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

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

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    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.


  • 3 Steps to the Art of Growth

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

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    Let me fill you in on something that has been life changing. Most of you know my background with selling door-to-door with Southwestern, now hitting the phones with Southwestern Consulting. Well, at one point things got stagnate. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I felt like nothing was moving forward. Have you ever been there? Are you at that point where some things are just falling apart?

    I have the solution for you. IDP.

    Identify.

    Duplicate.

    Perfect.

    You are in control of how great you become, and how great you get at prospecting… or anything.  This is a process, a simple system, that allows you to keep getting better and growing every single day.

    First step: Identify

    Each one on you has done great things and accomplished a lot in your life. Personal or professional, you have had some success. Let’s remember that time. Take yourself back there, and where you were mentally. Think back to when you had your best day ever. What did you do that day? How did you sound? What did you wear? What were you saying to yourself that day? Take yourself back to that place and think through those things when you were at the top of your game and make a list. Remember how people treated you and what they said to you. Write down how you were feeling, and just what was going on. This will be your first step.

    Second step: Duplicate

    Pretty simple. Every Sunday I have IDP time to recap the week and think about every great thing I did the week prior, so on Monday, I can duplicate those actions. I can repeat what it was about the week before that made a positive impact, and carry it on to the next week. Maybe you just start smiling at everyone. That is something you can repeat while helping yourself and others. Consciously be aware of the things that make you feel accomplished so you can continue doing those things. You will naturally start duplicating these things, which will lead you to the last step.

    Final step: Perfect

    Perfect what you know works. Perfect those processes and systems. You become amazing at calling people and prospecting. You grow and get better while you’re out serving others and changing people’s live through what you do. This is the perfection process.

    It starts with identifying, then you duplicate, then you perfect the great you that you are. Where I am at today, and the things that I have accomplished and keep doing, come from IDP. I continue to take these steps and great things unfold. You can do it too!

    Prospecting mastery is a habit and can be achieved by anyone dedicated to working a system better than anyone else ever has. Go out, get your habits and identify, duplicate, and perfect the best you! Go get it today!

    What is something you have done that you are so proud of, and continue to do? What have you perfected because you identified and duplicated it? Let me know! Tweet me @davebrown_swc or message me on LinkedIn. Let’s connect and grow together!  

    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.


  • Four Keys to Success

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    Several years ago, my team and I wanted to re-create an event that was a huge success for other teams across the country. After our third attempt, with the same dismal results each time, I was ready to throw in the towel.

    The other teams that executed this event with such success must have had an advantage we didn’t. Was it their area, or maybe they just wielded some serious magic. Either way, there must be something beyond my control that made success with this event impossible for my team in my city.

    Four-Keys-To-SuccessDefeated, I confided in my National Sales Director that I was giving up and that these events just weren’t meant to be. He challenged me then, and his challenge has made a huge difference in how I see my ability to have success with every opportunity that has come my way.

    He said that, instead of giving up, I should evaluate what I have been doing through the ‘Four Keys to Success’ to see what piece was missing which in-turn was hindering my success.

    Four Keys to Success

    Before you attempt anything, you should begin with the end in mind.

    You need to define, ‘what does Success look like to me?’

    The example I will use today is the event my team and I were attempting to host.  Success to us meant that we had a certain number of clients and prospects attend our event and that from this event we generated a number of sales and bookings.

    THEN, you follow the 4 critical areas that lead to success:

    Desire

    • Do we have the real desire for the thing we have defined as ‘success’?
    • Did my team and I have the REAL DESIRE to have a great event and the results that would come from that event?

    Confidence

    • Do I think I can learn the skills it takes to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Do we think that we can learn the skills it would take to host a successful event? (of course, we would need to break down the skills needed before we can answer this decision)

    Skills

    • Do I think I can learn the skills it takes to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Do we think that we can learn the skills it would take to host a successful event? (of course, we would need to break down the skills needed before we can answer this decision)

    Activities

    • What are the right activities and the right number of activities to achieve my ‘success’?
    • Were my team members doing the right number of activities leading up to the event to ensure our successful outcome?

    This information was shared with me 7 years ago. It falls right in line with the Skill/Will Matrix that our company teaches Sales Leaders when they are helping their team members reach for success. When our team members:

    • Have a burning desire for a certain outcome
    • Have the internal confidence that they can learn the skills
    • Work on and perfect the skills needed
    • Do the needed activity enough times

    Then THEY WILL achieve their desired success.

    Whenever you aren’t achieving your desired success, look at these four critical areas and there will likely be something missing, something that is keeping you from success.

    What successful outcome are you currently working towards that has seemed out of reach? After analyzing the 4 critical areas, where is it that you can improve and then go after your dream again?

     

    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


  • Facing Fear

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Fear is the root of many challenges we face in life. If we really dig down, at the core of things, like worry, doubt, anxiety, depression, etc. you will find fear. Even things like rage, selfishness or apathy can be traced back to fear.

    Fear…Recently a few close friends and I went downhill mountain biking at a local ski resort, in the summer time you can take the ski lift up with a downhill mountain bike and hit some intense descents. It was really scary and admittedly most trails there were several levels higher than my current skill set. For those of you not familiar with mountain biking, the difference between cross-country or trail riding and downhill riding is exponential! We are talking huge jumps and turning corners that you can get horizontal in!

    I had gotten advice that often in an ugly situation where you are about to crash or… say hit a tree, you actually need to let off the brakes so that you can gain control, get traction, steer around the obstacle and ride out the situation. Counter-intuitive to say the least. I experienced this first hand noticing that the more afraid I felt, the more I seemed to use my brakes. The more I used my brakes the less traction I had, especially when over breaking and the more out of control I felt! I had to really face my fear and constantly focus on using my body and going with the flow of the trail vs my default fear based reaction to slam on the brakes. It ended up being an epic adventure, a good time and a victory!

    Sales, business, and life work the exact same way. Look at our fear based reactions like call reluctance, procrastination or self-sabotaging our own success. They again can all be traced back to a core element of fear.

    Here are a few steps to help you face your fears!

    1. Know the Enemy!  What are you afraid of? Name it and write it down. Acknowledge it and you may start to see how insignificant or unlikely it is. Understanding fear helps us to better react to it in the right way. Many of us have heard the old acronym that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Though I agree entirely I would also like to submit that many times there is something very real we fear. Going back to my downhill mountain biking trip, I forgot to mention, that day we saw two broken collarbones and one guy got carried off in an ambulance. Believe me, the danger and risk was very real. HOWEVER, fear is a multiplier! It takes that risk and it exponentially multiplies that which we are afraid of! It snowballs in our creative imagination and becomes a monstrosity. So awareness is key!

    2. Do Battle with the EnemyFear is a cunning foe, you can not fight it by attacking it directly because whatever we resist persists. You can’t fight the fear of falling on a mountain bike by saying, don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall. Guess what your mind focuses on?!?  That’s right! Falling! And what usually ends up happening? You guessed it. Often times, fear causes us to do the things that will bring about exactly that which we do not want to have happen, like over breaking on a mountain bike. This applies to cornering on a motorcycle as well, FYI. So what do you do? Like a martial artist master, you must see the attack (in this case the fear), maneuver to allow the attack to pass right by you and make your move!  So what’s your move?

    a.     Focus on what you are doing and not on what it is you are afraid of.

    b.     Use Self-Talk or have a Mantra-  I got this! This is a walk in the park! This is fun! I’m crushing this!

    c.     Have a plan to focus on the right things!- do it step by step, break it down and slowly build momentum and confidence!

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    Happy Halloween! Go out and Face your Fears!

    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.


  • How to Take the Pressure Off

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    We live in a world of unmet expectations. We are consumed with struggling through the daily grind to be successful, or stripping away stresses to find our inner-self and calmness, or indulging in everything life has to offer to just be happy. We feel “less than”, pressure, and frustrated when we don’t achieve what we are longing for. We make an idol of success, tranquility or happiness.

    Tim Keller said it best in his book Counterfeit Gods, “When an idol gets a grip on your heart, it spins out a whole set of false definitions of success and failure and happiness and sadness. It redefines reality in terms of itself.”

    It’s mind-boggling how some of the most successful people I know are so full of insecurity and self-doubt. The outside world thinks these people are the most successful people who have it all together, and the reality is they are freaking out on the inside and putting too much pressure on themselves. I remember feelings of extreme pressure that I would put on myself, and thoughts of being less than no matter what I accomplished or achieved.

    I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “this sounds good, but how in the world am I supposed to do this?”

    Here are 3 Ideas on how do we take the pressure off:

    1. Take a reality check. Ask yourself these two question:

    ♦  During your idle time, where is your head at? What do you literally think about when you are left by yourself?

    ♦  If you were 100% honest with yourself, where are you at emotionally?

    2. Find the root of the problem. Typically, there are three main root issues that cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves.

    ♦ “Comparison is the thief of all joy” – Any time we compare ourselves to anyone else, it creates pressure. There will always be someone else who is better, faster, better looking, stronger and smarter. We are all inadequate to everyone at something.

    ♦ Not having fun. – Your attitude is a choice. Your energy level is a choice. Choosing to have fun and be joyful in every single thing you do every single day is a choice.   Most people live in a reactionary state. They just let things happen to them and just think “woe is me”, or they take themselves so seriously they leave no room to simply have fun.

    ♦ Feeling like a failure. – Feeling like a failure is the granddaddy of all root issues when it comes to putting too much pressure on ourselves. Failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Anyone who expects to be perfect at anything will be guaranteed to feel like a failure because it’s impossible to be perfect at anything over a long period of time. At some point, we will all break. Often, it takes us reaching our breaking point to be able to accept our brokenness and dig down to the root of our problems.

    3.  Focus on Unconditional Confidence.

    In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is “self-actualization” which focuses on morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

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    The difference between Maslow’s “self-actualization” and Unconditional Confidence is that Unconditional Confidence cannot be found inside yourself. Unconditional Confidence is not a goal or something you achieve. Unconditional Confidence comes from an understanding that you were created for a higher calling. You were created to die to your selfishness, and your highest achievement in life is to love, serve and care for other people. Another great book by Tim Keller – Every Good Endeavor – does an excellent job at describing in detail how to have Unconditional Confidence.

    There are three types of confidences and our goal is to strive to be Unconditionally Confident.

    1. False Confidence – Faking it until you make it has its place and time. However, we need to quickly get ourselves out of a false confidence state once we embark on trying something new. False Confidence is saying you’re going to do something or thinking you are good at something with no real evidence to back it up. There are plenty of people out there who say “I could have done that if I really wanted to” or “I’m going to be number one.” Etc.

    2. Conditional Confidence – Conditional Confidence comes into play after we’ve set the stage with our False Confidence. We’ve set an expectation for ourselves that we are supposed to be a certain way or accomplish certain things, and then when the results are less than what we hoped for, we feel defeated and less than. Conditional Confidence is contingent on results. If we win, we feel good. If we lose, we feel pressure. Conditional Confidence is equivalent to the 4th level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – “Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, respect by others”. Most of us get stuck with Conditional Confidence our whole life.

    3. Unconditional Confidence – People who are Unconditionally Confident have figured out their purpose in life and what they are called to do. Once we have figured that out, we then get to work every day knowing we are making a difference in the world through our work habits, not our results.

    If taking the pressure off is something that you need to focus on, print off this quote and read it aloud every day for the next year:

    “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


  • How an Abundance Mentality Can Improve Your Day

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    Do you ever get to a place where you think you do not have enough? It could be territory, people to call on, anything, you just feel like you need more. This mentality can ruin you from the inside out. Your prospecting cannot be one with a scarcity mentality.

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    If you are wondering how to turn this around, I have something for you. Switch on over to the ABUNDANCE mentality. Think of all the people who have not heard from you. When you sit down, ready to pick up the phone, and you think you don’t have enough people to call, I guarantee there are more people you haven’t contacted than you have on that ‘to call list.’

    So many get caught up in the scraps on the table, that they forget about the feast that is before them. There is possibility, and so much more to go around. It’s important to see the potential.

    When you have the abundance mentality while prospecting, you are thinking there are so many people out there, so much opportunity, you can talk to anyone, and the world is at your finger tips. Things will start flowing, and you will have an unlimited supply of prospects and people to call.

    This limited belief that comes from scarcity cannot hold you back from helping others any longer. Allow yourself to get even farther with your business by believing in the abundance of what you’re set out to do. If you can think with everything you have, that you have plenty, or even more than you need, things will change, and you’ll do so much each day.

    Think each day how many people are out there and how many you can reach. See life in a more long term perspective and the abundance you have. Go out there and reach more people needing your service or product!

    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.


  • Create Your Ideal Schedule

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

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    Effective self-management begins with a well-planned schedule.

    The strategy is to create a schedule for the entire week which includes both professional and personal activities from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. The idea is to treat this like you’re back in high school and schedule your activities in blocks of time.  I understand in your industry things pop up and it’s difficult to keep to a specific schedule. However, if you can’t picture the perfect week then chances are you’ll never have one. You’ll want to start by planning in your CSF’s – Critical Success Factors that we discussed today!

    —> Click here to continue reading…


  • Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy – by Dustin Hillis

    Comparison causes stress, frustration and ultimately limits people’s belief in what they think is possible.

    It takes an extreme amount of self-control and mental toughness to not compare yourself to other people. Think about it.  When was the last time you had any of the following thoughts:

    • “I would be doing much better if I had Mary’s territory”
    • “I’m doing more work than Henry and he need to pick up the pace”
    • “The only reason John is successful is because he gets special treatment by the boss”
    • “It’s not fair that Sue is getting paid as much as she is. I work just as hard if not harder than her”
    • “Nancy’s husband is so much more attentive to her needs than my husband”
    • “I wish my wife was as hot as Mike’s wife” . . .finish reading this article here.