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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5 Steps to Effective Listening

Let’s face it—most of us are not good listeners. And I think part of the reason why is that we don’t realize how valuable listening really can be. Listening does indeed enable us to gain a better understanding of others. But that’s only a part of what good listening can do for us. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Questioning and Why Questioning Matters in Selling

There’s an old African saying: “No one is without knowledge except him who asks no questions.” In my mind, this is a no brainer. I think we’d be hard pressed to find someone who was great at selling who didn’t know how to ask great questions.

Great questions lead to great answers—which leads to gaining insight about what our customers are thinking, what their values are, what they are passionate about, what issues and challenges they are struggling with, how they feel about our product, etc. You get the idea. Continue reading

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Does Your Business Relationship need a Tune-up?

We tend to take our cars for tune-ups quite regularly. This is even easier to do when our cars send us reminders, as some of the newer cars do. Too bad we don’t have something similar to remind us that we need a relationship tune-up. Because neglecting to tune-up our business relationships can be risky—and harder to repair than a car. Continue reading

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Getting Customers to Commit the Easy Way

Do you inwardly cringe when your sales conversation is coming to an end and it’s time to ask that closing question? Do you often avoid asking for the business? If you’re like most sales people, the answer to both questions is “yes.” Why is closing so hard to do?

Part of the problem probably lies in the type of our conversation we have with our customers. When we discuss our product with our customer, we might be saying things that feel unnatural to us and to our customer. Often this peeks when we ask a hard closing question. At times the questions we are taught to ask are totally inconsistent with who we are. Most sales professionals are not pushy and aggressive but many of the commitment techniques we’ve been taught in training make us sound like we are…. Continue reading

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Uncommon Commonalities

When you meet someone for the first time, it’s only natural to look for things that you have in common. After all, that’s how relationships (both business and professional) are formed. But have you ever given thought to seeking out your uncommon commonalities? Continue reading

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Would Your Customers accuse you of being Customer-Centric?

Customer-centric. That’s been the buzz word in business for a few years now. Sales reps are taught to be customer-centric in their selling approach. Organizations tout that they are adopting a customer-centric culture. But I wonder if we polled their customers if they would agree that things are truly customer-centric.

In my mind, being customer-centric is being able to think like the customer. But I wonder how many of us actually achieve that. Thinking like the customer is much harder to do in reality than in practice. Continue reading

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The Peyton Manning Puzzle and What it Reveals about Selling

“Quarterback Peyton Manning threw a football so that it stopped in mid-air, reversed its course and returned to him. How did he do it?” That was the question my friend asked a group of us to answer.

Our first response was to ask him to repeat the question. It sounded quite implausible. Then we started guessing, “He threw an interception and it got sent back to him.” “He didn’t throw a football; it was a boomerang.” “He didn’t actually do it; it was an instant replay trick.” Continue reading

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What Does Your Customer Treasure—and Why You Need To Find out What It Is

Do you know what your customer treasures—what really matters to that individual?  And perhaps more importantly, do you understand why you need to know this?

Selling is a thinking person’s game. In essence you are trying to solve someone else’s problems. You can’t do this unless you understand exactly what those problems are, the ramifications of those problems, and the issues surrounding them. How can you learn this vital information?  By asking your customers. Continue reading

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