Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and Selection Sunday, so I’m impressed that you are reading this (and not finalizing your bracket for the office pool). But you know what? I want to talk brackets too. (I have an ulterior motive—my Blue Devils beat Mike’s Orangemen on Thursday.)
We’ve talked about questions a lot in the past—in particular, how asking great questions is an essential skill in sales. But don’t limit yourself to sales meetings and calls. Asking questions can transform every part of your work experience.
Three recent Maestro clients have been acquired this year—ItemMaster, GoCanvas, and Contactually—so we’ve been following a lot of news on the topic. While we’re justly proud of the ways we were able to help these companies position themselves and solidify their revenue streams, we are also wishing them good luck with the sometimes challenging process of merging two corporate cultures.
Case studies are one of the most memorable types of business writing you’ll encounter, but they’re also one of the hardest to pin down. They can be long or short, glossy and marketing-focused or dense and technical. (Oh, and the case studies you’ll see in business school are totally different from the ones you’ll see in marketing collateral.) Whichever type of marketing case study you’re trying to create, though, there are a few qualities that can really make it stand out.
Are you ready for a physics lesson? How about a sales-is-physics lesson? At Maestro Group, we often riff on Newton’s First Law by saying that “A deal in motion stays in motion, a deal at rest dies.” Sometimes, you can also learn from Newton’s Third Law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Now, I’m not adamant about “equal” and “opposite,” but it is very important to be ready to respond to any client or prospect action. This week we were thinking about how flexible, responsive behaviors can be transformative in every area of business.
We’re implementing new approaches to project management at Maestro. In the process, we’re discovering that how we collaborate really differs across different types of tasks—whether it is writing blogs, planning webinars, or delivering sales training and evaluating salespeople. At the same time, working together turns out to be so essential in every area of the business. We just never saw it quite so clearly laid out before. This week’s Buzz is a celebration of teams that work together and learn new things together.
Slack devolved into pirate jokes at some point this week, so before I share some interesting pirate-related news, I have to ask you: What is a pirate’s favorite country? (You can check your answer at the end of the Buzz.)
“Free Pizza.” There tends to be a point in each person’s life where those words are the best thing they can possibly hear. The experience of getting free stuff that brings us a lot of pleasure conditions us to expect that free is always best. Sometimes, though, you get what you pay for.
To improve productivity and quality in your organization, feedback is key. Sometimes it’s difficult to assess team members objectively and fairly. And delivering the feedback is almost always challenging. Here’s how everyone can work together to get the best results from evaluations.
Many of the biggest technology innovations of the new millennium have involved replacing old hierarchies with distributed networks. From BitTorrent to Blockchain, it’s all about peer-to-peer. Recently we’ve come across a number of ways in which peer-to-peer can transform businesses and even our own sector of sales acceleration.
“George was a good little monkey and always very curious.” My colleague Kevin Sambat posted a thought-provoking piece last week on curiosity in sales. He’s not talking about the exact same kind of curiosity as Margaret and H.A. Rey attributed to the famous children’s book character. In fact, at Maestro we definitely do not recommend leaping off cruise ships, placing fake emergency phone calls, feeding trumpets to zoo animals, or basically anything else Curious George ever did.
Nobody’s perfect. Everyone can improve. Looking back on 2018 and ahead to 2019, there are places where Maestro has shifted direction. In the broader world of sales and management, there are things that got us chattering in the Buzz but now are no longer that exciting. So today let’s see how things are changing going forward. Put on your seatbelts, folks!
Webinars have been around for over twenty years, but their popularity has exploded recently. Video-conferencing technology keeps getting better and better, enabling more cool features and larger groups of participants. Maybe your organization already uses webinars or maybe you’re thinking about it. Maestro dived into the medium this year. We love it and can’t stop talking about webinars!
Venga Co-Founder and CEO Sam Pollaro needed Barack Obama to convince him to take the entrepreneurial leap. Ok, not directly, but in a round-about way. In 2009 the company Pollaro was working for closed down when its managing director was asked to join Obama’s administration.
Do you ever find yourself replaying a conversation in your head and wishing it had gone differently? Sometimes things go in a direction you don’t want simply because your priorities aren’t aligned with your prospect or conversation partner. Other times, though, things go off the rails for a reason that was completely avoidable. Here’s three pitfalls you can escape in the future!
Happy Thanksgiving, American readers! Here’s some food—food for thought, that is! Anything you learn about interacting and communicating with people in the workplace can also improve your life with friends and family, and vice versa. Don’t check your behavioral psychology at the door.
Jere Simpson, CEO and founder of KITEWIRE Mobility, believes in making the most of opportunities and resources. The KITEWIRE Mobility brand takes inspiration from Benjamin Franklin, whose amazing accomplishments as an inventor came after failures both as a businessman and a scientist. KITEWIRE Mobility shares this scrappy perseverance to keep trying new ventures even after electrocuting yourself.
There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? Until we master the science of time travel, the solutions to this problem are limited. Basically we can either sleep less (not a good idea for most people) or use our time more wisely and work smarter.
Writing emails can be daunting. You know what you want to say but don’t know the best way to say it. At Maestro, we use a handful of tactics to ensure our written ideas are smart and straightforward. Here are some favorites:
Who stayed up way too late on Tuesday? After Election Day, it can feel like time for a nice break from politics. Well, too bad. Politics are everywhere. In the office, political savvy can make a big difference in your effectiveness—and happiness.
What is your deepest fear? When I was a kid, I was terrified of clowns. I hated their hats, and birthday parties could get uncomfortable. Luckily, I got over my phobia. It might be reasonable, though, to fear the following three items…
Are you ready to learn something really well? There’s no better way than by sharing your knowledge with others. As the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “homines dum docent discunt”—“People learn while they teach.” Maestro sales trainers get plenty of opportunities to share and hone their expertise, but you don’t have to quit your job and become a full-time trainer to get this benefit.
After digging into the value of failure, it’s time for the Buzz to look at success. You did it! Congratulations, you deserve to be proud. Now, how can you best leverage that win into more and greater success?
Learning from failure and persevering are essential to the founding philosophy of the Phoenix Sales Method. Lots of team members had favorite quotes, videos, and thoughts to share when we got talking about failure this week.
What does reading have to do with sales and marketing? Well, no matter what you do, reading can stretch your mind and help you grow into new knowledge and skills—what the Maestro 40/20 Rule is all about. Here’s a roundup of some suggested reading.
How well do you understand yourself and the people you work with? Are some of your employees more efficient and fulfilled than others at the same type of work? Does your team need to develop some additional capabilities? This week at Maestro we were talking about StrengthsFinder and other ways to understand our capabilities as a team. So what are your strengths, and why do organizations care?