Response: Student’s are not customers; Are they?

A LinkedIn post by , Dean of IE Business School in Spain,  asked the question, Student’s are not customers; Are they? You can view the post here.
Here is my response:
Absolutely. Teachers / Trainers are Salespeople selling the ideas and concepts that they want their Students to buy into and learn. The primary role of the teacher / trainer is to convey the information to their student’s in an easy-to-digest manner (aka Don’t be boring). Even though students are interested in the topic (because they invest their time and money to attend the class), they will not effectively grasp the information taught if they can’t understand it, or can’t stay awake in class.
I know that my favorite (and most effective) teachers / trainers have sold me on their ideas and concepts. So, I believe that Students are definitely Customers.

What is your top concern in managing a sales team?

Brent Mellow (Helping businesses improve their results with and the cloud platform.) asked the following question on LinkedIn:

What is your top concern in managing a sales team?

Here is my response:

Hi Brent,

My top concern in managing a sales team is always getting the team to  effectively maximize their selling time.

By spending more time in front of the right customers. (Those “A” clients who are most likely to buy our solution) Instead of wasting valuable selling time on administrivia and unproductive (and unprofitable) prospecting.

Also Paul Green (Member at UK Business Advisors Limited) added the following information on how salespeople spend their time.

A recent survey indicated that a poor salesperson spend their time as follows:

Active Selling 10%
Prospecting 10%
Problem Solving 14%
Downtime 17%
Travel Time 18%
Administration 31%

A good salesperson should ideally be allocating their time as per below:

Active Selling 35%
Prospecting 25%
Problem Solving 15%
Downtime 10%
Travel Time 10%
Administration 5%

If you would like to discover how to effectively maximize your sales team’s valuable selling time.

Call me @ 519-820-6207 and ask about my full-day training program titled: Prospecting Profitably

Should managers/leaders apologize?

The following question was posted on LinkedIn by Doyle  Slayton who is a trainer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Should managers/leaders apologize?

I’ve worked for bosses who hold polar opposite views on the issue of whether or not a manager should apologize. One believes that a manager should never apologize to their employees. The other makes it a practice to apologize regularly for wrongdoings.

During the last few months, I’ve begun to solidify my views on the subject. Before I share my opinion…

What do you think… should leaders/managers apologize?

Here is my response.


Hi Doyle,

Everyone messes up at times. And because Managers often have to make decisions with incomplete information, the opportunity to mess up increases.

I believe that if a Manager doesn’t apologize and humble him/herself when this happens they will lose respect from their employees.

However, if the Manager does humble him/herself then they will gain respect in the eyes of their employees. They will be perceived as real. And their employees will work that much harder for them in the future.

So, if the situation warrents it, swallow that pride and apologize, because not only is it the right thing to do from a people perspective, but from a business perspective as well.

Great question.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
“The Sales Dating Guy”

What was the best career advice for me?

Guustaff Vocking, a partner at SARV & AIMS International a Management Consulting and Coaching firm in the Netherlands recently asked this question on LinkedIn:

What was the best career advice for you?

Here is what I wrote:

Hi Gustaff,

The Best career advice ever is to never stop learning.
And in my learning I have picked up a few other gems, such as:

1. The key to business is personal relationships.
2. Give more value for your work than the money you are paid. That way you will be viewed as an Investment and not a Cost.
3. “You can get anything you want in life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” -Zig Ziglar

I hope this helps.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
The Sales Dating Guy

The number one characteristic of a great sales leader

The following question was recently posed on LindedIn by  Jaime Davis-Thomas,  Director of Research & Publications at EcSELL Institute

What are the characteristics of a great sales leader?

Here was my answer:

Hi Jaime,

The number one characteristic of a great sales leader is that they care.

They care about helping solve their customer’s problems,
They care about building their business,
They care about supporting their family
and they care about doing it the right way.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
The Sales Dating Guy

How to maximize the effectiveness of your daily commute or drive time

Carl Melville who is the Chief Communicator at Enact Marketing asked the following question on LinkedIn:

How do you maximize the effectiveness of your daily commute or drive time?

Here was my response:

Hi Carl,

How do I maximize the effectiveness of my daily commute?

1. Reading: I listen to audio-books (I am an audio-book junkie). This allows me to utilize what my friend Jim Estill calls The Power of While, which means doing one thing while you are doing something else. This is the main reason I can read over 110 business books a year.

2. Creative thinking: I always carry a notebook with me and I find that my most productive creative thinking time is while I am listening to an audio-book in my car. I just jot down a few messy notes or create a rough mind map and re-write it later when I am not driving.

3. Exercising: I have created a mini work out that I can do while driving.
This work-out includes:

  • Stomach crunches (just suck in your gut using your stomach muscles),
  • Butt squeezes (squeeze your butt cheeks together and release),
  • Arm Curls (make a fist and tighten your muscles to add tension) (be careful not do do this while you are slowly passing someone or stopped beside another car, otherwise they may think you are flipping them off),
  • Arm cross overs ( touch your left shoulder with your right hand, while holding the steering wheel with your left hand and then the next sequence touch your right shoulder with your left hand, while you hold onto the steering wheel with your right hand).
    Doing these in groups of 100 will not only allow you to make good use of your drive time, but it will also get your juices flowing for the rest of the day.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to maximize your drive time.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP, The Sales Dating Guy

What is the one tip you have learned that has made the greatest difference in the impact of your presentation?

Jennifer Kahnweiler, who is a “workplace guru” who speaks to leaders and aspiring leaders on how to strengthen their people skills. posed this question on LinkedIn:

What is the one tip you have learned that has made the greatest difference in the impact of your presentation?

Great question!!!

Here is my response:

Hi Jennifer,

What was the one tip that made the greatest difference in the impact on my presentations was when I realized that it is not about me and what I was going to get out of the experience. Instead it was about what I was giving to the audience.

When I shifted my focus from what I am doing or saying to what the audience is receiving, everything changed.

I was less nervous and more effective.

Now, when I am developing new material, I customize  it with that audience in mind.

When I deliver my material I am more focused on the audience than myself. I look into their eyes and look for the “light bulbs” to come on.

Overall I view my presentations as a gift to the audience. A gift
that will hopefully, help make their business and life more successful.

I hope this helps.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
The Sales Dating Guy