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Beware The Challenger: a model that looks great and is not for everyone

By Joe Schum / August 17, 2021 / 0 Comments

The Challenger sales rep.  It just exudes images of Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed in a beautiful suit, wielding an iPad and a broadsword, ready to engage his inner Closer the Barbarian upon some unsuspecting Star Trek redshirt procurement officer, otherwise known as…the client.  Redshirt won’t even know what hit him. Sexy right?  Full of revenue-gathering testosterone.  And very “me” oriented.  An individual contributor’s dream state, later riding off on the armoured horse to fight another day.  Into the sunset of course . Let me be clear, this is NOT an article chastising the challenger model.  I have participated in Challenger training,…

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Pez People

By Joe Schum / July 27, 2021 / 0 Comments

“We can’t just be product people!” Shouted my spouse, an accomplished sales professional exasperated by a client’s tired approach to seeking relevance regarding a particular product that was being promoted. Fortunately and unfortunately, her office is right next to mine so she’s bombarded by my presence and passion for better connection and conversation between people, especially between sales professionals and their clients and prospects.  Send her your love, she’s resilient. I affectionately call those in the sales profession, who are convinced that they are the reincarnation of their company’s website, Pez People.  Remember Pez?  Funny, comical dispensers of identically shaped…

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Cousin Izzit

By Joe Schum / July 12, 2021 / 2 Comments

Cousin It, diminutive member of Addams Family fame, had an IQ of 320 and talked at approximately the same pace in miles per hour!  His genius was lost on all but his closest family members.  What was he saying? None of us knows, and it’s my guess that he talked fast because he was asking the questions and also giving us the answers.   The most decelerating question you can ask is the one that immediately follows a powerful question.  So many of us do it.   We land really great questions that begin with What, How and Why and then immediately…

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Revealing Our Inmost Selves, Or Lessons in Vulnerability from Beneath the Planet of the Apes

By Joe Schum / June 8, 2021 / 0 Comments

Remember the dystopian sci-fi classic movie “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”?  If you were born in the 60s or 70s, especially if you were a guy, and it was scheduled, it was THE movie to watch on a Saturday night before you had the freedom of a driver’s license and $5 in your pocket (adjusted for deflation). The first movie sequel features a really creepy scene in which the human population who escapes the inversion of the food chain are locked underground, evolving from a life exposed to, well, nuclear exposure, that develops their minds into wireless Cray computers,…

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Dad, When Do We Get There?

By Joe Schum / May 14, 2021 / 0 Comments

“Dad! When do we get there?!?!”   “Stop asking me!  We will get there when we get there!”  That’s what my Dad used to say to us, sequestered in the back seat of an unairconditioned family truckster heading to Grandma’s Florida retreat.  We wanted answers and didn’t know where else to go for them. There was a map, folded in a variety of permutations, and a clock on the dashboard that, if it still worked and you were past the seventh grade, gave you the knowledge to combine those two tools into a reasonable idea of just “how long?” Now where…

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The Godfather of Coaching

By Joe Schum / April 26, 2021 / 0 Comments

The Godfather, iconic and critically acclaimed for many reasons, is considered one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. It was the highest grossing film of 1972, winning a record five Golden Globes (not to be surpassed until 2017), three Academy Awards, and surprisingly, not one for coaching.  Well, that’s a miss in my book!  Now I’m often accused of seeing coachable moments everywhere, so, yes, I actually found a coaching moment in this film.  In the opening scene, a man, an undertaker by trade, narrates a story of woe.  His daughter has been beaten by two…

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What Do George Costanza, Stephen King and I Have In Common?

By Joe Schum / March 18, 2021 / 2 Comments

Goals, goals, goals. So much is written about them.  Setting them. Pursuing them.  Attaining them.  Not attaining them. This is not one of those blogs.  Sort of… Present day living is challenging.  Things happen fast and what to do next is always on our minds.  We don’t want to make a mistake, get disrupted from whatever we’re pursuing. We stay the course, stick to our plan, and whether it’s right or wrong, let the chips fall where they may.  This is going to happen no matter what!   The result is often the difference between companies and businesses that live to…

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“But I’m Not Even Supposed To Be Here!”

By Joe Schum / February 26, 2021 / 0 Comments

“I never really planned on going into sales.” Does anyone?  Well, does most anyone?   It amazes me how many times I hear this from people, especially emerging sales professionals, though also more seasoned ones at times.  Not many of us “went to school” for sales.  We didn’t come out of higher education with a degree in sales.   Very recently two different clients said these exact words to me.  In both cases I was curious and very amused because both individuals have shown up big as newbies to this honorable path. And continuing with the curious side of this, it really…

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Aaron Rodgers Is Here Right Now

By Joe Schum / January 28, 2021 / 0 Comments
Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers runs off Lambeau Field into the tunnel amid a standing ovation.

“I’m always just trying to stay present, especially this year as much as anything, and enjoy the moments.” So said Aaron Rodgers, vaunted signal caller for the Green Bay Packers. 

Rodgers was responding to questions about whether or not he will see another championship in his career, given his age and the nature of professional football. He went on to say “My future is a beautiful mystery, I think. The present is such a gift to be able to stay in the moment and to have gratitude for being in this situation again and being with the guys and having fans in our stadium and maybe snow in an NFC Championship Game.“

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Death of the Sales(wo)man’s Reputation

By Joe Schum / January 12, 2021 / 0 Comments

“As soon as the gold in the casket rings; the rescued soul to heaven springs.” What could be the very first formal pitch from the first example of the “bad salesman.”  His name: Johann Tetzel (1519 AD).  His job: raising money to assist Pope Julius II in building St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  Johann, aka John, was very good at his job. His weapon?  Fear.  His leverage? Donate to the church, assist in building this cathedral, avoid hell.  And…you didn’t really have to repent!  Your donation. without copping to anything, released some relative from purgatory sending them upward, into the…

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