Why You Shouldn’t Care What Your Customers Think

Let me boldly state that in selling INTENT is everything. Think about how you would answer this question, “What is your intent when you plan your sales call and/or approach your customer?” If you’re like most sales people, you’d likely answer, “My intent (or purpose) is to sell to them.” In my view, that’s the wrong approach. I believe it’s much more effective to approach your customer with the intent to teach them and/or find out what they want and help them get it. Continue reading

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Recipe for How to Develop High Performers

Many of our clients seek “high performers” or look to establish a “high performance” sales organization.  Exactly what does this mean? I started thinking about a recipe to develop high performers when a colleague sent me a video clip of Brendon Burchard talking about qualities that all high performers possess.

To give credit where it is due, this does build on the qualities that Burchard says all high performers share. However, these are ideas that I’ve referenced often in this blog and when speaking to our customers. Continue reading

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I Put 5 People on Your Drug—and 4 of Them Died!

“I put five people on your drug…and four of them died!” That’s what one of my customers told me when I was a sales rep for a pharma company. Those are words that no one wants to hear—regardless of your situation. What could I say?

What this physician said was certainly inflammatory. The way she said it put me on the defensive. But I’ve learned that when we react emotionally, it is seldom wise or effective. Continue reading

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Why do Listen and Silent Share the Same Letters?

It’s funny how the words “listen” and “silent” have the same letters. I wonder if that’s a coincidence or a reminder. It’s both in my opinion.

Can you really listen if you don’t allow for silence? If you ask genuine, thought-provoking questions, it seems to me that you should expect to hear silence first before you hear any words. That indicates that the person you’re talking to is taking the time to process what you just said. Continue reading

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The Shelf Life of Words

“The words you use with people not only have shelf life, but have the ability to shape life.” That’s a quote from my friend Coach Buzz Williams. Not only is he eloquent but spot on about the power of words.

I think if we truly understood how much of a difference words can make, we would not be so reckless in what we say. The words we choose and how we combine them can really affect what people hear and how they react. Continue reading

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Why Differences Matter

“He can’t see the forest for the trees.” When I heard this quote recently, I thought of how much the meaning of this phrase has changed for me over the years. Most people use this expression to describe someone who focuses on the details so much that they neglect to see the big picture. The opposite is also true—those who see the big picture are often unable to recognize the individual distinct trees which comprise that forest. But regardless of whether we see the big picture or are detail oriented, we tend to have the mindset that others see the same things we do. Continue reading

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10 Traits of Winning Coaches

When you hear the word “coach”, your first thought might be about your favorite sports team.  However, coaches are not limited to sports—you find them in all walks of life: sales managers, teachers, volunteers, etc. They are people who are vested in helping others get better. As with all jobs, you’ll find that some coaches are better than others. Regardless of who they are coaching, I’ve learned that winning coaches tend to share certain traits that set them apart from others. Continue reading

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Difference between the Right Word and the Almost Right Word

Mark Twain, who became the most famous man in the world during his time, knew how important words were. He’s famous for saying “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

How many of us actually take the time to torture our words? How often are we satisfied with less? Based on what people are saying (and writing), it seems that more and more people aren’t really paying attention to the words they choose to use. Continue reading

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Selling Books on a Plane

Opportunities can spring up in the most unexpected places. Any chance meeting can lead to some surprising outcomes. And sometimes you are not even present when those opportunities appear. Allow me to explain.

Just recently I received an update from a sales trainer I’ve been working with. She was reading my book The Relationship Edge in Business on a plane trip. This prompted a conversation with the man sitting next to her who was a computer technology sales manager. After their discussion, he took a picture of the book saying he planned to read the book and have his sales people get copies too. That led her to wonder how many books have been sold on planes and not just by her. Continue reading

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Want to Sell More? Improve the Quality of your Questions in 3 Steps

As sales people, our job is not to disseminate information; it’s to get our customers to think. Because only by thinking will they change their behavior—which is the goal of each sales interaction.

In other words, every time you meet with a customer, you are making the case that they need to change what they are currently doing or using. You can’t get them to even consider making a change unless you can get them to think. And I know of no better way to do that than by asking great questions. Continue reading

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