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  • Bob Burg

“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

“Paws” for THIS Customer Experience Story :-)

November 13th, 2016 by Bob Burg

SimoneSpeaking at a client’s annual national conference recently I had an opportunity to meet Nancy Weil. Nancy is an author, the founder of The Laugh Academy and also presented at the event.

While we were talking about our pets, Nancy related to me one of the best customer experience stories I’ve ever heard.

Her dog, Simone, had to have emergency surgery to save her life. Fortunately, the specialists at the emergency veterinary hospital did an excellent job. Simone will live without half her lung, but with plenty of love from her human parents.

Also, fortunately, Nancy had taken out an insurance policy from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation when she first got Simone. Being that the bill was $3500, the insurance came in very handy. The company handled everything quickly and honorably and Nancy could focus her attention on her fur child rather than on the money.

But, it was what happened next that really made it special. She soon received an email from the insurance company that read as follows:

Hi Nancy,

We were wondering how Simone is recovering from her major surgery? We’re sorry to hear she had to go through that and send wishes for a quick recovery!

Please send a quick email letting us know how she’s feeling and giver her a great bit hug from us!

Sincerly,
Tim Weiss,
Paws & Claws Protector

There are multiple lessons to learn from this. And, rather than coming up with my own here, let me ask you instead to read Nancy Weil’s fantastic post where she shares them beautifully!

I hope you enjoyed her post. I know I sure did.

And, if you’re interested, visit Healthy Paws and check out what the rates would be for coverage on your fur child. (I already did!) 🙂

Just from Nancy’s post I’d say they are the very embodiment of a Go-Giver company!

Is This Contrary to Being a Go-Giver?

October 2nd, 2016 by Bob Burg

Cold Calling - Bob BurgA reader recently emailed me the following:

“Hi Bob, I love being in sales and want to make a difference. The company I just started working for is very focused on cold calling, and closing on the first appointment, which seems contrary to the approach in your and John’s book? I love this company but how do I reconcile this with the Go-Giver principles?”

My response:

Actually, cold-calling is a very legitimate part of sales. It’s certainly not as productive (or fun!) as when you have tons of referred prospects who are predisposed to buy from you. However, when there’s no other way to obtain these qualified prospects other than through cold-calling then that is the way to go. There’s certainly nothing inherently “contra Go-Giver” by doing so; not if what you’re selling is adding significant value to them.

Regarding a one-call close, the same principle applies. Remember, a sale, whether one-call or multi-call is a matter of communicating value to your prospect in such a way that they understand that they are receiving more in use value than what they are paying. When that’s the case they will buy from you whether it’s one call or after many calls.

At the same time, if they never feel they are receiving sufficient value in exchange for what they are paying, they will never do business with you, again, number of calls aside.

Some businesses lend themselves to a one-call close. {Note: the questioner’s business falls into this category.} Others do not, and to try and force that would be counter-productive, manipulative, and sale-focused as opposed to customer-focused.

Understand that with a one-call close type of business you’re going to have to — within that call — establish the know, like, and trust feelings as well as ask the right questions in order to successfully discover what they are looking to accomplish. Then, assuming they understand how the benefits of your product or service can fulfill their wants, needs and desires, they will take ownership.

The Go-Giver framework is all about focusing on bringing value to others. Do that effectively and you will prosper greatly in your business, regardless of how you find your customers and how many calls or visits before the sale occurs.

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Want to accelerate your success in 2017? Now is the time to make it happen. Attend our upcoming Go-Giver Sales Academy in Orlando, FL and work closely (limited to just 10 people) for two full days with Kathy Tagenel and me, along with 9 other very successful entrepreneurs and sales professionals. For more information, click here. The Go-Giver Sales Academy is where your business breakthrough can occur.

Transparency. The More Things Change…Or, Do They?

September 5th, 2016 by Bob Burg

John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and Jr.“…{You} must recognize that we are living in a different generation than the one in which {your} father had lived, and that it was possible, in building up an industry such as {his}, to maintain a comparative secrecy as to methods of work, etc. and to keep business pretty much to those who were engaged in it.

“Today…it {is} absolutely necessary to take the public into one’s confidence, to give publicity to many things, and especially to stand out for certain principles very broadly.”

Obviously, this advice must have been provided fairly recently to a business leader who hadn’t yet caught on that things are significantly different than they had been. Now, instead of operating in secrecy, even a major, multi-national corporation must be — what’s that word we so often hear — transparent, right?

I mean, this is the 21st Century. With the Internet, search engines, social media, and review sites, there are many ways a company can have it’s reputation ruined and its customers, shareholders, and stakeholders angry at them. Now, corporate leaders must — they simply must — adopt this most recent way of conducting their business.

However, that advice was not particularly recent at all! According to Ron Chernow, in his fantastic book, TITAN: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., this counsel was actually given to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. by his confidant (and future Canadian Prime Minsiter), Mackenzie King regarding handling a tragic and fatal mistake at a family-owned company. While Junior was much more involved in the Rockefeller Foundation, the charitable foundation established by Senior, the advice held for all aspects of the business.

Junior’s father and his associates at Standard Oil were famous for being extremely secretive about their operations. And, this secrecy — far from helping their cause — resulted in very negative public opinion of their business and set the stage for future legal difficulties and eventual threats of imprisonment. Later in his life, even Senior eventually came around and realized his mistake in this regard.

The point is, while the public now has many more avenues for determining what a company truly stands for, they’ve always had a much higher regard (and, trust!) for those companies that not only show their true colors, but communicate them, as well.

Mega-corporation or small business; solo practitioner or non-profit charity; early 1900’s or 2000’s, the principle itself never changes…only the media that expose it for what it truly is.

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We invite you to join us at one of our last two Go-Giver Sales Academy Live Workshops in 20l6. For more information visit: www.gogiversalesacademy.com

Transform your business!

Understanding The Antagonist

August 8th, 2016 by Bob Burg

See the worldThe following profound quote caught my attention on Twitter:

“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.”

~ John Rogers, screenwriter, film and television producer, director, comedian, comic book writer

Since the author of the quote is a professional storyteller perhaps he’s teaching a lesson on the importance of an aspiring writer understanding this dynamic.

And, I believe that what he said is brilliant.

It also pertains to everyday life. Our everyday lives.

This blog has often featured lessons regarding belief systems and understanding that we all see the world from our own personal viewpoints based on a number of factors. This is below the surface of conscious thought and I often refer to it as our “unconscious operating system.” Not only do we operate solely based on the premises of our belief systems, others operate solely out of theirs. And, neither are aware of such.

So, it’s often suggested not only to become aware that we are operating this way but that the other person is, as well. This leads to a deeper understanding and makes effective communication more likely. This concept applies to interpersonal transactions and relationships, as well as to observing life, people, and different views in general.

However…Mr. Rogers’ statement brings it to an even higher level.

The current political scene is a fascinating example.

Members of the two major parties seem to operate out of two completely different ways of seeing the world, human nature, causes, and effects. (Please note that I’m not referring to the specific candidates, national, state or local, but rather the general voter committed to their party’s philosophy.)

Not only does each person believe they are correct in their understanding; as we often see, read, and hear, each sees those of the other party as being so wrong that they often subscribe their motives as “evil.”

So, on one level we could say that simply by understanding the other side’s viewpoint it could help us close the gap when discussing issues with them.

But, That’s Not Enough

Let’s move to an entirely deeper level by taking Mr. Rogers’ advice and actually try and understand why he or she (individual members) sees themselves as a protagonist (in this context, the hero, or “good guy/gal”) in their own version of the world.

There are numerous articles and books you can read on the individual thought processes of a person who identifies as a Democrat or a Republican. But, another excellent method is to simply ask them; of course, in a way that does not elicit their defensiveness but rather provides you with an understanding of how they think, and why? I’ve done that a lot with friends in both major parties since, being libertarian, I don’t fully identify with either.

Here’s a thought though. If the very idea of asking a D (if you’re an R) or an R (if you’re a D) causes you defensiveness or even a feeling of anger, please understand that this will not be productive in terms of gaining insight. And, if your goal is to influence that person to consider your viewpoint, then you must be able to first understand it (remember, understanding is not the same as agreeing) from their side.

In other words, you must be able to understand why they see themselves as the protagonist, not the antagonist you believe they are.

Interesting is that the way you see them is most likely the way they see you. And, once you understand them better, perhaps they’ll understand you better.

Next step: Once you’ve completed this “political” exercise, begin to do this with others you find difficult to understand and relate to.

Can understanding why your antagonist sees themselves as the protagonist in their own story make you a much more effective communicator, friend, family member, coworker, supervisor, salesperson, customer, leader, etc?

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and examples with us.

Listening… Now That’s a Thought

June 6th, 2016 by Bob Burg

Listening-telemarketersReceived a telephone call from a company doing a survey:

Me: Hi, this is Bob.

Caller: Is Bob there?

Me: Th…this is Bob. Good morning.

Caller: I’m doing a survey regarding children and television. Do you have any children or grandchildren under the age of 13?

Me: No, I have no children.

Caller: I see. Do you have any children or grandchildren under the age of 13?

Me: Um, well, I…I have no children, thus no grandchildren, and none of the children or grandchildren that…I don’t have are under the age of 13?

Caller: I see. I won’t bother you then. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day.

Me: You, too. Bye-bye.

The moral of the story?

I don’t know.  Okay, there are many lessons. While working from a basic script is fine, actually listening to someone after you ask a question is obviously very important.

What other lessons might we take away from this?

And, in case you are wondering, yes, I was very polite and no, I was not snarky. It’s not my style. Though, I must admit, I struggled just a teensy bit with that.