Monday, December 17, 2007

The Few The Proud The Salesman

Salespeople, if you want change your may have to get this dramatic???

Monday, November 05, 2007

Leveraging Your Time

In school we learned about using a lever to move heavier objects. The longer the lever the less effort needed to accomplish a task larger than ourselves.

You’ve heard of “leveraging” your financial assets. Simply put, using the equity you have to buy more properties and increasing your net worth.

Recently I received a pod cast that talked about a trip to Bangkok, Thailand and how the business there defiantly leveraged themselves.

So how do you “leverage” yourself?

Read on, this just might surprise you and how you can adapt these ideas! …MORE…

Persuaison Basics

Missed more often than you think29 Oct 2007

It’s Thursday and I’m meeting with a CEO of a wholesale company.

“Yes we have a very experienced sales crew, many of them with over 20 years of selling in the industry.” was John’s, the CEO, response.

“If that is so, why such a challenge in getting more market share?” I asked.

“Well, here is an example. I was traveling with one of the guys last week for a couple of days and had to physically kick him under the table to get him to stop!” John responded.

“Really! But he’s one of your experienced guys! He really should know better, shouldn’t he?” I exclaimed.

This you have to follow up on, it just goes to show that experience does not mean competence! Read the rest of the article to get the whole story! Hope you don’t have one of these…MORE…….

Attitudes and Actions

I’m walking though the grocery store on a quick errand, my mind is on my own problems and some issues that have popped up. Focused on my task and own issues, I’m unaware of my mood and demeanor.

As I’m standing at the checkout, I note how the clerk is not real happy looking and customers are not engaging her.

That’s when I become aware of my own demeanor and realize I might be sending worse signals than she is!

Ever have one of those days where it’s a struggle to keep you attitude up or at least even?

Here is what we can do to change that..MORE...

Key to Persuasion II

This past week I’m meeting with Jeff, a coaching client and talking about his small business. As we discuss his week and the issues that came up, it was obvious that the tail was beginning to wag the dog once more!

Personnel issues were at the forefront and creating time and production issues for him. As the discussion continued the focus moved to longer term results and how to get them.

Here is where I asked the question;
“What is the difference between telling and leading someone?”

If you’re in sales, management, leadership or a parent, you’ll want the rest of this story…MORE..

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Key to Persuasion
The key foundational idea to all persuasion1 Oct 2007

This last week several things came to my attention that pointed to the same thing.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the most diverse occurrences converge and send a message. Have you ever had that happen?

Let’s see, 400 people at a funeral, a goal setting program, a sales call and a how not to get sued article. What could these 4 occurrences have in common for both you and me? …MORE…..

What’s your influence?
Getting to the root of persuasion24 Sep 2007

In a conversation with a business GM, Mark, that recently completed our Leadership Strategies program, an interesting conversation ensued.

“I can’t believe what I heard! This is really an eye open for me! Obviously I’ve got to make some determinations on what’s next!” he said.

As I’ve said, far too many times we make assumptions, assume everyone sees and think about the world the same as we do.

So what is it that Mark discovered and how could it affect your leadership, sales and results…MORE….

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Building Membership
Ideas on pulling members to your organization17 Sep 2007

The phone rings and Jill is on the other end. “We need a speaker for our program at Rotary.”

“Sure I can help you out. Any ideas on what the topic should be?”

“Well we’re on our membership drive and I think you know how tough it can be to get members to get out of their comfort zone and ask someone! Can you do something that will help our members to be better recruiters?”

“Jill, most of your members are business people with lots of connections, why such a challenge with new members?”

“I find that just because their in business does not mean they understand how to persuade or influence others positively or even just ask others to join!”

“Ok, I think the picture is a bit clearer. Here is what we could do to give them a couple of quick tools they could apply…MORE…..

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sopranos and Business Leaders
Maximizing the right skills in the right place10 Sep 2007

Its late evening and a long day. Red and I sit on the couch and start flicking through the channels looking for something to unwind with.

A lovely women with a high soprano voice is doing “Over the rainbow” in A cappella when another and then another lovely high soprano joins until there are five of them in perfect unison, harmony and pitch!

If you have never experienced your emotions being pulled out and the hair standing up from the exquisite sound of a high soprano, I would encourage you to put the experience on your “things to do before I go” list! This particular performance was “Celtic Woman” and featured many of the old Celtic songs that really pull you in when performed by the haunting sound of a high soprano. It’s coming live to Fargo in November.

Unfortunately this was on TV and we did not have surround sound!

The performance continues with more great sounds and fantastic music. I begin to think about what can a business learn from such a great performance?

What can we learn from a group of performers that can be applied to business today?

Here are four key ideas that any business has to apply to be successful…MORE...
Secret to getting Yes
One tool to get others going your way. 3 Sep 2007

It’s Saturday and the family is home this weekend instead of at the lake. The two teenage girls are like any teenage girls, focused on enjoying the day and doing their thing.

Kathy, the mom, had other plans as most moms’ do. There needs to be some room cleaning and some thing done around the house.

“I’m going outside to do some lawn and yard work. When your TV show is finished cleaning your rooms is next and you should be done by the time I get back in.” states Kathy.

Guess what? Yep, an hour or so later Kathy is back in the house, the girls are still at the TV, on the phone, still in pajamas and no the rooms had not been entered.

By the way, does this ever happen at work with employees or customers? How about your home?

Usually one saves the outcome till last, yet because this is an important story I’ll give you this. Kathy does get almost miraculous obedience from the girls, yet not in a conventional way. You’ll want to get the full story …MORE…
What about Papa
Questions to ask about your communications 27 Aug 2007

Sebastian is three years old and is somewhat shy when talking. As with most children learning to use language, words do not always mean the same thing to them as they may to us.

When I come in he calls “Papa” but calls his dad “Rob”. Ok, I’m your grandfather so why does he refer to me as “Papa”?

How many times have you had a conversation with others and wondered what are they really trying to say? What is being conveyed? Where did that come from?

All good questions if you are trying to improve your communications and relationships. This is where the last 4 of 9 questions comes into play and how they can make you a better listener and communicator…MORE….
Body Language and Your Awareness Aptitude
How your body speaks louder than your words 20 Aug 2007

It’s January of 1998 and President Bill Clinton is saying, “I did not….”.

In Minneapolis the phone is ringing every five minutes.

“Have you got it figured out yet? Is he lying? We know he is lying, but we need some type of proof!”

“Yes, I know he is lying, I just am not putting my finger on it yet!”

“Dr. Hogan, we have to go to press on this, can you verify it?”

Thus the conversation went that day until Dr. Hogan, body language expert, said “AH, HA, I have it!”

Major news media had asked Dr. Hogan to examine the report and indicate by body language that President Clinton was lying.

Have you ever had the sense that something just wasn’t right, yet could not put your finger on what is telling you that?

Here are the answers Dr. Hogan discovered and some ideas that could help you…MORE.
Awareness Aptitude Part II
3 questions to improve communications 13 Aug 2007

Last week’s article gave us 9 questions to provide insight into our communications aptitude. This week we’ll look at the first 3 of the 9.

Many times during my conversations with business people and others, it appears there is a recurring concept that Sales Skills are very different from Leadership or Management Skills.

Generally, after clarifying the thought processes with questioning the conclusion becomes very different. In fact, most agree that the skills and tools are the same; it is a matter of how they are applied!

Two recent examples I have recently came across that discovered this conclusion are a plant coordinator and a physician.

The plant coordinator worked with both the upper management and the production floor. He hated the idea that he was a salespeople because he did not want to be pushy. Yet, 90% of his time was trying to persuade people to take action or make changes. Hmmm, sounds like selling?

The same feelings occurred with the physician. She views her position as technical based, yet the majority of their time was spent with people. The other people being either patients or staff members. He task was usually trying to get some type of cooperation or change from them. Hmmm, sounds like selling?

Both of these examples improved their communications and ability to get cooperation by utilizing the 9 questions. Let’s start with the first 3…MORE …
Your Awareness Aptitude
9 questions to assure you truly understanding what you see and hear
6 Aug 2007

Obviously last Wednesday, August 1 got everyone’s attention when the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. We offer our condolences to those families with losses.

My daughter called me later that evening and indicated everyone was fine on their end. The son-in-law and grandson were fine. They had headed to the Twins Game that evening, stopped for some snacks, then decided to take University instead of 35W and the bridge.

Upon hearing about the bridge on the radio, they went to a parking lot with a high view and could see some of the carnage. No one is sure if they would have been by, on or past the bridge when it collapsed, but glad they made another choice.

What is really interesting is how our politicians and government leaders have now moved infrastructure repair to the front of the discussion, even over Iraq!

So what is the connection to you as a manager or a salesperson?

What is meant by “Your Awareness Aptitude”? Read on to find out ...MORE....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Getting them to call back
12 Tips on getting others to call back

Every so often we all need to have a reality check.

At a social event I ran into Rick, someone I had not seen for some time and had lost track of what he had been doing.

At lunch a few days later we were talking about sales and our approach to selling and customers. It was amazing how we used different words yet said the same thing.

Then I asked about his prospecting and how he found his better customers, much less how he got them to meet with him.

Rick indicated others had asked him to write out what he did to get prospects and customers to call him back. Of course I asked for a copy and he obliged.

Thanks to Rick I can share with you his key points that get prospects and customers to return his calls. ….MORE...
Greedy little Monkeys
Another element of all good leaders

Last week we talked about “life long learning” as a key element to all good leaders. They are always learning something.

So what do they do with this new knowledge and understanding?

Hopefully they are not like the greedy little monkeys.

You see, greedy little monkeys get caught very easily because they are curious, yet also selfish.

Let’s transport ourselves to the equatorial jungle area of Africa, South America or South East Asia. Your job is to hunt the elusive, quick climbing and evasive monkeys.

So how does the idea of a greedy little monkey come in….MORE..
Learning Leaders
One element of all successful leaders

Every day I get an email, mailing or have a conversation about Leadership.

Perhaps you do as well? Does it matter if we are a factory line worker, salesperson or manager? Could we be leaders?

One challenge seems to be defining just what is Leadership and who or what is a leader? If you have the same question, perhaps this article will give some insight.

In past articles items such as persuasion, sales, management, culture and other aspects of business have been discussed. These issues are broad and complex and certainly take more than just one article or conversation to fully understand.

It’s the same with Leadership, it is simple yet complicated, has many facets yet can be simple if given elements or points are followed.

Here is one very simple yet important element of all leaders…MORE..
Killing the Worry Bug
6 steps to get rid of stress, worry and problems

I was listening to a speaker some time ago talking about a trying time in his life.

If you can relate to bills piling up, collection calls, struggling to make things happen and only disappointment was occurring.

He went on to relate an incident where the sheriff came to the door with papers to collect a debt. With no money the sheriff went away empty handed.

The speaker went on to describe his feeling of dread and failure over the incident, and then something occurred to him that changed his view, his thinking and his future!

That something put him in a different frame of mind and provided a different view of his situation. I wonder if this might not work for you….
Our thinking and choices create our independence

Susan and Tammy had been together since the first grade. Through school and high school they were in classes together as well as the sports and a few parties.

Both went to college and got their degrees in marketing together.

Susan now works for a retail company at the local mall doing her shifts on weekends and rotating holidays.

It’s July 1 and Tammy is doing some shopping for the long holiday she has planned when she sees Susan.

“Great to see you Susan, you’re looking good!”

“Thank you Tammy, what is new with you these days?” asks Susan.

“Oh the kids and I are going on a ten day tour over the 4th holiday. We’re going to follow some of the original landmarks of the Revolutionary War so the kids can get a feel for what the Fourth of July really means.” Tammy responds with a smile.

“That sounds absolutely great! How is it you can get so much time off and afford such a trip?” inquires Susan with anticipation.

“I guess it has been some time since we’ve talked. Actually I took my own Independence Day about a year ago…..MORE..
Gut Level Persuasion
Persuasion; is it a gut feeling or factual understanding?

You’re at a friend’s house party and Billy is wowing the group with his magic and mind reading demonstrations.

“How does he do that?” is what everyone is asking.

Now Billy is definitely what we would call an “entertainer”, yet there is more to his ability than just his personality!

You see, Billy is a scientist of sorts. Through observation, study and practice he has developed an understanding of people’s behaviors, thinking and joined that with scientific data.

Kevin Hogan gave us a couple of examples to test our “gut” reactions, here are some:
It takes 367 people in a room to guarantee two people will have the same birthday. How many to have a 50/50 chance? 187?
As parents we have the most influence on how our children will turn out? Yes?

So what is the right answer and how does this help us persuade, influence and sell? …..MORE..

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Are you at a disadvantage?
Using your strength strategies.

In many of my past articles there have been references to historical events as examples of how ideas and strategies can be applied in today’s world.

I find it interesting how events and behaviors from ancient times are still viable today and still occur in our society.The reality is that the human race has gained great technical knowledge, yet many of our human behaviors still remain just as they were in history.

It is because of this we can take those history lessons and help us in our strategies today.Here is one from the Greeks and Persians around 500BC. It all started…MORE….
Breakfast of Champions
3 Keys to meet your goals

Last week the article was about gaining more willpower and how to keep it going. After all I think most would agree that champions do have a great deal of will power!

So what is it that keeps the champions in the front of the pack?

What is it that each of us could be doing to be more of the champion?

But wait, we have to get up each morning, get the kids moving, get to our job, do our job, deal with the daily issues, get home and more kids, do the lawn, the laundry, cook a meal and then have the energy to get excited about our goals and being a better champion!

Let’s get real! We are bushed and exhausted!

So how do we take more control over our lives direction and be more of the champion?
Here are some thoughts…MORE…..
Unlimited Will Power
What is it, How do you get it?

Here it is Monday morning and my commitment to have an article out every Monday is in jeopardy.

Usually the mind is going all week on potential ideas and by Friday evening it’s formulated and written by Saturday and definitely by Sunday morning.For what ever reason there were too many distractions and suddenly its Monday early AM. (this ever happen to you?)

So early Monday AM the keys start to rattle because it’s a commitment to a group of people and it is a habit that I have worked to develop.

Then comes Kevin Hogan’s Coffee and his article on willpower this morning and gives me a new idea on what to give you today.If you are not getting Kevin’s Coffee I would suggest you sign on, he gives you more than enough to chew on! (link at end of article)

The question is why do we hear stories about people who come to this country, do not speak the language, have nothing with them and yet become successful and become part of the top 10%? What do they have that we do not? How can we get it? …MORE..
Thinking likeEinstein
4 Creative tools that Einstein would use

Jerry is on break and playing cards with other employees when the pad he is keeping score on continues to slip and slide around. His frustration shows and then his expression changes as though something significant has occurred.

“Be right back” he tells the rest of the group.

He returns with a small cup full of glue, but not just any glue. This is some stuff they did not know what to do with. It would stick alright, but a slight tug and it came loose and the engineers could not come up with a use for this weak glue.

A dab on the end of the score paper and it stayed put for the whole game. When they were done, a slight tug and up it came without leaving a mark.

Yep, that is the story as I have been told how one of 3M’s biggest sellers came to be. Post
It Notes® came to being from something that was considered waste and had no value.It was someone’s creativity in solving a problem that made that useless glue into billions of dollars!

Recently I purchased a book called, “How to think like Einstein” by Scott Thorpe. Here are just a few ideas you could apply to tap into your natural creativity! …MORE..
Negotiation Tactics
Insights in preparing for any negotiation

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend time with a young business man that is doing exceptionally well. Having started in the proverbial two stall garage eight years ago and now expanding his eight million dollar operation for the fifth time, he obviously knows something.

We talked about several situations he recently had involving some negotiation tactics and the results of both.

This week’s article will cover two examples of negation tactics being applied and examine why they obtained the results they did.If you want more insight into negotiations, read on ...MORE..
No One Trusts Business
6 Actions leaders can take to change it

Only 51% of the public polled indicated “trust” in business to do the right thing!

What does that say about how the public sees business today?

Now consider the fact that all these people work for a business of some type! How are they viewing their own employer?

This comes from a presentation by Mark Sanborn during a simulcast on Friday, May 11, 07.

Along with Mark were 8 other nationally recognized leaders in business, education, social reform and sports.

So what was their answer to the 51% “trust” factor? What could business leaders and individuals be doing to improve that public perception? Here are six actions they have seen work! …MORE…
You Expected What
The power of setting expectations

“Wow” says Joe as his body starts to stop shaking. “That was really a tough call for me. I knew there would be name calling and I would be the whipping post, but he really chewed me up.”

“Joe, I’ve never seen you handle anything like this the way you did tonight! You really were in control of this guy! You need to feel good about this.” Exclaimed his wife.

“Did I come across to strong at the end when the new expectations were set? I’ve just never really done that before.” Queries Joe.

“Where did that come from Joe, I wish the other side of the conversation could have been heard. Did you really did get him to agree to do what you wanted in the end?” asks his wife.

“Yes he did and now I’m going to hold him to it, just like I will with every customer from now on.” Is Joe’s confident response.

So what is it that Joe is doing differently to effectively handle the tough situations he comes up against? What has created this new confidence in his communications and position in the situation? …MORE….
Persuasion the insperational way
7 Steps to the persuasive story for selling ideas

Your favorite song comes on and you’re immediately engaged in humming or singing the lyrics. In your mind, time travel takes place and past memories take over, you’re mentally there reliving your past experiences.

Why does a song, a TV ad or a story have such sticking power for us?Perhaps you’ve heard the joke about every Country Western song having the same theme of the dog dies the wife leaves, the truck broke down and the beer is gone. Obviously more than one Country Music star or fan would indicate there is far more to it than that.

What it does demonstrate is the power of the story. Most songs tell some type of story which makes them memorable and helps us emotionally attach ourselves to them.

Do you want to be more persuasive, more influential and sell more?It has been proven again and again that top persuaders are also master story tellers!

Just think the highest paid people in our culture are musicians; story tellers!So how can you and I become these masters at story telling? …MORE…
5 Secrets to Success
5 Keys from 4 successful CEO's

In just the past week I had the pleasure of invest time with four successful CEO’s and getting their input and views on what has helped them to be successful.

Imagine getting the insight from the founder of the largest research company in the country that was built against the odds.

A man that started out expecting engineering to be his career, only to find himself running a 50 million dollar operation.

Another that really didn’t want to leave home but saw opportunity, and by growing teams has created his own opportunities.

The fourth was over a million in personal debt when he started his company a few years ago and now talks about weighing the money instead of counting it.

Suppose these men just might have something for you?I’ve taken their conversations and put the essence into five key areas for your review. Here they are…MORE…

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Changing Minds
The power of what is behind a choice

“I don’t get it!” retorts Joe!

“We had the best price both in cost and trade in, the unit was the most cost effective of the three competitors, yet we didn’t get the deal!”

“You mean after all the preparation and the long meetings we had on that deal they went with someone else?” Bill the sales manager exclaims.

“I thought we had worked out all the numbers to the penny and it was the best logical choice for that guy!

Did the competition give it away?”

“Oh no, we were actually the lowest in price and the highest in trade in! I am at a loss on how we can get them to change brands!” a rejected Joe responds.

Can you relate to the above situation?

Welcome to the club as most people can in one way or another.

Is the above scenario only relative in the sales environment? Regretfully, the answer is No!

How many of us have been involved with an employee (spouse, child, friend, sibling) that isn’t complying with our wishes?

Or how about getting a group of volunteers to buy into an idea that will advance the cause of the organization ten-fold?

Been there, right?.

We plan the presentation; we build up the benefits, and polish the idea or concept till it looks almost too good to be true!

I have done it myself more times than I care to recall!

Seems we have all been in this same scenario, what is it that we need to do differently to get past these hidden barriers? …MORE..
Ive never fired anyone before
How a leader’s beliefs can get in the way2 Apr 2007

Ever had that discussion with someone that shares a problem their experiencing, and as they describe the situation your wondering why they haven’t taken action?

From your view the solution is obvious, yet they seem unable to have the same view or conclusion.

In a recent conversation with a small yet growing business owner, there was that same experience. Ultimately the conversations lead to some awareness on his part as to how his beliefs were getting in the way of his business growth and performance.

Here is a recap of the conversation….MORE...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happiness Strategies
How a personal strategy can change your life

We have talked a great deal about various strategies in the past several articles. Is it possible to develop happiness strategies?

Ever come across a person that just always seemed to be happy even though their life seemed in the pits?

Or how about the person undergoing some type of medical crisis yet they’re the ones that cheered everyone up.

Just recently I caught an interview about a gentleman that came from poverty; left home at age 14 to live on the streets, built a business worth millions in the oil industry only to have it crash.

Then he built up a business from scratch, worth 3.5 Billion in the debt collection business. Seems he had lots of experience from the other side; the debtor side.

Then only to have a partner’s choices bring it crashing down and cause him to face a life in prison if wrongly convicted.

They even cut his mansion in half as part of his bankruptcy!

For the third time in his life he was dead broke!

All the time his life was happy and he had his wife, whom he met in high school, which kept him looking at life in a positive way.

Today he is worth millions by helping others to create happiness strategies in their lives.

Here are some of his strategies….MORE...
Getting Decisions
Two strategies to help others make a choice
19 Mar 2007

Just last week we were talking to Robert Jonas about how he gets his top 20% producers to increase their sales by some 30%!

Now some are saying, “Another sales article! Let’s get something that applies to the rest of us!”

The fact of the matter is that these two ideas or strategies do apply to anyone we are trying to get some type of decision or choice from.

It really doesn’t matter if we are in a selling situation, coaching an employee or getting a family member to make a choice. The ultimate outcome is getting a choice made.

Just this afternoon I had a discussion where a family was pushing John to make a choice. They were applying pressure in various ways to get John to make a choice the family felt he should. The results were showing up as even more resistance from John, and him wanting to go the other way!

Pushing just never seems to work, unless you want to build more resistance to your ideas.

So what can we do?

Ok, here are two ideas that...MORE...
Right Thinking Strategies
Developing the process 10 Mar 2007

Oh my god!
The time is changing this weekend, will my computer work? What about my PDA? How am I going to be able to deal with the change?

Monday will be a disaster because of this!

Switching to Daylight Savings Time is a simple change. But, just imagine how many people probably had these same fears going through their head.
Granted, if you’re in charge of a Fortune 100 Companies computer system, you may have good reason for concern.

Of course if you were in charge of that huge computer system you would have a strategy in place along with an implementation plan.

My question for you is this, if you have a plan in place, what is your strategy relating to; your career, your business, and most importantly your personal life?

If you stop and think about it, a strategy directs your thinking and view of a given situation and its solutions. Just suppose you have a great plan but no strategy, how much power has the plan lost?

What happens when the plan fails or hits walls?

I believe you can relate to this;...MORE..

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Removing Resistance
Two of the many Omega Strategies

Joe’s had a tough time getting production numbers for the month. He’s done a great job, getting plenty of prospects to listen to his presentations, yet he keeps getting the big stall. No decision is always a decision!

As he checks his email he finds a note from Business Architects regarding the teleconference that evening with Dr. Knowles on “How to Overcome Resistance.”

Joe thinks to himself, “I wonder if this guy might have some answers for me. Sure can’t hurt to listen.”

That evening Joe closes his office door and dials the phone.

As he listens to what Dr. Knowles and Harlan have to say, he gets excited. The pen in his hand is going as fast as it can to get all the information down. “Wow, this makes so much sense but I never thought of it that way before!”

What is being presented that has got Joe captivated? ...MORE...
Selling Sally
Unbelievable sales growth by reducing resistance.
24 Feb 2007

I should have thought of that!” “How did he come up with that approach!”

That was my reaction when Gary May gave a brief overview of how he took a small sales force and created sales growth that makes a fighter jet with the afterburners on seem slow.

So they take a $20,000 to $100,000 purchase and sell far more than their competitors, do it in one sales call with higher margins while closing in the 80% range!

Now this is a fairly mundane yet expensive and required product such as your company phone and switch gear. Add in a competitive market with multiple suppliers and conservative buyers in the UK.

Two years ago Gary takes the book The Psychology of Persuasion, and applies the concepts to his sales force and product. The numbers tell the rest of the story!

The numbers, taking over 70% of their market, closing 80% of the sales on the first call, closing 70% of their customer’s customers and their top people earning in the $600,000 range! These are all US currency, not UK pounds!

Interested? …..More….
Qualifying, What is it? 2-8-07
Tools to save you and your customer time

It’s Tuesday and I’m meeting with an executive for a large equipment organization. It’s an interesting conversation, as it’s indicated the sales force is very busy with customers wanting equipment, managers are even asking for more bodies to handle the volume of calls and customers. Sound like a dream?

Then the question comes, “What volume of business are they doing or how many are they closing on?”
“That’s the problem, I’m guessing the actual closing ratio is only 15-20%!” and we start wondering who is in the driver’s seat.

“What?” I ask, “I would expect 30-50% or maybe more, what is not happening here?”

“Obviously they are not qualifying the customers and are functioning as order takers and information clerks!”

The issue of effectively qualifying a customer seems to be more prevalent today in many industries. This similar conversation happens at least a couple times a month.

If this is true then let’s take a look at what this idea of qualifying is all about. ....MORE...
Sold Before you Say a Word
How preconditioning affects our choices
2 Feb 2007

It’s been one of those days; Ben has made several calls today with mixed results. One has really got him pondering what he is doing wrong. A customer decided to go with a competitor whose salesman has a questionable reputation. The competitive sales person promises a great deal, most of which he and his company rarely delivers. The product quality is ok yet not equal to Ben’s equipment.

Ben had questioned the customer about the purchase decision only to get a vague answer about feeling better about the other company despite the known reputation and pricing was not the issue.

As Ben pulls up to the coffee shop to take a break and clear his mind, he sees a salesperson from a different company, Susan, she is also taking a break and they sit down together for coffee. Ben tells his story about the lost sale and how he doesn’t understand what he did wrong or missed. Susan indicates she might have some insight as she knows the customer and some of his connections.

“You see Ben, this customer knows John at BBC and he thinks this other sales person walks on water, even though BBC has had problems with him and his promises. I bet John told your customer to trust this guy even though your customer knew about the problems BBC had been having.” Says Susan.

“That doesn’t make sense!” retorts Ben.

“You’re right” says Susan, “It is not logical, but you have to understand most people do not realize how preconditioning affects their decisions.”

(For those of you not in sales, hang on, this applies to all communications.) .....MORE...
10 Points of Persuasion
Ideas you can use today and get results from your sales and teams.

Jolene is a manager with 20 people on her team; they just received the top production and sales award from the company for the third year in a row!

Gerald, another team manger approaches: “Jolene, congratulations. I need to get some of what you have! How do you continually get this performance out of your team?”

“Thank you, Gerald, I know you always want to improve your team and I would gladly fill you in for the price of a good lunch.” Replies Jolene.

“Tomorrow, we’ll take a longer lunch at the restaurant down the block and it’s on me!” States Gerald with anticipation.

“11:30 to beat the crowd?” Is her response.

Its 11:30 and Jolene and Gerald get a booth in a quiet corner to discuss the strategies she uses to get more commitment from her team. ...MORE...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Getting the team moving
Incentives that work for the long haul!

It’s January in the North Country, as I board the plane I see some familiar faces, executives from one of my client companies.

“So where are you heading?” I ask him.
“Taking my team to Vegas for a week of golfing!”
“The whole group or just the top 20%?” I ask.
“Oh it’s wonderful, over 90% made the cut this year based on our production goals, the largest group we’ve ever taken!” (40 sales people on staff)

Apparently our training and their incentive program had a good effect!

What about your team’s performance?

Then late last week I had conversation with another client and discussed how they could set up an incentive program that would work.

During the conversation, the question arose as to whether he should spell out that the rules state the poorest perfromer gets fired as a way to put some teeth into the program.

I strongly suggested he not proceed down that path! I wanted him to look at what his real objectives and outcomes were in implementing a program.

Our discussion that followed, was very similiar to many others I have had with managers struggling with the same situation.

I have placed the recap of that conversation below.. .....More......
Big Fish or Little Fish
Managing sales quality versus quantity

Does this situation sound familiar?

Bob just made a career change from a stable salaried job with plenty of work to an independent contractor status on straight commission.

He sent me an email asking;

“How do you deal with all the ups and downs, handle the financial end when you don’t know what this month’s income is?”
Another question he had; “What about the size of the sale, should I just chase the big ones? But I feel I need to do some smaller sales too, which is better?”
Then he asked; “How do I find a balance?”

Would you say Bob is in a flux?
Or more like a pickle?
Can you relate?

Here is what I suggested to Bob: ...More....
Creating Your Own Business Culture
2 Key Basics

The big question that we get asked is,

“How do I go about changing our business culture?”

We believe in keeping it as simple as possible, even though this is not a simple process or issue. There are two very basic and core elements that every leader needs to concentrate on to change or build their business culture.

1. The first is their Vision and Mission, (yes you have heard this before, or have you?) What is it you want to be when you get there, but more importantly, who do you want to be on the way there? ....More...