Archive for July, 2013

The Importance of Emotionalizing Where You Want to Be

Are you like most people with desires and dreams of where you want to be?

where-you-want-to-beHave you had thoughts of  traveling to some far off land to having 15 minutes of quiet time in an 80 hour work week?

You are not alone.

Human beings are hot wired to want to be somewhere else, doing something else.

These desires or dreams may eventually turn into some goal whether it is just a repeating thought or actually committed to writing.

For years there was a Harvard study about goals and this study has been identified as a myth. Recently the Dominican University of California has undertaken some research to show there is a difference between thinking and doing when it comes to goal achievement.  This study does appear to support the results from the mythical one.

Yet even this study has failed to realize “emotionalizing” the goal that happened in group five is the key factor in sustainable goal achievement. Having an accountability partner is all about emotions, not disappointing that other person, not emotionally disappointing ourselves.

Sales Training Coaching Tip:Human beings are emotional creatures. Emotionalizing the goal is required to achieve the goal.

Now imagine what would happen if those who want to be where they want to be began this “emotionalization process” after first identifying the WAY SMART goal?

Emotionalizing the goal is a three step process to where you want to be.

First, step is to list all the positive results to be achieved when the goal is completed. Build this list and include both tangible and intangible results such as “feel good about me.”

Second, step is to list of the negative results if the goal is not achieved. Again, this list should include both tangible and intangible outcomes such as “feel bad about me.”

Third, internalize both lists.  Reread the lists.  Connect to the positive emotions as well as negative ones.  The stronger the emotions associated with where you want to be respective to achieving the goal or not achieving the goal, the greater likelihood of completing the goal.

So if you truly wish to be where you want to be, then it may just make some sense to emotionalize those personal, professional or business goals before thinking about any actions steps or even obstacles to achieving it.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in turmoil.  If you are not where you want to be, then give her a call at 219.759.5601 CST.

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Do Your Email Messages Inspire Trust or Just the Opposite?

Email messages are becoming a common outbound marketing practice to secure new sales leads. With the push of the send button, your message can be quickly delivered to potentially hundreds if not  thousands of email in-boxes. And with even a quicker push of the delete button can be removed without ever being seen.

email -messages

Yet some email messages do make it through and are read. For example, I received this one yesterday:


I was wondering if your company can use some help in finding new prospects through cold calling.

My company can maximize your sales team’s productivity by generating leads and setting appointments giving them more focus on closing rather than looking for leads.

If this is of interest to you, I’d be glad to refer one of our sales representatives to give you a call at your most convenient time.

My simple sales brain said “Hey, he doesn’t even know my first name and this is an example of his work. I can only imagine the quality of any sales leads.”

This email message did not inspire trust, actually very few I receive inspire trust or even a nibbling of trust. Most reek of distrust.

So when crafting those email messages read them from the perspective of the recipient if you really care about how you are perceived.

Ask yourself, is this someone I believe is trustworthy and worth knowing?

P.S. Did you know the recent update to LinkedIn Contacts is truly your competitive advantage and can be used to inspire trust?

Discover how to leverage this updated feature along with some other tips so your profile can stand out like a Red Jacket and not be another gray suit.

Your investment is the price of lunch with a tip – $9.97 plus $1.53 registration fee.

Seats are still available.

August 1,  2013 10-11 am CDT –

August 6, 2103 7-8 pm CDT –

August 7, 2013 4-5 pm CDT –


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Sales Leadership The Talent of Freedom from Prejudices

During the last year, I have described many sales leadership talents.  However, this one, the freedom from prejudices is probably one of the most sensitive and often ignored sales leadership talents because of this word prejudice.

sales leadership talentInnermetrix defines this sales leadership talent as “The ability to not allow the unfair implications of prejudged information to enter into, and effect, an interpersonal relationship.  Not allowing a person’s class, race, sex, ethnicity or personal philosophy to cause a person to prejudge the actions, potential, intentions or attitudes of others.”

The key phrase here is “unfair implications of prejudged information.” This action includes information from other sources, erroneous marketplace research (think fact finding) and most importantly one’s own past experiences.

For those who have this sales leadership talent, they will ” tend to look at all the facts openly, will look at others without allowing a class identification to bias a judgment or decision.  They will tend to be open to the fact that other people don’t have the same cultural heritage or background, and accepting of that fact.” (Source Innermetrix)

Those who fail to demonstrate this sales leadership talent “may tend to identify another with a particular class group, and allow this identification to predetermine how they will react to them.  They may allow this predetermination to influence their decision regarding that person, regardless of the fact that there is no supporting evidence, or basis, for such decisions.” (Source Innermetrix)

For those in sales leadership roles (that means everyone because everyone sells something to someone), this talent is embedded within relationship selling or consultative selling and is reflected through emotional intelligence. Yes for some this is a difficult subject, prejudices. However until we bring it out into the open and discuss this subject, we are ignoring reality and making “unfair implications of prejudged information.”

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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The Soulless Salespersons

Soul is defined by some as the spiritual principles embedded within all human beings. To be soulless is to lack those principles. In sales especially during ongoing difficult times, one observes more soulless salespersons.

soullessSuddenly business is all about me, all about reaching sales goals and when this happens those spiritual principles also known as personal or business ethics may take a nose dive to the deep six.

Each day we observe people attempting to sell their ideas, their solutions and their souls are empty.

Very empty!

So empty they seem like emotional icebergs, cold with so much hidden beneath the water.

We hear incredulous statements that defy common sense.

We listen and shake our heads in disbelief wondering how these individuals can live with themselves and thinking are they living in some unknown world where the river of “Da Nile” runs through it?

Soulless salespersons are just the opposite of forward thinking leaders. Sure these individuals without souls may be in leadership positions, but that does not mean they truly are leaders.

Yes it is difficult turning down that “big order” knowing that it will make your quarterly sales goals. However, your soul, your principles, your business ethics tell you to be forthcoming because in the long run you recognize it is more important to have a soul than to be soulless.


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Broken Trust in Sales Is Like “Elvis Has Left the Building”

The phrase “Elvis has left the building” is well known and means the show is over. In sales, the show is over when broken trust emerges.

broken-trustSometimes this relationship killer happens accidentally and other times directly. Regardless, when broken trust happens rebuilding that relationship takes months to even years of hard work.  And there times when trust is never achieved again.

Much has been written about trust through the annals of history. And building trust today is no different than yesterday. If there is any difference, possibly is the speed of broken trust due to social media. Write one comment and it can quickly be misinterpreted and spread within seconds.

We as sales professional, small business owners and entrepreneurs yearn to find trustworthy people in spite of discovering those are lacking in trust. When we work with those who have high business ethics, sales is a little easier.

Over two thousand years ago, a kindred spirit, Aristotle penned these words about broken trust:

“Even that some people try to deceive me many times…I will not fail to believe that somewhere,

someone deserves my trust.”

Yes, salespeople are always seeking those who deserve their trust. The key word here is deserve. When we put our business ethics first and make consistent decisions based upon our business ethics including trust, then we will have fewer incidents of “Elvis has left the building” and we will have stronger business relationships and not too mention increase sales.



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Clarity, Wheels and Success

One of the clarity activities I first give executive and sales coaching clients is the Life and Professional Wheels. This concept of segmenting certain aspects of our lives into a wheel was first introduced by Buddha over two thousand years ago. The hub of the wheel represents zero emotional satisfaction or happiness while the outer rim of the wheel represents 100%.  Buddha believed a balanced wheel where all segments were equally assessed was necessary for a more successful life.

clarityExecutive and sales coaching clients self assess themselves in key categories. When finished, a simple graphic like the one to the left reveals how internally satisfied they are with these different aspects of their lives.

However, this activity reveals far more than personal satisfaction or emotional happiness.  What is also now known that was unaddressed or undiscovered is the individual’s clarity regarding these various aspects of his or her life.

For example, using the Sales Work Wheel to the left, a low assessment in time management and self directed learning suggests lower clarity regarding these issues. Respective to the Personal Life Wheel, the lower assessments specific to physical, financial and even purpose also suggest increased lack of clarity.

Many times I have discovered that individuals fail to fully see where they are before they can take that journey to the country called Success or where they want to be. What contributes to this lack of clarity is:

  • Not truly knowing their talents
  • Not knowing their  current purpose, vision, values and current mission
  • Not having written action plans supported by WAY SMART goals

When individuals begin to gain greater clarity regarding their own personal work lives and professional work lives (sales or executive), then it becomes far easier to set those WAY SMART goals because an internal alignment has been created. So if you want more personal success, then consider this exercise and determine where you have lack of clarity.

P.S. If you want this clarity activity, leave a comment and a PDF file will be emailed to you. Please let me know if you want the Personal and Sales Work Wheels (shown above) or the Personal and Executive Leadership Work Wheels (not shown).

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Is the Fear of Being Naked Keeping You from Where You Want to Be?

Fear is within all of us.

fearWe hold onto things we know that are not good for us because to let go may cause us to be naked, to be exposed, to be vulnerable.

There is incredible emotional security in the past.

So we continue to wear all those old, ill fittings clothes that represent our past failures, our past sins, our past emotional baggage.

And our desires of where we truly want to be are now always just beyond our reach.

So what begins to happen is we tell the same old stories to ourselves, to our friends, our families and even complete strangers. Hoping and praying they will understand and reaffirm that our clothing looks great.

Then when things appear to be the bleakest, some of us have an epiphany and realize  nakedness is part of the process to reach where we want to be.

Sure we still have fears until we totally cast off those old rags and experience that nakedness.

When we have crystal clarity of where we want to be, our nakedness is very short lived. It is when the clarity is absent do we feel exposed and naked much longer.

So the fear returns and we return to donning the old rags.  These on, off behaviors potentially create a vicious cycle and we become even more fearful.

Facing the fear sometimes requires the support of others who emotionally encourage you because these individuals too have been through that fear of nakedness and are on the other side wearing new clothes that are far more fitting and attractive.

Their stories are fresh, alive and even spiritually uplifting.

They have attitudes of abundance instead of scarcity.

Once we realize the actual nakedness is temporary and not permanent we can transition through that fear of being naked.

We then being to transform ourselves by wearing those tailored, attractive and new clothes.

Our stories join the stories of others and we in turn hold out our hands to guide others away from their fear of being naked.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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Roses or Daises, Who Are Your Sales Leads?

Today I was reminded of an old quote about roses having thorns. “But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” (Emily Bronte) My mind then traveled to sales and how some sales leads are very much like roses where there are a plethora of thorns (think challenging or difficult obstacles) and other sales leads are similar to daises without the thorns and far easier to pick. 



Complex sales obviously fall into the rose category.  Between all the decision makers, the personalities, the different agendas, pricking your finger on one of those many thorns is very easy.  Sales Training Coaching Tip: Just because you pricked you finger does not mean you automatically  fail to earn the sale.

Sales leads from social media can be either roses or daises depending upon your sales solution.

Business to commercial sales leads are probably more like daises. Easier to find, easier to pick provided you are a good gardener (think salesperson) and know how not to step on these flowers as you walk through the flower bed of sales leads.

Yes sales leads can be very much like these flowers. And probably your flower vase (think sales funnel) should have both roses (the challenging sales) and daises for the easier ones.

P.S. Did you know the recent update to LinkedIn Contacts is truly your competitive advantage?

Discover how to leverage this updated feature along with some other tips so your profile can stand out like a Red Jacket and not be another gray suit.

Your investment is the price of lunch with a tip – $9.97 plus $1.53 registration fee.

August 1, 2013, 10-11 am CDT –

August 6, 2013, 7-8 pm CDT –

August 7,2013,  4-5 pm CDT –


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You Are a Social Media Expert, Really?

Beyond all those business coaches, sales coaches and performance consultants, being a social media expert has become the new kid on the block. I am astounded as how many business professionals call themselves social media experts. Of course, being the Heurist that I am, I have discovered that I probably have a greater depth of social media expertise.

social-media-expertToday I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from another social media expert. Before accepting any LinkedIn invitation, I read the LinkedIn summary, experience, recommendations, etc. Then I check out if the individual has website, Twitter account, etc. From those actions, I click on those links, read and synthesize the information.

So this is what I discovered this morning regarding this most recent LinkedIn contact:

  • Last Tweet was in April of 2013, today is July 25, 2013
  • Less than 200 Tweets, followers and those following this individual
  • Website has no Alexa rank
  • Website has no social media buttons
  • Has a Facebook presence for himself or herself with more recent activity and 300 friends
  • No Facebook page for the business
  • 36 LinkedIn endorsements for social media marketing
  • No formal LinkedIn recommendations

Now compare this to Fred McMurray who is also engaged in social media marketing:

  • Last Tweet was within the last few hours
  • Over 89,000 Tweets; over 39,000 followers and following
  • Website has Alexa ranking
  • Webste has social media buttons including You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and RSS feed
  • Over 4,100 friends on Facebook
  • Facebook company page with over 700 likes
  • 99+ LinkedIn endorsements for social media marketing
  • 24 formal LinkedIn recommendations

Now comparing these two individuals, which one really is the social media expert?

The reason for this post is to call attention to what one puts out through social media can be easily verified. Sure some people do not invest the time to conduct the research. However, my sense those individuals are becoming fewer and fewer.

Just because one has had success in one field, does not necessarily translate into having expertise in another.

Being a social media expert is far more than just having a social media presence.  You must build a community or numerous communities such as Fred McMurray has done.

This posting is just a word of caution for those who willingly call themselves social media experts because another heurist just may invest a few minutes to discover if you really are that social media expert.

Speaking of social media, did you know the update to LinkedIn Contacts is now your competitive advantage? This webinar will be repeated three times and is the investment if the price of lunch plus a tip – $9.97 + $1.53 registration fee = $11.50

August 1, 10-11 am CDT –

August 6, 7-8 pm CDT –

August 7, 4-5 pm CDT –



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Ego and “I” In Your Linkedin Summary

Each morning I review my social media marketing and this includes the acceptance of LinkedIn invitations. One of the two I accepted was quite revealing. Beyond being a social media expert with his last Twitter posting in April of this year, he started the first three paragraphs of his LinkedIn Summary with this word “I.”

Linkedin-summaryFor me this was an emotional turnoff. Now others may disagree.

One of my colleagues, Robert Terson, recently wrote about using the First or Third Person in the LinkedIn summary.  He believes in using the first person and makes a very strong case for its use. Robert and I, though we agree on much, disagree on this subject and that is okay. For without disagreement, everything would potentially be the same, wouldn’t it?

If we accept the LinkedIn Summary is the rest of the story to your LinkedIn Headline, then this is very much like a newspaper story, written in the third person. By writing with emotionally compelling words, the reader is further encouraged to not only finish the summary, but to read about your LinkedIn recommendations, experiences, skills, etc.

Unfortunately, the word “I” much like the word “yes” is not emotionally compelling to your readers. Additionally, this one word, “I”, may potentially reveal a very strong ego.

When I read any LinkedIn summary where the word “I’ appears with great frequency, then my senses tell me this may be a person:

  • Who is more concerned about himself
  • Does not understand social media marketing
  • Who is more traditional marketing when it comes to writing about his or her experiences

The overuse of the word “I” shouts to my emotionally sensitive brain “look at me, look at me” and reminds me of all those people who show up at business to business networking events where they spew the 3Ps – price, product and proposal instead of caring about developing a mutually beneficial relationship.

Within this rest of the story, the word “I” can be used and should be used. I am not advocating zero use of this word “I.” However, its use should be like a fine spice where it really delivers that extra emotional impact or shares a strong intellectual point.

My belief is many forget about the purpose of marketing is to attract attention and to begin to build a relationship. Social media marketing has taken this purpose to that next level where everything requires alignment and consistency. The only question to be answered is:

How is your LinkedIn summary perceived by those who do not know you?

To read a different type of LinkedIn summary, consider reading mine where I use the Pixar approach. Yes the word “I” is used, but gingerly.


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