Friday Faves – 7.8.16

070816In the midst of a searing heatwave where I am, but found some cool ideas to heat up your sales.  (Sorry, must be the heat.)

How To Change Your Default Setting – This is hard, but if you realize it’s something you must do, you’re halfway there.

Why Your New Sales Technology Tools Won’t Solve Your Sales Problem – It’s never the tool that makes the job come out perfectly, it’s the skill of the worker using them.

How to Be Increasingly Less Dumb – A provocative title and good thoughts, but it misses the first step – COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG LEARNING.  No growth without that.

A One > Two Combination That Still Delivers Sales – It also works with managers/reps.

8 Sales Books to Read in Summer 2016 – Self=promotion notwithstanding (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I enjoy seeing what others are reading.  (and wish I had more time to read them all).

No One Can Hurt You as Much as You Can Hurt You – Sales – the original equal opportunity employer.  No one is in more control of your results as you are.

 

Friday Faves – 5.13.16

051316Baseball players are notoriously superstitious.  Wade Boggs, Hall of Famer with the Yankees and Red Sox reportedly ate chicken 90 minutes before each game.  Hitters on a hitting streak have been known to wear the same socks and underwear until the streak ends for fear of cursing it.

If you’re on a closing streak, why change things?  But, where hitters face the same pitchers over a season, sellers sell on a constantly shifting tectonic plate – market conditions.  Consistency is what we all seek – closing new business regularly, like an assembly line.  So, it’s almost an oxymoron to suggest that you regularly reassess, refine and adapt your tactics to changes in the market.  But, not to do so condemns you to the fate of the dinosaurs.  Harsh?

Certainly, there are best practices in discovery, prospecting, relationships development and perhaps time management that are foundation sales practices.  But two and two will never equal five, but everything except a few immutable laws (gravity, supply and demand, resistance and effort) are subject to external influence.

On this Friday the 13th, question your norms – hell, question everything.  The buyer’s world is in constant change.  It you don’t stay ahead of that change, you’ll be that log in the river the water flows over and around.

Who took Jobu’s rum?

The “C” Word – Part 2

Honesty

Honesty

This will be the single most important characteristic to guide yourself through change.  Of course, you must be honest with your employer and others at work, but mostly you must be honest with YOURSELF. You don’t need to share everything with your employer and colleagues, but you must honestly look at all the issues and your feelings to make a good decision for yourself.

If you are in the Opportunity Group, your only risk is running too fast that you miss some of the details along the way.  The excitement of the new opportunity can cause that to happen sometimes.  Try to keep an eye on execution, talk with colleagues also in the opportunity group.  Sharing your views, strategies and observations is always beneficial, particularly so during a time of change.

If you are in the Possibility Group, see the success of the Opportunity Group and move there cautiously – good for you!  You’ve become part of a positive change for your company. However, if you’re still struggling with the change, you have to ask yourself some questions and be HONEST with your answers.

  • What is it that I am afraid of and is this a fear I want to conquer?  (If so, help is available.)
  • Am I concerned that I will not have the support I need should I stumble?  (Discuss this with your boss.)
  • Does this new environment feel right to me?  Can I see myself eventually being comfortable and sticking around?  (This is the biggie, because if the answer is no, you have to initiate a bigger change for yourself.)

If you are in the Threat Group, you can ask yourself the same questions above, but what you really want to ask yourself first is: “Am I ever going to be happy here in this new environment?”  Consider that you’ll be swimming upstream, uncomfortable with the changes most of the time.  This takes a toll on your emotional energy.  It can be highly stressful and exhausting.  HONESTY is critical for you.  Yes, changing jobs isn’t easy nor fun, but sticking around when you are unhappy is worse.

BOTTOM LINE:  The best way to succeed through change is to remain OPEN, demonstrate FLEXIBILITY and a willingness to try new things.  If you can adopt that attitude, not only will you be viewed as an asset to your company, but new opportunities in your company will find you.

I hope you find these strategies helpful in dealing with change.

Leadership plays a key role in people succeeding through change.  In Part 3, we’ll discuss managing these groups through change.

The “C” Word – Part 1

Change

It is something that will happen to you many times during your career.   Changes we initiate (taking a new job, losing weight) are easy to deal with.  (Well, losing weight may not be easy.) It’s the changes that are generated by others (new territory, comp plan, product line) that are more difficult.

When facing significant change, I’ve seen people naturally divide into three distinct groups:

thirds

OPPORTUNITY – This group sees the change as opportunity – for increased earnings, more responsibility, freedom, professional growth.  This group runs TOWARD the change, accepting the risk that comes with the unknown, but fueled nonetheless by the energy of discovery. People in this group usually excel in the new environment or at least maintain the strong performance they demonstrated pre-change.

POSSIBILITY – This group sees the change as possibility – for success OR failure.  It’s the fear of failure (or sometimes lack of understanding about the change) that prevents them from seeing the opportunity clearly.  This group will wait on the shore and many will ultimately join the opportunity group, but not until they see that group generate success.  It reduces the sense of risk, allowing them to move forward.  But, not all will do so and some slip into the final group.

THREAT – This group sees the change as a threat.  They are comfortable only with the status quo.  Maybe not actively or overtly, but this group will be resistant to change.  It may come in the form of “I need more training” or a decrease in productivity, increase in errors or absenteeism.  However demonstrated, people in this group do NOT want to get on the bus with the others.

With the groups identified, we’ll discuss strategies for sellers in managing yourself through change in Part 2.

Friday Faves – 12.19.14

santa raceFinish strong!

How to Play the Long Game – Integrity.  Is there any OTHER way to play?

Manage Your Emails! – This works, unless you have a service expectation with clients.

Setting Realistic Deadlines – We all have deadlines.  Managing them, especially when others are involved, is a critical skill to master.

This or that vs. yes or no – Incremental change is still change.

5 Things That Are Never Finished – True dat!

The Case Against Content Marketing and Inbound Alone – You have to GET the business you WANT!

 

 

Friday Faves 2.7.14

BRAZIL-POPE-WYD-HOSPITALMy last meeting today was with a Diocesan hospital, so an image of Pope Francis seemed appropriate.  So, too, because he is demonstrating how to become a transformative figure and he is doing it with such ingratiating charm and grace in a institution most of us would consider resistant to change.  Consider the objections the Pope must be meeting when he says the Church must be more inclusive the next time you hear difficult objections from a prospect and feel sorry for yourself.  I am not Catholic, but what Pope Francis has begun is inspiring.

So, on a lighter note, here are some of the most interesting posts I read this week.  HURRY SPRING!

So You Want to Be a Trusted Advisor? – Every consultative seller’s goal, but here are some good qualifiers.

Every slide tells a story – Here’s another take on presentations.

Your relationship with the future – Seth Godin on an aspect of change.

Limit the Time You Spend on Email – Some practical ideas to deal with a productivity enabler/killer.

Happy Birthday, Laurie!

Friday Faves 1.31.14

snow thumbStill in the Polar Vortex here in the East, and I am getting tired of it, frankly.  I have a running joke with a colleague in Florida.  I’ve told her I’m rooting for her to win the lottery so I can transfer to her territory.  Not this week, so freeze I shall.  But I did read some great blog posts, which I hope you enjoy.

I hope it’s nice and warm where you are.  At least I can take comfort that it’s the end of January and we’re a little more than halfway through the worst of the winter.

Measuring nothing (with great accuracy) – I’m working on a post about metrics, so this typically pity Seth Godin post was a great read.

The thin line between standing out and striking out – Think about what you need to do to get noticed by prospects.

A Company Without Job Titles Will Still Have Hierarchies – I totally agree with the author’s conclusion (I won’t spoil it for you), but count me in as a Zappo’s fan!

Executive Presence + Leadership – Substitute “sales” for “executive” and consider how you interact with prospects at meetings.  Do you inspire confidence?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of My Sales Week: A Weekly Sales Review – This is a GREAT process to examine your week, and find ways to improve your productivity the next week.  I plan to adopt this myself.

5 Ways to Exercise Your Change Muscle – As long as we’re talking self-assessment, here is a great blueprint for improving your flexibility.