Archive for March, 2011

“I wish I had MORE time!” Well, you don’t.

March 31st, 2011

I hear it again and again.  ”I wish I had more time…for family…for sales…for other career opportunities…FOR THE IMPORTANT THINGS.”  Well, you don’t.  And neither does anyone else.  One brain and 24-hours per day.  That’s it!  Here’s how to use both to ensure you live life to your maximum potential, success, and happiness…Before a week starts identify the top three “wants” you have.  Then proactively schedule specific days and times for those “wants”, turning them into non-negotiable “will haves”.  Remember, everyone gets just 24-hours per day.  And you can’t find more time, make more time, or buy more time…you can only TAKE the time that exists to do that which is most important to you.  Do it before the week starts and you ensure you get what you need.

Today, being the last day of the month, I’m planning my entire April.  Every action step…for every goal…in every area of my life is identified and proactively scheduled into my calendar as non-negotiable commitments.  I have now planned and committed to the best April possible in accordance to my predetermined goals…before April has even started.  I got what I need.  Now, the world will have to fight for what’s left!   This is the exact opposite of what most people do.  Would you like me to help you with your goals and productivity?  Do you need to stop being busy and start being productive?  Contact me. It’s how I help people just like you.

Surrender . . . Or Grow?

March 30th, 2011

This is the kind of post that you write and feel like a wuss the whole time but things need to be said and perhaps a lesson can be learned.
Back in December, I mentioned that “someone very close to me” was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I mentioned how lucky she was to have found it […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Content Strategy – Step VI: Maintenance

March 30th, 2011

This is when many people would say, “Whew! We finally got all that posted. Glad that’s over with!” But they’d be wrong. This is only the beginning.

Now comes maintenance. This involves the same three steps as creating the original content (see Step IV illustration). The purpose is to maintain relevancy, reinforce your brand identity, and provide a means to attract new viewers (and customers) while providing a reason for current customers to come back frequently.

Step 4

Create a checklist to help with the details.

Think of your content as a well-oiled sales tool. If it isn’t properly maintained and serviced on a regular basis, it becomes rusty and stops working properly.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Using the six-step content strategy process outlined here, you can develop, create, and maintain better, more effective content – creating useful, valuable marketing communications tools that will deliver a consistent, actionable message to your marketplace.

A good content strategy will help you more easily identify, create, and maintain the various marketing communications tools every company needs to be successful. A workable content strategy enables you to build, populate, and maintain a website more efficiently; build and maintain your brand identity more effectively; and develop new business more easily.

It’s never too late to start.

Attack Of The Template Brigade!

March 29th, 2011

It was the summer of ’92 and I found myself in a meeting with a “consultant”. A consultant  who would still suck even if Santa brought her mad skills for Christmas!
The worse part was everyone in the meeting understood that . . . except the consultant.
She was using every cliché in the book and quite […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

One For The Road . . .

March 29th, 2011

Before you head home today . . .
Make one more call . . .
Take an extra call “to go” and make it from the road . . .
Do that one thing you were putting off all day!
Oh, and before I forget . . .
Before you hit the road . . .
Make sure your uniform is […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

{Wedding} Erika & Jose at The Stone House

March 29th, 2011

EJ WED1

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{Portrait} Nir Felder, "The Next Big Jazz Guitarist"

March 28th, 2011
Check out photos from my shoot with Nir Felder in his Brooklyn neighborhood! Dubbed by NPR as the “Next Big Jazz Guitarist” this massively talented dude was such a pleasure to photograph! Afterwards he introduced me to the new Korean BBQ gourmet food truck in Union Square and I got to watch him play at Joe’s Pub! Not a bad day at the office!!

http://www.myspace.com/nirfelder

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The Top Ten Priorities for Sales Managers

March 28th, 2011

This is a guest post from my friend Bill Cook, SVP of Sales for CareSouth
Priority #1: Teaching, Training and Motivating Sales Staff while Riding Along with them in the Field to Ensure Quota Attainment
Working with your reps is your top priority and where 60% or more of work time should be spent. This means […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

The Problem With “Damn Good” . . .

March 27th, 2011

The Problem with “Damn Good” is that it might mislead you into thinking you don’t need to get better.
The Problem with “Damn Good” is that our focus usually shifts to the things that need polishing, which is quite cool actually, until . . .
The item that once needed polishing reaches “Damn Good” status with all […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Building Your Network BEFORE You Need It

March 26th, 2011

There are 3 areas of frustration that people convey to me with regard to their social network.
1) People seem a bit hesitant to want to chat with them in real time. Real time being a phone call, meeting for a cup of coffee etc.
2) People in their network are either hesitant or just plain non […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

The Point Of Success . . .

March 25th, 2011

I was listening to the audio version of Seth Godin’s new book Poke The Box when he said something that really hit home for me.
He went off script and talked about the many business failures he’s had and even made a reference to having to eat Mac n Cheese because of money being tight.
He brought […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

How To Profit From “Twitterbitching”!

March 21st, 2011

There is a serious opportunity that awaits the aspiring rock star, but it is easily missed because it’s easily dismissed.
Please allow me to introduce you to the fine art of “Twitterbitching”
Twitterbitching (verb) The act of complaining via Twitter. See also piss and moan, hemming and hawing, yakkin about and twittum bitcherendi
Now, just to be clear, […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

A Word To The Busy . . .

March 20th, 2011

So it’s Monday and hopefully you have a busy week ahead.
And speaking of being busy . . .
Don’t Ever Be So Busy . . .
That you forget to laugh . . . “At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”  ~Jean Houston
That you forget that there is an […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Your 90 Day Death Cycle!

March 18th, 2011

Pardon the grim topic on this fine Friday afternoon but its something we all have to be conscious of.
Now if you’ll just scroll down to the handy dandy audio player, you can enjoy this 2 minute sales tip!

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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Jedi Mastery […]
Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Content Strategy – Step V: Review, Revision, Approval

March 18th, 2011

This step is where many projects become critically bogged down. Web developers are particularly susceptible to crippling delays at this stage as clients get stuck on details such as product specifications, third party endorsements or approvals, legal concerns, and any number of copy points that can cause content approval to drag on for weeks and even months. This is often referred to in marketing circles as “death by committee.”

How can you avoid it? By planning early and thoroughly and defining a review process with reviewers, responsibilities, and timetables spelled out in advance.

A typical review process might look something like this for a general B2B marketing content project:

Step 5

A typical review process might look something like this for a general B2B marketing content project.

Initial Review
To keep a content project on track and moving, an initial review should be held as early as possible in the process to catch any basic errors and omissions. This is often handled by the project manager – in a typical B2B company, that might be the marketing director or vice president of sales and marketing who can review the content for completeness and overall accuracy.

For example:

  • Are all the required products and services included?
  • Does the overall tone and text fit with the company’s brand identity and marketing strategy?
  • Does the content align with its purpose and overall marketing goals?

The Comprehensive Review
Once the initial draft has been reviewed and revised for basic style and content corrections, the next step is to review it for specific product or service information accuracy:

  • Are all specifications correct?
  • Are all claims, guarantees, and comparisons accurate?
  • Is all contact information current and correct?

This review ensures the value of the new content – is it of compelling interest to the target audience? Does it accurately represent what it is we’re presenting to build a strong, unassailable position relative to the competition? At this point, the reviewers should no longer be concerned with style and presentation – they should be focused on accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The Final Review
At this stage, the draft has been reviewed first for correct style, tone, and overall content; then for informational accuracy (product or service specifications, competitive positioning, etc.). The final review provides one last opportunity for correcting overlooked errors, fixing typos, and double-checking contact information before final approval and sign-off. This is NOT the time to second-guess copy points, raise major questions that should have been addressed in the first round of writing and review, or consider a major change in direction or purpose.

If everyone in the review process had been informed early in the project about their responsibilities, what was needed and when, the review procedure should be able to be conducted with minimal delay.