How To Ask For Referrals.
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How To Ask For Referrals.
For more information about how to become a referral master click here:
Liar. What a harsh word. It cuts to the core. No one wants to be a liar, yet we all are.
Most people define “lying” as looking someone in the eye and delivering a bold faced lie. The reality is that we are all much more creative in the ways we lie.
I was sitting in church at Mid-town 12th South listening to my pastor Russ describe the 7 ways we lie, and realized that the reality is that almost everyone at some point in their life will not only be a “liar”, but we will all probably will be guilty of all 7 ways we lie.
Here are the 7 ways we lie:
1. Error- a lie by mistake.
2. Omission- leaving out relevant information.
3. Restructuring- distorting the context. Spinning.
4. Denial- refusing to acknowledge a truth.
5. Minimization- reducing the effect of a mistake or judgment.
6. Exaggeration- representing something as greater, better, more experienced or successful.
7. Fabrication- deliberately inventing a false story.
I feel the number one reason people lie is to “be right”. Being aware of the 7 ways we lie is one of the first steps in preventing being a liar. The truth is that we all have our version of the truth. The best we can strive for in not becoming a liar is having a heart for always doing what is right and letting go of caring about who gets credit or caring about who is right.
I loved this message because it gives us all pause to think about the way, not only the way we deceive others, but how many ways we deceive ourselves when it comes to our commitments with our careers, our health, our family, our faith, and our friends. It certainly made me think and I hope the message resonates with you too!
Today I was doing field training with one of our Southwestern Consulting Market Managers (Neal Anderson) in Raleigh, NC. Our first meeting was with a personal coaching client of mine whom I’ve been coaching for over 3 years named Bob Watral. Bob is a former VP at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years and is one of the most coachable people I know. Our next meeting was at one of the top real estate offices in Raleigh, and Neal signed up the managing broker of the office for the Manager’s Edge coaching. Then our next meeting was at a New York Life office where Neal was already coaching the manager and ended up signing up another producer for the Top Producer’s Edge coaching program. Upon reflecting on the day’s activities, I feel that all 4 of the people we met with today who are enrolled in our program have one thing in common that they need help with. Although they work at different companies in different industries and have different levels of experience, the common denominator is they all need help creating and maintaining more effective and efficient Selling Systems.
The Southwestern Family of Companies is comprised of Southwestern Investments Group (the #1 Raymond James financial planning firm in the world), Great American (the largest school fundraising company in the world), SBR Recruiting (the #1 recruiting company in the state of Tennessee), Southwestern Advantage (one of the oldest direct sales businesses in the United States), Family Heritage (a large supplemental insurance company), Tom James (the world’s largest custom clothier), Wildtree (one of the fastest growing party planning businesses in the United States), a handful of other various businesses ranging from the music industry, time shares, international work and travel documents, and an award-winning publishing company. People often ask me “how is Southwestern involved in so many different industries? What’s the common thread?” The answer to that question is why Southwestern Consulting exists. All of the Southwestern companies have one thing in common – Selling Systems.
Selling Systems are the foundation of all the Southwestern companies…and they’re the foundation of almost every successful company, manager and top producer.
What are “Selling Systems”? There are 3 key Selling Systems that Southwestern has perfected over the past 155 plus years that we help instill in our coaching clients.
Selling System #1: Self-Management Systems
Out of the hundreds of people we coach every year, Time Management is the #1 area of improvement most people need help creating systems around. A lot of people are working a lot of hours… they’re just not maximizing the time during the hours they work.
Here are the top 3 systems you can create for yourself to help manage your time better:
1. Schedule Tool – A schedule tool is a spreadsheet that has every day of your week broken down hour-by-hour. How you use the Schedule Tool is you open it up every Sunday and take an hour to literally plan out every hour of your week, every phone call, every meeting, prospecting time, email time, lunch, paperwork time… but beyond that you have to schedule your personal life also! What time you’re going to wake up, read books, workout, date night, and personal development training.
Here is an example of one of my coaching clients Schedule Tool:
2. Goal Card – A Goal Card is one of the cornerstone tools that Southwestern has used to ensure success over the past century. One of the keys to a Goal Card is that it breaks down your day into working “goal periods”. A “goal period” is a 2 hour block of your day where you have specific activity goals to achieve. You should break your whole day down into “goal periods” and have activity goals for each “goal period”. Separating your day out to 2 hour increments will help you get more done in 2 focused hours than what most people do all day.
3. Critical Success Factor Tracker – “You cannot expect unless you inspect.” It’s hard to know how to improve your performance unless you track what you’re doing all day long and then measure the activity against the daily activity goal. In the Southwestern ConsultingTM sales performance coaching program, we have designed a software program that makes this an easy process that takes 2 minutes at the end of the day to tally up your daily activity statistics off of your Goal Card and enter them onto your CSF report.
Here is an example of the Southwestern Consulting Critical Success Factors tracking tool all of our coaching clients use everyday and review with their coach:
If you are reading this and think “this is the kind of stuff I need in my business”, we can help! We have a team of experts that help implement these types of systems in companies across America every day. For more information:
… stay tuned for the other two Selling Systems.
4 Types of Leadership
How to be a Navigate Leader
I’ll never forget when the CEO of the Southwestern Company™ (Henry Bedford) hired me to help start Southwestern Consulting™ back in 2005. I had been a record-breaking salesperson and a decent recruiter and manager at my previous job at Southwestern Advantage, but I never really had formal leadership training on how to start and run a business from scratch. It was literally the scenario of my first day of reporting to work where he showed me to my office in Nashville, Tennessee and said, “Here is your phone. Good luck.” I was so nervous to recruit our first team members that I had a couple of older guys Henry introduced me to call them and recruit them!
Since then, we have made it our mission at Southwestern Consulting™ to help companies and managers set up their company so as to keep out of the trap of not equipping their most important leaders with what they need to succeed. At Southwestern Consulting™, we help companies with Recruiting Systems, On-boarding Systems, Internal Training Processes and Spaced Repetition Accountability Coaching Programs.
Recently, I was riding in the car with a consulting client field shadowing and listening to him coach his newly-acquired team. He is a classic Top Producer who was promoted into sales management without any leadership training. (I see this happen all the time! Why do we put so much effort in recruiting the right sales person, getting them on-boarded, continuing training them and coaching them to ensure they are successful? But when we promote someone into a leadership position, we just throw them into the fire and say, “good luck with this mess”. What’s ironic for a top producer is that usually becoming a manager means a decrease in pay! Yet this conundrum happens all the time.) This rookie manager was talking with new salespeople, veterans, top producers and average producers and was managing them all the exact same way. After listening to four calls, my coaching radar was going off that this new manager needed some leadership coaching on the 4 types of Navigate Leadership.
One of the most important things I learned on the topic of leadership early in my career was from a book I read by Ron Marks called Managing for Sales Results. It the book Marks talks about the fact that there are four different types of leadership that different team members need based on where they are at in their career. A common mistake is to treat every team member the same way, or treat them the way you would want to be treated. The best leaders understand you have to be a Navigate Leader and manage each person on your team the way they would want to be managed.
There are 4 types of team members that need 4 different types of leadership that you need to understand to become a Navigator Leader.
4 types of team members:
1. Low Motivation and Low Skills and Knowledge.
2. Low Motivation and High Skills and Knowledge.
3. High Motivation and Low Skills and Knowledge.
4. High Motivation and High Skills and Knowledge.
Now that you know the 4 types of team members, take a moment and create a flow chart of your entire team and categorize every person into one of the 4 categories. Now that you have an understanding where each team member is, it’s time to Navigate how you lead each one of them.
4 Types of Navigate Leadership:
1. Directive Leadership: For people with low skill and low motivation.
When someone knows hardly anything about how to do the job, the product or what to do… they need to be told what to do! Most leaders make the mistake of thinking people don’t want to be told what to do, and that is not true for this group of people. Rookies need directive leadership on a regular basis.
This can be difficult for leaders who are naturally macro-managers. I remember the first personal assistant I hired. I didn’t want to come across as “bossy” so I let her set her hours, keep track of her to-do list and come to me when she needed help. Well, that lasted for about 6 weeks and she quit! Then I hired another assistant and she quit! Then I realized they were quitting because they were not feeling supported. During someone’s first year of being on your team, they need for you to hold their hand, help them over come the inevitable challenges and figure out how to be successful at their job.
2. Inspirational Leadership: For people with high skill and low motivation.
Old dogs can learn new tricks… you just need the right bone to throw them. When working with a group of seasoned veterans, one of the biggest challenges a leader faces is keeping them motivated.
This seems to come from two areas:
1. Ego – Top dogs want to remember the good old days. Usually they have been successful in the past, and they are trying to save face by always talking about their years of experience and how they’ve always done things. When someone keeps doing things the same way they’ve always done, they will always get what they’ve always got… and most of the time that is not growing or moving forward. We call this common trend “not being coachable”. Sometimes the best way to cure, this is the follow the veteran in the field and ask them after the day is over what they think they are doing right and what they are not doing right. Usually they will give you an excuse as to why they do things the way that they do. When they do this, smile and ask them how that is working out for them? Usually it’s not.
The next step is to show them how to do the job the right way. Either you personally run the next meeting and close it by the book or you have them follow a top producer. There is nothing more inspiring to a veteran who technically knows everything there is to know about the job, but is just too stubborn to follow the proven system, than seeing a live presentation where someone who has less experience than they do close a deal with ease by following the system.
2. Complacency – We see this all the time in businesses that have residual pay. Once someone has been selling insurance or doing financial planning, they are making so much income from residual pay they stop working. The best way to identify if someone is complacent is to look at their income over the past 3 years and if it hasn’t grown by at least $10,000 – $20,000 then they probably are complacent. The best thing to do with someone who is complacent is to promote them as a new in-field trainer. It’s amazing how hard working and re-invigorated someone becomes when they know they are the example other people are following. Set up a follow schedule of having rookies follow someone who is complacent to “show them how to work hard at the job”. Make sure you coach this team member in how important it is that the rookies see a really solid day of work and to be following the processes by the book.
Another great idea is to create an incentive plan based on activity. Then create a leader-board that you publish every week with everyone’s activity. Veterans usually hate being shown up… and when you send out everyone’s activity and who is leading the company in each category every week your competitive team members will rise to the challenge.
3. Coaching Leadership – For people with high motivation but low technical skill and knowledge.
Average producers usually have one of two issues. Usually it’s a lack of skill or it’s a lack of will… sometimes both! If someone doesn’t have skill or will, at some point you have to be willing to just let them go be successful somewhere else. So, let’s assume most of your average
producers have a high will and motivation to be successful, but they are just lacking the knowledge it takes to be a top producer. These people don’t need “pump up calls”. They need coaching, role-plays, video taping of their demos and having you review it with them.
Coaching is the greatest form of results-driven spaced repetition training a leader can provide. Classroom training is what most leaders utilize; yet it is the least effective in getting real results in their team members. You should have a regularly-scheduled coaching session with each one of these team members weekly or bi-weekly. On each call, you should review their activity numbers with them and be prepared to coach them on one thing technical and one thing emotional to help them be more successful that next week.
4. Servant Leadership – For people with high motivation and high skill and knowledge.
Nate Vogel said it best, “Top Producers are like top of the line sports cars. They go real fast, are expensive to fix and they really make you look good.” If you have a Ferrari, you wouldn’t drive it the same way you would drive a VW bug. Literally, your Ferrari can go faster and do things that a VW bug could never do.
When it comes to leading your Ferrari’s/ race horses/ Top Producers, doesn’t it make sense that they need different maintenance than your other producers? A contest for a Top Producer should be different than a contest for your average producers. The way you lead your Top Producers should be different than how you lead your average producers. Typically, the best way to lead a Top Producer is through Servant Leadership.
Servant Leadership is simply being a servant to the people on your team. While you should be a servant leader for everyone on your team, this should be the only type of management you provide to Top Producers. Top Producers do not want to be told what to do. They typically don’t need someone to pump them up everyday. Top Producers who have a high motivation and high technical skills just need someone to help remove the barriers that might slow them down. A great question to ask a Top Producer is, “is there anything I can help you with?” If they say, “nope, I’m all good” then just make sure they are happy and having fun doing the job and let them go along their merry way. The worst thing in the world you can do with a Top Producer is to find the one or two things they are doing wrong and try to fix them. They just need to feel like everything they are doing is right and keep on doing what they are the best… Producing!
My wife Kyah tells me stories of when she was breaking the company record at Southwestern and she was feeling burned out from working 85 hours per week she’d call her manager and say, “I’m thinking about getting my nails done”. Most average managers would have reminded her that would be “getting off schedule” and pressured her to keep on working, but not her manager Nate. He was a Navigate Leader and every time she had an idea or thought he’d simply tell her “that’s a great idea. I think you should do that. Just call me when you’re done.” Then she’d go take 30 minutes to do her thing, and then call him back and was refreshed and back at work. At Southwestern, not every salesperson could handle this kind of interruption in their intense summer work schedule, but Kyah’s Navigate Leader knew that she could!
When it comes to being a “Navigator Leader”, it is important to remember to not treat everyone the way you would like to be managed. Rather, you identify where each person on your team is in terms of their motivation and skill then you create a plan to make sure you are leading people the way they want to be lead.
For more information about the Southwestern Consulting™ Leadership Coaching program go here: http://coaching.southwesternconsulting.com/Sales_Coaching_and_Leadership_Coaching.aspx
These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals!
Thank you for your continued support and reading my blogs!
5 Types of Decision Making
How to make a decision is simple, but actually keeping your decision-making process simple is not easy. Decisions are made every day. Some decisions are big decisions, some are small. Some decisions will change the trajectory of your day, while others will change the trajectory of your life. With so many decisions to make, how do we make sure we’re making the right decision?
I’ll never forget the day I truly made the decision that I was going to ask my now wife Kyah to marry me. I was in the library of the University of Tennessee on the phone with a jewelry salesperson from San Francisco and she told me “once you put this deposit down, it is non-refundable”, so needless to say I was a little nervous. But I made the decision, I put the deposit down on a ring, and from that point forward there was no looking back. I was going to marry Kyah! Now 7 years later, we have a beautiful baby girl named Haven and life is good. But what if I had not made that decision? Life would be much different.
The media have programmed all of us to make decisions. If we don’t take the time to make logical or principle-based decisions, we all will fall into the decision-making process other people want us to follow.
Are you making an impulsive or emotional decision, or are you making logical principle-based decisions.
Sun Sui says in his book The Art of War that one of the most important things someone needs to master to be an effective decision maker in battle is to “know thyself”. If you know your values, have written down goals and understand the principles in which you believe, then making quick and decisive decisions should be easy. However, if you don’t have goals, don’t understand what your values are and don’t live a principle-based life, then you will be easily persuaded and will continue making emotional and impulsive decisions the rest of your life.
There are 5 different ways someone can make a decision:
Impulsive Decision Making:
According to researchers at UC Berkley, people make decisions based on the first option they see. For example, if they are looking for a pack of gum, they will simply just pick the first one they see. Hopefully when we are making big decisions, impulsiveness is not how we are making our decisions. If I had made a spontaneous decision about who to marry based on the first girl I was attracted to, I would have married my childhood girlfriend Amy who I haven’t seen in 25 years.
Emotional Decision Making:
Humans are creatures of emotions. We love drama, action, a love story and cheering for the underdog. A new science was developed back in the 1950’s called Nauru-Associative Programming that changed the way all marketers in the world viewed marketing. Through NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) or NAP (Neuro-Associative Programming) marketers and the media figured out how to control us using both impulse buying and emotional decision making together. In using NLP and NAP, you first show the consumer something that makes them emotional and feeling good – it could be a couple on a beach, a fun-loving puppy dog, a famous athlete, or the most popular is an attractive female. Next, you flash your product or logo after emotionally charging the consumer. Then, you finish the commercial with the good feeling emotional distracter. The first company to use NLP in a commercial was Pepsi in the 1990’s. Pepsi paid Michael Jackson a large sum of money to simply do the moonwalk across the stage for its commercial. What’s even more ironic is that Michael Jackson couldn’t even drink Pepsi or anything caffeinated for religious reasons, or even be seen holding the product! Pepsi didn’t care. The marketers knew that all they needed was his image of doing the moonwalk and then flash the logo of Pepsi and their sales would increase. And increase they did. After that commercial, Pepsi’s sales skyrocketed, helping them go from 15% to over a 30% market share in a matter of a few months!
We don’t realize it, but we are programmed to make decisions every single day with NAP.
Group-Think Decision Making:
Think of the last time you made a decision to do something or buy something simply from the fact that someone you know made a similar decision. I’m willing to bet it was at least several times in the last month, if not in the last 24 hours!
Group Think actually has its advantages. It takes much less effort to make a decision based off someone else versus having to actually do the research and think for ourselves!
Group Think can also be dangerous. For example, a survey was done testing if people would help someone on a crowded street who seemed to be severely injured. When there were more than ten other people around the individual in need of help the odds of someone stopping to help decreased significantly. When asked why they didn’t stop to help, they replied, “I thought someone else was going to stop and help.” Yikes! That’s scary!
The media uses Group Think all the time! Pay attention to the Presidential elections. The media always tries to sway America on who to vote for by showing popularity polls and forecast of who’s going to win. They want to paralyze people into just going with their opinion instead of actually doing the research on their own and making a logical or principle-based decision. After all, why should we vote for someone who the media says is going to lose anyway?
Logical Decision Making:
Logical Decision Making is a good thing to do. It helps make sure you’re not making a mistake and probably most the time a logical decision is a right decision.
The problem with Logical Decision Making is it takes way too long. People who make a majority of their decisions based on a Logical Decision Making process often miss great opportunities, due to over-analyzing the facts, gathering opinions, looking into the history of what they are making a decision about and calculating into the future the consequences versus benefits of making the decision.
Principle-Based Decision Making:
People will let you down, but you can count on true principles. Here is an easy way to understand what your principles are. On a sheet of paper make a list of the top 10 things you believe to be true about life. For example, if you truly believe it’s important to live a life that is debt free and you know that you can get caught up abusing credit and credit cards, then write down this principle for yourself, “if you cannot pay cash for something, you don’t buy it.” On the other side of that, you might be someone who manages money well, understand how to leverage money, and you’re not stressed by the thought of using your credit to make more money when you manage it well. You might write down a principle that says, “I let my money work for me, and I make decisions that maximize each opportunity.” Regardless of your principles, as long as you have them written down and solidified in your mind, then you can make decisions with peace of mind.
Being a quick and decisive decision maker can help you advance your career, improve your personal family life and even save your life. It’s worth taking the time to actually think about what kind of decision maker you are. That way, when the pressure comes, you can be fearless in the moment and not hesitate when you make your decision. Knowing sometimes you will make the wrong decision, but at the same time knowing that because you are making principle-based decisions, most of the time you will be making the right decision for you.
Comparison causes stress, frustration and ultimately limits people’s belief in what they think is possible.
It takes an extreme amount of self-control and mental toughness to not compare yourself to other people. Think about it. When was the last time you had any of the following thoughts:
The hardest part of not comparing yourself to other people is the fact that we as humans are hardwired to desire what we don’t have. Last week I was observing my 14 month old daughter playing with another girl her age. She walked right up to the little girl who was playing with a mini-shopping cart and took it from her! I thought to myself “Wow! It’s crazy that kids are naturally so selfish! She hasn’t ever seen someone take something from another person like that.” Being content with your current situation can be a challenge. There is a fine balance between being content and not ambitious.
Being competitive and wanting to win is a good quality. However, being too competitive with other people can end up being destructive. It’s okay if your goal is to be number one, if that is because you think being number one is your potential… not because you cannot stand the person who’s currently number one and you just want to beat them. When people are too competitive with other people, they tend to be territorial, selfish and frustrated with what other people are doing or not doing.
I personally believe that God has designed us to live to the potential that He has given us. Our ambitions should come from being motivated to do our dead level best everyday. If our goal is to beat our own personal best performance everyday, then there would be no limit to what we can do!
Here is a simple 3-step process for not comparing yourself to other people, being content with what you have and breaking your own belief barriers of what you think is possible:
1. Be Eternally Thankful
Make a list of 20 things that you love about your life. Then tape it to your mirror and read it everyday.
2. Focus On Other People’s Strengths and Catch Other People Doing Things Right
Write down the names of the top 10 people you can think of who you have ever been mad at/ envious of/ want to have things in their life/ are jealous of/ are resentful towards, etc. Then next to their name write down 3 qualities about that person that are admirable, respectable or things that they have done that are good. Be intentional to look for things that everyone around you are doing right, then take the time to acknowledge them and appreciate them for doing a good job.
3. Create Self Competition
Write down your personal goals for the next year. Base your goals on beating your personal best performance so far, not based on what someone else has done or what someone else told you what your goal should be. Then write down why they are your goals and why they are important to you. Put your goals in big bold letters somewhere that you can see everyday.
The saying “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me” has helped me personally overcome many, many obstacles that would have normally shut me down, caused me to quit or simply not perform up to the full potential of my God-given abilities. Focusing on what I can bring to the table and contribute, and focusing on the good qualities of those around me and catching them doing things right has helped me be happy, consistently achieve my goals and enjoy being with the loved ones and co-workers in my life.
Inc. Magazine recently ranked Southwestern/Great American as one of the top 5,000 companies in America.
For more than 30 years, Inc. has celebrated the fastest-growing private companies in America. To be honored this year is a particularly notable achievement. To rank among the 2012 Inc. 5000, Southwestern had to thrive through three of the toughest years this economy has seen in living memory. To be successful in such times takes a team with creativity, resilience and tenacity.
As an Inc. 5000 honoree, the Southwestern Family of Companies now shares a pedigree with Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Jamba Juice, Timberland, Clif Bar, Pandora, Patagonia, Oracle and other notable alumni. The class of 2012 added such powerhouses as Chobani, CDW, Levi Strauss and a little social media company called Facebook.
Several people have already asked us “how did you do it?”
The top 3 common characteristics in the Southwestern Family of Companies are:
1. Persistence: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
Most companies think they need to hire the right talent to be successful. Southwestern focuses on hiring people who are willing to work hard, study hard and are teachable. Then we plug them into a proven sales system and sales culture, and that is what makes them top producing salespeople.
2. Focus On Doing What’s Right: Henry Bedford (CEO of Southwestern) often says “It doesn’t matter who is right. All that matters is what is right.”
The removal of the ego and being okay with “not being right” is one of the hardest things a driven business leader has to do. Bad decisions are made when a business leader is focused on “being right” and saving face or trying to look good. It’s easy to make progress when everyone in the company is focused on doing what is right.
3. Build Your People and They Will Build a Great Company: Spencer Hays (the majority share holder of Southwestern/Great American) has always focused on putting resources, training, coaching and consulting into his sales teams, leadership teams and team of employees. He says that the secret to success is not having the fanciest product or technology on the market. It’s having a quality product that your company can provide that fills a need in society. Then focus your time and effort in hiring, training and motivating quality salespeople to serve your customers well.
For more information about how to build these types of systems in your company, fill out this form:
The confidence in asking for and expecting referrals comes from the knowledge of what to say.
When it comes down to it, the core of why people don’t consistently ask for referrals at every single opportunity and expect to get five or 10 referrals from every person they meet with is because they’ve had a bad experience from asking. That one bad experience sticks in their mind and the fear of that rejection holds them back. With creating a script for referrals, one of the things to hold at the front of your mind is that asking for referrals is an art. One of my favorite quotes is by a guy named Scott Kramnick: “No matter how artful or talented you are, you must follow a specific methodology to be successful at expecting and getting quality referrals.”
There are seven steps in asking for referrals that apply whether you’re at an IT company or selling widgets. These seven steps can be customized to fit any type of process when asking for referrals.
Step #1. The Referral Transition Statement
The most common step that is skipped in this whole process is step one, the transition statement. A good analogy for this is to remember the first time you ever drove a stick shift car. When you do not have a transition statement in asking for referrals, imagine that you’re missing a gear when you’re shifting gears in a car. That jolting feeling is the same feeling somebody has when you don’t work a transition statement into your process of asking for referrals.
One of my favorite transition statements is doing two steps where you build them up. First, you thank them and you then plant the seed for the referral. How that sounds is, “You know what, Emmy, thank you so much for who you are and making an investment into your future. I wish I had ten more customers or ten more people to talk with every day who are just like you.” That does a couple of things. Number one it makes them feel good. Number two it plants the seed that you’re not going to ask for one, or two, or three referrals, but that you’re going to ask for ten referrals in a minute.
Step #2. Clearly Ask For The Referral
The next step is to clearly ask for a referral. On this step the key is making sure you clearly ask for the referral without using the word “referral”. There’s something weird about the way society has branded the word referral. It’s seared into their mind as a bad word and creates an objection that doesn’t need to be there. We still build them up and create a buying atmosphere and how it sounds is something like this – “You know, based on who you are and who you know, who do you think would at least be a good fit to talk with about their needs?” Watch their body language when you say this part and if they start to cross their arms and show you that they are going to put up their defenses, then use this next line – “You know, Nancy, my job is to at least meet with everyone and I’ll show them the same professionalism that I showed with you.” That’s the attitude in this phase of buying a building atmosphere.
Step #3. Paint The Picture
The third step is to paint the picture. In painting the picture, you want to put them in your shoes. You want to tell them specifically who you are looking for. It sounds something like this: “If you were me helping raise the bar in people’s lives, who would you go talk with first? Who would you see?” They could already have a name stuck in their head, and they say, “You should talk to my friend Karen,” but that usually doesn’t happen. That is why you need the next step.
Step #4. Isolate The Faces
Next you need to isolate the faces. When you isolate the faces, there are two things you must do.
You start broadly, you identify their circle of influence and then you get specific. When you get specific, that is the closing question in this process of getting a referral.
#1. Then you find the circle of influence. The best time to find that is at the very beginning, when you meet them and are building rapport. My favorite question to ask people is, “What do you like to do for fun?” It sounds like a random, broad question, but people love to answer it and this is where you get the gold. When you ask them what they like to do for fun and they tell you yachting or racing sailboats, that’s where you get tapped into their specific circles of influence. Now you know where you can get referrals and you can do it in the rapport-building phase. It should sound something like this: “Basically, Dan, what I’m looking for is anyone who has recently had a job change, has kids, or is moving in or out of town. I know you’re really involved with your PTA group. Who is somebody that you’re closest with in the PTA?” Now that is starting broadly because there are several people in the PTA. One of two things could happen with that question. They could instantly think of someone that’s a fit for you, or what is more likely is that they are going to give you a slight objection and say that they can’t think of anyone.
#2. This is when you get specific. The next question is the closing question, where you isolate it down to one face. You want to make them think of one specific person. The question that you ask next will definitely have an answer to it. It can be as simple as, “Who did you sit next to in your last meeting?” If you’re asking about who they know at their country club, “Who did you play golf with last?”
Usually the first name they give you is not the most qualified name for what you do, but that’s ok. What we’re trying to do is create momentum. Once that momentum is going and you get that first name, you’ll be able to get more.
A shortcut to this step is called the barbeque technique. The barbeque technique is where you say, “You know what, Dave, if you were to have a barbeque who would be the first five people you would invite?”
Step #5. Write Down The Referral
With those names, you then go to the next step where you write down the referral. This may sound strange, but a lot of people forget to write down the referral. Here are the steps to writing down the referral.
Number one – once you say that closing statement of, “Whom did you sit next to in your last meeting,” you need to break eye contact and be quiet. You don’t talk until they give you a name, no matter how awkward the silence is. You need to have a referral pad. Get a legal pad and at the top write “referrals”. Go ahead and write five referrals on there from the last person that gave you referrals. Pre-fill out your pad before you use it for the first time so that the perception is that every single person is already giving you referrals.
Step #6. Ask “Who Else?”
The second to last step is you ask “who else.” Do not get pre-approach immediately. If you do get pre-approach immediately, you will leave with only one referral. Write down as much information as possible and then thank them for giving you the referral and always ask who else. It will sound something like this: “Thank you so much. I really appreciate this. Who else do you know at the country club?” Keep talking about the different circles of influence until they are out of people in that area and then you say, “I know you’re really involved at your church. Who do you know at church?”
Step #7. Get Pre-Approach
Once you have the list of ten people to call, you get pre-approach. The main four things you want to know are:
1) What is the decision maker’s name?
2) What’s the best time to reach them?
3) How do you know them?
4) What kind of decision maker are they? Are they straight to the point, detail-oriented or outgoing? Write down what they say and apply the rules to Navigate because that will identify their buying behavior style.
“How much does it cost?”
The price build up is one of the best techniques anyone can use in any industry when they have to deliver the price of a product or service. One of the most common frustrations that I hear a lot of from my coaching clients and people that approach us at events is how, after a client calls to get a price of a quote on a product, they will hang up and find other prices and typically whoever they feel provides the most value for the least dollar amount will win the battle.
The Price Build Up
There are three steps to the process. It’s efficient and effective for getting people to wrap their minds around the value of your service and making them feel the price is the best out there on the market.
Step 1. Build Up The Price
The first step is to build up the price. Do some research and find out how much your product costs in other markets and how much your competition is selling your product for. If you’re selling a high-end pen and you know that your pen is not the most expensive pen out there, make sure you find the most expensive one and know that price. This will be a good price comparison to have. In any industry you know there are services out there that cost more. You build up your price by saying: “A lot of times people assume this product or service is going to cost a lot. People guess that it can be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month. Compared to company XYZ, that is what it would cost. I think the main reason we have so many people buy our product is….” And then you do the next step of the process.
Step 2. Dropping The Bottom Out
The second step is dropping the bottom out of the price. To do this you say: “The main reason people really like doing business with us is that, instead of costing $3,000 a month, our service is only $497 a month. That’s not bad, is it?” The process of thinking that your client follows is that since the top price is $3,000 the next logical amount in the sequence will be $2,500, $2,000 and so forth. So, by saying $497, you’re dropping the bottom out on the amount they thought the price would be.
Step 3. Emotional Close
The last step in the price build up process is to add emotion to the price. Have some kind of story that a customer has given to you in the past about how thankful they are to use your service. Use this story right after you have given the price. It should sound something like this: “The best thing about this is it’s only $497 a month. That’s not bad considering I was talking to Mr. Jones and he was debating about whether to get the service or not. After thinking about it, he said when it comes to his family’s future and being secure he knew there was nothing more important. He went ahead and signed for the same thing you’re looking at today. Three weeks later he had to take advantage of his new insurance policy. I know that was very unfortunate, but he said thank God he made the decision to buy, and he was able to pay his medical bills and keep on working.” Any kind of story you have from a customer that will attach emotion to the price needs to be added right after you give the price of the product.
When you do those steps effectively you will constantly have people agreeing with you that the price of your product or service is or great value and priced right and they will happily be buying your product or services.
Closing the sale is one of the most important parts of the cycle of selling. The best closers understand that closing is not an event, but rather closing the sale is a process of incremental “yes” questions. I define closing as “providing a service/product to someone that they need by helping them go from point A to point B, faster”. The best closers in the world realize that people naturally procrastinate on making decisions, even if the decision is what they want and need. That’s why being an expert closer is one of the best services you can provide society.
In my book Navigate: Selling The Way People Like To Buy (click here), I explain that there are 4 different buying behavior styles and how to identify them in 7 seconds or less and then modify your natural selling style to their buying style. When trying to close a deal, each buying personality has their own specific way of closing that will help you and your buyer to feel good about the decisions made.
How to be a Navigate Closer
A Fighter’s main fear is losing control. Knowing this, whenever you’re speaking with someone who has a dominate personality and tries to control the conversation, the best way to close the deal with them is called the choice of two positives. It’s a simple but effective technique with the Fighter where you offer two positive solutions and let them choose what they prefer. For example, if you’re setting up a meeting with a Fighter, instead of saying, “I’ll meet you at 3 o’clock at Starbucks,” say, “So what would be better for you? Tuesday or Thursday? 2 o’clock or 4 o’clock. Starbucks or Joe’s Coffee?” Giving them options makes them feel like they are in control, but in reality you are in control by offering the two options. You can do this until the close by saying which option do you prefer – option A or option B. You can go as far as asking if they want to do credit card or check. As long as you keep giving them control, they will like you and trust you.
The most effective way to bring an Entertainer to a point of decision is if you’ll dream with them and help them see the big picture, something that’s exciting, something they can emotionally attach to. A good technique is the Crystal Ball close. The Crystal Ball Close is where you forecast the Entertainer’s mind into the future and have them imagine what it’s going to feel like using your product/service.
Here is an example of how you use the Crystal Ball Close as if you were selling a car. “Just imagine one year from now into the future, what do you see yourself enjoying about this car (or product or service you are selling) the most? Do you see yourself with your hair blowing in the wind? Or do you see you and your friends jamming out to some music? Which feature do you see enjoying the most?” If you talk about how the product/ service will make them feel in the right way in the close, Entertainer will literally put himself or herself into that picture you painted for them and they’ll emotionally attach to it. They will decide to buy it because you emotionally charged them.
The person you don’t want to use the Crystal Ball Technique on is the Detective. Detectives are the most logical decision makers. With a Detective, use a technique called the Product, Price, Performance Close. The Product, Price, Performance Close is very logical and unemotional. Sit down, peer to peer with the Detective, and ask them 3 easy questions.
“Cindy, based on what I hear you saying, it seems you like the product, right? Would you agree that the product is something you’d use?” Have the Detective talk about the product. “What was the main part of the product you liked the most?”
“Comparatively speaking and based on the value you’re receiving, wouldn’t you agree that the price is reasonable?”
“Based on everything else I’ve said on how the product will operate and all the benefits of the product, do you trust me that the service that I’m rendering is of value to you?” Let them talk about how much they like you and trust you.
The Detective Direct Close: Once you’ve walked a Detective through the PPP Close you can the use a direct close like this:
“You know, Cindy, this logically makes sense. You said you’ll use the product, you think the price is fair, and the performance is great. It’s really a no brainer. This just makes sense. It’s logical that we should move forward with this.” When you close with a Detective that way, taking them logically through the process, the product and the price, then you’ll be able to close the deal logically with them.
With a Counselor, remember that their fear is change, and they like to make decisions through consensus. A Counselor wants to make sure what you’re telling them won’t dramatically change their family/team’s world. The best close to use with a Counselor is the 4 steps of the Walk Out Close. The Walk Out Close is taking their most common objection “let us discuss this and get back with you next week” away from them and using it to your advantage. This only works in a group setting.
Step 1:Plant Positive Seeds
If you have a Counselor with a few other people in the room and you just got through with your presentation, look at the decision maker (the Counselor) and set it up this way: Say, “John, if I’m reading you right, it seems like you think this is a pretty good idea. Betty, what is your favorite part about this product/service? Is it (A or B)? Mike, what’s your favorite part?”
Step 2: Ask for the Exit
“I think we would all agree that this all makes sense, but as a professional courtesy to you and the group, I want to make sure that you guys have the opportunity to discuss moving forward yourselves without me in the room. So I’m just going to step out for 5 minutes to let you guys discuss if this is the right move for you and your company (or your family) then I’ll come back and move forward from there.”
Step 3: Ask for the Answer
“The only favor that I ask is that when I return, you give me a thumbs up or thumbs down to let me know if this is something you are going to move forward with or not. We’ve already discussed all the details needed to make the decision I just want to make sure you guys are on the right page. Sound fair?”
Step 4: Pray
Even with you executing the previous 3 steps perfectly, they might still say “no”. However, when you come back into the room, you will at least have an answer! In sales, we can take a “yes”, and we can take a “no”… but it’s the “maybes” that kills us!
When becoming a Navigate Closer remember to sell the way people like to buy.
For more information about Navigate: Selling The Way People Like To Buy click here.
Soldiers in war can go days with no food and little water. In Seal Team Six, Howard E. Wasdin describes Navy Seals in combat who have been shot multiple times, missing limbs and still keep moving and fighting. The human mind and body are two of the most extraordinarily resilient things on earth. Yet the body will only endure what the mind can conceive is possible.
How do you condition your mind to conceive that anything is possible?
Step 1: Create an Unlimited Belief Environment
It is mind-boggling how naturally humans limit themselves! At what point do we start thinking “that’s not possible”? Social scientists say that between the ages of 12-15 children form their sense of “belonging”. I personally think that society conditions kids to stop believing that their wildest dreams are possible so that they can be “normal”. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… normal is boring. As I write this, my baby daughter Haven is 9 months old. One of my prayers for her is that she is abnormal. I want her to be special, think outside of the box, have humongous dreams and be passionately persistent in pursuing them. I want her to make a difference in the world. I want other people to look at her and say “something’s different about that one. She just thinks anything is possible.” One of the only rules I’m going to have for Haven is that she cannot spend time with other kids who make fun of her, tell her that her dreams are silly, or in any way are negative.
Negativity breeds negativity. Sadly, most people don’t want other people to succeed beyond what they have succeeded. People are innately programmed to be socially competitive. People want you to believe that being “normal” and mediocre is better than being “abnormal” and successful. If you want to break loose of this crazy conundrum of society… make a decision to stop spending time with people who are negative, make fun of you, hold you back and don’t want to see you succeed. You will be as successful as your five best friends. You must surround yourself with people who have unlimited belief, people who only lift you up and encourage you, and people who have your best interest in mind and want to see you succeed. You have to create an “Unlimited Belief Environment” in order for you to begin to shift the way that you think.
Step 2: Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor
Once you’ve created the proper environment for conditioning yourself to believe anything is possible, next you must find something bigger than yourself in which to anchor your confidence. Faith is the number one confidence anchor in the world. I’m personally a Christian and believe that through belief in Jesus Christ anything is possible. Steve Jobs was a Buddhist who believed he was on a mission to change the world, the Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi believed he had to be the change he wanted to see in the world, and George Washington had faith in the ideal that America had to be a free Nation. Some people build their faith in a mission, an ideal, a leader, Buddha, the universe, a tree, etc. Whatever your beliefs are you need to have faith in something bigger than yourself, in order to accomplish things that are greater than you.
I personally believe that God has given us all certain gifts and talents that are special. And that our true calling in life is to use the gifts that God has given us to the fullest extent every day to make a difference in the world around us.
Step 3: Stop Thinking About Yourself
It’s hard to be nervous when your mind is on service. The reason people are so limited in what they think is possible is simply that they don’t want to look bad. People are so self consumed it’s crazy. We are all so concerned about how we look, what other people think about us, being perceived as smart/not looking dumb that we are willing to forgo any kind of success that we might have experienced due to our self consumed need to look cool.
I’ll never forget my first day in “sales school” at The Southwestern Company where everyone in my group gathered around in a circle and did an exercise where we “tore up our cool cards”. This might have been one of the most valuable life lessons that Southwestern taught me. College students are a magnified version of what the rest of society is truly thinking. The exercise was so powerful because it exposed how their need to look cool drives most of their decisions. Selling books door-to-door for the summer is by most college students’ definition “not cool”. However, the experience of pretending to literally tear up a “cool card” which symbolizes your freedom to be a dork, be excited about life, have big dreams, or in other words be yourself is one of the most liberating experiences ever!
Now it’s your turn. Take out your “cool card” and say out aloud “I will no longer make decisions based on what other people think. I do not care how I look, how I sound, or if people think I’m cool. All I care about doing is setting high goals that make a difference in the world, always doing the right thing and having fun while doing it.” And then tear up your cool card!
Once you have mastered these 3 steps: Creating the Unlimited Belief Environment, Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor, and Stop Thinking About Yourself, you will start seeing your paradigms shift. Your old limiting thoughts will start to melt away. Your new empowering beliefs will start to fill your head.
Then one day without realizing it someone will ask you, “how do you stay so positive and motivated all year long?” and you will have transcended the world of limiting belief to the brave new arena of operating with your mind over matter.
Words construct our reality and create what others think about us. Everyday conversations can easily go into the crucial mode where just one word can change the dynamic of that conversation.
Our mind has a process through which it takes information called the DCR censor. Every piece of information that enters our mind goes through this three-step process.
1. Drive. The drive portion of our brain asks itself, “What’s in it for me?” When you’re selling to somebody or making an appointment with someone, the first thing they will ask themselves is this question.
2. Creative. The question that the creative portion of the brain asks itself is, “How can I hope to achieve this?” As you’re asking yourself that question, you are also thinking of the possible solutions. Usually this is based on previous experience. If you have experienced something in the past that is similar to this new piece of information, then the creative portion of your brain can be at ease and go, “Ok, I know how to achieve this because I’ve done it before.”
3. React. The reaction portion of our brain asks itself, “Am I comfortable with this?” This is where our fight or flight tendency kicks in. If you’re not comfortable with something and your natural tendency is to fight, then you’ll most likely call someone a name like “you’re being stupid” or “you’re being ignorant”. If you go on the offensive, then your natural tendency in the DCR censor is to fight. If you have more of a tendency to “flight” when you’re not comfortable, then you are more likely to shut down and avoid the conversation. The reaction portion of our brain is what holds us back from being comfortable.
Your mind is not your friend. Your mind is designed to protect you and to make you feel comfortable. Why we say what we say is to protect ourselves. We want to keep our self-interests in mind. You need to remember that your mind is not designed to make you successful and that you need to counteract what your mind naturally does.
There are four ways of reacting that all revolve around the DCR questions our mind asks us. They are:
1. Be defensive
2. Be aggressive
3. Be passive
There are ways to solve this, though, and in turn become a master communicator.
1. Listen with your heart in the right place. When you’re in the middle of a conversation, regardless of how you feel, remove your ego. Remove the emotions and listen to the content of the conversation that is being said with your heart in the right place. A self-talk tip you can tell yourself when you’re going into an important conversation is, “I care about what is right more than who is right.” When your heart is in the right place and the intent of the conversation is to remove how you feel and then care more about doing what is right, there will always be a righteous outcome. The right thing will happen.
2. Be willing to be wrong and always listen to what is right. Sometimes you’ll go into a conversation and you might not know what the right thing is, but you will have an opinion. Hold your opinion loosely and look for the right thing. Be focused on looking for the truth and the truth will always prevail. If you go into the conversation thinking of that, then that will change the dynamics of the conversation you will have with somebody.
3. Do something different. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if your form of communication has not been working in your business and you can’t understand why people keep treating you this way, you have to shift your gears or else you will keep getting the same results.
Keep this in mind the next time you go into a phone call or meeting, and see how differently the outcome can be from conversations you’ve had in the past. These communication skills will take focus and training but will surely get you the best results!
Over the past 30 years, there has been one habit that I thank God for everyday…. the habit of Goal Setting. I started contemplating this on a trip recently when I was surrounded by my friends at a condo on the beach in Florida. Goal Setting is a habit that all we all share and we were discussing our experiences with setting and reaching goals.
One of my favorite experiences with goal setting was as a 20-year-old kid. I set a goal to break the over 150 year old sales record at the Southwestern Company. This meant I had to sell more then what over 150,000 top notch salespeople had ever sold in a single summer… and I did. My wife Kyah Hillis is one of the best goal setters I’ve ever met. Whether her goal is to break the Southwestern Company all-time sales record (yes, she held the record I broke ) or starting a mobile fashion accessories business
(www.thetrunknashville.com), she has formed the habit of hitting her goal. One of my best fiends and business partner Rory Vaden set a goal to become a New York Times Best Selling author… and he did…even after he was told this was impossible for a first-time author
(www.takethestairsbook.com). Dave Brown is also one of my best friends and business partners, and while in college Dave played not 1, not 2, but 3 college sports and broke sales records with Southwestern Advantage during the summers. Dave sets goals on a quarterly basis that other people think are impossible… and he always hits them. I’ve known Amanda Johns Vaden since I was 15 years old, and she has been a life-long goal setter. Recently she set a goal to start from scratch a worldwide keynote speakers bureau… and she did.
The habit of goal setting and believing anything you can think of and commit to can be done is a habit that everyone can learn and do. As a kid, I wanted to be a starter on the 9 & 10 year old basketball team. I never achieved that goal because I was afraid of what people would expect from me if I achieved that goal. My fear was the fear of success. Fear is the only reason people don’t set goals. Fear is the reason people don’t unconditionally commit to achieving their goals. Fear is the devil.
Courage is defined as boldly moving forward and taking action in the face of fear. It takes courage to set a goal, unconditionally commit to it and see it through to the end.
Here is a 7 step formula for Courageous Goal Setting:
Unplug from reality and stop listening to the business of the world and let your mind wonder to the corners of your imagination. What kind of person do you want to be/be more like? What are the things you want to do? What are your dreams?
2. Write out your goals.
3. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
T- Time Frame
4. Share your goals with people who can help you achieve them.
Do not share your goals with people who cannot help you achieve them… some people don’t like to see other people succeed.
5. Visualize what it’s going to look like after you achieve your goals.
How are you going to feel? Who is going to be with you? What are you going to do after you hit your goals?
6. Make your goals visual.
Create a vision board with pictures of your goals. Place your vision board on the wall that is directly in front of where you work and look at it all day long.
Here is a picture of my personal Vision Board in my office:
7. Unconditionally commit.
Quitting is not an option. It might take 5-10 years or it might take a year, a week or an hour… but no matter what, never ever lose sight of your dream.
Calvin Coolidge said it best:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
What is your goal?
Here is another sample of my upcoming book: Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking.
The 3 Types of W.O.R.K.
Showing up for work, being focused at work and doing your dead level best while working should not be something anyone has to think about.
If you spend even just 5% of your brainpower and energy on considering if you should go to work or focused on “wasting time until work ends” or “getting ready to get ready to work”, then you are doing a disservice to society. In the Hebrew language, work is defined as “fulfilling a need in society”. That is also why in the Hebrew language you will not find the word “retirement” because the Hebrew people believe that if someone “retires” then they are removing something that is needed from society.
Personally, I have no retirement plan. I’m going to follow in the footsteps of my mentor Spencer Hays and work until I die. When you love what you do working is just a hobby.
So why do so many of us think that WORK is a 4 letter cuss word?
I think it’s conditioned in us by the society we live in today. My business partner Rory Vaden, author of the New York Times best-selling book Take the Stairs, does an excellent job at bringing us to the core of this issue. Rory says that we live in a “PROCRASTInation”that is obsessed with the attitude of “get rich quick”, “buy now and pay later”, “lose weight without working out”, etc. He boils it down to our society living in an “escalator mentality”…meaning nobody wants to work, but everyone wants to be given something for nothing. In his book Take the Stairs, he says the key to success is doing the things we don’t like doing.
Spencer Hays says there are 2 types of people in this world. Those who make an excuse, and those who work out a way. Which one are you? Do you make excuses to not work hard and do your dead level best?
There are 3 types of work:
1. Just Showing Up
A lot of times just showing up is enough to get by. It’s amazing that a lot of people struggle with even this phase of work.
My father-in-law loves telling the story of when he had my wife Kyah vacuum the stairs. She had a bad attitude toward the work and did a half-hearted job. After vacuuming all the stairs, she told her dad she “worked hard and vacuumed the stairs”. Upon inspection Jack (her dad) said “no, you’re not done. There are still dirt spots on some of the stairs.” Kyah replied “but I worked so hard” and Jack responded “just because you ruffed up the carpet doesn’t mean it’s clean. I don’t care how long or hard you worked it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get the job done right.”
My coaching clients often tell me “how hard they are working” and what they mean is that they are putting in a lot of hours. I always respond to someone telling me “how hard they are working” with “we all work hard. How much are you producing during the time you’re working?”. Usually people are being busy being busy, putting out fires, responding to emails, and not proactively and intentionally being a top producer.
3. Kicking Booty
After personally coaching hundreds of sales professionals, leaders, sales managers and business owners, I have found it is a rare individual who gets more done than 5 people combined in the same amount of time. This individual wakes up in the morning and jumps out of bed ready to take on the day. There is no question in this person’s mind whether or not they’re going to go to work and be productive everyday. They eat problems for breakfast, check emails at night, and during the income-producing time of the day all they do is win. There is a name for this rare individual… and that name is “Booty Kicker”.
It’s up to us everyday to decide, “am I going to kick booty today?” or “am I going to get my booty kicked today?” It’s one or the other and you have to decide daily which one you’re going to choose.
Being an booty kicker is simple, but it’s not easy. Here is an acronym to use to help make sure you are an booty kicker everyday.
W – Wake up with a passion for the day everyday. Make sure the first thought you have is “I’m going to kick booty today.” Be as productive when you’re not at the office as you are when you are at the office. Momentum is a powerful thing. It can cause you to have a kick-booty day or a lousy day. In marriage, momentum can cause a marriage to be happy or end in divorce. In sports, momentum is the difference between winning and losing. In battle, momentum is the difference between living and dying. You decide everyday… do you want momentum?
O – Organize. Live by the philosophy “Your schedule dictates your day. Your day does not dictate your schedule”. Be proactive, not reactive. If it’s not in your schedule… DON’T DO IT! Plan out every hour of every day.
R – Recruit the help of others. Anything great has been built on the backs of giants. It takes a village to raise a leader to success. Hire help! You focus on what you’re gifted at doing and let other people focus on what they are gifted at doing. If you’re a producer, then 99% of your time should be spent producing! Time is your most valuable asset that can never be replaced. Know what your time is worth. If you are spending time on something that you could pay someone less money then your time is worth, you are not only wasting time… you’re wasting money!
K – Keep perspective. Understand you only live life once. Make a decision of the kind of person you want to be, and be that person every day, every hour, every second. Treat everyday like it’s your last… because it really might be. Choose to make a difference in the world and in other people’s lives.
Batman said it best “It doesn’t matter who I am on the inside; all that matters is what I do.”
What is there to think about? Either you work or you don’t. Either you produce or you don’t. Either you kick booty or you don’t. You choose everyday.
My business partner and good friend Rory Vaden is achieving some great success with his new book, Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, already #1 on USA Today and the Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists and #2 on The New York Times list.
I asked Rory to share a little with us about his path to success.
How did you get to where you are? How is your personal experience one that lends itself to the study of self-discipline? When I was 5 years old, my mother put me into martial arts, and by age 10, I became the youngest black belt in Colorado…to ever get beaten up by a girl! I used to argue with my mom “I don’t like this! It isn’t fun for me! And this isn’t something I enjoy!” and she’d always say back “That’s ok, Rory, enjoying it isn’t a requirement of doing it.” So, being raised by a single mom she taught me to put a lot of faith in self-discipline.
Then when I went to college I worked with The Southwestern Company. I spent 5 summers away from home, waking up at 5:59 am, taking ice cold showers, and knocking on doors 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, on straight commission, paying all of my own expenses, selling educational children’s books door to door. It was the most rigorous and challenging thing I’ve ever done, but I made over $250k in 5 summers and Southwestern taught me the skills and character I needed to be successful in life.
The book is a very quick read and has so many take-aways. Also, Rory is giving away 4 big bonuses for the first 2000 people who buy the book at www.buytakethestairs.com. Check this one out!
Dan Moore, the President of Southwestern Advantage, enjoyed reading the last 3 blogs (that were inspired by his leadership principles) so much that he honored us with one of his legendary articles on Recognition. Enjoy!
The Art of Recognition
Every human strives for different things in his or her life, but one of the common desires—perhaps THE greatest desire—is the desire to be recognized and appreciated. In an increasingly complex world, it is progressively easier for an individual to feel that what they do simply doesn’t matter. This can lead to feelings of insignificance; and people who feel insignificant DO NOT become world leaders in providing the ultimate in sales and service.
As a leader, you have an opportunity to help each of the people you lead feel more significant, more confident, and more capable. As their leader, you can increase their results temporarily by ‘motivating’ them to a higher level of activity, but you can increase their results permanently by increasing their sense of self-worth and competence. Best of all, you can do it with something that doesn’t cost a penny: effective praise and recognition.
If this is so effective, and so low-cost, why don’t leaders do it more? There are many reasons, but some of the most common include these misperceptions:
‘They shouldn’t need praise from me. They know their job is to sell, and when they have sold a lot they are doing their job. That should be enough.’ (But it’s not enough, is it, or they would be selling more)
‘Too much praise will make them complacent. They need to have a sharp edge if they’re going to succeed.’ (Sales professionals who feel good about themselves are much better able to make the consumer feel good about what they buy.)
‘Nobody praises me, and I’m doing all right.’ (To be given the opportunity to lead and manage is significant praise by itself.)
‘I’m too busy managing sales.’ (Usually, this means ‘too busy reading reports’ and spending very little time in one-on-one interaction with salespeople.)
In reality, one of the most common reasons praise and recognition aren’t given more freely is that the leader doesn’t know how to do so sincerely and motivationally. Praise and recognition are not the same as empty flattery or lightweight compliments. There is much more to it…
If you are enjoying what you’ve been reading, and think you’d like to hear about what we look for in people that we team up with and coach, fill out the following:
Leadership By Example.
“You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”
At Southwestern ConsultingTM, we have a saying “if you want respect around here… go sell something.” The reason I’m personally committed to working as a partner at the Southwestern Family of Companies is because the leadership lives by this philosophy, “You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”
Dan Moore, the President of the Southwestern Advantage
Henry Bedford the CEO/ Chairman of the Board of the Southwestern Family of Companies
Spencer Hays the majority shareholder of all of the Southwestern Family of Companies, Founder of Tom James, and many more successful businesses
Dan, Henry, and Spencer have all personally been in the trenches and sold books door-to-door to earn their stripes at Southwestern.
When Dan Moore takes the stage, his keynote is called “Mr. Mediocrity” and he goes on to tell a story about how he personally learned how “his mind is not his friend”, and how he first learned how to use Positive Mental Attitude techniques to help rewire his negative way of thinking. Anyone who knows Dan would agree that he is one of the most positive people on earth. Dan personally sold books, recruited teams to sell books and managed people on the field. When Dan recruited people, he would tell them “I’m not going to ask you to do anything that I’m not willing to do”. Living by this philosophy is probably one of the main reasons that Dan has gone from being an intern selling books door-to-door as a college student at Harvard University to now being the President of the Southwestern Advantage.
At Southwestern ConsultingTM, we take the leadership example from Dan Moore and apply to everything we teach and do. In order for someone to be a Southwestern ConsultingTM Certified Sales Performance Coach, they have to have 10 years of experience and certifiable awards of being a top producer. Additionally, all of our coaches have to sell coaching in order to be a coach. In order to be relevant and provide true value to our clients, we believe a coach’s successes in the past, books they’ve written, and amazing accomplishments they’ve achieved is what gets them in the position of being a coach. But actually selling coaching and personally being a top producer is what makes them a great coach, and how they keep their job, and ultimately become a partner in our consulting firm!
“You cannot teach what you don’t know; you cannot lead where you won’t go.”
For more information about Southwestern ConsultingTM Sales and Leadership Coaching:
Servant Leadership at its finest transforms lives.
Dan Moore is one of the best Servant Leaders I’ve ever met! At our first Southwestern ConsultingTM Success Starts Now! TM sales training seminars, Dan not only was one of our speakers at the event…but he also was the cameraman, set-up crew and clean-up crew. There have been countless times that we’ve been in a business meeting and Dan is the first person to stand up and get everyone a cup of coffee. Dan is the first person to offer the best seat to someone else. Dan is the last person to get his food. If someone needs anything, Dan gets it or does it without hesitating. Dan Moore is a Servant Leader.
Here are the 5 Characteristics of a true Servant Leader:
Being aware of your actions and decision and being considerate of the effects on others is at the core of a Servant Leader. Being considerate does not come natural for a lot of people (myself included). Being considerate of my teammates, my loved ones and other people in general is a discipline that as a leader I have to practice everyday.
I thank God everyday for putting Servant Leaders like Dan Moore, Henry Bedford, Steve Hillis and Spencer Hays into my life. As a leader striving to be a true Servant Leader everyday, my goal is simple. As Dale Carnegie suggests in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People – stop focusing on what I want and help other people get what they want in life.
Dan Moore (the President of the Southwestern Advantage and partner at Southwestern Consulting) hosted the 26th Annual Southwestern Company “Great Recruiters Seminar” in Nashville, TN recently. After the Freddie’s Awards banquet, I had the honor of discussing Leadership ideas with Dan.
Here are the top 3 leadership lessons from Dan Moore:
1. A Great Introduction Determines the Outcome of the Presentation.
The way you introduce someone is a window for them to see what you really think about them… which will affect the way they see themselves.
Dan Moore’s Tips for a Great Introduction:
Group Introduction Tips
When introducing 2 people who haven’t met, it is a golden opportunity to build them up and help further define their role on the team.
Dan Moore shared a story with me about when Dan was on the Marketing Team at Southwestern and he went to film a speech by Mort Utley and the person introducing Mort did a very sub-par job on the introduction. Dan said that Mort had to spend the first 15 minutes of the 30 minute speech establishing credibility and connecting with the crowd. By the end of the speech, Mort had won the hearts of the spectators over (as he always did) and walked to the back of the room with Dan as everyone was leaving. Mort looked at Dan and taught him a lesson he’s never forgotten, he said “Dan promise me this. When you introduce someone, make sure you put as much energy and enthusiasm as you’d want someone to do for you. Otherwise, you’re setting someone up to spend a majority of their time digging out of the hole you put them in.”
… Stay tuned for the other 2 lessons from Dan Moore in weeks to come.
An event took place in high school that set in course a change in the way I think and believe what is possible. Up until that point, I was never in the top echelon of athletics, grades or really anything at all. I was just a normal kid who did not believe absolutely anything was possible… I had limiting belief.
My Momentum Building Event
I started wrestling in the 8th grade and I was pretty good, but not the best. My Junior year in High school I found myself going to the state tournament at #3 in my area; 189lbs out of Dalton, GA. My weight class and area were considered the hardest in the state, and mostly because of a guy named Brent Hughes from Murray County. Brent had beaten me three times that year. Wrestling Brent was like trying to wrestle a Grizzly Bear. They actually took a picture of him with his shirt off weighing in for the state tournament and put it on the cover of the Georgia State wrestling magazine. Brent hadn’t just beaten me three times that year, he destroyed me 3 times that year! Every time I wrestled him I had this negative, self-defeating self-talk saying, “There’s no way I can beat this guy” or, “What am I going to do?” I felt like I had no chance to win against him.
Historically, if I were winning in the first period, I would win the match. But if I was getting beat or if I got on my back, I would just tell myself, “Aw, screw it” and give up. In my first match in the first period in the state tournament I found myself in a headlock on my back. While on my back and about to have the shortest appearance in Georgia state tournament history, a new thought entered my head. I thought, “You know what, I don’t even care, I’m just going to go nuts, and see what happens.” Something in me just clicked. I arched my back and in a fast furry, I was on top of this guy and pinned him.
In my next match, I was thrown on my head three times. Then a new thought entered my head: “This guy is going to have to kill me to beat me.” Then somehow, in the middle of him throwing me on my head for the 4th time, I ended up countering the throw and pinning the guy. At this point my confidence started building. I won the next match and then two more matches after that and found myself in the semifinals facing Brent Hughes.
Normally I would have been scared and telling myself, “I can’t do this. He’s so much better than me. There’s no way I can do this.” But this time around, I had a new attitude. I stopped thinking, stopped caring about “what if”, and started giving 100%. I went into this match with the thought, “I don’t care if he kills me. I’m going to come at him with everything I have. And even if I lose, I’m going to at least slam him one good time.” I visualized myself picking him up, (Brent Hughes, who could bench press 350lbs in high school), and throwing him on his head. In the past, I would try to finesse him and use wrestling techniques against him, but this time I came at him with everything that I had head on like a savage warrior. Within a minute in the first period I picked up the seemly unbeatable opponent, swung him in the air above my head, and slammed him on his head. He had to take an injury timeout. And to everyone’s surprise (including my own coaches), I beat him 7 to 3 and advanced to the state finals!
In that moment, something happened to the way I looked at myself and my confidence was changed forever. I had just beaten Brent Hughes, who had been expected to win the entire state tournament. And I hadn’t just beaten him, I beat him bad. In fact, the only points he got were from me taking him down and letting him up. I owned him. And I won!
I ended up losing the state finals. I was winning with 10 seconds left and ended up losing only by one point. After that tournament, I thought differently about myself. When I looked in the mirror, I believed I could do things I use to not think was possible. I refer to that day as my “Confidence Anchor Event”.
Anytime I’ve been afraid to do something or just simply didn’t want to do something, I go back to that day and I push through. Utilizing this “Confidence Anchor Event” has made the rest of the challenges in my life such as my first “real job” working with the Southwestern Company selling books door-to-door, starting a sales performance consulting business, starting a sales and leadership coaching business, starting a sales seminar business, writing books, being married, having a new born baby, so much easier for me. Every time the going gets tough I visualized going into that state tournament with the odds against me and I overcame those odds. Then the memory of that “Confidence Anchor Event” helps me push through and not give up.
Now every time I push through a difficult challenge that becomes a new “Confidence Anchor Event”. What is yours? Do you have a time in your life when the odds were against you and you wanted to quit, but you didn’t and you ended up victorious? If not… you can create one by simply never giving up on anything that is a challenge. Babe Ruth said it best “It’s hard to beat someone who won’t give up.”
Other than the Bible this writing is the single most powerful truth I’ve ever read. Enjoy!
WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING: BY JIM MCEACHERN
ONE OF THE MOST SOBERING THOUGHTS I HAVE EVER BEEN CONFRONTED WITH IS THIS. “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” YOU ARE NOW, THIS MOMENT, EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING ALL YOUR LIFE.
ARE YOU NOW THE PERSON YOU DREAMED ABOUT BECOMING? IF YOU HAD WRITTEN DOWN SEVERAL YEARS AGO EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANTED TO BE NOW, WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD YOU HAVE DESCRIBED? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO BECOMING THAT PERSON?
WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE A YEAR FROM NOW? OR TWO YEARS FROM NOW? OR FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? OR 10? OR 20?
RIGHT NOW YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU WILL BE IN A YEAR, OR TWO, OR FIVE, OR 10 OR 20 YEARS FROM NOW. THE HABITS YOU HAVE NOW WILL DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WILL BECOME UNLESS YOU CHANGE THOSE HABITS NOW.
WHAT ATTITUDE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SOMEDAY? THE ATTITUDE YOU HAVE NOW IS A GOOD INDICATION OF THE ATTITUDE YOU WILL HAVE SOMEDAY, UNLESS RIGHT NOW YOU BEGIN TO DEVELOP A NEW KIND OF ATTITUDE.
IF YOU ARE NOT NOW DOING THOSE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME, WHAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU EVER WILL?
DO YOU HAVE SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM BECOMING WHAT YOU WANT TO BECOME? THOSE SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL PASS BUT THEY WILL BE REPLACED BY NEW SITUATIONS OR NEW CIRCUMSTANCES. IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A BETTER (OR DIFFERENT) KIND OF PERSON, YOU BETTER GET STARTED NOW. YOU CANNOT WAIT FOR SITUATIONS OR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE JUST RIGHT.
HAVE YOU EVER TOLD YOURSELF. “SOMEDAY I AM GOING TO BEGIN TO SAVE SOME MONEY ON A REGULAR BASIS?” ARE YOU SAVING NOW? IF YOU ARE NOT NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T EVER—UNLESS YOU BEGIN NOW. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOUR INCOME DOUBLES OR TRIPLES. IT WILL NEVER BE ANY EASIER, EVEN IF YOU SOMEDAY EARN TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU DO NOW; SAVING/MONEY REGULARLY HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH INCOME. IT RELATES TO THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE. IF YOU WANT TO DEVELOP A GOOD SAVINGS ACCOUNT, YOU BETTER BEGIN NOW. IN ALL PROBABILITY, IT IS NOW OR NEVER.
DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS” SOMEDAY? DO YOU NOW HAVE GOOD “WORK HABITS?” IF NOT, YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL, UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO BEGIN TO DEVELOP THEM RIGHT NOW. WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, YOU ARE NOW BECOMING. MAYBE YOU HAVE SAID, “SOMEDAY, I AM GOING TO SET ASIDE TIME TO READ THE BIBLE AND PRAY EVERY DAY.” WHY SOMEDAY? IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SET ASIDE TIME NOW, YOU PROBABLY WON’T DO IT SOMEDAY. IF YOU PLAN TO EVER BEGIN, YOU BETTER START FORMING THE HABIT TODAY.
MANY YEARS AGO SPENCER HAYS ASKED ME, “JIM, WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS? WHAT KIND OF HUSBAND DO YOU WANT TO BE? WHAT KIND OF FATHER DO YOU WANT TO BE?” I ANSWERED SPENCER BY TELLING HIM THE KIND OF PERSON I WANTED TO BECOME. I TOLD HIM WHAT I WANTED TO BECOME AS A HUSBAND AND AS A FATHER. SPENCER THEN TOLD ME ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING THINGS I HAVE EVER HEARD. HE SAID, “WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE YOU ARE NOW BECOMING.” THEN HE ASKED ME, “IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DO THOSE THINGS NOW, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU EVER WILL?” I RESOLVED THEN TO BEGIN DOING THOSE THINGS WHICH WOULD ENABLE ME TO BECOME THE PERSON, THE HUSBAND AND THE FATHER I WANTED TO BECOME.
WE ARE FACED WITH A CHOICE. WE CAN EITHER BEGIN TO DO THOSE THINGS THAT WILL ENABLE US TO BECOME WHAT WE SOMEDAY WANT TO BECOME—OR WE CAN LEARN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. I WOULD PREFER TO DO EVEN THOSE VERY DIFFICULT TASKS THAT WILL ENABLE ME TO BECOME WHAT I WANT TO BECOME THAN TO LIVE WITH REGRET. EVERY TIME YOU DO THOSE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU OUGHT TO DO, YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF.
EITHER WAY YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.
ALBERT GRAY SAID, “THE SECRET OF SUCCESS OF EVERY MAN WHO HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL LIES IN THE FACT THAT HE FORMED THE HABIT OF DOING THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO.” TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME REQUIRES FORMING THE HABIT OF DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, THE THINGS FAILURES DON’T LIKE TO DO. THE BEST TIME TO BEGIN FORMING A GOOD HABIT IS RIGHT NOW.
WE ARE NOW, DELIBERATELY AND CONSCIOUSLY, CHOOSING TO BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO SOMEDAY BE, OR WE ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY MAKING THE CHOICE. EITHER WAY WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING WHAT WE ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. KING DAVID IN THE OLD TESTAMENT DELIBERATELY SOUGHT GOD’S WILL IN MOST FACETS OF HIS LIFE AND BECOME A GREAT MAN. HE APPARENTLY DID NOT CONSCIOUSLY DECIDE WHAT KIND OF FATHER HE WOULD BECOME. AS A RESULT, HIS CHILDREN WERE THE CAUSE OF MUCH SORROW. ONE OF HIS SONS GATHERED AN ARMY TO OVERTHROW HIM. ANOTHER SON RAPED HIS OWN SISTER. THE SON WHO COMMITTED THE RAPE WAS MURDERED BY ANOTHER OF DAVID’S SONS. YOU ARE NOW IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING THE PERSON YOU’RE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE.
I’VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF HEARING MANY OUTSTANDING SUCCESS STORIES. THE ACHIEVERS OF THOSE SUCCESSES INVARIABLY STATED. “I DECIDED TO.” IMMEDIATELY AFTER DECIDING THEY TOOK ACTION THAT ENABLED THEM TO BEGIN ACHIEVING THAT WHICH THEY DECIDED TO DO. IT IS THROUGH ACTION THAT WE BECOME.
THIS WORLD IS LITTERED WITH FAILURES. THESE PEOPLE DID NOT INTEND TO BECOME WHAT THEY ARE; THEY INTENDED TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS. THEY INTENDED TO BECOME MUCH MORE THAN AVERAGE, BUT THEY WAITED FOR THE RIGHT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE WAITING FOR? CHILDREN ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY FINISH SCHOOL. ADULTS ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY GET PROMOTED. MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE ARE WAITING UNTIL THEY CAN RETIRE. MANY ARE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE “NORMAL.” IN THE PROCESS OF WAITING THEY ARE BECOMING WHAT THEY ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY INTEND TO BECOME. LIFE DOESN’T WAIT. YOU’RE, RIGHT NOW,
BECOMING WHAT YOU ARE SOMEDAY GOING TO BE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW TO BECOME WHAT YOU WANT TO SOMEDAY BECOME?
LOSERS DON’T INTEND TO BECOME LOSERS. THEY BECOME LOSERS WHILE WAITING FOR CIRCUMSTANCES TO GET RIGHT. WINNERS DON’T WAIT. THEY DO WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME WHAT THEY WANT TO BECOME. THEY DO IT NOW.
-JIM MCEACHERN (1930-2011)
For information about the Southwestern Company Leadership Coaching:
Nothing great can be done half-ass. You’re either in or out. It’s all or nothing.
The unfortunate reality is that we live in a mediocre world where people embrace something challenging with the attitude of “well, I’ll try this out and see what happens”. There is no greater travesty than people die after living a life of having a non-committal attitude towards life.
My new friend Chasity recently inspired me as she was on her way to run a Urbanathlon where she runs 10.5 miles with 9 obstacle courses throughout the run.
She found out about the Urbanathlon while flying and reading a magazine and immediately registered online after she landed. I then came to find out that earlier this year she had won a body building contest in TX, and before that she was a college cheerleader. It was energizing just speaking with her. Even though her world is completely different from mine, after our conversation she motivated me to embrace life to the fullest… even more than I already do.
We only live this crazy life one time. Our time on earth is too short to have regrets. Tim McGraw said it best “Live like you were dying” and I think Steve Jobs took it to another level when he said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
– Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)… (Side note… God bless Steve Jobs. He truly changed our world!)
What is on your list of things you want to do before you die? Why haven’t you done them yet? How would you feel if you went to the pearly gates and St. Peter reviewed your life with you and all you can think is “I wish I would have…”.
My favorite annual exercise is creating a vision board. Every year I make a list of what kind of person I want to be more like, what things I want to do, places I want to go, and things I want to have. Then I cut out pictures that represent all of these things, and then for the rest of the year I focus on all of the things on my board. Everyone should have a vision board!
One of the reasons I wear Nike shoes is because they inspire me to “Just Do It”. If this blog inspired you to do something you know you’ve always wanted to do… go put on your Nikes!
… need help “just doing it”? The Southwestern Consulting Certified Coaching team helps people “just do it” everyday.
Recently a good friend asked, “I know your company does sales training, but what does that mean?” The fact that my good friend didn’t know exactly what Southwestern Consulting does inspired me to create this video with a handful of clients to describe what Southwestern Consulting does in our sales coaching & leadership coaching programs.
If you find yourself asking “how do I make more money“, “how do I increase my teams sales“, “how do I skillfully manage my time“?
With over 155 years of experience from over 150,000 sales professionals at the Southwestern Company, the Top Producers Edge sales coaching program & the Managers Edge leadership coaching program are designed to get you results!
For more information about our Sales Coaching and Leadership Coaching program:
The Art of Not Thinking is my new book that will be coming out in 2012.
Here is a sample of what The Art of Not Thinking is about:
Chapter 1- Why Do Smart People Not Think?
Calvin Coolidge says “The world is full of intellectual giants and emotional midgets”. The world is consumed with the notion that we need to think our way into success. People turn to books and seminars trying to learn “the secret”. Parents all want their kids to get straight A’s, go to college, get a good job, and be a “normal” member of society.
I am 29 years old as I write this and I recently found out my wife and I are having a baby girl! At a social gathering a friend and I were discussing how I don’t want my girl to be “normal”; normal is boring, normal is forgettable, normal is average, the normal people secretly wish they were like the abnormal people. We all want to be the best and we want the best for our families… However it is fascinating how hung up we are with being the best at the wrong things. For example grades… I work at the 155 year old Southwestern Company, we interview over 10,000 people per year for various jobs. The number one thing we look for in a candidate is previous successful work habits, the last thing we look for is someones GPA. I think Michael Thompson said it best “The truth is that many indifferent students do extremely well in business because the set of skills required to be a good student does not match the set of skills to be a success in the world,” says Michael Thompson, a University of Chicago-trained psychologist and co-author of the bestseller, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. He likes to quote the old line: “School is a place where former A students teach mostly B students to work for C students.” It may be an over generalization, but it has “more truth than educators are comfortable with,” he says.
Thinking is a good thing to do at the right time. The problem is that most people don’t think when they should be, and they are thinking when they shouldn’t be.
Stay tuned for more of The Art of Not Thinking…
Southwestern ConsultingTM has been helping people reach their potential in over 35 cities across the world from London to Los Angeles by training, motivating, coaching, and consulting top sales professionals from every different arena. We have trained the #1 Remax broker in the nation and the #1 Keller Williams agent in the nation. We have coached the top 1% of producers and managers from companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Yellow Pages, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Toyota, Bankers Life, State Farm, and many more.
What we have found is that the cream of the crop in every industry has 5 common reasons why they choose to work with their company. We have also found that those same 5 reasons are why great entrepreneurs and team builders attract top talent to work with them. More importantly, we’ve found that these same 5 reasons are why people stay with a company for more than 1-2 years, and are why people build 30 year long careers with a company.
Debunking the myths
If we were to survey a room of managers and ask them what are the top 5 things people are looking for in a job? Most would reply with the following:
4. Co-workers they like
The problem with this thinking is it comes from a very short-term perspective. I recently saw a job advertisement that was promoting a job where the top money earner made over $300,000. That’s a great ad for hiring someone who is hungry for money in the short term to go work somewhere that they possibly aren’t passionate about. Yet they could still go to work there because of the opportunity to earn big bucks. However, we have found that the best of the best people who are satisfied in their jobs do not always go to the opportunity where the employers are throwing money at a certain job. Don’t get me wrong. Making a lot of money is a great thing as long as you are making it in an area about which you are passionate.
The other day I was on a coaching call with a woman who has been working in her job for less than a year. She was explaining to me how she isn’t motivated. Here were the 6 reasons she was miserable.
1. Her boss was “arrogant”. – Any time a company is “personality-driven” the people working for that personality will feel less than the ego-driven owner. Look for companies that are “principle-driven”, rather than “personality-driven”.
2. Each time she came up with an idea her manager took credit for it. – True leaders will give credit to the team and others for the great ideas, and the true leader also will take the blame when things go wrong.
3. She felt like her opinion didn’t count. – If your opinion doesn’t count, why have one? Why should you care if the company succeeds if they don’t care about your opinion?
4. She knows that the management team did not care about her as a person. – You are not a number. A good leader should be interested in your passions, family and life.
5. The office environment was negative. – Your attitude will always be a reflection of the people around you. I once heard a fallacy that you don’t have to be positive to be successful. I would define being successful as being positive all the time regardless of the circumstances.
6. No one appreciated her for any extra effort she was putting in. – Appreciation is the fuel for enthusiastic effort.
She didn’t mention one word about how much money she was making or the security of her job.
When it comes right down to it, there are few people who are motivated by money alone. If you’re one of those people, more power to you. For the rest of us, here are the top 5 things we have found that successful people look for in a job that they actually enjoy.
1. Co-workers that you respect and truly enjoy being with – When you work with friends, your job becomes a hobby.
2. Contribution – Make sure that your company understands where the best ideas come from…the people actually doing the work!
3. Creativity – If you do not have the flexibility to create your own style and adapt the system given to you, then you might feel like a robot working for the man.
4. Money – Make sure that you have the opportunity to earn what you need to make the proper investments to live the life of your dreams.
5. Security – I have rarely seen a company that would terminate someone who was productive, positive, contributing, and believed in the mission of the company.
For everyone who is currently on the job hunt or anyone who is unhappy with their current job, here are 2 questions to ask yourself when making one of the biggest decisions of your life.
1. Would I want to spend time with my boss outside of work?
Do you think your potential boss is full of integrity and will do what he/she says he/she will do? Do you see characteristics in your boss that you want to emulate?
2. Am I passionate about the service this job provides the world?
Is the product/ service something you believe in and would buy for yourself? You can be successful at anything you believe in and are passionate about!
Take an educated risk
Step 1. Identify what you are passionate about. (i.e., cars, travel, fashion, helping other people succeed, etc.)
Step 2. Make a list of the characteristics you want to see in the people you work with. (i.e., humble, innovative, honest, caring, hard working, kind, etc.)
Step 3. Break down how much money you need to get started and then figure out how much money you will need to make to invest and live the life of your dreams. (Many times the best opportunities do not come with a guaranteed amount of income. However, great companies will provide you with the support and structure to blow past any guarantee with a small commission. Most of my personal coaching clients who earn over $500,000 per year started with a small draw or straight commission or started their own business and went in debt for several years before building their momentum in what they were passionate about and living the life of their dreams.)
Don’t waste your life chasing a buck. Go after what you are passionate about with all your might, and when the dust settles you will be on top!
For more info on job opportunities click HERE.