- Miller Heiman and furniture manufacturer Herman Miller have announced a merger. The new business, to be called Herman Miller Heiman, will be offering a new, upgraded version of their highly popular Aeron chair. It will be called The Silver Bullet™. Preliminary tests show that within two minutes of a salesperson sitting in the chair (seen on the right), the phone starts ringing with people wanting to buy whatever they are selling, immediately, at any price. An HMH spokesperson called the new chair, "The Silver Bullet that sales people have been waiting for."
- Huthwaite, Inc. has announced a new program called S.P.I.N. Stalling. Originally developed with cooperation of Procrastinators International, program participants will learn about the psychology of stalling and how best to strong-arm a reluctant customer into buying something-anything! By the way, the 25-year-old Procrastinators International has still not scheduled their first membership meeting.
- The TAS Group revealed this week that they have expanded their vision of the role technology will play in sales effectiveness and have decided to acquire Garmin, GE, and The Gap. York Baur, The TAS Group's CMO said, "We're taking anytime, anywhere learning to the next logical level. You'll be able to get our content, learning, coaching as well as instant guidance on your deals directly, without a computer or PDA, from your Nüvi, your toaster and even your jeans." Baur continues, "By 2011 we'll be licensing a TAS-chip which will be implanted just behind the left ear in a painless three-minute procedure." The TAS Group is negotiating with Seattle's SEA-TAC airport to have its distance-learning video clips play 24/7 on televisions throughout the airport.
- Selling to Big Companies author Jill Konrath told us she is increasing her productivity level for the remainder of 2009. Each and every week she will be delivering five webinars, four videos, three white papers, two blog posts and a book for all of us to read.
- The U.S. Congress is about to commence an investigation of why dozens of randomly selected sales trainers all have the same companies listed as references on their websites. The CEOs from Oracle, Dell, IBM, Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Sun, and other technology companies are expected to testify next week as to who their sales training partners really are.
- After almost a century of heated debate, two age-old questions have finally been answered unequivocally, once and for all: "Are salespeople are born or made?" and, "Is sales art or science?" Now we can move on to other questions such as, is cold-calling dead?
- Fifty-three purchasing agents from New York City-based multinationals have been granted licenses to carry assault rifles. They had claimed that during the current economic crisis, sales reps from New York have been even more threatening than before. Mr. Blake, the New York chapter representative from SPA-the Sales Professionals of America-was outraged. "If those #^%[email protected]# buyers think they can threaten our &%[email protected]#@$ members with AK-47's and !#¢Æ§ Uzi's, they can @!(*(*&@#. And the horse they rode in on."
- Sales legend Rick Page was overheard in the Hartsfield airport in Atlanta saying, "I really do hope I catch my flight."
- The next release of Salesforce.com will include an interface to activity sensor mini-applications on salesreps' computers. If the salesrep is active on their computer but does not update the required data, Salesforce.com blocks access to MySpace.com, Facebook.com, YouTube.com, Ebay.com, Zillo.com, Meebo.com, Friendster.com, Orkut.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, and Zappos.com for 30 days. Russian hackers are already selling software to bypass the restriction.
- LinkedIn estimates that the number of sales-related groups on their site will top 1,000 by mid-year. That will be close to one-half the number of sales-related blogs ESR expects to be live by that time.
- In Silicon Valley, more than 10,000 out-of-work salespeople paid $100 each to download a document entitled One Hundred Foolproof Ways to Hide Gaps in Your Resume. Another site was discovered last week already boasting 12,000 downloads of, How to Enlist Estranged Family Members As References. You may remember that just one year ago today the video, How to Forge a W-2 and Other Income Verification Documentation surfaced on YouTube. There have been more than one millions views.
- With promotional webinar attendance down in 2009, WebEx is recommending that companies prospecting for customers pay them for attending the one-hour webinars. A senior executive at WebEx said, "If you pay them, they will come."
- Following a number of snarking incidents Robin Fray Carey of SocialMediaToday.com has decided to change the name of The Customer Collective to the more appropriate The Customer Invective.
- Well-respected, prolific, and seriously dapper UK sales top sales expert Jonathan Farrington has some explaining to do. He recently dropped his signature eyeglasses whilst at London's Heathrow airport, Terminal 1. Coincidentally, a local ophthalmologist happened to be standing there, recovered the glasses and, after a moment's inspection, noted that the lenses were, in fact, clear glass.
- The Harvard and Stanford Business Schools announced today that they will be offering fully accredited Masters of Professional Selling degrees beginning in 2012. Harvard's Chancellor I. Kangettitforu Holsael said, "We're thirty years behind the times. With more than 7 million salespeople in the U.S. alone, and sales productivity at an all time low, we are taking a bold step. We want our B-school to be relevant to the business community. Sales is not marketing. It finally needs to be respected and supported."
- Immediately following the Obama administration's announcement this morning of an investigation of plagiarism and pirating among sales trainers, as many as thirty popular sales tips websites were taken down, with "Under Construction" showing up on home pages.
- A recent survey of eBay sales shows that a sales training shingle can be purchased for as little as $3.00. Clever names for new sales approaches have leveled off at $1.03. Names using acronyms are going for a dollar more.
- Responding to the financial crisis, IBM issued new guidelines. Their coveted top performer sales award club will be held at the Admiral's Club at O'Hare airport later this month. Each attendee will be given a voucher for a meal at the food court. Tickets for short-term parking will be validated.
- Social media advocate Axel Schultze announced today that he is upgrading his dial-up modem. "Present technology supports considerably faster communication. 1200 baud just doesn't do it for me. I know if I move to 9600 baud, everyone will quickly follow." You may remember that Axel was in the news last month after having convinced senior executives at Wal-Mart to have all their in-store sales associates spend 50% of their time at work on Twitter to prospect for additional business.
- The interest around Sales 2.0 is expected to continue gather momentum. The term has proved to be such a money maker for some, that Chrysler, who owns the Jeep brand, is making a Sales 2.0 model of their venerable Wrangler, in an attempt to duplicate the success of their Eddie Bauer model. Celebrity Cruise lines is even considering a four week "Sales 2.0 Cruise to Nowhere."
Thanks to Jonathan Farrington for his early opinion this post, with his real glasses.
My sincere respect and appreciation for many Sales 2.0 vendors and, especially, Nigel Edelshein.
Photo credit: Herman Miller Heiman
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