Why does my Sales Coaching get mentioned in the same breath as the Mona Lisa?

Ever wonder what the rest of the Mona Lisa looks like? Or why it’s the most famous painting in the world?

Welcome to Friday, and the technical start of Winter here where I’m currently living.
Last week’s focus on sales was well received, so this week we come back for more:

  1. Blackboard Fridays Episode #11 further explores the Sales Hourglass framework for higher sales conversion rates 
  2. My Sales Retreat Coaching Case Study details how I helped a new professional services partner grow from $0 to $1M ARR in less than 12 months
  3. Your AI Tool of the Week steps outside the frame a little … and then a lot!

1. Blackboard Fridays Episode #11

Last week we started the Sales section of the Blackboard Fridays collection by introducing the Sales Hourglass, as a superior approach (in terms of helping you increase revenue) to the Pipeline and Funnel conversations of olden day sales training.

(And thank you to all of those who immediately clicked ‘Forward’ and sent this email to their sales team.)

This week we apply one aspect of the Hourglass: where your customer journey is failing from Contact to Client.

Your business already has clients. You are already doing some of this work. But what if you did it better?

You can’t win them all (unless you’re too cheap). But you can win more, and win them faster.

Find out how by clicking here to watch this week’s video or read the article.

2. A Sales Coaching Case Study – Finding the Next $Million in Professional Services Work

Most founders start a business because you’re great at what you do, not because you’re an expert in sales. The same is certainly true when it comes to Associate and Partner promotions in professional services firms.

So when Alejandro was promoted, his Partners trusted him to deliver awesome work and build a strong team. But they knew his practice would thrive or dive based on one extra skill: Sales.

Thankfully, they had awareness from their experience. Several years ago they invited me into their firm to build the Lead Generation & Sales System. When Alejandro was promoted, my Sales Coaching came at the same time as his brand new business cards.

Less than a year later, from a standing start his team have an annual run rate over $1 million.

Here’s what we did, and how you can do the same.

3. Adobe Firefly – Now in Photoshop to Expand Your Horizons

Photoshop AU$51.99/mth | Adobe Suite from AU$121.99/month

The Pitch: “From wildest dream to amazing image in seconds flat.
After 30 years of computing I consider myself a master of … Microsoft Paint. Adobe Photoshop? Not so much, because I’ve always engaged the experts for nuanced design at that level.

And even with Generative AI, that probably won’t change for my business. If you’re not already using Photoshop (or similar tools), then AI isn’t yet going to turn you into a graphic design master. HOWEVER…

…understanding what is possible from your team means you can brief them better, and also hold them to a higher standard. In the Image world, Generative AI can:

  • Turn text or sketches into a first draft (like ChatGPT does for a blog post)
  • Rapidly adjust existing images, for example turning a Summer scene into a Winter wonderland
  • Identify image components, and intelligently adjust – one photographer I work with says his image enhancement time has already been cut in half with AI software that knows what he wants and does it automatically. Imagine the impact on his profit margin…
  • Generative Fill – allowing you to seamlessly add or replace backgrounds, colours, design choices, and elements … like replacing the old company logo on your shirt, or the old team member standing next to you!

This Generative Fill technology has inspired a few people to think outside the box. Or more specifically, to ask Photoshop Firefly to fill the space outside the frame of some famous photos, including the Mona Lisa.

Here’s (a younger) me with La Gioconda – she’s smaller than you think.

And here is what Firefly saw as her much grander surroundings. Remember that Leonardo da Vinci took at least 3 years to paint the original, versus this extension made in in seconds.

Click here to see a gallery of more, from Michelangelo to Van Gogh to (and this one did NOT work very well, for obvious reasons) Hieronymus Bosch.

Bonus Fact: We take for granted today that the Mona Lisa is world famous, the most priceless art in priceless art history. But that fame doesn’t date back to Leonardo completing the work in 1506 … it dates back to 1911, when Vincenzo Peruggia stole the painting and slowly smuggled it back to Italy over the next three years, before being caught.

The heist of the century made the Mona Lisa a household name.

And you thought Generative AI was theft?

With love,

Jacob Aldridge
International Business Advisor

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