Monday, November 30, 2009

The Truth About Frogs

By Brian Tracy

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse things that is going to happen to you all day long. Your "frog" is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.

Conquer the Hardest Task First
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.

Don't Procrastinate
If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it for very long. The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.

Take Action Immediately
Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete. “Failure to execute” is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. They talk continually, hold endless meetings, and make wonderful plans, but in the final analysis, no one does the job and gets the results required.

Develop a Positive Addiction
You can actually develop a “positive addiction” to endorphins and to the feeling of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence that they trigger. When you develop this addiction, you will, at an unconscious level, begin to organize your life in such a way that you are continually starting and completing ever more important tasks and projects. You will actually become addicted, in a very positive sense, to success and contribution.

No Shortcuts
Practice is the key to mastering any skill. Fortunately, your mind is like a muscle. It grows stronger and more capable with use. With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary.

Action Exercise
What is your “frog?” What is the one task that you despise doing each day? Once you have chosen your “frog,” make it a habit to wake up every morning and do that task first.

The Secret To Effective Time Management

by anthony on November 30, 2009

The best time management lesson you can ever learn is that you cannot manage time.

time management

No matter how many books you read or how many seminars you attend, you will never be able to gain an extra second in a day, bring back a moment that has passed, or make time move more quickly.

Despite all our best efforts to manage it, time continues to flow with complete disregard for our complex time management techniques. Does this mean that time management is a pointless exercise?

No – not at all… What it actually means is this:

What we commonly refer to as time management is not really about managing time – It is about managing ourselves.

Here’s an example that illustrates why this is so important:

Ben was an accountant in a prestigious accounting firm who was working very long hours in order to move ahead in his career.

One night over a late dinner, his wife said, “Be careful honey, one day you’re gonna wake up and your little girl will have gone off to college and you will have missed everything.”

This comment really struck a chord with Ben. He knew he needed to spend more time at home but he didn’t know what else he could do to manage his time better. He was already utilizing his mobile phone, an electronic organizer and a calendar on his computer.

The next day, Ben chatted to his dad who advised him that effective time management was not about managing time, but rather, about managing himself.

Ben took this idea on board and instead of looking for external ways to control his time, he began to focus internally on finding better ways to manage himself.

  • Instead of spending the first twenty minutes of his day chatting with his colleagues in the tea room, he picked up a coffee on the way to work and headed straight to his desk.
  • Rather than spending the first hour of his day answering emails, he wrote down a list of the most important things he needed to achieve and immediately began working on the first task.
  • He also closed down his Internet browser so that he would not be distracted by Facebook, Twitter, or the ebay auction he was watching.
  • When printing his documents he realized he should check the print queue before walking across the office and standing around waiting for other people’s documents to be completed.

Ben was genuinely surprised by how many ways he found to improve his productivity simply by shifting his focus from managing time to managing himself. His new mantra became that he would:

Spend Quality Time at Work in Order to Spend Quantity Time at Home

With this new approach to managing himself, Ben developed the view that any time he wasted at work was time he was taking away from being with his family.

This new perspective made him more motivated and productive than ever before. By getting more done during work hours, he was able to cut down on his overtime and ultimately spend more time with his family.

So today, I’d like to encourage you to realize that while you cannot manage time – you can manage yourself.

Instead of looking for additional ways to regulate your time, turn your focus internally and look for better ways to manage yourself and your actions.

By improving the way you manage yourself, you will greatly increase your productivity. This is in turn will help you accelerate your progress towards achieving your most important life goals.

Until next time,
Dare To Dream!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

8 Steps to a Perfect Follow Up Call By Jim Domanski

In many ways, a follow up call to a prospect is more challenging than a cold call. Typically, it's the follow up call that really gets the sales cycling rolling. It is here where value truly begins to manifest itself. It is here where substantive information is gathered; and it is here where the relationship begins to establish itself.

So that's why it is absolutely vital to have a superb follow up strategies and tactics so that you can make the most of the moment. Here are eight tips to making a perfect follow up call.

Tip #1: Get commitment for the follow up.

Perhaps the single biggest mistake reps make is not establishing a specific date and time for the follow up call at the end of their initial call. Vague commitments from the prospects ("call me next week") or the sales rep ("I will send the proposal and follow up in a couple of days") result in missed calls, voice mail messages and ultimately a longer sales cycle. All you need to do is simply ask for a follow up date and time. For instance:

"I'll be glad to write up the proposal (quote, whatever) and e-mail it to you. And what I would like to recommend is that we set up Tuesday, the 16th, at say, 8:45 to review it in detail and determine the next steps if any. How does that sound?"

If this is not a good time, recommend another time. If that doesn't work, get them to establish a time and date. Creating a deadline is a simple but extremely powerful tactic. Use it.

Tip #2: Build equity and be remembered

Here's another huge tip. After every call to a first time prospect, send a thank you card. Hand write a message on small thank you card that simply says, "John, thank you for taking the time speaking with me today. I look forward to chatting with you further on the 16th! Kind regards..." No more, no less.

In today's fast paced world, a hand written card tells the client that you took the time and the effort to do something a little different. At some level this registers in the client's mind and creates a degree of "equity" in you. It differentiates you and it gets remembered. And it gives the client a reason to be there when you make you follow up call.

If you don't think a card will get there in time, send an e-mail with the same note. Just be aware that an e-mail does not have nearly the same impact as a handwritten note.

Tip #3: E-mail a reminder and an agenda.

The day before your follow up call, send an e-mail to your prospect to remind them of your appointment. In the subject line enter the word: "Telephone appointment for August16th and article of interest." Note that the subject line acts as a reminder but it is vague enough that the prospect will probably open it. There is a hint that maybe the date and time has changed.

Your e-mail should confirm the date and time of the appointment and then briefly list your agenda:

"John, the call should only take 10 minutes. We'll review the proposal and I'll answer any questions. And then we'll determine the next steps, if any."

Notice how the words echo the words that were used when the follow up was initially set. In particular, notice the trigger phrase "...the next steps, if any." The "if any" will help reduce some of the 'stress' or concern a first time prospect might have. Often they skip out on the follow up call because they are worried that they'll have to make a commitment. This is natural and okay. If the prospect senses an easy, informal, no pressure type of phone call, he is more likely to show up on time for that call.

Tip #4: Add value in a PS.

Notice in the subject line there is a reference to an article. At the end of your e-mail add a P.S. that says,

"John, in the meantime, here's an article I thought you might enjoy regarding..."

The article may be about your industry, the market, a product or better yet, something non-business related that you had discussed in your initial call. This creates tremendous value even it the client does not open it. Why? Because you took the time to do something extra. This helps get you remembered and gives the client yet another reason to take your follow up call.

Of course, this means you have to do some homework. Start looking on the web for articles of interest and value relative to your market, industry etc. Keep a file of these articles because they can be used over and over again.

Tip #5: Call on time

Don't start your relationship on the wrong foot. Call on time. Never, ever be late with your follow up call. Not even by a minute. The promptness and respect you show on a follow up call reflects on you, your company and your products.

Tip #6: Avoid opening statement blunders that most sales reps make

Here is where so many tele-sales reps stumble and fall. Here some of the classic follow up opening statements blunders:

· "I was calling to follow up on the proposal."
· "I am calling to see if you had any questions.'
· "I just wanted to make sure you got my e-mail."
· "The reason for my follow up was to see if you had come to decision."

It is not that these opening statements are poor but rather it's that they're routine and common place. They do nothing to position you or differentiate you. What this really means is that you are perceived as yet another run of the mill vendor looking for a sale. You need a little more pizazz.

Tip #7: Build a follow up opening statement that gets through the clutter.

There are 4 simple steps to creating that pizazz. First, introduce yourself using your full name. Second, give your company name. Okay, so far it's pretty obvious but Step #3 is where you differentiate yourself.

Remind the client why you are calling; remind your client what prompted the follow up call in the first place. This means going back to your initial cold call and reminding the client of the "pain" or the "gain" that was discussed or hinted at in your previous call. For instance,

"Monica, this is Michael Burton calling from TJS Training. Monica, when we spoke last week you had two concerns. First, you indicated that you were concerned about having your current on line training program renewed automatically before you had a chance to review it in detail, and second, that there were several modules whose content was questionable."

Michael reminds Monica why she agreed to this call. He does this because he knows that clients are busy; that they forget; that the urgency of last week may not seem so urgent this week. So he scratches at the scab. Remind your client of the irritation and the move on to Step #4, the agenda:

What I would like to recommend at this stage is two things. First, we review those modules that have you so concerned, and second, we'll take a closer look at the current contract. Then we'll determine the next steps, if applicable. How does that sound?

Clients like a clear, concise agenda. They want a vendor who is organized and doesn't waste their time. They want someone to takes control and move the call forward. This gives them confidence.

Finally, notice how the rep repeats a theme that he established in the first call and in his follow up e-mail. He indicates that they will "determine the next steps if applicable." It's a nice touch and reduces client resistance.

Tip # 8: Be persistent, be polite, and be professional but not a pest

If you follow this formula, about 70% of the time the client is there. But, that leaves 30% who are not for one reason or another. If the prospect is not there, leave a message so that he knows YOU called on time. Say,

"Hi ______, it's ____ from ________ calling for our 8:45 appointment. Sounds like you might be tied up for a few moments. I'll call in 10 minutes if I haven't heard from you. In the meantime, my number is ______"

Next, call in 10 minutes. Exactly. If the prospect is still not there leave another message:

"Hi ________, it's ___ from ___, following up on our 8:45 appointment. Looks like you're still tied up. Please give me a call when you're free at ----- -----, otherwise I will call you later this morning or early this afternoon."

So far you've been persistent without being a pest. Now, give the prospect a chance to call. A good rule of thumb is a half a day. Four hours is plenty of time and space for the prospect to call you and more importantly, it doesn't make you look desperate or annoying. Here's what you can say,

"______, it's _____ from ________I called a couple of times today but as of yet we have not been able to connect. When we last spoke you where concerned about the contract expiry date and the content of some of the modules. I 'm sure you don't want that date to come and go...So, my number is _______."

Notice how the rep reminds the client of the call but does not make her feel guilty or embarrassed by using the phrase "... but as of yet we have not been able to connect." Also notice that the rep reminds the client about their early talks and the "pain" the prospect was experiencing. In effect, he wants Phyllis to think, "Oh... ya...that contract is nagging me...I better get back to him."

If that doesn't work make four more follow up calls but space them three business days apart. This shows persistence but the calls are spread far enough apart that the client doesn't fell like she's being stalked. If there's no response by then, you probably won't get one but at least you took a good stab at it.


Having solid follow up strategies and tactics will separate you from the dozens of other sales reps who calls the same prospects as you. This gives you a distinctive edge. Make the most of your follow up calls and watch your sales grow.

Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively. Author of four highly regarded books on tele-selling, Jim also writes two e-newsletters for tele-sales reps and tele-sales managers. He has also provides training and consulting to audiences, universities, and clients through the US, Canada and Europe. Visit his website at or call 613 591 or e-mail him at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deepak Chopra: A Life of Fullfillment

On Moving from Success to Significance

Mike Zimmerman November 2, 2009

On his 14th birthday, Deepak Chopra's father made a small, yet purposeful, gesture: He gave his son some novels by Sinclair Lewis and W. Somerset Maugham as a birthday gift.

Chopra's father was a doctor in their native India, and he wanted his son to become a doctor, too. Chopra, however, dreamed of becoming a writer. He ignored biology and chemistry in school. "The people I most admired were journalists and other writers who were friends of the family," he tells SUCCESS. "I had no interest in being a physician. But my father knew two things: that I had a fertile imagination and that those books were all about doctors and healers. At the age of 14, you're very pliable, so after reading them, I went to my father and said I wanted to be a physician."

Imagine the knowing smile on dad's face. Chopra went on to America to become a respected endocrinologist, a medical school professor and, eventually, one of the foremost proponents of mind-body medicine, or the combination of Western medical knowledge with ancient Eastern philosophies. He is also the author of more than 50 books, including Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, in bookstores now. And today, when you consider that our cultureâ??s standard definition of success is money, fame and influence, Deepak Chopra indeed has collected them all.

But that last sentence cheapens his accomplishments. He didn't just become successful. He fulfilled his own definition of success. That's a far richer accomplishment. The fact that he fulfilled the fame/fortune/ power success trifecta along the way (what he calls the "restricted" definition of success) is almost a byproduct. "I define success as the following," Chopra says. "No. 1, the progressive realization of worthy goals. No. 2, the ability to love and have compassion. No. 3, to be in touch with the creative source inside you. And No. 4, to ultimately move from success to significance."

That last part is crucial. It's what creates people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett— people whose material success becomes great enough that they can concentrate on more humanistic and satisfying endeavors, or "significance," as Chopra says. Through that work, they become greater than their success, and ultimately, when they're alone, out of the spotlight, that's what drives them. "Material success by itself without significance to the common good ultimately is not fulfilling," says Chopra, and he speaks from experience.

In short, folks like Gates, Buffett and Deepak Chopra are not the type who think about making enough money to "retire by 40," or some other target age. They don't think about retiring at any age. They're at war with dissatisfaction, which keeps them fine-tuning their A-game and their long-term goals. Money is simply the byproduct of that process.

Now, Chopra warns, that's not to say that material success isn't exciting. "Oh, in the beginning it's very exciting," he says with a chuckle. "Though, over many years of soul-searching and observing people, I have discovered to my own amazement, actually, that being extremely wealthy is meaningless."

He cites a close friend of his, a multimillionaire, as proof. "This man's level of happiness or misery depends every evening on an e-mail that informs him what his net worth is, based on what the stock market did that day. What kind of life is that? He's a classic example of millions of dollars not making a person happy."

"Material success by itself without significance to the common good ultimately is not fulfilling."

So the secret is to forget all about money? Not at all. "Financial security is very important," says Chopra, for the freedom it allows. However, the secret to real success goes deeper. Don't pursue happiness, he says. Especially don't pursue excitement, like the kind provided by making and spending big numbers. Pursue excellence. Pursue fulfillment. And Chopra has done that by fulfilling not society's definition of success, but his own. It's real. It's meaningful. And the best part: It's all his.

"True wealth comes from creativity," he says. "Somehow, in modern society, wealth and money have become equated. Money is not wealth. Wealth in its true sense is success," as Chopra defines it for himself.

How does creativity impact success? Creativity is all about its root word: Create something of value that wasn't there before. Creativity is also freedom of thought directed toward your goals. Very few people embrace this, Chopra says. Oh, they talk a terrific game about life goals and potential business models and cool new ideas to increase income streams. But true creativity requires an open mind and curiosity, two phenomena that have become rare these days.

Why? Today, people don't have open minds. Many of us are closed off to even the slightest deviation in mindset, even though most people would probably consider themselves "creative" and "curious." They're liars, says Chopra, and two factors—the financial crisis and Sept. 11—prove it.

"Curiosity and open-mindedness mean being aware of what's going on in your world," he says. "What has happened in the last few years with our economic disaster is the result of not having full awareness of what's really happening around us. We were forced to do that after 9/11. Now we know more about the rest of the world, and we also see the context in which violence arises, in which power arises, in which ecological disasters occur."

You might ask, What does that have to do with fulfilling my potential? Well, being locked up in your own mindset means being locked out of the world around you. "Creativity, imagination, insight, intuition, conscious choice-making, love, compassion, understanding— these are the qualities of a core consciousness that we come with into the world as children," Chopra says. "But then we get programmed into the hypnosis of social conditioning, which says instant gratification is the way to be happy. That's sold to us every single day."

Chopra suggests several ways to break open more creativity and curiosity:

Adopt a growth mindset. Chopra says research over the past five years has shown that when adversity strikes, happier people tend to see creative opportunities, while unhappier people see, well, adversity. "It's programmed through childhood through a phenomenon called mirror neurons," he says. "If you saw people complaining all the time when you were a kid, that's what you do. Your neurons mirror the behavior." To change your mindset, step back and ask yourself, How can I turn this into an opportunity?

Engage the "unfriendlies." This is not the same as "sleeping with the enemy." It simply means make an effort to connect with those you have the least in common with, or even flat-out disagree with, and dissect their point of view until you understand its inherent value (it's there, alright). This, Chopra says, is the hallmark of the creative, curious, open mind. "There has been a lot of literature on emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and how they're all linked. We have a person who is now president who, on some level, knew all this. He bonded with America in a way that was amazing, despite the fact that his middle name is Hussein, and he transcends in many ways the definition of identity: Is he black? Is he white? And yet, he beat all the odds and became president."

Read. Such a simple concept, but a hallmark of learning that's, again, ignored by many (even with pride by some). But reading is what allowed Chopra to fulfill two life dreams. The boy who wanted to be a writer instead became a doctor... who has written more than 50 books. Indeed, you can fulfill multiple destinies. Chopra could not have done that without reading and more reading. To facilitate his addiction, he recently bought a Kindle. "I'm now traveling with the equivalent of 100 books, and I read them all simultaneously," he says. "Books have always infl uenced my life. I get a strange sense of joy boarding a plane knowing I'm carrying 100 books."

Monday, November 23, 2009

7 Disciplines for High Performance

By Brian Tracy

There are seven disciplines you must develop if you want to achieve all that is possible for you. You can learn these disciplines through practice and repetition until they become automatic.

Goal Setting
Every morning, take three to five minutes to write out your top goals in the present tense. Get a spiral notebook for this purpose. By writing out your ten goals at the beginning of each day, you will program them deep into your subconscious mind.

This daily goal writing will activate your mental powers. It will stimulate your mind and make you more alert. Throughout the day, you will see opportunities and possibilities to move more rapidly toward your goals.

Planning and Organizing
Take a few minutes, preferably the night before, to plan out every activity of the coming day. Always work from a list. Always think on paper. This is one of the most powerful and important disciplines of all for high performance.

Priority Setting
The essence of all time management, personal management, and life management is contained in your ability to set the proper priorities on the use of your time. This is essential for high performance.

Concentration on your Highest-Value Activities
Your ability to work single-mindedly on your most important task will contribute as much to your success as any other discipline you can develop.

Exercise and Proper Nutrition
Your health is more important than anything else. By disciplining yourself to exercise regularly and to eat carefully, you will promote the highest possible levels of health and fitness throughout your life.

Learning and Growth
Your mind is like a muscle. If you don't use it, you lose it. Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.

Time for Important People in your Life
Relationships are everything. Be sure that in climbing the ladder of success, you do not find it leaning against the wrong building. Build time for your relationships into every day, no matter how busy you get.

Action Exercise
These seven disciplines will ensure that you perform at the highest level and get the greatest satisfaction and results from everything you do. Study these seven disciplines and then make a plan for how you can incorporate each of them into your daily life.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Say YES to Yourself with a Personal "Don't-Do" Policy

by Jack CanfieldJust Say No!

Our world is a highly competitive and over stimulating place, and more and more concentration is needed every day just to stay focused on completing your daily tasks and pursuing your long-term goals.

With the explosion of communications technology we are more accessible to more people than ever before. Complete strangers can reach you by telephone, cell phone, pager, fax, regular mail, express mail and e-mail.

They can e-mail and instant message you at home, at work and on your hand held smart-phone. And with the explosion of social media, requests now find their way to us on our Facebook and Linked-In accounts.

It seems everyone wants a piece of you!

Your kids want rides or to borrow the car, your co-workers want your input on projects that are not your responsibility, your boss wants you to work overtime, your sister wants you to take her kids for the weekend, your child’s school wants you to bake four dozen cookies for teacher appreciation day, your mother wants you to come over and fix her screen door, your best friend wants to talk about his impending divorce, a local charity wants you to head up a committee, and your neighbor wants to borrow your van.

Not to mention the endless slews of telemarketers who want you to subscribe to the local newspaper, contribute to the nearby wildlife sanctuary or transfer all of your credit card debt over to their new card. Even your pets are clamoring for more attention!

We suffer from overload at work—taking on more than we can comfortably deliver in an unconscious desire to impress others, get ahead, and keep up with others’ expectations. Meanwhile our top priorities go unaddressed.

How much time do you waste with projects and activities that you really don’t want to do simply because you are uncomfortable saying no?

Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.

You will have to structure your work and life so that you are focusing your time, effort, energies, and resources only on projects, opportunities, and people that give you a huge return on your efforts. You are going to have to create stronger boundaries about what you will and won't do.

Most of us are busy, but undisciplined. We are active, but not focused. We are moving, but not always in the right direction. By creating a stop-doing list as well as a to-do list, you will bring more discipline and focus into your life

Start by creating a stop-doing list as soon as possible! Then make the things on your list “policies.” People respond to policies. They understand a policy as a boundary. They will respect you more for being clear about what you won’t do.

For example, some of my “don’t do” policies on a personal level are:

  • I never lend my car to anyone for any reason.
  • I don’t lend money. I am not a bank.
  • We don’t schedule outside social events on Friday night. That is our family night.
  • I don’t discuss contributions over the phone. Send me something in writing.

On a business level some of my “don’t do” policies are:

  • I don’t give endorsements for books of fiction.
  • I have a policy of not lending my books to other people. They rarely come back, and they are the source of my livelihood, so I don’t lend them out.)
  • I don’t schedule more than five talks in one month.
  • I no longer co-author books with first-time authors. Their learning curve is too expensive.
  • I don’t do individual counseling or coaching. There is greater leverage in working with a group.
  • Except for when I am doing a new book tour, I don’t schedule more than two radio interviews in a day.

It is very easy to say what your policies are, and you don’t even have to use the word no!

People respect policies. And it’s likely that no one will take your policy personally, they’ll realize it’s a boundary you have set for all occasions.

Be brave in saying no, stay focused on your higher goals and let people know that you are committed to those goals. People will respect your clarity and drive.

Remember, just as you are in control of your feelings and attitudes, other people are in control of theirs, so if they do get upset with you for saying no…well that is a choice they make for themselves.

For more tips on Just Saying NO!, read Principle 42 in The Success Principles.

I'll be back in two weeks with another edition of Success Strategies. Until then, see how you can discover ways to immediately implement what you learned from today's message!

© 2009 Jack Canfield

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why Sales People Hate Cold Calling

Cold calling is a fact of life for most people in sales. Sure, the vast majority would prefer to rely on referrals, word-of-mouth, or some other lead source that reduces or eliminates their need to make cold calls. However, unless you deal with an established set of accounts, you will, at some time, be required to cold call in order to generate sufficient leads for your business.

Having said this, even the most seasoned sales professionals often resist this strategy unless they are poked, prodded and pushed by their manager. Excuses include:

"I don't like the rejection."
"I don't want to come across like I'm desperate for business."
"I don't want to sound like a telemarketer."
"I don't like interrupting people at work."
"I don't know what to say."

However, I believe that two other dynamics prevent people from embracing cold calling.

1. Cold calling is hard work.
We know that cold calling seldom generates quick results. It takes a lot of effort and energy to make call after call, navigate voice mail systems, and to gain the support of receptionists and executive assistants.

You need to make dozens of dials to connect with live people. It takes finesse to deal with receptionists, gatekeepers and executive assistants. It takes a certain amount of creativity to deal with the barriers that get in our way. It takes multiple attempts and a bulldog sense of persistence to finally connect with decision makers. And, finally after all that work, we eventually manage to make contact with our prospect only to hear, "No, thanks."

It's no wonder sales people resist incorporating this strategy into their daily/weekly routine. Most people like to take the path of least resistance and cold calling certainly does not fall into that category.

2. The need and desire for instant gratification.
I once read that there are two types of people. People who are willing to wait for a reward and those who want the reward now even though the payoff may be higher if they wait. I suspect that people who have the ability to wait for a payoff also possess the ability to make more calls than individuals who need immediate gratification.

Let's face it. Capturing a sale is highly motivating and many people have a difficult time making call after call with little to show for it. Making fifty or sixty dials and not capturing a sale or being unable to connect with a buyer or decision maker can be extremely frustrating. Spending an entire day on the telephone is even more challenging and difficult.

Experts on this subject say that you need to recognize that every 'no' brings you one call closer to making an appointment or landing a sale. Some people say that you need to "go for the no" and to use those 'no's' as a stepping stone to hearing a 'yes." While these philosophies are technically true, it takes much more than that.

It takes big picture thinking. It requires the ability to postpone the pleasure of getting the reward and developing the discipline to work through the pain and challenge of making dozens of calls with little to show for it.

So, here's the $64,000 question: how do you develop this ability?

I'll warn you; it's not easy. In order to develop the ability to get used to a delayed payoff you actually have to make these calls, as painful and challenging as it is. You need to condition yourself that you will eventually get a reward for your efforts. I know, you were hoping for a magic answer or quick result. Unfortunately, the quick-fix solution exists only in infomercials, novels and movies.

Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective. When you learn a new hobby, sport, language, etc., it takes time to just to become comfortable. It takes longer to develop a level of consistent proficiency. And, it takes even more time to develop your skill to the point of excellence. The same concept applies to cold calling.

You can't expect to make ten or fifteen calls and master the skill. In fact, that number of calls won't even get you to the point of feeling comfortable. You need to block time in your schedule on a daily basis to make calls. The more calls you make, the easier it will get and the more proficient you will become. As your skill improves, so will your ability to generate leads and secure appointments. You will become more adept at dealing with receptionists and executive assistants. And this will eventually translate into sales.

I guarantee that it will be a grind at first. However, if you can push through your initial resistance you can develop the ability to postpone your need for instant gratification. And as you do this, your results will improve.

© 2009 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals close more sales with less effort. Kelley conducts workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Receive a FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to his free newsletter at www.Fearless-

Contact him at 905-633-7750 or

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Power from Empowerment by Dr. Denis Waitley

A good way to think of leadership is the process of freeing your team members to do the best work they possibly can. I have followed NBA basketball coach Phil Jackson’s career for some time.

In his career, Jackson has gone from coaching the record-setting champion Chicago Bulls to the present NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. He says his principal task is creating an environment in which his players can flourish. In communicating with his championship teams, Jackson convinced them that they had the talent to win championships and that the main goal of the coach was freeing them to use that talent.

Today’s business team members say they want, more than anything else, the autonomy to do their jobs without the boss’s interference. Nearly a decade into the new century, it’s already clear that the CEOs of our best-run companies believe that the more power leaders have, the less they should use.

The job of the team leader is to set a mission, decide upon a strategic direction, achieve the necessary cooperation, delegate authority and then let people innovate. To do that we all could take a hint from the late football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Before his retirement as one of the leading coaches in college football history at Alabama, Bryant observed:

I’m just a plowhand from Arkansas, but I’ve learned how to put and hold a team together. I’ve learned how to lift some individuals up and how to calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat, together, as a team. To do that, there are just three things I’d ever have to say: If anything went wrong, I did it. If it went semi-good, then we did it. If anything went real good, then you did it! That’s really all it takes to get other people to win for you.

The key to authentic leadership is to listen to your followers, and then open the door for them to lead themselves. The secret is empowerment. The main incentive is genuine caring and recognition.

The five most important words a leader can speak are: “I am proud of you.”
The four most important are: “What is your opinion?”
The three most important are: “If you please.”
The two most important are: “Thank you.”
And the most important single word of all is: “You!”

—Denis Waitley

Monday, November 16, 2009

10 Little Things that Make a Big Difference - By Molly Burke

It's the little things that count, it's true. We, all of us, have myriad opportunities every day to imbue the little things in our lives with enough power to make a big difference. It's easy, and it's fun. In the process, you'll gain goodwill, confidence and karma points. Ready?

Here they are, 10 little, kinda slightly random but ultimately powerful things that make a big difference.

1. Say "Thank you."
Such a small thing, but the effect it has on everything around you is profound. Gratitude is a force so powerful that it transforms the giver, the receiver, and the world at large simultaneously. Heartfelt gratitude, humbly expressed, heals as it praises. Write it on your checks as you pay your bills. Write it under your name on the checks you endorse. Look your food server, checker, toll taker, garbage man, crossing guard right in the eye and say "Thank you for doing this" and watch what happens. This is such a simple way to pay it forward, and it has such long lasting positive repercussions that you would be well served to make it a principle part of your spiritual practices. I'll be writing a whole series of blogs and articles about gratitude very soon, because this one concept can change your life for the better forever, starting right now.

2. Yield the right of way.
Let someone into your lane in front of you on the freeway, or the streets. Suggest that the person with a few items go before you with your full shopping cart. Step aside and let the harried mommy with the stroller and tagalongs through the door that you hold open with smile. Wait patiently while the elderly man tells his stories to the waitress, even if it means your breakfast will take a few minutes longer. Believe me when I tell you that doing all these things will give you a greater sense of community, deeper compassion, and it will serve to significantly calm YOU down when you're feeling stressed and hurried. Kindness expands, and it fills the space with goodwill and cooperation.

3. Give sincere praise.
Everyone I know appreciates being appreciated, though how they prefer it to be expressed varies. But overall, and with very few exceptions, an honest compliment is always welcome. It can create instant rapport, and bridge many an awkward gap. Do NOT, however, use it in lieu of a gratuity when encountering service staff. Layer the compliment atop a generous tip and watch what happens.

4. Be a generous tipper.
This may seem like an extravagance, and I am not condoning subsidizing bad service, but remember that our economic system is not set up to adequately compensate waiters, bartenders, valets and such. In addition, service personnel are assessed taxes on your tip whether or not you actually tip them, so do them a favor and give a bit more. They're working hard at a job you probably wouldn't do, or have done before when you were younger, so give 'em at least 20%. Unless they suck, at which time you should talk to their manager anyway.

5. Listen.
You were given two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion. Listening makes you appear more charming, too, so there's a bonus.

6. Floss.
Flossing alone can add 6+ years to your "real age". Don't forget to brush first. As a matter of fact, flossing is the one thing you can do that can affect not only your oral health, but the health of your heart, as well. Plaque is plaque, after all, and is not good anywhere. Floss!

7. Send a card.
Snail mail correspondence is a lost art. To make a big impression and touch someone's heart, send a short handwritten note inside a lovely card. The time and expense you incur will pay huge dividends in goodwill.

8. Pick up trash.
Yours, others, random trash. Pick it up, and put it in a trash can or recycling bin. It's the right thing to do, and it expresses pride of place, simple responsibility, and a commitment to improving the overall health of the planet as you act ever so locally. Teach your children to pick it up, theirs as well as the trash of others. Beautify the world.

9. Use your manners.
Good manners are social lubricant. They oil the machine of humanity. Using good manners conveys respect, both for self and for others. Civility in conversation allows everyone the opportunity to express themselves fully and be heard. Meaningful discourse naturally ensues. Good manners are the foundation of polite society, and politeness can be both charming and disarming. Use good manners and social graces to woo your love, court a client, ease your way with authority. You'll go far with good manners.

10. Share.
Whether it's your cookies or your time, share. Every single person reading this has something, some talent, some time, some money, some compassion, and some fun that they could share with others. This is an abundant Universe, with plenty for everyone, if we'd only share. So, share.

So there you have it. 10 little things that make a big difference. One by one, not so huge. Together, they make a glorious way to go through life. But more than that, these 10 little tips are concrete, attainable and immediate ways to shift your energy, your point of view, and the way the world works. Practice them regularly, and be prepared for a dramatic increase in abundance, personal confidence, ease and grace. It's all good.

** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.

About the Author:

Molly Burke, CPCC, MSU, Queen of Confidence. I'm a Master Life Purpose Assessor/Trainer, certified professional Co-Active life coach and crackerjack motivational advocate. I've performed onstage for literally millions of people over the last 30 years, so confidence is my stock in trade. I'm the creator of the Life Purpose Discovery method. My toolbox includes public speaking, event planning and facilitation, program management, leadership training, music, dance and living history education and performance, innovative fun(d) raising, a talent for empowerment, and a robust sense of humor. My years of work in event production have given me the ability to produce miracles under deadline pressures that would crush lesser women. My job choices, talents and career path have afforded me many rich opportunities to learn the ins and outs of businesses from entertainment to retail to corporate. My many years of successful (and sometimes not so successful) entrepreneurship have honed my skills and talents into effective sharpness as a consultant and coach.

The Law of Priorities

By: Brian Tracy

The very worst use of your time is to do what need not be done at all. The Pareto Principle says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of the value of your activities. This means that, if you have a list of ten items to accomplish, two of those items will be worth more than the other eight items altogether.

To achieve great things, you must always be concentrating on the small number of activities that contribute the greatest value to your life and your work.

Determine the Consequences
The value of anything in your order of priorities can be measured by assessing the potential consequences of doing it or not doing it. Something that is important has significant consequences to your life and your career. Something that is unimportant has few or no consequences of significance to your life or career. The mark of the superior thinker is your ability to consider possible consequences before you begin.

Ask the Key Question
Continually ask yourself, "What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?" And whatever it is, work on that. Your ability to discipline yourself to work on those few tasks that can make the greatest difference in your life is the key quality that makes everything else possible for you.

Action Exercises
Here is how you can apply this law immediately:

First, make a list of everything that you do as a part of your job. Now, analyze the list and select the three to five things that are more important than everything else put together.

Second, imagine that you are going to receive a $100,000 bonus at the end of the month if you can work on your highest priority items every minute of the day. How would that change your behavior? What would you do differently?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wall of Doubt and Fear

by anthony on October 29, 2009

There is a wall that separates each of us from our most important goals in life. The strange thing about this wall is that it is a barrier which we create for ourselves.

wall of doubt and fear

We construct this wall in our minds using bricks of doubt and fear.

Let’s take a look at how this wall is created:

When you set a new goal, it is natural to have a small amount of doubt about your ability to achieve your objective.

goal starting point

Initially as you start to work on your goal, you get a boost of self confidence because you are taking action and your level of doubt decreases. However, after you’ve worked on your goal for a little while, you come to the Point of Clarity.

goal wall2

The Point of Clarity is the point at which you first fully understand how much work and effort is actually involved with achieving your goal. It is usually at this point that the bricks of doubt and fear start to build.

The next thing that happens is that you encounter a significant problem and immediately your doubts and fears increase which adds to number of bricks in your wall.

goal wall3

You then become aware of another problem:

goal wall4

And then problems seem to come at you from every direction

goal wall6

With each problem you encounter, your doubts and fears increase. You start thinking things like:

“I’m not smart enough to do this”
“I’m not capable of doing this”
“I don’t have what it takes to achieve this”
“I’m too old for this”
“I’m too young for this”

If you ever catch yourself saying things like this, it’s important to remember that

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubts.” – Author Unknown

Unfortunately, many people give so much power to their doubts that the wall in their mind becomes insurmountable and they walk away from their dream.

However, something truly remarkable happens to the small group of people who continue to meet these problems head on and persevere in the face of adversity.

Eventually they come to realize that facing and solving these problems is an important part of the process of achieving their goal. With experience they also realize that they ARE capable of meeting and overcoming these challenges.

With this realization, they cross over to the Point of Self-Confidence

goal wall7

Once you reach the Point of Self Confidence, everything changes.

You continue to face problems, but now each problem you solve makes you more confident in your ability and you begin to eliminate the bricks of doubt and fear from your mind.

You solve a problem and remove a layer of bricks

goal wall8

Then you solve another problem

goal wall9

Each time you solve a problem your remove another layer of doubt and fear.

goal wall10

Finally you solve the last problem that stands between you and your goal – Your self confidence soars and the final bricks of doubt and fear disappear.

goal wall11

You then look back to find that the wall of doubt and fear is gone – In fact it never really existed at all.

So today I’d like to encourage you to never give in to the doubts and fears that stop most people from achieving their goals. Always remember that the wall that stands between you and your objective only exists in your own mind.

Instead of walking away from your dream, focus on solving one problem at a time. As you gain experience, your self confidence will grow and the wall of doubt and fear will gradually disappear.

Until next time,
Dare To Dream!

How to Reduce the Stress in Your Life

by anthony on November 12, 2009

Stress is something that we all have to deal with each and every day. There’s work related stress, relationship stress and financial stress just to name a few. If we don’t develop effective strategies for dealing with stress, it can lead to many problems including physical illness.

stress free

One of the most effective strategies for reducing your stress levels is to learn to live your life in day-tight compartments.

Let me explain…

When ship builders design passenger ships, they divide the ship into sections and between each section they place a water-tight door to create several separate compartments.

water-tight compartments

If one of the compartments is flooded, the ship’s captain can close the water-tight doors and the ship will continue to stay afloat.

Imagine for a moment that your life is a series of compartments each made up of a single day. On either side of each day is a day-tight door.

Just as the water-tight doors in a ship block out water and prevent the boat from sinking, your day-tight doors block out the past and future and prevent your outlook on life from sinking.

In your day-tight compartment, you do not have to analyze the past or worry about the future.

All you have to deal with is today.

day-tight compartment

When I was working 70+ hour weeks in the corporate world, I found this day-tight compartment strategy to be a useful form of stress management.

Each morning I would imagine that I was closing my day-tight doors. This helped me to stop analyzing the past and prevented me from worrying about the future. I could then simply focus on what I had to do in the next 24 hours.

Often when I talk to people about living their life in day-tight compartments someone will ask “Don’t you need to visualize your future everyday in order to make it a reality? How can I do that if I’m living in a day-tight compartment?”

This is a very good question. The answer is that you first visualize your future goal in its entirety and then determine what small step you can achieve today. Next, you bring this single step inside your day-tight compartment and shut your day-tight doors.

In this way you are not intimidated by the size of your overall goal and can just focus on what you need to do today while still moving steadily towards your achieving your long term goals.

So the next time you are under stress, try taking a deep breath and make the decision to live your life in day-tight compartments. Each morning, imagine closing your day-tight doors on the past and the future.

During the day, if you catch yourself analyzing the past or worrying about the future, remember that these thoughts do not belong in your day-tight compartment and try and let them go.

By learning to live your life in day-tight compartments, you can greatly reduce your stress levels and lead a happier and healthier life.

Until next time,
Dare To Dream

Monday, November 9, 2009

How To Avoid Two Critical Sales Mistakes

By Jim Klein

In the last issue of "The Sales Advisor" I showed you how to find the logical and emotional reasons for your prospect wanting your product or service by asking specific open ended questions.

The answers to these questions will form the foundation for presenting your product or service as the solution to your prospects problems.

The next thing you must do is to determine if your prospect has the authority to make a buying decision today, and whether they have the finances available to make the purchase.

Another mistake many salespeople make is to assume the person they're talking to has the decision making power for the purchase. Sometimes, the person you're meeting with will give you the impression they have the authority until the last minute. Quite often, the reason for this is so they can feel important.

If your selling a product or service such as Real Estate, windows, siding, cars, or anything else to consumers, always assume the husband and wife will be in on the decision making process. Even if one of them ultimately makes the decision, they will both be in on the decision to some degree.

So, if you sell any of these types of products or services, I would recommend setting a meeting time when all decision makers will be available, and you will have their undivided attention. If you do meet with only one of them, make sure you find out if the spouse will be involved in making the final decision.

Also, don't make the mistake of assuming that if you sitting with a couple, someone else won't be involved in the decision. I had a few situations in Real Estate, where the couple needed the approval of mom and dad, or someone else, before they were able to buy.

If you're in a business setting, there is a bigger chance someone else will be involved in the purchase. Now is the time to find that out.

There is nothing worse than going through your entire presentation, getting the buyer all excited and revved up, and they say, "That sounds great; however, I can't make a decision until I talk to my partner. Can you come back next week and do this again?"

So, you must understand that you need to ask a qualifying question to discover whether the person you're talking with is the only decision maker involved. Here are some examples:

"Will you be the only person driving the car?

"Who other than yourself will be involved in making the final decision?"

"Is there anyone else you usually consult with when making decisions of this type?"

Now you need to be prepared for the answer. Many times you will learn there are other decision makers. This can happen at any time during the sales process, so be prepared. When this happens, gently suggest that it might make sense to come up with a way to get them involved with the proposal so they won't be caught off guard.

At this point, if you can, set up a follow up appointment to meet with all the decision makers. If a face to face meeting is not possible, say one or both are in different cities, suggest setting up a conference call so you can get them all involved and up to
Speed at the same time.

By suggesting such a meeting, you will also uncover any objections the prospect may have, or you may learn right then whether or not they're really interested. This will save you valuable time.

Always discuss with the original decision maker how you feel the call should be handled, and get their input as to the best way to proceed. Let them set up the day and time for the call. If you initiate the contact, it may seem too push and set up some red
Flags for the other decision makers.

After the call, allow all the decision makers to discuss your proposal without you there, and set up a day and time for you to get back to your initial contact. When you place the call, ask them if any one has any further questions, and then close with one of my
Favorite closes:

"Where do you think we should go from here"?

A few words of warning, even if the person you have been meeting with is not the decision maker, do not let your enthusiasm with this person wane. They can be an influencer and go to bat for your cause.

You have gotten this far in the qualifying process, and you've determined you have a prospect with a need and a desire to make a change. They are anxious to find a solution for the problems you have helped them uncover. Now it's time to determine if they have the finances or the budget to make the purchase.

Before proceeding any further and presenting your solution, you need to be absolutely certain the money will be there when you've closed the sales. The time to deal with money issues is now, not after you've made your presentation.

Begin qualifying a prospects' financial status by inquiring about a budget. Many prospects won't give you a budget, so try offering them solutions using price brackets. "Recently I sold two homes similar to the one you have described to me. The selling price of the homes ranged between $100,000 and $125,000.; can you see yourself making an investment in that range?"

If you're dealing in monthly payments, you can adjust these figures and the language accordingly. Knowing if the money is there to make the purchase is a critical aspect of the qualifying process. If it is, you're in position to continue on with the sales process.

If it's not, you need to back up and requalify their needs, and what they're looking to buy based on the money they have budgeted

I understand if qualifying this way may seem foreign to you. Very few sales people sell this way, and very few sales managers and company trainers know how to train people to sell this way.

The small minority of sales people who do sell this way are the same ones who earn 100, 250 or 500 thousand dollars a year, and more. That's right; there are people who earn that kind of money in sales.

In the next issue of "The Sales Advisor" I will cover the next step in the sales process, "Get Commitments".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Efficiency Curve

By: Brian Tracy

The more you discipline yourself to working non-stop on a single task, the more you move down the "Efficiency Curve." You get more and more high quality work done in less and less time.

Each time you stop working however, you break this cycle and move back up the curve to where every part of the task is more difficult and time consuming.

Self-Discipline Is the Key
Elbert Hubbard defined self-discipline as, "The ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

In the final analysis, success in any area requires tons of discipline. Self-discipline, self-mastery and self-control are the basic building blocks of character and high performance.

The True Test of Willpower
Starting a high-priority task and persisting with that task until it is 100% complete is the true test of your character, your willpower and your resolve.

Persistence is actually self-discipline in action. The good news is that the more you discipline yourself to persist on a major task, the more you like and respect yourself, and the higher is your self-esteem.

And the more you like and respect yourself, the easier it is for you to discipline yourself to persist even more.

Focus Clearly on Your Number One Task
By focusing clearly on your most valuable task and concentrating single-mindedly until it is 100% complete, you actually shape and mold your own character. You become a superior person.

You become a stronger, more competent, confident and happier person. You feel more powerful and productive.

Build Your Self-Confidence
You eventually feel capable of setting and achieving any goal. You become the master of your own destiny. You place yourself on an ascending spiral of personal effectiveness on which your future is absolutely guaranteed.

And the key to all of this is for you to determine the most valuable and important thing you could possibly do at every single moment and then, "Eat That Frog!"

Action Exercises
Once you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until it is 100% complete. See it as a "test" to determine whether you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something and then carry it out. Once you begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

True Success Is Generous by Chris Widener

“Write checks on a regular basis to those who you want to bless, not those who you owe. Be generous. If you are thinking of one amount, raise it a bit. They’ll be glad now. You’ll be glad now and later.” —Chris Widener in The ABCs of Success

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who allow their abundance to pile up and bring them a sense of (false) security, and those who use their abundance to increase not only the joy in their lives but also in the lives of others by being generous.

I believe that the truly successful, those who will change the lives of others and leave a legacy, are the ones who are generous with their abundance. So how do we become generous people? Here are some thoughts.

First, get over your idea that money will bring you security. It won’t. It might make you feel more secure, and it might enable you to purchase things right now, but all money can disappear quite easily. Markets go south, businesses go bankrupt, and fortunes are lost. History is filled with poor people who were once rich and lost it all. This idea that we can and have to keep it all is one of the greatest myths around. So when we give money away, it doesn’t affect us emotionally, bringing out a fear of lost security.

Second, focus on the joy you bring to others when you are generous. I love to be the one to buy something for someone who would enjoy it, to help someone who needs it, or to encourage someone who would be helped by my generosity. There are always people and organizations who will benefit from our generosity and who will be overjoyed by it. And in turn, they will help others.

Third, make giving a planned and methodical task. I write out checks at the beginning of every month to people and organizations that I believe are helping others. I don’t owe them this money; I choose to give it to them. It is something I believe in. Every month without fail I write those checks. It keeps me on track and keeps them encouraged, motivated and moving in the right direction.

As for methodical, remember that, over time, even small gifts add up. Maybe you can’t afford to give or help with $300 today, but you could with $25 a month for a year. There is no way that my wife and I could afford to give a million dollars away at this stage of our lives, but our goal is to do that before we die. And I believe we will hit that because we are pursuing it methodically every month. And when we get to the end of our lives, we will be able to look back at our generosity and see that we made a difference. But you can’t achieve those kinds of goals if you don’t start somewhere and stick to a plan.

Fourth, make your generosity spontaneous. This takes a lot of self-awareness, because I am not suggesting that you get yourself in financial trouble by being foolish, but here it is: Be the generous one of the group. Pick up the check for your friends and others. I have found that if you are wise with your money, you won’t get yourself into trouble by being the generous one. Picking up lunch won’t break the bank. Offer to do nice things for your friends, relatives and co-workers. And then watch your relationships blossom!

Fifth, understand the principle that you reap what you sow. I truly believe that those who are generous, who help others, will always receive back what they need. I live by the principle of John Wesley: “Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can.” This principle brings our finances into perfect tension. Yes we earn, and all that we can, but we also go at our saving and giving with the same kind of gusto! And what happens, but that we are given more to turn around and be generous with again.

Lastly, and this is key for successful people, never allow there to be strings on your generosity. Do not expect anything in return. That is not generosity but manipulation. Pure generosity is its own reward.

How to start today?

If you aren’t currently on a plan of giving, choose a charitable organization you believe in and write them a check—today. And then write that same check on the first of every month.

If you are currently being generous with your resources, seriously consider an increase! Even a percentage point or two will help you and them. It will stretch you and encourage them!

Be a Success! Be Generous!

—Chris Widener

Your A.C.E. Up Your Sleeve - Jim Meisenheimer

The selling trifecta always wins - it's your
competitive A.C.E. up your sleeve.

There is a selling trifecta you know.

But first, just in case there's one reader who's
unfamiliar with the word trifecta.

In horse racing a bettor wins by selecting the
first three finishers of a race in the correct
order of finish.

There's also a show-business trifecta: a platinum
record, hit TV series, and an Oscar.

The selling trifecta isn't a bet, it's a winning

You can't win it - you have to do it. When you
do it, you'll start selling more today and everyday.

The selling trifecta is the winning combination of
attitude + confidence + enthusiasm.

Take these three keys on every sales call and the
doors of opportunity will automatically open for

Let's examine (A.C.E.) them one at time.

Attitude - in sales your attitude has everything
to do with everything.

To begin with, let's define the word attitude.
Simply stated, attitude is a state of mind. It's
what you feel and what you exude.

While you're busy sizing up your new sales prospects,
they are just as busy sizing up you and your attitude.

Your attitude is a reflection of your style and your
substance - and make no mistake you need both.

Your attitude affects your expectations. For example
you expect your next sales call to be a doozy. You
expect to get clobbered on your pricing.

And guess what - you're not disappointed - because
you do indeed get clobbered on your pricing.

But what if you began the sales call with a different

What if you expected the next sales to be the best
ever. You just oozed with this expectation. Do you
think I might see this on your face?

Do you think I might feel it in the room? Would I
see it in your eyes?

Your attitude might be invisible but it will surely
get you visible results.

Finally - always have an attitude of gratitude. Every
time someone helps you, please go out of your way to
show your appreciation.

Now let's talk about confidence.

Confidence comes from knowledge and power.

Taken from the dictionary, confidence is a firm belief
in one’s abilities. It's being self-confident. It's
being self-reliant.

Becoming more self-confident is like being a sculptor.
You're always chipping away at things that are blockers
to your confidence.

You probably don't know what you don't know - who does?
So you gotta keep learning and acquiring new skills. Your
age age doesn't make you inquisitive - your attitude does.

Examine which abilities you have that make you very

Then examine your weakest abilities. You can exercise
these and transform them into personal strengths.

Here are two sales tips you can use to project a high
level of self-confidence.

Put your chin in the up and locked position. That alone
projects that you're a very self confident person.

Always be smiling. When your chin is up and you're smiling
now you're projecting that you're a likeable and
self-confident person.

Never show your weaknesses in front of sales prospects and
customers. When a customer asks, "How's your business,"
simply say, "Better than I deserve."

During tough times, people are attracted to people who are
successful. Act as if it's your best year ever - and it
just might work out that way for you.

Confidence can be a fragile thing so avoid all negative
naysayers and all the pessimists in the world. Hang out
with successful and confident people because it's

You'll soon discover the quickest pathway to becoming more
confident is through preparation and practice.

Finally, the third element of the selling trifecta is

Why because it's show-time!

Think of every sales call as an opportunity to leap onto
a big stage, it’s show-time.

What a wonderful way to get excited about your sales
prospects and customers on each and every sales call.

Show up brimming with enthusiasm for your products and
services. Have a genuine smile that telegraphs to everyone
that you are there to solve their problems.

Remember - don't sell, SOLVE!

You should believe passionately that the world would be
a better place if all qualified prospects and customers
bought your products?

You must believe this if you expect your sales prospects
and customers to believe it.

Someone once asked me what enthusiasm looks like.

Well it's a bundle of energy. It's surrounded by passion.
It's very animated. It's happy. It's smiling constantly.
It's having an extremely positive attitude. It's loaded
with genuine excitement with what you're doing.

The selling trifecta is the winning combination of
attitude + confidence + enthusiasm.

Don't leave home without them, because it's your
competitive A.C.E. up your sleeve.

Plan Your Action... Then Put Action to Your Plan! by Paul J. Meyer and Kevin Rhea

Note: Paul J. Meyer, considered one of the most influential people in the history of the personal-achievement industry, passed away just over a week ago at the age of 81. Paul is the best-selling author of personal-development materials in the world, having sold more than $3 billion worth of materials translated into 24 languages in more than 60 countries. Paul’s body of work influenced the lives and teachings of many in the personal-development industry. The industry has lost a legend. The world has lost a truly wonderful human being.

Every day, every week, and every month will take you closer to your goals IF you are planning your action and then putting action to your plan. These three steps will help you reach your goals:

* Reserve one hour at the end of each month to plan for the coming month. (This can be a quick review if you plan in 90-day cycles.)
* Survey your goals for the year/quarter and your progress on them.
* Break goals and projects down into steps you can accomplish each week.
* Designate specific due dates for completing these interim steps.
* If what you plan will take several months, divide it into steps so that you can accomplish a little each month.
* Make a copy of your monthly plan for your sponsor—have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.

* Set aside half an hour every Friday afternoon or Monday morning to plan for the upcoming week.
* Look over the goals you’ve set for the week, and consider any additional tasks that you need to accomplish.
* Divide tasks planned into steps, and choose a day to work on each step.
* Make note of previously scheduled meetings and appointments.
* Be sure that your weekly routine includes activities that are directly related to your goals.
* Have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.

* At the beginning of each day, review your progress on yesterday’s work, and note any pending items.
* Spend a few minutes deciding what tasks to work on today.
* Order the day’s tasks by priority level with “must do” items first.
* If possible, schedule items that will require more concentration for the time of day that you work best.
* Leave roughly 20 percent of your time unscheduled to make room for new items, delays, etc.
* If appropriate, start with your top-priority item and work on it as long as you can or until it’s completed. Once you’ve tackled your No. 1 job, move on to the next highest priority on your list.
* Have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.

When you put daily action to your plan, your goals will quickly come to pass!

—Paul J. Meyer and Kevin Rhea

How to Avoid Communication Barriers by Nido Qubein

Successful salespeople learn to recognize and overcome barriers to communication. There are two types of such barriers: those arising from the environment and those stemming from the hearer’s resistance. Read on to learn how to communicate like a pro.

Successful salespeople learn to recognize and overcome barriers to communication. There are two types of such barriers: those arising from the environment and those stemming from the hearer’s resistance.

Environmental Barriers
Those arising from the environment include: Distraction, Disturbances, Diversions, Discomfort.

If you’ve ever tried to talk with a friend at a crowded and noisy business party, you can readily understand how the environment can present major barriers. If you’ve ever tried to carry on a conversation in a room where a rock band was going full blast, you can appreciate the noise barrier.

A good general tries not to commit his troops on terrain that presents inherent disadvantages. Good communicators follow similar strategies. They try not to set up conversations in settings that will compete for attention.

When you are communicating with an individual, that individual deserves your full attention. Choose a time and a place that will minimize interruptions. If you’re meeting in your office during business hours, have your secretary hold telephone calls, or use your telephone answering device for the duration of the conversation. Many executives set aside certain times of day during which they will receive telephone calls and unscheduled visitors. The rest of the time, they reserve for creative thinking, strategic planning, decision-making and other duties of leadership.

When disturbances do occur, try not to talk over them. If the disturbance is obviously temporary, suspend the conversation until the interruption is past. If it’s obviously going to be prolonged, try to reschedule the conversation for a more favorable time.

I often teach salespeople where to sit on sales calls or when they’re conducting business over a meal. My advice: Put the other person’s back to any distractions, so your listener’s attention won’t be constantly diverted by what’s happening in the background.

Finally, pay attention to comfort. I’ve given more than 5,000 speeches and seminars, and I’ve battled all kinds of odds. I can tell you that audience discomfort is one barrier you can’t overcome: your only winnable strategy is to avoid it. So stay away from settings that are too hot, too cold or otherwise uncomfortable. Nobody can concentrate while in a state of discomfort. And if the person you need to communicate with is ill, injured or going through some emotional trauma, it’s best to reschedule the conversation. Otherwise, you’re going up against impossible barriers to communication.

Monitoring the environment is the task of any person who wishes to communicate, whether as a company leader, a salesperson, a manager or a letter writer. You just can’t ignore such barriers. To do so is to give up and let the competing voices have your audience. If people are distracted or interrupted, or they feel uncomfortable, they’re not likely to tune you in completely, understand your message thoroughly, or respond to you positively.

Audience Resistance
Barriers resulting from audience resistance fall into two categories: external factors that cause people to tune you out, and internal factors that prevent them from giving you their complete attention.

People often form first impressions on the basis of external factors. If the first impression is negative, you won’t get the person’s attention. Look for characteristics of dress, speech and actions that may be turning people off. If your dress is too casual, frivolous or distracting, you may be losing listeners. If your voice is strident, shrill or guttural, people may find you unpleasant to listen to. In certain areas, regional accents may turn people off. If you speak with a pronounced regional accent and are doing business in a region where that accent is not commonly heard, you may have to look for ways to overcome this barrier. You may want to work on acquiring a more generic accent. Or you may want to spend some time cultivating the person’s confidence.

It goes without saying that good grooming and good personal hygiene are essential to good communication. Body odor, halitosis, or a disheveled appearance will cause people to turn away from you.

Internal Barriers
Internal barriers to communication may stem from a lack of interest in what you’re saying or a lack of understanding.

If you discern a lack of interest, then your task is to find some way to lead your listener to identify with your message. How does it concern your listener personally? What bearing does it have on the listener’s job, income, health, family or security? Once you establish that point of identity, you’ll have attention.

People have a way of erecting defense mechanisms and emotional barriers when they feel threatened by what you are saying or by the way you are saying it. Studies have repeatedly shown that people, like other creatures, feel protective of their territories. Invade those turfs, or act in a threatening manner, and you will be sure to turn off their attention. When your task is to deliver an unpleasant message or to persuade your listener to take some unpleasant action, look for ways to neutralize the negatives and to reassure the person who feels threatened.

Bonds of Misunderstanding
Sometimes, it’s just a question of not understanding what you’re talking about. During World War II, the United States raised money for defense by selling war bonds. In some remote parts of the country, where newspapers, radios and public schools had not yet penetrated, people were a little slow to learn about the heroic leadership of Winston Churchill, the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the determined response of Franklin Roosevelt.

So when a bond salesperson approached a farmer who was out in the barnyard slopping his hogs, the salesperson was frustrated at the lack of interest in his patriotic mission.

“Wouldn’t you like to help out by buying some war bonds?” he asked.
“Reckon not,” replied the farmer.
“Wouldn’t you like to join the defense effort with Mr. Roosevelt?
“Nope, reckon not.”
“Aren’t you upset over what they did to Pearl Harbor?
“Reckon not.”
“Don’t you want to be on the side of Churchill?”
“So you don’t want any bonds?

Frustrated, the salesperson moved on. The farmer’s wife came over and asked who the stranger had been.

“Some fellow had a story about a guy named Roosevelt who got a woman named Pearl Harbor in trouble over on the side of Church Hill and wanted me go to his bond.”

Sometimes, you have to explain very carefully.

Keep It Simple
The most important thing you can do to make sure that you’re understood is to keep your communication simple. People don’t like to be led through a maze of words and mental meanderings before they reach the main point of your message.

Once while evangelist Billy Graham was flying into Dallas to address the student body of a large seminary, a storm moved in. Visibility at the airport became so low that his plane couldn’t land. So it had to circle over the city for several hours—long beyond the time of his scheduled appearance. But no one on the ground knew that his plane couldn’t land.

“It occurred to me while I was up there circling around,” he later told a group, “that as preachers, we spend most of our time circling around in a fog, while people are wondering where in the world we are.”

It’s a condition that plagues people in any business. The high art of plain talk is simply saying something so that it can be understood.

—Nido Qubein