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  • Category Archives Motivation
  • 3 Essentials of a Mountain-Moving Compliment

    Guest Post By: Ron Alford

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Robyn Lee taught me an incredibly powerful lesson. Robyn is UCLA grad who I got to lead over the course of 6 years while she worked with Southwestern, and she taught me the power of a well-delivered compliment and how it can change the trajectory of a person’s life. Robyn didn’t share this lesson with me by telling me. She showed me. (She may not even realize she taught me this, but she will now!)

    It took her less than a minute to write this out:

    Robyn complimented me in a way that was moving and memorable. She remembered a compliment I gave her four long years earlier and it made a difference like no other statement had before. In the moment, I had no idea the impact that could have made.

    Years later, she made me a book that has meant as much to me in my professional life as anything I’ll ever receive. A book full of compliments from people I worked with over 20 years.

    These compliments have fueled me for the past four years and not only moved mountains in my life but the lives of those I have had the privilege of impacting.  These compliments have fueled me for the past four years and not only moved mountains in my life but the lives of those I have had the privilege of impacting.

    Compliments have the ability to lift someone up and tap into something inside them that they didn’t know was there.
    There are three keys to maximizing the power of a compliment, which will allow that compliment to better serve, impact, and move mountains:

    Specific. Saying “You are nice” or “You are great” is well meant, but vague and less moving. Saying “I love the way you smile when you greet people” or “I always appreciate how you are on time and respect those around you” is specific and usually taken with more gratitude.

    Sincere. We all know what it feels like when someone speaks to us with a genuineness that is memorable. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” which perfectly captures this idea. The tone of voice and warm facial expression often can mean even more than the actual words.

    Intentional. Timing is everything. Often, spontaneity can make a difference. I’ll work with leaders of teams and companies to think through times of the day or week when giving a compliment will be unexpected and therefore mean more. Grabbing someone after a meeting for a quick one-on-one moment, complimenting someone in a group setting, or even a hand-written note, text, or voicemail can all be just as meaningful. The key is you either look for times to lift others up or you don’t. The essence of serving is being intentional about it.

    There is a power of life and death in our words. We need to use them wisely. I often realize I fall short in this department as a husband, father, and a leader. I can look back and distinctly see the times I was the most joyful was when I was my best at intentionally lifting others up.

    Sometimes it is the person we would never guess who could benefit the most from a specific and sincere compliment. Crazy enough, but often it is the very thing we think someone knows they bring to the table that we need to compliment.
    Make sure you don’t ever miss an opportunity to be intentional and deliver a mountain-moving compliment. Everyone wins when you do.

     

    Ron Alford is a certified Top Producer Consultant Sales and Leadership Coach. He specializes in teaching ethical sales techniques and strategies that individuals and teams can use to immediately grow their sales. He is an expert when it comes to recruiting, sales training and coaching individuals and teams to reach higher than they ever imagined.


  • Suck It Up and Drive On

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    drive on
    We get told no every day—from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. It may come in different forms. It may come out of nowhere. We probably don’t even recognize how many times we get told no or tell ourselves no. We do it so regularly that it becomes normal.

    I’m in sales. I not only sell, but I help people sell. There is a lot of “Suck it up” that goes into that. Not only getting past it but also helping others get past it. Let me count the ways:

    There is never enough time.
    Your prospect says, “Not right now. Can you get back to me?”
    You don’t have anyone to call.
    You’ve been calling the same people over and over.
    You’re holding onto that false sense of hope that someone might do business with you.
    You compare yourself to others.
    You’re not hitting your goals.
    Your prospect says, “Call me back in six months.”
    You’re not present in the moment, always thinking about more.
    You’re not reaching your potential.
    You have dreams but aren’t accomplishing them.
    You’re calling people, and they aren’t interested.
    You’ don’t have enough money.
    You don’t want to practice.
    Your prospect says, “I need to think about it. “
    You go on useless appointments.
    You have call reluctance.
    You shut it off at the end of the day. I’ll start tomorrow.

    These are just a few things salespeople go through each and every day. What exactly does it mean to suck it up and drive on?

    As a salesperson, we got into this profession for a reason. Not because we had to, but when it’s all said and done, because we chose to. We chose to get beat up, shot down, put down, argued with, get told no, have a thick skin.

    We did it for so many reasons.

    Maybe we are driven by guilt? We are in student loan debt, credit card debt, house debt, car debt. We may get home at night and our kids or family want us to be home on time or not take those calls. We are driven by doing more because all that is depending on us.

    Some of us are driven by money. We just want to make as much darn money as humanly possible. That’s only going to get us so far. Eventually, we have to find a new reason.

    We may be driven to fill a void. This is our way to win. We want to win that sale, that appointment. We want to get that person to say yes and ride that high.

    Then there’s where most of us fall under—what most of us are driven by.

    We are driven by dreams. Things we want to have. Things we want to achieve. Places we want to go. Things we want to do. We want to provide for our family, kids, spouse, or those around us. Things we want to accomplish. We want to do all those things we never got to do.

    This is exactly why we need to embrace the suck. We are in the number-one profession in the world in that we can make an unlimited amount of money if we do what we are supposed to. If we see past our excuses, take action, work at it, hire a coach and be a student of the game. We need to realize we will never be perfect, and you know what, that’s okay.

    You may miss a goal. You may miss a deadline. You may miss that big sale. Suck it up and drive on. The best part about sales is we always get to start over. Whether it’s the next day, month, or year. We get to do it again; it resets. Go out and do the things you need to do to hit those goals.

    The only person standing in your way is you. Suck it up and love it! It’s worth every second. You will be better at what you do, inside and outside of work. Life happens. Embrace 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.


  • It Doesn’t Have To Be All Or Nothing… It Just Has To Be Something

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    all or nothing...

    What are you doing to make yourself better?

    As sales people, we tend to skate by. We wing it if you will. We do just enough dials. Do just enough meetings. Ask for referrals to have just enough people to call. Make just enough money. Play the game just good enough to get by.

    So many times we aren’t doing the things it takes to be successful. The thing is, we look at it as it has to be all or nothing. I have to read the whole book. I have to make 50, 75, 100 dials a day or I’m not doing anything. I have to sell X amount to be great. I have to have so many meetings or I’m not doing enough. We put our energy into our results, and not into our activity.

    We get frustrated. We shut down. We stop doing it because it’s not working. We get close, but we can’t see the light. We start making excuses. Telling ourselves we aren’t good enough. People aren’t buying. We might lose our self-confidence. We lose the person that got us to where we are. The person that was doing the work. The person that was doing something, not nothing.

    You’ve heard that consistency is the key. I’m here to tell you nothing will beat it. Consistently asking for referrals. Consistently doing your dials. Consistently setting meetings. Getting in front of people, reading, practicing your language, getting up early, planning your day. Consistently being consistent will conquer all of those things you struggle with daily.

    Consistently putting your energy into your activity and not into your results will get you to where you want to go.

    I was having a conversation with a coaching client the other day. This quote comes from him.  We will call him Kyle. “Doesn’t have to be all or nothing, just has to be something.” That’s the art of not giving up. When you don’t feel like it, you still do it. When you want to stop, you do one more. If it’s 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm or whatever time it is for you, do you stop for the day or do you do one more call?  Do you talk to one more person? If you have to get up early to do something, do you do it? Do you know why?

    Because something is better than nothing.

    I want to thank you, Kyle, for being a true example of this. I want to thank you for being coachable, committed and willing to change when the things you were doing just weren’t working the way they should.

    There are times when doing something is better than doing nothing.

     

    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.


  • 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.