Si is not there with a cuddling arm round the shoulders, he's there to tell it like it is so, go on, give us all a laugh with your sales issues and he might even have something sensible to say!
Here's a couple of sales people Si's 'helped' so far:
Q. My boss has banned me wearing my colourful ties in presentations. He thinks it detracts our clients’ attention from the matter in hand. I think my ties break the ice with clients and conveys my fun-loving personality. What do you think and how can I tell him I’m not really a boring tie type of guy?
Si says: A tie the right shade of magenta can practically close a deal by itself, as any experienced salesman will tell you. But I think, in this situation, that a compromise needs to be reached. Clearly, your boss dislikes colourful ties so, to appease him, try wearing a muted slate or black tie. Make sure you wear it wrapped around your head like John Rambo, though. He is a warrior, like yourself, and the clients need to be made aware of this.
Q. My Manager insists on sitting in with me in my client meetings. I’ve been in the sales game now for 20 years and I’m nearing retirement. My manager is barely out of school and his feedback is usually inane and has no value in the real world. How can I politely let him know he is not welcome in my meetings?
Si says: As the old saying, ‘keep your friends close, keep your enemies even closer’ goes, you’re going to need to suck up to this guy so that you can destroy him. Take him to lunch. You’re buying. Flatter him senseless. Afterwards, add him on Facebook. OK, you’re in. Then trawl his photo albums (I guarantee you there’ll be one called ‘Karl’s end-of-term KARNAGE’). Grab the photo of him dressed as Borat riding one of his naked uni mates around a living room scattered with some very dubious items. ‘Accidentally’ drop it in the Powerpoint deck next time you’re presenting at a client meeting. Feign mock horror as it sits up there on the screen (let it linger). Hey Presto! He won’t be back.
For you chance to tempt the fates and hear what our sales oracle has to say, send your questions to email@example.com and you can catch up with all his latest advice by subscribing to SI at http://www.sales-initiative.com/SubscribeToSi