Let her fire up your event with her unforgettable stories, actionable teachings and warm delivery!
And the most important question each and every one of your team members need to be asking themselves is: “What am I doing today to move sales forward?” See the pattern here?
No matter what your product or service, everyone’s number one job is sales. Without sales, there really isn’t any reason for your company to exist.
So – what will you do today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows ahead to make sales happen? Leadership is about clarity. Perhaps it’s time you clearly defined the daily agenda. If selling isn’t at the top, profits are probably at the bottom!
In a sea of sameness, your ability to rise above the crowd and forge forward when the masses scale back can make a tremendous difference in your market position.
What you learn and do with that learning in the next twelve to twenty four months will play a huge role in determining your destiny. Like any other resolution, having the idea is the easy part. Developing the plan and following through strategically are the hard parts.
W. Edwards Deming, known to many as the ‘father of quality’ says, “There is no substitute for knowledge.”
How many courses have you and your team attended, and how many designations have you secured?
One of the most important decisions you will make this year will be how you allocate your time and recourses. How you prepare your company and team for the changes ahead will make a huge difference in your business and personal success.
In my opinion, one of your most valuable resources will be the educational and training opportunities offered by your business partners, your community and your friends. So as you refine your strategic plan, why not elevate the position of education on the list of priorities?
Unbelievable drops in the stock market, failed lending institutions and record breaking foreclosure rates are enough to make anyone scratch their heads and wonder, what’s next? After all, when Wall Street fails, what’s left for the rest of us?
The answer: opportunity - opportunity beyond your wildest dreams.
Epicurus once said, “The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory in surmounting it.” I sincerely feel we’ve all experienced substantial difficulties in our industry. I also believe we’ve all learned and will continue to learn valuable lessons - life lessons that will serve us well in the future.
Lessons such as don’t overextend; get back to basics; sharpen your tools, and stay focused.
One of the best ways to sharpen your tools and stay focused is to feed your brain the right stuff. Learning constantly keeps you out of the pools of misery and propels you forward. While all those around you seem to be drowning in despair, now is the time to rise above and simply gut it out.
Remember, if success were easy, everyone would be doing it. Keep yourself and your teams focused on the right stuff. Defy the masses and step up your learning curve. Instead of spending useless time discussing the “downs,” spend those minutes and hours attending educational events and reading great books.
Don’t wait until we’re in the thick of heated competition again before you fill your tanks. Decide now how you’re going to invest your time. Depressed and scratching your head, or optimistic and moving forward?
You’ve still got time and if you’re truly honest, you’ve also got the resources to make it happen.
But are your people the right people, and are they given the right tools and environment to thrive and excel? Peter Drucker, famous author and quality guru, noted that most organizations have deceptive and erroneous accounting systems when it comes to people.
Why? Because in most organizations, people are placed in the liability column on the balance sheet, while equipment and inventories are considered assets. Reality is that the right people are your greatest assets.
If you believe this, it’s time you took a focused look at your management style and organizational environment. Consider the following recommendations:
First, as my friend Mike Humphrey, VP of Operations at David Weekley Homes, says: “you’ve got to get the right people on the bus, in the right seats, going in the right direction. You’ve also got to get the wrong people off the bus.” Recruiting and retaining the right people isn’t easy – it takes time and money. There are lots of great folks out there. Make sure you grab and retain the best. Mediocre is a malignant virus.
Once you get the right team together, don’t forget to train them, continually. Give them the tools they need to excel. Send them to classes, seminars, and conferences. Offer them reading lists, tapes and DVDs. Keep them fresh and growing. And when you discover you’ve made a hiring mistake or someone has simply stalled and starts “stinking up the place”, be quick to act.
Next, examine your company’s and employees’ purpose. Are they in sync with one another? In other words, are your goals and objectives compatible? The individual purpose of your employees and your company are intricately and inseparably linked. Remember that people will never do for a company what they won’t do for themselves.
And lastly, employees who feel appreciated not only stay longer, they contribute more. Appreciation can be the ultimate currency in your organization. Instead of throwing dollars at problems, try showering your players with sincere appreciation. The results will blow you away.
Best wishes as you redefine your accounting systems and rethink your company culture. Help your people become the very best versions of themselves.
In today’s marketplace unfortunately, the latter seems to be happening more often than the former. Why?
Primarily because sales professionals have simply retreated into what I call the “turtle position” – hiding their heads rather than taking the risk of hearing the word “No.”
No – one of the most misunderstood words in the English language. Taken literally it can debilitate you and totally shut down your sales process. But taken with wisdom and openness, it can propel you forward.
Studies have shown that the leading cause of sales failure today is simply not asking for the sale – assuming “turtle position.” And yet, we all hear “no” abundantly more than we ever hear “yes.” So how do we break the cycle?
First, you sell yourself on all the reasons why now is the best time to be in your industry, and absolutely the best time to invest in your offerings. Whether it’s buying a car, a home, or simply updating your technology, values have never been better and the end rewards well worth the small risks of stepping out.
That’s what my mentor, Lee Evans, always told his followers. Make things happen by having a plan and then compelling events to conform to that plan. Not bad advice to remember during times of change, change, change.
Most of us have a plan, but do we have the personal components in place to help us achieve it? If not, perhaps a review of my eight factors to help you get motivated and stay the course will help.
Self Efficacy – Personal belief that you can achieve your goals. Do you really believe 100%, that you have what it takes to achieve your goals? Remember, all success begins internally.
The Right Friends and Team Members – Having a strong support system makes the journey all the more palatable and enjoyable. When your schedule gets overloaded, do you have unilateral support to help smooth out the ripples? Help your friends and team members think big picture – your success is their success.
Positive Attitude – This is the most important element in any plan. Are you excited about the challenges ahead, or are you cowering in the corner of inevitable defeat? What you think becomes your reality.
Defined Plan of Action – If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up nowhere. Your plan must be detailed, written, memorized, monitored and shared with everyone on your team. Be sure to chart your beginning points, interim journey, and definition of destination.
Organizational Skills – Your ability to organize your time and daily activities is critically important to achieving any goals. Remember: compel events to conform to plan.
Motivation – both internally and externally. Do you really want it badly enough to do whatever it takes to makes it happen? Are you willing to forego that social hour after work to stay in and make a few more follow-through calls? Are you willing to call that client you haven’t talked with in 30 or more days? Are you willing to get on that treadmill after a stressful day instead of watching some useless television program?
Get a Coach -- Hire a personal coach to help you refine and monitor your plan. Invest in your own success.& It’s amazing what an outside professional can do to compel your success.
Celebrate Often -- Don’t wait until the checks start rolling in. Reward yourself with small celebrations along the way. Nothing motivates us to stay the course like small rewards along the way.
And finally, remember: Life is for laughing, loving and living. Not for whining, worrying and working. Enjoy your journey.
What is it that turns perfectly qualified, competent achievers into lethargic, apologetic, crawlers every time a buyer says, “The guy across the street is willing to….”, or “If you guys were doing ….”, or even better, when the competitor across the street starts racking up sales at record pace.
Anyone who has ever contracted this “mental virus” knows just how debilitating it can be. The good news is that with a little preventative care, we can all stay healthy. The following is a simple four step process on how to avoid the infection and, in the process, strengthen your position.
The first step in strengthening your selling position is to clearly understand why you are offering what you are offering. What is your market niche and why have you chosen it? Are you offering certain products and services because you like them or because the market clearly indicates the need and want for them?
The second step in strengthening your selling position is to refine your presentation to involve your buyers every step of the way. Prove to them that what you have to offer is specifically designed to address their wants, concerns and challenges. Listen carefully to what your buyers are telling you and tailor your presentation to meet their particular needs and wants. Focus on the issues most important to them, not you. After all, it’s their money. Make them feel good about investing it with you. Remember: telling disengages your buyers. Your goal it to keep them engaged and connected.
The third step in strengthening your selling position is to understand what specifically differentiates you from the competition. What are you doing that is not only different from the competition, but better? In defining this, remember one clear business rule: different may not always be better, but better is always different! What really makes you better?
And finally, the fourth step in strengthening your selling position is to do a mirror check; see yourself through your buyers’ eyes. Become the buyer for a day and digest your sales presentation from their perspective. How excited are you about buying from you? Remember, before you can sell anything, you must first buy it yourself.
W. Clement Stone once said, “Each sale is contingent upon the attitude of the sales person, not the prospect.” Check your attitude. Don’t assume your company or product is wrong simply because you’re being outsold. Stop for a moment and reassess the situation. Refill your tank with value-charged information about your unique products and services. Drive a distinct wedge between you and the competition by simply creating real value.
Once you do this, your own turf will suddenly look a lot greener.
~ Benjamin Franklin
How many times have you wanted to change the world, or simply the current place you’re in? We’re all looking for ways to change things on the outside, and yet we rarely plan to change things on the inside.
As with all great accomplishments, once we change things inside ourselves the world around us magically changes in return. Learning is one of those internal changes that spur change in our environment, economy and industry.
Many of us received our primary, secondary and advanced educations in the 20th century and have yet to take the time or initiative to educate ourselves according to today’s standards. Here we are smack dab in the center of the 21st century with outdated 20th century thoughts and processes. Perhaps it’s time we did something about it.
One of the best ways to update yourself and your team on today’s standards is to attend classes and seminars continually. I know, you’re too busy and you don’t have it in the budget. Well, change the budget and change your plan. Change your focus and watch what happens. I’m not trying to be facetious, I’m being realistic. Here we are – less than 6 months away from the end of another year. So if not now, when? 2011? By then, you’ll be another decade behind.
As an avid learner, participant and speaker at numerous conferences around the world, I am constantly amazed at the plethora of great ideas shared. Whether speaking or participating in the audience, I try to walk away from each venue with at least one new idea to help me drive business.
Recently, I walked away with two.
The first great idea was shared by Al Trellis, phenomenal speaker and business consultant with Home Builders Network. Al’s idea: assign someone in your business whose primary responsibility is to drive business each and every day. Job Number One.
Now that sounds simple, but when you think about it, it’s pretty complex. After all, who’s responsible for that in your business? Are they aware of this priority responsibility, and are they delivering results? I think if we’re all honest with ourselves, we’ve completely overlooked this important business function. We spend most of our time treading water.
It was a real wake-up call for me and I am going to get back to the basics of this dynamic business strategy. In my company, this is my responsibility.
The second great idea came from my friend and colleague, Tom Stephani. His idea: always look for the pony.
This one really slammed me! If you’re like me, I had no idea what he was talking about until he shared the story.
The story is about a father who had twin sons, one an eternal optimist and the other an eternal pessimist. One day he decided to test their attitudes so filled their favorite play space with a deep layer of horse manure.
The first son upon discovering the situation immediately started wailing and complaining about the foul smell, the disgusting appearance and totally obnoxious situation. Disgusted, he threw up his hands and stormed off. The second son immediately ran out to the barn, grabbed the largest shovel he could find, and immediately started shoveling the disgusting manure with vigor and excitement.
When the father saw this happening, he immediately asked him, “Son, why are you so excited about shoveling horse manure?” His son excitedly replied, “Dad, where there’s this much horse manure, there’s bound to be a pony somewhere!”
I love it. We’re all reminded of the perceived manure covered conditions of the market these days. What we’re not reminded of are the treasures beneath the surface. I think it’s time we adjusted our vision.
It’s two o’clock in the afternoon and you’re completely caught up with your professional chores and business checklist. No new business is knocking down your door and you’ve made more than 25 potential sales calls each day.
So what do you do to fill your mind and time productively? Surf the internet or play solitaire? No – absolutely not.
You get back to the basics of filling your mind with new, useful resources and information. You start reading again – books, periodicals, newsletters, manuals. When you do, you’ll be amazed at the refreshing results.
I am an avid reader of books of all types, and regardless of what type of book I read, I come away with a new understanding and new outlook. Some of these include:
Each of these books are filled with great stories and lasting strategies for improving your business, regardless of economic time and fluctuating business cycles. Plus, they are all very enjoyable and enlightening.
I always recommend reading great non-business books also. They open your eyes and mind to new dimensions and help keep you fresh. Some of my favorites include:
Stop by your favorite bookstore today, or better yet, click on Amazon.com and get started. You’ll be amazed at how renewed and focused you’ll be after filling your down time with great writing and literature.