Blogs

By: Craig McQueen
Thu, September 27th 2012

I am an engineer, at least that's the program I graduated from at university. I never thought I wanted to be in sales. Sales to me involved people playing golf, building chummy relationships and some fast talking. I liked creating technology solutions to business problems. However, after being exposed to the "Helping Clients Succeed" sales methodology I realized sales is exactly what I wanted to do. Not only that, I wanted to help other people get better at sales. Along […]

I had the privilege recently of speaking with Carol Poulsen, EVP and CIO at Co-operators Insurance, to find out what works with salespeople and what drives her crazy. The Co-operators Group Ltd., founded in 1945, is a Canadian insurance cooperative owned by 45 members including co-ops and credit union centrals. It is one of the largest wholly Canadian-owned multiline insurers, offering auto, home, life, farm, travel, and business insurance as well as investments. They have revenues of […]

By: Craig McQueen
Tue, November 22nd 2011

I am pretty excited to be at the Art of Sales event here in Toronto for a number of reasons.The speaker line-up is fantastic and it's always exciting to meet old friends and make new ones. (You can also read more about the event here.) I have read Seth Godin's blog daily for the past few years and have read at least five of his books. His words inspire me. Barbara Corcoran will be sharing what it is like to be a shark (she is on ABC's Shark Tank). Keith Ferrazzi's b […]

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Leadership/Coaching    
By: Craig McQueen
Tue, November 15th 2011

It seems to me that a salesperson is a lot like an investment advisor. In the traditional sense, an investment advisor provides advice about how to invest your money (usually in stocks, bonds and GICs) to maximize the return according to your risk tolerance.As salespeople, aren't we doing the same thing? Aren't we helping our customers decide how to best invest their resources (time and money) such that they maximize their return according to their risk tolerance?Next time yo […]

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trusted business advisors    
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Win   Flow   Leadership/Coaching    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, November 4th 2011

At Ninety Five 5 we believe delaying gratification ultimately leads to a better solution (and ultimately a more successful sale) for a customer. Instead of immediately jumping to the first solution, taking the time to fully understand a customer's needs produces a better result.The ability to delay gratification, popularized by the Marshmellow experiment, has been linked to people's ability to achieve long-term success. If you buy into the concept of "good things come to […]

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Open Mic    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, October 28th 2011

The leaves are changing colors here in Canada and many are already falling to make room for new growth next spring. It brings to mind the reality that from time to time we must also shed something in order for us to grow. Too often, however, many of us try to grow by adding things -- and there is just so much we can carry.So today think of what you can remove to make room for growth. Anything come to mind?

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Open Mic    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, October 21st 2011

One of the books that had a big impact on me in my software development career was Jim McCarthy's "Dynamics of Software Development." In it he lists a number of rules for delivering great software, many of which focus on the importance of the human elements of software development.McCarthy's Rule No. 4 is "Don't Flip The Bozo Bit." A "bit" in computer terms is either TRUE or FALSE -- and that's it. There are no shades of gray. McCarthy& […]

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Leadership/Coaching    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, October 14th 2011

One of the key skills we advocate at Ninety Five 5 is Moving Off the Solution. Acquiring this skill enables us to open a conversation with a customer to truly understand their needs.When a customer asks for information about a solution, this technique allows us to slow down, and switch the conversation to inquiry mode in a courteous fashion such that we have a true understanding of the customer’s needs.Move Off the Solution can have a tremendous positive impact on our custome […]

By: Craig McQueen
Fri, October 7th 2011

The other day when I was at the gym I noticed someone, who seemed relatively new to weight training, doing bicep curls. A tendency with bicep curls is to load up the weight and use other muscles (such as the back) at assist in the lift. That was what this person was doing.I was thinking that if I offered to coach I might say something like this:"Look, for bicep curls don’t use the other muscles. Keep your back straight, don’t swing, keep your stomach tight and […]

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coaching    
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Open Mic    
By: Craig McQueen
Fri, September 30th 2011

I am currently reading the book "The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal" recommended to me by a friend. A key theme in the book is applying the principle of "periodization," used extensively in physical development, to all areas of life. The key idea behind periodization is that the path to improvement is by applying stress beyond an existing comfort zone followed by recovery (rest).Bodybuilding a […]

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Open Mic