Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Practice Golden Rule Selling

By: Brian Tracy

To improve your sales performance, adopt the Golden Rule mentality. The Golden Rule says to, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It also says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The Golden Rule mentality in sales, says simply, "Sell unto others as you would have them sell unto you."

Different Strokes For Different Folks
What does this mean? Aren't there all kinds of different personalities that require different approaches and techniques? Well, yes and no. Practicing the golden rule in selling simply means that you sell to other people the way you would like to be sold to. You sell with the same honesty, integrity, understanding, empathy and thoughtfulness that you would like someone else to use in selling to you.

Seek First to Understand
If you would like a salesperson to take the time to thoroughly understand you and your situation before making a recommendation, you practice the same thing with your customers. If you would like a salesperson to give you honest information and to help you make an intelligent buying decision, you practice the same with your customer. If you would like a salesperson to be thoroughly knowledgeable about the strengths or weaknesses of his or her product or service, and that of his or her competitors, then you do the same with your product or service and your competitors.

Care About Your Customers
Perhaps the most important part of golden rule selling is the emotional component embraced in the word, "caring." Top sales professionals care about their customers. They care about themselves, their companies, their products and services, and they really care about helping their customers to make good buying decisions. If you think about the very best salespeople you know, you will recognize that they are caring individuals.

They Don't Care How Much You Know
If you think about your very best customers, you will recall that these are invariably people you care about, and who care about you. When you think about the people you buy from, you will recall that they seem to care about you more than the average. In every part of your business life, you will find that the significant people all have the denominator of caring as part of their character and their personalities.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, resolve today to sell to your customers with the same honesty, empathy and understanding that you would like them to use in selling to you.

Second, take time to genuinely care about your customers, their individual needs and their unique situations. Make people feel important and they will make you feel important.

See Your Glass Half Full

Michael J. Fox says he an incurable optimist, even though he has faced a daily battle with Parkinson’s disease since 1991. How does he maintain such infectious enthusiasm?

Smile and look up. Every morning, Michael J. Fox passes a full-length mirror as he makes his way to greet his family. "This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face," he writes in Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. "I would ask the obvious question, ‘What are you smiling about?’ but I already know the answer: It just gets better from here."

Take control. "The only unavailable choice was whether or not to have Parkinson’s. Everything else was up to me."

Find opportunity in adversity. The latest book title, Always Looking Up, is on one level "a short joke," writes Fox, who stands a fraction of an inch shorter than 5-feet-5. His height never bothered him much, though, and probably contributed to a "certain mental toughness," he says. "I’ve made the most of the head start one gains from being underestimated."

Live in the moment. In the spring of 1994, as he began to accept Parkinson’s disease, Fox began to live in and enjoy the moment. "Yesterday’s losses and tomorrow’s trials were no longer the only poles of my existence," he writes in Lucky Man.

Be open to possibilities. "People say, ‘How do you achieve this?’ And you hear, ‘Just keep your head down,’ " Fox says in a Good Housekeeping interview. "But I find the opposite is true: Keep your head up."

Read this month’s cover story on Michael J. Fox.

Laws of Influence & Persuasion by Rod Moore

In recent times in line with the development of NLP there has been a lot of work in the area of influence and persuasion. The most significant studies were conducted Robert Cialdini, a Psychologist who wrote the book ‘Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion’.

From this recent research there are a number of laws of influence and persuasion, which have been proven through numerous studies to be highly effective. Implementing these laws into your marketing can have dramatic results on your success.

Lets consider some of these laws and how they may apply in your business.

1.Law of Consistency – The law of consistency is perhaps the single most important discovery in the research into influence and persuasion. It is redefining the sales process. The exciting news is that it works hand in hand with a lot of the ideas from NLP and how they apply to marketing.

The law of consistency simply states that we have a deep unconscious need to remain consistent. So in other words we always try to remain consistent with our point of view, the things that we state to be true, or the actions and behaviour we engage in. Any time we are placed in a situation where we may violate this law we feel a strong internal pressure to return to a position of consistency.

For sales people and business owners this is possibly the most important concept they will ever integrate into their understanding of the sales process.

It is vital that we create an environment where our prospects are able to remain consistent with their views, the comments they make and their behaviour. Any time we place them in a position were they feel they are being inconsistent then we are building in them at an unconscious level pressure to return to being consistent. At the same time there levels of fear and uncertainty begin to rise.

Understanding the law of consistency is extremely powerful and can virtually eliminate the need to use closing techniques. If we lead our prospects into what is known as an agreement frame of mind and keep them there throughout our presentation then by the law of consistency they are far more likely to make a yes decision.

2.Law of Reciprocity – The law of reciprocity is where we feel a sense of indebtedness or obligation to someone else. When others do something for us we feel a strong need, even a push to return the favour.

In other words, if we go out of our way to help our clients solve their problems and we give of our time and expertise, then they begin to feel a strong sense of obligation and indebtedness to us.

Those sales people who are truly masters of their craft have learnt to focus on how to help their prospects first without coming across as a pushy sales person. They go the extra mile in making sure the client is fully aware of their situation and the possible solutions available to them.

When it comes time to make a decision on the right solution the prospect will be attracted more to the sales person they feel indebted to. This is especially useful when you are in a competitive environment or selling against competition. Because the average sales person will not go out of their way to help prospects you can easily use the law of reciprocity to your advantage.

3.Law of Social Proof – The law of social proof has broader implications in terms of the psychology of human behaviour. It can be very persuasive in selling certain products but should not necessarily be used in all cases.

The law of social proof simply states that people look to others, their peers friends and family, before making a decision about something. Have you ever been out to dinner with a big group of people and noticed that there is always one or two people who look at what everyone else is ordering before they order? Well that is social proof.

Social proof is seeking to gain social validation prior to making a buying decision. It can be extremely persuasive in selling to younger generations or in areas like fashion. If everyone starts wearing face-covering sunglasses then when you are out buying sunglasses again you are more likely to buy them as well.

As mentioned earlier, social proof is not relevant in every business situation. If you are selling complex customised high end IT solutions for instance then social proof is less relevant.

Social proof can be used in other ways though, which are important. The use of customer testimonials is a form of social proof. The more testimonials and satisfied customers you can demonstrate to your prospect the more they will feel comfortable about dealing with you. This is in effect social proof at work.

4.Law of Scarcity – The law of scarcity plays a large role in the persuasion process in our society. Opportunities and things are more valuable and exciting when they are scarce and less available to you.

Whenever choice is limited or threatened, the human need to maintain a share of the limited commodity makes us crave it even more. Scarcity drives people to action, making us act quickly for fear of missing out on an opportunity.

You see the law of scarcity at work at the Myer annual Christmas stock take sale when three thousand people all compete to get the plasma TV screen for $100.

The key is to learn how to create a sense of, or actual, scarcity around your product or service. You can do this through different pricing structures, limited offers, limit your service availability, release limited numbers of each product and so on.

5.Law of Contrast – The law of contrast is introducing two vastly different alternatives in succession. By contrasting two alternatives it can distort or amplify our perceptions of things. Generally, if the second item is quite different from the first, we will tend to see them even more differently than they actually are. As a master persuader you can use this contrast to steer your prospects toward the solution you believe is right for them.

One of the most effective ways to use the law of contrast is to present three possible solutions to your prospect. The first is a low cost cheap solution that does not meet all of the prospects requirements. The second solution is the ideal solution priced possibly higher than the prospect is expecting. The third solution is a high priced solution with excessive features that is well out of the price range of the prospect.

By presenting the three solutions the prospect will gravitate towards the second option presented, even though it is more expensive than they had expected. By contrast with the other two solutions it is more acceptable at the higher price.

Had the second solution been presented in isolation then it would not have been as attractive to the prospect, yet in the light of the other two options it is far more acceptable.

6.Law of Expectations – The law of expectations use expectations to influence reality and create results. Individuals tend to make decisions based on how others expect them to perform.

You can establish expectations in the mind of your prospect quite easily. As a result your prospects feel an unconscious need to live up to those expectations.

An example of this is the car salesperson that says to his prospect ‘you are going to love how this car handles around corners’. This plants the expectation in the mind of the prospect. They now focus on this aspect of the new car when test driving it.

The logical question to ask yourself then is how can you use these laws of influence and persuasion and apply them to the marketing of your business?

How Do You Measure Success?

Quality of life, in America today, is often measured by the amount of money you make. Success is defined by the kind of car you drive. By the neighborhood you live in. By the toys you own. After all, he who dies with the most toys wins. True or false?

Life was difficult before remote controls and automatic door locks. Skiing was so boring before the new shape skis hit the market. Fishing without a carbon-fiber rod was next to impossible. And the best part of life today is that big-screen plasma HDTV, the one with the universal remote that controls everything. It's the best escape devised yet from an otherwise dull evening.

In contrast, the people of the remote Himalayan country of Bhutan were recently rated as having the poorest quality of life of all but one other country in the world --- after all, their average annual per capita income is only $500. Ironically, however, when you visit the country, there are no beggars, only beautiful, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests, and clean air. The crime rate is extremely low, no one is in a hurry, and there is a strong sense of community. You might almost think that instead of depending on their belongings to entertain them, they've learned to enhance their lives by building relationships with each other.

Be careful to avoid the trap of, "the more you buy, the more you need". Because oftentimes then the more we think we need, the more unhappy we are with what we have. So this year, before buying those new golf clubs, stop and think. Will that $1,000 bring you more happiness through a bag of irons, compared to a few days off with your family, or as a donation to an organization, or a person who is trying to make a difference. It's your choice. It's how you measure it.

So this week count your blessings instead of your possessions. Spend more time with those you love, instead of spending more money on things you lack.

-- Denis Waitley

Monday, June 29, 2009

Discover the 5 IF's of Dynamic Presentation Skills by Nancy Daniels The Official Guide to Public Speaking

What does it take to be successful in delivering a presentation? If you take my advice and follow the 5 Ifs below, I promise that your next speaking engagement will be easier, more enjoyable and less stressful. Will you still be nervous? I certainly hope so because nervousness is excellent. That adrenaline rush is something all great speakers experience. The secret, however, lies in being able to control it.

1. If you know your material, then you have just accomplished one of the most important requirements of good public speaking. The question is, however, do you really know your material? Have you practiced it out loud? If your idea of practice is to go over it in your mind, then you do not know your material and indeed many things can go wrong. The best presenters speak from notes or visual aids, talking ‘around’ their main points. They do not read nor do they memorize their presentations, aside from their opening statements.

2. If you make eye contact with your audience, instead of staring at the clock on the wall, then you will feel more comfortable because you will be talking to your listeners and not at them. If you treat your audience as if you were having a conversation in your living room, you will discover that you are first and foremost being yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone you are not. The honesty in being yourself is one of most important characteristics of a good speaker.

3. If you can use your face and your body to convey expression, as well as the tone of your voice, then you will be a much more interesting presenter. Too often at the lectern, we are so consumed by our nervousness that we lose all the color, the life, and the emotion in our presentation. What results is a monotone delivery that is lifeless as well as one that is most likely too fast and too high in pitch.

4. If you learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm, you will discover a wonderful control over your speed, your pitch, your sentences and your breathlessness – total control over your voice. It is an amazing power to have that control but it can only happen when you allow your ‘chest to do your talking’ instead of just your throat, your mouth, and/or your nose. And, if you learn to breathe with that support, you will also discover the best means for controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking.

5. If you can successfully accomplish the above 4 requirements, then the 5th will be a given. If you approach your presentation believing that you are going to fail, I guarantee you will not be successful. You must believe in yourself and do the best job that you can do. Do not look for perfection because perfection is subjective and is not attainable in a live venue. Doing a good job, a great job, or even an excellent job, however, is!

Author's Bio
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, group and corporate training in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit her website at Voice Dynamic and watch as Nancy describes the best means of controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lead by Doing What Others Won't Do: Drive to Completion By Mark Sanborn

Visit any home improvement store on a Saturday morning, and you will see the beginning of hundreds of projects. People gather supplies, get instruction, and consult with professionals to get their game plans in order. Week after week the same scenario plays out. Based on sales, it would appear that these weekend warriors will soon beautify and improve the entire planet.

But reality and results tell another story entirely. A quick look through the garages and basements of many of these great starters would likely reveal the truth about completion: the final ten percent, for many people, is virtually uncharted territory - meaning they never get there.

Carry the accumulation of half-demolished foyers, clogged caulk guns, and piles of debris into the business world, and it's no different.

The pattern for success in business is to recognize an unsatisfied need, innovate to find and provide a solution, then to expand and repeat the process. Somewhere between innovation and delivery, we find the no-man's zone known as completion.

I once employed someone who proved to be an excellent initiator but a terrible finisher. She would start a task but get hung up once she encountered an obstacle. When asked why she didn't get the job done, she blamed someone for not getting back to her or a situation she'd encountered. In short, she didn't understand how to drive to completion.

What makes completion such a challenge?

Completion forces us to step forward.
For many people, the thought of completing a goal is unsettling - even when the task at hand is unpleasant. Maybe it's the sense of the 'known evil' being preferable to the unknown one. No matter how ornery a project has become, at least it's a pain in the neck that is familiar. We know that upon completion, we must choose again. We question whether we've got the goods needed to accomplish the next challenge.

Completion forces us to step up.
Concluding the current initiative inevitably moves us to a point of "what next?" For success-minded people, the answer to that question always comes in the form of raising the bar. Knowing that an even greater challenge lies ahead can make incompletion insidiously alluring. We know that each completion is followed by a call for even more. We wonder how we will bear up as the stakes are raised.

Completion forces us to step out.
Whether the task at hand is pleasant or not, we become attached to it. No matter how hard it seemed as we first put our hands to the plow, it is now within our comfort zone. It is familiar, and it seems manageable. People generally fear change. We convince ourselves that survival depends on staying inside our circle of competency. Completion represents a not-so-subtle nudge out of that circle.

For many people, incompletion has become a way of life. It takes the form of procrastination, loss of interest, confusion, and frustration. By remaining at the 90% complete mark, we reap the dubious benefits of security, mediocrity, and familiarity.

How can we push forward for completion?

Assess the current situation.
Focus on one task at a time until it is complete. This sounds like an effective solution - on paper. Chances are, though, that your world is more complex than that. However, even with multiple projects and priorities going on at the same time, you can still focus on one idea at a time and then move on. Each new opportunity should be evaluated before you commit. Remember that 'good' is the enemy of 'best' in your consideration. Does it serve your purpose? If so, engage and then move forward into completion.

Realize that the final 10% isn't so bad.
Often the final stretch is comprised of unremarkable, monotonous, or tedious tasks. Because they are less than exhilarating, they seem onerous. Reality is that these final milestones are a lot closer, and a lot easier to attain than they seem. These loose ends rarely take the time or energy we fear they will. Just like the sticker on your car's rearview mirror reads, completion "may be closer than they appear."

Understand the price you pay for incompletion.
The process of beginning an initiative and working on it requires that you fully engage your commitment, your creative power, and your attention. The deepest recesses of your mind loathe letting go of these commitments. Like an elbow constantly poking into your ribs, your mind will nag you unceasingly about your incompletion. This distraction is often enough to pull you right out of the game when it's time to take your next step.

Enjoy the rewards of completion.
The marketplace rewards completion. Every purchase of goods or services is immediately and unconsciously evaluated for completion. If you were to go out for dinner, place your order, and then never receive your food, you would complain, refuse to pay, and never want to go there again. If you purchased a car and discovered it was missing some key component, a steering wheel for example, you would refuse to take delivery.

It's been said that the key to outrageous success is to do what nobody else will do. This brings to the forefront an opportunity to excel through completion, and reap the rewards of your diligence. A quick look around illustrates people's tendency toward procrastination, loss of momentum, distraction, and incompletion. By committing to completion, you will do what nobody else will do, and the rewards will follow.

Recognizing the prices and benefits of completion may be enough to move you forward. What prize awaits when you push forward for completion?

The Cost Question By Dr. John C. Maxwell

Want to Live the Dream? Pay the Price.

Have you ever been strolling through a shopping mall or car lot when - POW! - THE perfect product captures your attention? Perhaps it's the sporty convertible with a V-8 engine and unbelievable acceleration. Maybe it's the adorable dress that's exactly your style, has a flattering fit, and accentuates all of your finest features.

Whatever the case, there's an initial moment when you're enamored with THE product. For a split second reality is suspended as you imagine the joys of owning it. Unfortunately, two words generally bring this pleasant daydream crashing to a halt: price tag.

The Dream Is Free, but the Journey Isn't

When you first think about a dream, you only see possibilities and potential. As my friend Collin Sewell observed, all dreams begin obstacle-free. However, at some point we have to confront the Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price of my dream?

If you want to achieve a dream, you have to be willing to do more than just imagine the outcome. You have to be willing to pay a price to start the journey. Dreams don't fall into our laps by accident or good fortunate. They must be attained at the cost of personal sacrifice.

The Price Must Be Paid Sooner Than You Think

Dreams can't be bought on impulse. Buy now, pay later financing isn't an option. If you want to own a dream, then be prepared to make a hefty down payment.

I think most people realize that there will be some cost for achieving their dream. They have a vague notion that someday they will have to pay a price. But they don't realize how quickly the costs come. Stepping toward a dream is like launching a rocket; massive amounts of energy must be expended at the beginning. Otherwise, gravity takes hold and the journey never gets off the ground.

The Price Will Be Higher Than You Expect

All dreams have price tags attached, and the cost is always higher than we expect to pay. Not once in my conversations with successful people have I heard someone say, "Getting to the top was much easier than I anticipated." The reverse is true. Those at the pinnacle of their professions point to the hardships and sacrifices they had to endure to reach the top.

Having done a good deal of travel, I've learned the taxi principle: ALWAYS find out the cost before you get in the cab. Unfortunately, dreams are far too complex for us to accurately access the costs upfront. A noble dream is worth the expense, but the full costs won't be apparent until we're already on the journey.

The Price Must Be Paid More Than Once

As a young leader, I mistakenly thought acquiring a dream was like buying a ticket to Six Flags: pay once and enjoy the rides. Experience has taught me otherwise. Following a dream forces you to make continual sacrifices.

Just as a rocket must shed weight to escape gravity, so to a leader has to let go of some goals to accomplish others. You have to give up to go up.

Let's face it: dreams don't work unless you do. Easing off the accelerator and coasting won't get you to your desired destination. For dreams to be apprehended, leaders must have an appetite for hard labor.

It Is Possible To Pay Too Much for Your Dream

Although sacrifices go hand in hand with success, it is possible to overpay for a dream. Don't mortgage relationships or discard your moral compass in pursuit of career goals. I've seen it happen all too often. I've watched people sacrifice marriages, neglect their kids, ignore their health, and abandon their conscience - all in the name of a "dream."

As Jesus of Nazareth once said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?" Some prices aren't worth paying. Do not allow your dream to dictate your values. Rather, make sure your values inform and govern your dream.


John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. EQUIP, the organization he founded has trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World's Top Leadership Guru by Leadershipgurus.net. He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

All Life Wishes to Reward Its Benefactors by Jim Rohn

Parents, leaders, employers, teachers and volunteers have you discovered one of the great positive mysteries of life? Here it is - All life seems to wish to reward its benefactor.

If you become the benefactor, you will receive these incredible rewards. If you are the benefactor to the garden, the flowers seem to bloom and say, "Look at me. Look how bright and beautiful I am because you took care of me. I wish to reward you by being beautiful, lovely, spectacular."

Your own children, if you become their benefactor, they want to reward you with their progress. I taught my daughters how to swim. And my daughters would say, as they were about to dive, "Daddy, daddy watch, watch, look, look, watch" as if to say; 'look what you have created here, you've spent the time with me and now look at me. This is the payoff. ' Watch me dive." I was their benefactor.

I have found that all life wishes to respond to the benefactor. The ones who give their time, give their effort, give their patience, give their ideas, the benefit of their experience. Whatever has benefited from that, wishes to respond. The crop wishes to grow. The child wishes to show you how much progress they've made.

And remember that whatever you move towards tends to move towards you. Just as when you move toward education, and education starts to seek you out. Or when you move toward progress and progress seems to want to now embrace you. You will find that, just as predictably, as you move towards helping those in your care they will wish to repay you with their own success and accomplishments.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Thursday, June 18, 2009


向借口开刀是决定你能否胜出一般人的标志,褪墨最新系列《拒绝借口》。在美国卡托尔公司的新员工录用通知单上印有这样一句话,“最优秀的员工是像凯撒一样拒绝任何借口的英雄!”世上没有什么是不用费劲就可以自然做成的,假如你想找一百个借口,那么就能找一百个甚至比一百个还要多的借口,这样,你表面上得到些安慰,但你将一事无成!你要想成为一名如卡托尔公司所说的“最优秀的员工”,就应当记住那句话——“最优秀的员工是像凯撒一样拒绝任何借口的英雄!” 有一次,凯撒率领他的的军队渡海作战,登岸后他决定不给自己的军队留任何退路。他要他的将士们知道,这次作战的结果,不是战胜就是战死,所以就在将士们的面前,把所有的船只都烧毁了。像所有名将一样,他有下最后拒绝借口,敢于决定于一瞬间的能力。有些人往往有这样的借口——“我干不了这个!”所以常导致这种错误:在进行着一件重要的工作时,往往预留两条退路。但是当一个士兵知道虽然战争极其激烈但仍有一线退却之门为他而开时,他大概是不会拼尽他的全部力量的。只有在一切后退的希望都没有的时候,一支军队才肯用一种决死的精神拼战到底。拒绝借口,就是要断绝一切后路,倾注全部的心血于你的事业之中,抱定任何阻碍都不能使你向后转的决心——这样的精神是最可宝贵的。“在遇到阻碍打击时,因为缺乏坚忍力而后转”,将造成千万个放弃战斗的人的墓碑。一个人在拒绝任何借口倾注他的全部心血于一个生命的大目标时,在把他生命的火箭义无反顾地直飞向他的事业时,他能产生出一种伟大的力量来,这种力量简直是谁也不能阻挡的。假使你能养成拒绝借口敢于决定的习惯,你在需要决断时一定能运用最聪明的判断力;因为若是你以为决定是可以伸缩的,是可以重新考虑的,则你将永远不能养成可靠而正确的评判力。但是在你所下的决定是绝对的最后时,在你再也不去寻找借口、断绝了你的一切后路时,在你知道一个不健全不成熟的判断会使你受到相当的痛苦时,你对于判断一定会十分小心,而你的判断力也自然会随之日渐进步了。但这样你就会越来越出色!请记住卡托尔公司员工通知单上那句话中四个最突出的字——“拒绝借口”。













Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Female CEOs: What It Takes To Climb The Corporate Ladder

by Tisa Silver (Contact Author | Biography)

Few men and even fewer women make it to the role of chief executive officer (CEO) at major corporations. Although there are fewer female CEOs than males (only 13 of America's largest 500 companies were run by women in 2009), the route to the top is not much different.

Unfortunately, it can get lonely at the top for female executives. According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, women account for just 2% of top executive positions such as president, chairperson and CEO. The study also showed women made up only 6% of lower-level executive positions such as CFO and vice president.

According to Catalyst, a women's research group, the number of women in executive roles at Fortune 500 companies has risen. In 1999, women held 12% of corporate officer positions. In 2008, the number had risen to 15.7%. It may not be a dramatic rise, but progress has been made. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi once said, "The glass ceiling will go away when women help other women break through that ceiling." To find out how these women made it to the top of the pack, we'll look at 10 businesswomen who accomplished this great feat and see what they have in common.

Who They Are

Name Title, Company Time Period

Angela Braly Director, President, CEO, WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) 2007 – Present

Carly Fiorina CEO, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) 1999 – 2005

Andrea Jung Chairman, CEO, Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) 1999 – Present

Sallie Krawcheck CEO, Citigroup (NYSE:C) Global Wealth Management Division 2007 – 2008

Ann Mulcahy Chairman, CEO, Xerox (NYSE:XRX) 2001 – Present

Indra Nooyi Chairman, CEO, PepsiCo. (NYSE:PEP) 2006 – Present

Irene Rosenfeld CEO, Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT) 2006 – Present

Martha Stewart

Chairman, President, CEO, Martha Stewart Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO) 1997 – 2003

Margaret Whitman

President, CEO, eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) 1998 – 2008

Oprah Winfrey CEO, HARPO Productions, Inc. 1986 – Present

Among these powerful executives is one doctor, one lawyer, two entrepreneurs and several globally-acclaimed professionals. So what traits allowed these women to climb all the way up the corporate ladder? Read on to find out.

1. These women are very well-educated.

The first common thread these women share is a college education. Every executive on the list obtained an undergraduate degree from a four-year college. Six of the executives went on to complete post-undergraduate education. Our list includes four executives with MBAs and two executives with graduate degrees in management.

Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld obtained her MBA and a doctoral degree in marketing and statistics from Cornell University.

Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint, earned her Juris Doctor (JD) from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

eBay's Meg Whitman earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton and went on to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Citigroup's Sallie Krawcheck earned an MBA from Columbia University.

Both Indra Nooyi and Carly Fiorina earned graduate degrees in management from MIT. (Think you have what it takes to be chief executive? Find out what those at the top have in common, read Becoming A CEO.)

2. They reinforced their education with varied experience.

A strong educational background can serve as a good foundation for executive leadership, but education must be reinforced with experience. Each executive on our list served in multiple capacities within her firm or industry before making it to the role of chief executive officer.

Starting at the Bottom of the Ladder

Anne Mulcahy joined Xerox in 1976, as a field representative, and staged a progressive climb to the executive suite. In 1992, she became vice president of human resources, and in 1997 she became chief staffing officer. Mulcahy served as corporate senior vice president before she was selected as the CEO in 2001.

Moving Into Roles with Higher Responsibility

Carly Fiorina spent the bulk of her career at AT&T (NYSE:T) before assuming the high-profile position of CEO at Hewlett-Packard. She began her career at AT&T in 1980 as a management trainee. Sixteen years later, she was appointed president of the consumer products business at Lucent Technologies, an AT&T spinoff. In 1999, Fiorina left Lucent to return to Hewlett-Packard, a company that once employed her as a temporary worker. This time, she joined HP in the role of CEO. She reigned atop Fortune's list of the "50 Most Powerful Women in American Business" from 1998-2004.

Mastering a Line of Business

Before joining Avon, Andrea Jung served in several roles involving women's apparel and cosmetics. She worked as senior vice president at high-end retailer I. Magnin for four years before moving to Neiman Marcus in 1991 as executive vice president. Jung joined Avon in 1994 as president of the Avon U.S. Product Marketing Group. She was then promoted to president and chief operating officer (COO) prior to becoming CEO in 1999.

Finding a Big Break

Perhaps the most publicly chronicled climb was that of news anchor turned media mogul Oprah Winfrey. In 1973, Winfrey started as a local news anchor in Nashville, Tennessee. She transitioned into hosting a Baltimore talk show five years later. Winfrey's big break came in 1984 when she became host of "AM Chicago." Less than two years later, the show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show has been the No.1 talk show in the United States for 22 consecutive seasons. Winfrey serves as chairman and CEO of HARPO Productions.

3. They have business and finance knowledge.

Business and finance knowledge is a cornerstone of success for any CEO. Most of the top female CEOs gained this knowledge long before moving to the helm of their respective companies.

From CEO to CFO

Indra Nooyi served as PepsiCo's chief financial officer (CFO) before being named CEO in 2006. As CFO, Nooyi was credited with leading several of PepsiCo's restructuring efforts including the initial public offering (IPO) of Pepsi Bottling Group and the separation of Pepsi's restaurants, now known as YUM! Brands(NYSE:YUM), from PepsiCo.

Stockbroker Turned Homemaking Mogul

Martha Stewart was actually a stockbroker for six years before she turned to entrepreneurship after leaving the brokerage firm of Monness, Horstman, Williams and Sidel. Coincidentally, Stewart was convicted and sentenced to prison after lying to authorities regarding her involvement in an insider trading scandal. Since her release from prison, Stewart successfully re-emerged as an author and television show host. (For more, check out Tales From Wall Street's Crypt, and Policing The Securities Market: An Overview Of The SEC.)

An Equity Analyst Goes for Broke

Sally Krawcheck spent just over a year in her final role as CEO of Citigroup's wealth management business, but only after serving in several financial management roles within the firm. Citigroup recruited her in 2002 to take over as CEO of the firm's brokerage unit, Smith Barney. In 2004, she became Citigroup's CFO. After three years as the top financial manager, she returned to brokerage as the CEO of Citigroup's Global Wealth Management division. Prior to joining Citigroup, Krawcheck was an equity analyst and rose to CEO of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., a Wall Street research firm. (Find out what it takes not only to get into this field, but to be a success, see Finding Your Place In The Financial Industry.)

4. They got on the path to success and kept on walking.

Aspiring executives should look for leadership roles, such as managing a division or a product line. Management experience shows willingness to accept increasing responsibility and can foster leadership skills. Only two members of our list, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, assumed chief executive roles as the result of an external hiring decision. Since many officers are hired from within, it is extremely important to keep moving up. Oprah Winfrey was quoted as saying, "Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work."


Our female executives have shown us that the road to the executive suite can be a long one paved with education, experience and knowledge. Aspiring female executives should seek progressive responsibility, hone their communication skills and be mindful that gaps in representation and compensation are being tackled. As Andrea Jung said, "Women like myself, CEOs, can pave the way for more women to get to the top."

by Tisa Silver, (Contact Author | Biography)

** This article and more are available at Investopedia.com - Your Source for Investing Education **

Act to Create It

by Jack Canfield

If you want to live a dream life, not only must you decide what you want, turn your dream into measurable goals, break those goals down into specific action steps, and visualize and affirm your desired outcomes -- you must start taking action!

I recommend making the commitment to do something every day in at least three different areas of your life that moves you in the direction of your goal.

If one of your goals is physical fitness, make a commitment to do some sort of exercise -- aerobics, weight training, stretching -- four to five times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes.

I read recently that if you simply go for a 30 minute walk four times a week, that would put you in the top 1% of those people getting physical exercise!

If your goal is financial independence, start saving and investing a portion of your income every month with no exceptions.

If your goal is to write a book, write for a minimum of one hour every day.

Most people never get what they want because they let their fears stop them. They are afraid of making a mistake, looking foolish, getting ripped off, being rejected, being hurt, wasting their time, and feeling uncomfortable.

Fear is self-created by imagining catastrophic consequences that have yet to happen. It is all in your mind. In fact, you can actually scare yourself by imagining negative and harmful images. But simply stop the catastrophic thoughts and images, and the fear goes away.

One of the biggest fears that stops people from asking for support, guidance, advice, money, a date, a job, the sale, or anything else is the fear of rejection.

In fact, it's been known to literally paralyze people. They become tongue-tied and refuse to reach for the phone or get up and walk across the room. They break out in a sweat at the mere thought of asking for what they want.

I have come to realize that the whole concept of rejection is false -- that rejection doesn't really exist. Think about it for a moment. If you asked someone to join you for dinner, and they said no, you could tell yourself that you had been rejected. But think about it. Did you have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked them? No! Did you have anyone to eat dinner with after you asked them? No! Did your life really get worse? No. It stayed the same!

One of the secrets of success is to start acting like a success before you are one. Act as if.
If you had already achieved your dream, what kinds of clothes would you be wearing? How would you act? How would you treat others? Would you tithe a portion of your income to your church or favorite charities? Would you have more self-confidence? Would you take more time to spend with your loved ones?

I suggest that you begin to do those things now!

When I decided that I wanted to be an "international" consultant, I immediately went and applied for a passport, bought an international clock that told me what time it was anywhere in the world, printed business cards with the words "International Self-Esteem and Peak Performance Consultant," and decided I would like to first go to Australia. I bought a poster of the Sydney Opera House and placed it on my refrigerator.

Within one month, I received an invitation to speak in Sydney and Brisbane. Since then, I have spoken and conducted trainings in over 30 countries and continue to expand my business around the globe.

Start acting as if you already have everything you want.

Most people think that if they have a lot of money, they could do the things they want to do, and they would be much happier. In fact, the reverse is true.

If you start by creating a state of happiness and abundance, then do the things you are inspired to do from that state of being, you will end up having all the things you ultimately desire.


Remember, the proper order of this is to start now and be who you want to BE, then DO the actions that go along with being that person, and soon you will find that you can easily HAVE everything you want in life--health, wealth and fulfilling relationships.

© 2009 Jack Canfield

Top Ten Tips for Terminating Telephone Terror

By Wendy Weiss

1. Make telephone calls
Few things are more terrifying than the unknown. The fear you create for yourself is far worse than the reality of cold calling. Once you start making telephone calls and continue making telephone calls it gets easier. You overcome fear by doing.

2. Make a lot of telephone calls
If you have only one prospect to pursue, that prospect becomes overwhelmingly important. If you have hundreds of leads, no one prospect can make or break you. The more calls you make, the more success you will have.

3. Prepare
Prepare for cold calling the way you would for any major presentation. Know what you want to say, how you want to say it and how you want to represent yourself, your company, your product or service. And know the goal of your telephone call.

4. Practice
If you are new to cold calling or uncomfortable with cold calling practice your pitch out loud. Role-play with friends or colleagues. Practice various sales scenarios. This way you will not have to worry about what you are going to say, you will be prepared and you can focus in on your prospect.

5. Start with less important leads
It will be good practice and less stressful. Once you feel more comfortable, start working on the more important leads.

6. Stay calm
You will for the most part be talking to people who will appreciate your call. If a prospect is rude, remember: This is not personal. They may just be having a bad day. Move on.

7. Realize your priorities and your prospect's priorities are different
You want an immediate "yes," your prospect may want to finish a report, finish a conversation, start their vacation.... Be very careful not to read negative or extra meaning into early conversations with your prospect or prospect's secretary. If, for example, your prospect's secretary says that your prospect is "on the phone," "in a meeting," or "out of the office," that does not translate to "My prospect knows that I am calling and is avoiding me."

8. Accept some things are out of your control
If a prospect does say "no" ultimately that is out of your control--but what is within your control is continuing to prospect and continuing to make calls. It is also within your control to improve your cold calling skills, take seminars, read books or hire a coach-then fewer prospects will say "no."

9. Play Arlene's game
The object of Arlene's game is to focus on rejection. The goal is to reach 100 points. You get 1 point for every rejection. Give yourself 1 point for every "no" answer. If your prospect says "yes," that's a bonus! Focus on acquiring points. The more calls you make, the more points you acquire. When you reach 100--You Win! Give yourself a prize!

10. Have fun!
This is not life or death--it's only a cold call. The fate of the world does not rest on you and your telephone. You will not destroy your company or ruin your life if a prospect says "no." Loosen up, be creative, have some fun!

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling(TM), is an author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach. She is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development and she helps clients speed up their sales cycle, reach more prospects directly and generate more sales revenue. Her clients include Avon Products, ADP, Sprint and thousands of entrepreneurs throughout the country.

Finding Intrinsic, Lasting Motivation to Succeed by Denis Waitley

For the high achiever, it's natural to seek out challenging goals because he or she has an inner, intrinsic drive to succeed. And success doesn't mean pet rocks, get-rich-quick schemes, lotto jackpots or chain letters. High achievers are looking not to receive, but to contribute, to give. They're looking for problems that are personally satisfying to solve. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, three of the wealthiest individuals in the world, eagerly go to work every day to face the challenge of solving a new and bigger problem. All could be playing Backgammon on a tropical island or two rounds of golf per day.

Since the accomplishment of a difficult task means more to the high achiever than any external motivation, it means that motivation will remain strong throughout his or her career. Think of how much stronger and more permanent such a motivation is compared to one that is extrinsic.

Suppose you choose a particular career because of the money. What happens when there's more money in doing something else? You're likely to abandon one path as soon as another possibility opens up, and eventually you'll find yourself wondering what you're really doing… maybe even who you really are.

Since there is no inner drive to stay on any particular path, the journey will be arduous, and motivation will tend to weaken whenever the external reward seems remote or out of sight. This is especially true with individuals who want a home business with high rewards and minimal risk. Some people spend their entire lives wandering from one field to another, always looking for an easier way to find that pot of gold, never achieving a significant goal worthy of their inner potential.

I've met many people who fit this description. If they're in sales, they move from company to company, from industry to industry, for one product or service to another. They are very hard to keep on your hand held electronic address book or in your directory of contacts because they are always either coming or going or starting another new business of their own. When that doesn't work, they get involved in sketchy enterprises, especially start-up-companies offering big, easy rewards, such as a wonder diet company where you can lose all the weight you want by eating anything you want and swallowing one amazing pill a day. They go from one Roman candle to another, from one "exciting opportunity" to another disappointment.

The problem is, money alone does not stimulate intrinsic motivation and therefore is a means, not an end. Money is like fuel for your car. It is not the destination. It is not the journey. It is only part of the transportation system. Make your "why" grab you by your very soul. You'll never be disappointed for very long. And you'll stay committed regardless of "stock market gyrations" or setbacks.

This week, find your unique "why" and pursue it with passion!

-- Denis Waitley

Just Don't Do It by Chris Widener

Sometimes success is found through the things that you don't do. Here are some ideas for what we shouldn't do.

Don't say "I can't." There are two words that we don't allow in the Widener household - I can't. The fact is that most of what we say that we can't do can actually be done, if only we put our mind to it. My mother taught me from an early age that if someone else had already done it, I could too. And if no one else had already done it, I could certainly be the first! Good advice!

Practical application: When you are up against a problem, and you are tempted to say "I can't," begin to think of all of those who have already done it. When you see how many already have, you'll be encouraged. For instance, if you want to write a book but think, "I can't get this published," you should take a trip to the local Barnes and Noble. Walk through and ask yourself if your book wouldn't be better than even just one of the books that is already been published and stocked. You will find yourself saying, "Surely I can!"

Don't give up. If you are going to achieve anything in life, you are going to get knocked down along the way. Those who succeed are those who get back up and forge ahead. My oldest child was in gymnastics and one day on the way to practice we were talking about determination. I am convinced that more often than not, success lies on the other side of the river hardship. Determination, and a "don't give up" attitude will see us through the hard times and onto victory!

Practical application: The next time you feel like the wind has gone from your sails, and you feel like quitting, take awhile to rethink the situation. Remind yourself again why you started out in the first place. Remind yourself of how you will feel when you get there. Then, reassert yourself and set a goal of another month (or whatever time frame is needed). In one of my ventures, early on I was weary and felt like giving up. Instead, I kept telling myself, just show up for one more week. Good news - it worked!

Don't get discouraged. Discouragement is an attitude. Instead of going to the depths of the dumps, tell yourself you are going to do great. Choose to be courageous! One of the greatest powers we have been given as humans is the ability to choose our attitude. All people experience hard circumstances. Yet some say to themselves that they will learn from them and forge ahead a better person. These people, who do not allow themselves to get discouraged, are those who become successful.

Practical application: Find the most positive person you can and take them to lunch. Make sure they are someone who believes in you already. If nobody else, get your mother - she will always believe in you! When you get them out to lunch, tell them that you are discouraged and in need of some encouragement. If you have picked the right person, they will do the rest. Chances are, they will even do some follow-up calls with you. And by all means, pick up the tab for lunch.

Don't be a lone ranger. Anybody who has achieved greatness has done it with the help of many others who bought into the vision and pushed the cart. The most famous and accomplished achievers in the world all had a cast of others who helped them along. You may not be able to name Tony Stewart's pit crew, but they were there. Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has an awesome front line to protect him, but I can't name one of them. If the greats need others, then so do we. The sooner we realize that we need others, the quicker we will achieve our dreams.

Practical application: Sit down and write down the answers to the following questions: What partners do I already have? What ways are they already helping me? What ways could they help me? Who are potential partners who would make me better? What workers do I already have? What ways are they already helping me? What ways could they help me? How many more workers will I need to achieve my dreams? How will I go about gaining them?

Don't accept anything less than excellence. Good gets along, excellence succeeds. Have you ever heard anyone say of the greats "Yeah, they were pretty good." No! They were excellent! We should never, under any circumstances, accept less than excellence. We should constantly be striving to better ourselves, our situations, our relationships, and the people around us, helping them to become excellent.

Practical application: First, evaluate. Is ______________ excellent? Second, determine what would qualify as excellent. It would be excellent when ____________ is true. Third, set a course, step-by-step, toward excellence.

Remember, when it comes to the above - Just don't do it!

-- Chris Widener

I'm Not Interested - Wendy Weiss

Whenever I conduct a workshop or teleclass, invariably someone asks the question: “What should I say when the prospect says, ‘I’m not interested?’”

My response invariably is: “It’s probably too late.”

Certainly you can try to recover from that "I'm not interested" response. You can ask, “Why do you say that?” (Say this gently, as though you are confused and really, really want the answer.) You can repeat back: “Not interested?” (Again, say this gently, as though you are confused.) This sometimes gets people to start talking and explain themselves. Bottom line, however, if everyone that you speak with says, “I’m not interested,” you’re not saying anything interesting.

If you have a compelling script with stellar delivery, you will hardly ever hear the words, “I’m not interested.” That’s because you will actually be saying something interesting.

On the telephone, you have approximately 10-20 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention - and if you do not do that, your call is probably over. 10-20 seconds is not a lot of time. You are not going to convey a lot of information in 10-20 seconds. Instead, what you’ll convey is your energy, your confidence and your excitement. Your words must reach out and immediately grab and hook your prospect’s attention.

From the moment your prospect says, “Hello,” your goal is to gain your prospect’s attention so that she is hungry to hear more. If you don’t hook your prospects in the beginning of your conversation, they will not want to speak with you. They will say, “I’m not interested,” and worse case, they may hang up on you.

In order to hook your prospect, ask yourself: Whom are you calling? Why should they be interested? You’re looking for hot buttons, those issues that are so important to your prospect that when they come up, your prospect stops in her tracks to listen. The big point here is that when you are trying to hook someone, you have to have some sense of what’s important to them.

Ask yourself: What is the value that I (the company/product/service) bring to customers. How do they benefit? How do I (the company/product/service) make customer’s lives easy, stress-free, happy, profitable etc? You may have to do some market research and/or brainstorming here. Once you’ve determined that value, however, lead with it.

Here’s an example:

Last year when I conducted the “Cold Calling College--Live” group coaching program, I received an e-mail from a participant. He said he was calling owners of mid-size companies and not having much success. His e-mail read:

“…I say my name and company and then say ‘we specialize in business performance management solutions for budgeting, reporting and analysis.... I hear ‘not interested’ then they hang up before I can say anything else.

Another thing I have tried is, ‘…the reason I am calling is to introduce [company name]’s budgeting reporting analysis solutions and to invite you to an Excel seminar….’ But after this I hear, ‘not interested,’ then they hang up before I can say anything else.”

It’s hardly surprising that these introductions didn’t work. They weren’t interesting. There was nothing in those first sentences to grab and hook a business owner’s attention.

Later on, after going through the “Cold Calling College” process, the person who wrote this e-mail was able to pare his introduction down. His introduction ended up being something like: “We help companies keep the money they make.” Short, sweet, to the point and focused on the value to business owners. Prospects stopped hanging up on him. Instead, he was able to start scheduling meetings with those business owners.

Lesson learned: Do your homework. Do what ever is necessary to truly understand your prospects. Before you ever pick up the phone, have the answer to the question: “Why should this prospect be interested?” If you have that answer, you will never again hear: “I’m not interested.”

Stress-Busting Ideas by Tom Hopkins

Let’s face it, on a list of high-stress careers, selling has to be up there with tightrope walking. Haven’t you had days when you felt that you actually were on a tightrope? I know I did.

To survive, and, more importantly, to maintain a healthy balance in life, we need to be proactive about releasing our daily stress in creative ways.

For some people, exercise is the best way to relieve stress. Physical activity is a civil way to release pent-up frustration without risk of causing harm to yourself or others.

Another idea is to schedule a brief decompression session each day. Go somewhere calm and peaceful where you can simply relax with no further demands on yourself. Once you’ve taken a few deep breaths and calmed yourself, this is when you’ll renew your dedication to your goals, your uniqueness, your purpose, and your faith in your ability to perform at peak levels. This could take as little as five minutes of your time to have a positive effect.

A third idea is to take up a hobby — something that uses different parts of your body or your brain. If you’re a parent of young children, I suggest a hobby that you might be able to share with your children. Or even better, make your children your hobby. Find out about something they’d like to learn, and learn it together. This method serves two purposes: you learn something new, and you create wonderful memories with your child.

Insulate yourself from the killing pace of change. Granted, we have to keep up when it comes to business, but do we really need to strive to have the latest and greatest in all aspects of our lives? My answer is no. We don’t have to be trendy in every aspect of our lives to keep up. On the contrary, you’ll find it easier to run at the front of the pack if you keep your life simple, and if you keep in touch with who you are and where you’ve come, rather than what you own.

Train yourself to look at time as a precious resource rather than a merciless taskmaster. I am a firm believer in time management — managing to enjoy my life while conducting business, rather than filling in every gap with a meeting or project that will get me further ahead.

Hang out with people with whom you have fun. Seek out and make friends with people who accept and affirm your worth as a person.

Accept your human nature. You’ll never have the perfect answer to every question. Don’t lead yourself or others to believe you do. Make a habit of searching for challenging new concepts and opinions contrary to your own to help you develop a better understanding of your world and how to live well in it.

Develop your own list of things that make you feel good. Keep that list handy and apply at least one item to your life on a daily basis in order to keep the negative effects of stress at bay.

-- Tom Hopkins

Your Achievement Quotes


"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." -- Abraham Lincoln

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." -- Charles f. Kettering

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today." -- William Allen White


"If you wish to reach the highest, begin at the lowest." -- Publilius Syrus

"What is the most important thing that you should do right now? It's easy to figure out the answer--the most important thing is usually the item you least want to do. So jump on it. Get it out of the way. Then go on to the next thing you don't want to do and get rid of that item by completing it. You'll be amazed at how it frees your spirit no to have them hanging over you." -- Tom Hopkins

"Think big, start small." -- Patricia Fripp

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." -- Napoleon Hill


"Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." -- Og Mandino

"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention." -- Jim Rohn

"Give bouquets of business. Introduce your clients to each other so they can work and prosper together." -- Mark Victor Hansen

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -- Norman MacEwan

Advice from my Dad for Father's Day by Harvey Mackay

There's an English proverb that goes: "One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters."

Fathers can teach their children many important lessons. Father's Day is Sunday, June 21, and it brings to mind some of the valuable lessons I learned from my father, Jack Mackay. I've shared many of them with you in my books and columns, but here they are, in one nice package, for the 64.3 million fathers out there.

My dad headed the Associated Press in St. Paul, Minn., for many years. He lived by deadlines. When he told his 10-year-old fishing partner, "Be at the dock at 7:30 a.m." and I arrived at 7:35, I would be holding my fishing pole in one hand and waving bon voyage with the other. Time management 101.

When I began my career selling envelopes, I asked my father how I could make twice as much money as my fellow sales reps.

He asked me how many sales calls my peers made every day. I told him that everyone made about five calls a day, and I could match them call for call.

"No good," he said. "Do what they do and you'll make what they make. Figure out how you can get to 10 calls a day and your income will double."

We worked out a game plan, which became a life plan. I learned when the buyers were in the office and worked according to their schedules, which sometimes meant anytime from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday mornings. I quit making cold calls, was among the first to get a cell phone and learned many other time management tips from my father.

TRUST is the most important five-letter word in business and in life. When I was only eight years old, he said: "Son, would you like to learn a lesson that might save your life some day?"

"Sure I would, Dad," I answered.

"Just slide down the banister and I'll catch you," he urged.

I slid ... and landed on the carpet. As I dusted myself off, he announced, "Never trust anyone completely. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you."

Similarly, my father encouraged me at a young age to keep track of all the people I met on Rolodex cards, now on my computer. He was a master networker. He knew where to get stories, much like I learned where to get sales.

Maybe the most important lesson my father taught me was that your best network will develop from what you do best. In my case that was golf. When I joined the sales game after college, where I had been a varsity golfer at the University of Minnesota, my father suggested I join Oak Ridge Country Club, which I couldn't afford. Because Oak Ridge was historically at the bottom of the city golf league, I offered to play for them and try to win them a championship. Six months and numerous meetings later, I was admitted to the club where I gained access to many of the major companies around town.

My father also taught me that the big name on the door doesn't mean diddly. You have to know who the decision makers are.

In addition, he warned me against telling anyone how I vote. That's why it's a secret ballot. The Democrats think I'm a Republican, and the Republicans believe I'm a Democrat.

My father's greatest professional attribute was his nose for a good story and his indefatigable zeal in getting it. He taught me the same desire, determination and persistence for sales.

After a skiing accident that landed me in the hospital for 35 days in neck traction, he told me, "You can take any amount of pain as long as you know it's going to end."

My father taught me many more life lessons, among them:
• They don't pay off on effort . . . they pay off on results.
• No one ever choked to death swallowing his pride.
• He who burns his bridges better be a damn good swimmer.
• Education is like exercise. As soon as you quit you begin to lose the benefits.
• It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're dressed like a turkey.
• If you win say little. If you lose say less.
• We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start.

Mackay's Moral: One person can make all the difference in the world—a father, for example.

-- Harvey Mackay

Triple Your Sales Results By Reversing the Way You Sell - By Paul Gage

Everybody has been taught to focus on closing. There are thousands of books written on the subject. Trying to close someone without getting to know who they are is a recipe for disaster. This scenario has affected so many sales people.

They have studied and applied all the techniques on closing a sale. They have been taught that if you are not closing then you are not selling. Guess what? This may be the reason you are not very successful at selling.

Closing is the last and final process of the sale.. ABC.. Always Be Closing.

Opening and gaining interest is the first and most important step in the selling process. Opening correctly is critical to your success in selling anything in life. If you can't begin correctly, how are you going to end correctly.

This is a very hilarious concept when you think about it.

When was the last time you met a complete stranger and asked them to marry you? Did you ask them if they were already married? You probably even started to tell them all the good qualities you have and how happy you could make them. Even worst, you can be selfish and tell them how happy they could make you.

Salespeople are always thinking of what they are going to get out of the sell. Now just imagine how uncomfortable you are making the other person feel. This is the same feeling you are causing prospects to feel when you are trying to shove all your features and benefits down their throats with out taking the time to know what they really want.

Selling is all about figuring out what the other person wants and delivering those wants. You need to start thinking how you are going to open the sales conversation. Which is the main step to get you closer to closing successfully.

You have to start before you can finish. You need to crawl before you can walk. You have to walk before you can run.

Focus on opening and gaining interest first is the correct process when selling and if you jump ahead you will fail. This is the same process you should follow for when selling your idea or product. You must have a successful opening or there will not be a successful closing. You may get the door closed in your face or you may never get the door to open with a poor opening attempt.

Your objective is not to stumble out of the blocks with a sub-par opening. A race horse must have a great start in order to win the race. Athletic runners are always trained to focus on their starts. They must be secured in their blocks and focus on a positive outcome.

It is so important for an athlete to get a great start in a sprint. If a runner just focused on crossing the finish line he would reach a non desirable result. The athlete would also need to work a lot harder just to make up for a bad start.

Sometimes in business you only get one chance and a bad opening can ruin your chances. The fear of rejection starts at the beginning and not at the end. You can never close anyone if you are to afraid to pick up the phone or approach them. Opening not closing is the way to win in the sales game.

Reverse the way you approach selling and you will make more money and build lasting relationships PERIOD.

About the Author:

Paul Gage has been selling successfully since he was a child. He has studied and applied the art of persuasion. Paul Gage has developed a company based on those same principles. Boost Sales and Marketing is a fantastic company which helps anyone with a great product realize their dreams by seeing their product on a major retailers shelf. Visit www.Boostmyproduct.com if your product needs a boost.