Dating Mistakes that Salespeople Make…


A lot of themes from the dating world can find parallels in marketing and sales. No wonder that some of the lessons and mistakes learned from one side can easily be transferred and applied to the other.

Here is the list of top 8 mistakes most sales people do and easy ways  to fix them. Enjoy!

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IT Executives on the Move: new CIOs/ CTOs at New York Times, JetBlue, ViaWest and VoiceAssist.







Jason Carolan was Promoted to Chief Technology Officer at ViaWest

Marc Frons was Promoted to Chief Information Officer at The New York Times

Eash Sundaram was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at JetBlue Airways Corporation

Rick Dehlinger was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at nGenX Corporation

Dean Weber was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at VoiceAssist

If you are interested in following appointments and promotions of CIOs and CTOs in real time, getting access to up-to-date contact information and search/browse/download from a database with 14,000+ profiles of senior IT executives, sign up today risk-free here.

Sales Trigger Events – Taxonomy, Care and Feeding

Sales Trigger Events


Sales Trigger Events

Sales Trigger Events are essentially changes in the status quo that force your prospects to become aware of an urgent and pressing need that your product or service, hopefully, fulfills.

Now, sales trigger events could be external, i.e. originating outside of your prospect’s organization and internal, i.e. changes coming from within.

Above is a comprehensive chart depicting both internal and external sales trigger events:


1.  Regulatory Events

For example, Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 substantially changed the way corporations report and and manage risk. This act forced companies to hire personnel, outside consultant, adapt new technology, etc. helping spawn a slew of consultants and service providers focused on compliance.

Other examples of regulatory trigger events are DMCA, Emission control regulations and many others.

2. Industry Specific Events

Industry specific trigger events only work for one industry. For example, if you are an IT security firm, one of the best trigger events for you could be a hacker attack on your prospective client.  If you are in a disaster recovery line of business, then you may focus on hurricanes and tornadoes.

3. Recognition Driven Events

Recognition of your potential prospective client can take various forms.  Your prospect company could be voted “the best to work for”, or included in Fortune 1000, or in one of the Gartner Quadrants.

You may also track positive press focusing on your prospective clients or speaking engagements in industry conferences for your prospect company’s executives. All these events are excellent opportunities to reach out, congratulate and engage.

4. Competitive Events

Competitive events are stemming from actions of competitors that impact your current and prospective clients. These actions could be of legal nature (e.g. Yahoo! claiming infringement on its patent portfolio by Facebook), new competitive products (e.g. any Apple product redraws the map for most other hardware manufacturers),  poached clients or key personnel.

5. Social Media

Social Media has emerged as an important force capable of changing companies agendas in real time. You may consider tracking social media for trending sentiment, good or bad, involving your current or potential clients. These could be excellent opportunities to engage a prospective client especially if you spot a trend before they do.


1. Technology Driven Events

Technology changes often have derivative effects: e.g. adopting cloud reduces needs for data centers and hosting. BPO reduces need for in-house personnel, etc.  Through media and informal conversations you can track trends like these that will impact your prospect’s business and hence – yours as well.

2. Growth Events

Indicators of growth are one of the best sales trigger events. When the company is growing usually needs are immediate, urgent and backed with financial strength.

Some of these signals could be adding headcount, opening new offices, entering new markets, launching new products. You may also look into announcement of partnerships, joint ventures, new clients gained, etc.

3. Financial Events

Financial trigger events are very important as well as they usually signal increased ability or difficulty to purchase products or services. Some of the financial events that are also sales triggers: IPO, raising debt or equity through private placements, earnings surprise (positive or negative), rapid appreciation or depreciation of stock, breach of debt covenants or bankruptcy announcement.

4. Ownership Change Events

Ownership change is an important sales trigger event as it usually signifies a major disruption in existing vendor-client relationships, a strategy change, a new capital infusion, etc. Some of such changes may involve a merger, an acquisition, a “going private” buyout.

5. Strategic Events

Strategic events are indicators of major directional shifts within your prospective company. Such events may involve announced alliances or JVs,  restructuring and divestiture of business lines, products and/or brands, layoffs, etc.

6. Personnel Events

Personnel changes are easily the most important sales trigger events. Even in B2B space people buy from other people. Not just any, but the ones they know, trust and like.  Therefore with changes in personnel this network of relationships is usually disrupted creating a perfect opening for a challenger to come in.

Some of the events you may want to track are:  appointments and promotions of key executives, new board directors, announcements of outsourcing initiatives, adding/cutting of headcount, etc.

7. Industry Specific Events

Industry specific events involve a limited set of industries. For example, if you are in BPO space you may track announcements of cost cutting initiatives. If you are a construction company then issuance of building permits is an excellent trigger event. If you are corporate bankruptcy lawyer, look out for breached debt covenants, etc.

This is an excerpt from a recently published whitepaper “Introduction to Sales Trigger Events“. Get your free copy here.

Sales Trigger Events

IT Executives on the Move: New CIOs at Starbucks, BestBuy, FIS Global and SunTrust.

Stephen Gillett CIO Best Buy













  • Frank Baitman was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at United States Department of Health and Human Services:


  • Greg Schaffer was Appointed as Chief Information Security Officer at FIS Global:


Top 10 Ways to Engage Senior IT Executives When They Just Changed Jobs - 10 Ways to Engage IT Executives when they change jobs.

When a top decision maker changes jobs it is usually a strong signal to engage this person in a business conversation because your chances of success are that much higher. The reasons are simple:

Change is in the air. New executives tend to audit what they’ve inherited, and as they are charting their course going forward they tend to be more open to contacts with trusted advisors.

Strong personal relationships are disrupted. Pre-existing vendor client relationships are not as strong, and the time around appointments/promotions are some of the best entry points into a new account

Blind spot for other salespeople. The news and hence new contact details (emails, phone numbers) have not yet percolated throughout all sales lists and contact databases therefore the amount of inbound email and phone solicitations are not as large.

Personal ego. Most likely they were hired with a mandate to change things around, they want to make a name for themselves therefore they are likely to do something new.

Here is list of top 10 action items you could use to fully leverage the insights about career changes of IT executives:

1.      Email – send a congratulatory email to the IT executive who was recently promoted or newly appointed.





2.      Phone call – just pick the phone and call to congratulate the person on the career move. The script could be along the lines: “I’ve noticed in the news the announcement of your recent promotion and just wanted to tell you how happy we are to hear about your success…”



3.      Event – you can invite them to an industry event your are sponsoring or speaking at: Gartner, InterOp, Evanta, ComputerWeek or others.




4.      Webinar – invite then to a webinar you are hosting. The invitation could be along the lines: “John, we’ve noticed you recently assumed an important role at the company and we hope you will join your peers at the webinar we hosting on a topic that would be certainly important in your IT strategy”.



5.      Gift – send a gift. It could be as little as a classy business card holder with personal note, or as large as a bottle of wine. Be mindful that what you say in the gift card could be more important than the gift itself.





6.      Peer feedback – invite your current client who is a peer to the newly appointed executive to reach out and congratulate them on your behalf.





7.      Letter – with so many filters, from personal assistants to email filters, it is difficult to get through. Try sending a personal hand written note, it will surely stand out and more likely to get noticed.



8.      Face-to-face – invite them to a face-to-face meeting. Depending on the stature at the firm it could be as informal as a coffee (“I am in town meeting clients and would like to touch base with you on your IT strategy going forward.”) or as serious as a steak dinner.



9.      Appointment – ask for an appointment in a smart way: “Mary, I’d like to congratulate on your recent appointment. As you may know, a number of companies similar to your are our clients and we’ve done truly impactful solutions for them in the field of _____ which, no doubt, would be one of your focus areas going forward. Would you have 10min next week for a brief phone call? I am available on…”


10.  White paper – send them a white paper that is relevant referencing their new role, current mandate, previous positions, etc.

This is an excerpt from a whitepaper “Introduction to Sales Trigger Events”. You can download your free copy here.


Sales Trigger Events

IT Executives On The Move: New CIOs at General Motors, Domino’s, Comcast and others.








Below is the list of CIOs, CTOs and other Senior IT Executives who recently changed jobs:

Top 6 Sources of Updates When CIOs and CTOs Changes Jobs. - 6 sources of leads

So by now we’ve established that information regarding career changes among CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives could be valuable and actionable for us as it helps engage these senior IT decision makers when they are most likely to respond.

Now where should we go to find these updates? There is no shortage of public and private sources to uncover these insights. The top 6 are:

1. LinkedIn updates - How to generate leads with LinkedIn updates

By keeping track of companies and executives on LinkedIn you can receive alerts similar to the one above on when your potential clients update their LinkedIn profiles. That’s the best time to reach out to them.

LinkedIn is one of the best sources of updates for technology companies looking to reach out to engage CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives. Almost purely business-focused in nature it has relatively more/better information relevant to B2B lead generation. At the same time, as content is purely user-generated, the two main issues are: 1) latency of updates and 2) executives who want to keep out of the public eye don’t self publish.

2. Facebook updates - How to generate leads with Facebook updates

Facebook has traditionally not been the best place to conduct business, especially B2B, however recently more and more companies are figuring out how to make Facebook work for them. This comes with a virtual explosion of information they disclose on their Facebook pages, including updates on their executive appointments and promotions. A simple search even if done periodically, can produce substantial volume of high-quality leads.

3. Company Announcements - How to Generate Leads from Company Announcements

Every corporate page has a “News” section. This is the prime location for announcements on organizational changes, restructurings, new appointments and promotions of top executives. The best aspect of this is the fact that these updates are always timely – there is very little time lag. The problems are: 1) only senior executives get featured and 2) private companies tend not to disclose management changes.

4. Press Releases - how to generate leads from press releases

Sometimes, but not always, press releases pushed through BusinessWire or Newswire are identical to the ones found on corporate websites. It pays therefore to monitor distributors of press releases as they provide the bulk of management updates. A simple RSS reader, your team of interns or, potentially, your PR agency can do the job.

5. Twitter updates - How to generate leads with Twitter updates

Twitter has recently become the communication tool of choice and the richness and abundance of insight on Twitter is unparalleled.  Certainly, there is a lot of dust you have to sift through to find gold nuggets but there is no shortage of them on Twitter. There is a number of tools out there to search for timely updates around appointments and promotions of CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives out there. Follow @CTOsOnTheMove to stay in the loop.

6. SEC Filings - How to generate leads from SEC filings

Last but no least – all public companies are required by S.E.C. to disclose Appointments and Departures of key executives, including CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives. Usually, such filings are good sources of insights into comings and goings among senior IT executives of the largest corporations.

This post is an excerpt from the whitepaper “Introduction to Sales Trigger Events” that you can download for free here.

Sales Trigger Events

How to convert prospects from “I am just looking” mode into “do you take cash or credit card” mode?

Below you will learn how to use an easy 5 step process to convert occasional visitors into paying clients…. But first let me tell you a story:

About six months back I was crying on my friend’s shoulder:

“… I have an awesome product, I explain at length what it does for the prospects who come to my website searching for this very solution… and NO ONE bought anything today… What gives?!”

The crisis was existential and it made me question my product, the value of my work, my abilities as a marketer and a salesperson… it was so bad in fact that I could barely look at myself in the mirror.

My friend is an online marketer who, luckily, happens to know a thing or two about the industry. He sent me a link to a whitepaper from HubSpot that said:

“ 50%+ of qualified prospects are not ready to buy on their first visit.”

This statement hit me in a way so profound that I had to sit for a while. My buddy then unpacked it for me:

When prospective clients don’t buy that does not mean that they:

  1. Will never become your clients
  2. Are not compelled by your value proposition
  3. Do not have a need for your product/service

What’s going on here is really just a mismatch of perceptions. If you are a hammer everything seems like a nail to you. If you are a marketer/salesperson everyone seems like a qualified prospect with a “my hair is on fire”-type urgent need and a checkbook (bottom of the funnel).

At the same time, the reality is that most of the people are actually in another mode: “…I came across your stuff, it looks mildly interesting and I might use this at some point” (top of the funnel).

The real danger here is that if the salesperson doesn’t recognize this mismatch and adjusts messaging, offers, expectations – the communication will break down because both parties will be acting out of their divergent positions.

To put this in another terms: imagine for a second a guy walking into a bar, approaching the first girl he sees, dropping on his knee and popping a little black box out of his pocket. After the first “no”, not be deterred, he moves to the next one… How many “yes” replies you think he’ll get?

Yet this is exactly how a lot of salespeople – me included – oftentimes behave. What do you think is the ROI of such efforts? Zero? No, the ROI if such efforts is actually negative because not only the goal of closing the sale wasn’t accomplished, now all prospective buyers are alienated making any future sales all but impossible.

So now we know what NOT to do. Great. So what SHOULD we do? I am glad you asked…

Step 1 – Stop selling.

You didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Treat your first contact – a visitor who came to your website and left a name and an email, someone clicked on your ad, “liked” your product on Facebook, sent a cold email, etc. – not as a selling opportunity, but as an opportunity to establish enough trust so that to earn a chance for the 2nd contact… and a 3rd … and a 5th … you get the idea that we are going for a long haul here.

Now how you do that? Simply give them what they want and fast – a response, a whitepaper, a link – and then give them MORE.

Step 2 Provide value.


“I saw you downloaded our whitepaper. I am the VP of Business Development here and want to talk to you for 15 min about our product. What time next Tuesday is good for you?”


“I saw you downloaded our whitepaper on offshore customer support centers. I hope you found it useful – especially since I saw that you expanding your product lines recently.  As you may know, Acme Inc just went through a similar transformation and their three biggest challenges were…”

Step 3 Ask questions.

The reason to ask questions is to find out where exactly in the sales funnel they are so that you can tailor your communication, your offers, and your activities accordingly. By now you’ve built enough credibility and trust that this step should come naturally.

Step 4 Ask for small commitments.

So now we know to give MUCH more than we ask, however we still need to ask for small commitments from our prospects along the way. The point here is that by leveraging the principle of reciprocity (people are hard wired to give back) you gently walk the prospect down the funnel. Here are some of the examples of such commitments:


E.g.: Would you take 3 minutes out of your day to talk to your peer who is our current client?


E.g.: What is your budgeting cycle? Who needs to review/approve? What are your key initiatives for the next 12 months?


E.g.: Would you introduce us to your head of procurement?

Step 5 Calling in favors.

Closing the sale – this is the easiest step. By now the prospect received so much value out of this relationship, grew to trust you as an expert and an always-there friend, that this “ask” is not only not weird, but actually natural and expected.

It is all about sequence (give before ask) and amplification (give WAY MORE than ask).

Sales Trigger Events

How to Use Different Types of Sales Triggers to Boost Sales.

Now, there are two types of sales triggers: general and specific.

As we discussed previously, trigger events is about a certain change in the status quo that brings about a sales opportunity. From that change perspective, here is a descriptive, yet not exhaustive list:

–          Financial Change

  • Positive/negative earnings
  • Capital raise, funding, IPO
  • Bankruptcy

–          Personnel Change

  • Appointment/promotion of key executives
  • Job postings

–          Legislative Change

  • SOPA
  • SarBox

–          Growth

  • Expansion/ new locations
  • Patent filing
  • New product launches

Specific trigger events are only relevant to a certain industry or company. For example:

–          Engagement ring purchases are excellent sales triggers for wedding planners.

–          Issuance of building permits is a good trigger for construction companies and builders.

–          Hacker attacks are awesome trigger events for IT security companies.

–          Corporate debt downgrades are good triggers for turnaround consultancies and bankruptcy lawyers.

–          Etc., etc., etc.

Now to make this relevant, think hard what itch your product or service is helping scratch and, more importantly, what precursor events need to happen to for the itch to appear and – very important point – for your prospective client to become aware of the itch.

This point is paramount – for example, a hacker attack may go unnoticed and hence the prospective client may be unaware that they need to upgrade their IT security.

Now, go ahead and:

  1.  Make a list of conditions or events that need to be present for your prospective clients to realize they have a need for the benefit that your product/service delivers.
  2. Find sources, public or private, of this trigger event information. This can be Google Alerts, Factiva, various trade publications – both print and online.
  3. For extra bonus: think how you can introduce the trigger event into your prospects mind, so that you actively drive the process instead of reacting to outside events.

This last point begs an example: HubSpot, an inbound marketing company, recently introduced a free tool called WebSiteGrader that grades any website on parameters like SEO, social media, information architecture, etc. – you might have guessed that these are some of the services that HubSpot is selling.

The when you grade your site and find where you are lacking, it is only natural that you’d turn to HubSpot to fix your issues – a brilliant tool that creates sales triggers – realization that the website is lacking – out of thin air. Beautifully done.

You can find more on how to leverage sales trigger events – specifically, management changes – for technology sales at Further, you can sign up for the limited, free version and paid, full version of the service at

Sales Trigger Events