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Panda 4.1 expected to benefit SMBs creating quality content

(Posted on Sep 28, 2014 at 01:10PM )
By Brafton Editorial
Picture Google confirmed yet another Panda update. This one’s being called 4.1, although technically it’s the 26th Panda update since the algorithm was released – and it’s expected to help small- to medium-sized businesses rank better in search results.

About 3 to 5 percent of queries are supposed to be impacted, so companies publishing useful and creative content for their target audiences might already be feeling the positive impacts of this update with more organic search traffic.

News of the update and its effects comes straight from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Pierre Far, who posted about the update on Google+ September 25, saying:

“Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm … we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher.”

Far explained that since the Panda 4 update in May, Google has discovered new signals that make it easier to identify low-quality content. Thus, smaller sites putting out good web content have a better chance of ranking well for related searches.

“This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher.” – Google’s Pierre Far

While SMBs are poised to benefit from this update if they’re using transparent white hat optimization practices, many businesses are feeling the sting of a penalty.

Earlier this week, Brafton covered an update that punished sites using private blog networks to generate links and artificially build ranking signals. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a shock –Matt Cutts said guest blogging for links was so done you could stick a fork in it.

Reposted from Brafton

Do You Want a Company of Heroes or Zeros?

(Posted on Sep 6, 2014 at 01:53PM )

Being a business owner, manager and employee in different industries over the years I have learned many things. I think the most important thing I have learned is that it all starts and is all dependent on the quality of people that you work with.

First you want people who are going to tell you “What You Need to Hear” not people who are going to tell you “What You Want to Hear?”

If you want your employees to take good care of your customers and to be creative and responsible then start by taking good care of your employees. Reward them and treat them with respect and get personally involved in tackling their issues and needs. Ensure you have outlets in place for employees to openly express their concerns without fear of retribution. Communicate what is expected of them what you are doing and how long it will take, and directly involve them in the solution.

Bottom line growth is not sustainable only top line growth is and only top line growth will get you the results that will take you where you want to go with the rewards and success that come with it.

So how can some think or where did they get the idea that they can get the best marketing, sales; service or support minds on the cheap? These people who are on the front lines day after day - Are you Business- and the ones who are going to make the difference in its success.

Saving money is something we are always looking to do but making money means that you are doing the right things to be successful and to be successful you need to have the kind of people who can get results and this means you need to “Pay for Performance.” If you want to save money save it on office supplies, Press your vendors for discounts, change your electric company but don’t think that a gift certificate for dinner or a pat on the back alone is going to recruit or retain the talent you need to drive and sustain your goals.

Were you born a business owner or senior level executive or did you have to pay your dues and earn what you have today? Did you seek out the companies that thought people with your experience and talent were a dime a dozen and didn’t want to pay what you were worth? I think not.

I stayed at the last business I worked at because they knew the value of people from management to salespeople to every worker there. I and my talented co-workers made more money than we could elsewhere and the business made even more and were consistently at the top of their region and district. Here is a business that to this day continues to prove this all out. How can this be? It is a direct result of sharing with and respecting the people who make it happen for you. It means making an investment that unlike the stock market is guaranteed to pay off. There is no complex formula here to figure out.

Do you want to attract Independent thinking people who can create value for your business? Or do you want parasitic people who are going to attach themselves to you on the cheap because they have few or no other options?

We all lose sight of things that were in front of us all the time. Open your eyes and you will find the key that will open the door to reveal who will take you to those next levels of success and beyond- Your Employees.

William Cosgrove

Sales from social media depends largely on time spent

(Posted on Jun 1, 2014 at 02:36PM )
Most people admit that they use social media in their business to “increase awareness”. Yet you can increase awareness as much as you like – unless it makes money, what’s the point? Sales are what matters to people in business, yet the way that social media works it focuses our minds on “awareness”. Being aware of a product or brand is not the same as buying it. Business owners want you to buy, not just be aware. Hence all the data about “numbers of followers” or “engagement through likes” is all tosh. It is meaningless, pandering only to our business ego. What matters in business is the profit we derive from sales. If you don’t have enough sales, you don’t generate enough profit. The hapless search for “increased awareness” or “greater traffic” alone is nonsense
Luckily, new research shows a way out of the chasing daft data. The 6th Annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report confirms that most business marketers are chasing the wrong statistics. Yet, buried within the data of this report is the answer to increasing sales using social media.

The study found that the two main reasons people used social media as part of their marketing was to “increase awareness” and “gain followers”. Both of these are easy to measure in terms of “followers” or “likes” and so these targets can provide marketers with so-called “data” which can be used to prove that their work is successful.

Bottom of the list – yes BOTTOM – was using social media to generate sales. Even though the point of being in business is to generate profit from sales, it turns out that those people doing social media marketing rated sales as the least important benefit.

But turn a page or two on and you find that the report reveals a stark difference between the majority of social media marketers and those who are actually generating leads and sales using social networks. The people making real money using social media marketing are the ones putting in the most hours of work.

It turns out that 74% of those who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are the ones making money. Yet almost two-thirds of business are spending less than 11 hours a week on social media – a quarter of what they need to do.

The figures make it clear – the more time a business spends on social media, the more likely it is to generate sales.

Most businesses are having to focus on meaningless statistics revolving around “awareness” as that provides some logic behind their investment in social media activity. But what this really reveals is that the majority of businesses are not investing anywhere near enough time and money on social media activity.

If you put more time and effort into the world of social media, you will be able to generate more sales – providing a business with a greater reason for using the social web. Rather than trying to work out how to spend less time on social media, your business ought to be considering how it can spend more time on it. The result of that, it seems, will be more sales.

By Graham Jones

Image courtesy: Statista
Including employees as part of an onsite social community can act as transparent communications ecosystem in which to collaborate, communicate and provide your employees with a platform from which they can interact with their social channels, you and your customers.

The following Infographic from The Queens University of Charlotte, Communicating in The Modern Workplace, defines a modern workplace which can be managed and fostered in a company sponsored community benefiting both your employees and company as a whole.

William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk


Fear-Based Marketing: Effective or Evil?

(Posted on Mar 8, 2014 at 11:43AM )

Fear is one of our most primal emotions, instilled from infancy. When my dad said I better stop crying or he’d give me something to cry about, do you know what I did?


I shut the hell up.

Listerine adYes, our natural instinct to avoid danger or harm is a powerful motivator and influencer of behavior. Always has been, always will be.


Not surprisingly, marketers caught on to this fact decades ago, whether they were selling financial services or personal hygiene products. And while many marketers took a respectable approach, others went straight for the gutter.


For example, in this 1932 advertorial, Listerine tried to make women feel like they would end up with a dog instead of a husband because of bad breath. (Image courtesy of Duke University Libraries)


On the other hand, you’ll probably remember this legendary and hugely influential anti-drug message, which also spawned its fair share of spoofs:


The Three Basic Steps of Fear-Based Marketing

Scientific studies have been done to evaluate various approaches to fear-based marketing, but appealing to someone’s fear typically involves three steps.


1) Present a risk or threat that arouses fear. The risk or threat has to be realistic and severe enough to motivate your audience to act. This is why you need to do your research and know your audience instead of making assumptions.


2) Show how vulnerable your audience is. If you try to scare someone with sensationalistic claims, you’re being manipulative. Instead, discuss the real consequences of not acting.


3) Explain how you can protect your audience. Convince your audience that the risk reduction or threat removal is worth the effort and cost involved with using your product or service.


This is when most marketers screw up. They revert to marketing-speak, going on and on about how wonderful their product is.

A critical part of the third step is building up your audience’s self-efficacy – the belief that they’re physically, mentally and emotionally strong enough to take action. If someone feels they can’t control their fear, they won’t act.

In other words, you’re not just selling your product as the solution. You’re empowering your audience to face and overcome their fear.

Helping People Overcome Fear to Make Positive Changes

In a previous post, I discussed the power of pain point marketing. Like pain point marketing, fear-based marketing doesn’t exploit people’s desperation. It also doesn’t have to involve a life or death situation.


Are financial advisors being evil if they warn people of the consequences of failing to save for retirement?

Is a doctor being evil by telling people that drinking one can of soda per day can dramatically increase their chance of chronic illness? True, by the way, according to a recent study.


There’s a big difference between persuasion and manipulation. Fear-based marketing can be a perfectly acceptable and ethical approach to marketing, as long as it’s based in reality, and especially when you use marketing to build trust and establish yourself or your company as an authority.


When delivered powerfully yet respectfully, fear-based marketing does more than motivate people to buy products and services. It can motivate people make positive changes in their lives.

Many people tend to bury their fears and pretend they don’t exist. They allow their emotions to cloud the cold, hard facts and refuse to admit they’re afraid of anything. A fear-based marketing message can help people accept reality and face their fears.


The Verdict

Some marketers believe any negativity is poison in marketing, and tapping into someone’s fear is the equivalent of emotional blackmail.

Unfortunately, real life isn’t all pretty flowers and rainbows. Marketing should reflect real life, complete with real fears and real problems. Imagine the sense of relief someone would feel if you empower them to overcome their fear and neutralize a genuine risk or threat.


As marketers, we’re not being evil. We’re doing our job.

by Scott McKelvey



How do you feel about your current Marketing initiatives?

(Posted on Feb 27, 2014 at 01:43PM )
I would like to step back from posting an article today to get feedback from you on how you feel about your marketing initiatives and answer questions that are important to you.

This is an opportunity for you to get questions answered and get information on how you might initiate or improve on your current marketing platform and initiatives.

 We would like to hear from you about your individual needs, concerns and problems you may be experiencing in relation to your particular business.

None of us have all the answers but our experienced staff will do its best to answer your inquiries and get you the information you need to make informed decisions.

Below are some general questions we would like you to think about and add any inquiry or comment you may have in the comment section. All inquiries made are on our secure servers and held in the strictest of confidence.

  1. How do you fell about the overall performance of your Marketing Department?
  1. Do you think there is room for improvement?
  1. What areas would improve if you could?
  1. What would you like to implement if it was cost effective for you?
I think that we might have some answers that may surprise you or you may not have thought about that can help you be more efficient and effective in a cost effective way.

'Bad Management' is Just Plain Bad for Business

(Posted on Feb 22, 2014 at 02:06PM )
Picture As promised, I am following up on my article from yesterday “Do You Want a Company of 'Heroes or Zeros?' which came about from an article that received a lot of comments entitled “The Secret to Delighting Customers? Put Employees First” That brings up problems in the workplace that we all have encountered and all need to find solutions for.

Bad Management

Bad management runs rampant in organizations.  Always be suspect when in an interview when a manager says “What goes on here stays here” or “It’s my way or the highway”.

A good manager is secure in his or her position and is someone who can encourage ideas and foster an atmosphere of openness and collaboration. An insecure manager or bad manager will not hold on to good people and many times staff does not want to go to upper management for fear of retribution. This has devastating effects on performance of the department.  

All emotions stem from insecurity and must be controlled because it has no place in a workplace setting or anywhere else for that matter. It is a disease that will eat away at and hold back any organization.

An insecure manager will isolate themselves and more often than not hold people their ideas and consequently the business back because he or she are afraid of losing their position to someone else who they feel may be seen as more qualified. If someone is in fear of losing their job to someone under any circumstance, they probably should not have gotten the job in the first place.

There are many other factors that define a bad manager. One kind of manager is the one who is inconsistent saying one thing and doing another without explaining their actions and who is arrogant in believing they are always right and makes sure everyone knows it. This type of manager is often egocentric and makes every issue about them, doesn’t listen to advice offered but ignores it before even considering it. This inhibits the staff from even mentioning any ideas they may have and leaves them feeling helpless and feeling that nothing will ever be done to improve on a bad situation.

 These managers are also often self-centered and do not support, encourage or look out for their team. The worst are mean and abusive and make people feel bad for no reason.

Then there are managers who micro-manage and refuse to delegate anything, despite what they say. This isolates them so they often don’t involve others in decisions and rarely look for ways to support or encourage the work of their team. This is often is caused by incompetence or the lack of basic communication, intellectual, or emotional skills needed to for their role.

 And the complacent manager is content with the way things are and is not open to change. They like things the way they are because they have become lazy or are afraid to rock the boat for fear that things might take a turn for the worse or jeopardize their position.

One experience I had when I was still a salesperson at a dealership where there were 24 salespeople we had a GM who we called “Little Caesar.” This title came from his short stature and dictatorial style of managing. He would hold three to four meetings a day and would rant and rave and almost every day a salesperson would end up getting fired. He would always say “Your weak, give me your plate and keys, you’re all done”

Another time The GM as the son of the owner who raced sailboats and was rarely at the dealership.  I believe this had an effect on our GSM because he spent more time outside the dealership hobnobbing with hockey players from the Boston Bruins who were spokesman for the dealership and relying on myself and my counterpart to run the daily sales operations.

I have also be part of organizations where a manager spent valuable company time in generating options as solutions to a problem but the problem was created by this same manager. Incompetent managers create more problems than they solve and then waste time to solve the same problems they created in the first place.

I have given some example here of what I have run into over the years being part of the workforce. These experiences convinced me to spend most of my working career being self-employed trying to avoid the pitfalls that bad management can inflict.

Let’s hear some of your experiences of how it has or may be affecting you and thoughts on possible solutions for this age old problem and human condition that affects the performance of so many businesses.

William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk

Features Tell But Benefits Sell

(Posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 01:33PM )

People have little interest in purchasing a bed; what they want is a good night's sleep.

Some folks would sleep on a cardboard box if it meant they’d wake up refreshed—that’s what makes it a real problem in need of a solution.

Entrepreneurs must go beyond simply building products; they have to sell what their product will allow customers to do.

If they don't, you know they’re inexperienced. Take a look at this quote from investor Dina Routhier:

The most common thing that pegs an entrepreneur as an amateur is when they come in and immediately start talking about their amazing new technology, and forget to start the discussion with, “What big problem in the market am I trying to solve?” If they don’t start with the problem, then I know they are green."

Let’s look at some examples of how benefits help sell products.

"Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!"

(Thanks, Mega Shake!)

As an armchair observer, it's all too easy to scoff at over-the-top late night infomercials. And yet, these ads are making sales, often far more than that super neat-o new web app everybody talks about but nobody wants to pay for.

In fact, the infomercial industry is still growing. It's even gone on to eclipse the TV industry itself:

Collectively, the U.S. market for infomercial products stood at $170 billion in 2009 and could exceed $250 billion by 2015. In fact, with the worth of the entire U.S. network and cable industry estimated at $97 billion as of 2013, DRTV [direct response television] is much bigger than TV itself.

Why bring this up? If there is anything that infomercials are good at, it's selling benefits. For one, they understand that people can be coaxed, not driven.

Claude C. Hopkins once said, "Prevention is not a popular subject, however much it should be." It is far easier to sell around existing desires than it is to create desire.

Infomercials might all sound the same, but they work because they sell solutions that are perpetually in demand. It’s similar to how the most successful tech startups take a problem that already exists / has always existed, and make their solution easier, faster, cheaper, or more accessible.

There's also the effective use of selling a system. "30 pounds in 30 days" is appealing because you know what you're getting. Magic diet pills use this dishonestly, but with legitimate workout programs like P90X and Insanity, the language is the same. Nobody actually wants to buy a workout program, they want abs and better conditioning in a reasonable time-frame.


What's In It For Me?

Let's step away from infomercials and observe the effectiveness of selling benefits in the "real" business world. This stuff works, sans sleaze.

Apple understood this when they released the first iPod. MP3 players were nothing new, and the technology trounced CDs. The problem was marketing; the right pitch hadn't been made to explain just how much better customers’ lives were going to be once they owned an iPod.

How do you think Apple decided to frame the magic of the iPod? Around its technical prowess, or what customers could do with it?


The message was persuasive because, in the words of Seth Godin, it was all about "Me, me, me. My favorite person: me." Gigs of data have nothing to do with me, but a pocket full of my favorite songs certainly does.

The irony is that those who most often admire Apple and Jobs—those in the startup community—tend to have the biggest problem with selling. Many a HackerNews thread is filled with vitriolic commentors who insist that he who lists the most compelling technical features wins.

This has become such a problem that Justin Jackson recently wrote a very popular article reminding software developers that they aren't "normal" in relation to their customers:

Increasing the technical challenge while creating a product does not increase the chance for more sales. This surprises us. We get an idea for a thing, think about the technology we’d use to build it, and get excited. 

“I could build this on the Twilio API!” “I could learn that new CSS framework!” “I could use this new tool I just purchased!” 

The problem is that all of this is focused on us, the creator, and not on the customer, the consumer.

There's a natural inclination for craftsman to want to talk about the craft.

But remember, customers generally won’t care about the cogs that make your product turn. What they want to know is, "What's in it for me?"

A Better Version of You

In a well-stated case for solution selling, Belle from Buffer argued that people don't buy products; they buy better versions of themselves. As Jason Fried noted:

Jason Fried

"Here's what our product can do" and "Here's what you can do with our product" sound similar, but they are completely different approaches.

As with many aspects of marketing, it all comes back to having a compelling proposition of value. This is what many miss, and it’s why you'll see ill-informed comments like this crop up from time to time:

I'm one of those developers who thinks that marketing in general is 'scummy'... I'm willing to acknowledge that there can exist marketing that is not scummy but it's hard for me to think of real world examples... I love building things that people enjoy using but I hate sales and marketing."

Apparently, you're supposed to sit in your basement and build things without ever trying to sell them to the people who need them the most.


Take a look at the homepage of a great company like Bidsketch:

It reads an awful lot like the "benefit selling" we've discussed throughout this article, but to my knowledge, you won't find founder Ruben Gamez on late night TV exclaiming, "But wait, there's more!"


The “selling” here is beneficial to me as a customer: I find out what you provide and what I can do with it without being forced to slog through details I don't need.

As an example of what not to do, I once came across a SaaS app (that wasn't made for developers) that stated in their sub-heading, “Proudly made with Ruby on Rails.”

“What's Ruby on Rails, a level from Mario Kart?” Ninety-nine percent of customers won't know and simply won't care. It’s like shoving the schematics in their face before they even have a chance to decide, "Is this what I need?"

Kudos to many bootstrapped companies, who tend to deeply understand the value of selling benefits (perhaps because they actually have to make money).

Freckle doesn't even mention the word "software" before you're reminded of your biggest problem when using time-tracking apps.

SerpIQ knows prospects will say yes to their question. Once the benefits are clear, they learn about how and why it's a faster and more accurate tool.


Features Still Matter

Obviously, letting features "tell" still matters a great deal—once you've sold a prospect on what you can do for them, the details ease their decision-making.

Take buying a car; what you need is a car spacious and safe enough for your family, but when it comes down to a split decision, you might select the one with the heated leather seats. Until the benefits are obvious, stuff like this is just eye-candy.

Features can often connect the dots and put the benefits into a greater context. There are two important ways they do this:

  • Justification: Esurance uses comparative pricing to explain why their insurance is cheaper (through features). The savings are gained from their lean operation, which was "born online." Once the benefit is sold, features are used to explain how you'll make it happen. If a hosting company says your site is totally secure (hooray!), features show you how and why that claim is a guarantee. Sell the benefits first, then highlight the great features you offer to close.
  • Differentiation: Describing your point of difference means elaborating on your features. We often tell Help Scout customers about how most help desks outsource their email parsing. Ours is in-house, which allows us to do email integration and voicemail support that others can't do (only after the "help desk headache" issue is addressed does this feature become important).

My personal persuasion hero, Claude Hopkins, has a useful tactic on how to correctly frame features and benefits:

There is one simple and right way to answer many advertising questions. Ask yourself, “Would this help a salesman sell the goods? Would it help me sell them if I met the buyer in person?”

Would you, making a sale in person, talk about the titanium frame or the nickel-cadmium alloy mix of your brake pads before addressing the benefits to a customer?


Remember that by not selling on benefits, you're doing a disservice to customers. Give them what they want by showing them why your product is that "one thing" they've been searching for.

Last but certainly not least, be wary of selling "fake benefits," or completely hiding away your features, especially when appealing to a highly technical or business audience. Features matter, and are an essential complement to the solution selling that gets prospects interested in the first place.

Written by Gregory Ciotti


Find Your Niche

(Posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 12:37PM )
Being nimble on your feet and being able to move fast has its advantages when competing in the marketplace.

This has always been the case and reasons that one business may succeed where others do not.

By finding a niche to focus your efforts on to gain exposure you can get the attention you need to show the advantage of working with your company over another.

By highlighting an advantage of your service or product to gain that attention you open up the door to form the relationships that will make it easier to communicate all that you have to offer.

Today, online marketing provides the forum in which to get your message out to more potential clients or customers than ever before. Cutting through all the noise may seem like an impossible task but persistence and creativity can make the difference in getting noticed and making those crucial contacts necessary to move forward and be successful.

However, online marketing as important as it is in today’s business plans should just be one of the tools in your quiver to get exposure and produce leads. You must also incorporate traditional approaches like getting out and talking to people and using the telephone and get up close and personal.

There is still no substitute for physical contact to get your point across to convince potential clients of the value you can offer them. If getting out and meeting people to discuss the benefits you can bring them is not one of your strong points, find someone who has the personality and experience who has these qualities.

No one person possess all the qualities needed to run a business and make it successful and those who realize and accept this will move forward at a much faster pace and be more successful.

If you are to succeed you must use every option available to you and implement them in your business plan and figure out ways to make them work for you, be willing to experiment make mistakes learn from them and you will be on your way.

In his classic book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter F. Drucker describes innovation as a delicate dance between perception and analysis. Analysis, with all its discipline, must be based on a perception of change: “This requires a willingness to say, I don’t actually know enough to analyze, but I shall find out. I’ll go out, look around, ask questions, and listen.’”

In an age of unanswerable questions, asking the right question might just be the answer.

Here is another thought to keep in mind that is good advice from a very charismatic women who you all have probably heard of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt our 32 President,  said “ Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself. “

William Cosgrove 

From The Top Down 'Where's The Beef?'

(Posted on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:40PM )
While I am travelling I thought that I would repost some of my old blogs that cover subjects that I have not touched on recently but ones that I feel strongly about.

There have been a lot of postings and discussions over how best to improve a Sales Organizations performance. I personally have written many of them.

One thing that they all have in common is the need to have the right people in the right positions and the need for Leadership.

It all starts with Leadership because a true leader will posses all the qualities needed to do the things necessary to make a business successful. Because a true leader is always striving to hit that next level of success and surrounds himself with other leaders who have the same goals.

True leaders are the people who can leave the emotion out of the equation. All emotion stems from insecurity and has no place in running a business or in life in general for that matter. Insecurity gets in the way of truly clear thinking and objectiveness which are the benchmarks of a true Leader.

And this is where we hit the first wall to climb because in my relatively short tenure working for others I have not met many totally secure people who fit the true definition of a leader.

You can have all the systems in place that are designed for success but if you don’t have true leaders it won’t matter how well the system is designed it will not function properly.

One big reason that Businesses today lack the leadership needed to build a truly successful business is the lack of compensation. This for some reason lately has become a dirty word in some circles.

All this touchy feely talk about remembering someone’s birthday, giving extra time and pats on the back in lieu of compensation is just placating the powers that be. Anyone who talks like this is either doing it so as not to upset clients or have never been in the trenches in commission sales trying to make a living-or both.

All this is good stuff but if it isn’t backed up with proper pay for performance you will never attracted the true Leaders that can get the job done.

And other members of these circles are comprised Darryl, Darryl and Darryl (For those of you who remember) who are quarterly driven publicly owned companies that will do anything for a buck for Top Line and Bottom line growth. Doing more with less for the Bottom line and ethically questionable things to grow the Top Line. We have all seen it.

Unfortunately a lot of private companies have adopted the same kind of practices to their own peril which brings me to to “WHERE’S THE BEEF”

You can have all the proven systems in place that you want if you don’t pay for performance the true Leaders will find another home in the same or different Industry. Because the real talent in sales can perform anywhere.

For example, If you think about it and have studied or have been in the automotive industry long enough the forerunner of the 4 square, the track system, came along in the late seventies, early eighties.

This system owners thought the track system would give them the ability to hire any sales clerk off the street at lower compensation and get the same results as the real talent.

This didn’t last very long and I know because I was one of the salespeople who left when they lowered commissions. In retrospect, in the early eighties, I was making much more money as a Manager “then” than is being offered today. Add the rise in cost of living and you must question the motives.

Before I went back on my own in 2010 I was making more as a salesperson at one of the few companies that believe in "pay for performance"  than most managers elsewhere without all the responsibility.

The Commission Sales Industry is a unique Industry in the fact that commissioned sales is one rung below being self-employed. There are a very limited number of truly talented professionals in management or sales who can make it happen consistently.

Give me a group of talented professionals with a pay plan that is going to draw them and I will take any system out there and make it seem like the best thing since sliced bread.

I recently wrote an article where I talked about compensation and even offered anyone interested in a "pay for performance" pay plan to e-mail me and I would gladly sent it to them.

I even gave an example of a Dealership who had this pay plan who consistently had the highest front and back end grosses in their region and district and were growing sales.

I received “0” requests.

You can argue all you want about systems and teamwork but in the end if you  don’t get off that diet your on and put the “BEEF” on the menu to attract the real talent you are doomed to high turnover and mediocrity.

William Cosgrove
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