The Other Side.

"If you're going through hell, keep going". ~ Winston Churchill.

We've all been there. A place where circumstance, conditions and challenges become too much. We want to quit and throw in the towel. To say "enough" and walk away.  ~ We just can't take it any more.

I remember having such thoughts many years ago when people were shooting at us and soldiers struggled to keep going in a land far away. I remember listening to those thoughts when my daughter called me during her first year at one of the finest colleges in the nation. With a trembling voice she said  
"Dad these kids are so smart and the stuff they are covering is so difficult, I don't think I can..."  She was sharing the innermost thought that we all have at sometime in our life.

"I don't think I can..."

But then something happens. Something simple happens in our mind - We think about the other side. We think about what it's going to be like when we get to the other side. We picture the accomplishment. The pride, satisfaction and the feeling we get when we've made it through.

We picture ourself on the other side.

We picture how proud we'll be. We picture how good it will feel. And that can keep us going. When we believe in getting to the other side others start to believe in us. We all get that feeling of "I don't think I can" but we can overcome it - If we picture what's on the other side.

When things get tough - Just picture the other side.

"I'm Not Interested"

"You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you." Dale Carnegie

We've all heard "I'm not interested" more times than we can count. Conventional wisdom says don't waste time with these people and move on to prospects who are inclined to say "I'm interested". People who are ready to buy what you have. That's Nice and Yes. Low hanging fruit or those who are ready and able to buy are the most productive prospects out there. They are the #1 category. But should we then ignore everyone who says "I'm not interested?" And don't the ones in that category also say "I'm not interested"sometimes? You bet they do. So what should we do when someone says "I'm not interested?" Well first let's look at the 4 categories of prospects in business. The categories are people who:

1. Have previously identified the need and it has a high priority.

2. Are aware of the need but it has a lower priority.

3. Are not aware of the need.

4. Deny or don't care about the need.

Naturally the gold rush is for #1 - this is where orders are taken. But don't kid yourself, even at this level "I'm not interested" is heard when the buyer has already made a choice of what they want and who they want to deal with. You may have a great offering, be the perfect option, and feel you are the best person, but still hear the dreaded words "I'm not interested". So what do you do, and more importantly NOT DO, when you hear those dastardly words? Well you don't talk about features, benefits, price, your company or why they should work with you. Just Don't Do It. First and foremost find out which stage the prospect is in (1-4). Where is their mindset? If they are in #1 great - you should certainly go after them -but at any stage the answer is the same. Become interested in them. Their business, their needs, what they care about. Listen and Learn about them. Ask Questions. Once you do this "I'm not interested" simply means "You don't know enough about what I want, need and care about. Doing business then becomes simply about a time-line. Not if but when. It becomes a listen and learn thing. It's all well and good to find lot's of people in stage one and differentiate your offering to be more valuable to them. That's good work and where orders are taken. That's productive and if you find enough of those to keep everyone happy the rest is irrelevant. But if you don't - Then discovering more, learning, listening and building relationships doesn't stop with "I'm not interested". That is when great salesmen start work and order takers go home. That is when real relationships begin. Remember "I'm not interested" simply means "You don't know enough about what I want and need. If "I'm not interested" beats us - well... It's not the prospect that's not qualified - it's us.


What People Want.

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved."

~ George MacDonald.

Ask people what they want and you get a million different answers.
But there is a common denominator. Ask an athlete. A wife. A child. Your customers. Ask any business owner and certainly ask a soldier.

Then Listen.

Ask a soldier what they miss after they've been out for a few years. Ask an athlete what they miss the most after they have left the competition. Ask a child what they miss as they move into adulthood and assume responsibilities. Ask an old timer what they truly miss.

What's the common denominator?

Soldiers call it "brotherhood". Athletes call it the "bond". Children call it "love". But what is it that we all really want?

It's someone we can trust to "Cover Our Six". Confident trust in another human being to "cover your six" is the essence of parenthood, team sports, military service and great relationships in business. Executives ask it of their employees. Customers ask it of companies. Children ask it of parents. Wives ask it of husbands. Human beings ask it of other human beings. ~ It's what people really want.

But it's rarer than diamonds.That's why it's so remarkable when you do find it. Trust is what people really want when all is said and done.

Once someone has confidence in you to "cover their six" whether it's your customer, employer, friends or family you've given them the greatest gift. You've given them something that can't be priced, commoditized or copied. It's truly unique and priceless.

So Go Ahead ~ Cover Someones Six. ~ It's what they really want.

The Apple Way.

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
" ~ Steve Jobs.

We have all seen the Apple phenomenon. The design, the approach, the marketing and the products have an aesthetic and appeal that draws admiration. The company and brand is truly remarkable.

So when my daughter decided to accept an offer to work for Apple, in finance, at their Cupertino headquarters I got to see through her eyes the reality of the Apple Experience. A picture tells a thousand words:

There's work and there's your life's work.  The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind of work that you'd never compromise on. That you'd sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don't come here to play it safe.
They come here to swim in the deep end.

They want their work to add up to something.

Something big. Something that couldn't happen anywhere else.

Welcome to Apple.

The Greatest Challenge.

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." ~ Benjamin Franklin.

All of us, at some point, will have an opportunity to lead, manage, supervise or influence. Whether it be on a team, as a coach, executive or even as a friend. We will all be presented with chances to make a difference in another persons life. That is when "The Greatest Challenge" will rear it's ugly head. That's when we have to make a decision as to how to respond. What is the greatest challenge?

Psychiatrists call it "The Self Serving Bias".

The self-serving bias is the tendency we have as individuals to take credit for our successes and blame external factors for our failures.

The self-serving bias is an attempt to protect or enhance an individual’s self-concept and in simple terms it can be explained as "not being able to get out of our own way". Sadly it appears that none of us are immune to this. Some fight harder to overcome this natural tendency that hinders growth and learning and some are completely oblivious or deny vehemently that they fall prey to it. Either way the challenge is clear to anyone who wishes to influence activities, behavior and results in business or any situation. ~ So what can we do?

There was a famous basketball coach who once said " If the coach wants to teach more than the player wants to learn nothing he does or says will matter". Indeed a unique and frustrating component of the self serving bias is the fact that when people feel that their self-concept is being threatened they will exhibit the self serving bias much more strongly. However, as in any development efforts - Until we individually accept the "self serving bias" or the fact that "we need to get out of our own way" very little can be done. This is the baseline - It's where we need to start. Address this first - get those we work with to accept, and embrace, accountability and the rest is relatively smooth sailing.

Until someone accepts the validity of a self serving bias and the fact that we each get in our own way more than anything - We end up trying to assist someone who is working against themself. As Pogo so eloquently put it. ~ "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Read the Wikipedia entry here on Self Serving Bias

Confidence & Arrogance.

"I see myself capable of arrogance... That's a fierce thing, to discover within yourself that which you despise the most in others." 
~ George Stevens.

What's the difference between confidence and arrogance? It's kind of like art - "we know it when we see it". Arrogance gets us into messes. ~ Confidence gets us out.

Centuries ago when a Roman General rode through the streets, celebrating a great military victory, he would hire a lowly slave to stand behind him in the chariot to whisper in his ear ~ "Memento Mori" ~

"Remember that you are but a man".

Arrogance forgets this. Arrogance doesn't listen. Confidence Listens. Arrogance Instructs. Confidence Inspires. Arrogance doesn't recognize the need to change or listen. Arrogance thinks he knows.

Arrogance proclaims what's right and who is wrong.

Arrogance postures and boasts, dismisses different perspectives and doesn't learn from others. Arrogance proclaims insights, creativity and being "self made". ~ Nobody is self made.

Arrogance describes himself as merely confident. But others see him for what he is. Arrogance Alienates. Confidence Allies. Arrogance Asserts. Confidence Assists. Arrogance Insists. Confidence Inquires. Confidence recognizes that others have answers and seeks them out. Confidence is Quiet. Arrogance is Loud. Confidence looks for qualities to praise in others. Arrogance looks to proclaim his own qualities.

What's the difference between Confidence & Arrogance?

One see himself as A man - The other as THE man.

Willy Loman Lesson.

"Willy Loman never made a lot of money," Linda tells her sons. "His name was never in the papers. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid!" Willy Loman - Death of a Salesman.

Willy is ashamed: He's not selling things like he used to. He hears people laughing behind his back. He's disgraced that he can't pay an insurance bill because his wife had to repair their refrigerator.He tries to hide his anxieties — and his hurts — with jokes and bluster, but his wife, Linda, has noticed that he's had a lot of driving accidents. One day, she goes into the basement, and finds a little rubber hose leading from a gas pipe...
I never really intended to make sales a career - just kind of fell into it and then before I knew it salespeople were paying attention to me. Then one day the boss said "Hey why don't you manage them?" Now I really had to learn what I was doing. Salespeople can spot bullshit a mile away so either you need to be solid to the extreme or have better sales skills than all of them if you want to have a chance in hell of influencing. I figured there were way too many good ones to try to be better - So maybe the averages would work for me if I went the solid route. The Simple - Work Harder, Be Dependable and Build Great Relationships route. That path took me all the way into the C Suite.
Willy didn't make that choice and things kind of caught up with the poor guy. He figured a smile, a story and a good shoeshine will take care of things and it does for a while. You can make a real good living with a strong work ethic, a smile, some great banter and competitive drive - But then things kind of creep up on you and you'd better have something solid to back it up when the wolves come calling. The wolves of age, responsibilities, expectations and circumstance will bite through your polished exterior into your very soul unless you have something solid to fend them off. I love Willy - See him every day. In airports, and at offices. I overhear him in conversations and snippets of stories told to lighten things up and create rapport with an endless stream of prospects. Everyone is a prospect for something aren't they? Willy Loman - I understand you. I love you for who you are - but you make me sad. Willy didn't have relationships. Willy sold products, he transacted. Willy sold stuff as best he could. Willy Loman sold stuff.
There was a time I sold like Willy and then realized I didn't want to be Willy. So what are the solid things that Willy didn't have? What are the things that you can hang on to when the commissions to every sale have been spent. When the adrenaline rush that comes with each close has passed. When the sun rises and you greet a brand new day, new month, new year - Fresh, At Zero - Again? What are the two things you need to have when the products, the pitch and the prospects are not giving you what you need? What are the two things that you need to treasure and develop that will save you from being Willy Loman? Your Relationships and Your Reputation. That's what.
And that's all you really need to not end up like Willy Loman.
Do with them what you will.

What True Leaders Do

"Example is leadership.
" ~ Albert Schweitzer.

A mentor of mine wrote a book "Where have all the leaders gone?".
He was a leader. A hero of mine said "The price of greatness is responsibility." He was a leader. A man I respect once said "Be the change you want to see in the world." He was a leader. Lot's of people talk about how to lead - very few do it. In this simple guys opinion it's because leaders talk, postulate and politic when they would be much more effective if they just "Lead". Leadership is action. Leadership is what a person does - how they do it - and who they are. True Leaders set the example of what they want. They work harder than those who work for them if they want a work ethic. They sacrifice in times of difficulty if they ask for sacrifice. They take risks if they ask others to take risks. They articulate what they believe but more importantly they act on their beliefs. They're the same person at work as they are at home. They're the same person to employees as they are to their family. Leadership isn't position - it's example. Example is Leadership.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Lead by example ~ The rest is simply details.


"When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you" ~ Zig Ziglar.

There is an undeniable truth in sales, business, and life. "The real answers come from within". ~ If we want to get good at anything. ~
If we want to grow and accomplish any of our goals in life. Each of us must learn how to motivate ourselves when things get really tough.

We all need to have an inner voice that pulls us up off the canvas and drives us on when things get difficult. We each need a strong drill sergeant inside our head that gets us to do what we would rather not.

What's the bottom line? ~ If we want success we need to learn how to kick our own butt - because, seriously, no one else really cares. No one should ever be able to push you harder than you push yourself. 

Be tough on yourself.  Have a drill sergeant inside your head that kicks your butt better than anyone else ever could. ~ Motivate Yourself.

That's The Bottom Line On Motivation.

Want To Be Great?

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams.

Great Teachers Don't Teach. Great Salesmen Don't Sell. Great Parents Don't Parent. They Inspire.  Want to be great at anything? Inspire others to take actions that they would not otherwise take.

Inspire others to paint possibility pictures in their minds. To visualize their dreams and take action. Want to make a real difference in this world? ~ Want to inspire other people to be great?  ~ Here's how.

When Michelangelo was asked how he carved the magnificent David from a slab of marble his response was "The angel was already in the marble I simply had to set him free." Inspiring others is about releasing something from within that is already there ~ Releasing an angel.

To be credible though, and to influence others, we need to be seen to be carving away at our own block of marble. If we wish to inspire others we need to first release our own angel from the stone. We must carve our own angel in order to help others release theirs. Michelangelo said that releasing David from the stone was simply about carving away the excess to reveal the angel within. ~ If you want to be great.

Carve away at your own block of stone and reveal the angel within.


Friday Newsflash - BINF

"Competition is the keen cutting edge of business." Henry Ford

Ever notice how some people look at things differently? Friday is a great day to notice this. Here are two breaking news flashes:
"Friday is the same as Tuesday." and "Business is not Fair".

Friday Is The Same As Tuesday.

Scientific Research has again confirmed that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week in American Business. For the last thirty years productivity studies have confirmed that more is accomplished on Tuesday than any other day of the week. Yet it has the same number of hours as all the other days. A few remarkable individuals, however, work harder than others on other days, including Fridays, and gain a competitive advantage. They call customers while others are discussing their weekend. They work when others say "no-one is working today". They prospect, connect, network & produce when others have checked out. They do what others don't on Fridays.

Business Is Not Fair.

Scientific Research has again confirmed that Business is not Fair. Some people have more and better customers. Some people get paid more money. Some people have all the luck. Research has confirmed Business is extremely competitive and most people aren't buying right now. Competition for less dollars being spent is fierce. This also confirms the ongoing findings in scientific research that "Business is not fair". What we do about these two scientific facts establishes our competitive position in business and that mindset goes a long way to determine how well we are going to do on Friday or any other day.

News Flash - "Friday is the same as Tuesday & Business is not Fair."

1 Year & 1,000 Tweets

“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” Seth Godin

Social Media is here to stay. It may morph, change and evolve into something unrecognizable to what it is today but it's here to stay. The sheer number of participants sways even the most hardened of old school communicators to admit that there is connection opportunity - personal, business or whatever - there is opportunity. It's narcissistic, it's shallow, it's prevalent and there is a whole lot of fluff out there but there is also opportunity. So what do you do with that opportunity? Well it depends on your goals naturally. All I can do is relate my experience - One year of disciplined testing (a little more without a program) - 1,000+ tweets - a few hundred friends, followers and connections and a program. Here is that program.


Reach out to people, that I would otherwise not reach out to with conventional networking, to learn, expand my horizons and establish a first touch point. Add my existing connections to social media portals.
After establishing a base of a few hundred connections deepen those connections by phone and email "offline". Evaluate After One Year.


Write a blog and use that to "broadcast" my values and views and try to present a representation of who I am to those I was reaching out to and connecting with (This is who I am & what I think kind of thing).

Touch and link each connection on all three primary portals if possible - Facebook, Linked In and Twitter.

Select five new people each week and deepen the connection. Using a conscious effort to learn more about that person by visiting their web site, reading articles they had written, comment on their blogs, communicate (rather than broadcast) with them using social media at least a couple of times during the week and, most importantly, reach out and call that person on the telephone. Deepen the connection.

Identify and learn the expertise and interests of each connection and do my best to become conversant in those topics so that additional communications, after that first week of deepened connectivity, had mutual value when future online or offline conversations took place.


Social Media is a valuable tool. It provides a tremendous opportunity to reach out, qualify and learn from people that we might not have the opportunity to otherwise. Social media, in business, can be a fluffy time suck if you do not have clearly defined parameters, objectives and focus. Social media can be addictive. Social media needs to be deepened with offline communications to be productive and monetized. Social media is an effective way to broadcast your brand, values and interests. It's an efficient way to share information and establish an initial, first touch connection. That connection needs to be deepened.

After one year of disciplined testing the results are - It makes sense to continue using it. If you are looking for ROI - keep looking. If you are looking for linear results then it's difficult to quantify after a year. If you are looking for one simple guys opinion based on whether you should spend time with it? The answer is yes but have a program with clearly defined objectives to communicate online and then move the best of those "high value" communications offline. Old school - But it works.

Selling POTUS

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.
" Benjamin Disraeli

Put yourself in this picture. The President of the United States has called you to the White House. He wants your advice. Let's just pick a topic at random. The situation in Somalia. He wants a briefing, a recommendation and a plan. Now let's add one more component. If he likes and implements your plan you get to leverage the meeting into a position, a book, a movie or any thing your heart desires. What would your plan look like? Would it be detailed? Would it be focused? Would it have America's interests at heart? Would it have the Presidents interests at heart and would it have a call to action? You betcha.

Yet when salespeople make presentations to executives in America every day the same laser like focus is not applied. Why?

"In a recent Forrester report on sales presentations only 15% of “C” level executives surveyed felt their meetings with sales people were valuable and lived up to their expectations. They went further, based on the outcome of the initial meeting, only 7% of those executives would accept follow-on meetings." David A Brock

Sales People that meet with the most success and establish themselves as trusted advisers are able to do two things very, very effectively. Whether we are Selling the President of the United States of America on a plan or selling an executive at a company, on any product or service, there are two essential and critical components:
  • Establish Credibility, Trust and Competence:
We do this by being better prepared than anyone else, doing our homework better and asking very focused questions that drive to the heart of what the "buyer" is trying to achieve prior to our presentation.
We ask and identify the questions that are of the highest concern - emotionally - to the buyer. We establish credibility through what we do, how we do it, who we are and what others say about us. We Listen. This is done every moment of every day - Selling the President of the United States should be no different than selling to Joe the plumber.
It's A Mindset Thing - An Every Day Thing - A Professional Thing.
  • Get Them To Take An Action:
We do this by leveraging our credibility, trust and competence as a "solution" to an emotional need. We Identify the emotional need and then we position ourselves as the most logical solution to fill that need.

The mind of the prospect and the heart of the prospect are then in harmony. That's how we sell POTUS and should sell EVERYONE.

Bruce Lee and Twitter

"To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person." Bruce Lee
Think about Twitter as a metaphor for business, sales and indeed life. In life we try to surround ourselves with people that we like and respect. People that provide value to us. Naturally we find out, over time, that some do not provide value and so, if we are smart, we "unfollow" those negative or neutral influences. The ones we continue to "like", amuse, entertain and provide comfort to us. The ones we choose to respect challenge us and, hopefully, we learn from them.
So where does Bruce Lee come in? There are some people out there, in Twitterville, and in life, that are simply on a different plane. Intellectually, through their achievements, insights, skill sets, what they've done, how they think, or simply who they are - they dwarf us. They are the ones who can literally "kick our ass". They are the Bruce Lee's in cyberspace and indeed in life and they are some of the most valuable assets we can ever hope to bring into our lives. It is often said that we get better only by playing against the very best. We grow only by getting our asses kicked. Forget about likes - there are plenty of "nice" people to meet and like. Forget about respect - there are many people we can find to respect. When we find a Bruce Lee we have to raise our game or we get our ass kicked. Our content needs to have differentiated value. Our focus has to be laser like and our ego needs to be left at the door. We have to get out of our own way when we seek out a relationship with them - because if we don't - They will "unfollow" us and that is certainly our loss. Because there are not many like Bruce Lee to be found and getting them to pay attention to us for any length of time takes some real work on our part. We need to raise our game. Anything we want, any goal, any achievement and any relationship worthwhile takes work, hard work. So what's the secret to success on Twitter, in sales, in business and indeed in Life?
Find a Bruce Lee, learn, and get your ass kicked a few times.

Seek out and learn from the very best - They help us grow.

What Do You Think?

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

Someone comes to you and asks for your advice. Simple advice.
What do you say when they ask "What Do You Think?"
The temptation is to tell them - but you know from experience that
"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest". So what do you say? (Well here's what I try to say before ego takes over.)

"It doesn't matter what I think - It only matters what you think."
Then I ask them "What Do You Think?" And try to listen carefully.
"So what do you think I should do?" they say. I can only tell you what I would do if the circumstances applied to me - I can't tell you what you should do. Your perspective is yours and mine is mine.
We don't see things as they are, We see things as we are.
I will say though - Your thoughts determine your actions. Your actions determine your habits. Your habits determine character AND your character determines your life. What do YOU think you should do?



The Scary Gorilla in Social Media

"If you don't ask, you don't get." Mahatma Gandhi

There is a scary gorilla lurking in the background of social media today and nobody wants to talk about it. People are holding conversations, writing blogs, preaching, teaching and venting opinions and hoping that if they get enough followers, comments, friends and 'likes' something remarkable is going to happen. People are going to buy their stuff. People are going to buy their service, product or 'expertise'. They won't have to ask for the sale anymore - it's just going to happen because common interests were shared between two people in cyberspace. Hm-mm... that would be nice though wouldn't it? Why am I addressing this? Recently a guy named David A. Brock called me after reading a comment I made on his blog. We talked for a while and he said "Dan we should get together for lunch". Now I know David is a consultant and I know he is furthering the relationship by taking it from online banter to a 'real' meeting but I had to give the guy credit. He had the courage and gravitas to take the digital to the real. He did what very few in cyberspace do - He made a real connection. David is not alone in this. Paul Castain did it and Ray Charland even had the gumption to ask for business online (even before we had established a relationship). Was I offended? No. Does any of this mean I will do business with these guys? No. But they certainly earn my respect for doing what most of the web wimps fear to do. They Asked For The Sale.

What's the bottom line?

Wake up people - Social media is a great communication portal - But you are still going to have to ask for the sale at some point. There is no easy way to getting good at anything. Connect - but then make it real.

You are still going to have to ask for the sale.

(My Company Sells Promotional T Shirts - Wanna Buy Some?)

Sales Process.

."They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong." ~ Ronald Reagan.

Every good salesperson has got, or should have, a sales process that works for them. Having a process that helps you identify the stage where breakdowns occur is crucial. A great sales process helps us productively and effectively manage the opportunities in our pipeline. With that said, sales ultimately boils down to two people coming to an agreement and shaking hands (either digitally, verbally or in person). Professionals get to that point by agreeing to next actions which, if performed to each others expectations, lay the foundations of a mutually beneficial relationship.  ~ A Simple Sales Process is:
Qualification - The Stage where every sale really happens.

Discovery - The Listen and Learn - Is there a fit?

Confirmation - The Understandings and next actions.

Agreement - The Handshake, signature or...

Delivery - The Exceeding of ongoing expectations.

The 2 Choices of Life

"Every choice you make has an end result."
 ~ Zig Ziglar.
Every thought we have. Every idea we encounter. Every interaction, with every person, in our lives effects us in one of two ways. They either comfort us or they challenge us.
We get to choose which we embrace on a moment by moment basis - Comfort or Challenge? Consciously and subconsciously, we seek out both. Every moment of every day. Don't think of the choices we make as either right or wrong ~ They are simply ~ Choices.

Do we want to be comforted or challenged?
What do we really want? If it's validation and support we want - we lean toward the comfort choice. If it's growth and goals - we lean toward the challenge choice. People we encounter in life will provide both at different times and we will provide both to others.
It all comes down to - What do we want at this moment? ~ and ~
What do we want in the future? ~  Comfort or Challenge?
Comfort choices accepted now can create challenges later. Challenge choices accepted now can create comfort later. ~ 2 Choices.

The Best Advice.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
~ Albert Einstein.

The best advice ever? ~ An old mentor once said... 

"If you really know what you want to say you should be able to put it on a post it note." Then he would have me condense my presentation, pitch, value proposition, or whatever I wanted to say onto a 2" X 2" post it note. ~ Cut The Clutter, Edit The Extras,  and "Don't Explain It"...

"If it's Really Good - It Needs No Explanation."

Make it Clear, Compelling and Concise. ~ The Best Advice? 
Keep It Simple And Condense It Down To A Post It Note.

"Post It - For the Things You Don't Want To Forget"

Why Do Salespeople Fail?

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be" John Wooden

I've been accused of oversimplifying sales. I'm Guilty. Although we may have been schooled in Miller Heiman, Consultative Selling Techniques and numerous Fortune 500 sales programs what we know, or don't know, isn't the main issue. The primary reasons that sales people fail to realize their potential, and make more money, fall into 3 simple areas. (If you recognize the borrowed acronyms you get a gold star.)

F T A ............ Failure to Adapt

Whether it be a failure to adapt to economic conditions, customer demands, competition or any number of other pressures (both internal and external) Failure to Adapt is the main cause of salesperson failure.

L R E ..............Lacks Required Effort

Persistence. Plain Old Dogged Persistence. Driving through the tough times and keeping a positive, solution seeking, mindset when lesser mortals have quit, taken off early or decided against making that one more call. The never give up attitude that separates the pretenders from the contenders is critical. Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win.

P S ..................Prospecting Sucks

The difference between order takers and professionals is prospecting.
If you think prospecting sucks - you will fail. Enjoy reaching out and making new connections on a daily basis and the rest will take care of itself. A little Prospecting every day is the difference between those smiling souls with a full pipeline who get to determine their own destiny and those who become reliant on the efforts of others.

Do You Use These Words?

"We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out." Winston Churchill

There is a very popular thing going around in business today. It's called "One Word Branding". It goes something like this - Pick a word that best describes you and your differentiator and build your brand around that word. So what do most organizations and individuals pick? Service. We provide "world class service" they say, or "excellent service with a smile". Having a differentiator is very, very important in defining your value proposition. But what does it mean? A differentiator is something you do, or are, better than anyone else. We all should be able to find something, at least one thing, we do better than anyone else - right? So if you pick 'service' that should mean you provide measurably better service than anyone else. People should have said "this was the best service I have ever received - from anyone. If you pick 'reliable' or 'dependable' then that should mean you are more reliable and dependable than anyone else and if you say you have expertise then... (well you get what I mean). But it doesn't turn out that way with the words that most people and organizations pick - the words become just words. If you are doing it right - People should see you as the very best representation of what that word means to them. Customers should be saying it. If you are going to pick the words that everyone else picks you will need to be better than all of them. Or your brand becomes "Full of sound and fury - signifying nothing". Caution - If you use the words below - Be The Best:

Service - Weekdays 9-5 is not world class service.

Expert - Is not what you say you are - it's what others say.

Responsive - This means your cell phone number and 24/7.

Budget / Value - You'd better be the cheapest.

Prompt / Reliable / Dependable - One slip is all it takes.

Creative - Everyone says it - but customers vote.

Bottom line - If you use these words - Be The Best.

The No Complaints Zone

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” Benjamin Franklin

None of us like dealing with people who complain and even less those who consistently whine. But we all do it sometimes, don't we? Just like giving unasked for advice to others we are often best served by taking that counsel ourselves. So when a friend recently proposed starting a 'no complaints zone' for a week on social media - my response was 'how about a no complaining ever zone?' Then like any pontificating fool I was forced to look within. Be the "change you want to see in the world" the man said and so I committed to myself to walk the talk. Then I thought ok, complaining may be a natural (learned) tendency for us. That means I will have to reframe it, like any addiction, and replace the behavior with a more positive and productive 'addiction'. What's the solution? Whenever you feel the urge to complain about service, attitudes, performance or just plain old 'flakiness' Do this: Reframe your thoughts and response into an OPPORTUNITY. An opportunity to communicate and improve ourselves. An opportunity to enhance your communication skills. An opportunity to think of and propose solutions or better ways of doing things. Or you can complain and whine and give the other person an opportunity to categorize you as a complainer and a whiner. "Be the change you want to see in the world."