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  • Bob Burg

“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Decide…Before You Decide

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Be Bold and Win the Sale by Jeff Shore“You/I/We are all addicted…to comfort.”

According to sales authority and author of Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone And Boost Your Performance, Jeff Shore, this tendency is the driving force behind every behavior that keeps us stuck in our own status quo. It’s the malady that keeps us from reaching our potential in all areas of life, including sales.

He believes the remedy for this is boldness. Ans, he sees this as much more of a skill than a characteristic; one that can be “honed and perfected.”

The outcome, according to Shore, “Is to give you renewed vitality and increased confidence in your ability to face every sales challenge and to produce amazing results.”

He defines Boldness as: “Taking action to do the right thing, despite the fear and discomfort.”

Of course, by “bold” he does not mean pushy, slick, or manipulative. It’s much more about believing in yourself and the value you bring to others through taking the correct action…even when that correct action is outside your present comfort zone.

As he explains, it’s a “‘humble boldness’, a mental paradigm that suggests boldness is something to be exercised in the best interests of others. Humility and boldness are two traits that work together quite nicely.”

And, “winning the sale” means you both win; especially your customer.

Plan In Advance

One of the many excellent and helpful tips he provides is understanding the “decision before the decision.” Essentially, this means that — just as an athlete trains their muscles to respond automatically to the task at hand — we retrain our brain to automatically respond to a normally uncomfortable situation in a way that we’ll make the correct decision rather than the emotionally more comfortable but incorrect one.

To put it simply, you would move the decision-making process from:

  1. Discomfort
  2. Decison
  3. Action

to…

  1. Decison
  2. Discomfort
  3. Action

Picture scenarios regarding the uncomfortable situations you often face. Even feel what it feels like. Decide what the correct action is and that the next time it occurs you will do it. Shore suggests making up a new and positive story. In other words, imagine it playing out in the perfect way. Now, feel exactly what it will feel like as it does. And, go through this scenario again and again and again.

You’ve now created the context for bold and definitive action when the actual event occurs.

When the decision is already made in advance (and that is key) you won’t have to think; you’ll just take the correct action. That’s not to say it’s easy. it takes commitment and practice.

However, to paraphrase the author, you are now identifying those small Moments of Discomfort and reprogramming your auto-responses.

Give it a shot. No, actually commit to doing so, and to doing what it takes to master this.

And, if I may suggest, purchase his book. Above was merely the tip of the iceberg. The entire book was filled with helpful, comfort-zone expanding wisdom.

One more thing: while this book was not so much about “how to sell” but rather how to get past your own limitations in order to be able to sell, the final section happens to contain some of the very best sales teaching I’ve ever read!

No ‘I’ In Team. Are You Sure?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

No 'I' in Team Bob BurgI’ve never quite agreed with the saying, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” Well, I agree with it literally since, indeed there is no letter “i” in that word. I also agree and feel very strongly that the individual needs to put the interests of the team before their own.

The way the saying is often intended, however, is where I take issue. Its meaning is that there are no individuals within a team. In my opinion, a team is nothing more than a group of individuals who’ve come together in order to achieve a common goal.

If these individuals are wise, they understand that only by putting the good of the team ahead of their own interests will the team win. This is of the greatest benefit to them as individuals. This holds true for everything from sports to family to business.

Vince Lombardi himself, the famed NFL multi-Super Bowl Champion Coach said:

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

The very first word in the above quote is about the individual.

All too often, when brought in to speak at sales and leadership conferences, the client will tell me that one of their biggest challenges is the silos that have formed, causing separation, both of spirit and communication. Those in one department believe theirs is the lynchpin of the company and that — without them, the company could not possibly succeed.

And, they are correct!

Of course, the same can be said about pretty much every other department.

This attitude results in a lack of trust, a dearth of communication, and a company bottom line that is not nearly as healthy as it could be. When that happens, jobs tend to go and the salaries are not nearly as robust.

In other words, putting one’s own (in this case, department’s) interests ahead of the entire team’s — or company’s — is also detrimental to the interests of the individual.

Sports? Family? Business?

They all involve individuals as well as others. And, to the degree we put the good of the team ahead of ourselves, that’s the degree we all thrive.

So, want to be part of a winning team? Then be a team player. Put the good of the team ahead of yourself

But, there’s no need to lose your individuality in the process.

Line

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My Hypocritical Judgement

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

My Hypocritical Judgement - Bob BurgThe other day, I witnessed a young man say something insulting and hurtful to the person he was speaking with.

I’m almost 100 percent certain he didn’t mean for it to come across the way it did…mainly because his comment appeared to have come from a total lack of any forethought whatsoever. It was thought-less of him to say.

And, I felt myself judging him. I literally (not figuratively, literally) said to myself, “What a stupid thing of him to say!”

Then, out of nowhere, some thoughts began to flood my mind. They were vivid memories of times from as far back as my boyhood to as recently as…well, much too recently, when I said or did something just as unthinkingly or maybe even just as hurtful. Perhaps the only difference is that while I’m still ashamed and embarrassed* by the realization of the hurt I caused, I don’t believe the young man is yet aware of his.

I do know that I immediately stopped judging him.

This does not mean that what he said was any less wrong or that he is any less responsible for his words and actions. Or, that I am any less responsible for mine. It just means that it’s part of the human condition that we probably all participate in at one time or another.

While we can learn from everyone (even by noticing their mistakes) we probably don’t need to judge them as much as we need to be consciously aware of what we ourselves say and do.

—–

* Yes, I realize it does no good to continue to feel ashamed and embarrassed. We all have our mishegas to work through.

 

The Continuum of Thought

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Feel Good!Yes, thoughts are things. And, each act of human creativity, every invention; indeed, all progress is preceded by thought.

Thought, combined with correct action and fortified by burning desire, belief, determination, and dogged persistence is almost unstoppable.

However, on another level, in this case an emotional level, let’s look at three different types of thoughts and how they serve or do not serve us.

Productive Thoughts: These make you feel good; they are empowering. Thoughts with positive, uplifting feelings put you in a good place for personal productivity, accomplishment, and overall happiness. While these good thoughts can simply happen on their own, by and large they are the result of choice and conscious awareness (and, in my case, a yellow sticky note on my computer that says, “FEEL GOOD!”)

Productive thoughts are also seeing the good side of something rather than the bad (congruent with reality) such as judging someone favorably when you don’t know their intent. And, very importantly, feeling gratitude for the many blessings in your life, big and small.

Neutral Thoughts: These bring forth neither good feelings nor bad. They’re not negative and they’re not positive. It’s not so much that they are realistic as much as they are without conscious thought.

Counterproductive Thoughts: Anger, resentment, ingratitude, grudges, etc., can absolutely eat away at a person. They result in bad feelings and, unchecked, can only undermine happiness. As one who for many years lived like that it’s still very easy for me to allow myself to fall into the trap. When this happens, I am now able to catch myself quickly (usually) and consciously interrupt the pattern.

These negative thoughts and feelings are fed through actions such as gossip, complaining, judging others unfavorably, victim-hood, accumulating debt and more. They also go hand-in-hand with poor self-esteem.

Every morning I read the brief email from Abraham-Hicks. Nearly 100 percent of the time, the message has to do with allowing yourself to feel good; consciously deciding to feel good. I read it so that I remember it. Without these reminders I find it too easy to forget; yes, despite the above-mentioned sticky note.

So, in the continuum of thought, from helpful to harmful, where do you usually stand?

How do you keep up the productive thoughts and good feelings? Any suggestions?

Actually, That’s What Makes It Bragging

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

That's What Makes It BraggingIt’s a well-know phrase I recently saw tweeted.

“It isn’t bragging if it’s true.”

I’ve also heard it said, “If it’s true…it ain’t bragging.” Either version might be based on the late St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Dizzy Dean who reportedly said: “It ain’t braggin’ if ya’ can back it up.”

However…it’s not correct!

Actually, if it’s true, that’s what makes it bragging. One brags about something they’ve actually done, acquired or accomplished.

If it’s false, it’s…lying!

Seems to me it’s one of those sayings that’s been around for so long it’s simply become accepted as fact.

This post isn’t questioning why people brag, boast, or in any way toot their own horn.

Rather, it’s to not accept something as fact, even when it’s been repeated so often it appears to be self-evident. It’s often good to question those long-held “truisms.”

Are There Others?

What similar phrases, sayings or lessons can you think of? You know, the ones “they” have always said but, when thinking about it, are just not true.

Okay, I’ll start. They say that, “If it’s true it ain’t gossip.” Actually, the fact that it’s true is what makes it gossip. If it were false it would be slander.

You’re up! :-)