Posts Tagged ‘problem solving’

Are Your Sales Results Suffering Because of this Confusion?

“I have plenty of lists, daily, weekly and monthly” said an acquaintance.  My next question was “How are your sales results?”  The not so surprising response was “they could be better.”

This acquaintance and many of my sales coaching clients share this confusion about list making and goal setting.

List making is very much like a simple mini action plan.  Each item on the list is an action based upon an objective to be achieved.  In some instances, having lists works on the smaller actions and usually fails on the bigger ones.

A goal is a predetermined objective to be undertaken with the desired end to be a positive result.  Sometimes especially if the goal is to increase sales, the goal must be thoroughly “thought out” or what I call “flushed out.”  This thinking or flushing requires some additional time.  Critical thinking skills such as integrative ability must be applied along with:

Lists work with goals, but lists alone will not achieve the desired sales results.

Consistent goal achievers are excellent critical thinkers.  They identify what they want to achieve and then look to the what is limiting them from achieving their goal.  These limitations may be also considered as challenges or obstacles.

The confusion between list making and goal setting may also explain why there are misguided decisions that create misdirection.  If the item on the list is more complex or must work with another action that has not been clearly articulated, then the ability to achieve the goal especially if the goal is to increase sales is severely limited.

Another tell tale sign of this confusion is the answer to this question:

Have you invested the time to create a strategic thinking plan with specific written daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals?

Again, the answer over 95% of the time is NO! What this answer tells any sales coach or business coach is there is considerable misalignment happening which helps to explain miss guided decisions creating miss directed actions.

Yes, lists are great, but written goals aligned to an overall strategic thinking plan will consistently increase sales and far better sales results than lists alone.

Schedule some time to talk with Leanne by CLICKING HERE to improve your sales results.  Yes it could be as simple as just embracing a proven goal setting and goal achievement process.

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Where to Begin Developing Workplace Talent

Americans by an over whelming majority believe to stay competitive workplace talent must be developed. Many are also in agreement this action must take place at institutions of higher education.  Yet, is there where the emphasis should be?

workplace-talentWhen we look at what employers are seeking, even college graduates fail to meet what is needed in the workplace such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Team collaboration skills
  • Technology skills

Many of these skills are not necessarily learned in the classroom and probably should have already been learned through the past 12 years of education.  Unfortunately, these skills are not being learned unless someone is involved in athletics (team collaboration skills) or debate (communication skills).

Workplace talent should have been developed by the time young people leave high school.  They have 12 years to learn and hone the necessary workplace talent skills.

When we look at those who graduated before the early 1970s and those who graduated after, there appears to be a noticeable difference for many.  Beyond the curriculum being “watered down,” there exists a different mentality about work ethics and even self worth.

As a sales manager I saw this difference.  There were those few employees who gave more by working harder and far more employees who expected a paycheck for less work.  The old adage of giving 8 for 8 was true back then in the 1970 and 1980s.

Being an elected school board trustee in the late 1980’s and early 1990s, one observation that was pretty consistent was I could not tell some of the teachers from the students. Gone were the days of being professionally dressed.  Now the goal appeared to be like a student instead of a professional leader.

Possibly if we want to develop workplace talent, then maybe the starting place is with developing teachers.  What this means is teachers must leave any preconceived ideas about politics, social justice, etc. and start without bias to truly opening up the capacity to learn and to grow.

Our country needs competitive workforce talent.  And probably the first place is to deep six the idea “everyone wins a trophy” because in the workplace there are no trophies.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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The Best Problem Identifiers Have the Real Competitive Advantage in Sales

Many believe those who solve the business problems have the competitive advantage in sales. Yet this begs the question as to why so many small business owners experience repetitive problems after having invested in at least one or more solutions from executive coaching to sales training to organizational development firm?


The answer is to this question is simple. The solution did not address the real problem and the competitive advantage in sales is lost along with precious profits. Sales Training Coaching Tip: And it is easier to tackle the iceberg that you see and everyone else sees instead of digging depth beneath the surface.

Over the years I have been contacted because small business owners and professional salespeople cannot increase sales.  What I have learned over this same course of time is sales is the symptom 99% of those instances. The real problem has yet to be clearly identified.  And in 75% of those instances in 15 minutes I have determined the real problem lies in one or more of these areas:

Then when the potential ideal customer and I can come to an understanding that the inability to increase sales is a symptom posing as a problem we then can collaborate together to determine the real problem or problems.  In many instances there are a combination of problems and hence why the one solution usually proposed by my competitors fails to achieve sustainable results or a positive return on investment.When this happens we both have the win-win that being a competitive advantage in sales.

So if you want a competitive advantage in sales hone your problem identification skills first  by engaging in your active listening skills nest. Then and only then begin to employ your problem solving skills.

Another competitive advantage in sales is overcoming the basic sales objections. Learn what they are in this free workshop and some ideas of how to put a lid on them.

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