Written by Delphos
Monday, July 07, 2014 1:55 PM
by Jeffrey Gitomer
The hard side of training, and the soft side of learning.
When a new sales representative is hired, a company provides what is known as orientation and ramp up. Once those elements are complete, the company believes the salesperson can go out and begin earning money.
First, it’s a heavy dose of product training. The company and their trainers will spend days, sometimes weeks, on “what it is,” “how it works,” “how it’s used,” and a myriad of other semi-useful facts.
Overlooked of course is how the customer profits from it, and what the customer’s motive to buy it is. Hello!
I’m about to give you a major AHA! for all product training. Forever. Trainers and training departments will scoff at this because it will mean a huge reduction in what they do and how they do it.
MAJOR CLUE: All product training should be given at a customer’s place of business. This is where your product is actually used. This is where a salesperson can gain real-world information about practical application, about flaws and service needs, and about merits and features that are most valuable to the actual user.
If enough time is spent at the customer’s place, salespeople will also uncover why the product was purchased, how the product was purchased, and the value the product has. It’s also likely, salespeople will dispel the single most erroneous aspect of sales: “the customer only buys price.”
REALITY: “The customer only buys price” is an excuse propagated by weak and lazy salespeople.
BIGGER REALITY: If companies like Halliburton are able to sell hammers to the government for $6,000, somehow you should be able to get your price if you are within a few points or dollars of your competition.
BIGGEST REALITY: The reason salespeople deal with price is because they have no idea about the buying motives and actual product use. Reason? Product training took place in the corporate classroom, where I maintain it is just south of useless.
So much for hard (product) skills.
Now it’s time for the harder part – the soft skills – the selling skills.
Soft skills can be taught one of three ways:
1. In-house training. Company trainers that may also include best salespeople, and outside courseware trained in-house.
2. Outside training. Should be presented by someone who can sell an off-the-shelf solution with the intention that the salesperson will learn general sales, or a system of selling, or a customized sales process where specific aspects of the product and customer are taught.
3. Voice of customer training. Voice of the customer training is when an existing customer tells their story of use of product (what their history is), why they bought it, what their experience has been, how they felt about it after purchase, and why they would recommend it.
PERSONAL NOTE: For the past 20 years, I have built my reputation on utilizing my expertise combined with voice of customer. I consider the training department vitally important, because they are the glue and history of the company’s success. These elements, if combined correctly, can make any salesperson or sales team THE dominant player(s) in their market – without respect to price.
The reason that soft skills, or selling skills, are the most important, yet most perplexing, aspect of sales success is because they must be accepted by the salesperson as valid, believable, and transferable before they can be successfully deployed. The salesperson must say to his or herself, “I agree with this. I think I can do this. I’m willing to put this into practice.”
Most important, the salesperson must do it his or her way, in his or her style, using his or her personality. That way the entire execution of the selling process is transferred to the customer as both authentic and believable.
If you’re a salesperson, and hungry for greater success, it’s important that you improve your soft skills to a point where they are equal to or greater than your product knowledge.
Please understand I’m not talking about learning some old-world, find-the pain, manipulative sales process. In today’s selling, “making a sales pitch” and “closing the sale” are pretty much over.
The biggest soft skill challenges in today’s sales process are finding the decision maker, creating harmony, engaging, proving value, transferring an emotional message, and earning the sale.
SALES REALITY: The hard skills (product) can be pounded in by a training department, but the soft skills have to be accepted as valid by the salesperson.
I’ve just given you a thirty thousand foot perspective on the new science of selling. It’s what I know to be true because I have executed it myself and created my own success with it. Some of you will accept it. Some will not.
JEFFREY REALITY: I’m sitting in a Starbucks at the Marriot Marquis in New York City. New York City is where most of my selling skills were acquired and polished.
I’m smiling, reminiscing, and calling to mind not just the soft skill sales success, but also the immortal words sung by Frank Sinatra, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
So can you. Come to New York City, make a few sales, and find out for yourself.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Delphos
Monday, July 07, 2014 1:54 PM
BY JACK DALY
If you’re the CEO of a company, the realization that much of what you do can be copied by your competitors may be distressing, but veteran sales manager, consultant and business speaker Jack Daly says not so fast.
“Sure your competition copy what they can, but there are two things they can’t: your people and your culture,” says Daly, author of “Hyper Sales Growth,” (www.jackdaly.net).
“I specialize in corporate coaching and sales, the latter of which really counts on the talent and sustained motivation of the sales force. Even your best salesperson needs that extra shot from time to time, and the best way to ensure a driven team is to create a culture that fosters the results you want.”
Some companies are outpacing their competition because of their culture, including Southwest Airlines, Zappos and the Virgin Group, says Daly, who offers these tips for growing a business culture that inspires loyalty, engagement and the high performance those qualities produce.
• Start new hires on a Friday – and with a big welcome. Many managers think new employees should start on Monday – the day when their new co-workers are facing a long to-do list for the week. Consider starting them on Friday, when the office is a bit looser. Also – how about throwing the new hire a welcoming party? Many offices hold going away parties for departing employees, but it makes more sense to put this enthusiasm toward the person with whom you’re making a commitment, rather than the person who’s no longer working for you.
• Recognize accomplishments by putting it in writing – handwriting. Typing emails and instant messaging is clearly much more convenient, which is why an employee who deserves special attention will recognize the extra effort behind a hand-written note. A letter has that personal touch; the receiver knows that the manager or CEO has taken some time and effort to create a special communication just for him or her.
• Provide lunch – for free. “One of my clients started with just 10 employees, and each day one would bring in lunch for everyone,” Daly says. “As the company grew to several hundred employees, the CEO found that free lunches were so beneficial, the company now hires a caterer to maintain the boost in culture it provides.” While many may cringe at the expense, employee appreciation outweighs the cost, Daly’s client says, and it keeps people engaged within the office, rather than having employees leave for lunch.
• Flatten the privilege structure. It’s not a good idea to create anything resembling a class system, including special parking for upper management. “I was the No.1 salesmen at one company, but I always preferred to park with the others,” Daly says. “I’d come in at 5 a.m. and noticed that those with reserved parking arrived significantly later than those who parked in unreserved spots.” Parking should be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upper management shouldn’t feel too entitled or privileged above other employees.
(Jack Daly, (www.jackdaly.net), author of “Hyper Sales Growth,” is an expert in sales and sales management, inspiring audiences to take action in customer loyalty and personal motivation through explosive keynote and general session presentations. He draws upon more than 20 years of business experience, with several successful stints as the CEO of fast-growing companies. Daly has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA. He was a captain in U.S. Army and is an accomplished author, with audio and DVD programs.)
Written by Delphos
Monday, July 07, 2014 1:53 PM
LIMA – Tuttle Services, Inc. announces executive leadership transitions and the promotion of Paul S. Crow from President of Tuttle Construction to President/CEO of Tuttle Services.
Clyde Rauch, former President/CEO, will remain as Chairman of the Board for Tuttle Services.
Crow will lead the parent company, Tuttle Services and the two subsidiary companies, Tuttle Construction and Touchstone CPM, into the future and continue the organization’s unmatched passion of building excellence and client satisfaction. Crow will draw upon his 30 years of construction industry experience to further strengthen the longstanding “Built on Quality” professional standards Tuttle Construction and Touchstone CPM is known for in the industry.
“I look forward to guiding Tuttle Services through this ever changing environment and continue to expand our target market business base, partnership opportunities and continuing the Tuttle legacy,” commented Crow.
Crow joined the Tuttle organization in 1995 as Director of Design/Build Services with seven years of experience as an Estimator and four years experience as a Project Engineer. In August 2000, Paul became the Vice President of Tuttle Services, Inc. Ten years later, he was appointed President of Tuttle Construction.
In addition to his new role, Crow is actively involved with The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America and was the 2013 AGC of Ohio President. Crow is active in a number of civic organizations and a past board member for the Allen County Council on Aging, Goodwill Industries, ArtSpace/Lima and Board Member Business Advisory Committee for Shawnee Local Schools. He is also a member of the Lima Rotary Club.
Crow is a Lima native and graduated from Perry High School and Apollo Career Center. He pursued higher education by attending Bowling Green State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Technology.
(Since its origin in 1928, Tuttle has built a strong reputation throughout the region by consistently exceeding customer’s expectations. Tuttle offers a wide range of construction services for the industrial, institutional and commercial markets. Construction Management services are also provided through Tuttle Services’ subsidiary, Touchstone CPM. Operating on a philosophy based on professional ethics and high standards, Tuttle is driven to provide successful projects that include value-added intangibles, which foster long-term relationships. For more information, please visit www.tuttlenet.com.)
Written by Delphos
Monday, July 07, 2014 1:49 PM
BY DR. ROMIE MUCHTAQ
Google, eBay, Intel and General Mills offer classes on it. So do Harvard Business School, Ross School of Business and Claremont Graduate University, among other campuses. Mindfulness is not just a corporate trend, but a proven method for success.
Mindfulness – being focused and fully present in the here and now – is good for individuals and good for a business’s bottom line.
How can people practice it in a workplace where multitasking is the norm, and concerns for future profits can add to workplace stress?
“Even if a company doesn’t make it part of the culture, employees and managers can substitute their multitasking habits with mindfulness in order to reduce stress and increase productivity,” says Dr. Romie Mushtaq, www.BrainBodyBeauty.com, a neurologist with expertise in Mind-Body medicine and Mindful Living.
“The result that you and your colleagues will notice is that you’re sharper, more efficient and more creative.”
Dr. Romie says the physiological benefits of clearing away distractions and living in the moment have been documented in many scientific and medical studies.
“Practicing mindfulness, whether it’s simply taking deep breaths, or actually meditating or doing yoga, has been shown to alter the structure and function of the brain, which is what allows us to learn, acquire new abilities, and improve memory,” she says. “Advances in neuroimaging techniques have taught us how these mindfulness-based techniques affect neuroplasticity.
“Multitasking, on the other hand, depresses the brain’s memory and analytical functions, and it reduces blood flow to the part of the right temporal lobe, which contributes to our creative thinking. In today’s marketplace, creativity is key for innovation, sustainability and leadership.
Romie offers these tips for practicing mindfulness in a multitasking business:
• Focus on a single task for an allotted amount of time. You might say, “For 15 minutes, I’m going to read through my emails, and then for one hour, I’m going to make my phone calls,” Dr. Romie says.
If your job comes with constant interruptions that demand your attention, take several deep breaths and then prioritize them. Resist the urge to answer the phone every time it rings — unless it’s your boss. If someone asks you to drop what you’re doing to help with a problem, it’s OK to tell them, “I’ll be finished with what I’m doing in 10 minutes, then I’m all yours.”
• When you get “stuck” in a task, change your physical environment to stimulate your senses. Sometimes we bounce from one task to another because we just don’t have the words to begin writing that strategic plan, or we’re staring at a problem and have no ideas for solutions.
“That’s the time to get up, take a walk outside and look at the flowers and the birds – change what you’re seeing,” Dr. Romie says. “Or turn on some relaxing music that makes you feel happy.”
Offering your senses pleasant and different stimulation rewires your brain for relaxation, and reduces the effects of stress hormones, which helps to unfreeze your creativity center.
• Delegate! We often have little control over the external stresses in our life, particularly on the job. How can you not multitask when five people want five different things from you at the same time?
“Have compassion for yourself, and reach out for help,” Dr. Romie says. “If you can assign a task to somebody else who’s capable of handling it, do so. If you need to ask a colleague to help you out, ask!”
This will not only allow you to focus on the tasks that most need your attention, it will reduce your stress.
“And who knows? The colleague you’re asking for help may want to feel appreciated and part of your team!”
While it is possible to practice mindfulness in a hectic workplace, Dr. Romie says she encourages business leaders to make it part of the company culture. Stress-related illnesses are the number one cause of missed employee workdays.
“Offering mindfulness training and yoga classes or giving people time and a place to meditate is an excellent investment,” she says. “Your company’s performance will improve, you’ll see a reduction in stress-related illnesses and you’ll be a more successful businessperson.”
(Dr. Romie Muchtaq is a mind-body medicine physician and neurologist. She did her medical education and training at the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Michigan, where she won numerous teaching and research awards. She brings to healing both her expertise of traditional Western medical training and Eastern modalities of mindfulness. She is currently a corporate health consultant and professional health and wellness life coach at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida. She is also an international professional speaker, addressing corporate audiences, health and wellness conferences and non-profit organizations. Her website is www.BrainBodyBeauty.com.)
Written by Delphos
Monday, July 07, 2014 1:48 PM
BY STEVE KAYSER
Boomers may want to recall one of the poets they grew up reading, Dylan Thomas, and his most famous poem, named for its first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” a desperate appeal to resist the trappings of old age.
“As they retire, baby boomers need to stay true to their reputation for grand statements, and to mobilize their skill set in the business world,” says media expert Steve Kayser, author of “The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heard,” (www.stevekayser.com).
“In fact, many older Americans may have little choice but to adapt their mindset and survive longer in their careers if they want to maintain something resembling their current lifestyle during retirement.”
Kayser lists a few trends that may incentivize aging workers to clock in for a few more years:
• The number of Americans 55 and older will almost double between now and 2030 – from 60 million today to 107.6 million, according to the United States Census Bureau. That will likely strain public safety nets such as Social Security and Medicare.
• American life expectancy is at an all-time high, and death rates are at an all-time low, which means some people will outlive their retirement savings.
• The global economic crisis has wiped out or severely affected millions of middle- and senior-aged people’s life savings.
But with an increasingly competitive pool of professionals whose skill sets need to be regularly updated, how can boomers stay in the game?
Kayser quotes Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
He discusses his method for how older workers can maintain their value – by staying “R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T.”
• What it means to learn, unlearn and relearn. The ever-shifting sands of technology pose a special challenge to older workers. Younger professionals not only grew up working and entertaining themselves with screens, they also learned to adapt to technological leaps. A program you learn today may not be relevant in a few years, so keep an open and flexible mind.
• Being R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T… Take this mnemonic device to heart: Risk, Experiment, Listen and Learn, Engage, Value, Attitude of gratitude, No to negativity, and Time. “This is an ongoing, evolving note to keep in your mind no matter your professional situation,” Kayser says. “I’ve been around a lot of charismatic and effervescent folks in their 70s and 80s who are still successful and growing, both on a personal and business level. The acronym encompasses the ideas that seem to promote a proactive life.”
• Answer the question, “What resonates with you?” This is a deceptively deep question when you apply it to your life’s trajectory. If life hasn’t turned out to be what you expected it would 30 years ago, then it’s time to recalibrate how you see yourself, especially if that’s as a perpetual pre-retiree. If you’re not sure of how you see yourself in today’s setting, start with what the spiritual writer Joseph Campbell called the “moving power of your life,” which can be sensed by the things that resonate within you. The things that resonate within you, such as an unusual book, may just be the compass you need to find your way.
(Steve Kayser is an award-winning writer, editor, publisher, former radio host and founder of Kayser Media. He has had the great fortune to interview and collaborate with some of the best minds in the business world, and his eclectic approach to public relations and marketing has been widely documented. He recently published “The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heart,” (www.stevekayser.com).)