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Lee Novak, one of the top sales executives in the country, launched his Ulitzer blog to share his experience, insights, and sales coaching tips. Lee Novak, a Sales Management Executive for 25 years, uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high-performance groups but also that do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Novak publishes his Ulitzer blog posts on his two topic sites: Lee Novak on Ulitzer (http://leenovak.ulitzer.com) Team Building (http://teambuilding.ulitzer.com) Sales Coaching (http://salescoaching.ulitzer.com) He received numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance while working in various executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for 21 years - where he was... (more)

Are You Listening for Your Personal Brand?

Personal Branding on Ulitzer We've talked about how easy it is to create digital dirt, but are you "listening" to make sure that your personal brand isn't tarnished? I'm going to talk about three free tools you can use to monitor your own name, and if you have one, your company's name. 1) Google Alerts - make sure to set up Google Alerts to email you when your name or your company name is used. The best way to create these alerts for clean results is to put your name or company name in quotation marks (i.e. "Career Design Coach"). If I don't put "Career Design Coach" in quotation marks, then I get results that include career, design, and coach. So, the information is not useful to me. By using quotation marks, I'll only get results for my full name and for the full name of my company. 2) Tweetbeep - Tweetbeep will send you email updates when someone mentions you or... (more)

CEO or Czar: Which Leader Are You?

CEOs in Technology on Ulitzer The "C" word is getting a lot of press these days (you WERE thinking CEO, weren't you?). It seems that every time someone gets appointed to a government post, they get the title "czar." There are so many of these little crazy Ivans running around in Washington that Senator McCain said Obama has, "more Czars than the Romanovs." We have a drug czar, an energy czar, a border czar, a climate czar, a czar for this and a czar for that. In a Wall Street Journal article, Laura Meckler once wrote about the rising ascension of czars in the White House. And it's not just in the US. The United Kingdom has it share of little Ivans, with drug czars, and according to Business Week, the UK has appointed its first "Twitter Czar!" God help us all! (It's OK to say that...I'm under 140 characters). The question is, what is a czar, and as a leader, do you want... (more)

Pick the CEO, Not the Company

Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization, the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or suffer in a given work environment.  While this is true for a mid-level manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact your work satisfaction. I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held company that was acquired by a much large public company.  In a matter of a few weeks our approachable, personable CEO was replaced by a top down, autocratic manager who announced at our first management meeting, "there's a new sheriff in town, and if you don't like my way of doing things, feel free to leave before I make the decision for you." Later on, with a few battle scars and bumps along the ... (more)

The Most Important Marketing Question

I was listening to a product launch webinar early this morning. The speakers were droning on and on about technology and architecture and innovation.  Not a customer benefit in sight - other than the usual generic claims of 'market leading' performance,' unmatched' reliability, 'next generation' features and all the other 'me toos'.  To be fair, the vendor was presenting the product facts quite well.  But they were leaving it to their listeners to sift through the technology claims to apply its capabilities to their own situation. This is a high risk approach. Especially if your competitors are sharing powerful stories that hits those listeners right between their eyes. The simple fact is that marketing is not about you. It's about your customers and how your company or solution can help them be successful in their business. You're probably thinking "But I have cust... (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 saying that you have to ignore your competition. That'd be kinda silly, now wouldn't it. What I am saying is that companies have to stop focusing on what their competition is doing as the baseline for defining their future direction. Following the competition's lead won't help you be a leader. ... (more)

Six Keys to Change the Sales Culture From Me to We

Dear Lee, I truly enjoy reading your sales and leadership articles. I am currently an HR professional at a mid size company and I was wondering if you could address the following question, for a training project I am hosting for our Sales VP's; Sales Units are often referred to as TEAMS yet it seems that it is actually an INDIVIDUAL SPORT. How does management incorporate the team concept into the culture without taking away from the individual performance? Belinda, Oh Dear Belinda, Recently, I went skydiving for the first time. Stepping out of the plane onto a 6" platform and jumping at 7,000 feet was an amazing experience! However, I didn't accomplish this alone. It was a tandem jump with a veteran skydiver. However, this veteran skydiver who had over 2,000 jumps didn't accomplish the jump alone either. He had an experienced pilot who had flown the plane on over ... (more)

Getting Past Gate Keepers

Web 2.0 Journal By Tom Hopkins In business situations, when you are trying to reach the person who has the authority to make decisions regarding your product you are very likely to have to go through one or more people before reaching that person. For the sake of efficiency, there will likely be a receptionist and/or assistant who takes the initial calls for the decision-maker. It’s important that you realize most assistants are taught to protect decision-makers. Or, shall we say, screen calls so the decision-makers only speak with the [...] ... (more)

When to Automate the Fulfillment Process

Businesses provide many different types of fulfillment. Some fulfill by keeping shelves properly stocked, and then delivering from that stock. Some businesses go a step further and manufacture or assemble those products. Others provide professional services such as engineering, case management, analysis or legal services. The fundamental problem of fulfillment can vary in complexity, but the premise is always the same: The business has to organize and deliver resources of some kind to their customers. It's the age-old adage of providing supply to meet demand. Believe it or not, automating the process often is more alike than different. If we're offering professional services, then the "products" we are selling are simply self-renewing; every new hour means an employee has another hour of product (their time) to put up on the shelf. If we are producing those products... (more)

21 Daily Creeds for a More Successful and Fulfilling Career and Life

The Difference between a Piece of Coal and Diamond is how Long it Has Been under Pressure. The best way to move the Mountain of Fear, Defeat and Despair is one stone at a time. What follows are 21 Daily Creeds for a More Successful and Fulfilling Career and Life: I. I will always seek and merit divine help II. I will succeed at home first III. I will never compromise with honesty IV. I will keep a sense of humor regardless of my circumstance V. I will defend those who are absent and those who are weak VI. I will obtain counsel by others VII. I will be sincere yet decisive VIII. I will learn & develop a new proficiency every year IX. I will plan tomorrow’s work today X. I will hustle while I wait XI. I will maintain a positive attitude XII. I will be orderly and organized in person and in my work XIII. I will facilitate the success and happiness of subordinates and those... (more)

Can Sales Analytics Improve Your Bottom Line?

It has never been more important or difficult than it is today for sales people to make sure their messages are reaching their target audience. This is because potential customers are bombarded with a deluge of information everyday. They filter a growing amount of phone calls, scan endless amounts of email, and are often drowned in the constant tide of social media updates, text messages, alerts and reminders. For most salespeople, the once simple task of making sure their message is reaching the right people is now a daunting, seemingly impossible endeavor. Even with the ever-expanding options of communication and analytical tools available to sales professionals, the most well-connected sales teams have difficulty understanding what is working to engage customers and what isn't. The underlying issue is that it's impossible to know what resonates with customers w... (more)