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Jack Vincent
Luzern, Switzerland
Author, "A Sale Is A Love Affair"
Interests: sales management, selling, business, sales, start-up, sales consulting, training, sales training, turnaround, entrepreneur
Recent Activity
"A Mutual Friend Thought We Should Meet" A few weeks ago, the CEO of a communications agency connected with me on LinkedIn. A friend of his had suggested we meet, which we did early the following week. I started the conversation with, "A sale is a love affair, you know." His eyes lit up. "I've always seen a connection between selling and dating. Always!" Throughout the meeting, we didn't shy away from expressions like prospects wanting to kiss on the first date and even getting in bed with our clients. "That's when we know the relationship is serious," said the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at
"Because That's The Key To My Heart" "When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about." - Lady Gaga Medicority Is An Option. But It Sucks. Why go for mediocrity? Because it's safe? Fine, but it sucks. It's not memorable. It's not bold. It's not effective. Mind-blowing really works at the beginning of a sale or a presentation. Remember, you're not closing a deal; you're opening a relationship, and it's all about sparking interest... standing out. Yeah, but... Outrageous? Shocking? What if I'm... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at
Tao Is More Than A Word Having worked in the sports business, I was recently recommended a link to a sports biz page, Tao of Sports. Taoism is close to my heart, so I was very eager for this brand experience. Surely, in addition to the normal sports business talk I find elsewhere, this page would have something... paradoxical... simplistic... dualist... spiritual... philosophical... Taoist. I couldn't find it. And I was disappointed. While the page offers podcasts that are indeed interesting, there was nothing that was the least bit Taoist about it. Compare this to books entitled "The Tao of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2012 at
Or... A Christmas Story Once upon a time, manager from Company A was sitting next to manager from Company B at an industry Christmas party. Just before dessert, the organizers held a raffle. The prizes were donations from whomever the organizers could beg, borrow and coerce, including party participants and their companies. When the raffle was over, Company B's manager was upset, while Company A's manager had achieved her objective. Why? Not because either of the managers held a lucky ticket. But rather because Company A got much more visibility from its prize donation than did Company B. Manager A... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2012 at
Trying To Be All Things To All People? A change management consultant recently told me about an exchange he'd had with the CEO of a mid-size firm that engages him on an ongoing basis. The consultant skillfully engaged the CEO in jointly crafting a solution for an initiative that would be spearheaded by next generation leaders. The CEO was pleased, and he committed to "massage it through the executive committee" in order to secure all-important buy-in. As the meeting concluded, the CEO asked the consultant to outline key talking points. That very afternoon, the consultant emailed the CEO a few... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2012 at
Beware of "Trendy" Earlier this year, a high-profile business writer posted an article, "The Elevator Pitch is Dead." Within minutes, the blogosphere lit up with gushing commentary. Personally, I find it comical to see how quickly people jump on popular bandwagons. One trendsetter's bold statement is no death warrant to the elevator pitch. And therein lies a paradox. Maybe the elevator pitch is actually timeless! As a Taoist who believes that the world is constantly pulled by the forces of Yin Yang, I see dualism everywhere. Paradox rules the human condition. And pitching -- persuading -- is a deeply human,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2012 at
Product Suffers After Three Downs In case some of you do not follow American football, the NFL has started its season with replacement referees. The regular officials have gone on strike, and neither side is giving in. I'm a huge fan of the NFL, and for decades have been saying it's the best sports and television product in the world. Perhaps other products like UEFA Champions League can today rival this claim, but I still believe the NFL is awesome when it comes to its brand expectation and the product experience. But right now, the American football world is losing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2012 at
Spain Wins Thru Masterful Passing (And this has everything to do with sales and team pitching!) There's something beautiful about the style of football that Spain has been playing over the past half decade to win the most heralded trophies of the beautiful game. But beyond beauty, it's effective. Spain continually win... through great passing and selfless teamwork. It's the same in team selling, but I'll get to that in a minute. Outside of Spain, the football/soccer commentators seem to overlook the incredible passing abilities of midfielder Andres Iniesta. In the Euro 2012 final match against Italy, many will remember... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2012 at
Your Name Precedes You When you meet someone for the first or second time, do you let them struggle with your name? I've been to three networking events in the past week, and each one has offered case studies on how to -- and how not to -- manage one's name around the all-important introduction or the "nice-to-see-you-again" moment. Call me a cynic, but it truly boggles my mind how some people make me guess their name... and how some even appear resentful when I struggle -- all the while, I'm wearing my name tag in a prominent place, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2012 at
I'm All For Pitching... ... and with a book called "Sales Pitches that Snap, Crackle 'n Pop," I'd better be... right? Right. But please pitch me in a way that is focused on me. Pitch all your prospects in a way that focuses on them. Just because you "sell benefits, not features" doesn't mean you're really doing so in a customer-focused way. So here again: Snap: stimulate your prospect's interest. Crackle: start a (customer-focused) conversation, with and about your prospect. Pop: Earn your prospect's trust. Even Big Brands Get It Wrong I just stepped into my bank for a quick... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2012 at
You're all set... ... for your company's trade show. Stand, decor, brochures, business cards, smile. Sorry, but deep inside, you know you're still not prepared. You need a sales approach, a tactical plan of engagement. While a beautiful stand, a great product and an edgy brand might help you stimulate interest, one of the most overlooked tools to achieving your objectives at a trade show is solid salesmanship. You've heard all about the elevator pitch. But an elevator pitch to stranger after stranger? It still feels... pitchy... disingenuous... used-car-salesman-like. What to do? Know The Paradox of a Pitch. Pitch is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2012 at
When It's Life Or Death Imagine for a moment your life is on the line, and you've hired some guy to watch your back. Would you want him to "know" a lot about security, even though he doesn't have any experience in the field? Or would you want him to have "drilled" your life-threatening situation and his tactical response 3,000 times or more? I recently met Scott Biggs at a networking event and was immediately impressed with his confident, direct style. Scott's been in some very dangerous environments and has experienced life or death moments with clients. Life has prevailed.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at
Happy Valentine's Day! I couldn't resist dusting off my speech from the Toastmasters 2006 European Humorous Speech Contest, apropos to love... and sales. That's right! A sale is a love affair, and storytelling works in engaging the human heart and mind at many levels. Here's to love... and successful selling! Thanks again to Toastmaster extraordinnaire, Bill Monsour, for shooting this video way back when on very short notice! Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2012 at
Stop Pitching Away Your Assets For Free I just saw this post, To Hell With The Sell by Blair Enns via my great friend Ken Jacobs who helps PR agencies grow business and develop staff. This post resonated with me because, I have to admit, it aligns with some of the material in my book, Sales Pitches That Snap, Crackle 'n Pop, particularly the second, third and fourth points: We will replace presentations with conversations; We will diagnose before we prescribe; and We will re-think what it means to sell. That last point resonates because it reinforces a timeless adage... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word It was so early in my career that the fax machine was still the business medium of choice. We had pitched a potential partner on an exciting marketing platform, and they liked it. We were now negotiating deliverables and returns. A cantankerous lawyer on the other side of the table fired a shot at our team. "You guys were supposed to fax us the payment schedule. We never received it!" A thousand negative impulses went through my body and mind in a split second. I had drafted the fax for my boss, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2012 at
I'm delighted to have my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Ann Soderblom of Soderblom Design guest posting in Brave New Sales this week. In her recent newsletter, Ann wrote about getting to know your customer target group and more specifically what they really like and want. If you have done all of that research it is time to put it into practice. Offers That Wow! It is time to create an offer that will make 100% sense to your customer. So how can we do that? Well, by using the data you already collected and by considering something as fundamental... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at
What do presenting and DJ-ing have in common? As I recently discovered... a lot. If you love your content, want to give it generously to the audience, and you arrive prepared, presenting and DJ-ing are both a blast! A Little Background Two months before the Toastmasters Fall European Conference (D59), the Basel organizers bought into my pitch: let me be the DJ for the post-gala dinner dance party. Yep, DJ Jacko would spin the tunes. Over the years, I had taken over the turntables and stereo equipment at many a party. But in Basel, this wasn't just a party. This... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2011 at
Now available on amazon! In a B2B pitch, you're not there to close a deal, you're there to open a relationship. The three objectives of a pitch, therefore, are to Snap, Crackle 'n Pop: stimulate interest, start a customer-focused conversation and build trust. If you achieve these three objectives, your prospects will not see you as another vendor, but rather as a trusted advisor. Sales Pitches That Snap, Crackle 'n Pop shows you how to achieve this in straight-forward and sometimes hard-hitting language... Dr. Tobias Kiefer, Global Learning & Development Head at Booz & Co says, "Jack slaps you in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2011 at
"Smile and the whole world smiles..." My father has said this ever since I can remember. "Smile, and the whole world smiles with you." It's good advice when pitching and presenting. If prospects smile with you, it's a safe bet that they're more engaged with you. I know many presenters through Toastmasters, TEDx and my work in sales improvement. The best presenters openly admit they're not perfect, that they're continually improving something. Humble self-awareness is the first prerequisite to improvement, and I hear more and more presenters say they sometimes catch themselves with serious looks on their faces. I'm the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at
Three Things To Improve? I had a great time chairing the Enterprise Marketing 2.0 Conference last week in Amsterdam, organized by KGS. Many of the speakers I introduced over the two days were leaders in social media and inbound marketing, so I learned a lot of relevant stuff! When the conference was over, I was asked to present at a event, Influence Ecosystems, where I could discuss some of my own mojo. So I highlighted my upcoming book, Sales Pitches That Snap, Crackle 'n Pop, because I firmly believe that as valuable as online marketing is, ultimately you have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2011 at
A year ago I made the leap of faith... I bought an iPhone. I got a pretty good deal from my mobile provider, but it required a significant long-term commitment. The customer service rep was passionate that I was doing the right thing. I felt like I was joining a cult. When I got the device in my hands and started using it, I knew I had done just that. It was a beautiful experience, yet... there was so much to learn. How do I dial a contact? OK. Now how do I download apps? The learning was intuitive and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2011 at
Oh, Facebook, you hurt my feelings. Again, baby! Oh, we've had a rocky relationship right from the start. And each time you hurt me, we kiss and make up, and then we slowly slide back into the state of normalcy. Correction: I slowly slide into your new definition of normalcy. You give me vague explanations. You tell me that this is for my own good. But I'm beginning to wonder about this relationship. I'm beginning to see the light. You're a wicked soul mate, Facebook. I'm hooked on you... as a product. A product is something we buy and sell.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2011 at
Many salespeople hate CRM tools And many sales managers do not fight the noble fight and insist that the salespeople use their CRM religiously. To the brave new entrepreneur who may have a brilliant product or solution but who also may be going deep in the discipline of sales for the first time, CRM means "Customer Relationship Management" generally. Specifically, CRM also refers to a company's IT program where sales people track activities on each account and maintain in-depth customer profiles -- from recent client proposals to a prospect's anniversary and children's birthdays. It's not hard to imagine why some... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2011 at
I've yet to meet anyone... ... over 15-years-old who doesn't have their own, personal story of 9-11. Perhaps they didn't know anyone who was killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Perhaps they didn't know anyone who cancelled a meeting in the World Trade Center that day. But they can tell you what they were doing when they heard the shocking, near surrealistic news. Many can tell you how 9-11 changed their lives in some way. What's your story? My 9-11 Story I had been living in Europe for years when two hijacked planes took down the World... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2011 at
Annual Convention Meets (New) Brand Expectation I'm just back from the Toastmasters 2011 International Convention in Vegas, my first. And I had a blast! I've video-blogged about the Toastmasters re-branding, some of the workshops I attended, the International Speech Contest and everyone's darling and my good friend, Olivia Schofield. Olivia, District 59/Continental European champ made us Euro-based Toastmasters proud by nailing two great speeches in the Regional Semi-Final and the Final, but "timing-out" in the Final. The way she handled it was graceful and... cool. Special mention to fellow Euro Toastmaster Bob Mohl, who coached Olivia leading up to the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2011 at