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
“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
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
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
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
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Experts tell us that this old saying is wrong. Words are indeed powerful—and can hurt more than sticks and stones. What we say matters. It seems we often underestimate the power of words—which is quite risky to do when selling. Continue reading
We tend to do business with those we like. This makes sense—so much so that many of us feel this way almost instinctively. This belief has been validated by numerous experts, articles and research. However, this often cited phrase has led many in sales to develop friendships with customers. Developing a friendship is not the same as building a meaningful business relationship—and that distinction is important because you won’t get the same results. Continue reading
Well, another Leap Year Day has come and gone. Leap Year is really a funny concept. It suggests that time is imperfect—that’s why we need to modify a calendar year to keep it accurate. Time truly is the great equalizer. … Continue reading