Mike Marchev

Nothing But Common Sense

01. Selling Skills No Comments

Image 7-10-13 at 10.22 AMYesterday my brother and I installed a light and power switch for my son’s washer/dryer system. We decided to reward ourselves with a cold pint. (This is affectionately known as “blowing the froth off a few.”)

We selected two empty stools perfectly positioned and ….. waited. I counted eight people leaning against the bar sipping their brews, and I located the bar-keep at the register fumbling with what looked like a handful of receipts. Still waiting. And waited some more. I felt a little impatience growing but I kept it to myself.

What seemed like many minutes later, the young lady slid on over and asked if we could use a beer.

The following day, (today) I spot Nancy Friedman’s blog post highlighting Cardinal Rule #1 and I thought back to yesterday’s coffee break.

===================================Cardinal Rule # 1 – People Before Paperwork

When someone walks into your place of business, or calls you while you’re working on something, drop everything for that person. Remember, paper can wait, people should not. We’ve all been abused when we go shopping and been ignored and we know how that feels. Let’s not abuse our own customers. Remember: People before paperwork.============================================

I think you can connect (or not) to this message. If your prospect or customer can still fog a mirror, pay attention.


01. Selling Skills No Comments

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 9.29.10 AMThe lovely little town of Delray Beach is situated along the pristine beaches of south Florida between the towns of Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach, 15 miles south of West Palm Beach. (That’s a lot of beaches.)

That smell wafting in the background is from Delray and it has nothing to do with tidal wash or expired sea creatures. It is coming from Old School Square where the Annual Garlic Festival is taking place. I went. I browsed. I smelled.

Between bands I found myself wandering through the many booths selling various products that up to now, you never knew you needed. From aprons to old signage on weathered drift wood, it was all there. The food booths were heavily populated and each one had a garlic fragrance that would eventually lead to an extra clothes washing when you returned home.

It was the food that drew my attention. Ice cream, lemonade, steak sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, chicken, pasta, beer and many more selections for every taste of “jones” imaginable. That’s when it hit me. I began watching the thousands of people strolling without a designated destination and each one had selected a different treat to consume. Different strokes for different folks in full technicolor.

The message here is (1) Be prepared to smell like garlic when going to a garlic festival. (2) You can’t be everything to everybody. People have different tastes, likes and dislikes. Your market is your market and should consist of people who have a taste for what you have to offer. This is the way it was in Delray on Sunday, and this is the way it will be for you for the rest of the year. The garlic pizza was not competing with the garlic ice cream. They were just targeting different tastes.

The common thread however is the lesson my dad taught me years ago when he said, “Mike, you can’t sell from an empty wagon.” The garlic dogs had to be present and available in order to sell a garlic-laden hot dog. You have to be present to offer and provide your travel services.

Now I have to run. It is time to put my clothes into the dryer.




To Sell Is Human: Attunement

TRO Column No Comments

To Sell Is Human: Attunement

Posted on January 8th, 2016 by  in Reading Between the Lines

“It was an excess of assertiveness and zeal that led to contacting customers too frequentlyExtroverts, in other words, often stumble over themselves. They can talk too much and listen too little… which can be read as pushy and drive people away.”

To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink, page 83

Chapter 4: Attunement

It has been believed for years that successful sales personnel exhibited an outgoing, people-oriented, fun, and vivacious personality. Sales pros had one thing in common, and that was the “gift-of-gab.” They could mix and mingle with anybody at a moment’s notice.

sell is human

As consumers were given access to more information and became smarter as a result of their own research, less demand was placed on the extrovert of yesterday when it came to selling. In fact, today’s successful sales professional might even border on the introvert. They talk less and listen more.

The pushy, aggressive, master of the “close” salesperson has become yesterday’s news. Slow down. Back off. Ask more meaningful questions and take the time to listen and internalize the feedback coming back at you.

That is the key today. Slow down. Stop talking. Start listening. Begin selling.







Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive monthly invitations send Mike an email with

To Sell Is Human: Pitch!

02. Customer Service Skills,TRO Column No Comments

To Sell Is Human: Pitch

Posted on January 5th, 2016 by  in Reading Between the Lines

“Research has discovered that the reason some subject email lines are more effective than others is directly related to ‘utility and/or curiosity.’”

To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink, page 167

Chapter 7: Pitch

Emails still play a very important role in many people’s lives, although the term “spam” is bandied about freely and directed towards a great percentage of incoming messages. It has become a daily routine to delete as many unwanted emails as possible in the least amount of time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may soon be over-shadowed by Delete-itis.

sell is human

In fact, many emails are important and need to be read and internalized. The accepted way to manage incoming emails is to determine as quickly as possible whether they are worth keeping or deleting. This often boils down to two main criteria when interpreting the subject line:

(1) Does it appear that this message would be useful to you personally?

(2) Is there intrigue and mystery in what is being promoted?

If this is the criteria that people use to determine whether to read or delete your emails, then it is in your best interest to begin sculpting subject lines that shout out to the reader, “What you are about to read is going to prove extremely useful to you.” Or, at the very least, “This email is going to be pretty cool.”

Creating subject lines in emails that result in more “opens” is a skill worth developing. Like any other worthwhile skill, it will take time and focus to develop.

Trust me. It will prove to be worth the effort.

To Sell Is Human: Clarity

TRO Column No Comments

“Today, they must be skilled at curating it – sorting through the massive trolls of data and presenting to others the most relevant and clarifying pieces.”

To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink, page 132 

sell is human Click on book cover to purchase your copy

Chapter 6: ClarityI hope you are beginning to see that your issues when it comes to sales are not yours alone. There appears to be massive amounts of data available to everybody regardless of the industry.

But as Mr. Pink suggests, your job has slowly morphed into one that involves more than “having all the answers.” Your job is to decide what information is pertinent to your client’s itinerary and to share that information in a way that can be easily internalized and used when the timing is right.

In addition, you must become good (better) at asking questions so that in turn, you can sift through the reams of available data, delete the dead wood and highlight that which is important. In other words, it is your job to help determine what is important and what is superfluous fluff.

Only you are in position to pull this off.





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