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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Noble Selling Purpose…and Profit – In Perfect Harmony

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Selling With Noble PurposeLisa Earle McLeod is the author of Selling with Noble Purpose, a book that basically shows how and why those whose actual purpose in selling what they sell is greater than the money…actually make more money.

In a recent post she wrote:

“People often ask me: How do you balance Noble Purpose with the need to make a profit? My answer is, you don’t balance Noble Purpose against profits. Successful organizations make more profits because their Noble Purpose drives their business decisions.”

When thinking about it this makes total sense. Not only is there no dichotomy between selling this way and making a profit, the two are absolutely aligned. When your purpose in selling your product or service is noble your focus is totally and absolutely on the value you bring to your customer. The customer feels this; he or she understands this and is much more likely to buy from you.

This — of course — aligns with John David Mann’s and my statement from Go-Givers Sell More that, “Money is an echo of value. It’s the thunder to value’s lightning.”

Yes, Lisa’s philosophy of Selling with Noble Purpose is not “la la”…it’s not “out there” and it’s not in any way self-sacrificial.

Far from having to balance anything…it’s the most congruent and harmonious way to do business. It’s  also the most profitable way of doing business one can possibly imagine while bringing ultimate value to others.

Now THAT’S a win all the way around!

And, as Lisa says:

“When Noble Purpose guides your business, you make more money.  When Noble Purpose guides your life, you become happier and more successful.”

Question: What is YOUR Noble Purpose in sales? How about in life?

The Advancing Woman – Kat Cole

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

In his classic, The Science of Getting Rich, written way back in 1910, Wallace D. Wattles explained a key principle for advancement in business, regardless of where one starts or how little money or connections they begin with. One advances… by advancing (providing value to) others:

“And, in so far as your business consists in dealing with other people…the key thought of all your efforts must be to convey to their minds the impression of increase…convey the impression of advancement with everything you do, so that all people shall receive the impression that you are an advancing man and that you advance all who deal with you…You can convey this impression by holding the unshakable faith that you are in the way of increase and by letting this faith inspire, fill, and permeate every action. Do everything that you do in the firm conviction that you are an advancing personality, and that you are giving advancement to everybody…feel that you are conferring benefits on all.”

Kat ColeI recently read a fantastic article on Time.com written by Charlotte Alter. It describes the journey of Kat Cole who began as a hostess for Hooters at age 17 and became CEO of the billion dollar-plus Cinnabon, Inc. at the age of 32. How she did it was textbook right out of the pages of Wattles’ book. (Though it wasn’t actually her goal – at 18 she was waiting tables there in order to help pay for college where she was studying to be an engineer.)

Earlier in his book Wattles discussed a concept he called being “too big for your present place”:

“You must begin to do what you can do where you are, and you must do all that you can do where you are. You can advance only by being larger than your present place…The world is advanced only by those who more than fill their present places.”

This is a key concept and had much to do with Kat’s rapid rise to success. If you read the above-mentioned Time.com article you saw that everything she did was not just beyond but way above and beyond her job description. Thus, she became too big for her present place. She had to advance. And, she continued to advance. She was… the advancing woman!

Exceptional Value And High Character

Kat certainly embodied “The Law of Value” from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver, which states, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”

But, let’s look at another aspect of Kat’s advancement. “The Law of Influence” from that same book says, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” This does not mean you are self-sacrificial; it does mean that focusing on bringing value to others is congruent with your values.

One of Kat’s personal values is loyalty. Although she was offered a great job by another private equity firm that she wanted and was about to accept, when she found out the current company was about to be sold (which would be a bad time to leave them), she stayed to help them through the sale. Doing so entailed detailing with 14 other firms.

The result was that she became known as a person of huge value by the other firms as well and suddenly her influence grew exponentially. Now she was in greater demand than ever!

As Wattles succinctly stated in his chapter entitled, The Advancing Man:

“No matter what your profession, if you can give increase of life to others and make them sensible of this gift, they will be attracted to you, and you will get rich.”

Great things don’t happen in a vacuum. People create these opportunities for advancement. And, they do so, as Wattles stated, despite their circumstances. (You can read more about Kat’s personal situation in the Time.com article.)

An Advancing Man?

As I pulled up to the drive-through window of the local fast-food restaurant I sometimes frequent, I was greeted by a smile from a young man, probably not much older than the previously discussed hostess. He read back my special order to me, making sure he had it correct. I thanked him for caring enough to make sure he got it right.

“That’s our job, sir. We want to make sure it’s perfect and that you enjoy your meal.” He said it as though he meant it, and I have no doubt he did.

I was impressed. More than just the desire of my happiness with the dining experience, he knew how to communicate his desire for my happy dining experience.

He provided me with great value via his attitude. He gave me the impression of increase…I suspect he’ll be advancing soon.

Who Is John Allison? A Principle-Based Leader

Friday, January 9th, 2015

When it comes right down to it, leadership is really a reflection of…who one is! It is about one’s character and principles. It is about one’s philosophy.

I posted about John Allison in “Those With High Character Take A Stand” and in reviewing his Number One New York Times Bestseller, The Financial Crisis And The Free Market Cure. That book was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 5 books on the financial crisis.

Just a few weeks ago I posted a review of his newest book, The Leadership Crisis And The Free Market Cure. I gobble up books on leadership and have learned a ton from many of them. This one might be the most important one yet.

John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market CureAfter all, there’s a lot to learn from someone who as Chairman and CEO led his company, BB&T, through 20 years of explosive growth (from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets during his tenure!). This while many of his competitors were failing left and right.

More importantly, he did it the right way; through creating value for everyone whose lives he and his bank touched. He refused to participate in sub-prime lending even though that would’ve been the easy, profitable and accepted way to do business at that time. In fact, he was — let’s say — strongly encouraged by government regulators to do so. However, because it was contrary to what he believed was right, he refused. Yet, his bank flourished.

Harvard Business Review named him one of the decades top 100 most successful CEOs!

And, this brings us to today’s conversation. You see, all the above was driven by his character, based on the values and principles he lives by, congruent with his life philosophy. And, as he discusses both in the book and in our chat, this influences all forms of leadership: personal, business, and societal.

The current CEO of the highly-regarded libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, he doesn’t pull any punches, and you’ll see he doesn’t here!

John Allison: The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market CureCato Institute

 

In this chat we discuss:

    • A nut-shell explanation of the cause of the financial crisis
    • Why leaders fail
    • That we all have, and live by, a philosophy…whether we realize it or not
    • The importance of training your emotions to support what you know is the right decision
    • The essence of self-esteem and why it is THE most important issue of all

 

To order Mr. Allison’s book click here. For more information on The Cato Institute, visit www.cato.org.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

One Mom’s Very Persuasive Questions

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

What More Can I SayOne of the golden rules of human nature — as so perfectly illustrated by Dale Carnegie in his classic, How to Win Friends And Influence People — is that, “Ultimately, People do things for their reasons, not our reasons.”

As such, in order to elicit a person to make a decision and take the action you feel they should…they must feel they should. And, this will most likely only happen as a result of you asking the right questions.

Communication Authority, Dianna Booher suggests that “Questions allow the other person to collaborate on the data you’re collecting. That done, people {rarely} invalidate their own data when you use it to ask them to consider a change.”

In her new book (her 46th book, actually!), What More Can I Say: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It, Ms. Booher provides a wonderful example of a mom who did just that with her teenaged son and his choice of cars:

“I recently overheard a mother using a series of questions to lead her sixteen-year-old-son to trade in an older-model sport car for a newer sedan, not quite the model the teen had in mind:

“‘What kind of gas mileage do you get in the sports car? What kind of mileage does the Kelley Blue Book estimate for the sedan? So, at the current price of gas, how much would you save on gas per year with the newer car? If you sold your used sports car and invested that money until graduation, plus the gas money you’d save between now and graduation, how much money would you have to buy a brand-new car for college?’”

“The teen opted to save for the newer car at graduation.”

Whether you’re leading a huge team, a small committee, or…a child, if your goal is to elicit the other person to willingly commit and buy-in to your request, rather than to make them grudgingly comply (and, we all know how that usually works out), then you need to help them see why it is in their best interest to do so.

And, as is usually the case, questions are the answer.

How to Remember What You… Didn’t Say

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Certainty - How to Remember What You... Didn't SayThe long-running local children’s show featured a man with a genial manner and entertaining style. He was truly one of the most beloved area personalities and hero of many a young’un, including me.

So, it surprised me when — in my teens — talking with someone who’d been an audience member years earlier, he said he didn’t like him. Why? Because, according to this person, he’d yelled at the kids to “shut up!” as a commercial break was ending and they were about to come back live.

Years later I got to know this man, both through working with his production company on a project and…while dating his daughter.

In my mind there was no way this gentle man, this genuinely kind human being, would’ve told a bunch of young audience members to “shut up!” It just seemed totally out of character for this person I’d gotten to know.

So, I asked him about it. As hoped, he assured me he did not say that. He did remember the incident because it had been the only time in all those many years he’d ever had to even slightly raise his voice to his audience at all. The children were very noisy as the show was about to come back live and — as much as the producers had tried — they couldn’t get the kids to stop.

With just seconds left before air time he — in his naturally deep voice — simply said, “Kids, quiet down!” and that was that. Silence. And just in time. It probably surprised them that that he even stepped in at all since that was the job of the producers.

But, back to the exact words. I mean, it was a long time ago. Could he possibly have said it and just not remembered?

“No, Bob. It’s not possible. And, you know how I know it’s not possible?”

“How?”

“Because it’s a word I never say. It was not allowed in my home growing up? And, we didn’t allow it in this home as our daughter was growing up. It’s simply not something I would ever, ever say.” (As a side note, same in the Burg home… thanks Mom and Dad.)

What a great lesson!

Have you ever said things to some people, or in certain contexts, that you just “know” you’d never say to other people or in other contexts?

Well, it’s not really so. If you would ever say something to someone in any situation, there is absolutely a great chance you would say it mistakenly to someone else or in some other situation. Even though you don’t think you would.

The only way you can ensure never doing so is if the word or expression itself is not part of your vocabulary.

If you would absolutely never say it, then you can indeed be sure and remember that you didn’t say it.

Otherwise…you might have.

What words or expressions have you consciously chosen to never say…ever!?