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How to avoid the seven deadly sins of selling

Last Updated: July 31, 2018

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A sin is deadly because it diminishes a persons potential of living a life full of peace, joy, happiness, and usefulness. The sinner is out of step with life’s highest aim to find good; they become too focused with obsessions, therefore becoming so one track minded to the point of missing out on the finer, lasting, constructive things of life. Here are suggestions to avoid these destructive habits.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

Pride. Reconsider the old saying, “what goes up, must come down”: When we feel down, we may pull others down to try to feel “right” (above them). But if we recall that we are truly equal as humans, not demanding attention — then there’s no need to shame, or to puff up with air (vanity). We can deflate our hot-air balloon, realizing the uselessness of self-centered relationships, and begin living a fuller, more productive life, feeling much better toward other persons and ourselves.

INTERACT: We won’t insist on holding the floor as if that’s more important than hearing others (thoughtfully), instead of saying, “Let me finish. ” or “I wasn’t through. ” Feel better: Flip that to “Hey, I’m interested in your opinion”: Pausing. casually listening to once hated interruptions (called people), smiling — then speaking again when it’s your turn, without fuming. You will see the conversation will be productive and satisfying.

ENJOY what you have, not flaunting it, humbly. Realize that you are not superior because of ownership of finer things.

RECEIVE compliments, saying, “Thank you” as if you mean it, but not as if it’s unnecessary; accept it gracefully.

GIVE a compliment on others achievements like their solid work on the job, success preparing a meal, or their good taste in art.

INCLUDE SINCERE reasons: Why you like their efforts and the results, as why you gave that compliment. That makes it sincere.

“GOOD PRIDE” is clean, pure, seeking education and betterment for sharing it — not neglectful, but providential (following Christ), not self-seeking, to shirk duty nor “con” people, not corrupt.

According to the Bible outward circumstances will not separate you from perfect love; so that while in the path of everyday life, family and other duty, be satisfied and happy in many kinds of situations, by the exercise of your faith, hope, effort to improve, FOR GOOD with prayer and ESPECIALLY actually supplying needs of God’s lesser/little ones.

    “PURE CHRISTIANITY IS by your:

“Caring for orphans and widows in their times of trouble. “ and

“Refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27), in their need (to assist them as well as you might) and not taking their home, means or goods. but joyously enlarging their hopes and nurturing them!

Published: 29 December 2016

Analyst(s): Donna Fitzgerald

Summary

With the advent of digital and agile, program and portfolio management leaders who direct PMOs are finding that it is becoming even more imperative to avoid the seven deadly sins of a classic Level 2 PMO.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview
  • The First Deadly Sin: Failure to Be Agile and Deliver Value
  • The Second Deadly Sin: Ignoring Resource Capacity as a Constraint on Project Delivery
  • The Third Deadly Sin: Mistaking Consistent Process for Reliable Results
  • The Fourth Deadly Sin: Failure to Make the “Business Case” (Not the Project Charter) the Primary Document of Record
  • The Fifth Deadly Sin: Refusal to Deal With Troubled Projects
    • Rescope
    • Restructure
    • Reschedule
  • The Sixth Deadly Sin: Failure to Speak the Language of Business
  • The Seventh Deadly Sin: Failure to Define Performance-Based Competency Standards for Project Managers

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As a sales professional with any level of experience, there are several mistakes that, once made, turn even a promising sale into an uphill climb. These seven deadly sins of selling are easy to make, even by an experienced professional, so by recognizing the sins, you can create a plan to avoid them so that your future meetings will be more successful.

To help sales professionals, here are the seven deadly sins of sales and how they impact the customer and their willingness to make a commitment to a sale.

Wasting the customer’s time

Small talk, repetition, redundancy and “fluff” in the conversation is going to turn off prospective buyers, particularly if you are selling into the C-suite. Keep the sales pitch streamlined and specific to avoid this sin.

Not being fully prepared

There is no excuse today with information readily available online and in social media to not be prepared for your customer, the business, and trends in their industry. Of course, you also need to know your product.

Telling rather than selling

Selling is about filling a need, solving a problem and creating a benefit in the mind of the customer. Just reciting facts and numbers won’t accomplish this goal.

Personal accountability

Take the time to review your sales process and know what you are going to do in the sales meeting. Be accountable to yourself for setting goals and achieving them.

Lose faster (Get to Next)

don’t dwell on a point once it is made. Engage the customer or client, explore the possibilities of the product or service as a solution and move on to the next part of the process. Bogging down will lose momentum and interest.

  1. Don’t internalize rejection

Avoid feeling personally rejected with a “no.” Instead, look towards the next meeting and plan for a new, creative approach to working with that client based on new information gleaned from this meeting.

  1. Close at every customer touch point

Don’t wait until the end to close an order. Close and confirm on all points of agreement as they occur in the meeting and the conversation.

Another key factor to remember is that listening is a critical part of sales. By listening to the customer, you will gain insight into their needs and problems, helping you to avoid several of these deadly sins.

As a sales professional with any level of experience, there are several mistakes that, once made, turn even a promising sale into an uphill climb. These seven deadly sins of selling are easy to make, even by an experienced professional, so by recognizing the sins , you can create a plan to avoid them so that your future meetings will be more successful.

To help sales professionals, here are the seven deadly sins of sales and how they impact the customer and their willingness to make a commitment to a sale.

Wasting the customer’s time

Small talk, repetition, redundancy and “fluff” in the conversation is going to turn off prospective buyers, particularly if you are selling into the C-suite. Keep the sales pitch streamlined and specific to avoid this sin.

Not being fully prepared

There is no excuse today with information readily available online and in social media to not be prepared for your customer, the business, and trends in their industry. Of course, you also need to know your product. Take the time to do some extra research and refresh your knowledge of the products and services.

Telling rather than selling

Selling is about filling a need, solving a problem and creating a benefit in the mind of the customer. Just reciting facts and numbers won’t accomplish this goal.

Personal accountability

Take the time to review your sales process and know what you are going to do in the sales meeting. Be accountable to yourself for setting goals and achieving them.

Lose faster (Get to Next)

don’t dwell on a point once it is made. Engage the customer or client, explore the possibilities of the product or service as a solution and move on to the next part of the process. Bogging down will lose momentum and interest.

  1. Don’t internalize rejection

Avoid feeling personally rejected with a “no.” Instead, look towards the next meeting and plan for a new, creative approach to working with that client based on new information gleaned from this meeting.

  1. Close at every customer touch point

Don’t wait until the end to close an order. Close and confirm on all points of agreement as they occur in the meeting and the conversation.

Another key factor to remember is that listening is a critical part of sales. By listening to the customer, you will gain insight into their needs and problems, helping you to avoid several of these deadly sins.

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In this renowned presentation is a classic webinar by a veteran dealmaker and Managing Director, David Stastny revealing the confidential attributes of high multiple and valuable technology company.

David will also review and demonstrate how to recognize, avoid or remediate the “7 Deadly Sins of M&A diligence” to reach an exceptional outcome.

David will explore the positive valuation triggers that both strategic, private equity buyers and minority investors employ to justify premium valuations.

You’ll also learn positive valuation tips in the area’s of:

  • Total Available Market “TAM” analysis and optimal niche market dynamics
  • Presenting and optimizing technology company revenue growth trajectory
  • Founding and Executive “best practice” Team training
  • Critical Technology/IP assets
  • 1st mover advantage critical or positioning as a “fast follower”
  • Valuating Unique assets
  • Operating model analysis
  • Revenue model (SAAS) and pipeline review
  • Governance structure-BOD, investors, legal and accounting
  • Competitive environment analysis
  • Crisp Execution and operating plan specifics

Additionally, Mr. Stastny will review the “critical M&A Technology Valuation factors and the Seven Deadly Sins” which can cause reduced purchase prices, severe post-deal governance, escrows and earnouts, and often an aborted acquisition process!

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How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

The first objective of effective sales training and coaching is to help us, salespeople, become aware of any bad habits we may have developed over time. The next objective is to admit that these bad sales habits are deterrents to our success. By breaking these bad habits down and see them for what they are we can begin to rebuild our sales skills by putting in place healthy sales habits that lead to success.

However, even if you do not have the opportunity to attend good sales training or have access to an effective sales coach you can still be aware of and avoid the seven deadly sins of selling.

Sin 1: Talking your way out of the sale

In our desire to prove how worthy and clever we are to our prospects and clients we can talk our way out of a sale. Instead of entering into the sales discussion intent on listening to our clients and respecting their views and perspectives we may become so zealous about what we have to offer that we smother them with our view of the world. We can become so obsessed with ourselves we leave our humility at the door and lose our way by not engaging our client/prospect in the first place.

The remedy: assume less, pitch less, ask more questions, and listen.

Sin 2: Having no selling system

Having no selling system in place to guide and direct us can set us up for failure, especially if there are more than one or two salespeople in our sales team. Everyone doing their own thing, lack of consistency, time and energy wasted, and so on. We see this time and time again. Setting up a system helps salespeople fight against distractions, burnout, and laziness.

The remedy: automate your sales process so that you can save time, money, and effort.

Sin 3: Trying to win big without building trust and credibility

Building trust and lowering your prospect’s resistance to change are the biggest challenges you will face early on in the sales process. For various reasons prospects can fear doing business with salespeople. Trying to win the big deal without first building credibility and trust usually means you will come of second best. Who are you anyway? Why should people do business with you?

The remedy: Those big deals that people win usually come about because salespeople try to win small pieces of business first and build their credibility and earn the client’s trust incrementally over time.

Sin 4: Selling ‘sexy’ and no substance

While many marketing and advertising executives may seek the instant gratification of highly creative, flashy campaigns, salespeople are looking for substantive strategies that sell. There is an old saying: sell the steak, not the sizzle. For our purposes here, think of the ’sizzle‘ as the general sexy features of your product/service and the “steak” as the substance, the reality of your offering. The buyer is much more knowledgeable these days and can see through the hype and spin of ”sexy”.

The Remedy: Do not bluff your way through a sales call, instead match the relevant aspects of your offer to the what is relevant to the prospect sitting across the table from you. Be transparent and open.

Sin 5: Losing sales because of the blame game

Anger often rears its ugly head when reality does not meet one’s expectations. Many salespeople, especially early in their careers, are discouraged by the amount of time and work it takes to succeed in sales, the amount of rejection that one must endure, and the many factors that are outside of one’s control as a salesperson. Although there are many factors that a salesperson cannot control, one very powerful factor that they have total control over is their attitude and their actions.

The Remedy: Combat the damaging effects of anger by keeping a realistic yet positive attitude and doing the right things.

Sin 6: Putting your needs before those of your prospect

Greed and desperation can become key drivers for many salespeople. Rushing or pushing the prospect into buying instead of taking the time to understand their priorities, build rapport, and create trust, will push prospects away and leave you worse off. As will selling products or services that do not solve the prospect or customer’s problems. People will soon suss out a dodgy self interested salesperson and run the other way.

The Remedy: Become a trusted advisor to your clients by matching your clients’ real priorities with genuine solutions you can provide that will help them be successful.

Sin 7: Defaulting to ‘price’

You have two choices in business, either you have a clear point of differentiation from your competitors you can charge a reasonable premium for, or you are the cheapest. If you are the cheapest then price is your default position. Most businesses do not want to be the cheapest, yet many of their salespeople do not know how to position or stand up for the value of what they bring to their clients. Unwilling or unable to discuss the real meaning of value from the customer’s perspective and then present their offering in terms of real value, ROI, etc. salespeople who default to ‘price’ as their only option are doing everyone a disservice.

The Remedy: Find and define a clear point of differentiation for your business and yourself. Then focus on the specific priorities of your customers and demonstrate how your offering delivers real value in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and risk mitigation whilst reducing the total cost of ownership instead of only focusing on price.

September 3, 2019

Building a good rapport with prospects is crucial to winning their business. Yet so many sales pros will say or do exactly the wrong thing when reaching out to potential buyers. They apply what they believe are best practices for making a connection — but in reality, are big turnoffs.

In the latest session of our webinar series, “Flip the Script,” Becc Holland, Head of Sales Development for Chorus.ai, breaks down seven of the “deadly sins” of messaging for outbound sales with help from a very special guest: our CEO and Co-Founder, Roy Raanani.

Here’s a quick look at the 7 Deadly Sins of Messaging to avoid when you’re talking to prospects!

Deadly Sin #1: Being too casual or silly when meeting prospects for the first time. #

Many reps think the quick path to developing a good rapport with a potential buyer is to treat them like an old friend — even though they’re just meeting them for the first time.

That’s an easy way to hit the wrong note with a prospect who is expecting more respect out of the gate. As Roy explains, “There is very little downside to starting things out professionally.”

Don’t Do This: “Hey there, [Prospect Name]!” as your overly familiar cold call greeting

Deadly Sin #2: Writing messages to prospects that include ‘wasted text.’ #

How many times have you sent a message to a prospect with a first sentence that begins with something like, “Just following up on this …”?

It’s a natural build up for your ask, but ultimately you’ve just wasted valuable text — as well as the prospect’s time.

According to Roy, the first sentence of an email to a prospect is just as important as the subject line.

If you’re using filler text, your prospect will likely read the first couple of words of your message on their phone before archiving it. So, choose your words carefully. get straight to the point and show you’ve down your homework.

As Roy puts it: “The best way to build rapport is by telling me something I don’t know about my business.”

Don’t Do This: “I know you’re busy, but …”

Deadly Sin #3: Sounding like you wield authority over a prospect. #

Roy says when he receives a message from a sales rep that begins with “Roy,” instead of a salutation like “Hi, Roy,” he finds it off-putting. Such a greeting seems overly formal, even cold and unapproachable.

While you may be trying to emphasize to the prospect that you respect their schedule, you instead risk coming across like someone who is telling them what to do.

Don’t Do This: “Let me know what time works for you.”

Deadly Sin #4: Questioning a prospect’s authority. #

You want to connect with the right decision-makers when you’re selling, of course. But boldly asking a prospect, “Are you the decision-maker?” can backfire.

If you are speaking to a decision-maker, that person may be hesitant to confirm their position. If you’re talking to someone more junior, they might say they are a decision-maker, just so they sound more important. At the very least, they will get the impression that they aren’t worth your time.

A better approach, says Roy, is to ask a question like this: “When your company bought X in the past, who was involved in that process?” That way, you are respectfully inviting the prospect to share their status and offer their help in connecting you to the right people.

Don’t Do This: “Are you the decision maker?”

Deadly Sin #5: Insulting the prospect by suggesting they’re responsible for bad decisions. #

Trying to convince a buyer that your product or service is superior to whatever they are using now should not result in that person feeling bad about their past investments.

When you are mud-slinging at the competition, for example, you are, essentially, trashing the prospect’s purchase decision. And, according to Becc, insulting a buyer’s decision-making can be “even more powerful than insulting them directly.”

Another insult: Sending a “breakup” message to an unresponsive prospect. If the buyer hasn’t responded to you, it is likely because your outreach hasn’t been compelling—not because they did something wrong, say Roy and Becc.

Don’t Do This: “I’ve tried several times to reach you and I haven’t heard anything from you, so …”

Deadly Sin #6: Insulting the prospect by making them feel stupid. #

When you put a prospect on the spot in a cold call by asking, “Do you know who we are?” or hit them with, “Does that all make sense to you?” following a demo, you risk making that person feel uninformed or incompetent.

To avoid that situation, Becc and Roy recommend that reps use questions like, “Am I making sense?” with prospects. That way, they are taking responsibility for making themselves clear. Plus, they are making it “psychologically easy” for the prospect to engage with them and feel positive about the interaction.

Don’t Do This: “Does that make sense?”

Deadly Sin #7: Glorifying yourself. #

Yes, you want to impress a prospect. But using your talk time with a potential buyer to gush about how great your product, company, and clients are can leave the prospect feeling like you don’t care much about them and their needs.

It may even motivate the buyer to go out of their way to find something wrong with your product, company, clients—and you.

Becc suggests that reps avoid starring in “The Me Show” and instead focus the conversation on the client. A question to consider asking a prospect: “Let me know more about your world, so I can tell you how we might fit in and add value.”

Don’t Do This: Say how great or experienced your are. Don’t say it, show it.

Hitting the right note in your outreach is essential to any outbound sales strategy. Find other hard hitting insights from Becc’s Flip the Script sessions on the Chorus YouTube Channel.

For more cold calling insights check out: Flip the Script Session 2: Cold Calling. Becc dives deep into how to make your cold calls effective by showing your prospect that you’ve done your research and you understand how to make a genuine connection.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

Whether you are an established company or a startup, what you probably need most is a positive revenue stream. It’s possible with a higher-performing sales process.

So you might wish to consider the latest strategies of a globally known sales trainer, Roy Chitwood, who is based in Seattle.

He says salespeople often commit seven crucial errors. Mr. Chitwood, of Max Sacks International, has the credentials to address the topic – more 250,000 salespeople at 3,000 companies in 18 countries have used his sales counsel.

He’s released a white paper, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Selling.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Sin No 1: Talking too much, listening too little. The typical salesperson walks into an office, gives the official two minute warm-up – asking about the fish on the wall or the family photo on the desk – then, like a high diver, leaps into a hot presentation about this feature and that feature, the options available, the price and the savings.

There is no close. Most interviews are terminated by the prospect so they can get on with their life. Knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is the only way to find out if you’re making a presentation to the person with the real need, the authority and the money.

Sin No 2: Selling the product, not the benefits. When someone buys a drill bit, it’s not the drill bit the customer wants, it’s the hole. People buy to fill a need or solve a problem. No one is willing to pay for a product or service they don’t need or does not perform. Yet salespeople sell as if they will. Presentations continually focus on the width, height, weight, power, speed, buttons, bulbs or whatever of the product/service.

Whether they’re individuals or committees, people buy benefits, not features. Prospects have hidden buying motives. There are reasons why they select one brand over another, why one product/service seems to fill the need better.

Sin No 3: Never asking for the order. As a prominent study proved, more often than not, customers don’t have to worry about a pressured close, because in 62 percent of the cases, the salesperson never asks for a sale. For most salespeople, selling is an uncomfortable experience because they don’t know where to go in their presentations.

When prospects say “I would like to think it over,” “Your price is too high,” “I want to shop around,” what they’re really saying is, “You haven’t convinced me to buy.”

Sin No 4: Pushing for the close too often, the salesperson tries to “sell” rather than help the customer “buy.” When the salesperson is ready the trick closes begin. These old closes and gimmicks are outdated and backfire more often than they work. The prospect has fears, uncertainties and doubts about the decision to spend money, and when closed too soon, reacts negatively to being forced to makea decision.

Pushing too hard means the salesperson is forcing the prospect to build a defensive wall that won’t come down easily. Following the sequence of a well- given presentation means asking for the order will be at the right time.

Sin No 5: Wasting selling time. Selling is a problem for most salespeople because they don’t know how to spend their time profitably. Selling is prospecting, cold calling and obtaining leads. It is traveling to meet strange people, having to send emails and proposals, make phone calls and hand out brochures. It is doing the paperwork and servicing the client.

There is only one way to insure you get to the close, and that’s by having a logical sales procedure. This is why the salesperson should learn the buyer’s decision-making process.

Sin No. 6: Not identifying prospects from suspects. There are many people who will listen to a sales presentation. It may make them feel important or help them fill their time. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t help the salesperson get any nearer to the sale. In fact, it takes the salesperson further away from the sale because time has been wasted and the point-of-entry into a company has been mismanaged.

Presenting to people who are not qualified is just that – presenting. It is not selling. And a company or a salesperson can’t make a profit by just presenting. Probably the greatest misuse of a salesperson’s time is presenting to someone who doesn’t have the need, the authority or the money.

Sin No. 7: Making a sale, not a customer. A professional salesperson is someone who helps a prospect satisfy a need. And most importantly, your company can count on the loyalty of a new client – one that will return with repeat and increasing orders. For many salespeople, just getting the sale is the only objective.

To accomplish this end, they use whatever means are available – assumptive closes, high pressure tactics, promises of extra incentives, threats of price increases or whatever other tricks are in the bag. Salespeople like this sometimes walk out with a sale, but they don’t sign on customers. In fact, the customers may be so resentful of the pressure and tricks, they may rethink their commitments.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these resources for productive selling:

Sales Secrets for Getting by Receptionists, Gatekeepers — Getting past receptionists and other gatekeepers is a universal challenge for salespeople. Successful salespeople, however, have the right insights and approaches for success. Here’s how they do it.

11 Sales Strategies to Outsell Your Big Competitors — Big companies have obvious advantages over small businesses. Their brands are well-known. They can afford sales training, sales-support staff and customer-relationship management software. On the other hand, there are good reasons why Cyber Monday has become big.

8 Tips for Cold Calling By E-mail and Telephone — Since the advent of the digital age, cold calling is out of vogue for many people. But in the tepid economic recovery no matter what your industry is – whether it’s advertising or staffing services – cold calling has become the logical tool to use to generate clients or business customers.

6 Sales Tips for Successful Cold Calling — Attending mere networking events or depending on a high marketing budget aren’t sufficient for strong sales. OK, cold calling isn’t always easy, but you must if you want to dramatically increase sales in double-digit percentages. Develop and implement the right strategies. You’ll be in the all-important groove for a happy buying environment.

B2B Telemarketing: Your 1st Priority Is to Build Trust — Telemarketing is, of course, a challenge. You must create a favorable first impression in your initial approach. This means building trust should be your primary goal. Here’s how.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

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In sales, it can often feel like the only thing that’s truly unacceptable is failed quotas. After all, doesn’t the end always justify the means – Exitus acta probat and all that? It’s no secret; salespeople have done some pretty outrageous things to close a deal.

But as important as hitting quotas and being salesman or saleswoman of the year may be, there’s a right way and wrong way to do it. For example, it’s very easy for sales reps to meet their quotas by promising things they know are impossible to deliver. However, it’s extremely unethical and damages your company’s reputation.

In the sixth century, Pope Gregory addressed the masses and described the seven deadly sins in ascending order. Fast forward to the 20 th century and humanity’s committed all those sins and managed to break every commandment in the bible tenfold. Unfortunately, the business world isn’t as forgiving. Veloxy describes the seven deadly sins of selling and how they impact your prospect’s willingness to commit.

1: Insincerity

Quick question: Do you enjoy getting spammed or scammed? We’re glad to hear that resounding no. So if you don’t enjoy it, why would you be insincere with your prospects? Just like hounds can smell fear, people can also detect a hint of BS from a mile away.

Whether it’s via email, call, or face to face, lying to your customers is so unethical it’s one of the cardinal sins of selling. Not only does it discredit your current sale, it also makes your prospects that much more likely to avoid your company in future. Or worse, they tell everyone about your lying ways and you lose even more business.

2: Not Listening

Even with a total honesty and transparency policy, you could still be committing one of the most common mistakes in the sales game. Making a sale is not about telling your customers what you can do for them; it’s about solving their problems and creating a need for your product or service.

That said, we don’t mean create the problem yourself (i.e. break a prospect’s window and then offer to fix it). What we mean is do some thorough research and gather as much information as you can on your potential customers. Take as much time to listen to your prospect and absorb crucial information on their pain points. Otherwise, how are you going to gain perspective and suggest a viable solution if you’re all mouth and no ears?

3: Not Following Up

Failing to follow up on a lead is like leaving money on the table. Research shows that over 80% of all sales are made after six or more contacts or interactions. As a sales person, you ought to know this by now. The most bizarre thing here is that it’s actually the sinners who don’t follow up that complain the loudest about lost leads.

Look, your prospect literally just met you. So how on earth do you expect them to give you money just like that? Are you a bum off the street? That’s not how the sales game works. You have to follow up and keep adding value to show your prospects you care. People only buy from people they know or trust, so let all your leads get to know you. Become that person or you’ll forever starve; plagued by empty accounts and miserable sales.

4: Shallowness

You’d be surprised by just how many salespeople don’t really know their product inside out. The number is disturbingly overwhelming. How on earth are you going to effectively sell something if you don’t know every single detail, use and feature in there? It’s this lackadaisical attitude that leads to lost leads and poor customer credibility.

It’s only by having a deeper understanding of the product will you be able to comprehend and even anticipate your prospects technical objections. This way, you can emphasize on the product’s strength without having to be at the mercy of the departmental geeks who know the specs by heart.

5: Gourmandizing

Diamond Jim Brady was a flashy man who made millions selling railroad supplies. However, he was more infamous for his culinary antics. Jim was known for eating enormous amounts of food; he was a serial multicourse gorger whose excesses were quite endearingly vulgar. His hefty breakfast consisted of bread, eggs, muffins, steaks, chops, grits, and several pitchers of juice.

He’d then stave off his mid morning hunger with three dozen oysters and start off lunch with some crabs, lobsters, beef, pie, and more pitchers of juice. Dinner would follow suit with more oysters, lobsters, pounds of bonbons and a tray of pastries. So, what does this have to do with sales? If your business has a sales employee who devours company resources to the point of gluttony, that’s both a sin and a waste that shouldn’t be tolerated.

6: Being Too Pushy

One of the most rampant complaints customers have with salespeople is their pushy, never say never attitude. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little determination. However, the hard sell is no longer an effective strategy in this century.

The truth is that customers want a product that sells itself. They’re going to decide whether they’ll buy or not and only want you to be available when they need you. So, does that mean you shouldn’t be aggressive in your sales pitch? Let’s just say that if your product already sells itself, don’t be a negative deciding factor that drives customers away by overselling.

7: Working Hard Vs Smart

This might be one of the most abused clichés in business, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Check this scenario out; on one hand, you’ve got a sales rep that spends hours grinding and researching the hell out of their prospects. On the other, you’ve got a rep with a spy in the same account who’s getting information as it unfolds and disseminating propaganda on your behalf.

Who do you think will land the prospect with the least effort? That’s right, the guy who spent less time researching and more time solving real problems with help from the inside. And that’s just one example. Research shows that almost every top performing sales rep makes use of intelligence, data, and productivity tools 30% more than average performers. This includes using CRMs like Salesforce along with essential add-ons like Veloxy to help transform leads into real prospects.

Conclusion

Now that you’re all caught up with the seven deadly sins of selling, it’s up to you to repent and avoid sinning at all costs. Any sin against sales will lead to losing more than just money; it might cost you future sales and accounts as well.

It doesn’t even take a lot to be the ultimate salesman. Just know your stuff, be honest, listen to your customers, follow up on leads, don’t waste resources, and dial down the desperation. And for Pete’s sake, it’s the 21 st century – get yourself some intelligent tools like Veloxy Mobile and Veloxy Engage to help track all your interactions with prospects from the get go. It’ll make converting leads into sales that much easier.

Inspiration and insider tips about West Sussex homes

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

When it comes to selling your property, there’s plenty of advice about how to get things right so here we look at what can sometimes make things go wrong – and how to avoid them.

With apologies to Dante for the headings, these are familiar scenarios so take care to avoid them or you could be making an expensive mistake:

Pride

Pristine presentation is one of the best ways to attract buyers but if you think your house is worth more than it really is, too much pride in your own home may cost you the sale.

Listen to your agent’s advice with regard to initially setting the price and if a prospective buyer makes a lower offer, don’t take it personally. Pride often does go before a fall.

Selling property is about reaching agreement between all parties so keep pride at bay and negotiate with your head not your heart.

Envy

If you see your neighbour’s property selling for a higher price, there’s probably a good reason. It could be that they’ve added a conservatory, that their garden has a better aspect or they’ve upgraded their kitchen recently.

Use a range of sold properties for comparison and work with your agent to set a realistic price designed to achieve a sale for your specific property, otherwise you could be waiting a long time for an offer to come along.

Wrath

Keep a cool head and avoid getting angry during what can be a stressful and emotional time. Everyone involved in a chain will have their own pressures and timescales, such as children’s schools, new jobs or holidays.

If everyone works together, a chain is much more likely to proceed to exchange, so don’t take let off steam with anyone involved in your moving experience. A countryside walk – or run – is more likely to save the sale rather than shouting down the phone at your agent or your buyer.

Gluttony

Don’t put too much on your proverbial plate at one time. It’s tempting to keep all those treasured trinkets on show when selling your home and not worry about toys all over the floor, books and magazines piled high in every room, or the garage stuffed with everything which ‘might come in handy’ in the coming years.

Buyers however have come to view the property not the contents. It’s much easier for them to consider the benefits of your home if it’s kept clear and clean, so pack up as much as possible of things which clutter the house and store them or give them away.

Lust

Browsing through adverts of inspirational properties is a luxurious way to pass the time, after all, we can all dream of that perfect home. Agents will be carefully selecting the best photographs for advertising their properties, both in print and online, and they plan a strategy for promoting each one.

Check the photos of your house look as inviting as possible in the marketing. But if you want to see it advertised everywhere and anywhere each week, you can considerably weaken the marketing impact. Once prospective buyers have seen your property endlessly advertised, they’ll start ignoring it.

So talk to your agent about their promotional plan for your home. Regular and carefully placed adverts, with great photography, should form a central part of the marketing but not the whole picture.

Greed

A greedy seller pursues the highest price and the lowest fee. That’s not entirely unreasonable but often in practice, the approach results in an overpriced property on the market with a cheap and cheerful agent.

When preparing to sell your home, get three valuations from agents who successfully sell similar properties. Listen to their advice and select the agent you trust the most and who provides evidence to back up their recommendations plus a sensible marketing plan.

Set the price at a full but realistic level which will attract enquiries from the start when the interest levels in a new instruction are highest. It’s certainly a balancing act but crucial for a timely, successful sale.

Sloth

Sitting back and waiting for the market to change, for the summer holidays to finish, for the next Budget, for Christmas, for Spring…

The property market is less seasonal these days and since the referendum, almost every agent I’ve spoken to in recent weeks reports ‘business as usual’ with properties being sold each week.

So base your own selling decision on your personal circumstances and do what’s right for you. Actively keep in touch with your agent throughout the selling process and make sure your home is always tidy and well presented for viewers.

Do you know about the seven deadly sins of selling a home? Today I am going to share them with you, so that you can avoid them and sell your property for top dollar, instead.

1. An unkempt yard. Many people think that it’s what’s on the inside that matters. But if your home looks like a tornado blew through the yard, potential buyers may never actually get inside.

2. Keys that do not work. If the potential buyer and their agent cannot get in, they may become frustrated by the experience.

3. Dingy or faded front door. The front door will serve as a buyer’s first impression, so make sure it’s in great shape before they arrive.

4. Animals. I love animals, and I think that most people do, too. However, it’s important to clean up after them by eliminating messes, hair, and odor before buyers enter your home.

5. Furniture arrangement. If a room has excessive or poorly arranged furniture, it may appear less spacious than it actually is. Buyers will have a very difficult time looking past ineffective staging.

6. Junk drawers and packed cabinets. Overly full storage areas will reflect poorly on your home.

7. Cluttered countertops. Showcasing your counter space is critical, so make sure to remove all unnecessary items before buyers tour your property.

If you have any additional questions or are interested in buying or selling, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Melody Mitchell
Published 4 years ago. About a 4 minute read.

Do people care about sustainability? And how do we start to have the kind of influence that we want to have? Those were the opening questions from Betsy Henning, the CEO and founder of AHA! — a content-focused agency from Vancouver — as she kicked off this energetic Monday afternoon workshop at SB’15 London.

Apologizing in advance for an intense three hours, Henning quickly explained that ‘sustainability,’ as a word, is already having a big impact; the use of the word has grown exponentially over the last 20 years – if it carries on at the same rate, it could be the only word we are all using in another 20 years. While this is unlikely, either way it is already being completely overused, which is probably not the best way to make people care about it.

So what is? Or at least, what do we need to consider when looking for a way to make a connection with people through our communications?

First, Henning shared a couple of quotes to emphasize something that is core to the problem: language.

“The language we’re using is too technical, too complicated and not relatable. People in other parts of the business are turning us out.” – Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike.

“The language of conscious-free shopping is a clunky vocabulary that instantly brings to mind images of hemp kaftans, recycled tin-can bags and other things I’d rather not swathe my body in, thanks.” – Alexa Chung, in British Vogue.

Bringing these quotes together, Henning asserted: “The language divides us, when it needs to unite us.”

With the foundations for her presentation laid, she moved on to explain how companies go wrong when they are trying to communicate sustainability, which she called the ‘seven deadly sins of sustainability communications’:

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1. Lacking emotion – missing the emotional connection with the audience 2. Too emotional – filling consumers with a sense of fear or failure 3. Too technical, or wonky – using language that is incomprehensible 4. Jargon-y – lazy thinking and lazy copywriting; jargons need translating into everyday terms 5. Ambiguous – either from a lack of clarity of ideas, or from ideas that are just too big for people to understand, let alone knowing how to act 6. Being just like everybody else – digging into brand insights is the only real way to find a story that is different from competitors 7. Disconnected – does the brand have a consistent story across everything and are employees bought into it?

You cannot forget how the message is told. Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Speaking the same language is just the beginning; successfully conveying the message depends on many factors and some of them are likely to go beyond the usual forms of language to include more visual and digital forms in terms of body language and social technologies.

Whatever forms of language you are considering within your communications, the challenge is getting all the pieces working in harmony to deliver consistency.

So, what can we actually do? For starters, we can make sure we include images, and relevant ones, in all our communications because articles featuring images get 94 percent more views than articles without.

Before moving on to case studies, Henning also highlighted five key things we can do as individuals to communicate better:

  • Pause
  • Actively listen
  • Focus on an immediate benefit
  • Use your body
  • Go beyond words

This thinking was demonstrated in a case study on Levi’s:

A number of years ago, Levi’s decided to reduce its water usage in the manufacturing process. Despite achieving this by a whooping 96 percent using a lifecycle analysis, the company realised that this only represented 7 percent of the water use across the whole life of a pair of jeans. So it decided it needed to do more: Consumers needed to be convinced to wash their jeans less.

Fundamental to achieving this was finding the right language. And with this in mind, “Don’t wash the stories out of your Levi’s jeans” soon became the campaign message, championed right from the top, by Head of Global Product Innovation Paul Dillinger. To support this, Levi’s also put a ‘caretag for the planet***’*** on every new pair of jeans, instructing consumers on the most ecological way to look after their Levi’s.

According to Levi’s, the campaign was a huge success, saving more than 1 billion litres of water and changing behaviors for the long term. The language used was a big part of this success, as was the involvement of the CEO as the message carrier – when he didn’t wash his jeans for a year, Levi’s customers took notice and were prepared to do the same.

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The acquisition of your technology-based business is the culmination of years of collective hard work, a bit of fortune on your side, and critically important, thoughtful preparation. Premium-value outcomes require a mindset and preparation to address your acquirers’ needs, aspirations and strategic challenges.

In this renowned presentation is a classic webinar by a veteran dealmaker and Managing Director, David Stastny revealing the confidential attributes of high multiple and valuable technology company.

David reviews and demonstrates how to recognize, avoid or remediate the “7 Deadly Sins of M&A diligence” to reach an exceptional outcome. David also explores the positive valuation triggers that both strategic, private equity buyers, and minority investors employ to justify premium valuations.

Learn positive valuation tips in the area’s of:

  • Total Available Market “TAM” analysis and optimal niche market dynamics
  • Presenting and optimizing technology company revenue growth trajectory
  • Founding and Executive “best practice” Team training
  • Critical Technology/IP assets
  • 1st mover advantage critical or positioning as a “fast follower”
  • Valuating Unique assets
  • Operating model analysis
  • Revenue model (SAAS) and pipeline review
  • Governance structure-BOD, investors, legal and accounting
  • Competitive environment analysis
  • Crisp Execution and operating plan specifics

Additionally, Mr. Stastny reviewed the “critical M&A Technology Valuation factors and the Seven Deadly Sins” which can cause reduced purchase prices, severe post-deal governance, escrows and earnouts, and often an aborted acquisition process!

Complete the form to watch the recording anytime.

The original seven deadly sins are lust, pride, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, and sloth. Did you know there is an even more frightening selling equivalent?

Here are “7 Deadly Sins of Selling” put together by SalesLoft on mistakes that salespeople make in their sales processes.

The “7 Deadly Sins of Selling” include:

  1. Not Listening
  2. Wasting Time
  3. Being Insincere
  4. Avoiding Social Media
  5. Working Hard vs. Smart
  6. Failing to Follow Up
  7. Not Asking for Referrals

As a sales professional with any level of experience, there are several mistakes that, once made, turn even a promising sales into an uphill climb. By recognizing these sins, you can create a plan to avoid these scary mistakes. To help sales professionals, here are the seven deadly sins of sales and how they impact the customer and their willingness to make a commitment to a sale.

Lets take a more in-depth look at these seven selling sins.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

1) Not Listening

Selling is about solving a problem and creating a benefit in the mind of the customer. How can you understand (and help fix) a prospect’s pain point if you don’t fully understand the situation? Take the time to absorb the information they share so that you can suggest a solution that will work for them.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

2) Wasting Time

Get to the heart of the matter. Small talk is nice, but this is work, not a cocktail party. Too much of it is a turnoff to prospects because it is wasting the prospects valuable time. Do you research and streamline your pitch to address what matters to them.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

3) Being Insincere

Much like how dogs can smell fear, people can smell BS. Technology makes it easy to send thousands of emails in record time, but this impersonal approach is inefficient. Use Sales Engagement tools to help you execute each sale with sincerity.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

4) Avoiding Social Media

Your prospects and customers are on social media, and they’re using it for business. The best salespeople are constantly where buyers are, while positioning themselves as authorities and adding value. These activities can easily be automated for a team of sales reps with social media tools.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

5) Working Hard vs. Working Smart

Yes, it’s cliche…but it’s not wrong. TOPO research found that top performing sales reps use data, intelligence, and productivity tools produce 30% more than average performers. These top performers are able to spend more time on closing deals and less on research activities.

A recent case study shows how a productivity tool was able to help a team of sales reps attract 5X more leads overnight.

They’re not working harder, they’re just “Smarter” in their approach to accomplishing tasks.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

6) Failing to Follow Up

Not following up with a lead means you’re leaving money on the table. Put prospects into a cadence to ensure touches. Studies show that 80% of sales are made after five or more contacts. Keep adding value to stay top-of-mind and show you care.

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

7) Not Asking For Referrals

After a positive experience, 83% of customers would be willing to provide a referral & 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they know. It’s not a stretch to assume that asking for referrals while adding value and staying-top-of-mind as a thought leader will lead to an increase in win rates.

Avoid these 7 Deadly Sins at all cost, and you’ll be doing your part to right the wrongs of sales past and provide a world-class sales experience for your prospects.

Businesses that grow fast and sustain success

How to Avoid the 3 Deadly Sins of Selling

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

By Adrian Miller

So here we are smack in the middle of Q2. Do you have hopes for the rest of the year? Gonna do some things different, are you? Well, how about for starters fine-tuning your sales strengths and yes…avoid the 3 deadly sins of selling.

So what exactly are three sins? Here ya go:

Thinking that marketing is sales and vice versa. Marketing is not sales…repeat after me, marketing is not sales. Like that old refrain…you can’t one without the other. So why is it that so many people are starting the new year with new marketing campaigns, making resolutions to “jump” into social media and looking to Twitter to help them make their way, enhancing web sites et al and are not even thinking one bit about their sales process, sales competencies abilities to follow-up, follow through and close those prospects and leads. Really. If you want to waste your money, go ahead and do it but if not, then please spend as much time and consideration to the sales aspect of your business as to the marketing end. You’ll be glad that you did (Umm, you’ll actually “bring in” that business that marketing attracted in the first place.)

Thinking that networking is an endgame in and of itself. Hah. Wish it would be so but it just isn’t. Networking is an ongoing, never-ending initiative that requires eternal vigilance to make it pay off. And yes, you can have a one-hit wonder derived from a networking meeting in which nothing more than showing up was involved. But those bits of success are far and few between and what is really required is strategic vision and a plan and design for how you will go out there onto the networking playing field and win the game. (Hint: the networking game is circular, not linear and if you play it well then you just might be rewarded by what comes back to you.

Taking those leads, contacts, dormant accounts, friends and so forth and letting them languish in your base. Really. Why do you need thousands of people in your CRM or even on your Constant Contact email newsletter list if you are not going to work these contact effectively and efficiently staying on the grid so if and when a project or a lead is around you will, in fact, be on their mind and get the pleasure of a connection. Why bother? If you can’t deploy the three I’s (and if you don’t know what those are please connect with me and I’ll share the strategy), then you shouldn’t be out there trying to win new business. You won’t be getting any ROT (return on time). Period.

Ok then…make a personal plan to abolish these sins and move forward with your most successful year ever. Ready?

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of SellingAdrian Miller is a nationally recognized sales trainer, speaker, and author. She specializes in designing and delivering highly customized sales and customer service skills training programs that are practical, results-driven and provide real world solutions for real world situations. Adrian is a member of the Pit Crew and you can ask her questions on our LinkedIn and Facebook group pages.

Heading:

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

Low win rates, long sales cycles, heavy use of generic content, executive summaries that are all about you, and proposal text that is too technical or even obsolete are the symptoms of proposals team and sales organisation that commit the “seven deadly sins? . and don?t even know it. As a result, they?re not nearly as successful as they should be.

This is the opinion of Dr Tom Sant, who has been identified as one of the top ten sales trainers in the world by US-based Selling Power Magazine. Sant will visit South Africa this year to deliver the keynote address at the second annual conference convened in Gauteng on 28 July by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals in South Africa (APMP).

Last year?s conference attracted 64 delegates – from entrepreneurs to sales and new business development managers, as well as proposal and bid managers who make up the membership of the association. 90% of delegates rated the experience as “very good to excellent?.

One delegate said “I wanted this conference to give me the skills to improve my win rate with proposals; I wanted to share ideas with my peers and listen to what the experts had to say; I wanted to learn how to put together really high-quality proposals. All my wants were satisfied and I am now highly motivated to get back to the office and put heart and soul into preparing the next bid!?

In this presentation titled “7 Deadly Sins of the Complex Proposal?, Sant will identify the seven sins of proposal writing and, more importantly, will show delegates how to eliminate them. He will provide simple, practical methods to make sure proposals are focused on what matters to the decision maker, structured in the most persuasive way possible, and built on a strong combination of compelling value and effective differentiation.

The topic of the one-day conference is “The Art of Winning?. Victory goes to the prepared, and wins do not occur by chance. Other speakers and topics for the conference include:

? Storytelling. The Ancient Art of Persuasion – 5 x SA Public Speaking Champion and author of three books, Douglas Kruger has spent a decade learning to persuade with stories.
? Behind the Scenes in Government Tender Departments – Millie Rasekoala, as the head of tender division at SETA, will share with us her insights into what happens when government departments compile tenders.
? Get Creative – The Pen is Mightier than the Sword – Festus Masekwameng, MotherRussia Design 360
? You?re shortlisted, how to knock their socks off with your presentation – Penquin
? Bid Managers? Panel Discussion – EOH, Deloitte, Aurecon, Vodacom, Standard Bank
? 2011 Salary Survey Results – Sandy Pullinger, MD of proposal consultancy nFold
? CIPS and APMP – how bidders and buyers can work together

“We?re delighted that Tom has agreed to visit South Africa to pass on his knowledge, this is a once in a life-time experience for both sales and proposal professionals’ said Sandy Pullinger, chairperson of APMP SA and MD of proposal consultancy nFold, the company that represents Sant?s best practice in South Africa. nFold will also be hosting a breakfast session with Tom Sant on 2 August, titled “The Secrets of Persuasion?.

A former college professor, standup comic, and founder of two successful firms, Dr. Tom Sant has had a revolutionary impact on the way business people communicate. Named the world’s foremost authority on winning sales proposals by the American Management Association, he is the author of the best-selling Persuasive Business Proposals, The Giants of Sales, and The Language of Success. He was named the first ever Fellow of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals in recognition of his contributions to the field.

For further information about Dr Sant?s visit, go to the Association of Proposal Management Professionals website or email [email protected]

Trading is a wonderful business. No inventories to worry about, no employees, nobody to answer to, you can set your own hours; the list of benefits goes on and on.

However, as in any other business venture, you must know what you are doing if you are to have any chance of success. Trading, as in any business venture, is fraught with danger. Bad trading habits can wipe out those that do not take the proper precautions very quickly. Success comes from hard work, dedication, and long hours of practice and study.

As traders, for us to have a shot at consistent profitability, we must be disciplined and adhere to a strict course of action, remain focused, and avoid the.

7 Deadly Sins of Trading

Sin #1) Trading without a plan.

Most traders attempt to trade without a plan. They hear something, a rumor perhaps, or they think some big market moving event is about to happen and they ‘just know’ which way it will move. Well, I suppose that is fine if you have a plan, a reasonable course of action. But alas, most traders seldom do.

Most commonly, traders find themselves with fabulous paper profits but then watch it all evaporate and turn into a nasty loss! That would never have happened if they had a plan.

If you want to be a trader, you need to create a trade plan for yourself. Your plan should cover:

a) A method of how and where you are going to enter the market.

c) What percentage of account equity to risk per trade?

d) What to do when a trades goes wrong. Where do you exit?

e) What to do when a trade goes right. Where do you exit?

f) How long to give a trade to start working before pulling the plug on it.

g) What are my odds/probabilities of a successful trade? A losing trade?

Sin #2) Averaging Down a Loss

If laddering into a multi-contract position is not in your trade plan, then don’t even think adding to a losing position! When you are dealing with the type of leverage available in Forex and futures trading, this ‘sin’ could be, and has been the financial ruin of many traders! Take the loss and move on.

Sin #3) Over Exposure

The third sin of trading is tied directly to our personalities as traders. We traders tend to be ‘A’ type personalities. We have a tendency to get a little cocky as our wins pile up, and to think we’re immune to the sins of trading. We get a little too over confident for our own good and this can adversely affect the risk parameters of our trade plans. Never increase your trade size as a percentage of account size. Once you increase your percentages, your profits will increase exponentially, but so too do the losses. Just don’t do it! I’ll save the ‘Math of Trading’ for another article.

Sin #4) Over Playing Your Hand

I’ve been found guilty of this trading sin many times as I’m sure most other traders have also.

You are in a nice winning position and price reaches your target and you wait to see if it will keep moving in your favor – Greed has kicked in!.

It keeps going through your target, you’re feeling warm, fuzzy and smart and then, without warning, it’s moving hard against you. What a shame! Your target was reached, you had nice profits, but failed to honor it and take the money. Now you have nothing (or worse). You turned a winner into a loser – don’t let greed take the wheel.

Sin #5) Leaving The Money

There is nothing wrong with allowing your account to grow. But you also need to remove a percentage of your profits on a regular basis as compensation for your hard work. You also want to be at the point where you are playing with ‘the house’s money’ as soon as you can. Think of your original stake as a loan. You want to get that loan paid off just as quickly as possible so that all further withdrawals are all yours! Let’s not even mention that from that point on, your original risk capital is now safe and sound, you are now financially ahead, trading with winnings. Ah, what a feeling!

Sin #6) Lack of Patience

A tough principle for most people, let alone traders. Lack of patience. The patience to be able to sit, wait, and watch for your signal or set up before initiating a trade is an absolute prerequisite! If you just start ‘punching in’ anywhere because you think the market is going to go up, or you think it’s going to tank, you have just crossed that dangerously thin line between a disciplined trader and a self-destructive gambler. We all know how that scenario will play out over time.

Sin #7) Switching Your Strategy During Game Time

This I think is the worst possible ‘sin’ a trader can commit. When the market is open and you are watching every tick, the combination of adrenaline and emotion can really impair and affect your judgement. Apart from having a trade plan and following it, plan your trades and strategy while the market is closed. That is the time when you can plan rationally and apply sound judgement to your analysis. During the trading session, unless there is a very obvious change in the marketplace, don’t alter your game plan. Doing so is usually the result of an emotional, impulsive reaction to some minor event and you’ll end up undoing all your rational planning. Make your plan and stick with it!

May the ‘Gods of Odds’ shine favorably upon you – and may the sins of trading be permanently banished from your life!

By Geoffrey James

Updated on: August 9, 2010 / 2:16 PM / MoneyWatch

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of SellingEveryone has heard of the traditional seven deadly sins (lust, greed, etc.). Did you know that there are also seven sins of selling? And they’re deadly sins, because if you indulge in them, you’ll find your sales efforts dead in the water. Here they are:

  1. SIN #1: Not being personally accountable.Don’t pass the buck somebody else in your firm; your customers want your personal skin in the game.
  2. SIN #2: Failing to understand the customer’s business. Don’t expect customers to answer dozens of questions just because you didn’t do your research.
  3. SIN #3: Being an adversary, not an ally. Since customers are risking their career doing business with you, they expects you to represent their best interests.
  4. SIN #4: Selling products not solutions. Don’t burden customers with features and functions; tell them how your solution will help their business.
  5. SIN #5: Being inaccessible when needed. If customers are important to you, you’ll answer their email or voice mail within minutes, not hours.
  6. SIN #6: Selling rather than helping.Customers want you to be thinking about how to help their firm, not how to sell your products.
  7. SIN #7: Wasting the customer’s time. If your solution isn’t the right choice for the customer, say so. Don’t waste their time pitching something they don’t need.

BTW, the above is loosely based on a list from Howard Stevens, the head of the HR Chally Group.

RELATED POST: The 7 Cardinal Virtues of Selling
READERS: Any other sins that ought to be on this list?

First published on August 5, 2010 / 1:27 PM

© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Investment pitfalls and how to resist them.

Investing is an activity that’s rife with opportunity to fall intobad habits, be led astray or make decisions for the wrong reasons.Being aware of the behavioural traps and temptations that lie inwait for the unwary investor is the first step to avoiding them.The Seven Deadly Sins were formulated in early Christian teachingsto make followers mindful of man’s natural vices – lust, gluttony,greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.On the following pages, we’re adapting The Seven Deadly Sins tothe world of multi-asset investment, revealing the all-too-commoninvestor tendencies that we look to avoid in order to achieve reliablelong-term performance for our clients.Thanks to John Devolle for his pertinent and light-heartedillustrations. We hope our take on sin is a fun but useful insightinto the way we think about the world and multi-asset investing.

1. Lust (luxuria)

Resist the siren call of short-term opportunity.

Investing for the long term sounds like an obvious strategy but itis surprising how few investors actually adopt it. In our fast-pacedworld, the desire for instant gratification can overwhelm. The prospectof immediate gain invites temptation to pile into whatever is theflavour of the month long after the opportunity to profit has passed. Done mindfully, however, moving in and out of markets or assetclasses can work. But it needs to be done for the right reason: to takeadvantage of short-term mis-pricing. Selling high and buying low hastypically led to happier endings.That aside, a less lusty approach that weathers market ups anddowns over years, not just weeks, almost always proves morefruitful – as well as cheaper – in the long term.

2. Gluttony (gula)

When it comes to information, less is very often more.

In a data-overloaded world it is easy to gorge on information.But analysis that involves lots of inputs is not necessarily moreeffective. Simpler but disciplined analytical frameworks can bethe most robust.When evaluating asset classes, for example, the simplestapproach is to look at yields and growth prospects. If valuationsare high (and therefore yields are low), the chances are thatvaluations will fall (and therefore yields will rise). Conversely,if yields are high, there’s a good chance that they will fall andvaluations rise.Having the discipline to screen out market noise also meansresisting the temptation to change your basis for valuationevery time a new fad comes along. People lost fortunes in thedot.com bubble by being attracted to fashionable new metricssuch as counting eyeballs, instead of analysing companycashflow. Keeping your basis for selecting equities or bondssound and lean is arguably the key to rich pickings.

3. Greed (avaritia)

If everyone else is investing, probably best you don’t.

Whether it’s equities, bonds or property, the avarice of the herdis always to be treated with caution. The periods when a sector isrocketing and investors are piling in at any price can be the time tosteer clear (or quietly sell). Conversely, the time when the marketis getting agitated and bailing out can provide rich territory for smart,selective investors who know what they want to buy and why.Patience is paramount, however. If you have a strong convictionabout a company or asset class, it may take a while for others tocome round to your point of view. During this time, prices may moveagainst you, requiring mental strength to stick with your position.Equal discipline is required to keep your portfolio balanced. If everyoneis moving to equities, it can be tempting to sacrifice your fixedincome exposure. But with that, you could also jettison your riskdiversification. Wherever you invest, invest for the right reasons.

4. Sloth (acedia)

In investment there are no short cuts.

Investing is easy. Understanding what you’re investing in isa completely different matter.Whether analysing the relative merits of entire markets or simplyindividual assets, we only invest in what we really know and like.In active equity investing, that means doing all the hard work to getto understand every single company first hand. Likewise in bonds,we don’t just look at yield; we measure and compare bonds againstother valuable criteria, such as default rates, the underlying natureof the company and its industry (or economy).Only through this graft do we really understand what the rightvaluation for an investment should be.From some vantage points, sloth is one of the better sins. If we havechosen the right business in which to invest, it is often best to let thestock grow without fussing over it or trading unduly.So our moral is not to be lazy in doing due diligence, but rest fairlycomfortably once a sound long-term decision has been made.

5. Wrath (ira)

Being diversified is the key to calm – even in volatile markets.

Markets are plummeting, the outlook is bleak and everyoneis selling. But if your portfolio is properly diversified you canafford to be an oasis of calm. There are rare cases when themajority of asset classes have fallen together (the 2008 globalcredit crisis), but usually it’s a case of swings and roundabouts.Historically when equities were falling and the economy wasgloomy, interest rates were cut, then fixed income assets werelikely to be standing firm. Equally, if inflation is threatening torise, equity and commodity exposure may hold you in goodstead even if your bond holdings fall.The wrath and unpredictability of markets can be daunting andnever more so than today given the extraordinary measurestaken by governments and central banks since the globalcredit crisis. Allocating to the highest-quality assets you can findacross a spread of lowly-correlated asset classes remainsarguably the most sensible protection.

6. Envy (invidia)

Imitating the index is the poorest form of flattery.

By Geoffrey James

October 4, 2012 / 6:59 AM / MoneyWatch

(MoneyWatch) Everyone has heard of the traditional seven deadly sins (lust, greed, etc.). Did you know that there are also seven sins of selling? And they’re deadly sins, because if you indulge in them, you’ll find your sales efforts dead in the water. Here they are:

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

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Not being personally accountable Don’t pass the buck to somebody else in your firm; your customers want your personal skin in the game.

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Failing to understand the customer’s business Don’t expect customers to answer dozens of questions just because you didn’t do your research.

Being an adversary, not an ally Since customers are risking their career doing business with you, they expect you to represent their best interests.

Selling products not solutions Don’t burden customers with features and functions; tell them how your solution will help their business.

Being inaccessible when needed If customers are important to you, you’ll answer their email or voice mail within minutes, not hours.

Selling rather than helping Customers want you to be thinking about how to help their firm, not how to sell your products.

Wasting the customer’s time If your solution isn’t the right choice for the customer, say so. Don’t waste their time pitching something they don’t need.

BTW, the above is loosely based on a list from Howard Stevens, the head of the HR Chally Group.

This post by Geoffrey James originally appeared on BNET.com.

First published on October 4, 2012 / 6:59 AM

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

If you have ever stepped your foot in the kitchen and decided to cook you must also have learned that cooking is a lot more than just adding ingredients and mixing them up. Like all other things in the world, you can mess up your dish if you don’t follow the right instructions.

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Cooking – How To Avoid Them

I’ve learned cooking by committing all these deadly sins and then I have also learned to forgive myself by fixing all the issues and coming up with a better dish. So dear home cooks, don’t you worry. Prolific Recipes is your savior today (and tomorrow). There will be no more ‘This bread tastes like gum. Is it even bread?‘ or the worst thing that I heard from my cousin was, ‘Is it edible? are you sure?‘.

So here are 7 deadly sins that you might commit on your way to cooking excellence. I’ll give you the heads up so that you can avoid these ‘Cooking Sins’ in order to cook good, and more importantly, edible food.

Sin # 1 – Cooking With Too High Heat

burnt-cooking most people think cooking on high flame is the trick to get your food fast. You might get your food fast and the skin of your protein food might be crispy and golden brown, or worse, burnt. Yes, a high flame can burn your dish without cooking it from the inside.

I’m sure no one likes raw food, especially when they don’t ask for it. You have to see the nature of your dish and adjust the flame according to that. Don’t let the haste sacrifice the deliciousness of the food. The most important takeaway here is to never boil something when it should be simmered.

Sin # 2 – Unfit Utensils

I’ve seen many people cooking for a large group in a small pot, which is only big enough itself to contain the ingredients. You need to pick a pot which does not suffocate your food because then it gets really stuffy, which ends up smashing the ingredients together, making it a wreck and ruining your presentation.

Every good chef knows that presentation is half of the cooking hassle. and so you don’t want to fail at the first impression of your dish. Secondly, there are a few ingredients that expand after boiling, for instance: pasta and rice. If you compromise on that, you will be compromising on the beauty of the serving.

Sin # 3 – Compromise On Ingredients

Dog CookingThere is substituted for some ingredients and as the masters of cooking have discovered, there is no harm in using them in emergency conditions. Now that’s where you are taking a risk. The risk is that the ingredients might give the same results for a few dishes, however, they can have disastrous effects for on other dishes.

The logic behind this is one that is understood by technical chefs, but mainly this happens because of a difference in the chemistry between the ingredients. For some, it goes well, for others it doesn’t. So the best thing you can do is only choose the alternative ingredient if you have perfect knowledge of its use. That doesn’t mean you should not take risks. This is just a pro-active measure.

Sin # 4 – Bad Measurements Of Ingredients

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

It’s not a huge sin to avoid measurements altogether in your cooking, but if unless you have the cooking acumen of Nigella Lawson, I suggest that you do take some form of estimation into your ingredients. Simply, the dish does not turn out the way it is supposed to and it might just result in a couple of disapproving shrugs at the dinner table.

For example, an ounce of extra soda can be a nightmare. Doubling the amount of baking powder in this chicken bread recipe could result in something just terrible. So it is better not to underestimate the power of any ingredient. There is really no harm in following the recipe. Yes, you can trust me on that!

Sin # 4 – Turning Sides Too Quickly

I understand that you are worried that both sides of your food won’t be cooked so you consistently switching them. However, turning sides too quickly spoils the temperament of the dish and fails to give it a crispy texture.

Worst case, it could also lead to your dish being under-cooked at times. The best thing to do is to cook one side with love, and then go for the other. This sin will only give you dead food that no one likes. Don’t be that cook whom everyone secretly hates!

Sin # 6 – Incomplete Pan Preparation

The worst thing you can possibly do while cooking pancakes are to forget the fact that the pan has to be hot before you spread the batter. This is just one example, but it applies to most dishes. Never put the ingredients first and then wait for them to heat. I cannot lay enough emphasis on the importance of this.

You should always avoid heating the pan before you have added oil to it, otherwise, you will just be damaging your utensil and your cooking excellence. This is because if the pan is really hot, adding oil to it will burn it too quickly and be dangerous for you. So you must avoid this sin at all costs. It’s unforgivable.

Sin # 7 – Not tasting The Dish

How to Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Selling

This one is more of a tip than a sin. Good chefs have built their experience in cooking, giving them the ability to make dishes that don’t spoil. However, they develop this superpower by tasting the dish while it is under preparation.

This specifically applies in the case of simple ingredients such as salt, sugar, and spices. These are all acquired tastes, and hence tasting while cooking helps ensure that you don’t make something too salty or too bland according to your own taste. Do not ignore these minor details as they can cost you a lot. So remember to taste as you cook!

Final Words

These are just a few basics that a lot of people get wrong. There are many other things that can be added to this list, but this should serve as a good starting point.

That is all for now. Avoid these seven sins in your cooking and hopefully, you’ll improve your cooking skills by an estimated 33.2%. (Just kidding)

Organizations derive multiple benefits from implementing an ERP solution. The biggest gains are usually seen in improved visibility, which can lend unprecedented insight into an organization’s various units. An integrated approach improves strategy, tactical execution and decision-making among executives and managers.

While an ERP can transform an enterprise into a well-oiled machine, those inexperienced with such a solution can make mistakes that will cost them dearly in the long run. Deploying and maintaining an ERP is no joke, as it requires expertise and effort, not to mention monetary resources. Here are a few big mistakes in ERP implementation – the so-called seven deadly sins – and a few tips on how to avoid committing them.

1. Sticking with a stock deployment

Even if an ERP provider says that their solution works “right out of the box,” do not think for even a second that it’s actually going to do that. Sure, you can probably get all the bells and whistles running marginally out of the box, but you’re going to have to do some customization if you want to get anything done properly. When you first deploy it, an ERP does not know what you want yet. You have to mold it into something that does what you want it to do. Think of the software as a blank canvas. It needs your masterful hand in order to transform into something useful.

Tip: Try looking for a vendor or partner that can assist you in the deployment process and get your ERP to work in a way that is best for your particular needs.

2. Taking the ‘walled garden’ approach

A lot of organizations like to compartmentalize the tools they use into tiny comfortable boxes. The problem is that this isn’t the way an ERP implementation should work. To fully exploit the benefits of enterprise systems, you have to embrace interoperability and integration. It’s the reason why many companies selling ERP software also provide customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) applications, along with a handful of other systems. An ERP system can tie together a multitude of other solutions that you’re using, establishing the groundwork for greater efficiency.

Tip: Try finding a way to integrate your ERP into your other systems. In fact, you could do a clean sweep integration of all of these tools from the same vendor, guaranteeing maximized interoperability on multiple fronts and ensuring that your ERP communicates in the way that it should.

3.: Not looking beyond ERP

How much do you know about your customer’s behavior and preferences? Multiply that by ten and you will understand the power of using ERP with big data analytics. Your ERP is just going to show you a bunch of data that you must read like a spreadsheet if it doesn’t know how to organize it. Business intelligence and big data analytics tools help to considerably reduce the burden placed on your shoulders when interpreting business information that has been gathered over a period of time. Making sense of your data helps you visualize relationships between dispersed sets of information and understand correlations, such as at what hours a certain item sells on a Friday, and what demographic buys it the most, and so forth.

Tip: Certain tools like SiSense help you map all of your data a provides a no-nonsense visual representation of it all. By connecting the multiple data sets in your organization, you get a crisper image, with insights into relationships that you may not have previously noticed.

4. Neglecting the update

If someone tried selling you a copy of Windows 98 today, you’d probably run in the opposite direction at an impressive speed. The same attitude should be applied to ERP software. It’s no different. Legacy ERP software can be riddled with bugs and internal inefficiencies that make it sub-par for forward-thinking organizations. Worst of all, it’s already been a long time since its security has been upgraded and — like older versions of just about anything else — it is probably vulnerable to a plethora of malicious software and attackers. If you’re using something more current, it’s still important to update it consistently.

Tip: Regular maintenance makes an ERP happy, which in turn makes a business happy. Just keep that in mind.

5. Taking the DIY route with updates

If you’ve ever spent a lot of time around ERP systems, you know that updates involve some level of risk. Such a huge suite of software is going to make the update process unwieldy at best, catastrophic at worst. One patch applied in the wrong manner can break a lot of things, such as the ERP’s communication with your CRM. Any number of problems can occur, and you need to be prepared for each and every one of them. Then, when you’re done, get ready to realize about a week later that something very subtle, but important was broken.

Tip: Use an enterprise automation tool. It will take care of the entire nuanced update and implementation process, and snuff out all of the breaking points that could cause you trouble along the way. Panaya’s cloud-based approach can give you a helping hand with the update process, ensuring that Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle testing goes through without the typical hurdles associated with this kind of endeavor.

6. Not mitigating changes in workflow

Deployments, upgrades, and patches require you to stay one step ahead of all the changes you are introducing. If you neglect to brief everyone on how their day-to-day workflow has changed as a result of an upgrade or switch, their jobs just suddenly became a nightmare for at least the next few days. Sometimes, switching or upgrading your ERP platform may require a full restructuring of business processes to accommodate the shift.

Tip: When you make any changes, do everything you can to find out how it might affect each employee, from the lower rungs upwards. You may need to re-train some employees so that you can have productivity up to snuff. Otherwise, the ERP no longer serves its purpose. Don’t let it be an impedance when it shouldn’t be.

7. Playing by the rules

With most software, you can safely assume that everything is going to function as it should, so you can just sit back and relax. An ERP implementation, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. By falling into the same cycle of complacency as you would with any other software, you are severely limiting how much ERP can help you.

Tip: Adoption isn’t the end of deployment. You were interested in an ERP because it can help you have more control over your business. Sitting back and letting it “do its thing” is not an option. To reap the rewards, you have to control the ERP. During deployment, don’t leave all the handiwork to the consultants. Instead, have the final word in what happens at this stage and be clear about how you want to use it.

About the author…

Daan is a Cloud Computing, Web Security Expert and Blogger for Hire. His current interests include enterprise automation, cloud-based security and solutions.

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