Blog

03Mar 2015

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Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Randy Pennington:

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This is a difficult question for me. I think I do pretty well at staying current in order to stay relevant in my professional life. I challenge myself to examine different viewpoints. I haven’t missed a daily workout more than 50 times in the past 15 years. And, I make a conscious effort to let my wife know that I love her every day.

Those are all pretty good habits. But, I’m not sure that any of them are my “Best” one. In fact, I am the last one of the Five Friends to turn in my piece because I have been thinking about this question for days. This confirms what my friends know: one of my worst habits is a tendency to over-think stuff.

So here is what I believe to be my best habit: I never give up on trying to be better at things that are important to me. It’s not that I’m a self-development junkie. I simply am rarely convinced and sometimes paranoid that my best today won’t be up to my own standards tomorrow.

I haven’t always had this habit. But, I’ll keep it until I overanalyze it out of existence.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.


From Mark Sanborn:

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My colleagues have shared several habits that I also benefit from. Thinking and reading are critical for me as a speaker and author, but critical for anyone who wants to lead well and live fully.

Another habit that has served me well for my entire adult life is exercise.

I expect that to elicit a ho-hum response. Everyone knows it is a good idea but far fewer do it regularly.

As an overweight kid I used running to drop the extra weight. The discipline of running, I learned, could be applied to other areas of my life. And that’s a key benefit of exercise: it develops discipline.

It has also been shown to be as effective as medication in treating some mood disorders. It also enables quicker recovery from illness and setbacks.

And it doesn’t have to be onerous. I no longer run or bike the long distances I once did. Now my goal is 20 minutes of activity a day, whether lifting, running or cycling.

And if I don’t feel great about exercising when I start, I always do after I finish.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Larry Winget:

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I stay current. One of the biggest issues facing us today is that people don’t choose to make a habit of informing themselves about what is going on in the world. They have decided they are somehow above it all and that what is “trending” is beneath them. No, it’s what keeps you relevant. Being uninformed makes you irrelevant. I choose relevance so I choose to stay current.

I do my best to know what is going on in the world, my country, my state and my city. I work to be informed about government, health, finance, business, entertainment, fashion and just about every other area. I stay informed by reading blogs, articles, magazines and books. I start my day with GoogleNews and YahooNews as well as skimming the news channels for the news of the day. I seek out a variety of opinions on all topics to broaden my understanding. I talk about what’s going on with friends like the guys who write this blog in order to surround myself with others who are current and have different opinions. This habit allows me to have better conversations with my online followers, my friends and my audiences. 

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Scott McKain:

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My best habit is daily thinking.

You’re probably saying, “Hey – I think every day, too!”  However, I mean that I have developed the habit of making time each morning for contemplation and creativity.

I heard an executive say to his team, “Our problem is that we think about what we’re doing – but we aren’t thinking about what we’re doing.” While that sentence isn’t elegant, my guess is you understand what he was attempting to convey.

Most of us think about how we can execute what is required to accomplish our assignments. Few, however, contemplate on the bigger issues facing our organizations and the customers we seek to serve.

Want to develop the habit of daily contemplation? Here’s my advice: In the quiet of the morning, take a legal pad and consider the bigger issues that our daily stress and obligations often prevent us from considering.  Simply write down what you’re thinking in a “stream of consciousness” manner.  You’ll be amazed how your creativity and insight will flourish.

Deep thinking is like building a muscle – the more you exercise your mind in a habitual manner, the stronger it will become. Try it! It will become a great habit for you, too.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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I don’t want to be repetitive, so I will think of it as reinforcement to say that, like Larry, I stay current. I read. I read everything. Reading, especially reading that with which I tend to disagree, has benefits too long to list. So that’s my first helpful habit.

But since Larry already claimed that turf, here’s another, equally beneficial, useful, and empowering habit. I get up early. For me that’s 5:00AM on a normal day, 4:00AM during times in which I’ve got a project on my plate that requires maximum clarity and creativity.

If it’s the weekend and there is absolutely nothing to do, I get up early. I can’t help it, I can’t quit it, and I don’t want to.

Scott talked about doing his daily contemplation in the quiet of the morning. I totally get it. For me, the hour before sunrise is the absolute best time of day. My thoughts are clear, I am at my most creative, and it’s when I do my best work.

Whatever your “best” time of day is, I encourage you to be intentional about the habit of putting that time to good use. Don’t waste it.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.

24Feb 2015

When I find myself getting really bad service, I try to extract lessons I can share with my clients.Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.23.26 AM

There is a national chain of upscale seafood restaurants where I’ve always enjoyed dining. I took my family, my brother and sister-in-law and mother there to celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.

The experience couldn’t have been more goofed up. Slow service, wrong drink and food orders and much more. But that isn’t the point of my story.

A manager on duty did a splendid job of salvaging the situation. She comped our meal and gave me a gift certificate to use when I returned. I was thrilled.

Until, that is, I tried to recognize her. I filled out an extensive and cumbersome online form and got an automatic response that I’d hear from corporate within 5 business days.

I never did.

I called corporate and explained my frustration at wanting to acknowledge an employee for great service. The woman on the phone noted my frustration and said she’d “pass it on” and started to end the call.

Wouldn’t that require her getting my name and contact information? Oh yes. At my reminder she took the information.

A few days later I got a call from the manager of the restaurant where we’d dined. He left a message. “Sorry I didn’t call earlier. I’m going out of town for a few days but I’ll call again when I return.”

He didn’t.

And when I tried to use the gift certificate, I was unpleasantly surprised with restrictions.

The irony? I had written a Five Friends blog about my favorite restaurants and included this restaurant chain. The ongoing frustrations made me reconsider and I replaced them with another restaurant.

What are the lessons?

1. Make it easy for customers to contact you. Sure, you want as much information as you can reasonably get, but if you ask for too much, it is off-putting.

2. Keep commitments, period. If you say “within five business days” (not very quick), at least make sure it happens. When you say you’ll call back later, call back later. We’ve heard it forever, but some businesses still don’t get it.

3. Make sure the cure doesn’t further aggravate the situation. If the gift card has restrictions, tell the patron at the time you present it. If your offer to make something right has limitations or restrictions, don’t forget to explain them.

4. Creating happiness is hard but undoing it is easy. I really wanted to express appreciation for a good manager. It shouldn’t have been difficult to do. I went from happy to unhappy.

5. Unhappy customers don’t refer you to others. And if they are really unhappy, they send them away. I like to remind clients that word of mouth can hurt you, but word of mouse can hurt you even more. I wanted to include this restaurant in my list of favorite but after the experience I had, I couldn’t in good conscience.

Will I ever eat there again? Possibly. Will I eat there as frequently? Not likely.

Simple service failures result in lost revenue. It is avoidable. Just learn these lessons.

18Feb 2015

1. Who are the best at this?get better

Emulation is one of the quickest ways to learn. Do you know who the best people are in your field or area of interest? Are you familiar with the top performers? Who do you look to as an example to learn from?

Don’t just learn what the best do, make sure you learn how they think. Doing something without understanding why is foolish. And by knowing how the best think, you’ll be able to assess what you should be doing.

2. How would the best do this?

When you’ve committed to a course of action, analyze how the best implement and execute. Study the process peak performers use to achieve results.

Want to be a better speaker? Study great speakers and pay as much attention to how they say something as what they say. If you need to move people to action, study the best inspirational or motivational speakers and learn how their choice of words, use of stories, variance in volume, speed of delivery and other behaviors contribute to their success.

3. How can I do it even better?

Nobody has a corner on perfection. Just as the best performers continue to get better, you can learn what is working now and look for ways to polish, adjust and improve. Don’t stay stuck in the past. Challenge yourself by seeing how you can improve on best practices and make them even better.

17Feb 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn
Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Larry Winget:

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1. If you have lousy employees, it’s because you are a lousy employer.  Your employees will be no better than you are.  Fix yourself first.  Your employees only reflect back to you who you really are as an employer and company.

2. Your job is to make your company the best place for a customer to do business with.  That means you must hire the best people, give them the best training, be the best example for them to emulate and drive the concept of “value” home with every person who works there.

3. Stand up for what is right.  Don’t even think about whether it is the easiest thing, the cheapest thing or the fastest thing.  The right thing is sometimes the hardest, the most expensive and the slowest thing you can do.  Do the right thing regardless.

4. Your employees can’t read your mind.  Don’t expect them to know what you want until you tell them and teach them.

5. Hire slow.  Fire fast.  Most employers have this one backwards.

6. If you put up with it, you are endorsing it. Do you endorse rudeness, lousy service, being late, stealing, being lazy or disrespectful? No? Then why do you put up with it?

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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1. Unhappy employees deliver bad service and do poor quality work.  Any employer who says “I don’t care if my employees are happy” is an idiot that understands neither people nor business.

2. Your employees watch every move you make.  That’s how they know what the “rules” are.  What you do and how you behave towards people carries more weight and influence than any pronouncements that you make or emails that you send.

3. If your front line employees are doing things that damage your brand or business (think Comcast bills that call customers “ass***e” or “b*tch”), that’s your responsibility. That’s a failure of leadership, pure and simple.

4. If you have employees that routinely violate the stated values, i.e. “We treat others with respect,” then your values are a lie as long as those employees continue to work there.

5. Your decisions as leader of the organization are worthless unless you get buy-in from your employees.

6. If you think that you will get the best from people only “because I pay them,” then you should move to a place where that makes more sense; like the 19th Century.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.


From Randy Pennington:

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1. A great culture with a mediocre strategy outperforms a great strategy with a mediocre culture.

2. Your business will only grow as fast and as large as the quality of your employees and their commitment to excellence.

3. The right employees, when hired, developed, and retained, are an investment not an expense.

4. When you treat people as responsible adults, you earn the right to expect them to act that way.

5. You can mandate compliance. Commitment is volunteered.

6. No one ever received too much legitimate recognition for their excellent effort and results.

7. Your good employees will love you if you get rid of the Bozos who suck the life out of your workplace.

8. If you don’t care about being the best, don’t expect your employees to either.

9. How you act when times are tough is the real test of how much you believe in your values.

10. The managers in the middle who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo are probably your biggest obstacle to change.

And the bonus: Past success proves you were right once. If you can’t change, you will die.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.


From Mark Sanborn:

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Employers need to remember that you rent behavior but you earn loyalty.

An employment agreement done right is about identifying what behaviors are required and what compensation will be made for those behaviors. That means it is critically important to be clear on the results you want and the behaviors needed to attain them.

In an imperfect world there are often obstacles that block even the best behaviors from getting results. They include things like bureaucracy, flawed processes and bad management. Leadership is about removing obstacles and creating favorable conditions for employees to succeed.

You can’t, however, buy or rent loyalty. Loyalty is earned by how leaders treat employees. It is not just what a manager does for an employee, but how he or she does it.

If an employee doesn’t feel he is treated fairly, two things usually happen. First, he is less loyal and likely looking for better opportunities elsewhere. Second, lacking the loyalty he feels deserves, the employee will ask for more compensation to make up for it. He isn’t asking for more money to become loyal; he is asking for more money to reimburse him because the employer isn’t loyal.

No surprise here, but the best way to get loyalty is to give it. It is something money can’t rent or buy.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Scott McKain:

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Employers must remember their reason for existing: “The purpose of any business is to profitably create experiences so compelling to the customer that loyalty becomes assured.”

You must figure out how to engineer an experience for prospects that is so valuable they become customers – and so compelling for customers that they keep coming back for more…while referring you to their friends and colleagues.

This goal isn’t achieved without an engaged workforce, inspired by a dynamic culture.  Employers need to view their employees as nothing more or less than the “internal customers” of the organization.

You’re probably aware that the focus of my work centers upon how an organization, leader, or individual creates distinction in their respective marketplaces.  What I frequently find is that companies focus internally — and individuals focus on themselves.

Instead, a critical difference is that the distinctive organization or professional has an outward-facing approach that attracts customers through engaging and insightful connections.

Your product doesn’t make those connections – your people do. So, ask yourself the critical question:  Why would a talented professional choose to work for us, RATHER THAN THE COMPETITION?

Hint: It’s not compensation.  It’s about the compelling experience you create for your internal customers.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com

04Feb 2015

In a previous post I suggested 12 questions that, if answered thoughtfully and thoroughly, can help you create the life you desire.ignition

I omitted one questions, and it is the most important. You can think of it as the “igniter question.”

A rocket isn’t powerful until ignition. The latent power of the rocket becomes useful power once the fuel is ignited.

People have amazing latent powers and potential. Tragically, they often stay unrealized because they lack ignition.

The igniter question is this: What am I consistently doing?

One of the most flippant statements I regularly hear is, “I already knew that.” The important question isn’t “What do you know?” but “What are you doing with the information?”

The key is consistent effort. Not the occasional dabbling that so many mistake for consistent effort, but purposeful, focused and ongoing work.

What one thing, if you started doing it and kept doing it, would give you the biggest return on your investment of time and energy?

There is a time when you need to go beyond answering the questions and start applying the answers.

And that time is now.

(If you missed 12 Questions that Can Create the Life You Desire, click here.)

03Feb 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn

Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Scott McKain:

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Employees should remember EVERYONE is replaceable – those who aren’t distinctive get replaced first.

Steve Jobs died in 2011.  Apple just reported their most profitable quarter ever. Tim Cook is good, too. McDonald’s just replaced their CEO – made zero difference to the taste of a Big Mac. Think you’re more important to your company than they were to theirs?

Unless you find a way to change, grow, stand out, and create distinction – why shouldn’t your company replace you with someone who has more desire and fewer demands?

The purpose of any business is to create customers – not employees.  Don’t misunderstand; I believe companies perform optimally when they build a culture that cares about their employee’s satisfaction, happiness, and encourages the professional growth and development of everyone on the team.

However, I recently heard this interesting remark:  “We’re wrong about Darwin. He wasn’t about ‘survival of the fittest’ as much as that the surviving species are the ones most willing to adapt and change.”

Unless you are willing to invest personal effort to change, grow, and separate yourself from the pack – why should any company that desires to create distinction allow you to survive as their employee?

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com


From Larry Winget:

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You are paid to work: not make personal calls, do your social media or any other personal activity.  Every employee should stop and ask themselves, “Is this what I was hired to do and am being paid to do?” If not, you are stealing from your employer and should stop.

You are an expense.  If the cost to have you employed exceeds your value, then there is no reason for the company to employ you.  Always be adding to your value.

No one likes a whiner, complainer, gossip or trouble-maker, but everyone loves a person who will do what it takes to get it done, is willing to be of service to anyone and can be counted on.

Businesses don’t exist to make employees happy.  They want their employees to be happy, but that is not the reason they are in business.  They are in business to be profitable.  They do that by having products and services their customers want and by serving those customers well. It’s a simple equation. Employees need to understand it and contribute to the profitability of the company in order to have job security.

Yep, I’m a hardass.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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Employees should remember that they should never have to work for a jerk who is disrespectful or takes advantage of them or anyone else.  If you are getting less than you deserve, you should remember Johnny Paycheck, who took his job and…quit.

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you start a pattern that’s hard to change.  The question is, what do you deserve?  Not as a human being, but as an employee in a competitive job market.

Employees should endeavor to place themselves in a position where they command the maximum they can possibly get.

There’s one way to do that:  be valuable. Produce results so impressive and compelling that you can’t be denied.  Be in a position to replace the job you have with a better one because any employer would be crazy not to want you – to bid up the price for you.

Be so valuable that when you say “I quit,” your employer will say “You can’t.  We won’t let you. What will it take for you to stay?”

Be that valuable, and you can call the shots.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.


From Randy Pennington:

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Do you feel richer than you did a year ago? I didn’t think so.

Salaries increased an average of 3 percent across all jobs in 2014. Average wages for hourly employees actually dropped 1.7 percent last year. Health care premiums were up an average of 4.7 percent.

Here is what you need to know about getting paid what you want:

  • Your economic value is based on the importance, complexity, and urgency of the problems you can solve. Your salary is based on the cost of acquiring your job at a fully competent level from the marketplace. You will receive some bonus points if you are a superior performer, but not much and not a promotion based on longevity.
  • It is your responsibility to make yourself more valuable. Your employer—at least the good ones—will help you develop in the job you hold. The exceptional ones will offer career advancement opportunities. But for the majority of employers, it is up to you.

There is a reason doctors earn more than nurses. There is a reason that the go-to person in your company earns more than you. Increase your skills. Become that go-to person. That is how you get ahead.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.


From Mark Sanborn:

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You give your work dignity.

Politicians remind us that work gives people dignity, and it does.

But how you do your job determines the importance and impact of it. B.C. Forbes said, “There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive.”

Martin Luther King said it well, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

As an employee you might feel you have a redundant job that is dead end. Continue to look for better work, but in the meantime, why not accept the challenge of doing your job as well as you can and perhaps even recreating it to be more fulfilling?

Having a job helps give you dignity. How you do it gives dignity to the job.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.

25Jan 2015

While working for a client in Las Vegas, I dined at the bar in the well known hotel’s friendssteakhouse.

Both bartenders were busy and I respected that. When they asked for my order, they were professional but very matter of fact. I asked a couple questions about recommendations and their responses were to the point and marginally helpful.

Twenty minutes later two others came in and sat next to me at the bar. They were obviously good friends with the bartenders. The energy and enthusiasm of both changed dramatically.

The bartenders were effusive in their greetings, quick in getting their orders, making suggestions and chatting. They were no less busy than before, but they were able to make time for their pals.

I wondered how other patrons would have reacted–and tipped–if the two bartenders had treated them more like friends than customers. I don’t want to be the bartender’s or the server’s friend, but its enjoyable when you get the same attention and warmth.

I asked Fred Shea, a.k.a Fred the Postman, “How do you take such great care of your customers?”

His response: “I don’t think of the people on my route as customers. I think of them as friends, and it is easy to take care of your friends.”

If you want to improve your service delivery, just treat customers like friends.

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19Jan 2015

5-friends-banner-mark-sanborn

Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life.


From Mark Sanborn:

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First, it used to be enough to promise value to make the sale. If a client believed you could deliver, they gave you a chance. Today, you need to prove value to make the sale. Demonstrate what you can do to help the client be more successful. Don’t tell prospects how good the candy tastes. Let them taste the candy knowing they’ll want to buy more once they do.

Second, it has become cliché that “customers don’t want to be sold, they want to buy.” That’s changed. Today customers want to be sold—to have a professional get to know them, understand their needs and suggest the best possible product or service to meet them. Customers are better informed, but that still don’t want to do the work of the sales professional. Customers want to be sold so they can make a good buying decision. (What they don’t want is to be pressured or manipulated.)

Finally, a sale doesn’t create a customer. A sale creates a transaction. How the sale is made and what happens after creates a customer, or sends a potential long-term customer packing. A sales pro aims for an ongoing relationship, not a single transaction.

Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.


From Scott McKain:

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The Agricultural Age didn’t end because we ran out of farms. The Industrial Age didn’t conclude because we ran out of factories. Instead, the products of those farms and factories became so plentiful that customers of their goods could afford more in the way of services.

Now, in my opinion, the Information Age is dead. It’s not because we’re out of information – it’s that we are awash in it.

Therefore, the fundamental nature of selling has changed.

My client, BMW, tells me that just six years ago, the average customer made about six visits to car dealerships to make a purchase decision.  Today, that number has dropped to 1.3!

Why? Customers don’t need the salesperson to serve as their source of information. The Internet means we enter a dealership armed with almost as much enlightenment about the car as the person trying to sell us!

The distinctive sales professional of today – and the future – views her job as one of providing wisdom, rather than merely regurgitating product information.

Your success in sales will depend more upon your ability to provide superior insights about how you are a better solution – and less upon dumping data on prospects you’re attempting to persuade.

Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information: www.ScottMcKain.com


From Larry Winget:

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The fundamentals of selling really haven’t changed. Buying has changed, but not selling.

Selling is, always has been and always will be about having a product the customer perceives to be a solution to a problem they have. If your product doesn’t solve a customer’s problem, you have nothing to sell. Some people think they have a great product but if the customer doesn’t see it as a solution, you’ve got nothing. And the bigger the problem you solve, the more you can charge for it. A 99 cent hamburger solves a 99 cent problem. A $250,000 heart surgery obviously solves a bigger problem and costs more.

Past that concept, you have to make the customer aware that you have a solution and you have to ask the customer to buy it. The way you do both of those HAS changed dramatically.

My focus has always been on the basics: solving a problem, making people aware I have a solution to their problem and asking them to buy it.  All while working on my product to make sure the value of the problem I solve increases so I can charge more for it.

Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development®, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.


From Joe Calloway:

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Selling used to be about knowing your product or service inside out so that you could make a great pitch to your prospect. For me, a key to my selling success has been having deep knowledge about the customer and the customer’s business. When a new prospect says to me, “Why should I do business with you?” my answer is, “I don’t know that you should. Let’s find out.”

Then the process begins. It’s not a process of convincing them to buy. It’s a process of me gaining a deep understanding of what they’re wanting to accomplish or, as Larry points out, what problem they’re trying to solve.

One moment I’ll always remember was sitting in the office of a CEO who said to me, “The reason we do business with you is that you get us. You understand where we’re trying to take this company and you help us to that.”

Let me know more about the customer and understand their business better than my competition does and I’ll win almost every time.

Selling yesterday: I’m good at what I do.
Selling today: I’m good at understanding what you do and here’s how I can help you.

Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com.


From Randy Pennington:

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Does this sound familiar?

“Competition is stronger. No longer will sales gimmickry work in the marketplace. Buyers are getting smarter, more sophisticated, more demanding. They won’t put up with all of this old manipulative stuff anymore… Buyer tastes and levels of awareness are constantly being upgraded. And the whole world is competing for consumers’ dollars.”

This message echoes many of the themes my colleagues have so eloquently shared. Ron Willingham wrote them in a book titled Integrity Selling in 1987.

Everything has changed, and nothing has changed.

Today’s customer expectations are simply the continued evolution of a change that began decades ago. But, the principles that sustain the best sales professionals remain the same.

Know what you are doing and why. Listen. Solve the customer’s problem not your own. Constantly reassess your strategy. Continuously upgrade your tactics and tools to remain relevant. Serve the customer where they are.

Customer preferences, values, and demographics will always change. Technology and tools will continue to become more powerful giving you and your customer more information. How you build and sustain your army of satisfied customers will always change. The need to do so will remain.

Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To find out more, go to www.penningtongroup.com.

19Jan 2015

questions1. What is my purpose?

2. Why do I get out of bed in the morning?

3. What have I learned?

4. What do I most enjoy doing?

5. What is my biggest contribution to the world?

6. What would I do if I had only six months to live?

7. How will I keep learning?

8. If I gave away all but five possessions, what would I keep?

9. What would I most like to learn?

10. Who do I most love?

11. What is the greatest adventure I desire?

12. What do I want to be remembered for?

NEXT ARTICLE: The One Question that Ignites It All

14Jan 2015

Want to get more out of every work day?Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.26.22 AM

Have a specific reason to go to work.

It could be your life purpose, or your professional purpose. And good for you if you have both.

But it could be as simple as “this is the one thing I want to get done” or “the person with whom I most need to connect.”

Showing up with no particular focus is an invitation for others to impose their focus on you.

Don’t overthink it. This isn’t a zen koan or deep meditation.

Simply figure out why you’re going in to work each day.