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  • Under the Bus You Go

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    As a sales manager, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? We have all had team members who weren’t performing as they should. Then we hire a new team member, and we fear that the new team member will think the others are role models to follow. So, without really thinking of the consequences, we throw our current team members under the bus by telling the new person to not watch the others because their activity or results aren’t acceptable.

    Wow. How did that help?

    Imagine how confused you would be if you were hired to perform at a higher level than others while other people are left to do as little as they pleased. How would that be fair?

    In working with many sales managers and business owners, we have seen this pattern repeated often. Why? Typically it is because our client is trying to turn around their sales by bringing in new talent, but they aren’t in a place where they can let the other lower-performing team members find success elsewhere.

    This practice is wrong on many levels:

    First, it sends an immediate signal to the new team member that you (their new leader) can’t be trusted to have their back.

    Second, it lets the new team member know that “gossip” is accepted here.

    Third, it sows the seeds of distrust among team members. Any one of these is a problem. All three of these can be fatal for your organization.

    So what is a manager to do?

    Step 1:     Let everyone know the vision of your company. Where do you see everyone going and what do you see them achieving together? Present this to your team early and often. Get everyone excited about the part they play in the success of the team as a whole.

    Step 2:     Before bringing in new sales team members, sit down with your current team individually to discuss their personal and professional goals. Also, apologize if you haven’t been clear in your activity expectations in the past or you haven’t been doing your job as a leader to hold them accountable to doing the things that will help them reach their goals. Let them know that you plan to be a better leader for them because their personal success is important. Set out a reasonable plan for sales activity (referrals, dials, reaches, appointments set, appointments held) and begin tracking them (preferably using our CSF system that will do the math for you with quick and easy reports). Set up weekly one-on-one Personal Conferences (PCs) where you will review their numbers and help them improve in the areas where they need help to achieve their goals.

    Step 3:     Hire your new team member and repeat Step 2 (sans apology). No comparison needs to be made with the current team members. Everyone should be held to their own activity levels, which should be consistent for everyone.

    Step 4:     Prepare for the best and the worst. Best case scenario is that you continue to meet with all team members and work with them to perfect the skills they need in order to hit their activity numbers. You stay consistent with your help and accountability, and they continue to get better at achieving more than they had before. Worst case scenario is that your team members don’t step up to the plate. If they aren’t willing to work toward what is expected of them, then you will need to think about putting them on a Performance Recovery Program (PRP) —or Performance Improvement Program (PIP)—which includes a training program. If they aren’t successful on the PRP, then you will need to be prepared to help them find success with another division of your company or with another company.

    Step 5:     Stay consistent. The best sales leaders are consistently keeping the company vision in front of their team members while also connecting sales and activity numbers to t achieving personal and professional goals. Consistency in casting vision, accountability, and helping them to develop the skills they need to be successful will keep you from ever feeling the need to throw any of your team members under the bus. Instead, you will be lifting them high in recognition for how much they are achieving.

     

    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


  • 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.


  • How to Better Train in the Field

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Field training

    I recently had one of my clients come to me and say, “I am not sure my managers are working with people very effectively in the field, can you check it out for me?” After investigating, they weren’t! They were working with their agents all day long in the field, doing the presentations, but expecting the brand new rookies to learn by osmosis. Many times we think we are teaching people how to sell effectively just by having them watch us. It does not really work like that at all! They cannot always just learn this way, they actually have to do what they are learning.

    Someone can sit in a class on how to learn to ride a bicycle and intellectually understand how to balance, or how they need to put one foot down and the other up. It’s not just about reading a book on it or being told that will teach someone, it is actually having someone along side of them helping them stay balanced and figure it out. As a leader, we don’t just need to have the team watch what we do, we actually have to coach them as they go.

    This is a field training methodology. It’s very simple and effective. It’s a formula you can use when you’re working with new people in the field, and you watch each other to help develop new skills.

    The methodology is to watch, show, watch, make it real.

    What you do, and how this works, is you have them do a portion of their presentation, role play a section or the entire thing, and you watch how they do it. When you’re watching, you are not looking for every little thing they are doing wrong, you’re looking for the biggest and most important area. One or two things that you can give them suggestions on, that if they do it, they will improve their presentation and make it better. You’re watching them, and listening for that one piece of advice you can give them.

    The second thing you do is show them. You role play it back to them and have them see what it is that you are wanting them to get in very accurate detail. Then you have them do it again. Watch to see if they improve and use that advice and make sure they know you notice the difference. Now you go make it real. You go out and do the full presentation and apply what was learned.

    The magic about following this formula is that even though you are giving someone one little piece of advice and they are practicing and applying it, over time, if you’re continuing to work with people with this methodology their skills will go from very small, to very adapted.  They are going to be strong, they will be proficient and know how to do things right. It won’t be because they just watched you and tried to pick up what you were doing. You broke it down for them one piece at a time. You followed an effective field training methodology.

    How have you learned to best train your field agents?  Share some key ways you help others grow and learn in your business.

    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 “Perfect” Game

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

    IMG_2797

    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.


  • “I’m Sorry” & Customer Service

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    While reading  new book that I got turned on to called “#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso, one of the things she talks about is how important it is to apologize to your customers when things go wrong. Here’s what I believe when it comes to saying, “I’m sorry,” in regards to customer service.

    I believe that you should always take responsibility when things don’t go right in your company. Many times it’s going to be your fault, and many times it’s not. Regardless, they’re still your customers.

    We’ve all heard that old adage saying, “The customer is always right.” Let’s just be honest, that’s not true. The customer is not always right. But regardless, they are still your customers.

    And here’s what I’ve noticed as a customer and a consumer of many types of things: I don’t hear “I am so sorry” or “Let us fix that for you”. In fact, most times, the person on the other line or the person standing behind the counter is trying to inform me why it was my fault, why this didn’t go right, or trying to give me some logical explanation as to why this happened.

    Here’s what I know about apologizing. The more you try to defend yourself or the more you try to reason, the more defensive the other person’s going to get. Although I don’t necessarily believe that you should be sorry for everything that your customers are unhappy about, here’s what I know:

    The quicker that you respond with a genuine empathetic, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” you’re not saying, “I am sorry we did this. I’m sorry that we failed you.” You are saying, “I am sorry that you feel this way. I am sorry that this was your experience.”

    If you can show genuine empathy quickly, all of the negative attitudes tend to diminish. It’s when we don’t apologize. It’s when we don’t take responsibility. It’s when we don’t make an effort to show our customers that we appreciate them as customers that things turn ugly.

    And let’s just be honest. In the world of social media and online feedback, no one can afford a constant barrage of unhappy customers because if you keep your customers unhappy long enough, you’re just not going to have any customers.

     

    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


  • 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


  • Learning to Strike Out and Keep Swinging

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    Baseball was one sport I actually did not play, but I’ve watched enough to know a little about it. What gets me is the striking out. Of course, I think of sales.

    baseball

    One thing that can happen in baseball: you strike out while just looking at the ball. You watch it go right by you and you do not even swing.

    For those of you who also do not play baseball, it’s whenever you’re sitting there ready to hit the ball and it comes whizzing by you. Three times and the Umpire does his thing and says you’re out of there! Are you at least swinging, or just letting it hit the glove behind you?

    Don’t be that person who never even swings at the ball or someone who never gives yourself a chance to be in the game.

    This happens with so many people. They don’t even give themselves a shot, like when an objection comes up they just let it go right by them and don’t keep trying. They are just letting their commission whiz right by them.

    It’s in every process and part of the sale. It’s in the prospecting whenever you ask somebody to meet with you, or set an appointment with them, ask them to make a decision. Make it happen! You can’t strike out by not even trying to set something up!

    There have been times on the phone I know someone is not interested, but I jump right to asking them to make a decision. Yes, or no. When can we meet? They may say something like, “This is not for us, Dave. There’s no way we could make it work.” What I say is, “OK, cool when should I come out and train your team?” I just ask when is good for them. It’s important! I don’t let the ball just go by me I will swing and try to hit and sometimes it will be a great hit. Home-run!

    One of the worst things you could do is procrastinate on asking someone to follow through with the decision of meeting with you or purchasing your product or service. Why wait? 

    Average people get “maybe” all the time. Top producers find ways to get “maybe” out-of-the-way! To make a change, and make that ‘maybe’ be confident, ask for that decision to be made.

    Whenever you ask someone to say yes or to say no, it’s a good thing. The ‘no’ will keep you moving. You know to shut those down. The yes, of course, is a great thing! “Maybe” is something you create by not asking someone to make the decision… by not swinging that bat and going after it.

    There is so much weight and emotional energy that when you don’t ask for the appointment for the business it’s like what the heck are you even doing.

    Are you truly in sales, or are you just a professional presenter?!

    Go out there and start swinging, stop striking out just watching things go by you!

    What are some of you ‘focus techniques’ – I want to hear them! Comment here, tweet me@davebrown_swc, or connect on LinkedIn. 

    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.

     


  • The Root of Objections

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

     

    no

    One of the most important things about the art of answering objections is knowing what objection you are really answering.

    Because typically the number one objection that people give you, is not their real objection. It’s an excuse.

    So how do you determine what the difference between an excuse and an objection is if you are going to be successful in overcoming this?

    First, you must learn how to isolate the objection. This technique is simple but incredibly powerful. It allows you to keep moving forward after someone challenges you with an objection.

    So a very typical objection that you may face can be as simple as, “Well you know what Amanda? This sounds great, but I really need to talk to…” – my business partner, or my spouse, or my parents, friends, dog, or even their great Aunt Berta – “before I can make a decision.”

    Now that might be the real objection, but it might not be. If you really think about it, what are they going to discuss with the other person?

    Something like: Can we afford this? Should we do it? Do we have the time to implement it and do we have the budget to do so? They may talk about something, but it may not be the real objection. So here’s how you isolate the objection.

    The next time that somebody tells you, “I need to talk to (xyz),” respond with, “Hey, I completely understand, Mr./Mrs. Customer. Other than talking to your business partner, is there any reason that you wouldn’t want to move forward with this?”

    Asking them, “other than this” – whatever objection they just gave you – “is there anything else holding you back from moving forward?” gives you the opportunity to see what the real hold up is. If they say no, then, green light, they’re telling you that is the only thing they need to do, so your job is to close on the next step and schedule the next meeting.

    But if they say, “Well actually, what we need to talk about is the budget.” Now, you have the real objection. It’s not talking to their business partner, it’s the money.

    So remember, the first time you hear an objection, isolate the objection. Then you’re one step closer to finding the root of their doubt and closing the sale.

    To learn more you can view the rest of my website here.

     

    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


  • Letting Go of the Uncontrollable

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Donald Miller says in his book Scary Close, “the root of sin is the desire for control”… and “the root of control is fear.” The fear of losing control is a powerful driving force that causes us to behave in a variety of crazy different ways. For some, this fear manifests itself by self-promotion and being self-righteous with the thirst for winning and being the best, while others might be controlling their image and presenting a perfect front to the world. For some, it’s the pursuit of being right or the relentless domination of others with an iron fist and exerting their will over the “inferior” people around them. The inverse is true when the craving for control rears its ugly head through self-destructive, shameful and guilt-ridden vehicles such as alcoholism, drug addictions, work obsession, food addictions, sex and pornography addictions, and many other self-control coping mechanisms create the illusion of having control in one’s life.

    In the “self-help” industry I often hear motivational speakers, authors, and “experts” promote prosperity and how to be in control of their results. Being in control of results usually involves manipulation. It hasn’t been until some recent events in my personal life that I’ve realized how destructive “being in control” can be. Upon reflection of my life, the more I’ve tried to control uncontrollable things, other people and results, the more I seem to screw up. Yet, everything noteworthy that I’ve ever done has come to me by letting go of the desire for control, focusing on the right activities and trusting God to deliver the outcome how He sees fit.

    letgo

    Don’t get me wrong. I feel that we are all called to take action and use the talents God has given us. However, we need to focus on the diligent activity, not the results. Ultimately, we only have a few things that we should put our focus on and let God take care of the rest.

    Here are 3 areas of daily focus:

    1. Your Attitude

    After the economy took a major dip in 2008, my father was in a board meeting for a Fortune 100 company. The CEO was going around the table reaming all the VPs for their numbers being off target. The gentleman sitting next to my dad was smiling ear to ear as the CEO berated his way down the line of senior executives. Once he set his fierce eyes upon the smiling man, he ripped into him, “I don’t know why you have that silly grin on your face. There is nothing to be smiling about with your numbers either!” Then the man stood up and calmly replied “Sir, no disrespect. But you can yell and scream at me all day long; however, there is nothing you can say or do that will take my positive attitude away from me.” Then the brave bold man confidently sat down. The CEO’s demeanor changed on a dime and he shouted with enthusiasm, “That’s right! We need more of you to have an attitude just like this guy!”

    You determine your attitude every day. Your attitude is a choice.

    2. Your Schedule

    We are called to be productive and serve other people. The best way to serve other people is to be organized, focused and proactive. At Southwestern Consulting, we work with hundreds of different companies all across the country and we find the #1 thing that people need help with is controlling their schedule and time. The best approach is to be diligent and plan how you are going to spend every minute of your most precious resource you’ve ever been given, your time. The key is to not get caught up in the trap of being busy to just be busy. Wasting time and wasting your talents is a waste of your life.

    Be proactive, not reactive. Understand your priorities. Set your schedule and stick to it!

    3. Your Activity

    There is a massive difference between people who “work hard” and people who “work smart”. Typically, people who “work hard” measure everything in how long they spend doing something. They think that a 3-hour meeting is a good thing because the person listened to them gab on for that long. Typically, people who think they “work hard” do end up focusing on results and measure everything they do based on the results they are or are not seeing. Therefore, they do not experience peace and joy when working because they are focused on results, that is something they cannot control.

    The rare individuals who “work smart” are the ones who focus on being efficient and effective. They work referrals/word-of-mouth marketing; they gather intel before engaging someone in a sales situation; they find ways to shorten the sales cycle and are excited about spending less time with people and serving them as fast as possible, and not wasting the prospect’s time, as well as their own time. They focus on productive activity and not wasteful, unproductive time.

    When my wife was a little girl, her father would make her re-vacuum the stairs if she missed a spot. He would tell her, “It doesn’t matter how hard you work up a sweat if you don’t get the job done right. You need to work smart and get the job done right the first time.”

    Letting go of the uncontrollable is a scary thing because in order to truly let go we, first must look long and hard into a mirror and admit what it is that we don’t want to let go of. Most of the time, the people, things or results someone is trying to control are stemming from a much deeper-rooted issue that manifests itself in the form of control. Living in truth and admitting our imperfections, wounds from others, personal sins and mistakes and asking for forgiveness is the beginning of letting go. Next, is putting a plan and accountability in place to change our behaviors to ensure that we don’t keep repeating the mistakes that are causing the need for control. Lastly, we have to fully submit to God all of our anxieties and worries and focus on being thankful and loving those around us. Once we let go all of the uncontrollable, life becomes more fun! The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, and everything tastes sweeter. Just let it go.

     

     

    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