February 7, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sales

The Leaderboard
Why good leaders ask "power questions"
Smart leaders are good conversationalists, which means they know it's better to ask questions than to talk incessantly, says business author Andrew Sobel. Your curiosity will empower the other person, allowing you to make a good impression and to learn. "When you ask thoughtful questions, you supercharge your conversations," Sobel explains. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/5)
Sales Strategies
How to guard against turnover in your sales organization
Now that your salespeople have received their year-end commission checks, some of them may start looking for new opportunities, writes John Kenney. You can minimize turnover, however, by making better hires to begin with and by using a mentoring program to get representatives up to speed, he writes. You should also use exit interviews to learn from your mistakes. "This is not for every salesperson that leaves. If the person consistently contributed to the top line, their insight is priceless," he writes. Sales Benchmark Index/Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Blog (2/4)
A better approach for inside sales reps
Too many inside sales representatives are focused on getting answers to certain questions rather than engaging in two-way conversations with prospects, writes Craig Ferrara. "When your teleprospecting team is more focused on the prospect's pains or needs, you are likely to find a higher percentage of those opportunities moving down the sales pipeline," he writes. Sales Prospecting Perspectives blog (2/5)
Daily Data Points
Americans are pessimistic about economy, poll finds
Americans feel little optimism about the economic outlook, according to a poll by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. The availability of good jobs with good pay will never return or will not return for many years, 86% of participants said. The Washington Post (2/6), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/7)
Small businesses aren't thrilled about 2013 prospects
The small-business sector holds a relatively gloomy outlook. Although layoffs have slowed, there's no rush to a hiring binge. A Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report notes "essentially no improvement in small business job growth over the past two years." However, a small-business hiring index reached -10 last month, up considerably from -27 in January 2010. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (2/6)
This Week's Sales Cartoon

On the Road
Delta plans rate increases for lounge memberships
Delta Air Lines has announced that it will raise annual rates for most lounge memberships beginning March 1. Rates for individual membership from the Silver Medallion through the Diamond Medallion tiers will rise by $50. CNBC/Road Warrior blog (2/6)
App Update
GOP lawmaker: Internet freedom should become official U.S. stance
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has proposed legislation that would make it official U.S. policy to "promote a global Internet free from government control." The chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hopes the bill will counteract international movements to regulate the Internet. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (2/5)
Making Small Talk
Titus the toddler shoots some hoops
A toddler named Titus apparently has some basketball talent. This video shows Titus pulling off a variety of shots, sinking baskets at multiple angles and even using one ball to knock another into the net. YouTube (2/6)
Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Director Business Development Marine SystemsMarotta Controls, Inc.Montville, NJ
Sales Performance ManagerAvis Budget GroupHouston Area, TX
Global Sales Development LeadFacebookMenlo Park, CA
Sales Manager (Inside Sales)Moodlerooms, Inc.Baltimore, MD
Head of Sales OperationsLiving SocialWashington, DC
VP of Sales and Business DevelopmentSmashFlyBoston, MA
Click here to view more job listings.
Good listening, above all, requires curiosity."
-- Andrew Sobel, consultant and author, as quoted at the SmartBlog on Leadership
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