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  • 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.


  • Teamwork

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

     

    blueangels
    When I think of the ultimate in teamwork, I think of the Blue Angels flight team.  These pilots must be not only perfect but also precise in their daily performances.   They do this not only entertain, but to stay alive.  They raise the bar in a multitude of ways.  Their passion for what they do along with the amount of preparation and dedication to being the best is remarkable.  Regarding teamwork, when it is at its best, amazing standards are being set daily.  What level do you think your team is currently operating?  I am referring to the team you work with, and perhaps your family unit as well? Where do you and your team and need to raise the bar?  What areas do you think need the most improvement?
    Below you will find a few common characteristics seen in teams that work well together and achieve significant successes, both together and as individuals.

    teamwork

    Teams that rock, or are wildly successful, tend to share certain common values.  I find these teams typically have very focused goals along with a passion for succeeding.  You can ask any member of that team what is the focus of their team.  Each member of the team will know the main goal and they will all answer in a similar fashion. These teammates are so committed to their shared goals and success that they will put the success of the team first and be willing to make personal sacrifices in order to help the team.  One person on the team may purposefully take a back seat for a short while and let another teammate succeed.  They realize that a short-term sacrifice of glory and ego, today will help the entire team in the long run.

    When you are a part of a top team, teamwork is not something you only do part time. You live your life by doing what is best for the team.   I like to teach the concept of either/and instead of either/or. Top leaders of top teams must have a team first attitude and mentality.  Also, they must make sure they are performing at their very best.  When you are at your very best, in most cases you are helping the team as well.

    Top teams tend to consist of several leaders, leaders that are confident and skilled enough to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. In all areas both personal and professional you will see top teams whose leaders lead by example and set the pace. They are proactive, rather than reactive and plan on winning no matter what.

    Yet another part of teamwork to be aware of is trust.  Teams that have a great chemistry also have amazing trust for one another.  This comes from amazing communication amongst the team.  Often teammates will carve out  time to communicate when challenges arise.  Typically the type of situations that may threaten the bond and success of their team.  Often, trust is broken when communication is poor.  People who want to grow their teamwork skills must make good communication a priority.

    Teams that succeed are the teams that prepare the most. They often work harder and more diligently than anyone would imagine. Whether its additional hours of work in order to prepare, or tenacious effort during the hours of preparation, strong teams do the work. Ask yourself this question: Does your team put, less, the same, or more work when preparing for success than the average team?  The answer probably lies in your results.  If your team isn’t where you want it to be, it is because you need to work on becoming more prepared.

    Lastly, great teams have great attitudes. Attitude stems from what and how teammates talk to themselves when no one else is around.  They have clear affirmations and the words they said whether to themselves or to their team.  Of course, things happen in life and having a good attitude and good self-talk can help everyone bounce back fast from the challenges one may experience.

    You don’t see winners walking around defeated and down.  It’s because they have mastered the self – talk and attitude skill set.

    What type of team do you want to build? When do you want to start? What are you and your teams biggest growth areas to Turn It Up A Notch in your teamwork abilities?

     

    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.


  • 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.

     


  • Showing Up, Even When it Rains

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

    When it rains and the weather is miserable, why do so many people mentally shut down and make excuses as to why they cannot produce? The same 24 hours still exist and most people still work unless it is physically impossible to do so. Why not let rain and bad weather have a meaning to you? Have it be success!!! When most people will have the attitude of scarcity and lack of good perfect conditions, why not use this time to gain the COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Use these times to get a head start on the rest of the world. Use this time to be completely focused on being focused! Look forward to these situations and have a game plan already set up for what you want to get done on days and times that are not the perfect situations.

    rain2

    We know that this year the El Nino is supposed to affect many of us. Say to yourself,  “This is going to be my best day, week, month ever!” Have affirmations like, “When it storms, it is like me to have my best days ever.” Whether for you, it is more dials, contacts, appointments set, sales made, referrals achieved, or more accomplished, have the stormy days be your best days. It all starts with what you say to yourself when you talk to yourself and how you plan and prepare for the situations to happen.

    I will not be one of those that takes the day off and goes to the movie instead. I couldn’t believe how packed the movies were today when meeting a client at Starbucks next door. When leaving the guy in the car next to me told me the theatre was packed. It was 1pm on a Wednesday. I asked him, doesn’t he have to work? He said it is just hard to get into to it on a rainy day like today.  He said he sells insurance and nobody is really doing much in the office today. I asked if he is rated on what he does compared to others and against a plan. He said yes to both. I then said, “Why are you not using this time to get ahead?” He looked at me with glazed eyes and finally said, “I have to run…I have some getting ahead to do!”

     

    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.


  • Are You Stressed Out?

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

    As a leader in your business, people do not want to see your stress at all.  They want to see you as a strong person they can follow and has a grip on your emotions and feelings. And in your personal life, carrying stress around with you certainly doesn’t enhance your life or the people around you.

    So here are some things you can do to alleviate stress as you are a human being, and will experience it. Although stress may be present, you will be able to control it.

    work-stress

    Get rid of endless to do lists and focus in on what’s really important.  “The essential question is not how busy are you?… But what are you busy at? So often people are getting ready to get ready and are not spending their time on IPA (Income Producing Activities). The only two IPAs are prospecting and presenting. When you spend time there more often than not you get results and that will most likely alleviate stress.

    Don’t prioritize your schedule; instead schedule your priorities. Schedule your family time, your health and fitness time, your friend time, and your work time (inside your work time needs to be prospecting/ business development time). All of these get calendared before other to do items. All of these are your rocks of life and the “rocks” of life need to be put into your “jar” of life before your pebbles, sand, and water.

    Being healthy is such a huge part of eliminating stress. Being healthy means different things to different people of course. Is what you are putting in your mouth nourishing your body and mind? Are you drinking enough water? Are you taking time to exercise on a regular basis? Taking the time often for a walk, run, lifting weights, yoga, water sports, etc. etc has proven effects on diminishing stress in our lives. I can write a whole piece on just this one topic.

    Reduce stress by needing and wanting less.  Are things we acquire in our life really adding value or just adding clutter to our surroundings and lives? As I recently moved I took over 25 trips to “Goodwill” and actually feel I could even go a few more times to get rid of things I no longer need. “When we attach value to too many things that are not love… like the car, money, the house, and things in the house, we are loving things that cant love us back” Loving and being loved brings joy and happiness which is the opposite of stress. What is enough for you? What parts of your life need to be simplified?

    Take time regularly to vision the future so you can peacefully come up with a plan to get there. Once you have the plan review it regularly. The more you review it the more it will naturally become part of you. We call the ability to know where you want to go and then creating a plan to get there (re – engineering from the final desired result to what you have to start doing today).  Having a plan to get there takes away a ton of stress and having Affirmations to back and give you the energy you will need to make it to your desired result is huge.

    Leave your past behind you because there is nothing you can do to change it. The past can educate you to make wiser decisions in the future, but spending any time stressing, worrying, etc. about it is unnecessary. Carrying the past forward will only provide us with incremental changes in our lives. People that chose to aim for massive breakthroughs in their life, do it by letting go of any ties to the past and starting with a fresh blank sheet of paper or an empty canvas before the painting. What in your past are you holding on to? How is it holding you back? What conversations either in your head or with someone need to happen to clear a path for an amazing future?

    Constantly tell yourself that you have a choice. You have a choice to be stressed and a choice to be happy and peaceful. When you stop having a choice you are a victim. Ask yourself often, what are my choices here that will bring back peace and harmony to myself and those I love and care about around me? Going through this exercise often reduces stress because it allows you to be in control of your own destiny. We choose   how we react, what we think about, and what we become, as well as choosing how we want other people to perceive us. Choose to confront challenges head on as well as choose who you spend time with as they will be your support system to lead you to the top of the mountain.

    Take complete accountability and responsibility for your actions and your situation. You will feel a huge load lifted off of your shoulders. Stop making excuses and find a way instead. “Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure” — Don Wilder

    These are just a few tips on how to handle stress. By managing our own stress level we can enhance the quality of our own life and share our joy with peers, family members, our loved ones, friends and other people we may come in contact every day.

    It’s time to get rid of this stress and I suggest you carry this writing with you for 21 days and review daily until it becomes part of 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.


  • 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.


  • Sales Tips: Characteristics of a Great Closer

    From: Gary Michels

    Gary MichelsAll great sales closers have a few things in common. They are:

    1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.
    1. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!”, “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”
    1. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them how it really is. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.
    1. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.
    1. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about.
    1. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.
    1. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.
    1. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!”
    1. Great closers never lose their cool. They let customers upset them occasionally, but they never show it. They always keep their voice low and a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation as a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not, if people like you, they will overlook some of the bad points of your product or service.
    1. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.
    1. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s day. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they, too, will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

    To learn more about Gary Michels visit his website here.


  • 5 WAYS TO GAIN CONTROL RIGHT NOW!

    Control the Moment

    My life has been a series of wonderful experiences.

    It is a pity I wasn’t there for most of them.

    ~Parta Nelson (actress 1920-2001)

    Wherever you are, be there!

    Right now is all you’ve got. If you miss a moment, it’s gone. The good news is that there is always another “right now” around the corner. The bad news is that it’s easy to miss that one, too. In fact, it’s easy to arrive at the end of your life having spent very little time in “right now”. That’s because it’s easy to obsess about the past or the future (two places that do not even exist if you think about it). Recognize this, you have never been in the past and you will never be in the future. You will only forever be “right now”.

    Try this:

    1. Think of an area at work or in your personal life where things are not working.
    2. Consider that you are probably stuck thinking about the past or future where that issue is concerned.
    3. Jot down what you CAN control right now.
    4. Get creative and passionate about what you CAN control right now.
    5. Do SOMETHING right now!!!!

    Always remember this: When today is over, there is one more yesterday and one less tomorrow . . . that you can never change.

    Have an incredible day!

    Gary Michels


  • 10 TIPS TO EARN TRUST FROM BUYERS

     Building Major Confidence In You

     It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.  ~Author Unknown

     Building Trust

    The other day I was thinking about what makes a customer or prospect have confidence in the person who is selling to them. So I thought I’d write about how to ensure the confidence of your customers and potential clients.

    First of all, you must believe yourself that you are absolutely their best choice. I always tell myself 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 and you’ll be well on your way to successful selling.

    In addition to your self-talk about your ability to sell, here is my top 10 list of things you can do to establish confidence in the folks to whom you sell:

    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 prospects to help you in your presentation. Maybe 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 how you helped another client or possibly even film one of your workshops that you feel real good about. Then you can take some of the video highlights and show or email short clips to a possible prospect.
    5. Carry a printed list of people who have worked with you in the past. You may be able to reference someone from it.
    6. Be a name dropper, but be careful not to come across as bragging, but rather, sharing to build a trust base in you and the company.
    7. Have “Champion Letters” on hand. These are testimonials from some of your most loyal customers. Try to have one letter that addresses each of the objections you may get during the sales process.
    8. 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 first contact.
    9. Let your clients know you are not a fly-by-night company and that you make a point of making regular contact with customers.
    10. Lastly, make people feel as though you really do care about them. No need for “commission breath”. Come across as really wanting to help them achieve what they want.

    If they trust you, they will probably eventually buy from you. It is all about that confidence that they MUST have in you that will determine your success.

    Take one of the items on the list and put it into action today, then continue using it bit by bit until it starts becoming second nature. Next, move to another item, and so on…

    Make it a great day,

    Gary Michels

    gmichels@southwesternconsulting.com


  • 10 DAILY POINTS LEADS TO SALES SUCCESS

    Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. ~Colin Powell

    Success Tips

    I always have a sheet on or near my desk with my Critical Success Points. Of course, the points have changed over the years depending on the different careers I’ve had (real estate, fundraising, network marketing, training sales, etc). Your points will change based on where you are in life and what career and projects you are working on.

    The list of 10 Points below is used daily at our company, Southwestern Consulting™.  When you work on these points on a consistent basis, you put yourself at a higher level than the average producer. You can use these 10 points as a skeleton to create your own that are critical to your success. I suggest you write out the 10 Points and post them where you can review them regularly.

    Turn It Up a Notch Daily with These 10 Points

    • How many calls and appointments made before 8 AM? How many messages left?
    • How are my phone appointment skills?
    • Am I closing word-for-word for the appointment?
    • Am I trial closing?
    • Am I using 3rd party selling?
    • How many appointments ahead am I? 10-15 appointments ahead at all times.
    • Progress report on how much potential business set up, signed, and still needed to hit goals every week. (Daily attention – Friday Summarize)
    • What did I do sales-wise that was productive between 4-6 PM?
    • How am I doing in my Daily Point game? Am I 2 strong EVERY DAY?
      (Each appointment = 1 point; Demonstration/Workshop = 1 point)
    • Am I spending at least 15 minutes putting positive thoughts into my mind? 10/10 Affirmations?
    • Am I spending at least 20% of my time going after LARGE groups that can produce LARGE results?
    • Am I asking EVERYONE I meet for a REFERRAL?

    Give this a try for 4 weeks and share with us your successes!
    Gary Michels, Co-founder Southwestern Consulting™

    gmichels@southwesternconsulting.com