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  • Bob Burg

“Master the contents of Endless Referrals and you will practically GUARANTEE your future success.”

~ Tom Hopkins, Author, Master the Art of Selling

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Overcome Your Personal Worry Movie

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Worry No More - Bruce Van HornI’ve always found that one of the easiest pieces of advice to give someone is, “don’t worry.”

I’ve also always found that one of the most difficult things for me to do is…not worry.

Sort of like surgery: it might be “minor surgery” but only when it’s someone else’s. It’s never minor when being done on us or someone we love.

There are so many fantastic sayings regarding this topic, aren’t there? “Worry is interest on a debt not owed.” Another favorite of mine, most often credited to Mark Twain is, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

So true!

Yet, we’re human. And, we worry.

In his excellent new book, Worry No More! transformation life and business coach and podcaster — not to mention, marathon runner — Bruce Van Horn defines worry as:

“Using your imagination to create images of what you do not want to see and/or events you do not want to occur.” 

He’s not actually saying that we should never worry. After all, there are times when worrying can be helpful; those instances when it is constructive and serves to put us on a more correct path. Mostly, however, it’s quite counterproductive and often tormenting; robbing us of the joy and peace of mind that is our natural state.

Without going into his methodology for overcoming worry, it’s very helpful to understand his premise. Basically, “Worry is a movie {we create in our} mind, complete with detailed settings, and talented actors who perform their parts perfectly and convey all of the emotions the movie director has told them to use.” He continues, “You are the movie director and the entire cast and production crew are simply acting out the parts you have scripted for them.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Now, getting the mind of the director correct, that’s where it all begins. And, in this book, the author does a fantastic job in that department.

Meanwhile, as Bobby McFerrin would say, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Sure, Bobby. Easy for you to say! ;-)

The Immense Importance of Follow-Up

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

follow-upRecently I was a guest along with leadership authority, Jon Gordon on an EntreLeadership® Podcast. The host, Ken Coleman first briefly chatted with InfusionSoft CEO & Co-Founder, Clate Mask, asking why he believes follow-up is so critical to the sales process.

Paraphrasing just a bit here, Clate replied:

“People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when the salesperson is ready to sell. It’s all timing. So, if we’re not staying in front of the prospect in a polite, educational, friendly way; if we’re not there when the prospect is ready to buy, we’re not going to be there for the sale. We can either be there when they’re ready to buy or leave it to chance.”

I certainly agree with that. Follow-up — or, as I like to call it, follow-through — is often the difference-maker because it respects the buying cycle of the customer.

“But” one might ask, “what if the product you sell typically sells in one appointment?”

That’s fine. So, where might follow-through come into play?

Perhaps it was the follow-through that allowed you to set that appointment in the first place. They weren’t ready to meet with you until their need or desire for whatever you sell was strong enough. And, even after the sale, keeping in touch on a consistent, value-based manner is what keeps you on your customer’s mind for referrals and introductions.

So, however you choose to follow up, be sure it is a regular part of your business model. As Clate says, so often it really does come down to timing…the customer’s timing!

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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. And, 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.

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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.

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