Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
When a client tells me they're not bringing in the sales they want, one of the first questions I ask is "Are you asking for the business?" Their response is either "No, I don't know what to say" or "What if I ask and they're not interested"? Well, if you don't ask, you'll never know where you stand with your prospect.
The close is a crucial moment of decision in the sales process when the prospect decides whether to enter into a business relationship with you or not. For many people this is such a painful time, that 50% of all sales calls end without asking for some sort of commitment to the next steps.
Let me share a story with you. Jim and Ron were friends for more than 25 years and golf buddies for nearly the same amount of time. They had grown up together, were as close as brothers celebrating each other's personal and professional business successes over the years. One day while they're teeing off, Jim turned to Ron and said "Ron, how come after all the years we've known each other, you've never given me any business?" Ron turned to Jim and simply said "You never asked". This response may sound surprising but it's true. The most common reason business owners don't get the business is they don't ask for it. It's as simple as that. If you want the business, you must ask for it.
Let's take a look at 7 key steps to asking for the business.
1. Prepare Yourself for the Close
There are a number of questions to answer before you ask for the business. Once you answer "yes" to these questions, you're ready to ask the closing questions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Does the customer want what I'm selling?
Does the customer believe in me and my company?
Can the customer afford my product?
Does the customer fully understand what my product is?
Have I prepared and practiced my closing techniques?
Am I prepared to remain silent after asking the closing question?
2. Trial Closes
Throughout the sales meeting, look for opportunities to get agreement from the prospect. Repeat back to the prospect what they told you is important to them and tie it back to the benefits. Here's an example: "Don't you agree, it's going to give you the financial security you said earlier is so important to you?"
Checking in with them throughout the meeting and getting agreement allows you to use the information as you prepare for the close. If your prospect agrees, you can bring them back to that at the end.
3. Assumptive Close
From the moment you walk in and sit down with the prospect, assume the prospect wants to buy your product. If they are willing to meet with you, they must have some interest in what you're selling. If you continually assume the sale over and over in your own mind, you'll project that confidence in your speaking when meeting with the project. Here's several assumptive statements you can make before the prospects buys:
"You'll be happy you decided to buy it."
You're going to love how it looks in your home."
4. Ask Pressure-Free Closing Questions
As the prospect gets closer to making a decision to do business with you or not, their level of anxiety increases. This is an uncertain time for the prospect in the decision-making process, and the sale can go either way. The way to keep the sales door open and lead the prospect to doing business with you, is asking pressure-free questions. The magic word to use when asking a pressure-free question is "if". The word "if", removes all risk and pressure from the question. The prospect will respond freely as there is no commitment to be made at this time. Here's a couple of examples:
If you were to go ahead with... when would you...?
If you were to decide to... how many would you...?
5. Ask Closing Questions
There is no need to break your momentum now. Here are a few questions you can ask potential clients in order to reach an agreement.
"Are you ready to get started?"
"Shall I draw up a contract?"
"Do we have a deal?"
"Let's take a few minutes now so I can walk you through the agreement."
"Let's set up our next meeting and I can go over the plan with you then."
"Shall I finalize the details?"
6. Be Quiet! Let Them Respond First
The biggest flaw leading to failing to close the sale is the inability to know when and how to ask for it and then be quiet. After you've made your recommendation and asked all your closing questions, remain silent. The prospect has listened to your presentation and needs a couple of moments to absorb the information and make the buying decision. Take a deep breath, be quiet and wait for the prospect to speak first.
7. Decide on the Next Steps
Whether or not you have closed the sale, be absolutely certain that both you and the prospect know what happens next. Before you end your meeting with the prospect, take out your calendar and set up the next meeting, or the next call. Never leave a meeting without knowing the next steps.
** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.
About the Author:
Rochelle Togo-Figa, The Sales Breakthrough Expert, is the creator of the Sales Breakthrough System™, a proven step-by-step sales process that will help you close more sales, sign on more clients and make more money with ease and velocity. To sign up for her free sales articles and teleclasses on closing more sales, visit http://www.SalesBreakthroughs.com .
Little Things Mean A Lot
One of the greatest success principles of all is called the Law of Accumulation. This law says that everything great and worthwhile in human life is an accumulation of hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny efforts and sacrifices that nobody ever sees or appreciates. It says that everything accumulates over time. That you have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile. It's like a snowball. A snowball starts very small, but it grows as it adds millions and millions of tiny snowflakes and continues to grow as it gathers momentum.
Learn What You Need To Learn
There are three areas where the law of accumulation is important. The first is in the area of knowledge. Your body of knowledge is a result of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small pieces of information.
Any person with a large knowledge base has spent thousands of hours building that knowledge base one piece at a time. And what you see when you meet the individual is an expert in his or her field, with that high level of knowledge that makes him very valuable in the marketplace.
Save Your Money
The second area where the Law of accumulation works is with regard to money. Every large fortune is an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small amounts of money, and the place to start is to take any amount of money that you can right now and begin to save it. When you begin to save money, it sets up a force field of energy and it triggers the law of attraction. As a result you begin to attract to you even more bits of money to add to your savings.
"Learn and Remember Faster and Easier Than Ever Before"In the 21st Century, the only skill that won't become obsolete is the ability to learn. Nowadays, your ability to learn new processes can drastically improve your earning potential. Learning is a lot like exercising: it's an activity that must be done often to attain maximum results.
Learn more here >>
Attract Riches Into Your Life
And I've spoken to many, many successful people and they've told me the same story. That as soon as you start to put savings aside, it starts to attract into your life and into your work all the money that you need to achieve your goals. The reason why most people retire poor is they never put the initial savings aside to start with.
Get The Experience You Need
The third area where the law of accumulation applies is in the area of experience. You'll find that successful people in any field are those who have far more experience in that field than the average. And there is nothing that replaces experience. Whether it's in business or entrepreneurship or management or parenting or selling or anything else. Many people do not take the risks that are necessary to move out of their comfort zone because they're afraid it won't work out.
But the fact is that until you move out of the comfort zone and get the experience from making the mistakes, it's not possible for you to grow and become capable of earning the kind of money that you desire. Now here's the key to the law of accumulation. It says that everything counts. Everything that you do counts. The biggest mistake that people make is they think that only what they want to count, counts. That when you read a book, when you listen to an audio program, when you go to a course, when you go to bed early and you get up early and you work, it all counts. And it's all going on the plus side of your ledger.
Use Your Time Well
But when you watch television, waste time, hang out, fool around and so on, all of that counts, as well, and it's going on the negative side. A person who has a great life, by the law of accumulation, is a person who's accumulated far more credits on the credit side than debits on the debit side. And here's an important point. If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals. Nothing is neutral. Everything that you're doing is either moving you toward the things that you want to accomplish in life, the person you want to be, the wealth you want to accumulate, or it's moving you away. Everything counts. The law of accumulation says that everything counts.
First, begin today to build your knowledge base in the subject that can be most helpful to you in achieving financial independence. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year to become thoroughly knowledgeable, it doesn't matter. Just get started today.
Second, get as much experience as you can in your chosen field. Start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later. Take risks and try every different way you can think of to achieve your goal. This experience is invaluable and it accumulates over time.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
by Jack Canfield
The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.
“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.
Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.
“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”
“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.
The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.
Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.
The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.
Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.
“How did you do that?” said the Wind.
“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”
# # #
Today’s featured article was an easy one for me. In this world of increased stress, financial pressures, pink slips, traffic jams and cancelled flights, it pays to know how to stay centered and calm—how to interact like the sun and not the wind.
Believe it or not, it's a critical success strategy.
Pamela Bruner is one of my students. She is a graduate of my seven-day Breakthrough to Success Summer Training (this year August 8-14), a participant in my year-long Train the Trainer Mentorship Program, and a member of my Platinum Inner Circle Master Mind Group.
Pamela is a master practitioner of the success principles I teach, and is currently working on a book with me applying the principles and techniques of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to removing the emotional blocks and limiting beliefs that confront people when they attempt to apply the 64 success principles that I teach in my book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
She sent me and an e-mail earlier this month that shows just how valuable it is to stay calm, expect the best, believe it’s possible to get what you want no matter what is happening around you, and to take action to produce the desired result.
Here is Pamela’s e-mail. I hope it will uplift and inspire you as much as it did me.
More importantly I hope it will serve as a valuable lesson for what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation—trying to get from where you are to where you want to be…when all the flights to where you want to be are being cancelled!
# # #
I was flying to West Palm Beach to film a TV spot for my husband Dave’s company, Heartland Harps. My plane was supposed to arrive at 8pm, and we needed to be in the studio at 7:30 am the next morning. The film crew would be there, waiting. My flight was delayed, and then delayed 3 more times. At 9:50pm, they announced that they were waiting for a call from the higher ups as to whether the flight would be cancelled.
Many people were angry, and were yelling at the two USAir representatives behind the counter. I went over and said to one of the reps, “The flight might still go, is that right?”
She replied, “I really think that they’ll cancel it at this point.”
I said, “I really need to be in Boca Raton tomorrow morning at 7:30am. I’m not upset, but I’ve got a film crew waiting for me. Is there any way you can help me?”
She went around the corner, and a few minutes later she beckoned me over. “There’s a flight leaving for Ft. Lauderdale at 10:15. It’s oversold, but I might be able to get you on it. I think they’ll lose a few people.”
I said, “It’s 9:55 now. Can I make it?”
She replied, “It’s been delayed also. Go now!” As I grabbed the new boarding pass she’d printed for me, I thanked her profusely, and as I ran away, she said, “It pays to be nice…and quiet!”
I ran to the other terminal, exchanged my new boarding pass for one with an actual seat assignment (hurray!) and waited. The plane didn’t leave until midnight, and I got in at 2am. All around me I heard people grumbling about the delays, the service, etc. All I was thinking was how grateful I was to have made it before my 7:30am deadline.
I did see a few people from my West Palm Beach flight come over to the Ft. Lauderdale flight, but no one else got on. I was the only one who made it that night!
Thank you Spirit!!
The Success Principles employed:
—#4: Believe It’s Possible and You Get What You Expect
—#55: Be a Class Act, and
—#17: Ask, Ask, Ask!
# # #
This is a great example of how applying the principles can literally get you from where you are to want to be…when everyone else is being left behind. Try a little kindness and be a class act.
As Pamela’s story illustrates, warm sunshine works a lot better than a harsh wind.
© 2010 Jack Canfield
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Perhaps the most powerful single factor in your financial success is your beliefs about yourself and money. We call this the Law of Belief. It says simply this: Whatever you believe, with feeling, becomes your reality.
What Successful People Believe
Whatever you intensely believe becomes your reality. That we have a tendency to block out any information coming in to us that is inconsistent with our reality. What we've discovered is that successful people absolutely believe that they have the ability to succeed. And they will not entertain, think about, or talk about the possibilities that they'll fail. They do not even consider the possibility of failure.
Positive Thinking Versus Positive Knowing
You always act in a matter consistent with your beliefs. The most important belief system you can build is a prosperity consciousness where you absolutely believe that you are going achieve your financial goals. We call this positive knowing versus positive thinking. Positive thinking can sometimes be wishing or hoping. But positive knowing is when you absolutely know that no matter what, you will be successful.
The Foundation of Willpower
Another principle related to your beliefs is willpower. We know that willpower is essential to any success. Willpower is based on confidence. It's based on conviction. It's based on faith. It's based on your belief in your ability to triumph over all obstacles. And you can develop willpower by persistence, by working on your goals, by reading the biographies of successful people, by listening to audio programs, by reading books about people who've achieved success. The more information you take into your mind consistent with success, the more likely it is that you will develop the willpower to push you through the obstacles and difficulties you will experience.
"Accomplish More in a Month Than Most People Accomplish in a Year"Your ability to discipline yourself "to do what you should, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not," is the key to becoming a great person and living a great life. When you develop the habits of self-discipline, you will accomplish more in a month than most people accomplish in a year. Click for more >>
Beat the Odds on Success
Remember that success is rare. Only one person in one hundred becomes wealthy in the course of a lifetime. Only five percent achieve financial independence. That means that the odds against you are 19-to-1. The only way that you're going to achieve your financial goals is if you get really serious. To succeed, you must get serious. You must get busy. You must get active. You must get going. Remember, everything counts.
Resolve to Achieve Greatly
Self-mastery, self-control, self-discipline are essential for anyone who wants to achieve greatly. And control over your thoughts is the hardest exercise in self-mastery that you will ever engage in. See if you can talk and think about only what you desire and not talk or think about anything that you don't want for 24 hours. Then you'll see what you're really made of. It's a hard thing to do but with practice, you can reach the point where you are thinking about your goals and desires most of the time. Then, your whole life will change for the better.
Here are two things you can do to build a belief system consistent with the financial success you desire:
First, continually repeat to yourself the words, pictures and thoughts consistent with your dreams and goals. Whatever you repeat often enough, over and over, becomes a new belief.
Second, set a goal for yourself to think and talk only about the things that you want for the next 24 hours. This will be one of the hardest things you ever do. But if you can keep your mind on what you want and off of what you don't want for 24 hours, you can begin to change your entire future.
Over the years, as I’ve sought out ideas, principles and strategies to life’s challenges, I’ve come across four simple words that can make living worthwhile.
First, life is worthwhile if you LEARN. What you don’t know will hurt you. You have to have learning to exist, let alone succeed. Life is worthwhile if you learn from your own experiences—negative or positive.
We learn to do it right by first sometimes doing it wrong. We call that a positive negative. We also learn from other people’s experiences, both positive and negative. I’ve always said that it is too bad failures don’t give seminars. Obviously, we don’t want to pay them, so they aren’t usually touring around giving seminars. But that information would be very valuable. We would learn how someone who had it all, messed it up. Learning from other people’s experiences and mistakes is valuable information because we can learn what not to do without the pain of having tried and failed ourselves.
We learn by what we see, so pay attention. We learn by what we hear, so be a good listener. Now, I do suggest that you should be a selective listener. Don’t just let anybody dump into your mental factory. We learn from what we read, so learn from every source. Learn from lectures. Learn from songs. Learn from sermons. Learn from conversations with people who care. Always keep learning.
Second, life is worthwhile if you TRY. You can’t just learn. Now you have to try something to see if you can do it. Try to make a difference. Try to make some progress. Try to learn a new skill. Try to learn a new sport. It doesn’t mean you can do everything, but there are a lot of things you can do if you just try. Try your best. Give it every effort. Why not go all out?
Third, life is worthwhile if you STAY. You have to stay from spring until harvest. If you have signed up for the day or for the game or for the project, see it through. Sometimes calamity comes; then it is worth wrapping it up and that’s the end. But just don’t end in the middle. Maybe on the next project you pass, but on this one, if you signed up, see it through.
And lastly, life is worthwhile if you CARE. If you care at all, you will get some results. If you care enough, you can get incredible results. Care enough to make a difference. Care enough to turn somebody around. Care enough to start a new enterprise. Care enough to change it all. Care enough to be the highest producer. Care enough to set some records. Care enough to win.
Four powerful little words: learn, try, stay and care. What difference can you make in your life today by putting these words to work?
Monday, March 29, 2010
You probably have the ability to produce and ear n easily twice as much as you are producing and ear ning today.
Put Key Ideas Into Action
I have taught time management strategies to more than 100,000 people over the last few years and the successes these people have had have often been amaz ing. Many of them have doubled their output in as little as one or two days. One businessman in Philadelphia tripled his income and doubled the amount of time he spent with his family within twelve months. Another businessman from Montreal increased his income by 700% over a period of two years by disciplining himself to practice these principles every hour of every day.
Small Effects Yield Large Results
The good news is that even a small effort on your part to implement the very best of time management principles into your life will yield a tremendous return in increased productivity, performance and output. It is like stepping on the accelerator of your own life and moving yourself onto the fast track in your career.
Efficiency Starts At School
We usually learn how to work efficiently and effectively in our teenage years by doing our schoolwork and our homework in an excellent way and handing it in on time. If a young person does not learn how to work during their school years, he or she will have a tough time working when they actually take a paying job.
"Get Your Life in Balance--Learn the Secrets of Happiness"There is a good chance that your work life is consuming you and preventing you from having a fulfilling personal life.
I will teach you the secrets you need to manage your time--and live a happy, balanced work and personal life. Click for more >>
Most People Are Poor Workers
According to the studies, fully 50% of adults could not work a full day if their life depended upon it. They cannot stay on task. They are continually diverted and distracted into idle socializing, personal phone calls, shooting the breeze, arriving late, leaving early and taking too much time for coffee breaks and lunches. Time wasting consumes their day. Then they wonder why they are not entrusted with increased responsibilities and offered greater pay.
Be Paid More And Pro moted Faster
The fact is that if you do an excellent job in a timely fashion, you cannot help but be paid more and pro moted faster. We live in the first great meritocracy in human history. In a meritocracy, you are paid and rewarded purely on the basis of the valuable contribution you make to the lives and work of others. There are no glass ceil ings and no barriers to advancement.
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, select the most valuable and important assignment you have to do right now, resolve to complete it, and start on it immediately.
Second, resolve to "work all the time you work" once you get started. Aim for 100% productivity. This could change your life.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Many people wonder what separates a top performing sales person from the rest of the pack. In most cases, it's because they apply a number of best practices in their daily routine. Here are 17 best practices of top performing sales people.
You know the situation: There you are at a business or social function and you end up with someone who you have never met before. Some people get amazingly uncomfortable with this situation because they simply don’t know how to start or carry on a conversation. Yet successful people are always going to find themselves in these kinds of situations because they are always stretching themselves and putting themselves into situations to help them and their businesses grow, and that means meeting new people. So if you are going to be successful, one thing you have to get down is how to talk to anybody, anytime. Good news: It is easier than you think!
First, a couple of things not to do. One, don’t get flustered and excuse yourself. That is the easy way out, and you never know if you didn’t just leave who would have become your best friend or closest business associate. Stick around! Second, don’t start talking about yourself. Sure, introduce yourself, but don’t launch into a half-hour monologue about your accomplishments. The other person will either roll their eyes back into their head or simply give you a new nickname: Joe “let me tell you a story about myself” Schmoe. This leads me to the key.
Talk about the person you have just met. Don’t talk about yourself—talk about them! And the key is to ask questions. Now, there are obviously some people you just will not be able to talk to because they are absolute bores or they are angry or upset or something, but I have found that that is only about 1 percent of the people, if even that. For the most part, if you persist in asking questions, you will be able to talk to anybody, anytime.
There are three segments to this process:
- Ask questions.
- Find connections.
- Go in those directions.
What you are trying to do is to find common ground. What makes people afraid to talk to others is that they are afraid they won’t have anything in common. I have found that usually, if you ask questions for a minute or two, you can always find a connection with someone, and then you’re set. The worst that could happen is that you ask the person questions for a few minutes and find nothing. But what will that person tell others? That you seem to have a genuine interest in others. That is a great reputation to have!
That is another key here. You can’t be a selfish, arrogant person and be successful. I am talking true well-rounded success, not just collecting a pot full of money.
The best way to describe this process is to write out a mock conversation. You will notice the kinds of questions I would ask, when I find a connection, and how I would go in that direction.
“Hi, I’m Chris Widener. What is your name?”
“Well, Joe, what do you do for a living?”
“I sell insurance.” (Possible connection here. Most people have insurance.)
“Oh, yeah? What kind of insurance?”
“I insure oil rigs in the Adriatic Sea.” (Whoops. Lost connection.)
“Wow. That must be fascinating. Married or kids, Joe?” (I have a wife and kids. Maybe we can show pictures.)
“No, actually, I’m single.” (It isn’t looking good yet.)
“So, who do you know here at the party?”
“Well, nobody. I am the brother of the host’s accountant. I’m in town for a week and my brother had to make an appearance.” (It is going in the wrong direction here.)
“So where are you from?”
“Nebraska.” (Bingo, there it is. The connection! Now let’s go in that direction.)
“Really? My dad was from Nebraska. Even though he died when I was 4, my grandmother used to take me back to visit my relatives every summer growing up. It sure was a lot of fun. Were you city folk, or did you live on a farm?”
“I grew up on a pig farm.”
“That’s what my relatives did! As a kid I always wanted to ride one of those sows. Luckily my uncles never let me attempt it.”
There you are. Now just start asking questions about what they did growing up, how they liked it, etc.
If you get adept enough at asking questions of others, you will inevitably find a connection to talk about. And having something in common with someone is the start to a long and mutually beneficial relationship—one of the foundations of success!
I am in a career where I meet new people all the time and this is exactly what I do. I am no better a conversationalist than most of you. It is just a proven way of getting a relationship off the ground with someone you have just met.
Here it is again: Ask questions, find connections, go in those directions.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Since there was so much interest in the “Enough Already!” article, I wanted to extend the discussion by sharing something incredibly profound with you…
I want to show you how to completely change the world… in an instant.
This might be a bit controversial for many, and even more won’t have the stomach to do what I am suggesting…
You can rid the world of all wars, crimes, scandals, gossip, corruption and international conflict.
You have that much power… in the palm of your hand.
Are you ready to change the world (if you dare)?
Hit the ‘OFF’ button.
Turn OFF your TV
Turn OFF your radio
Turn OFF your newspaper subscription
I’ve explained before (video: Media Madness) how watching media that aggregates the most brutal, shocking, heinous and scandalous events of the day can give you a perverted view of the world. Meanwhile millions of beautiful, miraculous,positive and wonderful things happen during the same day that don’t get any attention. It’s incredibly destructive to your spirit and creative potential.
Here is the controversial part…
Early on, I learned the difference between THE world and MY world. I only pay attention to MY world. After all it’s the only thing I can do anything about. Paying too much attention to the rest of it only makes me feel fearful, frustrated and cynical.
All I have in life is my attention. I have to make a choice of where I give it. That choice affects my experience of life and determines my potential for positive creativity. I can focus it on the worst of the world or the best. I can focus it on things I can’t do anything about or I can focus it on those things that I can and that have a direct on my life and my family.
So, until the war comes marching up my street, I’m not paying much attention to it. Until Al Qaeda knocks on my door and threatens my family, I’m not tracking their development. Until the earthquake is under my foundation or the tsunami rolls up my driveway, I’m not giving it my time. Murders, rapes, scandals, break-ins… I’m not interested.
I can hear you saying, “Ya, but…!” Let me address a few of them.
1. “Ya, but doesn’t that make you uninformed?”
Personally, I’d rather be informed about areas of life that matter more to my personal goals and ambitions. I can’t quantify how spending two hours on Chile’s earthquake disaster is going to help me grow my business, make me healthier or improve my relationships.
What about compassion for humanity you say? Yes, but there are plenty of other references even more immediate in my world that offers me plenty of that.
Oh, and yes, I’m a voting citizen. When it comes time to pay attention to the issues before the ballots are printed, I’ll do my homework. It will take me a couple of hours versus the months of constant scandal, mudslinging, corruption and distraction others will allow.
Let me show you an alternative option. A couple of years ago, a top executive hired me to mentor him on improving his productivity. He complained he didn’t have enough time for personal improvement study or for his family. When I dissected his day he spent 45 minutes in the morning reading the newspaper, another 35 minutes listening to news, both back and forth to work. During his workday, he’d check Yahoo! News several times, spending at least 20 minutes in total. When he got home, he’d catch the last 15 minutes of the local news while greeting his family. Then he’d catch up on 30 minutes of sports news and 30 minutes of the 10 o’clock news before going to bed. In total he was spending 3.5 hours with the news each day! I suggested he keep his TV and radio off, cancel his newspaper subscription, and set up an RSS feed so he could select and receive only the news he deemed important for his business and personal interests.
Doing so immediately cleared out 95 percent of the mind-cluttering and time-sucking noise and distraction. He could now review all that mattered to him in less than 20 minutes a day. This left the 45 minutes in the morning (his commute time), and that hour in the evening for productive activities: exercise, listening to instructional and inspirational material, reading, planning, preparing, and spending quality time with his family. He told me he never felt less stressed (constant negative news has a tendency to make you anxious), and more inspired and focused than he does now.
2. “Ya, but someone has to care about these issues.”
Yes, you are right, and I am glad others do. I call it picking our battles. Some pick the political battle, some the human rights battle, some the hunger battle, some the homeless battle, some the whales battle, etc. Pick what really matters to you, get involved with your whole heart and soul and stay focused on it. You take care of that issue for me and I’ll take care of this issue for you. That way we can actually get some things done. But instead, most people just corrupt their head with all of it and do nothing about any of it. How could you? It’s overwhelming and overly time consuming. Stick to what you care about, not what CNN does… every day.
3. “Ya, but my son is over fighting in Afghanistan.”
Bless him and bless you. As I mentioned above, pay attention to what is affecting your immediate family. If your immediate family is involved in some aspect of national news, then, of course, it’s worthy of your attention. It still doesn’t mean you need to bombard yourself with every aspect of the international war on terror. Instead pay attention to what is directly affecting your son and stay focused on him and his immediate world.
It all comes down to this—what you give your attention to becomes the reality of your world. Give your attention to scandals, murders, war, fear and brutality and that will program your creative computer and your world around you. Instead, focus your attention on what’s good, wonderful, abundant, wholesome and possible in the world. Focus your attention on ideas, information and knowledge that can help you grow, prosper, create and contribute to making a positive difference based on your unique talent, skills and effort. Turn OFF the rest… it will change your world and your life!
By the way, that is the type of information we work hard to collect for you in each issue of SUCCESS magazine (and in the enclosed CD in each issue), and what I labor to present to you here on this blog. I hope you benefit and enjoy!
After having studied top achievers and peak performers over the past 25 years, I’ve concluded that these unique men and women, have in most cases, mastered what I call the Seven C’s of Success.
1. Clarity—Eighty percent of success comes from being clear on who you are, what you believe in and what you want.
2. Competence—You can’t climb to the next rung on the ladder until you are excellent at what you do now.
3. Constraints—Eighty percent of all obstacles to success come from within. Find out what is constraining, in you or your company, and deal with it.
4. Concentration—The ability to focus on one thing single-mindedly and see it through until it’s done takes more character than anything else.
5. Creativity—Flood your life with ideas from many sources. Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle; if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.
6. Courage—Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right.
7. Continuous learning—Read, at the very least, one book a week on business to keep you miles ahead of the competition. And just as you eat and bathe, organize your time so you spend 30 minutes a day exploring e-mail, sending messages, going through Web sites, because like exercise, it’s the only way you can keep on top of technology. If you get away from it, you’ll lose your edge.
1. Accept the Unchangeable—Everything that has happened in your life to this minute is unchangeable. It’s history. The greatest waste of energy is in looking back at missed opportunities, lamenting past events, grudge collecting, getting even, harboring ill will, and any vengeful thinking. Success is the only acceptable form of revenge. By forgiving your trespassers, you become free to concentrate on going forward with your life and succeeding in spite of your detractors. You will live a rewarding and fulfilling life.
Your enemies, on the other hand, will forever wonder how you went on to become so successful without them and in the shadow of their doubts.
Action Idea: Write down on a sheet of paper things that happened in the past that bother you. Now crumple the paper into a ball and throw it at the computer screen. This symbolizes letting go of past misfortunes.
2. Change the Changeable—What you can change is your reaction to what others say and do. And you can control your own thoughts and actions by dwelling on desired results instead of the penalties of failure. The only real control you have in life is that of your immediate thought and action. Since most of what we do is a reflex, subconscious habit, it is wise not to act on emotional impulse. In personal relations, it is better to wait a moment until reason has the opportunity to compete with your emotions.
Action Idea: Write down in your diary one thing you will do tomorrow to help you relax more during and after a stressful day.
3. Avoid the Unacceptable—Go out of your way to get out of the way of potentially dangerous behaviors and environments. When people tailgate you on the freeway, change lanes. If they follow you at night, drive to a well-lighted public place.
When there are loud, obnoxious people next to you at a restaurant or club, change tables, or locations. Also, be cautious of personal relationships developed via the Internet. With the massive number of individuals surfing the Net, the number of predators increases in proportion. Always be on the alert for potentially dangerous situations involving your health, personal safety, financial speculation and emotional relationships.
Action Idea: What is one unacceptable behavior you have or allow others to do to you that you will avoid, starting tomorrow? Example: The way you drive, being around negative people, walking down dark streets alone late at night, etc.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The purpose of the selling process is to convince customers that they will be better off with the product or service than they would be with the money necessary to buy the product. When you make sales presentations, you are asking customers to engage in a trade.
You are telling customers that if they give you their money, you will give them a product or service in return that will be of greater value to them than the money they pay. In addition, it will be of greater value than anything else that they could buy with the same amount of money at the same time.
The customer always acts to satisfy the greatest number of unmet needs, in the very best way, at the lowest possible price. A major part of your job is to demonstrate that customers will get more of what they want, faster, by purchasing your product or service than they would get if they bought something else.
"Influence People and Get What You Want - Using Only Your Words"It's a simple fact--the most successful people in the world are also the best communicators. Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life. My CD will teach you how to persuade and influence others by speaking to them.
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Proof that the other people similar to the customer have purchased the product builds credibility, lowers resistance, and increases sales. Every bit of information that you can present showing that other people, similar to the customer, have already wrestled with this buying decision, have decided to purchase, and have been happy as a result, moves you closer to making the sale.
One of the most powerful of all persuasion techniques in our society is called "social proof." We are all influenced by what others have done or are doing. We are much more open to buying a product or service when we know that other people like us have already bought it and are happy with it.
Testimonials of any kind increase desirability and lower price resistance to a product or service. Testimonial letters or photographs of happy customers using and enjoying your product or service, or lists of satisfied customers, are powerful influence factors in persuading a person to buy. You should persistently solicit testimonials from your customers.
Acquire them from every source possible and every way you possibly can. Testimonials can make your sales work much easier. You will find that almost all top salespeople use testimonials that praise and support the product or services they are selling and that are relevant to the customer they are selling to.
Gather testimonials of every kind from every satisfied customer you possibly can. Build your sales presentation and your sales materials around these testimonials. Continually prove to your prospects that other people, just like them, are happily using what you sell.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Are you less successful than you would like to be? Do you have the money you want? Do you have the family you want? Do you have the job that you want?
If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, then you may want to take a look at your attitude, because so much depends on it!
“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it,” says Irving Berlin. It is true. Now don’t get me wrong, that 10 percent is M-A-J-O-R, but even bigger than that is what your attitude is. So, do everything that you can—action wise—to make your life an absolute success. But when you are done acting, you will only have what you have. It may be big and it may be little. But it is what you have to live with. Now the biggest key will be what your attitude is toward what your actions have brought to you. One person will work and be happy with it. Another will work, achieve the same thing, and have a terrible attitude about it. Who will achieve the most successful life? My bet is on the one with the best attitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.” It is all in what value you give to it! You see, you may look at one thing and say “That’s terrible,” while another person may say, “That’s great!” A simple example would be a half a ham sandwich. Now, if you are used to filet mignon, you are going to think, “A measly old ham sandwich? Is that it?” But a starving person would have a very different viewpoint! They would think, “I won the lunch lottery!”
Another reason to keep in mind that our attitude is so very important is because oftentimes the attitude we demonstrate is exactly what we will get back. The great Earl Nightingale said, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us.” Think about it. You walk into a store and say to the clerk, “Hey lady, do you think you could get off your duff and tell me where I can find the milk?” What kind of attitude do you think you will get back? Instead, we should go in and say, “Excuse me, but would you be so kind as to tell me where I could find the milk?” You will get a good attitude back from that! The same is true in every area of our lives. Do you find that others have a bad attitude toward you? Then maybe you have a bad attitude toward them. The old saying is true that you reap what you sow; if you are reaping bad attitudes, you are probably sowing bad attitudes. Take a closer look, and you may find the key to turning your life around.
“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. That little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” —W. Clement Stone
Let’s face it; there is little difference in people physically or intellectually. But what does make the difference is the attitude. You can take two people of similar background, education, skill and intelligence and find that one is the kind of person you are looking for because of a positive attitude, while the other is a complete dud—the eternal pessimist! Your attitude is the big difference.
What is your attitude? Is it positive or negative? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? I guarantee you, no matter what your attitude is, it is affecting you—and your success. Take this test: Purposefully upgrade your attitude for 90 days and see if life doesn’t begin to change for you! Pick a few areas where you can make a change. For example, begin to trust people and believe the best in them and see if your relationships begin to change!
If you’re stuck or if you just want to go to the next level of success, it’s time to “Get a New Attitude!”
Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of our potential—that produces the intensity of our activity and predicts the quality of the result we receive—is our attitude.
Attitude determines how much of the future we are allowed to see. It decides the size of our dreams and influences our determination when we are faced with new challenges. No other person on earth has dominion over our attitude. People can affect our attitude by teaching us poor thinking habits or unintentionally misinforming us or providing us with negative sources of influence, but no one can control our attitude unless we voluntarily surrender that control.
No one else “makes us angry.” We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose, not they. They merely put our attitude to a test. If we select a volatile attitude by becoming hostile, angry, jealous or suspicious, then we have failed the test. If we condemn ourselves by believing that we are unworthy, then again, we have failed the test.
If we care at all about ourselves, then we must accept full responsibility for our own feelings. We must learn to guard against those feelings that have the capacity to lead our attitude down the wrong path and to strengthen those feelings that can lead us confidently into a better future.
If we want to receive the rewards the future holds in trust for us, then we must exercise the most important choice given to us as members of the human race by maintaining total dominion over our attitude. Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. Beware of the vandals and thieves among us who would injure our positive attitude or seek to steal it away.
Having the right attitude is one of the basics that success requires. The combination of a sound personal philosophy and a positive attitude about ourselves and the world around us gives us an inner strength and a firm resolve that influences all the other areas of our existence.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
By communicating a message of hope and significance to his oppressed countrymen in Poland, Pope John Paul II played a lead role in toppling communism in Europe. He affirmed the dignity and humanity of Poles, rallying them to resist communism, while at the same time teaching them to show restraint when confronting the communist authorities. The vision, connection, and direction he conveyed to people in his homeland as they struggled against a repressive regime altered the course of world history.
When Pope John Paul II spoke, the world listened. A powerful, personal vision gave force to his words. It was a vision birthed in tragedy and refined through years of patient suffering.
As a young man Karol Wojtyla experienced firsthand the horrors of Nazi Germany. As the Nazis swept into Poland, they shut down the university he was attending, executed several of its professors, and carted off many of his Jewish friends. Enduring the cruelties of the German occupation and witnessing the violations of his country fueled Wojtyla's passionate vision of the rights each human ought to have.
In World War II, the Soviet Union "liberated" Poland. In reality, one system of tyranny simply replaced the other. As a young priest and then bishop, Wojtyla learned how to operate under the watchful eye of a restrictive communist government. He carried out his duties within the church boldly yet shrewdly, expanding its influence without provoking official backlash from the government. The experiences shaped his vision, schooling him in the strategies that would later aid him in undermining communism as Pope.
Pope John Paul II connected to people because he identified with their hopes, their troubles, and their fears. Journalist Neal Ascherton, who accompanied the Pope on his early visits to Poland, marveled at his ability to connect with the audience-even when crowds numbered in the hundreds of thousands. "Each person got the impression the Pope was really speaking to them, that he was exclusively available for them." John Paul II valued people, and since he understood them, he could offer a hopeful message that made them feel significant. His optimistic words stood in stark contrast to the bleak, unpromising future that communism seemed to have in store.
Soviet-style communism relied upon propaganda, or officially sanctioned lies, to sustain itself. The government manipulated the public debate by controlling the media, and consequently, people were exposed to a steady diet of misinformation. Through time, it became confusing for them to distinguish between reality and fiction.
John Paul II gave the people of Eastern Europe a moral compass to guide them as they navigated life in a communist system. His ideals served as a reference point, helping them to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and farce. Thanks to his position as head of the Catholic Church, the Pope could freely voice ideas that were distasteful to the existing communist authorities without having to fear reprisal.
Even though he inspired people to seek freedom, John Paul II was very subtle in his criticisms of communism. He was careful not to provoke the crushing retaliation of the Soviet military by fomenting a violent revolution. Through the papacy, John Paul II modeled the strategy by which communism would be undone: persistence of belief coupled with patient, restrained resistance.
To say that one man toppled communism in Europe would be an overstatement, but perhaps nobody contributed more to its demise than Pope John Paul II. His prowess as a communicator allowed him to attain enormous influence within the subjugated nations of the Eastern bloc. By voicing a compelling vision, connecting emotionally with people, and modeling the direction forward, he transformed the political institutions of Europe.
John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 18 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. Each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, the National Football League, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books that have sold more than a million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His blog can be read at www.JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com.
Almost three months down and nine months to go. What will you do differently during the second half of 2010 to improve your selling results? If you don't take time to think about what you'll change, you may end up like stale bread.
Now that’s okay if you're happy with your year-to-date selling results. If however you'd like to do a lot better during the next 9 months you'd better think about making some changes today.
One of the keys to raising your personal bar is effective sales planning. For most of us selling is fun and planning is not. Remember that selling success doesn't come from doing what everyone else is doing.
The most successful salespeople do the things that few salespeople take an interest in doing. There are two requirements for planning.
First set aside some quiet time for creative thinking. Actions follow thoughts - that's why creative thinking is so important.
Second, be sure to put your thoughts on paper. It really does make a difference.
At least once a year professional salespeople should dedicate a minimum of one day to strategically think about their businesses. Don't be too quick to say you're already doing it.
Here’s a good way to begin your strategic sales planning process. Start with these six critical questions. Direct these questions at your business, your territory, your accounts, your customers, and naturally your competitors.
These questions will raise more questions and you should consider this process a success if you end up with more questions than answers.
Here are the six questions:
1. Where are you are now? Where are you now relative to your sales results and selling skills? How's your performance? What's your relative rank within your region and within your company?
What kind of overall growth do you have in your territory and in your top-10 accounts? Where are your competitors making inroads in your accounts? How well are you managing your time in your territory? What are your biggest challenges and best opportunities for growth?
Hey – you could spend an entire day just thinking about these questions.
2. Where are you headed if you don't change anything? What's the implication for you if you don't acquire new skills? What happens to your overall performance next year if you don't make up the loss for those accounts who decided to go to the competition?
How will your customers react to a strategy that is really based on a "more of the same" concept, especially when your competitors are becoming more creative in their approach?
With more work and less time available, how are you planning to manage the rest of the year when your business is expected to grow across the board?
If you couldn’t handle the challenges and opportunities last year, how will you respond to the one’s you face this year?
3. Where should you be headed? Do you have specific personal and professional goals? Are these goals specific and clearly defined? Are they in writing? Do you have completion dates established?
For each of your top-10 accounts do you have specific written objectives for sales, margins, growth rates, product mix, etc?
Have you made a commitment to self-development? What kind of sales books are you reading? Do you read the Wall Street Journal? If not, why not?
4. How will you achieve your objectives? You really can't "do" a goal or an objective. What you can and must do is create an action plan detailing how specifically you plan to achieve the goals you outlined when considering question three.
For example, if your goal is to increase your sales by 4.7% in your largest account, how specifically will you do it? How many “How’s” will it take to achieve your goal? Keep building your list of "How's" until it provides you with an 80% probability of success.
Remember your goals define (what you want to achieve) and your strategies define (how specifically you’ll do it.) Without proper linkage between goals and strategies, your goals begin to look like dreams – and could even turn into nightmares for you.
5. What are the specific details involved? The details referred to are the who, what, where, why, when, which, and how as they relate to initiating and implementing your strategies.
Ben Franklin once said, "Small leaks can sink big ships." In sales, minor adjustments can often create big impacts for you.
6. What should you measure? Are you measuring what matters most in your business? One of my favorite old sayings is "What gets measured gets done."
To keep you focused on your written objectives, how are you planning to measure your progress? What key elements of success should you review monthly?
Personal growth and development are often the result of careful measurement and evaluation.
The difference between first place and second place is often a very narrow margin. How many horses have won the Kentucky Derby by a nose?
These questions can make a significant contribution to your selling results, but only if you invest the time to ask them. The favorite day of the week for procrastinators is someday.
Action-oriented and results-oriented salespeople, the real doers in life, recognize, if you focus your energy on today, tomorrow takes care of itself.
Your future is yours to live one-day at a time. The shape of your future depends on how you live your days, one-day at a time.
Are you planning your future today or waiting for tomorrow to do it?
It's a clear choice and it's all yours.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
To conquer your fear of rejection, you need to handle the word “no” in a constructive way. When people turn you down after a presentation, you have to interpret the “no” as “no, this is not right for me now.” We also can interpret “no” as meaning, “I need to know more about this opportunity or the products before I can say yes.”
I look at the service I offer to others as a gift that almost everyone desires. It’s like a nutritious dessert. What if waiters or waitresses in a restaurant said to customers at their tables: “Would you like our special strawberry parfait for dessert? It’s the best in the world!” And they were told “no” by their patrons, three out of five times.
Would they go to their manager, throw up their hands and quit, lamenting, “They don’t like me or my strawberry parfait”? Of course they wouldn’t. They’d go on about their business, thinking the patrons had missed out on something delicious.
That’s why I treat products as a gift, much more nutritious and beneficial than a fruit dessert. But what is being rejected is the presentation, not the presenter. When I can separate my self-esteem from offering the products or business opportunity, I can live with rejection and look for ways to get a positive response more often.
When you experience rejection, that’s the time to network with mentors and role models. It’s also the time to listen to upbeat music and read articles like this, to attend meetings and conference calls, and to hang around with optimists and winners.
There are basically four things we do in selling our products and services, and only four. We use the products and services ourselves, we talk to people about the products and services, we talk to people about the financial benefits we offer, and we coach them to refer us to others who do the same thing. First, we are coachable and willing to learn something new every day. Then, we become coaches. All you really need to move up to the next level is have faith in yourself.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose your feelings is to risk revealing your true self. To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk rejection. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing at all. People who will risk nothing do nothing, have nothing, and become nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live. Chained by their certitudes, they are trapped.
They have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is truly free. And one last idea you can live and believe: the more you give, the more you’ll receive.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The most important application of the law of cause and effect in your life is this: thoughts are causes, and conditions are effects. What this means is that your thought is creative. You create your world by the way you think. Nothing in your world has any meaning except for the meaning you give by how you think about it and talk about it. If you don't care about something, it has no effect on your emotions and actions.
How to be Happy
Many thousands of people have been interviewed over the years to find out what they think about most of the time. Can you guess what the most successful and happy people think about all day long? The answer is simple. Happy healthy people think about what they want, and how to get it, most of the time. When you think and talk about what you want, and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life.
How to be Unhappy
What do unhappy people think and talk about most of the time? Unfortunately, they think and talk about things they don't want. They think and talk about their problems and pains, and the people they don't like. Sometimes, their whole lives revolve around their complaints and criticisms. And the more they think and talk about what they don't want, the unhappier they become.
The Most Important Quality
Based on many psychological tests, the happiest people seem to have a special quality that enables them to live a better life than average. Can you guess what it is? It is the quality of optimism! The best news about optimism is that it is a learnable quality. You can learn to be a more positive, confident, and optimistic person by thinking the way optimists do—most of the time.
"Relax and allow affirmations to go through your subconscious mind!"According to whole brain research, you can learn subjects quite rapidly as a result of deep relaxation and music used in a systemized, organized process. Because of this, it is also possible for you to learn new belief systems using the same techniques. Click for more >>
Look for the Good
Optimists seem to have different ways of dealing with the world that set them apart from the average. First, as we mentioned, they keep their minds on what they want, and keep looking for ways to get it. They are clear about their goals and they are confident that they will accomplish them, sooner or later. Second, optimists look for the good in every problem or difficulty. When things go wrong, as they often do, they say, "That's good!" and then set about finding something positive about the situation.
Seek the Valuable Lesson
The third quality of optimists is that they seek the valuable lesson in every setback or reversal. Rather than getting upset and blaming someone else for what has happened, they take control over their emotions by saying, "What can I learn from this experience?" Fully 95% of everything you do is determined by your habits, good or bad. When you repeatedly look for the good and seek the valuable lesson in every obstacle or disappointment, you very soon develop the habit of thinking like an optimist. As a result, you feel happier, healthier, and more in control of your world.
The Body-Mind Connection
More and more doctors are coming to the conclusion that 80% or more of all diseases and ailments are psychosomatic in origin. This means that "psycho," the mind, makes "soma," the body, sick. You do not get sick from what you are eating, but from what is eating you.
Resolve from now on to see your glass of life half full rather than half empty. Give thanks for your many blessings in life rather than worrying or complaining about the things you do not have. Assume the best of intentions on the part of everyone around you.