Sales tips, leadership communication skills insight and more from Steve Giglio, sales training professional for more than 25 years.

11.15.10 Show Your Clients They Matter

0301An Account Review is an essential part of client retention and growth. Often though, we manage the process reactively versus proactively.

Here are my tips for a successful account review:

Start the design internally

Design the metrics that will produced a proactive, thorough review. It also needs to “wow” your client in its comprehension and message.

Standardize the process

Don’t end up re-inventing the wheel with each review. Standardizing the processs will save time because you avoid the “more-is-better” syndrome.  It will also give you measurable metrics from which you can determine success levels from review to review.

Do your homework

Pinpoint not only the metrics you will report on but also the clients you will interview BEFORE the account review meeting.

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11.12.10 What’s the Narrative of your Leadership

Does your leadership narrative reflect what your audience wants/need so hear?  It’s a subject that Tom Davenport takes on in his blog on  And my comments concur that understanding what your audience/clients needs are and then reflecting those needs in how you direct the conversation (your narrative) makes a difference between good and great leadership.

Want to learn more?  Read his blog and my comments here.

11.09.10 Solutions Not Pitches

Have you ever considered how we create a “mind set” based on either sports or battle terms?  HBR’s guest columnist John Kotter has and wrote about it in his recent blog.  His point is that a mind-set is best created by listening to your customers and delivering what they need.  Any of you who have worked with me know that I teach this at length as we work to create you as a trusted advisor, not just someone selling something.

Take a look at the blog and my response by clicking HERE.

10.17 Sales Training a “Must Have” in this Economy

A press release issued this week by the Aberdeen Group points to the critical role sales training plays in keeping the best companies on the top of their game.  Here is the article:

BOSTON, MA, Oct 12, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Prospects and customers demand more than a product list from their sales rep; they seek added value through consultative and problem-solving skills, with need-based conversations instead of sales pitches, and often desire a long-term relationship that survives the drying ink on the contract. In this environment, maintaining credibility, customer satisfaction and profitability requires ongoing attention to the skill sets of any company’s front line, in order to assure the highest degree of sales effectiveness in managing prospects through the sales cycle, according to a new research study on sales training published by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (HHS 12.82, +0.12, +0.94%) .

Sales Training: Deploying Knowledge, Process and Technology to Consistently Hit Quota, which examined 835 organizations’ sales effectiveness, found that 77% of sales reps in top-performing companies currently achieve their annual quota, compared to 35% for sales teams in other companies.


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09.10.10 Leadership Development: HBR Comment

hbr logoToday, Harvard Business Review posted an interesting article on its blog site.  It’s all about hubris.  Specifically, how to deal with your own so that it doesn’t come back to bite you.  You will see that I posted a comment, suggesting that hiring a staff that challenges you is a good way to keep your hubris in check.

For the article click HERE and, scroll down in the comments to see what I said.  Then let me know what you think!

10.05.10 Sales Training: Overcoming Fear

Harvard  Business Review columnist JD Schramm posted an interesting look at communication fear this week.  It’s a topic I help clients with a lot in my work.

I pulled this from the article, which is both funny and on target:

“Jerry Seinfeld made famous the line about funerals and public speaking: “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.””

I took the opportunity to post a response, providing some tips regarding videotaping that you might find interesting.

For the article click HERE and, scroll down in the comments to see what I said.  Then let me know what you think!

11.07.10 Hard Won Skills

Most likely in your business, there are skills that are intuitive and there are those that are hard won.  The latter are the most challenging yet, they are critical to your success.  Whitney Johnson tackles this issue in her latest blog entry on  And I posted my thoughts on the relevancy of her writing to the work I do.

Take a look by clicking HERE.

05.18.10 Even in Paradise

img00241-20100518-1135Even in paradise, consistency of message matters…

I just spent several great days with clients at The Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos.  In speaking with the Chief Operating Officer, we got into the importance of everyone who works for and represents the property to be in one-voice when presenting it to guests or clients. We’ll be working together on synthesizing their value proposition then coaching their teams in the conversational delivery of it. 

A client of mine once said, at every meeting with a client you’ve got to reinforce your unique value or people will homogenize you with your competitive set.  I deal with that every day and it is the foundation of what I work on with all clients.

02.22.10 Listen to Grow

…for there is no growth without changing, correcting and questioning yourself.

Marvelous, tough medicine for you and me.

In my work in Executive Development and Sales Training, I have needed to self-correct and listen to the objective evidence to grow and develop.   I always will.  I encounter many different professionals with many different challenges. To advance in their companies, each faces specific developmental challenges to succeed.  The success-link running through all my coaching interactions is a person’s trust in themselves to adapt and change when the objective evidence says so. This says easy, does hard.

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02.08.10 What E-mail Mistakes Are YOU Making?

My 2009 year-end newsletter stressed meeting face-to-face with clients soon in the new year.  But once you’ve done that, you still have to stay in touch and regularly communicate with them.  I firmly believe you can gauge your customer’s reaction far better over the phone than the internet!  However, should you need to send an e-mail message, consider these tips from the Wall Street Journal:

Click here for Top Ten E-mail Mistakes by Managers