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  • Category Archives Motivation
  • The “Perfect” Game

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

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    This game is more of a challenge, I challenge you to view the world as “perfect.” Perfect exactly the way it is and the way it is not. Regardless of your circumstances, you need to view the world as perfect. Begin this challenge by figuring out right now how everything that has ever happened to you has been the perfect thing. You also need to decide that where you have been and what you have done in your life thus far, has led you to where you are today.

    Why is today perfect? You are alive! You have a body that functions! You have opportunities to contribute to the good of mankind and help others achieve happiness. Go ahead, choose anything in your life and declare it perfect. Do it right now! What is perfect in your life? Why is it perfect?

    Every time something happens to you, especially if it is something that was not exactly how you planned it, declare it to be “Perfect!” Then, thank the Universe for bringing that experience to you and allowing you to learn from it. Without failures in your life, you will never know the taste of success. Ask yourself what can be learned from this? How can I grow? Is the action or event you are experiencing teaching you how to be more patient, more of a risk taker, be more giving… or is it giving you feedback letting you know where you are now and what areas of your personality do you want to continue to work on?

    If your leader or manager tells you the commission rate is going down, say “Perfect, I was wondering how I was going to break through barriers and make more sales. Should a prospect you have been counting on to purchase your product or service, suddenly decide not to, you need to say to yourself, “Perfect”. Then, you say to yourself something along the lines of : “I was getting too attached to that deal anyway. I found myself feeling off-kilter because I was so desperate for that one particular sale. The Universe will always provide for me as long as I mean well and work hard.”

    Start playing this “Perfect” game with those around you. Ask yourself what is right about this person? Why have they entered my life? What do I like about them? What are their positive attributes? How can I honor them? You must strive to always be in the “perfect” mindset. It is knowing you are experiencing each moment for a specific reason.

    Remember to ask yourself:

    1. What is perfect today?
    2. What is perfect about my career?
    3. What is perfect about my life?
    4. What is perfect about myself?

     

    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.


  • Impossible…Really?

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    How do you respond when people tell you that something you want to do is impossible?

    What if the WHOLE WORLD believed what you wanted to achieve was humanly impossible? Not just impossible, but, what if they said reaching your goal could put you in danger and maybe even lead to death?

    Untitled designWould you stop and find a new dream?

    What if you went to a big prospect or a big competition that you had prepared for years to be successful with and you blew it? Would you consider giving up and quitting?

    That is what Roger Bannister did. When he finished 4th in the 1952 Olympics, his dream of winning an Olympics Gold medal was gone. He considered himself a failure and spent 2 months considering if he should quit his sport forever.

    Then he and his coach set a new goal…for him to be the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes. “Impossible” – right? Experts say that your heart might explode at those speeds!

    Do you think he then went out and suddenly ran that fast? Of course not, he did what all top professionals do…he trained hard. He worked hard. He made his life uncomfortable. He did things that were inconvenient and painful.

    Because this man didn’t listen to skeptics….Because this man decided to put aside his feelings of self-doubt and failure…Roger Bannister will be known forever as having accomplished one of the greatest sports moments ever.

    LET ME ASK YOU….what is your dream? What has God gifted you to do that you are letting yourself believe you can’t do? What excuses or rationalizations are you allowing yourself to believe about what is holding you back?

    Decide today…will I listen to the naysayers (even if the naysayer is between my ears) or will I live my dream and possibly make my mark in history.

    It’s funny sometimes how the choice is all YOURS and the first step is just believing in that.

     

    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


  • Building Confidence in You

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

     

    The other day, someone asked me, “What makes a customer or prospect have confidence in the person selling to them?”

    Great question!!

    First of all, you must believe yourself, that you along with your product/service, are the absolute best choice for that particular person.  My self-talk goes something like this: “I am the best salesperson, working for the best company, with the best products and services, for this person, at this time.” Psyche yourself up with this kind of self-talk.  Once you do this, you’ll be well on your way to successful selling.

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    Besides self-talk, video record yourself giving your presentation.  Listen to it once with your back to the screen.  This way, you can hear exactly what you say as well as how you say it. The next time through, watch it with the sound turned down.  This will help illustrate how your body-language speaks to others.  Do you have any distracting habits like adjusting your glasses or twirling your hair?

    In addition to improving your self-talk and your confidence surrounding your ability to sell, there are a few other things you can do to establish confidence in you from the folks who are soon to be your customers.

    1)    Write an article or story about your company or yourself, what you are doing to help others, and what results/benefits those people received.

    2)    Get a prospect to help you in your presentation. Maybe they can pass out materials or ask for directions on how to get to the appointment.

    3)    Be as prepared as possible. Don’t be fumbling with papers, tripping over your verbiage, or moving with a tentative step.

    4)    Tell a story about you helped another client or maybe even film one of your happy clients with your phone sharing briefly about their success with you. Then show this video to your prospect.

    5)    Carry a printed list of people who have worked with you in the past and share where appropriate.

    6)    Have “Champion Letters” on hand. These are testimonials from some of your most loyal customers. Try to have one letter that addresses each one of the objections you may get during the sales process.

    7)    Get a referral and then ask the person who gave you the referral to personally introduce you or call ahead and put in a good word before you make the final contact.

    8)    Let your clients know you are not part of a “fly by night” company and that you make a point of having regular contact with your customers.

    9)    Lastly, make people feel that you truly care about them. There is no need for “commission breath”. You should come across as someone who really wants to help them achieve.

    If your prospects trust you, they will eventually buy from you. It is all about that confidence that they MUST have in you that will determine your success. Pick at least one of the items on the list above and put it into action today.  Continue using that idea and bit by bit it will become second nature to you.  The more you practice, the more you will be ready for your sales presentation.  Soon, without thinking about it, you will be instilling confidence into your prospects.

     

    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 Let Go of Feeling “Busy”

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

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    “I’m SO busy.”

    You hear it all the time.

    In fact, we hear it so much, we should all just assume that everyone is that way and we can all stop saying it.

    Because there is a maximum level of busy.

    There are only 168 hours in a week, and if every single hour is planned and occupied, then you’ve reached the maximum level of busy.

    However, there is no maximum capacity to your mental toughness.

    There is no maximum capacity to your peace of mind.

    There is no maximum capacity for your ability to handle stress.

    Which means that the mental capacity of what you can handle should far exceed the physical and finite time constraints of what you have available in your calendar.

    Multipliers seem to have figured out that carrying stress isn’t a necessary prerequisite of having success.

    Anxiety isn’t an automatic byproduct of achievement.

    And busy isn’t a mandatory requirement of building greatness.

    You don’t have to be stressed.

    You don’t have to feel anxiety.

    You don’t have to feel busy.

    Those are all choices that you allow yourself to make.

    Those are all emotions that you allow yourself to feel.

    But you are bigger than your problems.

    You are tougher than your challenges.

    And you are stronger than your challenges.

    So you can let those feelings die because they aren’t serving you.

    You can stop telling yourself that “you’re so busy” because it’s not new information to you that your calendar is full.

    And you can stop telling everyone how busy you are so that maybe we all can stop this invisible competition about who has the most going on.

    Instead, all of us can move on to getting things done powerfully, productively, and peacefully.

    All the while knowing that if we’re working as hard as we can, doing the best we know how to do with what we’ve been given, then no one – including ourselves – can ask us to do anything more.

    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. 


  • How Your Prospect is Really Saying “Be More Creative”

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    creative

    Giving up is sometimes the easiest thing to do. Most often it is never the best thing to do.

    You miss out on changing people’s lives.

    One thing you have to do though, NEVER GIVE UP. If you are down on your luck with your prospecting, I’d like you to learn to talk through the tone! What is the tone?

    That silence on the other end of the phone. You know that tone! You have to talk through it, fight for your prospects, and show how your belief can outweigh anything. Any doubt and hesitation will be diminished when you show just how important your product or service can be for them. Be persistent and truly care.

    When people tell me no over and over again, all they are really saying is, “Dave, how can you be more creative? I need something more creative from you.” That’s all they mean with that no.

    What can you do? Use another name. Share another example or a piece of the puzzle you can solve. Move to the next point. If they say they are going to hang up on you, well done! You are doing your job right and doing your best to get your product in their life.

    The more people you reach, the more lives you can change and make better. That is what we are here to do! You cannot give up. Find your power and find your stride. Talk through the tone.

    You will be amazed by what you can come up with when learning to talk through the tone.

    When prospecting, put yourself in situations where the chances of victory and accomplishment are made for building. You have to crank it, and keep growing!

     

    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.


  • Goal Setting

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    I was speaking at an event the other day and asked,  “How many of you set goals?”  Of the 25 people there I saw about 4 hands go up.  I then asked, “How many of you take time at the beginning of the day, week, month or year to set goals?” “How many of you tell people about those goals? Do you post your goals and do others know what they are?”

    I didn’t see one single hand go up.  I thought to myself, here we go!

    Slovenia High Resolution Goal Concept

    The reason I tell you this is because it can be the one single thing that helps drive your business.  When you know what your goals are each and every day, when we review these goals each day, you realize what you need to do to get there.

    Here’s where we start:

    1. Write down your goals. It can be 1, it can be 10. I don’t care; write them down.
    2. Post them somewhere. On your wall, your fridge, in your office, on your door, as a screen saver, on your phone. Post them everywhere.
    3. Tell people about them. The reason you don’t is because you don’t want to be held accountable. The reason you will is because you want to be held accountable!
    4. Take the time to do it. Take 10 minutes. You can take 10 minutes per day. The first day is to write them, after the take that 10 minutes to review them. It’s worth it.
    5. Know the activity you need to do to hit them. Set a time period you want them done by. You can control your activity every day.

    Goal setting is one of the easiest and toughest things you can do. It’s easy because we can write down whatever we want to. Goal setting is about conviction. If you are truly convicted in what you want to do, what you want to hit, you will go out and do whatever you can to make that happen.  The tough part, you now have that hanging over your head!  You have now told people. YES! Now we are talking. Now you have to do everything it takes to hit those things.  Go get it!

    There are three things that will factor into your goal setting, how you stick to it, and why you do it.

    1. You can control this every day. Have that Positive Mental Attitude!  Enjoy it, this is supposed to be fun. Not overwhelming.
    2. This is Physical, Mental, Social, Family, Career. All those things that go into life. Enjoy it all and be grounded. Do it for the right reasons.
    3. Get a coach, mentor, tell people. Have someone hold you accountable to your goals.  Without that, you are just floating.

    Now, take all of this and set them bigger. Those goals that when you tell people it makes you a little uncomfortable. It makes them think how the heck are you going to accomplish all of that. Don’t listen to naysayers. When you want it, you will do it.

     

    Brent Widman 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.


  • Don’t just work hard. Do the hard work.

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    hardwork-1-560x294Working hard is not the key to success; it’s merely the price of admission. 

    Hard work alone isn’t enough to bring you everything you want. 

    Because if you’re working hard at the wrong things then they won’t take you to where you want to go. 

    You have to work hard at the right things if you want to achieve your desired destination. 

    Which introduces a second element to the equation. 

    Because not only do you have to work hard, you also have to work hard at the right things. 

    So what are the right things?

     Actually, it’s usually pretty simple to identify them. 

    Typically the right things, the best things, the most significant things you can do to achieve your goal are often the things you know need to be done but you most don’t want to do. 

    They are the things that nobody likes to do. 

    If you’re trying to build muscle, it means doing pull ups or leg day. 

    If you’re trying to lose weight, it means cutting your alcohol, carbs, or sugar intake. 

    If you’re in sales, it is prospecting. 

    If you’re trying to get out of debt, it’s making and following a budget.  

    In other words, it’s not enough to just work hard.  

    You have to do the hard work. 

    You have to do the things you don’t want to do. 

    You have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do. 

    You have to do the things that you know are good for you, but they are hard. 

    You don’t do them because the goal is to make life as hard as possible. 

    Quite the contrary, you do them because they ultimately make life easier.

    But that path is predicated on the unpopular truth that the shortest most guaranteed path to a more productive life is to do the hardest parts of things as soon as possible!

    You don’t just work hard. You do the hard work. 

    And if you that… 

    If you work hard…

    And you also do the hard work…

    Then you will start to find that eventually, things get easier and easier. 

    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. 


  • The More I Train

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

    In almost everything in life, if you are going to “Turn It Up a Notch” and strive to be above average, you are going to have to train to improve yourself. Some people call it practice, others call it drilling it into your head, and even others may call it rehearsing. To me, it all boils down to the same thing- you are in TRAINING.  You are working to improve yourself and reach the pinnacle of success you are looking for. I once read that in order for one to be a true expert at something, one must spend at least 10,000 hours learning, practicing, and training on that subject. I am not sure if that number and/or fact is true or not, it certainly is a huge feat to accomplish.

    In the game of business and sales, I always suggest that everyone spends a minimum of 30 minutes a day educating themselves.  This breaks down to spending approximately 15 minutes on motivation and 15 minutes on technique. Mathematically, this works out to be a minimum of 10 hours a month and 120 hours a year of bettering yourself.  That is something we all need to be working towards.

    When I want to excel at something, I “PDR” (Practice, Drill, Rehearse) like crazy. If you are driven to be at the top of your game, or just want to improve upon where you are, you must embrace the training concept.  You need to be willing to put up with the pain it takes to train. You must be willing to “PDR” until you have your presentation or information down cold.   Otherwise, you will experience the pain of regret when you do not reach the goals you set for yourself. Training breeds confidence and preparedness- the exact opposite of fear and mediocrity. The words below speak for themselves.

    The more I train…The quicker I get

    The quicker I get…The slower they seem

    The slower they seem…The easier the game

    The easier the game…The greater my threat

    The greater my threat…The more attention I draw

    The more attention I draw…The tighter they play me

    The tighter they play me…THE MORE I TRAIN!

     

    Be excited and enthusiastic about training. Don’t look at it as if it is a burden. The benefits derived from the time and energy you invest in training far outweigh the hassles. Training will make you successful.  You must stick with it and continue to try and better yourself.  Your results will speak for themselves. What type of training can you undertake this week to make you more productive and successful?

     

    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.


  • Finding Purpose In Your Company

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    At the end of 2008 our company was in the third year of its business. It was a very difficult year. We were running our company at a huge deficit and we almost closed the doors. In January of 2009, as a company of 10 people, 8 of us got together for this meeting and asked ourselves these questions:

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     “Who are we?”

    “What do we want?”

    “What do we believe in?”

    “What do we stand for?”

    We got clear as a company on our values. We came to the realization that purpose precedes performance.

    If you or your team are not performing like you want them to be, if you have renegades, if you have low performance and bad attitudes, it’s most often the lack of vision. It’s the lack of clarity around your values and what you stand for as a company.

    As a leader, you have to help your people get really clear on what they must believe to be part of your organization. You have to be clear on the company values and non-negotiable beliefs.

    Ask yourself, “What do I stand for?” “What do we stand for as a company?” Find out what is nonnegotiable.

    Figure out the ways of behaving, the things that you believe in, that no matter what, you will all need to rally around. If you get clear and promote this in a very consistent way, and repeat it so it’s owned, you’ll get people marching in the same direction.

    People will start changing their behaviors because they have gotten clear on their beliefs! And if they don’t, they will eject themselves from the culture.  You’ll have a culture that is very much stronger with the performance and results that you want. 

    It is so important to find your purpose to perform your best. Has this been something you recently discovered, or even need help unfolding? I want to know! 

    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.


  • Unconditional Confidence

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Do you believe confidence is something you are born with or not? At Southwestern Consulting, we found that confidence can be developed and strengthened through awareness and training. There are 3 Types of Confidence. We all have experienced all 3 types in some form or fashion in various ways. Our goal is to progress through the 3 types of confidence quickly and end up with Unconditional Confidence in every area of our lives.

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    The 3 Types of Confidences: False Confidence, Conditional Confidence, and Unconditional Confidence.
    False Confidence is saying you can do something, but deep down inside you think there is no way you can actually do the task. It is fake self-talk. A good example is someone whose group of friends talks and acts as though they were superman or superwoman, but when put into an unfamiliar selling situation, they change from superman to super-scared. False confidence comes from F.E.A.R. which is False Evidence Appearing Real. Sometimes we all have false confidence and “fake it until we make it”. However, we all want to move out of false confidence as quickly as possible.
    Conditional Confidence is why a sales job can be frustrating and emotional. Why do you think that selling can be frustrating and emotional? It’s because we develop conditional confidence and attach our self-worth to results (aka whether or not we make a sale). Many people have made one, two, or three sales in a row and their confidence goes way up. Then they go a day, a week, or a month with no sales and their confidence bottoms out. Conditional Confidence hits peaks and valleys like a roller coaster. This confidence is conditional on the outcome or result.
    Unconditional Confidence is the most important type of confidence. It separates all top producers from average. Top Producers who strive for unconditional confidence have that something special—charisma, swagger, or mojo. How do you develop Unconditional Confidence? Unconditional confidence is based on your beliefs and habits. To develop unconditional confidence, you need to know that you do have innate skills and that your momentum comes from your work habits. Every day you can gain more confidence by focusing on the habits that are within your control.

    There are 3 key areas that anyone can control every day:

    Your attitude, self-talk, and energy level. No one can control your attitude besides you. Knowing and believing you are created for a purpose and having positive self-talk is the most important area of focus in anyone’s life. Your energy level is a choice. Your attitude is a choice.
    Your schedule and time management. You determine what time you go to sleep, when you wake up, what time you make your first prospecting call, what time you make your last prospecting call, if you’re going to work on the weekends, or not. You are in control of your time.
    Your activity. No one can force you to work. You have to decide to get as much done as possible with the time allowed. Break your day into goal periods and decide what you are going to do with your time every minute, every hour of every day. Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla, Space X, and Solar City) breaks his day down to 5-minute time blocks that are scheduled before he starts every day.
    The key to being unconditionally confident and having self-worth in business is to not attach your self-worth to how much you produce. Your gauge on whether or not you’re doing a good job is based on work habits – Activity, Attitude, and Schedule. That way at the end of the day, you look in the mirror and don’t ask yourself “did I sell anything today?” Instead, you will ask yourself, “Did I focus on controlling the controllable habits today and do my dead level best?” When you are growing and improving every day in your beliefs and habits, you are creating Unconditional Confidence.

    A good positive affirmation to use when forming unconditional confidence is saying to yourself every day when you look into the mirror:
    “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