Expandmenu Shrunk


  • Category Archives Career
  • 3 Steps to the Art of Growth

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    Screenshot 2017-01-31 09.33.16

    Let me fill you in on something that has been life changing. Most of you know my background with selling door-to-door with Southwestern, now hitting the phones with Southwestern Consulting. Well, at one point things got stagnate. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I felt like nothing was moving forward. Have you ever been there? Are you at that point where some things are just falling apart?

    I have the solution for you. IDP.

    Identify.

    Duplicate.

    Perfect.

    You are in control of how great you become, and how great you get at prospecting… or anything.  This is a process, a simple system, that allows you to keep getting better and growing every single day.

    First step: Identify

    Each one on you has done great things and accomplished a lot in your life. Personal or professional, you have had some success. Let’s remember that time. Take yourself back there, and where you were mentally. Think back to when you had your best day ever. What did you do that day? How did you sound? What did you wear? What were you saying to yourself that day? Take yourself back to that place and think through those things when you were at the top of your game and make a list. Remember how people treated you and what they said to you. Write down how you were feeling, and just what was going on. This will be your first step.

    Second step: Duplicate

    Pretty simple. Every Sunday I have IDP time to recap the week and think about every great thing I did the week prior, so on Monday, I can duplicate those actions. I can repeat what it was about the week before that made a positive impact, and carry it on to the next week. Maybe you just start smiling at everyone. That is something you can repeat while helping yourself and others. Consciously be aware of the things that make you feel accomplished so you can continue doing those things. You will naturally start duplicating these things, which will lead you to the last step.

    Final step: Perfect

    Perfect what you know works. Perfect those processes and systems. You become amazing at calling people and prospecting. You grow and get better while you’re out serving others and changing people’s live through what you do. This is the perfection process.

    It starts with identifying, then you duplicate, then you perfect the great you that you are. Where I am at today, and the things that I have accomplished and keep doing, come from IDP. I continue to take these steps and great things unfold. You can do it too!

    Prospecting mastery is a habit and can be achieved by anyone dedicated to working a system better than anyone else ever has. Go out, get your habits and identify, duplicate, and perfect the best you! Go get it today!

    What is something you have done that you are so proud of, and continue to do? What have you perfected because you identified and duplicated it? Let me know! Tweet me @davebrown_swc or message me on LinkedIn. Let’s connect and grow together!  

    Dave Brown is a senior partner and executive level coach at Southwestern Consulting and author of the upcoming book Painless Prospecting. Dave was a record-breaking salesman for Southwestern Advantage, knocking on over 50,000 doors before the age of 25. He has spoken and trained over 100,000 sales professionals across the globe with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Whether You Believe It or Not, It’s Probably True

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

     

    “Whether You Believe It or Not, It’s Probably True.” That’s actually one of my very favorite quotes because I actually do believe that.

    true

    What I have found in my own personal life is that when I believe I can do something, I typically find a way. If I don’t really believe that something can happen, I rationalize my way out of trying to make it work.

    Have you ever done the same thing?

    Here’s the biggest question for this week’s blog:

    What do you believe that is actually possible in your life?

    Now that’s a really big and somewhat vague question because it could be personal, professional, or about your fitness life. It could even be about your financial life, your career, or your relationships. But the question remains the same.

    What do you believe in your life that you actually think can come true?

    That’s what I want to pause and think about this week.

    It’s Sunday night and I’m actually driving to a study with some of my girlfriends. As I sit and think about that question to myself, one of the things I notice that happens quite often is I immediately go to the realistic.

    I immediately go to things that are already in motion. I already think, “What are things that already have a track to run on and what do I just need to finish?” I wonder about the things that seem possible.

    I rarely think about the things that seem impossible. What are the things that could happen with a little creativity and ingenuity? Who are the people in my life who could help me make impossible things possible?

    Regardless of where you are and what, you believe on this stance here’s one thing I know to be true:

    Mind really does overcome matter.  

    If you believe something, more than likely you can find a way to make that become a reality.

    I also believe the opposite. If you don’t believe something is possible, you’ll never give it enough attention, effort, or resources for it to even become a glimmer of hope in your imagination.

    As you read this blog this week, I hope it helps you challenge your thinking with one thing:

    What is potentially impossible that actually could be possible with a little creativity, a little willpower, and the right people coming together to help you?

     

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow-Up.

    To visit Amanda Johns Vaden’s website, click here.


  • Think Backwards: The Key to Getting What You Want

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    backward_clock

    On a coaching call, my client told me she wanted to sell ten million dollars in business. I said, “Great! How do you plan on doing that?” She replied, “I really believe in myself, I know that I can do it I just know that with confidence I can hit my goal.”

    So I asked again, “How are you going to hit your goal?” She said: “I have made a vision board, and I’ve been focusing on it. It will help me hit my goal. I’m going to work harder than I ever have!”

    Again, “How?” She knew what she wanted. Without knowing how you are going to hit your goals, you can easily set yourself up to fail.

    In order to really move your business forward, sometimes you need to do a little backwards thinking.

    In every business it takes a certain number of dials to make a certain number of contacts, to set a certain number of appointments, to have a certain number of presentations, to have a certain number of sales. Your business might be a little bit different in terminology, or the process might be slightly shorter or slightly longer. One thing we all know is that every business follows a sales cycle.

    First, we have to track our numbers.  We need this information so we are aware of how many dials it takes to get someone on the phone. That’s our dial to contact ratio.

    We have to know things like how many contacts it takes to set an appointment.

    We have to know how many of our appointments actually stick and turn into presentations.

    Out of those presentations, what’s our closing percentage?

    How many of those turn into sales, and what is our average package size?

    Once you know those numbers then you can do some backwards thinking. Start with the goal you want to hit.

    Let’s say you’re like my client and want to sell $10 million in business. In order to get there, you need to take your average package size/sale size and figure out how many sales you need to make. The next thing you do is take your closing percentage and figure out how many presentations you need to run in order to have that many customers. Then you back end it out and figure out how many appointments you need to set based on your appointments set-to kept ratio. Then figure out how many contacts you need to make, and ultimately how many dials you need to make.

    Once you know how many dials, contacts, appointments set, and appointments ran you need, that is where you put your focus, not on the results.

    So many of us focus on the results. If we focus on the results that pressure builds up and we lose focus on the activity that is going to lead to the result. Consequently, we don’t achieve the result.

    Instead, you should almost forget about the revenue, the goal, and the money, and focus on the activity. When the activity is there, the results will follow. The results are a natural by-product of the activity.

    If you want to hit your goal, you have to think backwards!

    Write down how you’ll work backwards, let me know what you come up with!

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • Why Do We Have a Hard Time Giving?

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    charityWho Gives?

    70% of people admit to giving less than 10% of their income. That’s what a recent poll of more than 3500 people conducted by our team at the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline reported. With America being one of the richest countries in the world, it leaves you wondering, “Why do we have such a hard time giving?”

    Our study didn’t attempt to understand that part of the human psyche and so I can’t speak for anyone else. I can certainly say for myself, though, that during the times in my life when I struggled with giving it has been out of a sense of lack.

    There were times that I didn’t feel I could give because I was scared that I wouldn’t then have enough for me and my family – it was a lack of Faith. There were other times that I didn’t give just because I didn’t feel a strong connection to the opportunity in front of me – it was a lack of empathy. Lots of times I didn’t give just because I had a hard time making time for figuring out what I should give to – it was a lack of priority.

    For me, my struggle with giving changed from an unexpected encounter…

    I once had the honor of watching the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones be awarded a lifetime achievement award for how much money he had donated. During his acceptance speech, he told a story of a young boy who was watching his mother pay bills. The little boy asked, “Mom, what are you doing?” She replied, “Well honey, I am paying bills- which means I am writing checks to pay money for the work that other people have done for me.”

    Suddenly the little boy had an idea! That day he worked extra hard around the house and slipped a note under his mom’s bedroom door at night. When she woke up the next morning she saw this piece of paper, which said “BILL” at the top. Underneath it said “Taking out the trash – $5. Doing the Dishes – $10. Cleaning up my room – $20. Total Amount Due – $35.” That day the mom paid the young boy $35 in cash.

    However, the next morning the little boy woke up and saw a piece of paper under his door. At the top it was marked “BILL.” Underneath it said, “Cooking for you every day that you’ve been alive – $5000. All the clothes you’ve ever worn – $10,000. Changing all of your diapers and cleaning up after your entire childhood – $20,000.”

    The only difference was at the very bottom it said “Total Amount Due – $0. Paid in full by the love that you give me each and every day.”

    After the story, Charlie said something I’ll never forget that changed my life and my outlook on giving forever. He addressed this room of 3000 people and said “You see friends, if there is one thing I’ve learned in this life it’s that I never really give anything…every once in a while I simply get a chance to pay back a little bit of all that I owe.”

    People who give abundantly, don’t give out of extraordinary excess. They don’t give out of an expectation of receiving something in return. And they don’t give out of obligation. The most generous givers simply give out of thankfulness for all that’s been given to them.

    This Christmas season, give joyously and out of thankfulness for all that has been given to you. Merry Christmas.

     

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.  Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • Four Keys to Success

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    Several years ago, my team and I wanted to re-create an event that was a huge success for other teams across the country. After our third attempt, with the same dismal results each time, I was ready to throw in the towel.

    The other teams that executed this event with such success must have had an advantage we didn’t. Was it their area, or maybe they just wielded some serious magic. Either way, there must be something beyond my control that made success with this event impossible for my team in my city.

    Four-Keys-To-SuccessDefeated, I confided in my National Sales Director that I was giving up and that these events just weren’t meant to be. He challenged me then, and his challenge has made a huge difference in how I see my ability to have success with every opportunity that has come my way.

    He said that, instead of giving up, I should evaluate what I have been doing through the ‘Four Keys to Success’ to see what piece was missing which in-turn was hindering my success.

    Four Keys to Success

    Before you attempt anything, you should begin with the end in mind.

    You need to define, ‘what does Success look like to me?’

    The example I will use today is the event my team and I were attempting to host.  Success to us meant that we had a certain number of clients and prospects attend our event and that from this event we generated a number of sales and bookings.

    THEN, you follow the 4 critical areas that lead to success:

    Desire

    • Do we have the real desire for the thing we have defined as ‘success’?
    • Did my team and I have the REAL DESIRE to have a great event and the results that would come from that event?

    Confidence

    • Do I think I can learn the skills it takes to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Do we think that we can learn the skills it would take to host a successful event? (of course, we would need to break down the skills needed before we can answer this decision)

    Skills

    • Do I think I can learn the skills it takes to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Do we think that we can learn the skills it would take to host a successful event? (of course, we would need to break down the skills needed before we can answer this decision)

    Activities

    • What are the right activities and the right number of activities to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Were my team members doing the right number of activities leading up to the event to ensure our successful outcome?

    This information was shared with me 7 years ago. It falls right in line with the Skill/Will Matrix that our company teaches Sales Leaders when they are helping their team members reach for success. When our team members:

    • Have a burning desire for a certain outcome
    • Have the internal confidence that they can learn the skills
    • Work on and perfect the skills needed
    • Do the needed activity enough times

    Then THEY WILL achieve their desired success.

    Whenever you aren’t achieving your desired success, look at these four critical areas and there will likely be something missing, something that is keeping you from success.

    What successful outcome are you currently working towards that has seemed out of reach? After analyzing the 4 critical areas, where is it that you can improve and then go after your dream again?

     

    Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate


  • Bouncing Back Quickly

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

     

    Confidence and great self-esteem is sexy and attractive, and fear, negativity and low esteem is not appealing at all. It certainly doesn’t get you ahead in life. When these types of unattractive behaviors take place, whether it is because of failing to hit a goal, a loss of some sort, a disappointment, a letdown, or even a small or large sickness of some sort, there is nothing more powerful than an attitude of BOUNCE BACK FAST! (BBF) Let’s think about the other option for a second of Bounce Back Slow. Of course, that is better than Bounce Back Never!!!

    So what are some things we can do to bounce back quicker than slower in both our business and personal lives? Have the proper self-talk. Are you reading daily affirmations 4-6 times a day as to pour into yourself thoughts that will require you to put the proper action into place? If we don’t replace the negative thoughts in our head with positive ones when there is a reason of some sort to bounce back the process will take longer. An example would be, “This is really hard to get over this huge setback.” Instead one could say, “I am a person that bounces back quickly from adversity and always come through stronger and better than before.”

    Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. I am always asking myself when I enter the room, am I a supportive loving, caring, enthusiastic being, inspiring and making things better for the people around me. If you surround yourself with as many people like yourself as you can, I guarantee you your BBF (Bounce Back Factor) will be better and quicker.

    Have a clear vision and mission in life. If the purpose and mission are strong enough and your “WHY” is powerful enough, you will do anything it takes to bounce back. If you have a goal of making a certain amount of money in a certain time period to be able to pay for a home, and knowing you couldn’t do it would let down the entire family, your BBF would be much quicker.

    What is your vision and why you exist every day? Have a healthy mind and body!! What we deposit into our mouths and our head pay great dividends. Are you eating healthy most of the time and setting aside time to get the proper exercise? Are you reading or listening to podcasts, books on tape, etc. to consistently be pouring fresh and exciting ideas into your life. Have some sort of faith and hope that you believe in and refer to on a regular basis. Believing that we are part of a bigger plan and that the future ahead of us will only be getting better is key to bouncing back quickly. Having the belief that in every setback there is a reason it happened and will make us stronger to deal with failures and setbacks in the future.

    The opposite of BBF to me is what I call the PLOM Disease. (Poor Little Old Me). I choose to not burden myself or others around me with my challenges. BBF is my only option. How about you?

     

    Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.

     


  • How to Take the Pressure Off

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

    Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

    It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

    I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

    Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

    1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:

    ♦  During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?

    ♦  If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?

    2. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.

    ♦ “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.

    ♦ Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.

    ♦ Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

    3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

    In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

    aa_maslow

    The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

    There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

    1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.

    2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.

    3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

    If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

    “I do not expect success all the time, but due to the belief in my gifts and God-given abilities in addition to my knowledge and acquired skills, I can be fearless in the moment. In reality, self-worth has nothing to do with the outcome. So when the pressure comes, I cannot hesitate. Knowing sometimes I will do well and sometimes I won’t, regardless, I know failure is temporary and success will happen with perseverance.”

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • Roller Coaster

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    We are sales people. Whether you want to admit it or not, we are all in this together. We all chose this profession for better or for worse. So many people succeed, and so many people fail. The hard part to figure out is, why are there so many that are right in the middle?

    Is that you? Do you wish you made more money? Do you wish you had more time? Do you wish you sold more? Are you that person that does just enough, or gets to a certain point and they get comfortable?

    I had a coaching call the other day and some of these things really resonated with me.

    We began talking about how they were down. How things just weren’t going the way they wanted them to go. How they had just lost two big sales to the competition and they thought they did everything right. They were down on themselves. They were living in that scarcity mentality. They wanted to and thought they had to close everything. This is because they weren’t doing the work they needed to get past it. You can’t get mad at the results if you aren’t putting in the work to get results.

    Do you know why this happens?

    Because we ride the roller coaster………

    rollercoaster

    I was driving to the gas station one day and I was thinking to myself, what happens when the bottom drops out? What happens when people stop buying? What happens if I stop making the money that I need/should be making? What will I do WHEN this happens, not IF. I remember sitting at the stop light, in my car asking myself these questions. So I picked up the phone and called my mentor, team leader, coach and just all around one of my best friends. And you know what she said?

    Are you doing the activity?

    Are you making the dials?

    Are you talking to people?

    Are you asking for referrals?

    Are you setting appointments?

    I answered yes to these questions. This has changed my train of thought since that day. No longer do I look at what might happen, but I go out and do what I have to to make it happen.

    You have to ask yourself, can you answer yes to these questions each and every day? If not, you will get on that roller coaster and not get off. If you are doing those things, you no longer have to ride it. It will just keep going up, as long as you continue to get better at what you do. As long as you continue to put the work in, adding to your vocation, pushing yourself out of that comfort zone. Stop taking the easy way and go out and live the life you want to live.

    Get off the Roller Coaster. Do the things you need to do to be successful.

     

    Brent Widman is has over 10 years experience in all aspects of sales. He is a professional sales coach at Southwestern Consulting. Brent has expertise in lead generation, prospecting, selling to top execs and the art of follow up. He has worked with numerous individuals to improve their sales processes, day to day interaction and ultimately them as a person. He is a former division director, sales director and district manager for distinguished sales teams in the recruiting, fitness and communications world.


  • Three Things that I Wish I Knew Before I Started Selling

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    Something that most people don’t know is that our company, Southwestern Consulting, is actually the training and consulting arm of a much larger corporation known as The Southwestern Company. In fact, The Southwestern Company is the oldest direct selling company in the entire United States.

    We’ve been around for just shy of 160 years but I’ve been in the sales profession for only 10 years and what I have realized is that I wish I had another 150 years of experience to prepare me for the daily ups and downs of being a professional salesperson. In light of that I thought I would share 3 simple, but impactful tips I wish I knew before I started in sales almost 10 years ago:

    1. It’s harder than it sounds – I really wish I knew how hard I was going to have to work. I knew that being in sales wouldn’t be easy but I wish I knew how hard it was going to be as a salesperson. I wish somebody would have sat down and told me.

    “You’re going to have to have a lot of perseverance. You’re going to have to be very persistent. You’re going to have to work when you don’t want to. You’re going to have to work longer hours than you thought. Sometimes you’re going to have to  work on weekends. Sometimes you’re going to have to miss parties, and events, and weddings, because you’re going to have to work.”

    I wish I would’ve been prepared so that when it came time to work that hard, I didn’t get upset. That I didn’t resent the fact that this was my job.

    I’ve finally learned how to really love the daily grind of working hard and today I really take pride in the fact I’m part of a job that I’m so passionate about it doesn’t feel like work.

    But many times as a salesperson, we start to feel unbalanced because we didn’t have the proper expectations of how hard we’re going to have to work.

     

    2. You have to want to be better each and every day – Being a great salesperson means it’s a never ending pursuit of learning. And again, like working hard, I really learned to love that about what I do at Southwestern Consulting. I am very blessed to be a part of an entire company who is passionate about learning and self-development.

    However, when I first started in this job one of the first things I was most excited about was, “I can’t wait ’til I know what I’m doing so I don’t have to study so hard anymore.”

    Guess what, I’m still not there. Almost 10 years later, I’m still not there.

    I wish I would’ve known that the books that I read were going to teach me more than any classes I ever attended in college. I wish somebody would’ve said, “Buy these books. Listen to these audio trainings. Go to these seminars. Find mentors. Get a coach. Find an accountability partner.  Study hard. Really be a student of the game. Listen to people. Ask for advice. Be a never ending learner.”

    work-in-progress (1)

    3. I will never arrive at being at the top of my game – For 10 yrs I have looked forward to the day when I have “finally arrived” only to realize that day does not exist and ultimately should not exist in my mind. The moment I actually think I have arrived will be the day I need a reality check.

    Every day I have to push aside what I think is right and to listen to others. I have to be coachable. Learning to be flexible is never easy, but being stubborn doesn’t help anyone. Be open to trying new things, even when you think you know everything…. Because, guess what, you don’t … but, neither does anyone else.

    Whether it’s your first day in sales or your first year or you’re a long time veteran and you’ve been selling for 50 plus years, it doesn’t matter. Those three things never change. You have to work hard, study hard, and be coachable if you’re going to succeed at anything.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow Up


  • Resiliency

    Resilience sign with a desert backgroundGuest Post By: Gary Michels

    Oxford Dictionaries defines resiliency as, “the ability to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed” Often resilience is defined as the capacity to withstand stress and catastrophe and Bounce Back Quickly (BBF), which I talk about often. Of course depending on what has happened in your life will determine how quickly you bounce back, however sitting in the gutter and having the PLOM Disease (Poor Little Old Me) rarely serves anybody well.

    Last evening I saw a short video about Chris Singleton who unfortunately lost his mother back in June of 2015 in the terrible shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. I was so inspired by this video I had to write about Chris’s and the community’s resilience. Less than 48 hours after his mother was shot dead Chris came out publicly and said, “We have already forgiven the shooter for what he has done and there is nothing but love from our side of the family.” The community so rallied in love and wanting to fix the problem this reaction instead of going into riot mode and making things worse. There was a massive feeling of resiliency of bouncing back quickly and even wanting to be better than things were before the incident.

    So what are some tips and ideas on how to be more resilient:

    1. Build and nurture close relationships with friends and family so when things do happen, and they will, the people around you are supportive and strong.

    2.  Write, and read often, positive affirmations to be constantly pouring into your mind positive thoughts and feelings. For example, “I am a person that bounces back from adversity quickly and appropriately” or “I feel happy, wonderful and terrific and will let nothing bring me down further than I want or deserve to be.”

    3. When you truly are down for one reason or another don’t be afraid to seek professional help. There is no stigma placed on you for having a counselor or coach or good friend advise you for ways to be better.

    4. Stay healthy in both body and mind. Exercise in some fashion at least a few days a week and eat appropriately to give yourself the proper fuel to live on. Also take some time regularly to read some positive type of material and average of 15 minutes a day as often as possible. Remember the famous statement of “Input = Output” What you out into your mind will give you the results you want.

    5. Try to get your mind off of yourself and be a servant to others. When you have mastered being a giver it makes you so much stronger when times are tough and it is time to bounce back. You have no time to sit in your misery and pout. There are others out there that need the “Positive You” back!!

    To bounce back quickly from adversity and be resilient is a powerful characteristic to master. Take the bull by the horns and make an effort now to really grow in this area of your life and watch things flourish all around you.

     

    Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting.  He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.