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Dear Lee, Last year I was a record setting sales rep at my company selling high tech solutions. Today I received my annual quota for the new year and was shocked to see that my account list shrunk by 10% and my quota is the highest in the company.  I am  very frustrated with this. I attempted to negotiate a reduced quota with my manager but he dismissed my request, saying that he has full confididence that I will figure it out. My quota is gigantic but my spirit is weak. Any suggestions? Down in the South -   Dear Down in the South, I am sure that you are familiar with the biblical story about the tiny frail warrior David slaying the Giant, Goliath. If Goliath had been  a man of average height - who would've noticed? Who would've cared.? Remember the bigger the challenge the greater the rewards when you overcome them. Last year when you received your annual quota... (more)

The Power of Trust

So, how's this for ultimate trust? I imagine a few cynics out there see a little dog with a death wish. Others may see proof that curiosity really will kill the cat, er pup.I see the power of trust in action. The power to defy even the most basic of instincts - self preservation. The power to change the game. When we trust in ourselves, we go bravely into new situations. Self trust is the fuel that powers us to explore new worlds, test new theories, expand our horizons.  When we trust ourselves, we have the courage to move beyond the known and safe. We move beyond our past and r... (more)

Put Your Competition in the RearView Mirror

One of my first CEO clients - a leader in the early days of the Search industry - gave me a great piece of advice about the competition.  I still follow it. "If you pay too much attention to the competition - you'll always end up following them." At the time I actually think I thought he was nuts. After all, as a young idealistic marketing consultant, competitive analysis was one of those B school standards near and dear to my heart. Now, some twenty something years later, I see how brilliant he was. Companies have to think for themselves, not like their competitors. I'm not say... (more)

2010 Annual Predictions Bonanza

New-Media on Ulitzer This year we have seen almost every company, every blogger and his duck, feverishly posting their "annual predictions" before the December 31 deadline, as if there is such a deadline, and as if anyone cares about what they think in most cases. This is followed by a dozen or so 'paid' predictions news releases every day by companies who are pushing their "wish lists from 2010" as "predictions" and hoping that they come true. If you do a quick Google search on "2010 predictions" you will land on a predictions potpourri of more than 5,000 stories (the last time... (more)

Coaching the Star Performer

Dear Lee, I have a tenured sales person who has a history of overachieving his sales quota for the past three years. In fact, he has been one of the top performers in the company and is excellent at closing business in competitive accounts. However, his service after the sale and his follow through is the worst on my team. Clients have complained frequently about feeling as if, he only cares about them when he is selling them something and then he disappears, doesn't return phone calls, etc. I have attempted to coach him on this deficit but quite frankly, he doesn't take critici... (more)

When the Plan Overrides Good Business Sense

Picture this. A big company has one last chance to rise from a serious downturn. But the company has lots going for it. An unbelievably loyal customer and market following, A game changing innovation, A significant demand for exactly that innovation, A bit of money to back it. I watched customer after customer 'light up' as we told our story. We relaunched the company around that game changing solution to widely acclaimed success. In all my years I've never seen customers react so passionately. It was the proverbial Slam Dunk. Within a month of the relaunch, there was $60+M of q... (more)