if you don’t have a huge marketing budget, it’s an inexpensive alternative for finding prospective opportunities Maybe I can help.

Here are some of the questions I ask prior to meeting :

  • Why did you take this job?
  • What sales experience, if any, have you had in the past?
  • What opportunities do you see in this profession?
  • Name three challenges you most fear in this position?
  • What are three goals you have for this position?
  • What is the one thing you would like to learn that would ensure this was a terrific coaching opportunity?

As in sales, it’s important to understand the needs and desires of prospective customers. If you can understand a persons gaps and motivations, you’re in a far better position to help.





Podcasting Software

1 12 2013

SkypeYesterday on a long drive to Peoria I listened to Pat Flynn’s informative “How to Start a Podcast Podcasting Tutorial“. Pat explained the technical process of creating and distributing podcast. It’s surprisingly convoluted.   With that in mind I wasted no time and started on the task today.  This was the software I’ve installed:

  • Skype – practiced calling Denise and it works quite well.
  • Pamela (a Skype recording software that didn’t work,  so I uninstalled it)
  • MP3 Skype Recorder – Skype was still connected to Pamela. I went into, deleted the share. Restarted Skype and MP3 Skype Recorder worked out of the box. Very simple and elegant to use.
  • Audacity – a recorder software and mixer. Very straightforward and similar to other sound editing software I’ve used.
  • LAME MP3 Encoder – to export a MP3 file from Audacity, I need a .dll that provides the encoding.  The Audacity documentation recommended I go to the http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/ for the download. This was a big mistake. If you look at the page it’s unclear which link to click. In fact there are links the page itself recommends not to click.  I don’t recall what I chose but the download came with PC Backup Software and other annoying crap written on my hard drive. I’m slowly uninstalling it.

Despite my troubles Audacity can export an MP3 file.   Success.





Tribes

28 11 2013

Tribes CoverI’m an avid fan of Seth Godin, the speaker, marketer and author of many books. Godin has this wonderful book called “Tribes” and in it he says

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. … Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change. … You can’t have a tribe without a leader – and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.”

Maybe I can build a tribe with Sales Babble or enter the tribe of professional sellers. And if I can become a voice for that group, it will provide extraordinary opportunities in some future time. I’m not sure what those opportunities are going to be, to some degree it’s an act of faith. Or maybe better said in business parlance, a measured risk. But there is little doubt that Sales Babble will be an extraordinary life experience.





My Avatar

28 11 2013

My notion is to interview sales professionals who have written a book. I would think authors would be happy to be interviewed and promote themselves. I enjoy podcasts that have the vibe of an intimate conversation. I want them to share stories. My task is draw these stories out. The Avatar of my audience is a person who is new to sales or owns a small mom and pop that is struggling to grow. Despite the wonders of the Internet, there are many places where you need to make a cold call, walk up to a stranger and make your pitch. Many people dread sales and “salesmen”. The fear of meeting strangers is the elephant in the room. The idea of phoning a complete stranger and asking for their time is frightening.

Consider a podcast that addresses these fears head on. A podcast that shares tips, tricks and the vernacular of sales to novices. One that coaches non-sellers to become confident, successful and passionate sales professionals. All through the power of story.

Sales Babble will not be about me, or my guest, but it will be about the novice seller. My hope is it will sound professional and look classy. My desire is the conversations will flow easy and effortlessly and if done well, people will want to look forward to the next weeks episode.

Is this too much or too little? Have I set the bar at the correct height?





Sales Babble

28 11 2013

Sales Babble Old LogoI’m in the process of starting a new adventure.

After thorough consideration I’m looking to become a consultant/teacher in the area of sales. That is my expertise. I’ve been blogging for a year at the Tao Te Ching of Sales  and it’s been an extremely gratifying experience.  However  it has limits.  Instead I have decided to take the next step move on  Sales Babble. a podcast/blog focused on teaching non-sellers, sales.

I remember one rainy day a few years ago while traveling on a  sales call to  Chicago Heights when Fred Greene, an extraordinary master at podcasting called regarding GolfSmarter. He wanted to chat about  moving towards paid memberships and kindly solicited my thoughts.  We chatted briefly about podcasting and he said his one great learning was “Don’t go into Podcasting”.  Despite this warning I’ve been taking classes on internet marketing and have concluded to not take his wise advice. I have multiple vague ideas on how to monetize the site (offer online classes, consulting gigs, etc..) and  I’m going to a conference the first of year on this topic.  But  I have a full-time gig and don’t need the money.  It’s about building connections.

Given my penchant for asking questions  I think I would be good at it. I might be terrible at it. But I’d like to give it a try.