Archive for December, 2013

Sales Leadership Temperament Reactive Part 4

Usually at any moment in time, people are reacting to this stimulus or that one.  Now some in sales leadership roles appear to display this temperament more than others. Today with the end of the year fast at hand, possibly many in small business are displaying this temperament through these three biases more than they realize:

  • sales-leadershipNegative empathy
  • Negative practical thinking
  • Neutral systems judgment

Those with this reactive sales leadership temperament have a greater tendency to “react to the experience of external system and order.” (Source Innermetrix)

The combined negative biases of empathy and practical thinking may result in behaviors where the individuals responds “to the perception of authority in stronger ways.” (Source: Innermetrix)

Having a neutral bias within systems judgment is good because the salesperson has neither an overly positive or negative viewpoint. The focus within this “dimension is genuine, sincere and accurate”  and results in having  a “clear and appropriate understanding for the need of systems.”  From a sales leadership perspective, the salesperson does not become overly dependent on systems nor rebels against those systems. (Source: Innermetrix)

Returning to the negative bias on empathy (think People) may suggest “some fear of getting too close to others.”  With the practical thinking also having a negative bias may indicate  “some skepticism towards accepted social convention.” (Source: Innermetrix)

Those in sales leadership roles with this reactive temperament are able to “maintain control of a situation” in order to achieve their objectives. (Source: Innermetrix)

The good news is with a little more positive towards personal relationships and the necessity of concrete deadlines, even if perfection is sacrificed, may deliver you additional rewards.

To understand this bias along with the other 39 biases plus 78 key talents, the Attribute Index is a great talent assessment and delivers this information in less than 12 minutes.

 

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Sales Leadership Talent of Integrative Ability

Soon it will be another New Year. Forward thinking sales leaders are leveraging this sales leadership talent of integrative ability more than the not so forward thinking sales professionals. For now is the time to evaluate:

sales leadership

  • The results from the past year
  • The known obstacles that kept the salesperson from earning more sales
  • The unanticipated problems that arose
  • The necessary components of the sales process and how it affected the end result to increase sales

Integrative ability is about evaluation as noted above as well as the ability to “identify the elements” of any problem. By being able to see with crystal clarity “the component dimensions of a situation gives a person the ability to see different types of situation structures, and thereby the ability to see different types of problem solutions.” (Source: Innermetrix)

Those in sales leadership roles who have this talent are able to “integrate  all the variables of a situation into a single homogenous picture, and then use this understanding to make decisions regarding planning, resource allocation, problem solving, etc.”  (Source: Innermetrix)

Another way to think of this ability is being a master puzzle solver.

For those lacking this skill, they may tend to be unable to see the most obvious solution to the problem. Much like “if it (the problem) had been a snake, it would have bit me.”

There could also be an overly focus on one element or piece of the problem such as people, strategies, processes, structure, rewards (Galbraith 5 Star Model) This over focus may create a well trodden, one way path for all problems creating “narrow habits” and restricting the use of  “other problem solving techniques or methods.” (Source: Innermetrix)

The sales leadership talent of integrative ability is even more important in today’s crowded market place because it provides two immediate competitive advantages:

  1. To see what the sales lead may not see
  2. To connect the salesperson’s solution to the value as perceived by the potential ideal customer

Of course, this sales leadership talent does not work in isolation.  Other talents support this sales skill such as:

Possibly one of the biggest challenges for anyone in sales leadership is not knowing his or her talents. This lack of critical knowledge may have the salesperson working harder on the wrong things. With time being a constant, the question boils down to can you afford not to know this sales leadership talent of integrative ability as well as the other talents mentioned?

If you want to really know what you do well, this talent assessment may be the key to unlock even more sales results for you.

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Mocal Marketing, What’s That?

Well it had to happen sooner or later. Someone had to invent a word that combines mobile marketing with social media.  David Shing of AOL has coined this word to be “mocal.”  And given that much of mobile marketing is local as well, then this word, mocal, also works.

marketingThe future is in the palm of your hand or hands depending upon how large your smart device is.

Mobile marketing is the now and the future if you believe these statistics (Source Chris Warden):

  • Four out of five shoppers use smart phones to shop
  • By 2014 mobile will overtake desktop Internet searches
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to online purchases

Did you know that 75% of Americans bring their smart phones to the bathroom. Not having a mobile marketing presence currently makes no sense.

As previously discussed in this morning’s blog posting social media through content curation is also becoming a greater element within any integrated marketing plan and budget.

Possibly the first action to take is to ensure your website and blog are both mobile friendly.  If not, then consider setting a goal by 1/31/2014 to make those sites mobile friendly.  Additionally check to see if your website is local meaning you have included a specific geographic location.

Then set some SMART goals within your social media marketing action plan (inbound) along with your traditional marketing action plan (outbound) allowing you a fully integrated marketing plan. Of course the setting of these SMART goals presume you have completed your marketing research specific to your target market, your competition, your ideal customer and your marketing niche.

Over time this word “mocal” may expand and change to something new.

However right now, not later, you must enter the mocal flow and start swimming to get ahead of that flow so you are there when it changes. Sales Training Coaching Tip: According to Google among others, only 53% of small businesses have an active website and 47% are already behind the flow.

Now that you know what “mocal” is, what actions are you going to do in the next 30 days?

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The Marketing Madness Multiplies

marketing

If small business owners and sales professionals were not busy enough, this marketing survey from Trapit just may have them pulling out what little hair they have left.

Believe it or not, 58% of the respondents suggest 10 or more content posts per day are required to boost engagement within all social media platforms.

This same group admitted to only investing 28% of their time developing and creating content marketing strategies.

Other critical findings within this survey included:

  • Personalization of content is the future (31%)
  • Mobile search will replace traditional discovery routes (49%)
  • Visually appealing content more likely to be viewed (82%)
  • Difficult distinguishing content from competitors (60%)
  • Curation more effective than just original content alone (36%)

The question literally boils down to how can you Be the Red jacket in the sea of gray suits of content curation?

First, understanding what content curation is might help.

There are several definitions for this relatively new marketing strategy and tactic.  Simply speaking it is the application of Bloom’s taxonomy allowing your audience to:

  • Know
  • Feel
  • Do

Effective content curation that generates repeat visitors to your blog and social media postings requires you to know your target market, your ideal customer and your niche or niches.

Your visitors receive knowledge as well as begin to know you.

The quality of the writing should generate some type of feeling as people buy first on emotion, justified by logic.

Having your audience do something (think take action) can be from the sharing of the knowledge by providing tips to actually including a call to action at the end of your post.

The use of  tools such as Google Alerts, Smart Briefs may support you in finding content that can easily be curated. Other tools like Dlvr.it, Hootsuite and Twitterfeed may assist you in promoting your content to your other social media sites.

Investing time in keyword research is also necessary.  Unlocking those long tail keywords may generate less visitors, but more qualified sales leads.

Finally scheduling time for small business professionals  is probably the most difficult aspect beyond the writing. For myself, I schedule 2 hours each morning to write, monitor my marketing results, review social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as to respond to emails. This time is before actual productivity time such as returning phone calls, attending meetings or coaching clients. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The more you write the better you think, the better you think, the more you write.

Now if you find yourself not a writer or really time strapped, you can outsource your content curation.  Just be careful that you find a quality writer who understands your business and provides exclusive content as the Google and  other search engine robots do not like duplicate content.

So now let the marketing madness multiply and much success in 2014.

P.S. By pre-scheduling your blog postings ahead of time, conditions the Internet robots to come to your site on a regular basis. The WordPress platform allows for scheduling of your blog posts.

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How Can You Challenge the Status Quo?

To challenge the status quo means understanding everything involved with the word “challenge.”  In this context, the word challenge means to dare or better yet to defy something and in this case that something is the status quo.

status-quoThen of course your status quo must be also defined because each of us have a different status quo.

Sometimes it helps to answer this simple and not easy question:

Are you where you want to be?

If you are not where you want to be, then where are you?

Looking are the different aspects of your personal life, where are you right now respective to the 8 areas of life balance:

  • Purpose and Ethics & Beliefs (Spirituality)
  • Mental and Physical
  • Family and Social
  • Career and Financial

Through a self assessment of the 8 areas of life balance you begin to define your own status quo through your own emotional happiness and satisfaction. This process brings greater clarity to how you challenge the status quo.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  These Personal-Sales-Wheels may help you.

Having a written action plan supported by SMART goals also supports your defiance of the status quo. Through this process you will be applying critical thinking skills that your brain may internally fight because the brain wants conditioned behavior.  Thinking requires energy and our brains want to conserve all energy for those flight or fight moments.

Then again another behavior change or personal growth strategy is to think about what you do well and then apply what you do well to defying the status quo. Unfortunately most people from my experience do not know what they do well and waste precious resources of time, energy, money and emotions by focusing on weaknesses or turning non-talents into weaknesses. Sales Training  Coaching Tip: This talent assessment may also be of some assistance to you in your efforts to challenge the status quo.

Challenging the status quo can be achieved provided you have the correct mindset reinforced by proven tools.  In the words of Henry Ford:

If you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.

 

 

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So What’s Your Status Quo?

The status quo is for many a comfortable place to be much like wearing that 20 year old, frayed sweater or sitting in that favorite chair.

status-quoFor it doesn’t require any critical thinking, any reflection, really any doing.

You know every time you wear or sit in the status quo it provides feelings of comfort and security.

Yet in reality the status quo provides false feelings and puts you in the land of nothingness where behavior change never happens.

This state of being works with the human brain because less energy is consumed allowing the brain to conserve all that that extra energy for fight or flight moments.

So, what’s you status quo?

  • Your current job even though 83% of American employees will be actively pursuing new jobs in 2014 (Source: Right Management)
  • Your current financial debt position (Credit card = $15,279; Mortgage debt = $149,456; Student loan debt = $32,140; Source: Federal Reserve)
  • Your current health  where only one in three on average US citizens are within normal BMI range (Source: Gallup)

Do you really want to be in the same place you are right now next year?

What do you need to do to change the status quo?

  • If you are thinking, what I have tried hasn’t worked then did you try 1,000 times? 3000 times? 10,000 times? (Edison failed 10,000 times before his success with the light bulb.)
  • If you are thinking, I’m too busy then is your time different than everyone else who has 24 hours in every day?
  • If you are thinking, I don’t have time, then are you living with the child’s excuse of the “dog ate my homework?”

Of course you may not be thinking at all because those who continually live in the status quo do not invest the time to really think, but continue on their comfortable, well beaten path of daily, automatic behaviors, with only a very tiny light that burns a tiny fire to someday change the status quo.

Tomorrow’s posting may provide some suggestions for you to consider.

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High Growth Coaching Model, What Is That?

So how do you replicate success as an executive coach, business coach or even sales coach? The answer to that is to have a proven high growth coaching model.

high-growth-coaching-modelWhat I have discovered is those who engaged in professional executive coaching sometimes confuse their high growth coaching model with their overall coaching process.

For consistency of communication, a model is the overall structure of something much like a house. The process is inside of the model and is how things flow within. Now sometimes there are additional systems (think rooms) that have their own processes. All of these processes work together to ensure the high growth coaching model continues to deliver the best results possible.

This analogy helps to explain why one size does not fit all and why customization specific to each executive coaching, small business coaching or sales coaching client is essential.

The model I have developed is BAR Beliefs drive Actions (behaviors) generating Results. Unless the beliefs many of which are subconscious are identified, the actions remain the same and restrict the results.  Think Einstein’s definition of insanity doing the same things over and over again, hoping for different results.

Now beliefs for some are attitudes or “habits of thought” as defined by Zig Ziglar. From my experience, beliefs may contain many attitudes and hence why discovering the hidden beliefs are so important.

Actions (behaviors) can be thought of one of two ways:

  • Conditioned or automatic pilot
  • New behaviors

Uniting both beliefs and actions together also works with the brain and how new information is processed. The brain is quite selfish due to its flight or fight internal wiring and prefers automatic pilot behaviors because those actions take far less energy and save energy for those fight or flight moments.

Another reasons I constructed this high growth coaching model is because I can begin with the results currently being achieved and the results the client wants to achieve.  By beginning with the end in mind, then it is somewhat easier to work backwards to determine existing actions and therefore existing beliefs that have generated those results.

This model works with this simple process of ACE:

  • Assess
  • Clarify
  • Execute

Through the use of proven tools I assess clients both personally as well as organizationally.  Any executive coach to small business coach to sales coach who does not begin with an assessment, in my humble opinion, is committing malpractice. How can anyone identify the existing gaps within personal or organizational performance without proven assessments defies explanation.

The assessments provide the clarity along with key questions specific to each client.  For without clarity, one is walking forward in a fog not knowing where to take the next step.

Then execution takes place using proven tools such as action plans to SMART goals along with assessing progress for additional clarity.  As you see, the process is a continuum and works in any situation.

So if you are thinking of hiring an executive, sales or small business coach, ask him or her these questions:

Do you use a high growth coaching model?

If so, would you please explain it to me along with your overall coaching process?

If you do not employ a high growth coaching model, how does your coaching consistently deliver improved results?

By asking these questions on the up front just may save you thousands of dollars not to mention time, energy and emotions.

P.S. Here is the talent assessment I use with a special offer until 1/5/2014.

 

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Why the 8 Areas of Life Balance Are Counteredbalanced

Did you know Buddha over 2,000 years ago discussed having a balanced life? He even constructed a six spoke life wheel.

8-areas-of-life-balanceToday things are just a tad busier and because of that I expanded this concept to 8 areas of life balance along with this feature not found in most other life wheels – Counterbalance.

As you look to the 8 areas of life balance wheel to the left each area is directly opposite another area where there is usually direct impact.

When we are not well or happy physically, our mental acuity or happiness suffers. This is true for financial and career as well as family and social.

From working with my executive coaching and small business coaching clients, I have learned that lack of clarity around purpose definitely affects ethics and beliefs (spirituality).

Counterbalance is a critical aspect of having overall life balance. Yet, this issue of counterbalance is rarely discussed. What is discussed is overall balance. Ignoring the concept of counter balance supports the explanation of why some people find working to achieve balance so difficult.

There is also counterbalance present within the 8 areas of life balance when attached to the professional business wheel. The two wheels are like the wheels on a car attached by an axle.  If one is not balanced correctly, the other wheel is off-balance. Being off balance be it within the 8 areas of life balance or when looking at both the Personal and the Professional Life Wheels is not a positive desired result and drains our limited resources of time, energy, money and emotions.

If you are not familiar with the Life Wheel and how to use it, the instructions are fairly easy.

The center of the wheel is zero and the outside of the wheel is 100. Self assess yourself in each area going from the inside out and draw an arc to represent how satisfied, how happy, you are with each area. If you are 100% with yourself in that area your arc would be on the outside or if you are at 50% satisfaction your arc would be in the middle. After you self assess yourself in each area, take a colored marker and connect all the arcs you just made so you have a wheel inside the wheel.

Then visualize your own wheel traveling down the road of life and ask yourself this question:

Am I going to have a smooth ride, a somewhat bumpy ride or a very bumpy ride?  If your answer is not smooth, then begin to set SMART goals to improve the 8 areas of life balance. Look to those areas opposite each other to ensure they are counterbalanced as well.

Download this PDF on Personal-Sales-Wheels-LHS along with the 6 areas of Sales Balance. Make sure you date it and return in 3 and 6 months to reassess yourself to see your progress.

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What Do You Do?

How many times are we asked “What do you do?

what-do-you-doWhen we are employed by others that question is far easier to answer than when we are small business owners or independent salespeople.

In listening to the responses of many, I have found most confuse the what of what they do with the how of what they do.

When people respond to the question of what do you do with a role answer such as “I am a….” this is the how of what they do.

The what of what they do is simply the results.

Now some small business folks do actually respond with the what of what they do. Their problem is they take far too many words to describe the what and leave their potential ideal customers tone deaf after 10 seconds.

These explanations may also contain the lateness business speak and for so many sound like gobbledygook.  The inclusion of impressive words in many instances turns off some of those potential ideal customers.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Be careful of the word “help” as so many people use it and your response sounds like everyone else.

Finally, the answer to this question of what do you do may require several renditions depending upon the audience. One size does not necessarily fit all.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Even a bad response said with confidence is far better than a good response said without confidence.

So here are some of my responses:

  • I double results for clients
  • I made people uncomfortable (said with a smile)
  • I teach people how to consistently set and achieve goals
  • My clients tell me I guide them to a different way of thinking
  • I support forward thinking leaders who wish to challenge and change the status quo

You will notice no mention of increase sales, continuous process improvement, cohesive team building, talent management, strategic planning or customer loyalty. These are the how of what I do not the what of what I do. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  You will know your “what do you do” response hits a nerve when the other person asks “tell me more.”

With the New Year fast approaching, consider reframing the answer to the question of “What do you do?” so that you may Be the Red Jacket in a sea of gray suits.

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Is Sustainable Goal Setting Possible?

Life is hard and it seems harder yet when results are not consistently achieved. For some goal achievement is like the merry-go-round with the golden ring always present and just beyond one’s reach.

sustainable-goal-settingMany who ride the merry-go-round of life want sustainable goal setting possible, actually hunger for it. Yet, year after year fail to consistently grab that golden ring.

Sustainable goal setting is truly a process that demands strong internal beliefs supported by these  key internal talents:

Additionally external talents are also required such as:

Within that sustainable goal setting process there are proven tools to support the ongoing goal setting and goal achievements efforts such as:

For without leveraging key talents and employing proven tools, sustainable goal setting is far more difficult to potentially impossible. Possibly this is why so many goals such as New Year Resolutions fail within the first two month. As this year comes to an end, maybe now is the time to examine your approach to goal achievement and what actions you may need to take to establish sustainable goal setting.

Did you know that super majority (98.8%) of professionals do not know their talents? This is one critical reason I believe sustainable goal setting is not achieved.  This short talent assessment may help you to challenge your status quo and allow you to begin to achieve even more and far better results.

 

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