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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What’s Wrong with Sales Training and How to Fix It

After investing time, effort and considerable resources to design and train their sales force, corporations often find that the training just doesn’t stick. What went wrong? And how can they fix it?

Although there could be numerous reasons why the sales representatives don’t follow through on their training, one of the more obvious—and often overlooked—reasons is how they train the sales managers. Or should I say, how they neglect to train the sales managers and/or get their buy-in. Continue reading

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The Invisible Tattoo

Everyone has an invisible tattoo. Everyone we meet and everyone we do business with wants us to read their invisible tattoo. The tattoo is a command of sorts that if heeded will bring about dramatic results. We can sell more, we can manage better, we can even be a more effective parent if we will just read this invisible tattoo and then genuinely, sincerely do what it begs us to do. Continue reading

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Listening—What Most of Us are Missing

“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation.” [Chinese proverb] How true! Listening is the most impactful way I know to connect with another person. Unfortunately, it seems to me (and experts tend to agree) that most of us don’t know how to listen well. Continue reading

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5 Traits of Super Achievers

What I’ve come to realize from working with college athletes and coaches that is quite often many of them just do not realize how truly great they could be. This occurs despite the fact that these students are playing athletics at the college level and are very talented. Getting them to truly understand the gap between their historical performance and their actual potential is challenging. When they finally do make the connection that as good as they are now, they have the potential to be even greater, the results can be amazing. Continue reading

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What we can Learn about Success from Charlie Brown

Poor Charlie Brown. In the Peanuts comic strip, he seems to be continually frustrated with life. How many times does he try to kick that football that Lucy always manages to pull away at the last second? What’s remarkable is that he keeps trying. He possesses determination and hope. He believes that this time it will be different. We can learn a lot from Charlie Brown. Continue reading

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