Posts Tagged ‘coaching tip’

Yes Sustainable Self-Improvement Is Possible

There are some human beings who are always in self-improvement mode in their efforts to change existing behaviors or improve existing results.  This energy is expended for usually one of three reasons:


  • Self-improvement is an embedded attitude
  • Self-improvement past actions did not secure the desired results
  • Self-improvement is viewed as a quick fix to changing existing behaviors

Sustainable self-improvement works when there is more than just one target so repetitive and conditioned behavior takes over. Of course having a quick fix attitude will never be sustainable.

For example, learning is a self-improvement goal for many especially for those in professional roles.  Now imagine what would happen if you integrated some recent knowledge into reflective writing either for your personal use (such as journaling to writing a book) or even for your business as in blogging or writing your own marketing copy?

Would such a two-f0ld target provide you with additional results? Self-Improvement Coaching Tip:  The more you think (learn), the better you write; the better you write, the more you think.

My personal philosophy is to attempt to hit as many targets as possible with one action given my own energy is limited.

When I engage in exercise, I like to accomplish something beyond burning some calories.  This is why I so enjoy shoveling snow because I see a clean sidewalk and driveway along with the expended calories from this cardio exercise.  Also this is why I find traditional exercise so boring.

Human beings are simple as well as complex creatures.  Those who are result driven such as myself find it is much easier to have sustainable results when there are multiple and integrated self improvement goals.

Sustainable self-improvement is also supported when having written action plans and written WAY SMART goals. I remember having to write a personal goal with regards to regularly attending church each Sunday and that goal has now been sustainable for over 6 years.  Additionally, I also am able to attend mid-week mass with greater frequency.

If you want sustainable results from your own personal efforts then invest some time to determine where you want to improve and discover if you can hit multiple targets in taking such action.  Start small with 30 day goals and then expand the time line to 90 day goals or even two years.

P.S. This free eBook Beyond-SMART-Goals-2014-eBook may support you in your efforts to achieve sustainable self-improvement.

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Do You Know What You Truly Do Well, Your Talents?

Do you know what you truly do well? If so, how do you know those talents are your best ones?

talentsHave you taken the words of some past teachers, friends, bosses or even your parents?

And if you believe you know what you do well, are you focusing on improving those talents or are you more concerned about your weaknesses or what you do not do as well?

A poll by Gallup suggested that about one in three employees of over 11,000 employees that were asked strongly agreed with this statement:

Every week I set goals and expectations based on my strengths.

My heuristic question immediately was:

How do these employees truly know their strengths or talents?

After working with hundreds of individuals, I have discovered less than 5% know their top talent and conversely 95% know their weakest talent.  To “know” is defined as having some measurement from a proven assessment not just the observation of some other individual or some internal belief.

For example, I know I read well. How do I know? My reading rate in high school and college was tested as 1,000 wpm with 95% accuracy. I am sure that has declined somewhat given I have aged.

Imagine if you truly know what you do well, then how much more could you accomplish?

When we know our talents and apply them as we work to achieve our goals, then amazing results are truly possible. Coaching Tip: Your goal setting worksheet tool should include your talents so that you can leverage what you do well.

Maybe now is the time to assess what you truly do well and then begin to incorporate those now known talents into your daily goals and more importantly behaviors. If you wish to discover 78 key talents along with your external and internal decision making styles, then this talent assessment may be your springboard to consistent professional and personal success.

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What to Wear to Sales Training?

Possibly you read this title and thought to yourself, “Is she serious?” or “You’ve gotta to be kidding?” I do not have time to read such silliness or something that anyone with any common sense should already know.

what-to-wear-to-sales-trainingYet after delivering numerous sessions on sales training not to mention years in education both at the K-12 and post secondary levels, possibly this question, “What to wear to sales training?” should be asked with greater frequency?

I am a firm, very firm believer that proper attire prompts proper performance.  Casual attire conversely promotes casual performance. (Sales Training Coaching Tip: One can be comfortable and still properly attired.)

To answer this question “What to wear to sales training?” begins with what clothing do you possess that is both comfortable and appropriate. (Sales Training Coaching Tip: Jeans, short skirts, plunging necklines, etc. are not appropriate. Yes my bias is showing.)

For men and women, suits, pants with blazers, are appropriate. Maybe the litmus test is this question:

Would my grandmother be happy if I wore this outfit to church?

When people are properly dressed they are not only showing pride in themselves, but pride for the company they represent.

One never knows who is watching. That someone passing by in the hallway, in the sales training room, at the restaurant or even in the bathroom may be your next boss, employer or even better your next customer or client.

For many years it has been said “You only have one time to make a good first impression, so make that one time count.”

So maybe instead of “What to wear to sales training?,” the better question might be is to ask yourself is what you are wearing making that best, first impression?



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SMB Coaching Tip: A Good Wine Should Be Drunk Not Heard

SMBSMB owners and sales professionals are indeed busy if not crazy busy. They wear multiple hats as they are solo entrepreneurs to employers with under 20 employees.  With all this business of working IN their small businesses instead of ON, there is a plethora of excuses or whines for actions not being taken.

I have listened not only to my own SMB coaching clients whine about this or that, but other small business colleagues who complain about not having time to market, not having time to plan, not having time to whatever.  These whines become a self fulfilling prophecy that drown these individuals as well as those sitting or standing around them.

We have all heard these Red Whines:

  • Pinot Pity Noir
  • Misery Merlot
  • Selfish Shiraz
  • Crying Cabernet
  • Zing Zounds Zinfandel
  • Sorrowful Sweet Sherry
  • Pathetic Port

Of course we cannot forget the White Whines:

  • Criticizing Chardonnay
  • Sickening Sauvignon Blanc
  • Screaming Sparkling Wine (Champagne)
  • Rarely Rose

Let us embrace this SMB coaching tip:

A good wine should be drunk not heard.

So your SMB coaching question is now two-fold:

  1. Are you guilty of spreading these whines instead of drinking them?
  2. What do you do as a SMB leader who is frankly tired of all of these assorted whines?

Please feel to add your own premium Label Whine in the comment section below.

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 career 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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LinkedIn Still Remains An Undiscovered B2B Marketing World for Many

In the B2B  sales world, finding potential customers, strategic partners and even solid information becomes a more time consuming task. LinkedIn is a great resource for those in B2B sales. Yet even with 225 million plus members with one third being with the United States, there are many US salespeople, executives and small business owners who have yet to enroll in LinkedIn or become active within this dynamic marketing resource.

A recent survey brought to my attention by Miles Austin suggested that 68% of the Fortune 500 CEOs do not have a LinkedIn profile or account.

LinkedInPossibly the time requirement turns off some of those non-LinkedIn members. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Most people waste at least 20 minutes daily. Reinvest those minutes in building your LinkedIn presence.

Maybe money is another constraint. Sales Training Coaching Tip: The basic LinkedIn membership is free.

Another might be those not participating in LinkedIn believe their business is local, regional or national and not global. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Probably over 85% of all business is global or has the potential of being global.

For me and for my executive coaching and talent management consulting small business, LinkedIn has provided incredible as part of my integrated marketing.

I have secured clients; gained strategic partners; and made some friendships that otherwise would have not happened.

LinkedIn provides a credibility platform for most small businesses. This site along with the small business website and other resources creates a unified marketing presence.

Probably the best reason for utilizing LinkedIn if your small business is engaged in B2B marketing is you have the opportunity to just be valuable. By connecting and building relationships with real people, they will reach out to you because they have grown to know you and to trust you.

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 career 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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Learn How to Increase Sales with These 5 Behavioral Asssessments

The goal to increase sales is always front and center especially as the year begins to wrap up. Here are five (5) tools that may help you achieve that goal.


William Marston published in 1928 his research findings on human emotional.  Marston’s book, Emotions of Normal People, provided the means for a later industrial psychologist, Walter Clarke, to construct the DISC assessment based upon his theory of DISC. Today there are a plethora of DISC assessments that help to clarify the behavior of people through communication and even just plain observation.

There are four primary areas:

  • Decisive
  • Inclusive
  • Stable
  • Compliance

How to Increase Sales Training Coaching Tip:  If a person is a High D, by observation this may be reflected through the placement of his or her somewhat large desk in the center of the room along with notable awards specific to his or her professional accomplishments.

Transactional Analysis

This is an older behavioral tool as it was created by Eric Berne back in the early 1950’s. Berne looked to the roles of child, parent and adult specific to human communication.  Transactional analysis helps to improve the communication between the sender and the receiver.

How to Increase Sales Training Coaching Tip: If you consistently speak as an adult and are confronted by a parent (someone who wants to stay in control). then you now have the awareness about that person’s communication style.

Attribute Index

Dr. Robert Harman through his investigative work on what humans value constructed the science of axiology (the study of values and value judgements).  Through the application of mathematics, he was able to develop an objective, deductive tool that could quickly separate value judgements through these three filters or dimensions of thoughts:

  1. Systems Judgement – Thinker – Head
  2. Intrinsic – Feeler – Heart
  3. Extrinsic – Doer – Hands

How to Increase Sales Training Coaching Tip:  By understanding how people make decisions both externally and internally allows you to understand what your potential customers value and provides a springboard to align your message to what they value.  Remember, people buy on value unique to them.

Neuro-Lingustic Programming

In the 1970’s two gentlemen by the names of Richard Bandler and John Grindler believed there was a connection between neurological processes (“neuro”), language (“linguistic”) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (“programming”). Even though some discount their works, by listening to the word selection, one can begin to model the language of another.

There are four (4) basic communication neurological processing bridges:

  1. Auditory – Hearing
  2. Visual – Seeing
  3. KinestheticMoving and feeling
  4. Auditory Digital – Thinking

How to Increase Sales Training Coaching Tip:  If a person uses a phrase such as “I see what you mean,” then you might respond “I am glad you saw that.”

Emotional Intelligence

From the initial work of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences back in the early 1980’s, Daniel Goleman combined intra-personal intelligence and inter-personal intelligence to arrive at emotional intelligence. Simply speaking this is about how an individuals recognize, understand and manage their own emotions while simultaneously recognizing, understanding and managing the emotions of others.

How to Increase Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Refrain from being judgmental in your communication by eliminating words such as need and should.

These five (5) behavioral assessments when applied to the goal of how to increase sales can be extremely beneficial and helpful.  Also they have the added benefit of improving active listening skills and in business many sales are lost because the salesperson failed to listen to what was said and what was not said.

P.S. My personal favorite is the Attribute Index. Even though I use all five behavioral assessments within my sales training coaching practice and organizational development practice, by beginning with the Attribute Index sets a solid foundation for future performance improvement.

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Increase Emotional Control With These Two Simple Actions

Sometimes we can change the course of our behaviors with the simplest of actions. Here are two simple actions to increase emotional control.


First Action

For the last five years I have been sharing an assessment with my executive coaching clients that looks to many talents including emotional control and internal self control.  By understanding what these talents really mean and how they can be applied to daily behaviors has dramatically improved my clients’ results.

Second Action

Understanding and practicing emotional intelligence is another proven strategy and tactic to increase emotional control. When we recognize and understand the emotions of others as well as our own emotions and then learn to manager both sets of feelings we can increase emotional control. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The talent of diplomacy is the application of emotional intelligence.

These are not the only tactics to increase emotional control. However they are pretty simple and do deliver sustainable results.

P.S. Read my book review on Working with Emotional Intelligence at Ezine Articles.

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The Collision of Wasted Time and Lost Productivity

Everyone is busy. Technology allows us to be even busier. With fewer people expected to do more work there does not appear enough minutes in the day.  And what happens is there now appears to be even more wasted time and even more lost productivity.

wasted-timeYears ago a colleague made this statement:

“People confuse motion with progress and activity with results.”

Motion is wasted time because no progress is actually made.

Activity without results is lost productivity.

Here are seven questions to ask yourself to avoid this collision of wasted time and lost productivity:

1. Have you ever tracked your time for several days in 15 minute intervals?  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  If not, you may wish to do so.

2. Are you really efficient at multi-tasking? Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The brain is truly not designed to multi-task. Do one task and complete it before starting another.

3. Do you have written action plans supported by WAY SMART goals so you know what needs to be done?

4. Are you capable of saying NO?

5. Do you allow distractions to be part of your daily routine such as checking email, social media sites,etc.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Incorporate automation marketing tools such as HootSuite to allow you to be more efficient and effective with your time.

6. Do you find yourself making excuses for not completing tasks or promises to colleagues, clients, etc?

7. Have you invested the time to write your purpose, vision, values and current mission statements?

Yes, we all have experienced wasted time and lost productivity. However, we have the ability and capacity to reduce those resource draining experiences because we have control over far more of time and the desired results than we sometimes believer.

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 career 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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Why Traditional Business Growth Strategy Fails – Tip #3

The organizational flow chart is embedded within the traditional business growth strategy. This schematic is constructed much like a pyramid, top down with fewer people at the top and more people at the bottom. Additionally, the distribution of power remains in the leadership hands of a few at the top.


An organization flow chart is a schematic of power and potentially ego.

Additionally the traditional organizational flow chart encourages a culture of climbing to the top because “I can be seen by everyone else” not because my growth and contributions are connected to the growth and contributions of others within the small business. During our childhood years for many baby boomers, this was called “King of the Mountain” game. Enterprise Coaching Tip: Our childhood experiences are very often mirrored in our adult experiences.

If we recognize we want our small business to be an enterprise and not an organization, then maybe it is time to construct a new way of thinking about the internal structure of the firm that reflects a more dynamic business growth strategy?

What would happen if we began with a single circle?  Inside the circle is the CEO or small business owner. Then we would add an interlocking circle for each department such as marketing, selling, keeping and accounting. This schematic would resemble more of a Venn Diagram and would be more fluid and far less ego power driven.

Initially, the overlapping of the circles to the center, CEO circle would be small. These outside circles may initially not touch or overlap with each other. However through each stage of  business growth, the large circle of the CEO would continue to decrease while the others would increase in overlapping with center circle.  This change would reflect the executive leadership development growth within the CEO from being one of 100% in control to one of being the visionary for the enterprise.

From my readings, a good example of this would be the enterprise called Apple. Steve Jobs was not involved in day to day activities because his business growth strategy was to be the visionary, always thinking about how to take the company close and closer to that next new vision.

If we truly want our business to go beyond just surviving during these times of chaos, then possibly we need to rethink the organizational flow chart as we build our business growth strategy to reflect sustainability through our people.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith by being a heurist looks to discover new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses or those who wish to grow beyond their current employees. Her business growth strategy approach is not the common traditional solution and may just surprise you how truly simple, not necessarily easy, it may be for you and your enterprise. She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.




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And You Want a Sales Referral from Me?


So many times I am asked for a sales referral from my various contacts, clients and colleagues.  In the minority of those instances, I can comply. For most of them I cannot in all honesty make any sales referral because of these reasons:

1. Your Physical Image

If you look like something the cat just dragged in, I cannot put my credibility on the line even if you are the smartest and brightest tack in the box.  Lose the multiple piercings, cover up the tattoos, get a hair cut, clean your finger nails, wash and press your attire, forget the jeans and for goodness sake get rid of the dew rag.

Sales Training Coaching Tip: You are indeed judge within the first 8 to 15 seconds. This may not be fair, but it is, what it is. Grab the book, Breakthrough Networking, to close your image gaps. And no I did not write it.

2. Your Past Attitude

In the past I have made a sales referral for you and  you never even thanked me. I learned of it from the other person.  You always want to use my network to increase sales for your small business. Your one way street attitude of it’s all about me does not work.

Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Your attitude speaks volume about you and you never have to even open your mouth.

3. Your Behaviors

Depending upon who you are and your current role, your behaviors are not in congruence or in alignment.  You tell me you are an SEO expert and yet your site, let me be blunt here, sucks. Maybe you are a marketing firm and you are still advancing printing 5,000 glossy brochures.

Sales Training  Coaching Tip:  Your behaviors are being observed by everyone else and they do notice them.

So if you want a sales referral from me, make sure you have a positive image, a giving attitude and consistent behaviors.

P.S. Consider registering for this free webinar on March 7, 2013 from 12-12:30pm, The 3 Sales Buying Rules.

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