Serendipitous Event Triggers Insight

My friend Mark was rereading my book The Relationship Edge in Business when he dropped it. As he reached to pick it up, it opened to the copyright page—and that’s when he happened to notice that it was published in 2004. Recognizing that this meant it was the 10th anniversary of its publication prompted him to contact me. That serendipitous event served as an impetus for me to reflect about why I felt the need to write this bestselling book in the first place. Continue reading

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Life Lessons: What I Wish I Knew At 42

If I know anything I know this: We can’t successfully live life in the rear view mirror. We can, however, learn much from our past experiences and from other people. That was basically what (Virginia Tech basketball) Coach Buzz Williams and I talked about when we spent the day together. At his request, I shared with him 25 things I wish I knew at 42 (which is his age) that I know now at 65 (my age). Continue reading

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5 Steps to Accomplish the Extraordinary

Perhaps Yogi Berra said it best, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” The simple truth is you can’t hit a target you don’t have. And the only way I know to aim for that target is to set goals. Continue reading

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Are you really doing everything you can to be successful?

I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who was bemoaning the fact that he was not doing better at work. He’s a sales manager for a large company and is ranked about the middle of 60 managers at his level. He actually said, “I don’t know what to do. I’m doing everything that I can think of.” That’s when I asked him the question, “Are you really doing everything you can to be successful?” Continue reading

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The Biggest Problem When Communicating

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” [George Bernard Shaw] How true! It’s no wonder that so much of our time at work is spent clarifying or fixing what has been miscommunicated. Continue reading

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5 Reasons to Add “Build Business Relationships” to Your to-do List

Building business relationships is not an item that appears on most people’s to-do list. But perhaps it should be. While some might struggle with how to justify taking time away from “work” to devote their effort to building relationships, there are some plausible reasons to do so. Perhaps the best reason is that you can’t get your job done effectively without them. Continue reading

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What Leaders and Sales People have in Common

Perhaps it’s because I’m more aware of them, but it seems to me that more and more articles are being written about how to be a good leader. And I find many of the points that experts cite about what is needed to excel as a leader can also apply to selling.

Jay A. Conger, author Winning Em Over, makes an interesting point about how leaders need to deal with gray areas. Leaders are responsible for making decisions in situations where there are no black and white answers. And in my mind, that’s very similar to selling. Continue reading

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You believe in your product. Does your customer?

I think we tend to underestimate the power of beliefs. The goal of selling is to change our customer’s behavior. We can’t change anyone’s behavior unless we change their beliefs. The simple truth is that we act based on what we think and believe. And as sales people we have the power to influence another’s beliefs. Continue reading

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Are You Self-Aware? Here’s Why You Should Be

I’m a big believer in lifelong learning. That’s one of the reasons why I subscribe to blogs and email updates from people I respect. One of these is Valerie Sokolosky, who sent an interesting email about self-awareness that got me thinking.

Valerie’s article stressed that leaders need to be self-aware. My contention is that being self-aware shouldn’t pertain to just leaders. Every person who strives to excel needs to be self-aware and nowhere is this more important than in selling. Continue reading

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Can Einstein’s Advice Help you Sell?

I’m a firm believer in the power of stories. And when I heard this story about Albert Einstein, I thought it was rather intriguing and worth sharing. I love gaining insight into the mind of a genius.

The story takes place at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. After Einstein received an award from the college president, the audience was begging for a speech. Einstein reluctantly walked back to the podium and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry but I have nothing to say.” Continue reading

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