Archive for southwestern consulting

Being Decisive

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , on June 7, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

What do people like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? Other than being billionaires, they all are decisive. They know what they want. They understand their priorities. They make decisions. You’d probably never hear any of them say, “let me think about it”. Billionaires don’t have time to “think about it”; it’s either a “yes” or it’s a “no”. Opportunities are lost every day from not making a decision.

What is there to think about? Most of the time if we have to think about something, it’s because we don’t have a clear vision for what we really want. People are so focused on the day-to-day minutiae of life, that they cannot set their sights down the road on the bigger prize. It’s interesting to ask people the question “what do you want?” Most people respond with something generic like “happiness”, “make a lot of money”, “world peace”, etc. If someone asked you “what do you want?”, could you answer the question? Knowing what you want is the first step in being a decisive decision maker.

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Considering your priorities and reorganizing priorities based on what is going to get you another step closer to your goal every day is a skill. We are all busy being busy. Nobody on the planet thinks they aren’t “busy”.

Why do so few people exceed their goals in life? They have their priorities out of order. If your priority is to become the number one producer, become financially independent and build wealth, then why are you spending so much time checking email, reading up on current events and chit-chatting with your co-workers by the coffee machine? You should spend 90-95% of your time doing things that only you can do with your unique skills and talents. Understanding your priorities will help you to stay focused on the things that only you can do.

All that is left now that you know what you want and you’ve got your priorities reorganized daily is to take action. Stop thinking. Pick up the phone. Book the trip. Ask the girl of your dreams out on a date.

Stop thinking and start doing. Make decisions. Be decisive. If 90% of your decisions are right, then the 10% that are wrong will be made up from making more positive decisions.

Being Present In the Moment

Posted in dustin hillis, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , on April 12, 2016 by Dustin Hillis

Recently a man was taking a picture with his smart phone and backed off the ledge of a cliff and died. Being present in the moment can be the difference between life and death. Being present in the moment can be the difference between staying married or getting a divorce. Being present in the moment can be the difference between your child growing up feeling loved or alone. Being present in the moment can be the difference between winning someone’s business or losing the deal.

The greatest gift you can give someone is your attention.

When was the last time when you were in a room and everyone was engrossed in their cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings? Can you recall the last conversation when the person you were talking with was looking over your shoulder and not making eye contact with you and you could tell they were listening to less than half of the things you were saying? When was the last time you were barely engaged in a conversation? Of even worse, you only focused on looking good by trying to impress the other person by talking about yourself, and not caring to ask the other person questions about themselves, resulting in a balanced conversation. People who are more focused on being interesting versus being interested will always have a difficult time fostering authentic relationships.

3 Levels of Not Paying Attention

Level 1. Attention Deficit

There are a large number of people in this world who are naturally wired to be on the go and cannot sit still long enough to ask questions and listen. While this might be a gift or a curse that God has given you, it’s still not an excuse not to be present in the moment. Some individuals with extreme cases end up taking medication for ADD. After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I was prescribed medication which caused me to experience hyperfocus. It also caused me to also experience negative side effects that caused me to stop taking the drugs. I found that after years of practice I could control my ADD and hyperfocus when I put myself in the right environment with no medication.

Level 2. Addicted to Technology

family on phones

Smart phones are making us stupid. The world is addicted to their phones. A large number of people are spending a majority of their time on their smart phones. Between Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs and email, everyone is living a virtual reality versus living in real time. The most interesting man in the world (in my favorite Dos Equis beer commercial) says “I live vicariously through myself.” Life is beautiful. All we need to do is put down the technology and pay attention and see the real time Instagram-worthy things all around us.

Level 3. Consumed with Oneself

When someone is so consumed with himself or herself that they don’t care about other people, they enter another level of not being present in the moment. Think of the last time you went to a dinner or had a meeting with someone and at the end of the time together you knew everything about them and they knew nothing about you? Do you have friends who don’t really know anything about you? Are they really your friend? If someone is so consumed with how awesome they are, it will be difficult for them to be present in the moment and have a genuine conversation with you.

Now that we’ve identified the 3 levels of not paying attention, let’s discuss how to be present in the moment.

The first step in being present in the moment is to slow down and take a deep breath. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Who always wins in Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare? The tortoise wins every time! Pay attention to your breathing. By simply taking a few deep breaths, you will slow your heart rate down and you’ll be able to be more present. Just by simply slowing down, you will start noticing things that are beautiful all around you that you may have never noticed before. I love how my 4-year-old daughter, Haven, always notices any flowers and makes us stop and look at them and smell them. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

After you’ve learned how to slow down, start working on being grateful. Every day either when you wake up or when you’re going to bed take out a piece of paper or a journal and write down 10 things that you are grateful for in your life that day. Throughout the day, pray or affirm your gratitude for all of the little things in life. When good things happen to you, don’t get over excited and when bad things happen to you, don’t get overly upset. Always stay even keeled in your emotions and grounded in thankfulness and gratitude. Just be thankful to be alive and healthy every single day. Everything else is just a bonus!

Get a better routine. Wake up and go workout, read some affirmations, eat breakfast and then maybe check your email for 30 minutes and then put it away. Then have a scheduled time in the middle of the day to check email and technology, then one more time at the end of the day. Checking email 3 times per day and social media one time per day should be enough! We do not need to be consumed by our social media all day long. Our relationships are suffering if we are addicted to our devices.

Finally, get over yourself. No one cares how awesome you are. Emotional midgets are the ones who care so much about what others think about them that they only want to talk about themselves. We need to honestly care about other people, ask questions and listen. We need to empathize with other people’s pains and struggles. Focus on maintaining eye contact, look for the non-verbal communication to make sure that what they are telling you is the whole story or, if you need to, keep asking more questions to get them to really open up and tell you what is really going on.

At the end of the day, we are all called to love one another. There is no way we can show love if we are too busy being busy and consumed with our own selfish human nature. This has been and will continue to be a struggle of mine.   Hopefully, you will join me in the pursuit of loving other people and being present in the moment.

20 Ways to Be a Good Salesperson

Posted in Sales Coaching, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by Dustin Hillis

The world is full of dichotomies, the yin and the yang, the black and the white, the good and the bad. At Southwestern Consulting™, we are on a mission to change the perception the world has about the word “salesperson”.  Unfortunately, over the years, really bad salespeople have created a negative stigma for what used to be considered the most honorable profession in the world, selling. I attended a church service once where the preacher literally was referring to being a “sinner” as being a being a “salesperson”!

The reality is everyone is a salesperson. It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, teacher, engineer, doctor or a stay at home mother… everyone is selling something always. Selling is simply communicating. Every day we are selling an idea to someone else. My 4-year-old daughter Haven is the best salesperson I know. Every day she is selling her mother and me on something she wants, and she is really good at negotiating and handling objections!

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wallstreet

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

In the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio does a fantastic job of demonstrating all 20 traits of a bad salesperson. The Wolf of Wall Street is the best example of a horrible, self-centered, high pressure, manipulative salesperson. At Southwestern Consulting™, we work with some of the best auto dealers in the world.  Some of the used car salesmen and saleswomen that we work with are the most ethical, honest and hard-working people we’ve ever met.  However, it is so unfortunate that a group of bad salespeople like The Wolf of Wall Street got into the used car sales business and gave the honorable industry a bad name.

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

Steve Reiner is a Top Producing Salesperson at Southwestern Consulting

The other day I was in Denver, Colorado working with a really good salesperson named Steve Reiner. Steve is a Partner at Southwestern Consulting™ and is an executive sales and leadership coach. It was so invigorating to watch him meet with a very savvy sales manager and extremely competent regional director and then present to a group of seasoned sales professionals at Wells Fargo Advisors. If Steve was a bad salesperson, he would not have gotten into the door with these folks and the seasoned sales team would have eaten him alive. So why did they not only let Steve come train them on how to be better sales professionals, but then afterwards a good number of them signed up for one-on-one sales coaching? Steve is a servant salesperson. He focuses on asking really good questions.  He listens with a heart of service and wanting to help other people reach their goals in life. He is not focused on himself and personal gain. He is patient and persistent and creates a comfortable buying atmosphere and sells the way people like to buy.

At the end of the day, we all have a decision to make. Are we going to be a bad salesperson who is focused on ourselves and how much money we can make, and be consumed with what we deserve?  Or are we going to be a good salesperson and focusing on serving others, asking good questions and listening, and caring more about helping people get what they want than we do making a commission. After all, people can smell your commission breath a mile away.

Here are the traits of a bad salesperson and a good salesperson: 

20 Traits of a Bad Salesperson:
1. Are selfish and focused on making a commission
2. Make things up to get someone to buy
3. Talks too much and too fast
4. Force people to do things they don’t want to do
5. Don’t work a referral system
6. Pressure people and makes them feel sold
7. Don’t dress for success
8. Are not disciplined
9. Say one thing and do another
10. Are lazy
11. Have call reluctance
12. Don’t have a schedule
13. Don’t track their activity
14. Don’t know their numbers/selling ratios
15. Think about prospects in terms of how much money they can make off them
16. Make excuses and blame others for failures
17. Take credit for a collaborative team effort
18. Lie and are dishonest
19. Don’t know how to close properly so they create undue pressure
20. Are ego driven and focused on looking good

20 Traits of a Good Salesperson:

1. Has a servant’s heart and focused on serving other people through helping them meet their needs

2.Asks really good questions and intently listens

3. Qualifies prospects quickly and doesn’t sell to people who are not qualified
4. Are aware of their surroundings and considerate of others
5. Closes quickly once a prospect crosses the buying line and doesn’t over sell
6. Uses Feel (empathy), Felt (relating), Found  (solution) and 3rd Party testimonial stories to answer all objections
7. Helps prospects buy with ease and have fun when they are buying
8. Sells the way people like to buy / adapts to others’ buying styles
9. Always is dressed appropriately for success
10. Always on schedule and on time
11. Works a efficiency warm referral system
12. Has a positive attitude in all circumstances
13. Tracks their activity
14. Knows their numbers/selling ratios
15. Does the work and doesn’t care who gets the credit
16. Doesn’t make excuses and finds a way
17. Are team players
18. Tells the truth even when it hurts
19. Studies the art of selling and closing to help prospects feel comfortable and excited with buying
20. Has a humble and loving approach towards everything they say and do

I challenge you to be one of the good guys.  Be a Good Salesperson!

Modify: Entertainer (Pt. 2)

Posted in Closing, dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by Dustin Hillis

Today I am wrapping up my Modify series. This week, I’ll finish with how to present and close with an Entertainer. Catch up on last week, how to present to an Entertainer, here (Modify: Entertainer Pt. 1).

Did you miss the rest of the Modify series? You can catch up here:

Modify: Fighter Part 1

Modify: Fighter Part 2

Modify: Fighter Part 3 

Modify: Detective Part 1

Modify: Detective Part 2

Modify: Detective Part 3

Modify: Counselor Part 1

Modify: Counselor Part 2

Modify: Entertainer – Presentation and Close

When it comes to modifying your natural approach, presentation and close with an Entertainer’s natural buying behavior style, it is important to remember that Entertainers are the kind of people who are energetic, enthusiastic, inspired by affirmation and their biggest fear is rejection.

Knowing all of those things, we really have to be careful with how we approach, how we present and how we close because they can be the most emotional when they are buying. They can also be really great advocates and referral partners, but only if we do it the right way.

–> Click here to continue reading.

Modify: Entertainer (Pt. 1)

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Dustin Hillis

Today, I am excited to share with you the last section in my Modify series. This week, I’ll cover how to approach an Entertainer followed by next week when I’ll go into how to present and close with an Entertainer.

Did you miss the rest of the Modify series? You can catch up here:

Modify: Fighter Part 1

Modify: Fighter Part 2

Modify: Fighter Part 3 

Modify: Detective Part 1

Modify: Detective Part 2

Modify: Detective Part 3

Modify: Counselor Part 1

Modify: Counselor Part 2

Modify: Entertainer – The Approach

When it comes to modifying your natural approach, presentation and close with an Entertainer’s natural buying behavior style, it is important to remember is that Entertainers are the kind of people who are energetic, enthusiastic, inspired by affirmation and their biggest fear is rejection.

–> Click here to continue reading..

Modify: Counselor (Pt. 2)

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips with tags , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by Dustin Hillis
Presentation and Close with a Counselor Natural Buying Style

Presentation and Close with a Counselor Natural Buying Style

Did you miss it? Last week was Modify: Counselor Part One. Catch up here.

When it comes to modifying our natural sales approach to adapt to a Counselor’s buying behavior style, it’s important to remember that a Counselor is a team player.

They are active listeners.  They are the people who are family-oriented.  They are the slowest of all the decision makers; they are more meticulous and they buy through consensus.

If you’re working with a Counselor, you’ll need to hone in and get to the core of what they are motivated by and, if you’re selling to a Counselor, what their biggest fears are.

So what is their biggest fear?

Their biggest fear is change.

One of our clients is DIRECTV.  For DIRECTV, it can be a challenge selling to a Counselor because almost every single one of their clients is changing from one product to another—from Comcast to DIRECTV.  When a Counselor is dealing with fundamentally having to change something, it is a fear of theirs.  We need to help them get over that fear and feel confident that this is the right decision for their team and their family.  We need to help them move forward despite that fear.

When presenting to a Counselor (also true for the approach), what we really want to make sure we are doing is to slow it down. Click here to continue reading.

Modify: Counselor (Pt. 1)

Posted in Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by Dustin Hillis
Modify to a Counselor's Natural Buying Style

Modify to a Counselor’s Natural Buying Style

When it comes to modifying our natural sales approach to adapt to a Counselor’s buying behavior style, it’s important to remember that a Counselor is a team player.

They are active listeners.  They are the people who are family-oriented.  They are the slowest of all the decision makers; they are more meticulous and they buy through consensus.

If you’re working with a Counselor, you’ll need to hone in and get to the core of what they are motivated by and, if you’re selling to a Counselor, what their biggest fears are.

So what is their biggest fear? Click here to continue reading.