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Dear Lee, Last year I was a record setting sales rep at my company selling high tech solutions. Today I received my annual quota for the new year and was shocked to see that my account list shrunk by 10% and my quota is the highest in the company.  I am  very frustrated with this. I attempted to negotiate a reduced quota with my manager but he dismissed my request, saying that he has full confididence that I will figure it out. My quota is gigantic but my spirit is weak. Any suggestions? Down in the South -   Dear Down in the South, I am sure that you are familiar with the biblical story about the tiny frail warrior David slaying the Giant, Goliath. If Goliath had been  a man of average height - who would've noticed? Who would've cared.? Remember the bigger the challenge the greater the rewards when you overcome them. Last year when you received your annual quota... (more)

So You Want to Be a Consultant

I’ve been consulting successfully for over 20 years now. That makes me an old-timer in many folks’ perceptions. Friends and associates often come to me for advice on how to start their own consulting business – mostly around how to position themselves as an expert in the market. Here’s the advice I give: Focus. The first inclination for any new consultant is to try to ‘do it all’. After all, you’ve dabbled in a number of different aspects of your field, right? Wrong. In my experience, the best way to be successful is to focus first on a narrow set of skills and areas where you ca... (more)

Top Sales Executive to Share His Insights on Ulitzer

Lee Novak, one of the top sales executives in the country, launched his Ulitzer blog to share his experience, insights, and sales coaching tips. Lee Novak, a Sales Management Executive for 25 years, uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high-performance groups but also that do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Novak publishes his Ulitzer blog posts on his two topic sites: Lee Novak on Ulitzer (http://leenovak.ulitzer.com) Team Building (http://teambuilding.ulitzer.com) Sale... (more)

Coaching the Star Performer

Dear Lee, I have a tenured sales person who has a history of overachieving his sales quota for the past three years. In fact, he has been one of the top performers in the company and is excellent at closing business in competitive accounts. However, his service after the sale and his follow through is the worst on my team. Clients have complained frequently about feeling as if, he only cares about them when he is selling them something and then he disappears, doesn't return phone calls, etc. I have attempted to coach him on this deficit but quite frankly, he doesn't take critici... (more)

A Brigadier on Leadership

Gavin Bulloch  Brigadier Gavin Bulloch (British Army, Ret.) served as an infantry  officer for 36 years and was involved in counterinsurgency operations in several theaters during his service. He is a  graduate of the Army Staff College and the National Defence College. Brigadier Bulloch commanded a battalion on duties in Northern Ireland, served at NATO Headquarters on the Strategic Plans Staff, and finally served in Greece as a Defence attaché before retirement. He recently updated and revised the British Army's doctrine for counterinsurgency. Brigadier Bulloch works as a consu... (more)

Put Your Competition in the RearView Mirror

One of my first CEO clients - a leader in the early days of the Search industry - gave me a great piece of advice about the competition.  I still follow it. "If you pay too much attention to the competition - you'll always end up following them." At the time I actually think I thought he was nuts. After all, as a young idealistic marketing consultant, competitive analysis was one of those B school standards near and dear to my heart. Now, some twenty something years later, I see how brilliant he was. Companies have to think for themselves, not like their competitors. I'm not say... (more)