How to Manage Pull-Through in an Age of Decreasing Attention Spans

It is one of the more challenging aspects of being a consultant. Regardless of whether we are involved in creating and delivering the entire national sales training for our clients or advising which specific skills should be targeted for the … Continue reading

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6 Tips to Creating Enlightening Questions

What makes you feel “enlightened”? In his recent blog posting 7 Ways to Inspire Enlightenment with Curiosity, Dan Rockwell makes the point that while good questions inform, great questions enlighten. Great questions get people to think differently—and that is our real goal in selling.

The simple fact is that asking great questions is hard. It’s one of the reasons why we need to be reminded from time to time about how to create great questions. Here are some gems Rockwell mentioned that I think are worth repeating: Continue reading

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Developing a Coaching Mindset

The best sales managers I know have adopted a coaching mindset—and engage their employees not as managers but as coaches. I was thinking about this coaching mindset as I read Dan Rockwell’s blog about leadership using the term “go-giver” leaders (Practices of Go-Giver Leaders). He made the point that a go-giver leader starts each personal interaction by first thinking, “How might I give?” rather than thinking “How can I take?” In my opinion, this is a great mindset for all leaders and managers to develop. Continue reading

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Would Your Customers Say You Are Among the 8% of the Truly Customer-Focused?

Many of us think we have a customer-focused approach when we really don’t. In his book The Ultimate Question, Fred Reichheld cites research that confirms there is a big disconnect between what we believe and what our customers think. 80% of senior managers felt their organizations were customer-focused and provided superior customer experiences. However, when their customers were surveyed, only 8% of their customers agreed. 80% versus 8%—that’s quite a disparity. What’s missing? Why aren’t we as customer-focused as we think we are? Continue reading

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Those Who Tell Stories Rule—Based on Science

“Those who tell the stories rule society.” [Plato]. In my mind, there’s a corollary to that saying, which is “Those who tell stories rule—when selling and persuading.”  Why is this true?

Storytelling is an effective way to generate excitement. It’s also a great way to influence and persuade someone to your way of thinking. Managers who share stories can testify how effective they are—especially when getting your team impassioned about your vision. Continue reading

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Success is a Team Sport: The 3 Qualities of a Great Team

The Villanova win in March Madness was amazing to watch—especially with our regional office located in nearby Malvern, PA. What a game and such excitement till the last second! No wonder the fans went wild. Great win for a team based in teamwork and respect for their coach.

It reminded me of another great basketball game between Virginia Tech and Florida State I was privileged to watch in person. It also kept you on the edge of your seat—with less than 9 minutes remaining in the game, the Virginia Tech Hokies trailed 64-58. Yet they won the game with a score of 83 to 73. Florida State had better players and more talent yet they lost. What made the difference? Teamwork. Continue reading

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It’s Spring—Time for Mental Spring Cleaning

It’s Spring! When you hear the word “spring” you might think of sunshine, flowers, and warmer temperatures. Others might think of spring cleaning—because this new season is a great time to clear out those cobwebs. Spring cleaning is not just physical—it’s also mental.

It’s really an opportune time to take stock about what you’ve accomplished so far and how things are trending for the rest of the year. Already one-quarter of the year is gone. Look at the goals you set for the year. How are you tracking? And what could you be doing to get better? Continue reading

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Despite Decreased Attention Spans, How to Capture Customer’s Interest

I used to feel sorry for goldfish swimming in that small bowl, day after day. But then I learned that goldfish have a 9-second attention span. They likely don’t realize they’re going around in circles. Certainly that wouldn’t apply to humans—but then I learned that our ability to pay attention has decreased dramatically in the past 100 years. Humans used to be able to pay attention for 20 minutes—now our attention span is the same as that goldfish. What this means for us in sales is that we better capture attention pretty quickly—or else our customers won’t listen to what we say. And if we can’t get them to listen, we certainly can’t get them to buy our product. Continue reading

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The Other Side of Questioning—The Art of Responding to Customer’s Questions

Selling excellence requires the ability to ask well-designed questions. And that’s what we tend to focus on when developing this skill. But aren’t we missing out on sales opportunities if we don’t also focus on better ways to respond to … Continue reading

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Collaborate Your Way to Selling Success

We don’t normally hear much about how collaborating in selling can help us be more successful. After all, organizations seem to foster competition:

  • Compensation is based on sales results
  • Rankings of sales representatives are frequently posted and publicized
  • Motivation is often focused on competition

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