Friday, 29 August 2008

Newsletter Issue 153, August 2008

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 153, August 2008
Hi guys,
Check out a nice article on our attitude towards selling in The Law of Probabilities below.
China is the hot new kid on the block; what impact will that have on world business? Read China's Growing Global Impact
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

The Law of Probabilities

Kenn Butler puts out a newsletter on topics that inspire him, and others, each week. Kenn has kindly agreed to allow me to reprint one of his articles on selling, which I thought you would all find as useful as I did.
When I started my career, initially in Sales, I received the three-part sales training programme, common to a lot of companies I suspect: Here are your client lists, here are your brochures, here is this months renewals and there's the door! Seventy percent of professional sales people have not been trained beyond product knowledge. Many people running businesses have not been in the sales trenches, & they do not appreciate how essential it is for sales people to be thoroughly trained in every aspect of the profession before they are sent out the first time.
No one would ever expect a carpenter to begin building without an apprenticeship under a master who teaches them how to use every tool and skill of the craft. No one would expect a person to walk into a kitchen and become a professional chef without having undergone several years of careful training under a master chef. But salespeople are sent out with little or no training, & are then astonished by the amount of negativity & rejection they get from prospective customers. Leadership I have often found is not much different, especially in terms of dealing with staff & people.
The turning point in my life was when I learned that sales are both an art & a science. It requires ambition and personality along with specific, proven sales skills. One without the other makes it impossible for a sales person to achieve their full potential. Again, leadership is no different.
It is estimated that fully 50 percent of new salespeople quit within the first year because they cannot stand the incredible amount of rejection they receive. However, even though the rejection rate in sales is often as high as 90 percent or more, if you could be guaranteed one sale for every ten people that you spoke to, you would soon be rich. I fondly refer to this as the 25/10/2 rule!
Smiling through Rejection
I heard of one company that started everyone off every morning with a contest. The contest is to see who can get rejected ten times first, before anyone else. Like runners at the starting line, everyone gets ready with their telephone in front of them, & then the sales manager rings a bell. Whoever can get rejected ten times before anyone else wins a prize. All the sales reps immediately start smiling & dialing.
And you know what happens? Because they are so positive & often laughing during this contest, they lose all fear of rejection. Because they sound so positive, prospective customers want to talk to them more about their offerings. Over & over again, sales people "lose" this contest because they are too busy processing new sales.
Some years ago I worked with a salesman who was about to quit his job because of the amount of rejection he was getting. The market was tough and he was making 20 calls to get a single sale. There were 19 rejections for every acceptance. He was becoming discouraged. We sat down & had a coffee & I asked, "How much do you earn in commission from each sale that you make?" He had been trained to track his average commissions, so he knew the answer immediately: $500. I then asked him to divide 20 into $500 to get an average amount that he earned per call, whether the person bought or not. The easy answer was $25 per call. I then asked him, "In what other line of work could you get $25 for every person you call on the phone?"
Suddenly, the salesman's eyes were opened. He realized that he was earning $25 every single time he phoned someone, whether they were polite or rude, friendly or hostile. He merely collected the $25 when he actually made a sale. From that day onward, he telephoned eagerly, all day long. After each call, if the person had said that they were not interested, he would say to himself, "Thank you for the $25!"
All his fear of rejection was gone. He was eager to make as many phone calls, & see as many people as he possibly could every single day. And do you know what happened? The more people he phoned, the better he developed at prospecting. The more people he spoke to personally, the better he began to be at presenting. The more people he saw, the better he was at selling. The more people he presented to, the better he became at answering objections & closing sales.
That year, his sales ratios from contact to close improved from 20:1 to 15:1. They then improved from 15:1 to 10:1 to 5:1 to 3:1. His income increased almost 700 percent. He became the top salesperson in his branch, and eventually in his company. Some years later, he retired as a lifestyle farmer out of Invercargill, & holiday home in Cromwell, where he & family still live to this day.
Make a Point to Get Rejected
Here's my point: As a leader make it a game to speak to as many people & staff & as many times as you can, first thing every day. The more you do so, the sooner it will be that making this time available doesn't bother you at all. At that point, if you are lucky, the dam will break. You will gain the confidence of both people & staff you see. You may have more appointments than you can handle, but time management is another topic.
Remember, every top salesperson & leader started at the bottom. Everyone who is doing well was once doing poorly. Everyone who is at the front of the line started at the back of the line, & had to work their way up through hard, hard work.
During my career I have been involved in sales, management & leadership. In my view sales people make good leaders because they are people persons. There is no profession in the world like sales. You can start off in sales, at any level, & soon enjoy one of the highest standards of living in our society. All you need to do is work hard, continually upgrade your skills, and talk to lots of people. Sound familiar?
Kenn Butler has been in the insurance industry for 35 years, both in senior corporate management and in his own consultancy practice (the latter primarily in the executive leasing and coaching). Holding contracts with the NZ Police & Housing NZ, he is an Associate of the Insurance Institute of New Zealand (AIINZ), a professional member of the Institute of Directors and the NZ Institute of Management (MNZIM).

China's Growing Global Impact

China is now both the largest seafood producer and the largest seafood consumer in the world. Annual per capita seafood consumption in China is currently 26 kilograms, up from 5.5kg in the 1970s. This is expected to increase by 40% over the next decade.
FAO stats state that in 2003 New Zealanders ate 26.5kg of fish per capita. Canadians, by contrast, eat between 9 and 10 kg of seafood a year on average. Per capita consumption in the United States is about 7.5 kg (16.6lb of seafood in 2004).
In terms of production, China alone currently accounts for some 35% of total seafood output, and is the world's largest seafood exporter with exports are valued at NZ$12.8 billion. New Zealand harvested 625,000 tonnes in 2007 valued at NZ$3.8 billion, or 0.5% of the world's total seafood output.
Total world fish production (capture and aquaculture) continues to increase but only thanks to aquaculture. FAO figures for 2006 show a new record of 144 million tonnes (excluding aquatic plants), up from 143 million tonnes in 2005. Production in 2007 is estimated at 145 million tonnes, which would confirm the long-term tendency of modest increases. China confirms its role as the principal producer, reporting 52 million tonnes in 2006, of which 34 million tonnes are from aquaculture.
China's imports are also growing, reaching $4.2 billion in 2007, due, in part, to secondary processing; China imports seafood, processes it and re-exports it. China is likely to soon overtake Spain as the world's number 3 seafood importer behind Japan and the United States. "In essence, much of the increase of total production of fish in the world has not only taken place in China, but has also been consumed in China," says an FAO report (
And what about CO2 emissions? With an 8% national increase, China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions accounted for two thirds of last year’s global carbon dioxide increase of 3.1%. China’s CO2 emissions are now estimated to be about 14% higher than those from the USA. With this, China tops the list of CO2 emitting countries, having about a quarter share in global CO2 emissions (24%), followed by the USA (21%), the EU-15 (12%), India (8%) and the Russian Federation (6%). Together, they comprise 71% of the total of global CO2 emissions. These figures are based on a preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), using recently published BP (British Petroleum) energy data and cement production data for 2007 (

Using Excel's AVERAGEA

Sometimes Excel's Average function doesn't always give an entirely accurate picture of your data. It only finds the average of a range of numerical values, and skips any text values.
But there is an easy way around that; use the AVERAGEA function, which treats text values (eg 'None') as 0 and includes that value in its calculation.
Very, very clever & easy.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • CMDB, Configuration Management Database. A database containing all relevant information about the components of the information system used in an organisation's IT services and the relationships between those components.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
This time I have the task manager shortcuts for both Windows XP & Vista:
  • Windows XP: To launch Task Manager - Ctrl, Alt & Delete
  • Windows Vista: To launch Task Manager - Ctrl, Shift & Esc

Hot Linx
For those of you who are booking international flights & often get dumped in a poor seat; then is the site for you! Airline by airline layouts for all aircraft models; brilliant!
A new trend in Auckland - - located in the Britomart precinct, you can purchase secure bike storage, a shower & change, a private secure locker, get a bike service, parts & accessories, buy a bike or hire a bike. Oh, and eat or grab a coffee.
Those of you who are interested in lowering your carbon footprint might like to check out for a bit more information about estimating and lowering your CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
Lastly, check out this great article from the Australian about the covering of our bodies to - uh - avoid sin. This is a nice, thought-provoking piece at,25197,24030640-12274,00.html

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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