Google News

All of the account news you can use

Information is king. This statement is especially true when it is account news. With information, you can make appropriate decisions. More than that, information on your prospect allows you to

  • respond to the events affecting your customers and prospects.
  • having background talking material during your sales calls.
  • find opportunities
  • establish financial justification for your opportunities.

There is a lot of information to gather about your accounts. You need a quick and convenient way to review the highlights of your account news so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. In order to lead you to the end goal, let’s start at the easiest beginning. Let’s assume you are looking for account news for your new prospect, General Motors.

The first and most obvious solution is to go to Google and search for General Motors. The resulting page will be at

This page will be good but not great. It has a lot of account news about the company that you may not know. However, it has little in the way of new information. If you look part way down the screen though, you will notice that there is a news section. As the last entry for that news section, it should say “More news for general motors” – go ahead and click this link (the link is: More news for general motors or

This listing of account news is much better. The News page has even more timely information that we can use. However, it can be vastly improved. General Motors is a public company, and we can get financial information by modifying our string and inserting the stock symbol for the company. In this case the stock symbol is “GM” so let’s modify our search by just changing the above URL with “+GM” like this:

Depending on your Google preferences, you may have to hit News on the menu bar immediately below the search bar.

Note that we had to make the modification twice, which is a bit inconvenient. Also, if you look at the News page, you will see a lot of analyst comments which are likely not very helpful in your sales campaigns. The fact that an analyst thinks the stock is going up or down is likely not going to help you in your sales campaign. So let’s skip to the end of all this work. Take a look at this URL:”general motors”+GM+-trading+-resistance+-upgrade+-downgrade+-upgraded+-downgraded&cf=all&as_qdr=w&as_drrb=q

Once again, you may have to hit the News button to see these results. Let’s spend a minute understanding what this search does to help you gather account news:

  • Give me all of the Google News for General Motors or GM (the quotes makes the two words General and Motors into one string). If the article has both GM and General Motors then it will score higher.
  • If the article contains any of the following words, score it lower:
    • trading
    • resistance
    • upgrade
    • downgrade
    • upgraded
    • downgraded

That is what the +- (or a plus followed by a minus) does. It adds a subtraction of that word to the search.

Now comes the best part. Once you have all of this setup, you don’t have to think about it again. Simply scroll to the bottom of the News search, and you should see “Stay up to date on results for” with your search string. Immediately beside that you will see a button “Create Alert”. When you go to that service, you will then set up the email destination of those alerts to you. Now your account news is emailed to you!

On the alerts service, you will see “Show options” beside the Create Alert button. In that options list, you can select how often you want alerts sent to you, the sources (I suggest that you stick to News), as well as the language and region of the world. I suggest you stay with “Only the best results” for the beginning.

For your next searches, skip all of this hard work and go straight to Google Alerts. Type in the company name (put quotes around it if it has a space in the name), the stock symbol, and “-trading -resistance -upgrade -downgrade -upgraded -downgraded” to eliminate some of the noise.

Good luck and get ready to use this account news to set traps for your competitors so that you can ELIMINATE THE COMPETITION!

Photo by Spencer E Holtaway

Why #TheDress matters (OR Why perception equals reality in sales)

As I write this article, #TheDress has been trending on Twitter and other social media outlets for days and has gone viral. I am not going to get into a scientific discussion here on cones and rods in your eye. However, it is important to learn from this rage, especially if you earn a living in sales.

The current viral controversy is that some people observe the dress to be black and blue stripes while others see the dress to be gold and white stripes. There are scientific reasons for this confusion but the most important consideration is that everyone thinks they are correct. Think about this, if this subject had not hit Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so hard, everyone would believe that their perception of the colors of the dress was 100% of reality. If you saw a picture of #TheDress, wouldn’t you automatically assume that the color combination you perceive is reality?

Put in another way, how many images of clothes, cars, homes or stuffed animals have you questioned your perception of the color? If this is the first time that you questioned your perception, doesn’t it seem likely that this combination of colors and lighting has affected the rods and cones in your eye before?

Perception equals reality is something that salespeople have to contend with every day. It can be in your favor, and it can hurt you. Let’s give some simple examples:

  • Your product is expensive versus your product is affordable.
  • Your company gives great support versus your company gives adequate support.
  • Management needs information about the productivity of the sales force versus management is asking for so many reports the sales force doesn’t have time to sell.
  • Salespeople are essential in today’s market versus the Internet makes salespeople irrelevant.

I will be addressing that last point in a future article, but I think that almost all of us can agree that the earlier three were all a matter of perspective. The perspective of a person influences their version of reality.

Your marketing department advises you of certain facts about your product or products. You would assume that most of those facts are not interpreted as perception. We typically consider them to be speeds and feeds types of facts. Examples could be weight, torque, amount of RAM, number of CPUs, and even color. Interestingly, as we learned from #TheDress, color is not exactly a perfectly factual feature since it does require the viewer to perceive the combination of colors in a certain way.

Other facts typically are about the products ability to offer a benefit to the end customer. These are much more open to perception. You need to explain these features to the prospect, and the prospect may not take your word for the benefit. These features only have perceived benefits to certain prospects and likely have few benefits to others.

It is the job of the salesperson to understand the perception of the buyer, since the buyer’s perception is 100% of reality. A buyer that sees no value in your feature literally thinks that feature is worthless. If you continue to try to change the perception of that buyer on the value of a single feature, you are likely wasting your time. Instead, it is your job as a professional salesperson to understand the perception of the buyer and present features to that buyer that have value to that buyer.

Just like some people perceive that #TheDress is gold and white while others perceive it to be black and blue, perception is reality. It is your job as a professional salesperson to understand that perception and alter your conversation with the prospect to influence their version of reality.


The Dress (viral phenomenon)” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Guest Article: Disqualify Sales Prospects to Facilitate Sales Cycles

By Michael Halper

As a sales person needing a commission and to hit quota, we are usually in a mode where we are telling sales prospects why our products are the right product for them. But if the sales opportunity is not moving in the direction or at the speed that you would like, it can be powerful to do the opposite and disqualify the prospect by questioning if our product is the right fit for them.

New Car Example

Let’s take an example of a new car shopper to display how this could work. The prospect has been looking at cars, done the research, completed the test driving, and narrowed the choice to one car. She has expressed interest but is hesitant to move forward to the next step in the process which is to purchase.

At this point the momentum and speed of the sales cycle has slowed so the sales person has three options:

1. Do nothing: The sales person could do nothing and let the prospect manage the speed and direction. This can lead to getting stuck in “idle land” which could result in more time being wasted on both sides and increase the probability of “no decision”.

2. Push harder: The sales person could push harder and try to sell more aggressively to the prospect. The risk here is that, if there is internal confliction going on in the sales prospect, then by pushing harder could push them away.

3. Disqualify: When the sales person notices the hesitation and confliction, they can disqualify by mentioning that maybe the purchase is not right. After this is done, if the purchase is a good fit, the sales prospect will begin to respond by selling on why it is a good fit and get through their hesitation.

As you can see from those options, disqualifying a prospect when they show resistance or hesitation can be a very powerful sales tactic. Below are some of the key benefits from doing this at the right time in sales opportunities:

Improve Momentum

When you do this on a qualified prospect with genuine interest and authority to buy, when you push them away by disqualifying, they will typically come back by selling you on why it makes sense. By the prospect selling you, this can take a deal that is either not moving or moving backward and create new momentum.

Uncover New Information

When a sales prospect begins to sell you after a disqualification, you will stand to uncover new information as they will likely communicate in their own words why it makes sense and that could uncover new details on their needs and how they stand to benefit.

Establish Credibility

By disqualifying a sales prospect, you will take a huge stride in the area of establishing credibility. This is powerful as the typical sales person will opt to be more aggressive in a scenario where they sense hesitation. By you disqualifying, not only do you stand out from the competition, but you also appear to be putting the interests of the prospect before your own interests of closing a deal.

Michael Halper is an ICF certified coach that works with individuals and organizations helping to drive growth and improvement. For more information about coaching and development visit Compass Coaching you can read more about Disqualifying Sales Prospects or Sales Coaching.

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Photo by familymwr

Guest Article: LinkedIn Profile Tips – The 10 Mistakes You Want to Avoid and Why

By Neal Schaffer

A lot of people tell you what you should be doing, but what about what you shouldn’t be doing?

LinkedIn is the place to not only find others but also to be found. And that is why you need a LinkedIn Profile that not only helps you get found but also will entice people to contact you once they view your profile. I see many people making fundamental mistakes that actually work against them in this aspect. If you’re going to spend time putting together a LinkedIn profile, I assume you want to maximize your chances of being contacted by the right people, right?

With that in mind, I have created an easy-to-understand list of a few things to check for with my reasoning. If it sounds like an exercise in search engine optimization, you are on the right path. Just like any website owner, you want your LinkedIn profile to stick out and be found!

Enjoy my LinkedIn Profile Tips!

1. Not Displaying Your Personal Photo

I wrote an entire blog post about why you should include your photo in your LinkedIn profile, but it all comes down to having social media credibility or not. There are too many fake profiles on LinkedIn, so you want to show that you are real. If you have taken the time to complete your LinkedIn profile, why wouldn’t you display your photo? It just raises too many potential questions. And company logos or photos of pets obviously have no value here

2. LinkedIn Profile Headline is Not Branded Enough

See that space underneath your name? That is your “Professional” or Profile Headline. It will appear in search results next to your name, as well as next to any questions you ask or answer. It is, in essence, your elevator speech in a few words. Are you just putting your title and company name here? Don’t! This is the place where you need to appeal to anyone who finds you in a search result to reach out and look at your profile. Your Profile Headline is the single most important piece of real estate on your LinkedIn Profile, and you need to brand it as such.

3. LinkedIn Status Update is Not Appealing

This is that “What are you working on?” box that I refer to as a “Status Update.” Assuming someone finds you and looks at your profile, chances are they are going to be looking at what you write here simply because that it appears just underneath your Headline Profile. What do you write here? Many people in transition note that they are looking for a job here. What do you use your LinkedIn Status Update for? It is part of your branding exercise, and it should be something appealing that will both inform the reader of your latest activities as well as hopefully add to, not subtract from, your LinkedIn Brand.

4. Don’t List Enough Companies You Worked At Or Schools Attended

One of the ways you are found on LinkedIn is through searches on company names or schools. If you are only listing your current company and/or not even displaying your college, you are missing out on potentially being found. Check this out: I did my Junior year of college abroad in Beijing nearly 20 years ago. I had been out of touch with all of the 15 or so Americans that were there that year. Two of those 15 have found me on LinkedIn! And another high school friend who I lost touch with found me this week on LinkedIn. They would not have found me had I not listed my Junior year abroad school and high school name on my profile. Companies are even more important in that there are potentially more colleagues that may be trying to find you or recruiters trying to network with you! You may be missing out!

5. Not Having Three LinkedIn Recommendations

This is the same as not having your personal photo on your LinkedIn profile. Why? When you sign up for LinkedIn and first fill out your profile, LinkedIn recommends that you write three LinkedIn Recommendations. You need to do this in order to get your LinkedIn Profile to 100% Completion. Job postings on LinkedIn similarly require three LinkedIn Recommendations. These recommendations can only work in your favor, so why don’t you have at least three of them?

6. Too Few Connections

This is a topic for debate, but too many people have too few connections on their LinkedIn Profile, and thus are not getting found. The idea is simple: when you do a search you will see results from your network. And vice-versa. So the more connections you have the more search results you will appear in pure and simple.

7. Not Listing Three Websites

LinkedIn gives you the ability to list three websites on your profile. Are you taking advantage of it? Do you have a Twitter profile or other social networking profile that you want to advertise? Company website? A blog that you enjoy reading? Anything that you would want associated with yourself should be listed here. You will be adding to the search engine optimization of your own websites just by the fact that you list them here!

8. Not Claiming Your Personal URL

When you sign up to LinkedIn you are provided a public URL which you can then include on your email signature or wherever else you want to lead people to your LinkedIn Profile from. You can customize this when you edit your profile. Claiming your name here is one of the first things you should have done on LinkedIn. If you have a common name, make sure you claim your LinkedIn URL before others do!

9. No Branded Summary Rich with Keywords

Assuming that someone finds you in a search result, likes your Profile Headline, and isn’t scared away by your Status Update, the next most important part of your profile will be your Summary. This is the chance to fully brand yourself and ensure that any keywords that you want associated with yourself are found here. You also want to write something compelling, just as you would in the Executive Summary of your resume. This is your stage to tell the world who you are and what you can do! Utilize it to your fullest advantage!

10. No Job Descriptions

Even if you’ve listed positions at companies that you previously held, it means nothing if you don’t have any job descriptions. Job descriptions provide you the perfect opportunity to pepper your profile with keywords that will help you get found. Why aren’t you taking advantage of this?

Did I miss any that you’d like to share? Let me know! And if you didn’t make any of the above mistakes, congratulations! Your LinkedIn Profile is in good shape!

Neal Schaffer is an internationally recognized social networking guru helping companies and individuals embrace social media for personal and business applications. His experience in creating the Windmill Networking Blog – a social networking world that has become so vast in one year that it constitutes one of the widest read LinkedIn blogs world-wide-resulted in his upcoming first book Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn. Schaffer is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant noted for his energetic and passionate presentations. His development of Windmill Networking and the LinkedIn potential parallels two decades of success in sales and business development in the technology sector, concentrating on the Asia-Pacific region He is the former Director of Sales, Asia Pacific East for Datapath, and Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific Sales for Espial. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in Asian Studies and is fluent in Chinese and Japanese. He resides with his wife and two children in Newport Beach, CA.

Article Source:—The-10-Mistakes-You-Want-to-Avoid-and-Why&id=2769684


Photo by nan palmero

Business graph

Guest Article: The 3 Key Components To Grow Any Business

By Kay R. Sanders

If you are in sales, have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to increase your sales results? There has to be a way to get predictable results! Right? The answer is yes; you can produce predictable results. In order to produce such predictable outcomes, there are three key components every sales person must consider to grow a business.

The three key components to grow any business are:

  1. Generating Leads
  2. Setting Appointments
  3. Converting Leads into Sales Presentations

Each component is a vital part of growing a business. It starts with generating enough leads or contacts of individuals who are in the target market and who would benefit or are interested in the product(s) or services a salesperson is selling. Without leads, a sales person would not have anyone to present their product or service! Next is setting up the appointment that creates the opportunity to present the product or service to individuals who would benefit and possibly would want to buy. Last but not least is the part where leads convert into sales presentations. These three components are the stepping stone in any sales process, and one would not work without the other.

The sales industry is one of the best industries to be in, with unlimited income potential and a lifelong job security. Salespeople are in high demand because every business needs salespeople to sell their products. Without salespeople, businesses would not be able to operate. Being in sales in not a bad thing, even though many feel bad or embarrassed about being in sales. Instead, be proud to be a sales person because you do can make a difference in people’s life’s with the products or services they are selling.

Every year more and more people start a career in sales. Unfortunately, many also quit the business because of one major obstacle: they don’t know how to sell! You see if you know how to sell and you know about the sales process, you have the potential to make a substantial amount of money. But the majority of salespeople start in sales with limited knowledge of how to sell. Their employers give them some basic training on what to say to prospect, and then they send them out with these words:

Go make a lot of calls and talk to as many people as possible since eventually someone will buy.

That’s just like throwing mud on the wall. Some mud sticks, but most of it falls off.

It’s the same in sales, if you talk to people without the knowledge of

  • how to approach them,
  • what to say,
  • figure out what their true needs are.

You are throwing mud on the wall. The majority of people say: “I’m not interested.” Occasionally you do get to make a sale but that’s probably because the prospect wanted what you were selling.

Selling is not always easy. If you’ve ever struggled in sales before, I can understand and relate to you. At the end of the day, in sales, you have to know how to sell. You have to know about systems that can assist you in the sales process. You have to know

  • what to say,
  • when to say it,
  • how to close,
  • how to handle objections,
  • how to set appointments,
  • how to build trust and rapport.

These are all skills that you have to know to be successful.

You also have to decide if you want to become successful and do whatever it takes to get where you want to be, meaning there will be sacrifices that you have to make to get there.

However, if you are not willing to make those sacrifices and take action, and you rather continue to argue for your limitations, guess what’s going to happen… you get to keep your limitations.

Fortunately, selling is a learned skill! If you want to become successful in your sales career, you have to do is learn new skills. Then practice, practice, and practice some more. You should be able to generate leads, book appointments, and convert leads into sales. Once you learn new sales skills and consistently apply these skills, you will quickly see a tremendous increase in not only your sales results but also your confidence and self-esteem. Nothing feels better than success, and anyone who sets their mind to it and does what is necessary to improve their skills can become successful.

Kay Sanders is a Sales Acceleration Coach who helps Network Marketers and Sales People to increase their sales results and take their business or sales career to the next level. Visit for more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.

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