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  • Can This Sales Manager Be Saved?

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

     

    Last year, I was coaching a business owner who was constantly complaining about her sales manager. When asked, the owner explained that they initially let the new sales manager do as he wished because they didn’t want to hinder his ability to lead. Upon further questioning, the owner said that the manager was never given any expectations or a list of what success looks like for their job. It was really no wonder that the sales manager wasn’t doing everything the owner expected. It was never explained to him what she expected.

    Not every problem is ever solved too easily and this was no exception. At this point, the manager had been working at doing whatever he pleased for more than 6 months, and as the owner tried to work with him on what was expected of him, instead of agreement, they were butting heads. The owner was complaining to me about everything the manager was doing wrong, the things the manager seemed to be intentionally not doing, and how the manager kept messing up despite being told how to do things over and over.

    It was almost Christmas when the owner decided that she needed to fire the manager, but didn’t want to do it over the holidays, so decided she would do it the beginning of January. Yikes! The manager’s job was on the line if things didn’t change fast.

    At this point, we started working on Navigate, the book by my business partners Dustin Hillis and Steve Reiner. This involved figuring out the sales manager’s personality type so that the owner could lead him how he would like to be lead. In the discussion, we discovered that the sales manager was a Counselor personality type while the business owner was a Fighter. These are two completely different personality types. While Fighters do have very good traits, under stress, the Fighter tends to make demands and only focus on what people are doing wrong. The exact opposite is the Counselor, who under stress tends to clam up and become almost passive aggressive.

    It was a hard pill to swallow but our business owner decided to sit down with the manager and see the world through a Counselor’s eyes. Counselors tend to be all about making sure that everyone is happy. They have an opinion but they aren’t going to share it when they feel under attack. Counselor personality types can be some of the best team players as long as they feel that they are truly an integral part of the team.

    It was an “aha” moment for our business owner as she realized that when she was selling, she always “navigated” people’s personality styles, but when it came to running her company, she never felt that she needed to “work that hard.” In reality, once you make leading the way others like to lead a habit, it becomes second nature to you.

    Good news! Almost immediately the relationship between the business owner and her sales manager did a complete 180-degree turn. They started having Personal Conferences (one-on-one meetings) every week, and they were able to communicate well because the owner started leading the Counselor the way he wanted to be lead.

    In the last 7 months, the owner has expanded her business into other cities, and she says she couldn’t have done this without her sales manager doing a fabulous job and running the company at home.

    The moral of this story is that all leaders should keep in mind that ultimately you are responsible for the actions or inactions of those you lead. The next time you want to complain about anyone on your team, first look in the mirror to see where you can change to be a better leader for your people. The speed of the leader is truly the speed of the team.

     

    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


  • 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.

    confidence

    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


  • Modify: Fighter (Pt. 2)

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Navigate: Selling the Way People Like to Buy consists of 3 sections:

    • Solidification on the behaviors of the 4 buying styles
    • Identification of the 4 buying styles
    • Modification of your natural selling style

    Modification is the most important part of how to sell the way people like to buy.  The goal is to modify and adapt one’s own natural selling style to someone else’s buying style.

    The Fighter

    How do you modify your natural selling style in your approach, presentation and close to a Fighter’s buying behavior style?

    Fighters are straight to the point, don’t-waste-my-time, “let’s go!” type of people.  When presenting a Fighter, there is a very simple technique that you can apply to help win them over.

     

    Presenting to a Fighter

    When you’re presenting to a Fighter, you need to remember this one thing:  They need to know what’s in it for them. They don’t care about all the details, nor do they want to hear about your amazing product or service. All they care about is the bottom line and how this effects them personally.

    You need to literally use the words “what’s in it for you is…”.

    –> Click here to continue reading


  • Modify: Fighter (Pt. 1)

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Navigate: Selling the Way People Like to Buy consists of 3 sections:

    • Solidification on the behaviors of the 4 buying styles
    • Identification of the 4 buying styles
    • Modification of your natural selling style

    Modification is the most important part of how to sell the way people like to buy.  The goal is to modify and adapt one’s own natural selling style to someone else’s buying style.

    The Fighter

    How do you modify your natural selling style in your approach, presentation and close to a Fighter’s buying behavior style?

    Fighters are straight to the point, don’t-waste-my-time, “let’s go!” type of people.  When approaching a Fighter, there is a very simple technique that you can apply to help set an appointment and encourage them to like and trust you faster.

    –> Click here to continue reading.


  • Navigate Handshakes

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    When it comes to identifying people’s natural buying behavior styles, one of the best ways to identify someone’s style is by taking note of how they walk, move and shake hands.

    Fighter

    Visual: Arnold Schwarzenegger has just entered the room, straight off of the movie Terminator.  He is coming straight at you!

    Fighters pump their arms and move their feet quickly.  It almost looks like a fast-speed, militant-style walk headed toward you.

    Once they get to you, they’ll often shake your hand in one of two ways.

    1. They’ll extend their hand in a tomahawk chop motion.

    -OR-

    1. They’ll extend their hand in a javelin-jab motion.

    –> Click here to continue reading…