Sunday, October 11, 2009

Entrepreneurs & Small Business Fears

Entrepreneurs - An interesting and eclectic group of individuals. Driven, self-motivated, focused and goal oriented professionals choosing to follow their passions, realize their dreams and forge their personal trail to success. Through 100's of networking events, conferences, workshops and business dinners, I have had the priviledge of conversing with amazing individuals and am constantly impressed with their intelligence, willingness to offer insights, as well as their openness in talking about the challenges and concerns they face. The topics of these conversations ran the gammut from marketing and branding strategies to hiring and managing a sales team. Cash flow, hr issues, insurance, liabilities, overhead, vendors, creditors, competitors, internal issues, politics and the economy - the numerous issues they face on a day to day basis is unending. Whether they have been in business for several years or have just recently begun, each has a wealth of experience to draw from with insights to share. The opportunities before them are limitless, curbed only by their own imagination, energy and time constraints. They run their businesses any way they choose, build relationships, partnerships, and most have employees to support their efforts. There is a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and pride that these entrepreneurs enjoy in the knowledge that they created their universe, they did it. Oh, there are headaches - small inconveniences, tougher challenges and the fear of failure that runs through the mind of these entrepreneurs. For each victory, every client satisfied, each project completed that exceeds expectations - there is also adversity. Maintaining a balancing act whose proportions seem to grow more strenuous as their business grows is constant. Donny Deutsch (host of The Big Idea) once asked a guest " you believe you have to be a mean person to be successful?" He wondered if it was possible to be a "nice guy" and be successful... Perhaps editing the question to be more specific would work better... " you believe you have to be a focused, goal oriented individual with unlimited energy and drive who is able to maintain an even temper and make tough decisions while providing a motivating environment in which employees are empowered to do their jobs to the best of their ability is important to becoming a successful business owner?" You can't possibly make everyone happy - it can't realistically happen and you shouldn't bother attempting it. Not every client is going to give you rave reviews and not every employee is going to take ownership and pride in their jobs. The best any entrepreneur can do is their best. The top four issues on the minds of these entreprenuers included whether or not to provide 401K plans; union headaches; insurance reform; and taxes. I searched the internet for an informative article that covered each topic and found the following for your information: To our continued success - Debra

Friday, August 21, 2009

10 Key Steps to Maintaining A Motivated Sales Team

You placed the classified (or Craig's list) ad and conducted the initial phone screen. The face-2-face interview went well - the candidate was able to sell you your own pen - so, you made the offer. Congratulation's! You've just hired a sales professional. Now What? Many business owners tend to make the mistake of believing that all they need to do is hire the sales professional and overnight their business will grow exponentially. Unfortunately this could not be further from the truth. 10 Key Steps are at the heart of building a successful, revenue generating and cohesive sales team. These are just the most vital components that business owners should consider, to learn more about the 'How To' involved, please contact DP Sales Pro at or visit our website 10 Key Steps:
  1. Establish a Clear, Concise and Focused Job Description. What are the expectations of the position? Paperwork to be turned in? CRM tools to be utilized?
  2. Provide Easily Accessible and Updated Marketing Tools and Support Documents. Brochures, business cards, online demo capability - make it easy for the reps to conduct value-driven sales presentations.
  3. Maintain Open Lines of Communication. Provide updated information - price changes, discount programs, marketing blitz, new or discontinued product information in a timely manner. It is best to advise the sales team of these items before they go into effect.
  4. Provide Leadership and Support. Sales professionals need access to a 'point person' or mentor, especially at the onset of their career with your organization. Ensure sales opportunities are not lost due to unanswered questions or incomplete paperwork.
  5. Establish Opportunities for Networking. Your organization should hold memberships at local chambers, networking groups and community groups and your sales reps should be encouraged (or made part of their job description) to attend a minimum number of meetings per month.
  6. Provide In-Depth Product Knowledge Training. If your sales reps don't know the product they are selling, how can provide customized solutions to their prospects?
  7. Provide Sales Training and Coaching. Train your sales reps to be consultants, problem solvers and relationship builders. Teach them the verbiage you would use yourself.
  8. Provide Weekly Sales Coaching and Training Sessions. Weekly one-on-one meetings should be conducted in addition to weekly sales meetings. These meetings typically take about 30 minutes and focus on the individuals performance and areas in need of strengthening. For more info on how to conduct these sessions in motivating and success oriented manner, contact DP Sales Pro at
  9. Develop Goals and Minimum Performance Standards. Sales goals should be specific, measurable and realistic or SMART. What are your expectations during the reps ramp up period? The first 6 months? Year? What is the very least you expect in return for the base/commission you are paying them?
  10. DEVELOP A REALISTIC PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN (PIP) AND LET THE REP GO WHO NEEDS TO GO. An under performing sales rep needs help. Either they are a Can't or a Won't. A Can't is a rep who should be placed on a PIP and coached to see improvement within a specific time frame. A Won't should be let go - immediately. All the Won'ts do is bring the moral down for the rest of your sales team.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Thriller"... with Legos

This is an extremely well-done lego version of the original music video. You have to see it to believe it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Insurance & Financial Industries Can Use Social Media

The insurance and financial industries have compliance issues and regulations they must adhere to in regards to communicating with their clients and prospects. They must be careful not to cross the lines established by both their industry and the individual organization they represent. Obviously they cannot (and should not) give any type of investment advice until they know how they can support specific needs. What they can do, and should do, is share public knowledge that their clients and prospects may not already be aware of. Articles that effect the industry as a whole; articles that have already passed through compliance; and, articles that are specific to the industry in which their client and prospect may be involved. There are ways in which an agent and/or broker may grow their business. There are also methods that will allow them to maintain their current client base satisfactorily while growing their business for the future. How? Easy. Be creative and think out of the box. Utilize the free systems and tools available without selling - use them to build relationships. After speaking for the NAIFA NY Annual Conference yesterday, participants learned that a myriad of tolls are available to them through Social Media networking. We discussed Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Some attendees will utilize all or at least a few of the tips shared; others might begin by reviewing how their colleagues are utilizing these tools before dipping their toes in the water - but, all of them left encouraged by the fact that they do have options. Opportunities do exist for meeting their financial goals by maintaining a positive attitude and putting a little more grease on their wheels. I am a sales trainer. I help sales people become sales professionals. My training is based on the philosophy that building relationships is vital. By focusing on the clients' needs, you can better serve them. The difference between a sales person and a sales professional is their main focus. Sales people are focused strictly on their sales goals, the money they can make and where they are getting their next sale. Sales Professionals focus on the needs of the client. They take the time to research their client; google them and/or their company; ask questions regarding the problems to be solved; and, find the solutions that best meet the needs of the client - not the solutions that best serve themselves. My training teaches how to incorporate sales goals and quotas into this philosophy without losing sight of the client. To your success! Debra

Friday, May 29, 2009

Turning Online Profiles into Profits

What is the actual ROI for the time invested in creating and maintaining profiles in the online community? The answer really depends upon your involvement. Similar to traditional (face-2-face or f2f) networking, your return is directly related to the amount of effort you exert. During an f2f networking event, we understand simply showing up is not enough. This is true of online networking as well. Simply creating a profile online does not guarantee your phone will ring or your email inbox will be full. One of my clients 'Alfred', is an artistic and creative individual. He creates outstanding marketing tools for various industries. Alfred also happens to be an introvert. At f2f networking events, he finds it difficult to approach others and start a conversation. With online networking, he initially felt a sense of relief knowing he could be behind his computer and avoid the small talk required in f2f networking. Alfred quickly learned he was experiencing a false sense of relief. He had all but stopped attending f2f events thinking his online presence would be more than sufficient. He then spent too much time perfecting his profile and waiting for his phone to ring. Our first step together was in developing and sharpening Alfred's skills in order for him to be successful and at ease at f2f events. He was challenged to attend a few events and to ask very specific questions to at least 5 people. He was not allowed to talk about himself or his business unless directly asked. Next, we placed parameters around the time he spent on his social media. By blocking out appointment time on his calendar, he was relieved of the pressure to maintain a current profile. Each block of time had a specific goal that, one step at a time, would move him towards achieving his ultimate financial goal. We then tackled his online presence, promoting his skills and business expertise in a manner that would generate interest and revenue. Alfred now attends at least 3 f2f networking events a month and has a strong following in his online communities. He has joined several online groups that are relevant to his profession and expertise. He is active in both the online and f2f communities and has seen his connections and popularity grow exponentially. We have created the space for him to generate revenue streams from areas he never considered. Two of these oportunities he hadn't known even existed. In less than 6 months, Alfred's revenue has grown by 35%. Not too shabby in this economy! His experience was the inspiration for our upcoming workshop. Whatever type of networking you do, it takes work. And time. Choose the right arenas, roll up your sleeves and have fun. It's all about the journey. To Your Success, Debra

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blogging, Twittering, Facebook & LinkedIn FUN!

I am doing extra special detective work in search of all the little tips, tools and tricks I can gather on the above mentioned social medias. This search is taking me far and wide - crawling under rocks and even digging up some earth. This is so much FUN! Really! I've blogged my way through YouTube video uploads; check this out: or (same exact address, but shortened so it looks and fits better.... This is a great little tool!) Linked my blog to my LinkedIn profile; check this one out too: - you have to scroll down a bit... Created a great new group for Vistage International speakers on Twitter; here Requested to join a Vistage speaker group on LinkedIn; here Responded to a comment posted on a friends' eZine; and its only been a couple of hours! Now, I have had to do some yucky research. For instance, there is a glossary of terms I had to learn for Twitter applications; I came across a few applications that are no longer valid; there are a few add-ons that should not be added-on!!! and, (I know my punctuation is bad here, so?) I've tested the waters with a few RSS Feeds that I'm not sure were worth feeding from... All in all - I really, truly, sincerely am having fun learning by doing! You know what they say right? The best way to learn something is to teach it. I can't wait for my workshop on May 14th at 5 Penn Plaza in NYC. I'm just scratching the surface and everybody's heads are going to explode! Hope to see you there. If you can't make it into NYC, don't worry - I'll be conducting the same workshop again in June in Orange County, NY. Happy Sales! Debra

Debra Pearlman, DP Sales Pro - Client Testimonial

DP Sales Pro, - heartfelt and inspiring success stories from coaching clients that have worked with Debra Pearlman.

Debra Pearlman Workshop Outtake

DP Sales Pro - - facilitates workshops for both public and private organizations seeking increased customer retention; profit margins and marketshare. This is a 5 min outtake from a workshop facilitated by Debra Pearlman, CEO/Owner.