I recently was asked to give a few words of encouragement at a gathering, and I had the choice of whatever topic I thought would be most helpful. I chose to speak about communication to the young man we were there to honor, as well as the adults of varying ages in the room.
It struck me as I was speaking that my advice was no different than what I tell the people who entrust their business and personal development to me.
When two audiences need your attention, it’s time to retool to help both out.
If you know anything about my story, it is rooted in sales. From the time I was a young kid, I loved the challenge of making money on my own by selling. I made a successful 40-year (and counting) career out of it.
Along the way, however, I realized that it wasn’t just about sales skills. It was about how I could present myself as the commodity. To do...more
Why no dog is ever too old to learn a new trick.
I am an older gentleman...that’s pretty obvious when you look at me. The 40 and more years I’ve spent in business and sales are pretty evident, I guess, but what makes me still viable in business is not my outward looks. It’s the knowledge I have, and have gained through continuous learning. That’s not boastful, but it does explain how anyone who wants to...more
Developing strength inside and out for business success
Over the last few weeks I must of worked with at least 10-15 sales clients representing different companies in different fields.
Let me say, I have a very high esteem for those who have chosen the field of selling. It’s a field where you can earn huge amounts of monies if you are prepared for it. More importantly, it’s a field where you can...more
When you hear the word “diplomacy,” you likely think politics. However, in every day and in every relationship you have personally and professionally, you need to use it.
Negotiating a deal. Talking to a coworker about a performance issue. Discussing holiday plans with your family. All of these require careful handling of sensitive issues by using tact and understanding all of the dynamics that can affect the outcome.
Do you have all the pieces to finish your puzzle?
The other day I had a client who asked me a very serious question:
“Why is it so important to work on personal development? What does it have to do with business?”
It’s a question that I think everyone struggles with, and often overlooks when they’re trying to strategize their success. It’s also the main focus of my coaching because it’s the ONE thing and the...more
There’s one thing I want to make clear from the start: I do not make my client’s decisions for them. I’ve got plenty of my own to make and it’s their responsibility to make their own.
That said, I do act as a guide in the decision-making process WITH my clients, acting as a sounding board at times, and others offering steps to go through to determine what their answer or outcome should be. Salespeople decide whether...more
Recently, I had a meeting with 15 sales reps. The issue we discussed was around Honesty and Personal Growth. Of course people realize the value in being honest with your customers, but we dug deeper into the value of first being honest with yourself. These days it's also called self awareness.
For the vast majority of my clients, it is the hardest process to go through - self examination. However, until you delve into...more
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I am a fan of lifelong learning. Learning experiences aren’t just for kids...we need to constantly build on our knowledge. I recently completed my certification with the John Maxwell team as a Coach, Trainer and Speaker. However, I want to make a distinction between learning and applied learning. One...more
Becoming a go-to resource for clients, even when you don’t have what they need
Last week I was out with a client to go on a shadow call. This is a service I rarely use unless someone has been in sales for at least 10-plus years and has a pretty good understanding of the selling business.
When I was with him at a particular prospect, the conversations on both sides were really respectful and went very...more
Sales Preparation Planning: Set Up for Success
A few days ago I returned a call from a client who sells to high end companies. He was preparing a proposal for this particular client and was very stressed out. I realized that the appointment was the next day. He was going to the clients office with his boss and they were both working on the proposal.
My question to him was, “Wouldn’t being prepared in advance...more
Goal Setting: Is Your Puzzle Missing Any Pieces?
If you’ve ever put together a puzzle, I’m pretty sure you didn't start by just staring at the cover. No, I think you likely started by turning over every piece to represent the smaller parts of the picture. Then maybe you separated these pieces by which were the skies, the water, flowers or whatever made up parts of the whole picture.
Selling Techniques May Attract Clients, but Listen and Respond with Empathy to Keep Them
The other day I had a potential client who came to see me about some issues he was having in sales.
One of the things I came to realize as we talked was that he thinks that when in sales he needs to be in charge and not sensitive to others. Don’t get me wrong, he was doing very well financially and used many...more
We are in the last month of the year. Obvious I know, but I’m always amazed by the many sales clients that come rushing in that they haven’t met goal yet and they are trying to achieve club membership or credits which is based on total sales. I question them where were they in January or June? They likely haven’t been setting SMART goals in any of the previous 11 months.
I always talk about GOALS starting in January not October through...more
The Skills You Need to Build Your Business
It’s sometimes said that customer service is dead. The experience of getting a satisfactory answer to an issue or question is more like going into battle for many customers, and I’m not sure why businesses don’t make it THE #1 priority.
Luckily, when you are in business for yourself, you have the ability to make that experience - and every experience - for your customer...more
Developing effective self management skills to stay on course in sales, and in life.
In my book “Are You For Real?!” I talk about a time when I was living what I thought was the good life, doing well in sales and celebrating that success almost every night during the week. Of course, that didn’t last and when I had a sales slump, I wasn’t prepared.
That’s when I realized that I needed to apply some discipline to...more
The best habits that will lead to success in sales and life
I’ve said it over and over that sales in particular is a roller coaster ride, and your success lies in staying consistent during the ups and downs. But when you’re at the bottom and you see a long climb up the next hill, it’s easy to feel discouraged. How do you motivate yourself to get back up there during those down times?
How to meet your sales goals through logical, systematic and orderly procedures
In sales, it’s rare that you can reach any of your goals without planning for getting there. Whether it’s a product or service you’re selling, you not only need to be organized, you need to create tactics and strategies that will make your organized sales an assured success.
Knowledge is important, but personal development is even more critical
It’s a given that in sales you need to know your product and your customers to be successful, but let’s go a little deeper and find out more about what YOU bring to the table. How equipped are you to develop yourself into a solid business professional with the sales skills sets needed to engage with your customers in a very...more
Close the sale by opening the lines of communication
I’m not sure why interpersonal communications strengths are often called “soft skills.” It implies that these are easy or unimportant, when sales success through interpersonal skills can be the toughest abilities to develop. And can make the difference between a sale and a “no,” it’s also one of the most important.
So let’s review what skills you have developed,...more
Stay focused, stay the course and stay successful
We’ve talked about the ups and downs of sales; that “rollercoaster” that can throw you off if you aren’t looking at the bigger picture. Think of being goal oriented, then, as the way to keep your wheels on the rails. Sales success through goal orientation can be viewed as that harness that keeps you in your seat, whether your climbing up or heading downward.
Recharging for the roller coaster of sales
Let’s face it, some days - most days, really - aren’t diamonds, and it’s tough to don a positive attitude. Especially in sales, you put yourself out there every day with the likelihood of rejection, and it can wear on anyone. the good news is that you deserve a little reprieve now and then. It’s really key to learning how to stay positive in sales.
Have you ever bought...more
Consultative Selling: Make your clients seek YOU out
Many years ago while working at Motorola, there were many of us sales people who were experts in certain industries. For example, we knew that to be successful in sales, we needed to master step 3 of the six steps in selling which is Qualifying, as it is the most important step of all. In this step you are getting to know your clients’ business, and providing the...more
Sales Territory Mapping = time management
I have seen a common issue that many outside sales people have. The problem I am hearing is, “I'm all over the place and can't get it together.” They’re spending a lot of time in their cars in other words, and less in front of customers and prospects.
One of the issues I look at is for them is how they are managing their time while still covering their sales territory....more
Defining Training vs Coaching
We need to stop interchangeably training vs coaching when we’re talking about learning in your career. They aren’t the same, but they certainly are vital to each other.
Training is teaching, being given information, skills and knowledge from one person to perhaps a large group to have them memorize or apply in their job. The trouble is, we know that people only remember so much, and...more
When phones were dumb and people were smarter
I remember the days when cell phones started to sell; as a matter of fact I was part of the team at Motorola that was responsible for introducing cell phones to companies or individuals back in 1986. Whoever thought at that time how cell phones would become smartphones and would be what they are today? I didn’t really see it coming. I witnessed cell phones get smaller but...more
Good Listening Skills are Great Communication Skills
Shut up and listen: It sounds harsh, but is it? Not really. Learning how to be a good listener is a key to success in life, not just in sales. And if you want to be a successful business professional, it’s a lesson and a skill that you must learn to master. I’ve coached many clients who wish to excel in sales BUT, they come in to see me with issues of not being able...more