Book Review: The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

I picked this book up on a recommendation by a colleague with the promise, yet again, that this book is a “can’t miss.”

I’ll be upfront…this is a good book. There were a lot of good ideas here that I can use and some great tips on how to find salespeople, stand out at tradeshows, etc. My main problem…and it’s a ridiculous one…is how, well, cruel he is. Holmes repeatedly discusses how you need to have “pig-headed discipline” when working on your business. A valid point, absolutely. But his tactics are sketchy at best.

Holmes repeatedly mentions how you should undermine people during interviews to see how egotistical they can be, how you should use fear tactics to get customers to need your product, and so on. In the harsh world of business is this accurate? Probably. Do you need to throw out your ethics to run a company? I don’t believe so. I never want to use fear as a sales tool or tell people they aren’t good enough just to see how they react. Granted, I’m not baking cookies at interviews for candidates but there needs to be some sort of humanity. How does it look to the candidate when you say “Sorry about crushing your self-esteem during a time when you’re most vulnerable. I just wanted to see if you had the chops to be a salesperon.” If I was the person being interviewed I would probably think you’re a sociopath and not someone I wanted to work under.

My advice: Take the book for the tips, but don’t take it to heart.

Bottom Line
Time to read: 5+ subway rides

Continuing education for motivation

One of the things that I’ve decided to get back into in order to help my motivation is to take more business classes. I am fortunate in that New York offers free business courses for entrepreneurs. Last week I took a business planning basics course which was helpful but mostly a tease.

I signed up for an Entrepreneur Bootcamp in October…which sounds similar to the course that I had to drop last year due to time. Still upset about that one but here we are. I have an exit strategy for my day job of February and if I want to make that a possibility I’ve got to really really get out there. Hopefully these courses will be my springboard to getting my shit better together.

It’s never what you plan for

I followed up with Whole Foods last week checking in if they were ready to order. They are not. They said “We’re restructuring the Whole Body department and we’re still considering your line, but we aren’t ready to order yet.” So I said I would follow up again at the end of September. But it doesn’t look good, kids. Getting put off and pushed back is never a great sign…I have concerns.

It’s disheartening and I’m more disappointed in myself than in them because I relied too heavily on this account to come. And it still may, in time, but for now….for now the credit card payments are mine alone.

Regardless, I am taking this as an initiative to buckle down and get out there more often to get my name out there. Fashion’s Night Out was a bust for sales, but not for opportunity. Sometimes I feel like that’s a bullshit response to a bad show but I truly do believe that the ripples caused by appearing there will be felt long after….just hopefully not too long.

In any case, I have promised myself a rosy outlook in September…whether I like it or not.

Remember when I said “Just Ask?”

I need help getting funds together for the NYIGF in January and posted a Kickstarter project for it:
Get Us to the Gift Fair!

Even if you can’t help financially, a tweet or facebook mention would be the most helpful thing in the world. Can you help me get to the gift fair?

September State of the Union

Life is moving so fast.

Over a month ago was my last post here…what to say, what to say. August was a record low month for sales, and also the most expensive month to date. In preparation for the Whole Foods order (that still has not come), I’ve had to get my business ducks in a row which costs money, on top of a new web site design and backend upgrade. I know that August is usually a slow month for sales but it was really pitiful. Things should pick up again soon with the holiday season….

Last week I had to fly home for a family emergency. I’d rather keep that part private since it isn’t about me, but about other people. Suffice to say leaving Brooklyn for any amount of time puts me behind in work, but it’s alright. This week I will be vending at Henri Bendel’s for Fashion Night Out and I’m still in complete shock about this opportunity. Knowing how things usually go, I’m probably dreaming a little too far out there but who can say? Better to be optimistic than pessimistic I guess.

As always I have lots of ideas bumping around in my brain…two of my friends have left New York this week permanently and have left me at a bit of a loss in my support system. From this I began brainstorming on how to fill this void…and yes, make new friends but let’s face it, it gets harder to do so as you get older. I’ve been thinking about maybe creating a BK women entrepreneurs networking group but I need to work out the details on what I want it to do, exactly. In any case, if any of you out there would like to get this started with me, let me know.

Book reviews coming soon…