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  • 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


  • Think Backwards: The Key to Getting What You Want

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • The Two Types of Motivation to Know About

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Most of us are motivated by contests and incentives or earning recognition. We like to work towards goals. This type of motivation is called “Toward Motivation.” There’s another very powerful type of motivation that often gets overlooked. “Away Motivation.”

    Let’s say it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, on a very cold night in early spring, you’re laying in bed and your phone rings. Your buddy down the street is calling you to say, “There’s a big sale happening at the end of the street. They’re selling patio furniture and grills for really cheap. I know you really wanted to buy those. Come down here now!” And you’re thinking, “It’s 3 o’clock in the morning why would I get out of bed?”

    Let’s look at another example. In this scenario, you’re laying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s freezing cold, and you get a phone call from the same buddy who says, “Hey, there’s someone on your back porch stealing your patio furniture and your brand-new grill!” Would you get out of bed? Most people say they would pop out of bed and chase the thieves out of their yard right away! “Away Motivation.”

    Everybody is motivated a little bit differently, but typically the fear of loss is an even more powerful motivator than excitement for gain. We overlook the type of motivation called “Away Motivation.” We are away motivated when we are trying to avoid consequences.

    Here is an example in your business realm. One of our clients was having a really hard time asking for referrals. He would either just forget to ask, or often times would not ask because he was afraid to. We really needed to get him to ask for those referrals. Now we have the “Toward Motivation.” The opportunity to earn more business, the opportunity to get more results and get mores prize. But this really wasn’t motivating him. We needed to put that “Away Motivation” in place. What we did for him was ask him who was someone that he really did not like. Unfortunately, he really didn’t like his assistant. This person wasn’t his assistant by choice, this was a company chosen assistant that was decades older than him, didn’t report to him, and didn’t respect him in his eyes. So, what we decided to do was every time he forgot to ask a referral he had to write her a check for $50. He had to tell her he was giving her that because he didn’t do what he said he was going to do. That was embarrassing enough to him that it only took one time of forgetting to ask for referrals, and he never wanted to experience that again.

    Think about this for yourself. What are some consequences that you can put in place that will help you to be more motivated and hit your goals? Would it motivate you to have to donate money to the political party you are not a fan of? Would it motivate you to have to cancel a trip if you don’t do what you say you will do? Would it motivate you to give sales to your competitor? Think about those consequences, put them in place, and watch how things will change for you.

    We need to have consequences in place, not just rewards in order to sufficiently motivate ourselves. Make sure you have “Toward Motivation” and “Away Motivation” in your plan to achieve your goals!

    What are some things that have helped you? Share here, tweet me @emmie__brown

    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.


  • 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.

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    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.


  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!

    rusty_team_rick_takahashi

    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!

     

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


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

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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


  • Choice

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    The choice is ours.

    So many times people go throughout life and they make the easy choice.  It can be as small as should I do the dishes, mow the lawn, rake the yard or just lay here and watch a movie, watch football or just watch TV.  It can also be the life changing choices. Do I buy the house?  Do I treat my spouse they way they should be treated?   Do I work as hard as I possibly can each and every day?

    choosewisely

    Every one of us has similar choices.  We make them from the time we wake up until we lay our heads down. We tell ourselves we want to do more, want to accomplish more and we want more out of life. Yet our actions aren’t speaking the way our words are. We are hitting snooze not only on our alarm, but on life.

    Truly successful people, and that’s YOUR definition of success, make the choice to go out and get it. They make the CHOICE to do things that others aren’t going to do. Get off the couch and get active. We all can make excuses, but that’s what they are, excuses. That’s where your choice comes in. Do we take the easy way out, or do we get after it?

    Do you make the right choice daily?

    What is the right choice for you?

    Do you ever find yourself wishing you would have done more? Accomplished more?  Making a choice is the hardest thing we do daily. The reason being, it happens every moment of every day.  I wish someone would have told me years ago that if I just made the choice to work harder, be disciplined and always, and I mean always give it your all that you can accomplish anything.

    What is that anything? – Go after what you want. If you want to be in sales, be in sales, if want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, business for yourself, sell insurance, advisor, real estate, mortgage go out and do it.  Don’t let someone tell you it can’t be done.  That’s because they CHOSE not to do it. When you are passionate about something it’s not a job.  It’s a way of life.

    • You have to start somewhere. It takes hard work. Sometimes that can be studying, it can be getting up at 3:30, going to bed at 12:00 or 1:00 am. It can be doing the things we need to do. What are those things?
    • You can’t do it yourself. You need people around you. You need mentors, trainers, coaches, people that can help you get to where you want to go. No one person knows it all.  No one.  Go out and find those people that will help you and keep you accountable.

    Discipline is the hardest part of the daily choice. When you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t wish it, hope it, talk about it, get up and do it. Write that book, that blog, take that class, start that business, create that idea, take that vacation, spend time with the family, tell your spouse you love them.  No amount of hoping and thinking about it will make it happen.

     

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


  • Ice Melting Lines

    ice meltingGuest Post By: Dave Brown

    Have you ever felt a little awkward after that first five seconds of an initial sales conversation? Using those “Hey, how you doing?” mundane type of initial phrases that lead to you just talking over your prospect and not making a quick connection. I hear and see it all the time!

    Everyday initial conversations starters DO NOT work in the selling world, and DO NOT forward your sales conversation. If you’re wondering why you’re not growing, as you should be in sales, this may help you break through. Shake things up a bit. Make your lead in phrases you!

    Where do we start?

    Bring your personality into it…literally your personality!

    Examples:

    • “Hey is this John Smith? Great, do you have 79 seconds for me really quickly?”
    • “John, I’ve been trying to catch you for months I literally thought you were    kidnapped man, were you kidnapped?”
    • “Hey John, this is Dave, are you ready for this?”
    • “John, how is your office staff running over there today? (don’t let them respond) Who’s winning, you or them?”

    Shake things up then lead into what you are doing and what you’re calling about. You’re melting away the tension that could exist when you use those icebreaking lines that can immediately connect you with your prospect because you’re different. If you are a prospecting master, you are an “ice-melter” with these types of initial phrases!

    Let me leave you with your prospecting golden nugget for the week…

    When prospecting, be YOU. Nobody in this world has your design. Daily you choose to cater to the world, or make it your masterpiece. Make it your masterpiece when you are prospecting today. Get out there and melt the tension, use your ice melting lines to get in and connect with your prospect quickly.

    What are some of the ice melting lines you have used? Tweet them to me @davebrown_swc #meltingtheice #southwesternconsulting

     

    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.


  • Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    The wealthiest man I know once told me the key to success is having amazing self-talk. I remember feeling disappointed when receiving this advice over a nice dinner. What a conundrum that I’m getting advice from the a man who was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful people alive and I’m having a negative response to advice about positive self-talk.

    I decided to investigate further what he meant by “you have to have amazing self-talk”. He went on to explain that self-talk is defined as what you say about yourself to yourself, and what you allow others to say about you that you believe. Then it hit me, my whole life I thought being positive is what having positive self-talk was all about. But after my conversation with Spencer, I realized that my self-talk had nothing to do with being a positive person. It had everything to do with looking in the mirror and honestly saying what I think about myself.

    Most people have the wrong idea around what self-talk is all about. Most people, myself included before this dinner, consider being a positive person as what it means to have positive self-talk. I think of a funny Saturday Night Live skit like this one when I hear motivational speakers talk about having a positive attitude and living in a van down by the river.

    Your self-talk is the most important thing in your life. The core of your self-talk is your belief system. Your beliefs construct your attitudes. Your attitudes determine your actions. Your actions come from your feelings. Your feelings come from your self-talk. If someone stuck a recorder inside your brain over the past 24 hours, I’m willing to bet the things you tell yourself about yourself would be scary. Most people spend their entire lives telling themselves what they can and cannot do. And as Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.”

    Your self-image is directly tied to your self-talk. When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is fat, ugly, dumb, a failure, a bad husband, a lousy father, a victim, a martyr, a jerk, a nag, a mediocre worker…Or do you see someone who is fit, sexy, smart, a winner, the world’s best husband and father, someone who will go over, under, around or straight right though any obstacle in their way!?

    In 1st grade, I flunked phonics, then in 2nd grade I flunked spelling, then I proceeded for the rest of my schooling to make F’s in any subject that had to do with reading and writing.  I developed a very real self-talk issue around the topic of reading and writing. I would say things like “can someone else read instead of me, I’m good at other things and not good at reading.”  One day a sales manager at the Southwestern Company challenged me when he said, “You know as long as you keep saying you aren’t good at reading, you never will be.”  I went home that night and made a decision that I would never again say anything about being less proficient at reading and writing.  Instead, I would say things positive about reading and writing.

    I created “Positive Affirmations” around reading and writing, and I started saying them everyday.  My affirmations included “I am a wordsmith”, “I am an author”, “I am an avid reader”, “My lexicon is vast”, and “I am the world’s best Scrabble player”.  After a few months of saying these “Positive Affirmations”, I found myself picking up a book and started reading every day. Additionally, I opened up a Word document and started writing every week. More than 14 years later, I’ve read over 100 books and am the author of several books.

    As humans, we are programmed to think a certain way, whether we like it or not. Either you choose to give up control of your own programming and let the media, society or your friends and family program you with what you believe about yourself and the world…or… you take control of your self-talk and start programming yourself with the things you want to believe about yourself and the world. If you want to take control of your self-talk, the most impactful exercise you can possibly do is to take out a piece of paper and write out a minimum of 10 positive affirmation and then make copies of your affirmations and carry them with you, post them on your walls, share them with other people and, most importantly, say them to yourself out loud every day.

    Here are some of my personal affirmations: 

    • God gives me all strength, courage and confidence… and with God anything is possible.
    • I always communicate with confidence, unwavering Relentless Truth.
    • I always put God first, Kyah second, Haven third, friends fourth, work fifth, and myself sixth regarding how I make decisions.
    • I am an athlete. I am consistent with working out at least 3 times per week and walk with Kyah 2 times per week, and eating a Paleo diet.
    • I raise the belief, energy and confidence level of every single person I interact with.
    • I empathize with others’ struggles, pains and regrets and help them embrace truth, forgiveness, mercy and love through God.
    • Most of all, my life mission and what God has called me to do is help others reach their God-given potential every day

     

    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


  • Do Your Words Really Matter?

    I AM....Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    Do you talk to yourself? I already know the answer to this, YES, you do!  We all do.

    But have you ever thought about if the things you say to yourself really make a difference in how you think, act or react?

    Do your words encourage you or discourage you?

    Do they give you confidence or do they make you self-conscious?

    Do they make you want to keep going or do they make you want to get back in bed?

    What you say when you talk to yourself is one of the most untrained on parts of being a sales professional, but one of the most important. It’s what we at Southwestern Consulting call “the power of positive self-talk.”

    Learning how to talk to yourself is a really powerful element of building confidence on the inside so it shows on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself very few will believe in what you are selling.

    Positive self-talk is talking about yourself in present tense, which starts to create the vision of who you want to become.  Watching your words must be an intentional act of discipline to constantly reassure yourself that you can do this, you can learn this and it’s all possible.

    The benefit of positive affirmations can be life changing. It can change your personal life, your work life, your confidence, it can change everything about you.

    So here’s what I want you to do: make a list of all the things you want in your life.

    What are the things that you want to have?

    What are the things that you want to be and how do you want the world to see you ?

    Do you want the world to see you as a loving father/mother? A loyal husband/wife? A hard worker? How do you want to be seen?

    Writing positive affirmations allow you to physically see what you want written out giving you something real to look at and work towards

    Long before I was any good at sales, my affirmations said things like, “I’m a million dollar producer, I’m a great speaker, I’m the top sales person in our company, I am a top leader.”

    I may not of be all those things right now, but I want to be them. So I’m going to talk to myself like I am that person today.

    My husband is a great example of this. He’s such an inspiration to me in this very specific area, because when he puts his dreams on paper, his affirmations, what he believes about himself, it always seems to come true. Not always today and not always tomorrow but eventually everything that he puts on paper, he finds a way to make it happen.

    Years ago, my husband wrote down on his affirmations list “I am a New York Times best selling author.” He didn’t have a title, pages, or a topic of what he wanted to write. But he knew that’s what he wanted to be.

    Five years ago, I wrote, “I’m a million dollar producer” down on my affirmations list. And I was very far away from being a million dollar producer. In fact, my best year at the time was probably just over $300,000 in personal revenue. In 2012 the same year that my husband became a New York Time Best-Selling Author, I sold over a million dollars in revenue for our company.

    I believed it before it happened. I talked to myself as if it were already true, so when it came true it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’d been preparing myself all along to be the person I wanted to become. I spoke it out loud every single day.

    So, here’s what you need to do right now. You need to write down 10 affirmations of who you want to be, present tense. I am a marathon runner, I am a million dollar producer, I am a loyal and devoted wife, I am in fantastic physical shape, I am the best friend anyone could have.

    “I am . . . ” are the statements that you want to use. Present tense, to tell yourself that you are the person that, one day, you want to be.

     

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