Sales and Sales Management Blog

January 31, 2014

5 Strategies to Maintain and Strengthen Your Motivation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 3:45 pm
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If you want to be successful you have to be motivated.

What is motivation?

Motivation is a unique combination of desire, commitment, and energy to reach a goal no matter how difficult it may be or how long it may take to reach.

Another way of looking at it is passion.

Passion in and of itself can virtually force you to succeed by demanding you do those things necessary to be successful.

Passion won’t let you rest.

It won’t give you permission to quit.

It won’t allow you to become sated until you’ve reached your goal.

Passion demands your best effort.

It pushes you to go beyond the satisfactory to the extraordinary.

It forces you to reach heights you thought impossible.

Passion is pretty heady stuff.  It keeps you on the edge.  It sharpens your senses, keeping you alert to opportunities.  It awakens the creative juices.

It helps keep the self-doubt and the  fears and worries at bay.  It doesn’t eliminate them, it overcomes them.

Unfortunately, passion isn’t limitless.  It has limitations and weaknesses.  Although strong, it must be reinforced or you risk having it burn itself out.

How do you keep your passion burning?

Here are 5 down and dirty ways to reinforce your passion and keep it burning strong:

  1. Love what you do. There is no substitute for doing something you absolutely love doing.  If you can hardly wait to get out of bed in the morning to get your day started you’re already half way to success.  Certainly we can’t all be engaged in something we absolutely love, but if you can, even if only on a part-time basis, go for it.

  2. Set tangible, realistic short-term goals.  The more often you see tangible progress, the easier to maintain your passion.  Set short-term, realistic goals.  If you consistently see small goals being reached, you’ll soon begin to see large goals being reached.  By the way, reasonable goals don’t mean easy to reach goals.  Goals should consistently stretch you and your abilities.
  3. Visualize outcomes.  Athletes use visualization for a reason—it works.  If you are afraid of making presentations, visualize yourself making great presentations.  If you fear cold calling, visualize yourself being successful at cold calling. Visualization is a form of practice.  In a study a couple of years ago researchers found that students who only visualized practicing a piece of music were as proficient at playing the piece as students who had actually practiced the piece on the piano.
  4. Use positive affirmations.  Repeating positive affirmations strengthens and reaffirms your internal belief system.  We cannot do what we do not believe we can do.  On the other hand, if we sincerely believe we can do something, no matter how ‘impossible,’ our brain can find ways to get it done.  Once we believe, our brain begins to go work to figure out a way to turn our belief into reality.

   Our brain will believe what it hears and what our eyes see.  If it has heard and witnessed failure for years and years, it   believes we will fail.  Fortunately, we can change that. It will take time.  We will have to
consciously   retrain it.  We’ll have to give it positive reinforcement through what it hears—our positive affirmations—and what it experiences—our small successes as we reach our short-term goals.  But just as it
learned we are a failure, it will learn we are successful—but this time we can control what we feed our brain.

  1. Use outside reinforcement.  Motivation—passion—is internal.  It isn’t something that is created externally.  That doesn’t mean that  external stimulus can’t reinforce our internal motivation.  The problem is that external stimulus such as motivation books, tapes, seminars, and such burn out quickly—usually within just a few days, sometimes within just a few hours.

   That quick burn doesn’t mean external stimulus can’t be valuable.  It can be extremely valuable.  A motivational tape can give us a great burst of energy prior to an important presentation; a motivational seminar can
get our creative juices flowing in new directions; motivation quotes can realign our minds at moments of exhaustion or weakness.

   Keep favorite motivational tapes and quotes ready at hand.  Take the opportunity to attend motivational seminars and presentations.  Remember the ‘high’ is fleeting—but you can drink of it anytime you need it.

Companies spend billions of dollars every year trying to find the magic motivational bullet.  They’ll never find it because it isn’t something they can order in from a motivational speaker.  We either have it or we don’t.  But if we don’t, we can take the steps necessary to find it and nurture it.

And it isn’t expensive, difficult, or time consuming.

Find your passion and you’ll find your success.  If you’re a sales leader, help your sales team members find their passion and you’ll find your success.

January 30, 2014

Guest Article: “How to Quickly Build LinkedIn and Facebook Connections,” by Kelly McCormick

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 1:39 pm
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How to Quickly Build LinkedIn and Facebook Connections
by Kelly McCormick

There is an art to making connections in the virtual business world. As the term implies, ‘Social Networking’ is about building relationships. And the best place to start the process is at the ‘invitation’ stage.

From personal experience, the ‘Accept’ ratio increases when a personalized message is included in requests to connect.

BUT, it’s important that the ‘personalized’ message doesn’t sound phony or like a template. So let me show you what to do and say instead.

Ditch The Default Message

Start by deleting the default request to connect messages. For example, on LinkedIn the default message reads, ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network.’

Facebook sends out an equally generic request. However, before you hit send, you can select the ‘Message’ option. This is where you’ll write your personalized note.

Try This

In your personalized message, be upfront about your desire to connect.

Even a simple statement like:

“Hi, I don’t believe that we’ve met. However, we seem to know many people in common and I’d like to include you in my network… [look forward to reading your posts/sharing resources/learning more about you…].”

Best Request I Received

The best, LOL, request to connect I’ve ever received came via LinkedIn. The ‘invitation’ was from someone I had never met.

The fellow checked off the ‘Friend’ box and took a guess as to my email address. Bingo! His request made it to me.

When I opened the invitation, the message simply said, “Ok, we’re not friends and we’ve never met. However, I would like to connect. What do you think?”

Wondering how I responded?

Well, I hit reply and typed, “That was a refreshingly creative approach. You are definitely someone I’d like in my network.” I then hit send and ‘Accept’!

His approach may not work for everyone. However, the point is to include a message with your requests to connect and go for it.

 

Kelly McCormick, is a Business Growth and Marketing Strategist. She helps entrepreneurs & companies to identify opportunities for growth. Plus, she develops targeted branding, marketing & sales strategies.

January 29, 2014

The Base Top 50 Sales Pros to Follow on Twitter–I’m Honored to be on the List

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 11:01 am

I’m Honored to be Included in the Base Top 50 Sales Pros to Follow on Twitter

Base CRM honored me by including me on a list of 50 sales pros they suggest people follow on Twitter.  The list is truly an All-Star list of some of the most significant thought leaders and professionals in sales today and I am humbled and greatly honored to be included on the list.  I’m also pleased to say that I know most of these men and women and count them as my friends.

More importantly, I am in agreement with Base that virtually all sellers and sales leaders should be following many, if not all, of these amazing people.   I suspect that not all of the members of the list are writing in areas that are relevant to you, but I bet a great many are.

I won’t take the space to list all 50, but here is just a sampling of the sales training greats you’ll find on the Base Top 50 Sales Pros to Follow on Twitter:

Jill Konrath
Tom Hopkins
Paul Castain
Colleen Francis
Trish Bertuzzi
Jeffrey Gitomer
Dave Stein
Dan Waldschmidt
Gerhard Gschwandtner
Patricia Fripp
Jonathan Farrington
Geoffrey James

Just a quick dozen—head over to the Base blog right now and find out who else is there and, by all means, take the time to follow them—you won’t regret it

January 28, 2014

This Saturday: Learn Why Your Prospecting Isn’t Connecting with Your Prospcts–And What to Do About It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 12:31 pm

CONNECT! Online Radio for Professional Sellers to Host Interview with Sales & Lead Generation Authority Paul McCord

 

This Saturday, sales thought-leader and author Paul McCord will share with CONNECT! Online Radio listeners the way to break through all the noise and connect with their prospects.

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) January 28, 2014

People First Productivity Solutions, a San Francisco Bay Area based training and development company, invites professional sellers to join sales coach and host Deb Calvert on Saturday as she interviews Paul McCord. McCord, a renowned authority in lead generation and personal marketing, will be sharing with listeners how they can most effectively connect with prospects in this broadcast of CONNECT! Online Radio Show, “Why Your Prospecting Isn’t Connecting with Your Prospects.”

McCord is President of McCord Training and Development and a top 30 Sales Guru. With over three decades of in-the-trenches sales, management and consulting in the business-to-business realm, he specializes in lead generation, using social media as a prospecting tool, referral selling, networking, cold calling and other tools and strategies to find and connect with prospects. He is the author of three best-selling sales books and works with sales teams to develop more effective strategies for connecting with high quality prospects.

During his interview with Calvert, McCord will discuss what he’s learned from experience, and will offer new strategies for connecting with prospects. Calvert and McCord will also discuss why some sellers may not be successful in getting through to prospects and how they can change their behaviors to truly make that connection.

The broadcast will begin at 9:00 am PST. Sales people looking for on-air coaching can call in live to ask their questions, or submit questions ahead of time by sending Deb Calvert an email. Once completed, the broadcast will also be made available in the CONNECT! Online Radio Show archive and can be downloaded on iTunes as a podcast.

To listen live, visit the show page on BlogTalkRadio. Listeners with questions can dial (347) 202-0896 or use the BlogTalkRadio IM feature during the broadcast.

About:
CONNECT! Online Radio Show for Professional Sellers was developed to help sellers like you “Ignite Your Selling Power in Just an Hour!” Hosted by Deb Calvert, a former Fortune 500 executive and author of DISCOVER Questions™ Get You Connected, CONNECT proudly boasts thousands of listeners and a stellar roster of guests. The radio show is one branch of the CONNECT! Community which provides discussion groups, books, blogs and other resources for selling professionals, leaders and emerging leaders, trainers, coaches and individuals. Founded in 2006 by Deb Calvert, People First Productivity Solutions operates with the mission: “We Build Organizational Strength by Putting People First.”

January 27, 2014

Book Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt

ImageBook Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt

Are you satisfied with who you are? 

Do you want to be more, accomplish more, be more successful, get where you want to go faster?

Frankly, most of us do.

Most of us really aren’t satisfied with where we are at in life, with who we are as a person, with what we’ve accomplished.

In addition most of us really aren’t sure how to make the changes necessary to get where we want to go.

Dan Waldschmidt in of EDGY Conversations (2014: Hydra Publishing) argues that the last thing we need to help us get where we want to go is another book on success.

And he’s right.  How many more books telling us that success is gained through hard work do we need? 

Waldschmidt’s book as he says isn’t about learning how to “do” but rather how to “be.”  Rather in his words, “This book is about the uncomfortably powerful truths you won’t find in your typical ‘success’ book.  It’s a look behind the scenes at pain, fear, love-yes, love-and the other key attitudes that drive huge success, regardless of the success ‘process’ that you use.”

It’s a book of stories—of success and failure.

It’s a book about living beyond where you’ve been—and maybe beyond where you think you can go.

It pushes, it pulls, it even drags you to the point of taking a hard look at yourself as you really are–and to see what you really can be.

It’s such an easy book to read, yet, if taken seriously, so hard to digest.

Waldschmidt talks openly about his failures, as well as his successes, and about his depressions and his joys.

And he forces us to think about ours as well.

He challenges us to be EDGY, an acronym for Extreme, Disciplined, Giving, and the Y(h)uman factor.

Along the way he talks about a great many things, but in the end it really comes down to the success of being a whole person, of the person you are, not the things you have, the position you hold, the money you make.

Waldschmidt doesn’t hold those things in contempt.  Waldschmidt is speaking of a lalaland, touchy/feely, nirvana type of success.  Rather the success he speaks of is a real success rooted in understanding and developing a whole person—an EDGY person.

None of this makes any sense? 

Good.

Get the book and it will become clear as you learn to overcome the obstacles that prevent you from reaching the success you so much want.

December 4, 2013

Guest Article: “What Two Botched Sales Calls Taught Me,” by Kelley Robertson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 10:51 am
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What Two Botched Sales Calls Taught Me
by Kelley Robertson

I still remember the first two sales calls I made although they were almost two decades ago.

One was a cold call and the other was a face-to-face meeting. I think I made every mistake in the book but these two stand out the most.

Sales Blunder #1

It was 1995 and I was in transition.

I had left the restaurant business and thought I would pursue my dream of training and speaking. I created a seminar called, “How to Make Incredible Tips” and it focused on helping servers and bartenders increase their income. And, it would also help a restaurant increase its sales and make more money.

I knew I need to make appointments and had never cold called so I picked up and read “Cold Calling Techniques That Really Work.” I read the book, studied the principles and made my first cold call.

It was a disaster!

After I stumbled through my opening, my prospect growled, “What are you selling?”

I threw away my script and launched into my natural voice and told him about the seminar I had created. He said, “Not interested” and I heard a loud click in my ear.

As I hung up the telephone I thought, “This book is crap!”

However, I re-read it and eventually realized that I had overlooked a key point…

“Verbally practice and rehearse your opening so it sounds natural and comfortable.”

Duh!

I had mentally run through my opening but when my prospect answered the phone it was the first time I actually stated my opening aloud. No wonder I stumbled and sounded like an idiot.

Sales Blunder #2

Later that week I managed to secure an appointment with the manager of a local restaurant. Although I was prepared (I had a nice glossy presentation prepared since PowerPoint hadn’t been thought of yet) and I arrived for my appointment a few minutes early, I completely botched the call.

Here’s where I made my next BIG sales blunder.

After the initial introductions, I sat down with the manager and spent 5 five minutes telling her about my business and my background (hospitality and restaurant). Then I talked non-stop for about 15-20 minutes (it quite possibly could have been longer but that’s what I recall!) and I walked her through each and every page of my slick presentation.

I didn’t ask any questions.

I didn’t know what the average sale was for the restaurant.

I had no idea if they did any type of training.

And I didn’t know if my seminar would actually benefit them.

I shudder when I think about it.

But that wasn’t all!

I hate to admit it but once I finished my pitch I just sat there wondering what to do.

My prospect said, “This sounds good” and then didn’t say anything.

After several moments of uncomfortable silence, I gulped and meekly asked, “So…would you like to go ahead with this?”

“Yes, let’s look at when we can schedule it.”

“Woo hoo!”

But, here’s the really funny point…

I didn’t have a Day-Timer or calendar on me!

PDAs and Smartphones didn’t exist yet so I reached into my pocket and pulled out my package of cigarettes (yes, I smoked then and actually carried the cigarettes in my shirt pocket—didn’t everyone?). The cigarette pack had a calendar on the inside flap and we proceeded to schedule my first seminar.

When I look back on those situations I realize how much I have learned since then. Here are five…

1. Be prepared. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a cold call or a sales presentation, you need to be fully prepared BEFORE any type of sales call or appointment. In the mid-90s you could get away with winging it but that just doesn’t work in today’s business world.

2. Focus on the buyer or prospect. Instead of pitching your product, service or solution, focus on helping your prospect solve a problem.

3. Spend less time talking and more time asking questions. I know you’ve heard me say this before but it still one of the most common sales mistakes people make.

4. Ask for the sale. It sounds simple but I am continually surprised how few sales people actually take that step.

5. Be ready for the next steps. It is certainly much easier today with Smartphones but sometimes sales people don’t always manage the next step as effectively as they could.

The school of hard knocks is a great teacher and I firmly believe that everyone can improve their results if they take the time to learn the lesson contained in each botched sales call.

What about you?

What was one of the best sales lessons you learned from a mistake?

Kelley Robertson is President of The Robertson Training Group. Kelley has worked with a wide range of businesses in a variety of industries including manufacturing, health insurance, retail, consumer electronics, travel & leisure, automotive, advertising, health supplements, and many more.  His client list boasts names such as; Armour Valve, Atotech, AvMed Health Plans, Crabtree & Evelyn, Hillebrand Estates Winery, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Stores, Vulcan Industries, and West Ottawa Hyundai.  Fearless Selling Blog

November 25, 2013

Guest Article: “Developing New Business–6 Best Practives,” by Dr. Richard Ruff

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 10:27 am
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Developing new business – 6 best practices
by Richard Ruff

In today’s B2B market a sales person needs an array of skills to be a top performer – they need to know more and know it at a higher level of proficiency than ever before.

But if you asked a whole lot of sales people from all over the world what is the one a competency they think they could most benefit from if they knew how to do it better?

A Survey of Sales Effectiveness: Global Research on what Drives Sales Success addressed that question.  The skill set that sales people felt was most challenging was: Developing New Business. As an aside, it was interesting that Establishing Relationships and Uncovering Needs was the area where the sales people reported they were having the most success.

Since developing new business has, as one might expect, surfaced before as an area that deserves attention, let’s look at some of the best practices for getting that done which have emerged from our work with B2B clients.

As to the nature of the problems and the best practices it’s necessary to pinpoint whether you are talking about new business with new customers or new business with existing customers.  For this discussion, let’s focus on the large B2B complex sale situations where one is developing new business with existing customers.

In the way of recognition, we would like give a tip of the hat to our colleague Mike Smith of Ohio State University who helped us develop these ideas.

Particularly when you are working with an existing customer you may be ahead of the customer in seeing an unfolding situation that would drive a new business opportunity. As a matter of fact this is one of the skill areas where top performers differentiate themselves from the pack.

In these situations, you can provide value by helping the customer see a future challenge.  You may also be able to help them formulate the need and response thereby putting yourself in a strong competitive position.  The most important skill in identifying future opportunities is the ability to see the relationship between observable events and knowing what actions and results they are likely to lead to and when.

For identifying these types of new opportunities, some specific perspectives and 6 best practices are:

  • Look at the current situation through the lens of the existing work effort. From time to time when you are reviewing an implementation – think back about the situation as it was preceding your solution. What things did you observe? What situations were present? Who did what just preceding the opportunity? New opportunities are a response to something.  What things were in motion before the opportunity occurred?
  • Look at how your customers are fairing against goals, objectives and metrics. With knowledge about goals, objectives and metrics, and a sense of how the customer is performing, what would you do to reach these if you were in their place?  What could your do that would enhance the customer’s success?  How will they demonstrate success to their leadership and stakeholders?

If you can see where you can add value, they may as well. If they don’t, but you do, it puts you in the best position of all, namely you are helping a customer understand an unforeseen challenge.

  • Assess organizational changes for clues. Whether a company is preparing to implement a planned strategy, merging groups or responding to a problem or opportunity, very often organizational structures are put in place before new work is made visible to the outside world. Teams of required skills are assembled, specific skills are reassigned or grouped, and units are disbanded or reduced.

Look at new and expanded organizations and what kinds of skills, and in what quantity, are being added.  Here it important to leverage the insight of your staff with a historical perspective of the customer, they can provide meaning to what specific changes may mean and not mean.

  • Observe what is happening in overall ongoing expense management. New efforts inside the customer organization cost money.  Is the customer experiencing any changes in spending patterns you can observe? Are expenses being restricted, or expanded?  Look for work that may foreshadow future work.
  • Don’t forget to tell your story. Be able to subtly, but clearly reinforce just what it is you do that is of value to customers. They don’t spend much or any time pondering what you do. They worry about what they need and when they do, only the organizations that are top of mind, come to mind.

Too often, if you do not share the range of things you do well, a customer might say, “Oh, I wish I had known you can do X, because you did such a great job on Y and, had we known, we would have used you.” Always have an up-to-date value proposition about your core capabilities and a new story about how those capabilities have been used by others.

  • Bring in fresh thinking. Think about leveraging literature, speeches, research, stories you’ve heard that relate to the customer agenda or you know are of particular interest to the individual.  Even if they don’t produce a lead today it builds relationships and often creates leads in the future.

Developing new business is one of the areas where top performers clearly differentiate themselves – they know it is hard to do and they learn how to do it.  It is also an area where creating best practice profiles based on what your top performers do makes extraordinary sense.

Dr. Richard Ruff and Janet Spirer launched Sales Horizons in 2011. The idea behind Sales Horizons is to leverage the lessons learned working with market leaders to create sales training programs that are effective and affordable for mid-size and small companies.

November 21, 2013

Guest Article: “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Build Sales for Entrepreneurs,” by Lori Richardson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 10:59 am
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10 Sure-Fire Ways to Build Sales for Entrepreneurs
by Lori Richardson

Some entrepreneurs and small business owners (and their salespeople) are talking about the stock market. Others are strategizing on and successfully growing revenues. Which camp do you fall into?

Here are ten sure-fire ways to grow revenues in your business. You don’t need to do them all to be successful, but you DO need to do a number of them. If your business is at a plateau and needs a jump start, put these sales strategies into place and then roll up your sleeves and work to make them happen.

1. Have a very clear brand promise / value proposition – how do you add value to your customers, and why should they work with you?  Can other people articulate this? DO others talk you up?

2. Clarify who it is that you serve – Niche 1 could be doctors. Niche 2 could be administrators. Each niche is different and needs special messaging.  Keep the niches you work with separate for a concise message.

3. Do you know if what you provide is something people want and/or need (and will spend money on?)  Even in a down economy, people will drive miles to get what they perceive to be a high value.

4. Have a nurture marketing strategy in place – be able to follow up with prospects not ready to buy yet. There are a dozen or so good and simple web-based programs to do this with. Stop with the sticky notes- you are losing contact information and leaving money on the table. Most people won’t buy from you the first, second, or third time you contact them.

5. Use an automated system to set next actions with clients and strategic partners too. Remember that strategic (or referral) partners can refer you many companies over time, so why are you not contacting them on a regular basis? By always setting a next action with them, you will keep in contact regularly.

6. We are not marketers, but we know that you need at least one well-done webpage. People meet you live or through social means and then go to search for your presence on the web.

7. Be an informed business builder. Work off of a business plan, a sales plan, a social strategy, a financial plan, and an exit plan (we call it the 5 Plan)

8. Show some enthusiasm! Enjoy your work – no one wants to do business with someone who is down or complaining. Next time you visit a bricks-and-mortar retailer, or restaurant, see who is excited and enthused to see you and your dollars, and who is not. It’s definitely something to be aware of.

9. Explore social tools, and – create a plan. Word of mouth is STILL the best strategy to grow sales. Social media is all about having two-way conversations, one person at a time.

10. Meet and know intentional connectors – they can refer many people / businesses your way. Intentional connectors are people who enjoy connecting you to a potential prospective customer or connecting you to a strategic partner. They LOVE it when something happens – you grow your business as a result of it. Often they don’t want any compensation – sometimes they work with referral fees.

Bonus tip: Find someone outside of your geographic area (if you do local business) who does what you do, only better. Learn from them. Remember that success leaves clues. If you do business nationally or internationally, find a mentor in your field or another one who is beyond where you are.  It really works.

Now, choose one of these and run with it. When you master one, go on to another. Make it a contest with yourself, or work each point like a project – with a start date and a finish date.

Lori Richardson is the founder and CEO of Score More Sales, a sales enablement company that coaches and trains frontline sales team members.  Lori is a thought leader on B2B front-line sales growth and works with (or in conjunction with) technology brands worldwide.

October 22, 2013

Guest Article: “5 Truths About Sales Success We Don’t Want to Admit,” by Dan Waldschmidt

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 1:12 pm
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5 Truths About Sales Success We Don’t Want to Admit
by Dan Waldschmidt

Most discussions about how to be successful in sales include the essentials of technology and process and skills.  How to leverage all three to funnel prospects into closed opportunities.

From leads to lots of revenue.

But that discussion is misleading (in fact, quite damaging) to an organization and especially to the newest members of that team.

Because it leaves out the most important elements to being successful.

It’s the personal stuff most of us don’t talk about much.  The deep, nasty secrets that we try to pretend don’t exist.

And so we tap-dance around the edges of success, flirting with the “big deal” that will probably never happen.

When we could have looked fear in the eye and grabbed hold of the success that we really want.

1. Your future is what you make it.

Nothing could be more true than this simple statement.  No one is going to help you.  No one cares about what you want for you like you do.

Deep within your soul, you have to pull yourself together and care deeply about what you want to do.  You are creating your future.  Your future is the series of decisions that you make today, tomorrow, and next week — when you get up, how much effort you put in, how honest you are with yourself, if you’re tough enough to cry because what you want for yourself moves you.

It’s an empty canvas right now.  And with the right mixture of color and passion and patience you can make something beautiful…

2. It takes massive effort to be successful.

Look around at the people watching TV and playing video games.  They are the people making excuses.  You are going to have to work harder than you have ever imagined to be successful.

Don’t let schmucks convince you that they have an easy way figured out.  Anything fast or easy is for losers.    That’s the truth.  Avoid easy like your life depends on it - because it does.  Start talking to yourself now.  Start telling yourself that you are going to work until your eyes bleed and then you are going to keep clawing your way toward your goal until your fingernails tear off.

Nothing can stop you if you won’t be stopped…

3. Your attitude is your most important treasure.

The “5 inches between your ears” is what determines how amazing you become.  You need to feed your brain.  Who cares about college.  If you go, go. If not, spend the rest of your life with a chip on your shoulder learning everything you can get your hands on.

Stop pretending you have it all figured out.  Ask for help.  Your attitude determines our outlook.  Is the sun shining through the rain or did you only notice the showers?  And that matters because you’re going to get rained on — not just your parade, but the rehearsal, and the after-party.  Someone somewhere will be in charge of making fun of what you are trying to do.

Your attitude is body armor for your destiny…  Wear it with a smile.

4. Ignore the Crowd.  Be a Maverick.

Conventional wisdom is the banner cry for those who demand mediocrity.  You’ll hear things like -” that’s what we’ve always done” or “that’s how it has to be”.  And the reality is that the crowd is always wrong.  ALWAYS.  They may be louder than you right now.  They may look meaner.  But the crowd lacks something that you can deliver.  They need a leader.

Behind the chest-thumping are persons — weak, pained persons.  And so because they lack the stomach to stand on there own, they look for acceptance.  They join the ranks of the “almost did something amazing” and bitterly shout for you to join them.

And you’ll never know that in spite of the rants and jeers, it’s them who respect you for your bravery.

5. Fail boldly.

Mortgage your house, sell your car, live on rice and beans  - in pursuit of your goals.  Don’t half-ass it.  Put all the chips in.

What’s the worst that can happen to you?  You’re not going to die.  Heck, you might start living.  So what if life kicks the crap out of you.  Stand back up.

You won’t  amount to much in life without extraordinary failures.  You’ll fail at love.  You’ll fail at making money.  You’ll fail at a million different things.  But failure isn’t an event, it’s just a step closer to success.

Were you a failure as a baby because you couldn’t say “Dada” fast enough?  Hardly — you were trying with all the resources at your disposal to get out the words.  And trying eventually turned into success.  That’s what trying is all about.  And that’s you can never stop trying.

Success.

Maybe it’s time we talked about the real secrets behind sales success.

Maybe it’s time we started “being” better people instead of chasing the next “South Beach” sales process.

Dan Waldschmidt is President of Waldschmidt Partners, an international business strategy company, and the brains behind his highly popular Edgy Conversations blog.

September 24, 2013

Lola’s Lesson in Overcoming Mental Roadblocks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 11:32 am
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Like a great many people, Lola cannot do some of the things she’d like to do, and that puts great limits on her life. Sometimes she can’t go into the hall.  Sometimes she can’t go through the door to the backyard.  Sometimes she can’t lie on the couch.  Sometimes she can’t eat certain foods.

There are just so many things she can’t do.

Not because she is incapable of doing them, but because she has made up rules that tell her that she can’t do this or go there or eat that.

I’ve spent years counseling sellers and sales leaders about how they put roadblocks in front of themselves that prevent them from achieving their goals.  Many of these men and women learn to see and overcome these self imposed obstacles while others don’t—usually because they don’t believe they have consciously or unconsciously prevented themselves from achieving a goal or doing a task.  Often they belive that something external must be hindering them since no rational being would prevent themselves from doing something they clearly want to do.

For several years I’ve looked for clear examples of how self-limiting beliefs work.  I’ve certainly seen situations where once someone has recognized a self-limiting belief they have eliminated it, but even in these situations the example isn’t crystal clear—there is some other possible explanation.

And then along came Lola.  She is the finest example of self-limiting beliefs I’ve ever seen—primarily because she has so many so often that they scream for attention.

Lola is a big, beautiful, healthy Golden Retriever.  A really sweet and extremely polite dog.  She won’t enter a room unless invited; she won’t eat her dinner until everyone is seated at the dinner table even though her bowl is in the den (within sight of the dinner table); and she loves for me to get in the floor and wrestle with her and she never fails to try to nurse my bleeding wounds after our wrestling match (she like to play rough).

But she also is constantly limiting what she can do by creating her own set of rules.  Oddly enough her rules never allow her to do things–they always restrict her from doing things.

One day she will decide she isn’t allowed to go into the foyer and from then on she will refuse to go in—you can’t even drag her in.

The next week it might be that she decides she is no longer allowed to have chicken jerky treats which she loves, so while the other dogs are eating theirs, her’s sits on the floor at her feet until one of the other dogs comes and takes it.

Another day she will decide that she isn’t allowed to go down the steps from the top to the bottom level in the backyard, so she’ll avoid the steps and jump up and down from the brick retaining wall.

At one time she couldn’t get into her bed—she decided she couldn’t step up the 10 inches or so to get into it.  She could jump into the car with no problem, she could jump up and down the retaining wall in the back yard without a problem, she could jump any place she wanted, but she couldn’t get up 10 inches to get in bed.

She is, of course, capable of doing all of these things but she has convinced herself that she either can’t or isn’t allowed to do them.

The power of her belief is so strong it overcomes her desire to eat her chicken treat or go into the foyer to greet someone who has come through the front door or do whatever she has determined is no longer allowed or she is no longer capable of doing.

In all of these instances she is easily capable of overcoming her limiting belief, and fortunately in most instances she does—sometimes it only takes a few days, other times it may take weeks or even months.

You may be thinking that this nutty dog seriously needs to see a dog shrink.  Maybe she does—but she is no different than us humans, especially most sellers and sales leaders.

We do exactly the same thing Lola does, the only difference is we typically are a bit more sophisticated in the roadblocks we put in our path.

And we overcome our self inflicted roadblocks in the same way Lola does—through learning that the roadblock really doesn’t exist.

I don’t know what Lola’s internal discussion with herself is like but I know that Debbie and I have to do a lot of coaxing and giving her a lot of reassurance in order to get her to enter a room she has determined is off limits or to eat a treat she has decided she is no longer allowed to eat.

The good news is we don’t have to have someone coax us and shower us with reassurance to overcome our roadblocks because we can do it ourselves through positive internal discussion.  And just as eventually our coaxing and reassurance works with Lola, our internal coaxing and reassurance will work with us to overcome our limiting beliefs.

If you are one of the sellers or sales leaders who disregard the power you have to both create and eliminate roadblocks, I’d encourage you to take a lesson from Lola—those self-created mental roadblocks are real.  And just as real is your ability to eliminate them—it’s all in your head, all you gotta do is use it.

Please connect with me:

On Twitter:  @paul_mccord
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