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It's Your Voice

There are many theories and experts in all industries but there seems to be many more claiming to have the right process for you to reach your business and personal goals – do you concur? Some people seem extremely lucky, while others constantly are on a quest for the secret methods for their journey. With out a doubt we all know how amazing we become when we love what we do and the chips fall where they should. 

Last winter, I made my way outside to my vehicle to start her up so she’ll be warm for my travel to the city to participate in the student and free enterprise (SIFE) program as a judge. With my hands full, suited up and wearing those smooth sole dress shoes, I sensed slippage. I said to myself black ice? If where you live or lived has a winter season you may have slipped on the unnoticed black ice (The ice blends with the black pavement). So you may be thinking did he fall? Stay tuned for our next article – just kidding. Not only did I fall, but fell hard!!! The reason I am sharing this is because I listened to my inner voice the whole way down. It repeatedly said, “You’re falling” . . . If I had listened to my inner voice when I noticed the black ice, perhaps the fall could have been avoided? That affirmed the notion of how much we actually listen to our inner voice. I sort of laughed thinking how we as people search for someone else’s secret method to success when we have it right within ourselves. I’m not saying programs likes ours don’t help support people in achieving their goals. I am simply stating that we need to connect with our inner voice to help guide us to our true desires and dreams in business and our personal life. 

Make your goals clear and allow yourself to speak from within and you’ll be laughing your way to seeing yourself achieve what you set out to accomplish each and every day. Watch out for the black ice on your journey of life it may slow you down or actually motivate you to work smarter.

New Year New Career

Take into consideration Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality

Once requirements for food, love and shelter are taken care of, you may seek intellectual stimulation. On Maslow's pyramid, until you have found inner serenity somewhere near the top of the pyramid, you should ask the question, how is my current job helping me advance in my career?

An easy way to measure this is to look at your résumé. Update it to reflect where you are today. Then identify what you've accomplished in the past 12 months that made you more effective, more interesting, or more marketable. Do you have 10 years' experience, or one year's experience repeated 10 times? Select every new skill or accomplishment that you couldn't claim a year ago.

A survey conducted by Gail Kasper, LLC, a leading speaking and coaching company, found that Americans are not taking their futures very seriously. Specifically, 51% of those surveyed do not have New Year's resolutions. Of those who do, 79% don't have a plan to achieve them. 

According to the Department of Labor, over 400,000 unemployed individuals are NOT actively seeking employment because they feel that there are no jobs available for them. With unemployment high, job seekers must stay the course, have a game plan and maximize their opportunities or they may find themselves among the 91% of Americans who won't be achieving their goals in the New Year. Are you in the top 9% who achieve their goals?

The survey, completed by a random group of 104 adults, also asked respondents to identify the biggest issue that could prevent them from achieving their New Year's Resolutions or goals. The top 3 reasons identified were:

1. Procrastinating 33% 

2. Lack of discipline 24% 

3. No game plan 19%

Interestingly enough, 10% of individuals felt the biggest issue preventing them from achieving their New Year's Resolutions or goals was "doing it alone".

You can be in the top 9% who achieve their goals by simply developing your own plan as outlined in our free sales plan. You are not alone we are there to support you! But you need to own and embrace your goals frequently so you may reach your full potential.

Polishing Your Sales Presentation

Summer is here! It's time to bring out your summer attire, take a vacation and reflect upon your achievements thus far this year. Look back at the past few months of your sales production . . . are you on target for all your sales goals this year? Are you making sales from all your customer visits and sales presentations?

You may be far ahead in some areas or behind in others. No matter what your sales production is today you certainly should have another look at what targets and goals you have developed in your game plan for this year. 

Are you using your strengths to their fullest potential? To improve your sales results, determine what has been working or not working so well. Then define where to concentrate your productive energies for the next two quarters in the year or the remainder of your compensation period. 

The statistics say that 90% of the sale is made in the presentation. Many sales professionals need to be more innovative and prepare for every presentation. When planned and executed well, your presentation is the most effective method of winning more customers. The most important point of a presentation is that the objective of communication is not the transmission, but the reception. The whole preparation and content of presentation must therefore be geared to the customer with a clear objective that will specify actions or commitments you desire from the customer. Be creative and original to tailor the presentation to earn their interest and respect to differentiate yourself from your competition.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of careful preparation. Five minutes face to face with senior management could decide the acceptance or rejection of a proposal. With so much potentially at stake, the presenter must concentrate not only upon the facts being given, but also upon the style, pace, tone and tactics that should be used to best relate to the audience.
Some Suggestions Are:
• Explain at the beginning of the presentation what will be covered and how long it will take so they know what to expect.
• Plan exactly how you wish to appear to them; dress appropriately for the audience.
• Rehearse your presentation. There is no substitute for practicing.
• Accentuate your gestures and vocal projection; always have great eye contact.
• A smooth presentation is the key for your customer to sense your sincerity and confidence.
• Don’t try to answer every question. They will respect you more if you get back to them with the correct answer.

There are three primary ways people learn:
Visually – people learn through reading, seeing  and mental images.
Auditorily – people learn through listening and   hearing. 
Kinesthetically – people learn through touching and  doing.     

Try to find out how your customers prefer to learn. Pay attention during conversations, if they read a lot and use phrases like, “I see it,” and then they probably learn best visually, so use plenty of excellent visuals. If they use words like, “I haven’t heard that, but that sounds good to me,” they learn best auditorily, so keep the speaking dialog going at a pace and tone that they are comfortable with. If you see them holding your collateral and product they might learn best kinesthetically. Deliver your presentation (hand things to them) primarily that way and create a well-rounded presentation that encompasses all the learning styles. For example, include visuals, have a good speaking voice, and bring samples of the product (to see and touch) for every customer. But primarily tailor your presentation to their preferred learning style.

Although they will be trying very hard to concentrate on your presentation, your audience’s minds will inevitably stray. Your job is to do something, anything that captures their attention and makes a lasting impression upon them. You don't necessarily have to use repeated phrases, but simply make the point again and again with different explanations and in different ways. Include the audience in the presentation; ask them questions to get them involved and keep them involved. 

Once your presentation is over, you should try to honestly evaluate your performance. Either alone, or with the help of someone involved decide what were the least and most successful aspects of your presentation and concentrate on improving those areas for your next presentation. If there’s a problem with the preparation or execution, then work on it. Practice is only productive when you make a positive effort to improve your presentations. Be committed to self-improvement to further develop your career. Be coached, or coach yourself, to constantly improve your presentations. Analyzing your strengths and building upon them is an effective method of self-coaching. 

“A presentation is an interactive conversation with the customer.” - Dan Collins

We believe that for any investment of sales improvement to generate a positive return, whether it is field training, classroom training, online learning, computer based, Audiobooks, etc., predefined outcomes need to be articulated and then executed. So clearly define what you want to accomplish for the remainder of this year, focusing on being more innovative and preparing for every presentation and of course, follow through and support your sales plan for this year with sales training tools like our Sound Selling Audiobook™. Good luck goal setting, presenting and selling!

Train to Learn

Aligning your training to learning and matching your business goals is the ideal way to increase your business wealth. In 2004, 50 billion dollars were invested in training in the United States. It's clear that smart companies invest in their people in an effective way to broaden an individual's human capacity, thus enabling the successful support of overall company goals. 

This year's American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) BEST Award winners represent organizations that demonstrate enterprise wide achievement as a result of employee learning and development (ASTD.org).

Last year's winners outperformed the S&P 2005 index by 2 to 1! That's an impressive indication that training and offering more skills to support your team has an excellent ROI (return on investment).

What kind of training is most effective? The kind that is matched to your business culture and supports your goals. Simply said, not so easy to accomplish. With the many different perceptions, interpretations and beliefs people have or may formulate, an organization needs to be very clear in their objectives in order to have all employees motivated to company goals. 

The BEST award winners understand how to apply learning as a strategic goal and champion learning culture. Every company has different objectives but by being innovative, designing the learning to fit the culture through blended utilization of all applicable training methods. For example, specific programs enhance customer service with a simulator web application allowing learners to practice a particular task without risks involved in helping live customers, or the discipline to follow up on sales calls with a win/lose review and lesson, allowing employees to learn safely from mistakes utilizing a globally accessible database. These are examples of learning innovations which can lead to greater company performance to outperform the S&P. 

The key is committing to a learning process that matches your business culture and goals, delivering the appropriate blend of training tools, giving your people an edge over your competitors, outperforming in your industry. 

Whose Goals Are They

Many have goals, but few reach them all. Businesses like sports teams aspire to making goals (gaining points) to earn rewards and win titles. Are your goals clichéd with being productive? Why is it easier said than done to set realistic goals that 100 percent of the time you can reach them with ease? 

Ever think about what are the motivating factors that caused you to choose those goals? Goals cannot be set alone - they need reflection and confirmation of the origin along with the surrounding dynamics to assure the appropriate method to set realistic goals. If you choose to set goals based only on what you think is right, that will not work alone. You need to AGREE that the goals set by your organization are also your goals, but not limited to their plan - make your own! Look beyond, dream about what you wish for your loved ones, for yourself and start there. Taking charge of your own destiny that will keep you productive. Then you will be able to look beyond the politics of organizations, which could have the tendency to diminish your efforts, to reach and exceed goals when they are not your own. 

When the press asked the Boston Celtics legend player Larry Bird how many practice shots he takes a day, he responded with “1,000 shots!” The reporter asked, “Larry How is that possible?” Larry Bird simply stated that some shots are physical but most are visually taken… (Positive Visualization). Visualizing successful shots when at a stop sign (seeing your successful goals being played out) is an effective means of motivation towards achievement of your goals.

It’s clearly up to you to determine what you wish to achieve in life. Learn from what you’ve accomplished, what factors proved to support you on your journey to achieve goals that are in line with what you desire. Make certain you visualize ALL your goals for the day, the month, the year and your life time goals and design them individually. This will enable you to see how to score your own shots.

When you own your goals, then they will naturally motivate you with empowerment to reach them.

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