Blog

Preventing Forest Fires

By Joe Schum / August 23, 2022 /

When I was a kid, there were constant, ubiquitous public service announcements (or PSAs) that admonished kids for playing with matches because of all the forest fires we could and would start given to our proclivities as, well, kids.  It ignored the part about first being in a forest which for most of us was only when we went camping with the family which, in most cases, was not in a forest. And what if there is a forest? And we can’t see if for all the trees in there??!! I digress. Back to Smokey. His message was one of…

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Walk Don’t Run

By Joe Schum / July 29, 2022 /
No Running Zone Sign

Meetings with clients are essentially back on!  Whether in person or over the phone and video, it’s happening. And if you’re like most people, you get in, cover what you want – and hopefully what the client or prospect wants – and get out.  It’s just like driving through Rhode Island. So why the hurry?  Years ago when hardware was king and one could still make money selling PC’s and peripherals at the corporate level, I had a sales leader who very successfully created new business with some very large financial companies in an extremely competitive and difficult marketplace: the…

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The Saleship Enterprise

By Joe Schum / June 30, 2022 /

Enterprise.  To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life, And new civilizations. To boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before. OK, shameless homage to one of my absolute favorite shows of all time, and totally applicable to the strangely elusive, ever confusing and hugely rewarding enterprise sale.   This moniker, the enterprise account, is widely misunderstood and misused.  Sort of like the term coaching.  Is it really an enterprise account or just a big logo where one is selling to a small corner of the “starship”?  Merriam-Webster defines Enterprise in a variety of ways.  Interestingly enough, all of…

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Chipping And Putting

By Joe Schum / May 20, 2022 /

Famed instructor, caddie, golf (and life) coach Harvey Penick, tapping into his fabulous wisdom to golf and life, said “That’s the thing about golf; outside of the USGA rule book, there are no indisputable ways the game must be learned or played.”   I gave his thought some thought recently as it applies to the game of sales.  Why do sales leaders go by the “rules”? Penick also believed that the game was best learned from the back to the front. Meaning that in and around the green was the most important part of the game and then you worked back…

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Filler Up!

By Joe Schum / May 4, 2022 /

I just spent two days with a wonderful crew of young sales professionals early in their journey.  My first onsite trip since January 2020! We spent time breaking down and building up the sales conversation, learning how to connect, the ways we make impact, and the different types of listening skills required to be truly human centric. OK, sounds awesome; so what’s the problem?  The problem is the misuse of energy when having conversations.  Wut? What I mean – quite simply – is the economy of being conversational.  Let’s get to it. Filler Language Let’s start with “filler” language as…

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Breakfast of Champions

By Joe Schum / April 15, 2022 /

While lamenting the introduction of oatmeal into my diet, I noticed that my sage wife cooked hers in the microwave without any safety precautions on the bowl to prevent it from making an exploding exit to every interior surface of the ubiquitous appliance.  I mentioned this clear oversight, stating my oatmeal creations require a sheet of clinging wrap (made of kevlar) to prevent a near nuclear holocaust each time I fearfully close my eyes and hit START when preparing this vexxing of breakfasts. “Your problem is you fight the oatmeal, trying to get it to conform to your cooking processes…

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Ray Donovan Teachs Us About Economy of Conversation

By Joe Schum / March 16, 2022 /

If you ever watched this series, you know that anti-hero title character Ray Donovan is a man of very few words.  So much so that most of the other characters in any given scene mention it to him directly.  Ray is mostly a “do-er,” he is rarely vulnerable and we only learn what he thinks when he dreams or has a memory via flashbacks. What is intriguing about his conversation trait is that other characters end up carrying on many of the conversations with themselves, often realizing what they want to do or be.  We don’t have to be Ray…

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50 First Dates

By Joe Schum / February 1, 2022 /

Remember this one?  It follows the story of Henry, (played by modern comedic savant Adam Sandler), a womanizing marine veterinarian who falls for an art teacher named Lucy (played by multigenerational screen darling Drew Barrymore and who doesn’t love Drew?). When he discovers she has amnesia and doesn’t remember him a day later, he resolves to win her over again each new day. Recently, in my coaching professional development group, we learned how to play more in our client engagements. It was fun and also demonstrated our ability to forget our clients’ need to see things in new and different…

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Halt Or My Mom Will Text

By Joe Schum / January 4, 2022 /

The photograph above is true.  The names are being revealed to protect the opportunity to shift. Background: My mother is 86!  She’s a retired educator who found her way teaching reading at the elementary school level.   For Thanksgiving this year, we decided as a family to eat out.  It started post Dad, the turkey junkie of the family, and it’s brought a new tradition to carry us forward.  “Mom, go ahead and make the reservation.”  With her iPhone 12 in plain sight, my mother, a one-time educator of the year, grabs the Yellow Pages!  How is that even possible?  Well,…

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The World’s 90 Years w/ My Father, My First Coach

By Joe Schum / December 3, 2021 /

My father would have turned 90 this October. His human form left the building seven years ago and I think about him often.  In honor of his birthday and him, I decided to finally read his doctoral dissertation.  He gave me a copy years ago and I unceremoniously shelved it.  I was aware of some of the content including its inspiration prompted by incidents and experiences I had as an unworldly third grader.  Now as a coach I was more open to the ‘what’ as much as the ‘why,’ maybe even more so. My father’s area of study was how…

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