Compliment Sandwich

Compliment Sandwich – Have you ever had the pleasure of trying one?

SPOILER: They don’t taste good!

Compliment Sandwich, “When someone tries to ease the blow of a criticism by delivering it between two insincere compliments.”

The not so funny thing about compliment sandwiches is they were taught to managers at one time!

If you do this or know someone who does, STOP RIGHT NOW!

INSTEAD – Try these techniques:

1.) Sincerely congratulation your employee. Then frame what you would like to improve on in a way that they understand and WHY they should do it.

For example, Joe just landed another huge sale, he is due for a promotion soon, however his desk is a mess! His manager, Mike, thinks it doesn’t represent how great of an employee Joe actually is. The CEO is going to be walking around the office later in the week. Mike goes to Joe, and congratulates him on the huge sale.

OLD WAY (compliment sandwich):

Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire”

Mike: “our desk is a nuclear hazard, clean it up for the love of god.”

Mike: “Good job on the sale!”


Mike: “Wow, Joe! That is great, you are on fire!”

Joe: “Thanks Mike, it feels great”


Mike: “The CEO will be touring our offices next week, I know you’re a great jpb, although he doesn’t see what I see, every day. What do you think he might think when he sees your desk?”

Joe: ”You know what, your right, I could probably clean it up a bit”

Mike: “I think that’s a great idea.”

2.) Ask the employee what they thought they did well. Sincerely acknowledge their feedback. Add some of your own POSITIVE feedback. Now ask them what they thought they could do better. After they reply, you can add anything else that you observed.

Employees can read right through a compliment sandwich, instead be sincere and speak from the heart.

Drew Patterson, MBA


It’s In The Presentation!

Culinary Presentation

The above photo is spot on! Most people would choose the dish on the right. How much extra effort did it take to construct the one on the right?

ANSWER: Not much!

I draw three powerful lessons here:

1. Presentation is important

  • Makes your product/service seem more valuable
  • Makes your customer think highly of you
  • Makes you look credible

2. It is very easy to do – a small reorganization of the same ingredients (data) is all it takes (as you see in the photo).

  • It’s not revolutionary changes, it is small improvements that make the difference (e.g. are you starting strong?, are you passionate?, are you engaging?)!

3. First impressions do matter

  • When you hear, “That doesn’t look very good”, what are they chances they will try it?
  • Professional speakers and trainers have long asserted that people make up their minds about people they meet for the first time within two minutes (It is actually less than that according to the book, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell).

How can you step up your presentation game (client meetings, relationships, business meetings, etc.)? When was the last time you took a class or asked for feedback on the way you look, talk, and engage?

Stop being normal and start being gourmet!

(Hint: Anyone can do it!)
Drew Patterson, MBA

Shock Absorber Management 101

shock management

Essentially, shock absorbers do two things:

  1. Control the movement of springs and suspension.
  2. Keep your tires in contact with the ground so they can safely get to a destination.

The following shock absorber management principles can be applied to managers, individuals, relationships, entrepreneurs, and more:

  1. Control – Does a shock flex or is it stiff? It flexes and so should you! The overall goal of the shock is help the vehicle get to a destination. As managers we support employees on the path to get to their destination (results). Do we drive and navigate the whole way or so do we act as support? Some of the best work happens when you have a bright team know they have your full support working towards a shared vision or goal! Control without controlling.
  1. Flexible – Being open to outcome and not attached to it. Racers and managers a like know that there is no perfect race. If one lap of the race doesn’t go the way you wanted does that end the whole race? NO! Take the laps with strides, learn from your mistakes and keep going! Be flexible one lap at a time.
  1. Loose – Don’t hold on too tight. A lot of people when they get on a bicycle or motorcycle for the first time they hold on SO TIGHT! When you hold on so tight and do not let the shocks and steering do their job, all that energy gets transferred into your body and it gives you aches and pains all over your body. RELAX, LOOSEN YOUR GRIP. Everything will work out if you will let it!
  1. Proactive – Change out your shock oil (rejuvenate yourself and your team), check in with your employees, think about upcoming events and goals. If you are prepared, you maximize your chances of winning!

Drew Patterson, MBA

The guaranteed successful cold call

Who has planned a wedding before? I have recently taken on the task of doing just that. Now, for the first time in a while, I am the customer and vendors are selling to me! BOY, does it feel great! I keep hearing the word “YES” all the time. 


The great thing about calling a vendor (wedding vendor or any other kind of business- salon, restaurant, store) is that they all want YOUR business and will (usually) respond to you positively, and with enthusiasm. So, here’s an ideas: why not call them first thing in the morning before you begin your work day and your cold calls? Although you are not closing a sale, the transaction will be nonetheless a success. 


And Success breeds success!

Yes on the phone



And, if you don’t have a business or vendor to call, simply starting your day by calling someone you know will give you a similar positive start. You can try calling someone in your company or doing a role-play with a co-worker. The first yes of the day will be one of many! 


Drew Patterson, MBA

Setting The Bar

Work, school, sports, or other activities all have some sort of comparable performance metric. There is natural competition in most activities in your life. Being sales it is a constant competition. Many people want to be the “best,” the “champion,” the “great bambino,” and think second place is as good as last. Today, I want to talk about the bar. The bar could be a lap record, a grade point average, or a sales quota. The bar grows as new highs are achieved and expectations rise.

There are two strategies I would like to share that I believe truly work. The first is very simple: Practice, practice, and practice some more. Work harder than all of your competition.

The second strategy is to try doing something no one else is doing. This is risky and does not always pay off. A great example is Dick Fosbury revolutionizing the high jump by inventing a unique “back-first” technique. His use of this technique shattered records. Although this is an extreme success example, what if you learned a better more effective way of studying or training yourself? There are definitely new ways of doing things that have yet to be discovered.

Think about it, what do you spend a lot of time doing or what do you want to become better at?


Drew Patterson, MBA

Silence is Golden

You may remember me writing about the Quincy compressor I recently sold, and how it was a difficult item for which to find a buyer. During the four months it took to find the buyer, I had to do research on product specifications, lower the price, and make sure I was targeting all the key words.

When I finally did find the buyer it was not as easy of a sale as one might think. After the prospective buyer inspected the product, he explained that he needed a certain output and this particular item was a little shy of what he needed it for. After this statement, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Damn. Back to the drawing board.” But, I did not verbalize this fear. The buyer contemplated for several minutes. He finally said, “I could make this work, but it’s going to require some work and parts.” 10 minutes later, we had agreed on a fair price for the compressor.

The lesson to be learned is that silence is useful, and to not assume that a sale will not pan out. In spite of our assumptions or concerns regarding a sale, the expression “silence is golden” often does translate into a positive transaction.

Drew Patterson, MBA


A lesson from Craigslist

I sell a lot of random items on craigslist –from my own collection, or items for other people. It’s very easy to find a buyer who is willing to pay exactly I’m pricing a product if, say, the product is a high demand Ipad.

Things get trickier when the products is something like a Quincy 5 hp shop air compressor, that weighs 1,200 pounds and will require several people and a dual axel trailer to transport.

I sold both an Ipad and a Quincy compressor in the last 3 months. The Ipad took me about 2 hours total, which included: researching market price, posting, meeting the buyer, and finalizing the purchase. The Quincy took me 4 hours to research, post, and finalize the purchase with a buyer. However, I should mention it took 4 months to find that buyer!

My tips for both processes are simple: In addition to conducting research on market rates for items, taking quality photographs, and writing detailed descriptions, use the phone screening process to you benefit. During the phone screening, make sure prospective buyers are well aware of the price, what it is, how to deliver it, and current condition. In the case of the compressor, I made sure over the phone they realized how big of a car they needed to pick this thing up, the current condition, and how firm I was on the price. If they just brought their truck and not a trailer it would have never sold! The phone screening process helped weed out the prospective buyers who would have likely shown up to look at the compressor, and turned around. Both of us would have wasted out time.

Do your research, spend your time wisely, and make more sales!

Drew Patterson, MBA