Jack Malcolm

Four Forms of Sales Knowledge

As a sales professional, you are a consummate knowledge worker; regardless of the product or service that you sell, the value that you personally bring to the transaction or relationship is your stock of differentiated, relevant knowledge. There’s bad news and good news in that...

Which Role Do You Play in the Sales Process?

There’s a proliferation of terms to describe the various approaches to B2B sales: solution selling, consultative, challenger, etc. It can get confusing to try to keep them all straight, or even to differentiate between them. So, in order to help my own simple mind...

Book Recommendation: Profit Heroes

I had a bit of a ticklish dilemma in reviewing this book. Bob Terson asked if I would write a blurb recommending Bob Rickert’s book, Profit Heroes: Breakthrough Strategies for Winning Customers and Building Profits. I agreed, but candidly I was not looking forward...

Don’t Bring a Fire Hose to A Presentation

Have you ever attended a presentation that felt like you had to drink from a fire hose? Even worse, have you delivered one? Our minds contain a vast store of information accumulated over a lifetime of living and learning. But every new bit of information...

What Your Listeners Don’t Care About

Have you ever shelled out extra money to buy your dog that special dog chow, the one in the commercial that shows the dogs enjoying the meaty flavor of flame-broiled filet mignon served on pure silver? You feel good about it, but Poochy doesn’t...

Two Simple Words that Can Mean So Much

Although we consultants and bloggers like to make things more complicated than they are, sometimes success boils down to very simple things. One excellent example is writing thank-you notes. I was discussing this idea with my friend, Rick Hertan, who is a recruiter and executive...

Don’t Avoid the Hard Questions

In a class I ran last week, the participants seemed to be having a harder time than usual asking their customers (actually, their colleagues playing the part of customers in role plays) the hard questions. They would ask one or two questions about the...

Why You Aren’t as Clear as You Should Be

As I’ve written before, clarity is one of the most important factors in persuasive communication. It gives you credibility and ensures that your intent is transferred as accurately and efficiently as possible. So why can it be so hard to achieve? The core idea of...

Lean Communication: Making Work Visible

In lean manufacturing, making work visible is about organizing work so that everyone involved is clear at all times what the status of work is, and the most important next steps are obvious. As I’ve written earlier, the core of lean is the development...

Lean Communication: Pull

In lean manufacturing it’s called kanban, or pull. Rather than pumping out tons of inventory in the hope that someone will buy it, the producer makes what’s needed as needed, when the customer asks for it. This prevents the buildup of inventory which costs...

Lean Communication: Reducing Waste

If value in lean communication is anything the listener wants or needs to hear, waste is any work or input that does not contribute to value. As anyone who has endured excruciatingly boring and unproductive meetings (i.e. you, me, and everyone else) can attest,...

Lean Communication: Delivering Maximum Value

In the introductory post to this series, we defined lean communication as the ability to provide maximum value with minimum waste. I’ll define Value as anything the recipient wants or needs to hear and see. Speakers deliver value through content and expression; the speaker must...

Max Cred Factor #8: Outside-In Thinking

Although this is the ninth article of the max cred series, it probably should have been first. This one is less about technique than most of the others and more about a general approach to being credible in the estimation of others. Motives are a...

Lean Communication

Lean manufacturing is a production philosophy that seeks to deliver maximum value to customers with minimum waste. Companies using it have achieved huge increases in productivity and customer satisfaction. I contend that you could achieve similar benefits by applying the lean approach to your communications....

Selling is Everyone’s Job – A Force Multiplier for Your Sales Team

I had the privilege of addressing a group of construction managers from one of my clients last Saturday morning about sales. Yes, you read that right. The (mostly) men in my audience manage construction projects for their clients, and their employer wanted them to be...

Serve the Lazy Lobster

No disassembly required I had dinner the other night with some friends at a seafood restaurant. Their special for the night was the “Lazy Lobster”. I asked about the name, and they told me it was the meat from a one-pound lobster, cleaned and put...

Max Cred Factor #7: Professional Look and Feel

It’s a tiny bit ironic that this post is appearing on a Friday, which is a day when sharply-dressed, professional-looking people suddenly become casual and appear in the office looking like they just rolled out of bed at camp. Although I haven’t seen hard evidence,...

Max Cred Factor #6: How to Ruin Your Credibility

So far in this series we’ve focused on the positive steps you can take to build credibility, but credibility can be a very fragile asset, which can blow up in an instant or lose power over time if you don’t guard it carefully. There...

Max Cred Factor #5: The Strategic Approach

So far in this series we’ve examined the factors that make you credible during the moment of communication. This article is about all the things you can do over time to strategically build and preserve your credibility over time. As an organizing principle let’s revisit...

Max Cred Factor #4: Confidence

The two aggressive males face each other, each puffing himself up, roaring and stamping the ground. As they get ready to fight for the prize, each is probably secretly hoping to intimidate the other and avoid a costly fight. You can see this on a...

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