Why do SJN sales teams look forward to the fall and holiday sales season?

For the same reason Willy Sutton robbed banks, because that is where the money is. Simply put, SJN Sales makes more money for SJN clients and, of course, for our company, during fourth quarter than at any other time of year.

Some of this is explained by the fact that unlike many sales teams, SJN teams actually work a full sales campaign plan during the busy fall meeting and holiday seasons. This means that we can take advantage of the additional bandwidth, and focused listening, available because many prospects are simply hearing about fewer solutions and opportunities during what most sales organizations consider a weak season. Holidaze, we call it. The sad expression on the faces of salespeople who have not unlocked the secret to maximizing fall and fourth quarter potential to close deals.

The SJN database is filled with interesting tidbits we have learned about our prospects over the years. One of the most important codes is, YESD. Year end spend down. YESD means this prospect has, in past years, bought solutions through SJN Sales as part of a year-end spending spree.

We keep very careful track of companies that do an annual year end spend down. We also take notes whenever someone cues us that they may be a year-end spending company. In those cases, the prospect says something like, “I’ll have to see how the budget looks later in the year.” And we do. We check in and find out whether that July caution is now ripe for a November launch of our client solution. Sounds simple. And it is a simple strategy as long as you listen well, take excellent notes. And, this is the final trick, follow through and make the volume and quality of sales conversations and meeting happen, in the fourth quarter, to harvest all those great YESD accounts we have tracked so carefully.

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Fall Meeting Season. On the Road Again

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not a cloud in the sky but Fall has arrived. SJN Sales teams are on the road making sales happen for our clients at annual meetings, conventions, and round tables. Big and small.

We always like the Electronic Retailing Association meeting and this year is no exception. Great sessions. Wonderful organizers. Going on right now. Tweet us if you’re here.

Oracle OpenWorld starts the 28th in San Francisco and DreamForce is only a couple of weeks later. AHIMA, the big healthcare information management meeting opens on the 29th in sunny San Diego.

In the last days of September and early October we have a slew of great meetings to attend: We’re looking forward to Interop, HRTech, DreamForce, Predictive Analytics, and more that I’ll post as travel schedules firm up.

If there’s a meeting you wish your SJN Sales team was attending, let us know. We love the opportunity to see our contacts face-to-face and Fall is the best time of year to sell great solutions and services to the industry leaders we meet at meetings.

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Tradeshows & Meetings – Partial list

It’s already a busy a busy month and we’re just getting fully revved. In between travel to various trade shows and meetings, we expect to follow-up with many of the folks we met at HIMMS, Microsoft Build, MacWorld and all the other meetings that allowed SJN salespeople to see so many of our contacts in person.

As always, the calendar is fluid with more meetings to be added as I write this, and a couple that may not make the final cut this year. In the midst of all these meetings we hope you’ll all enjoy the Spring holiday of your choice.

04/05/14 – 04/10/14 American Association of Neurological Surgeons San Francisco
04/07/14 – 04/09/14 Marketo – The Marketing Nation Summit San Francisco
04/07/14 – 04/10/14 National Association of Broadcasters and Content providers Las Vegas
04/07/14 – 04/09/14 Retail Technology Conference Orlando
04/08/14 – 04/10/14 Specialty Retail SPREE Annual Tradeshow Las Vegas
04/08/14 – 04/11/14 IEEE Orlando
4/11/14 – 4/11/14 San Diego County 2014 Realtors Expo & Conference San Diego
4/11/14 – 4/13/14 17th Annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy San Diego
4/12/14 – 4/14/14 NAPEC – North American Professionals & Entrepreneurs San Diego
5/7/14 – 5/9/14 FUSE – Brand Strategy & Design Chicago
04/15/14 – 04/17/14 Red Hat, Inc. San Francisco
04/22/14 – 04/25/14 2014 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting San Francisco
4/23/14 – 4/26/14 ANA – Association of National Advertisers San Diego
04/25/14 -04/29/14         American Association of Orthodontists New Orleans
4/26/14 – 4/30/14 Experimental Biology 2014 San Diego
4/26/14 – 4/30/14 ACRP – Clinical Research Pharma San Antonio
04/26/14 – 04/29/14 American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery San Francisco
04/26/14 – 04/29/14 International Signage Expo & Brand Summit Orlando
04/27/14 – 05/01/14 ServiceNow Knowledge14 Conference San Francisco
04/27/14 – 04/29/14 Digiday Brand and Content Summit Nashville
5/6/14 – 5/9/14 Contact Center Expo & Conference San Diego
5/11/14 – 5/14/14 Indian Gaming 2014 Tradeshow & Convention San Diego
5/16/14 – 5/21/14 American Thoracic Society Annual International Conference San Diego
05/16/14 -05/19/14     International Jewelry & Merchandise Show New Orleans
5/25/14 – 5/30/14 NAFSA 2014 Annual Conference & International Education Expo San Diego
6/1/14 – 6/6/14 Display Week 2014 San Diego
6/2/14- 6/5/14 Sustainable Brands San Diego
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HIMMS14 is open. Healthcare IT’s bigges

HIMMS14 is open. Healthcare IT’s biggest gathering. Morning preview. http://ow.ly/tWZW3

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+vivek wadhwa writes yet another piece o

+vivek wadhwa writes yet another piece on how women are accidentally, systematically, under hired, and underrepresented in the Tech company world. SJN Sales has had no problem hiring strong, experienced women, and having those women rise to leadership. Perhaps it’s our lack of a Man-cave, or even the rejection of super-hero theming.
This may seem like a small issue to the fine yound men staffing these companies but the lack of women in leadership roles, heck any roles, tends to lead to products and services that women don’t want because they lack features etc. that having even a few women in the room would have made obvious. That’s me, Deb Taylor, hating Dropbox for its unnecessarily messy interface since it began. Have good day. SJN Sales is hiring. http://ow.ly/tRJz6

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Work hard. Be Nice. Don’t Holler at Any

Work hard. Be Nice. Don’t Holler at Anybody. How hard is this? Some thoughts from Christina Trapolino got SJN Sales talking about the high cost of emotional outbursts at work. Paypal CEO David is the latest victim of his own temper. http://ow.ly/tJ6Cb

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Snow Days. Happen.

This year’s polar vortex, snow-storms aplenty, etc. have given the clients and vendors that SJN Sales works with multiple opportunities to practice the skills of being productive, while working from your (generally quite comfortable) snowed-in home.

Email works pretty well for most communications. Yes, email is sometimes less than ideal for completing projects, deals, etc. But it has the undeniable advantage of maintaining radio silence between you, whomever is sharing your snow day with you, and the folks you do business with all year long.

This year, we are seeing an avalanche of bad outcomes from snow day communications that do not have the upside benefits of email.  Specifically, we have witnessed multiple conference call train wrecks over the past few weeks. Conference calls that left business in worse shape than if one or more of the participants had simply called off. Conference calls that made a few people laugh and one professional squirm. The conference call of too much information, that may yet lead to a divorce and the re-homing of an apparently nice dog, have led the SJN team to have a little chat about when conference calls are not worth the trip.

Conference calls are a way of life these days. The SJN Sales healthcare IT team, that I lead, has no less than a dozen conference calls planned in an average week. The advantages of linking people across geography, and companies, without schlepping on Southwest are well known. These advantages make most people’s jobs far more pleasant than in the old, on-the-road-again, days.

If you work from home frequently, you probably have a quiet sanctum where you can conference call to your hearts delight. It’s a great way to wait for the cable guy or avoid the worst commute day of the week. It also has made it possible for legions of salespeople and other road warriors to accommodate requests for call times outside normal business hours. So far, so good. Everyone wins with accessibility and fewer hours in the car.

Snow days, however, may change your conference calling environment, even if you normally have peace and quiet at your disposal. Kids home from school on the fourth snow day of the year are not as likely to maintain their inside-voice, volume controls, as the smiling cherubs who celebrated with snow angels, back in November. Pets, other adults trying to work beside you, and the occasional drop-in neighbor who thinks that everyone being home means it’s time to roam…your block, are all reasons that you too may need to call off, take a snow day and reschedule the call.

Failure to honestly evaluate whether your snow day calling environment has deteriorated to a level that makes rescheduling the call a good plan, is of course, a judgment call. But keep in mind, as you blithely offer to schedule calls from your home office, that it is far easier to schedule a conference call than it is to get out of a conference call gone terribly wrong. Your mute button will not save you from an ambient noise level that sounds like Bronco Stadium. Your mute button will help with a brief tickle in your throat, but will not rescue you from the impression left by a crying baby backed up by a seven hungry puppy orchestra.

“Daddy, daddy. I am not interrupting because it’s a real ‘mergency, this time.” will effectively end any productivity that the call you are on may have achieved. Odd pounding noises will cause everyone on the call to evaluate their own environment, and end focused-forward motion, even if no one knows that your house is the source. Hanging up and dialing back in, after you remove the hammer from Timmy’s hands, will let everyone know that the noise originated at your home, in Newton–but will not restore the sales call or project progress. End the call, and be thankful that most of us don’t have video conferencing to add images to the mayhem in the background.

We have technology to make seamless communication available throughout virtually any natural or personal calamity. But take a hint from Old Man Winter, and the veteran sales teams at SJN, who have heard your kids whine, your dogs howl, your adorable screaming babies, yipping puppies, and even the plumbing contractors fixing your frozen pipes. Send us an email. We’ll take care of the essentials in your absence. Reschedule the call.

Snow days happen. Go make snow angels with the kids.

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