Several years ago, I found myself in a rather comical situation as a junior accountant at a mid-size suburban Chicago manufacturing company. It was a lesson in the peculiar behaviors that can unfold in a supposedly professional office environment. This company, which I will call Acme Manufacturing, kept manual accounting ledgers in addition to the computerized system. These ledgers were locked in a storage room with a combination lock on its heavy steel door. A long-time employee named Carl gathered the books on a movable cart each morning. At the end of the day, he routinely returned the ledgers to the...

Have you ever read the tag on your bed mattress (or your pillow or winter coat) that says removing it is illegal and punishable by federal fines of up to $5,000 or imprisonment? Egads! That sounds like a Dilbert cartoon. Have you done so? I haven’t, but I have been tempted to do so. Fortunately, the federal government changed the original rules to read: “Do Not Remove by Penalty of Law Except by the Consumer” in the 1990s. It is a violation of the federal Mattress Label Act.  “The actual federal regulation states that it’s unlawful to remove or mutilate any stamp,...

Several years ago, I lived in a home adjacent to a private golf club. My telephone number was similar to that of the golf club’s clubhouse. One afternoon, I received a call from an unknown man who asked me if he could reserve a tee- time for golf.  I told him he dialed the wrong number and he hung up.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, he called again and asked for a tee-time reservation.  Again, I informed him that he had dialed an incorrect number.  He hung up. Then, a few minutes later, he called again. When I once again informed...

I was trained in sales by two of the best salespeople that I have ever met or heard about, Jim McCormack and Frank Dodge, the founders of the application software firm McCormack & Dodge.  Both had met at IBM and had very different backgrounds.  Jim was a highly successful salesperson at IBM, and Frank was a systems engineer.  Previously, Frank had been a high-school mathematics teacher for many years.  As a teacher, he was inclined to provide detailed explanations and paint “word pictures” for his students so they could better understand his concepts.  Jim taught me the opposite – to...

Early in my sales career, I had the fortune of meeting with and introducing Red Auerbach at a McCormack & Dodge User Conference in Boston, MA, in 1985.  This turned out to be a seminal moment in my career.  I will explain. For those unfamiliar with the legendary Red Auerbach, here are some highlights of his career in the National Basketball Association. Red Auerbach's tenure as the head coach for the Boston Celtics from 1950 through 1966 was a golden era for the team. Under his leadership, the Celtics achieved unprecedented success, winning over 1,400 games, eleven Eastern Division titles (including nine...

My latest book, Above Quota Sales Management, has been published by Armin Lear Press and is available on Amazom.com and barnesandnoble.com.  Here is the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Above-Quota-Sales-Management-Techniques/dp/196327105X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2H3YJCJUCYJ78&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.K_4_4T0BF1S7HRvC6pufcqmtuy_tgN8ieKomqmfZPcVzKTXUkoyezqjeoVXsc_UdHCQRZlFV My first book, Above Quota Performance , was targeted at sales professionals with the goal of improving their performance by following the hundreds of tips and techniques that were covered in the book. It has been well received by readers, many of whom have given it a perfect 5-star review on Amazon so far. Above Quota Sales Management follows a style similar to my previous book but targets sales managers. The book covers many critical...

It’s my observation that sales is a career that offers excellent opportunities for women and is primarily egalitarian.  I say it’s almost egalitarian mainly because the company must hire a woman before she can take advantage of her sales career, and that may still be challenging, especially for women just starting out in her career or for those women who took time off to raise a family and have returned to the workforce. Prejudices still exist that may result in ill-informed managers not hiring some very capable women in sales.  Those existing prejudice challenges still prevent some women from being hired...

Early in my sales career, I called on a very large well-known furniture manufacturer that was headquartered in Western Michigan. They were looking for solutions to automate their in-house built general ledger accounting functions. After several telephone conversations with both accounting and information technology (IT) people, they invited me to present our solution. They also invited our major competitor as well. There were about fifteen people in the room who were very engaged and had a lot of questions, especially from the IT people, when I presented. I felt that the sales presentation went reasonably well. The Manager of Accounting...

I have been in enterprise sales for many years. I also have been golfing for just as long. Unfortunately, my sales skills have exceeded my golfing skills.  But as I wailed away in a sand trap earlier this week, I realized there are some similarities between the enterprise sales cycle and a round of golf.  Each has finite beginning and ending points and many changes in strategies and tactics along the way.  Let’s explore that: First, enterprise sales and the golf game have a significant beginning point.  In sales, it is when you have qualified the opportunity, and the prospect has agreed to...

This article will discuss mergers and acquisitions from three perspectives: 1) What is a merger? 2) What are the business cases for mergers and acquisitions, and are they usually achieved? 3) If you work for a company that is undergoing a merger or acquisition, what is your best strategy to survive it?  There is no such thing as a merger! Contrary to what we read and hear, especially in business journals, there is no such thing as a “merger” in corporations, or they are extremely rare at best. They are kind of like unicorns and exist in myths. Let me explain: When two...