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How Well Do You Solve Problems?

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What is a problem? It’s a challenge. It’s a difficulty. It’s a goal turned inside out! Problems are really goals that have yet to be achieved. So, by learning how to solve your problems, you are learning how to achieve your goals!

Think about it. If you’re not achieving your sales goals, then that’s an unsolved problem. If you are not enjoying the kind of business relationships you desire, then this is just another problem that you must solve. Any sales obstacle that stands between you and your goal is merely a problem waiting for a solution. This is why success has been defined as the ability to evaluate and solve problems.  Your real job as a professional salesperson is to be a professional problem solver. How good are you are at your job?

How do top performers solve problems?  They begin by conducting an accurate evaluation of the problem. They know accurate diagnosis (evaluation) precedes effective prescription (solution). This is true for doctors in the field of medicine and it’s true for a salesperson in the field of business.

In fact, we’re evaluating right now. We’re identifying the root of an evaluation by asking and answering a series of questions. You see, questions drive your focus, actions and results. But of course, not everyone asks the same quality of questions. And this variance in the quality of questions, in part, accounts for the difference in results between top performers and average performers. Weak questions lead to weak results and superior questions lead to superior results. It’s just that simple.

Returning to our medical analogy, if an evaluation is the diagnosis, then a question is the scalpel used to cut to the heart of a problem and its cure. It’s the questions you ask and fail to ask that will affect your diagnosis and destiny. Consider the quality of the questions you ask yourself each day. Could you be cutting with a dull knife? Could your questions use sharpening?

The master key to success in business and in the business of life is learning how to solve problems. Questions are the key to solving problems.

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Simplicity is the Genesis of Genius!

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So, I’m here in Paris helping Sales/Marketing/Customer Service improve sales performance.

Q: What was the challenge?
A: Complexity.

Let me explain. Most internal sales processes are complex (too many forms, pages and spreadsheets). And because of this complexity, execution of the processes works in the book, but not on the streets…of reality.

In contrast, what’s simple is easy. And what’s easy gets done! Hard doesn’t get done.

Face it. Simplicity is the genesis of Genius! Think about Google. Consider Apple. Shop Amazon.

You want do grow like Google? Innovate like Apple? Achieve like Amazon? Then, K.I.S.S. That is, Keep It Simple Strategists.

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Are your standards high enough to achieve the results you seek?

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A standard is an internal goal. It’s your inner drive to achieve a result. It’s a reflection of what you consider to be acceptable or unacceptable behavior regarding results. It’s your self-imposed measure of excellence. In summary, it’s your personal commitment to be at your best when it matters the most.

Search your heart and honestly ask yourself “Am I curious or serious about superior sales results? Committed or just interested? Playing around or playing to win?”This gut-check is critical because a superior commitment is the basis to achieving superior results in business and in the business of life.

The good news is that if you’re just curious about achieving superior results, you can still produce good results. The bad news is that you’ll never achieve great results. Why?Because your results will usually be commensurate with your standards. Low standards produce weak results and high standards produce superior results. So if you want to achieve new results then you must step up and set new standards. Make sense? Your results are giving you feedback. Are you listening?

Don’t be casual about your standards because casualness leads to casualties.

Why raise your standards?

It’s because the best rewards are always at the next level. If you think you’re at the top, please know there’s always another level. And you’re not going to be fulfilled until you find it. Do you need help raising your standard, to achieve the results you seek? Reach out to me, we are here to help.

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What Separates Top Performers from Average Performers?

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Question: What’s the #1 factor that separates top performers from average performers? Everything I’ve seen inside the most successful firms in America says that the answer is Superior Preparation!

Preparation involves 2 things:

  1. Anticipate the future

Strategies that ANTICIPATE the customer’s future needs are much more predictive of success than those focused on immediate customer satisfaction. If you can anticipate the customer’s needs before he does, you will position yourself to be the solution for the future. You will leap frog over the competition.

How can you discover what customers will want, even before they know it themselves? How can you anticipate future problems and help customers prevent or solve them quickly? Simple. Employ the S.E.E. method.

S.tudy. Study to identify the current and/or urgent trends and changes that are taking place in your market. I’m not talking about the obvious trends and changes. I mean those that are strategically important but perhaps not on the client’s radar. This will prepare you to intrigue your prospect, like this, “Are you aware that X could be impacting your Y? I’ve been observing Z and its potential affect on your competitors. Can we get together to discuss what it means to your firm’s bottom line?”

E.stimate. Estimate the effects that industry trends will have on your prospect’s business. Market trends trickle-down and impact businesses (your prospect). These impacts cause new pain or gain for the prospect’s business. You must understand and anticipate this pain or gain before your competition does. In this way, you position yourself to be strategically important and difficult to replace.

E.valuate. Evaluate the trickle-down effects on the person. Prospects and clients take action, not just because it’s the right thing to do for the business, but because of how it personally affects them or their careers.

Evaluate the effects that these business trends are having on the prospect. What new pain or gain could they be creating? When you can see that problem in advance, you become irreplaceable.

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What Is Your DNA Fit?

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What’s the difference between a Seminar Leader and a Keynote Speaker?

I’d been trying to answer that question for years. I’d seen others blow-up as Keynote Speakers. And I thought the skills to pay the bills too!

Did I? Nope.

But, why wasn’t I as successful as they were (I mean I was as good look’n and intelligent as two out of the top 10 keynoters LOL)?

Q: What was their secret sauce?
A: DNA Fit!

A few years ago, I heard a CD from Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp. On the CD, she made the point that Keynotes are based on entertainment while Seminars are rooted in education.

You see, good things have been happening for me and my team because we are a better DNA fit for Sales Seminars than entertainment based Keynotes.

You see, When you match your DNA with the DNA requirements of the job/mission, then your results will grow bigger, better and faster. Make sense?

So, let me ask you, are you a DNA fit for your position is Sales?

In other words, If results could talk, then what would they say about your DNA fit for Sales?

Want better results? Then find a better DNA fit (sales, love and life)!

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Whose Got Your Back?

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Who’s got yo back?

A ways back, my business was down and my bills were up!

Ever been there? Still there?

Anyway, I went home to Detroit to regroup mentally and get coaching and encouragement from my Dad.

After spending a few nights at his crib, he slid me a few dollars before my departure.

And the next day, he placed an un-expected note at the exit door.

And it read, “Danny Boy, I got your back (I won’t let you fail)!”

This meant so much to me that I kept the note to continue to strengthen me.

And then, my business exploded and now I’m traveling the world helping teams improve sales performance.

And then?  My Dad had a stroke on 3/30/16!

Yes, he’s doing better.

And I’ll be headed back to Detroit in a few weeks to get him and move him to Atlanta with me.

And so, I changed the note to read, “Daddy O, I got your back (I won’t let you fail)! And its bringing tears to my eye as I write this post.

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In short, who’s got yo back in business and in the business of life? In Sales and Life, you need a couple of folks that gotcha back!

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Sell Less- Collaborate More!

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Sell less. COLLABORATE MORE!

So, I’m in Egypt delivering my Value Selling Program. And guess what?

An Operations Manager walks up to me during a break and says, ” I love your
principles about creating value. Why? Because although I’m in Operations I
have to sell my ideas to my staff to get them to take new action. Your
workshop could be called How to Sell an Idea!”

Wow. Nice.
And btw, how do you sell an idea? You don’t!
Instead, you create a collaboration culture that enables the
client/prospects/teammates to draw their own conclusions about making
changes in their behavior.
In short, their self-discovery is more powerful than your sales
presentation.
So, sell less and COLLABORATE MORE – that’s how you sell an idea!

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Did We Set the Goal Correctly?

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Every year, month, week and day, the Sales Leader and his/her team chase their sales forecast in a quest to hit their sales plan. Hit the plan and you can exhale. Miss the plan and heads roll! Sound familiar?

But my research and evaluation show that most Sales Plans were inaccurately set. How’s that? Well, most sales forecasts are seller-centric. It’s all based on the seller’s gut and guess. Then, of course, Senior Management increase these submittals to stretch the sales goal.

And so, for the next 365 days the organization chases the inaccurately set sales goal/forecast. Many call this “Corporate Crazy”.

 Q: What’s the alternative?  

A: Set a client-centric forecast that is realistically based on their needs (initiatives ) and your seeds (solutions).

Sure, this may lead to a more conservative forecast from time-to-time, but it will consistently lead to greater accuracy and truth.  You tell me, set a 12 month forecast based on truth or spend the year chasing a lie?!

The purpose of a sales call and a sales forecast is to get to the truth quickly. And the truth will set you free….to maximize organizational potential without going crazy. Ask yourself and your organization, did we set the goal correctly? 

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Be Inspirational!

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So, I’m here in London with my team (The Deal Closers). And as I went to check-in for the flight, I was directed Virgin Atlantic’s upper lounge (now, that’s what I’m talk’n bout). I asked for the wifi password, which was – INSPIRE! What a great metaphor. What’s the password to log on with sales teams, for account managers to connect with clients, for teachers to better connect with with their students? INSPIRE.

The password is INSPIRE – encouraging others to see the possibilities, and getting them to believe that what’s possible, is possible for them to achieve!!!

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How to Achieve the Sales Results Your CEO Expects and Wallstreet Demands

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How to achieve the sales results that your CEO expects and Wall Street demands?

The Context?

The CEO stands up and says, there is increased uncertainty in the world market and with consumer trends. While conversely, there is increased certainty with more competitors and customers demanding more value at less cost.  Sound familiar?

The content?

The CEO challenged his organization to change. Here’s a summary of the changes in mindset and skill set the market is demanding from his company, from your company and mine:

New Mindset.                              Old Mindset

Collaborate Internally.          Compete Internally

People outside the box.           People in boxes

Drive Value.                                 Drive Profits

Change the Game.                     Play the Game

Invest in People.                         Invest in Tools

Have Passion.                              Have a Plan

Engagement.                                Messages

Manage Opportunity.               Manage Risk

Value Selling.                                Relationship Selling

How to achieve the sales results that your CEO expects and Wall Street demands?  Adopt the new mindset and adapt to a new skill set. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.  Call us. We know how to help.