Author Archives: Richard Scudder

Lesson in Sales from Songwiters

I’ve been in Nashville since 1975 and I’ve grown to appreciate Songwriters. I’ve never worked in the music industry but I Songwriterslike a great tune and how it relates to how I sell.

Music fans are loyal and buy their favorite songs.  There are plenty of loyal fans of products and services that are unrelated to music and they also buy.

Most songs are somewhere in length between 2 ½ and 3 ½ minutes. That’s about the attention span of the listening audience. Sure there are a few “Stairway to Heaven” exceptions and some catchy short jingles but let’s stick to the norm.

Every song has a title, however writing titles would leave a person far short of being an accomplished songwriter. Many have tried their hand at songwriting but only a few make their mark of success in this town. One reason is you can’t short cut the practice, trials and errors involved in the development process. Most just don’t have the patience, drive, and discipline needed to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

In the end it’s the hook, melody, originality, message or some combination of the before mentioned that draws in an audience.

In sales we are taught to get to the benefits and features. Have our elevator pitch well rehearsed. Be ready to present a solution for almost every objection we’ll hear. In sales just like in a song chances are our audience needs to be pulled in one word or line at a time and on the other end the spectrum chances are if they don’t like what they hear in verse one and two you’re not going to win them over in verse three and four. You have a window of opportunity to present a song and to make a sell. You rarely win a paying customer when you rush them and rarely win them if they don’t relate to the heart of your message.

As sales people we have to find our audience and like a songwriter when we get their time and attention  be prepared to share our best.


marketing gives your product flavor

Marketing is like heat to a pot of chili. Regardless of how good the ingredients if you don’t heat it up you are not going to have many people in line to taste your chili.pot of chili

What makes a successful business?

A successful business is half customer acquisition and half customer retention.50_50

No Lame Ducks

No “Lame Ducks” on the Oregon team. I know I know all we need is one more sports analogy pulled into the business O Ducksworld.

There are 3 ducks I’d like to highlight and if you guessed one would be a Heisman winner or the head coach you’re wrong. Don Pellum (Defensive Coordinator), Jim Radcliffe (Strength and Conditioning) and Gary Campbell (Running Backs) are coaches with 22, 28, and 31 years on the Oregon Ducks Football coaching staff.

The Ducks are arguably the fastest and most innovative team presently in college football and one game away from proving themselves the BEST team.

Experience does count and embracing change, innovation, and relating to a diverse audience does not have age restrictions.

Far too many companies that are mired in mediocrity contribute to a world where 15 million C-Level Sales Directors change teams in less than 2 years of being appointed with far more under increased pressure to perform without being given the time and resources required to build success.

As you build, grow, and strengthen your management, training, and sales team to compete like champions in your industry take a look at who’s on the Ducks sidelines teaching and coaching up their players.

It’s not supposed to be easy

It's not supposed to be easy

True Statement

Business doesn’t begin until somebody sells something

Business doesn’t begin until somebody sells something

Business doesn’t begin until somebody sells something

“Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside”

In sales we often find ourselves in a competitive environment. If we are one of many that make up a sales team weDon't Compare are sure to find ourselves in a dollar, unit or transaction ranking. If we are the only one selling as an owner or solopreneur then we will inevitably rank ourselves against competitors that are selling the same type product or service. Sales is competitive and when there is a competition you can bet there is a scoreboard or time clock nearby.

The first and most natural common benchmark we get judged or judge ourselves on is how my sales stacks up against others. It can be a fair assessment at times and lord knows there is no shortage of analytics to draw conclusions from. My word of caution is that most of the time things simply are not always as they appear. If you hang around in sales long enough I can guarantee you’re going to have some high highs and some really low lows.
I try my best to know my competition rather its internal or external competitors but the one person I always know I know better is me. That’s why I find comfort in “Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside” – unknown. If I know I’m giving it 100%. If I know I’m exploring and learning. If I know I’m progressing. If I know I have passion. I’ll take that over what I think I know about the sales person that ranks a position above me.

HELP make sales

Stop trying to figure out how to sell a prospect and start determining how you can best help them and that’s how Helpyou’ll gain more customers.

Focus on the Positive today…I did

I like ending the work week on a positive just as S. Anthony Iannarino does in his recent blog post YOU GET WHATPositives YOU FOCUS ON

“If you focus on creating opportunities, you will produce new opportunities. And those opportunities will provide you with growth and success. If that’s what you focus on.”

“If you focus on success, you will produce success. It may not be as fast as you want it to be. It may not be the straight line upwards that you want. And may not be anywhere as easy for you as it is for someone else. But if you focus on success, you will most assuredly produce it.”

Anthony shares as much validation of what we will get from negative focus and he does on what we will gain through positive focus.

For the full effect invest 1 minute (yes I timed it) of this day and read

Show and Tell?

The best sales managers and trainers do more showing than telling

The best sales managers and trainers do more showing than telling