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“Business volume to our new targeted market increased by 300% in just 3 MONTHS! ”

~ Dave Brandt, Divisional Vice President, GE Financial Advisors, Genworth

Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Make Yourself DiscountProof

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Make Yourself Discount-Proof - Bob BurgAre you often asked to discount your fee or price?

Typically, when a prospective customer or client balks at your price, it’s because they believe that the value of your offering is less than what they are being asked to pay.

But, not always. There IS another reason. It’s this…

They subscribe to the theory that one should never accept the first price; that every price is negotiable.

In other words, yes, they absolutely believe the value of your product or service exceeds the price. They want to buy. They just want to get the lowest price they can.

We believe that if the fee you charge is appropriate then there is no need to discount it. You are providing absolutely exceptional value and should be making a very healthy profit.

As the first of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success in The Go-Giver, the Law of Value states:

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value
than you take in payment.

But They Still Want You To Discount

This can be unnerving, right? After all, you’ve worked hard for this sale. You’ve already invested so much time, research and sweat. You don’t want to lose it. (By the way, all of this is exactly what that person is counting on you feeling.)

Good news: You can maintain your fee.

3 things must be in place:

  1. You know you are, without question, worth what you are charging.
  2. You have effectively communicated value that exceeds the price.
  3. You phrase your response respectfully, confidently, and tactfully.

One of our clients who we’ll call “Brenda” owns a private-duty nursing company. She recently received a call from someone who’d seen her advertisement. It was a woman who — along with her siblings — felt it was time their 90-year-old Mother had a professional nurse with her throughout the day.

Brenda did the discovery, quoted her fee of $30 per hour, and provided a number of references. Her fee is a bit higher than many of her competitors, which Brenda let her know.

Two days later she received a text from the prospective client saying:

“I discussed this with my brother and sister. We’d love to hire you. If you would agree to $25 we’ll go ahead and sign the contract with you right now.”

What Did Brenda Do? What Would You Do?

While $5 per hour might not sound like much, it actually has two effects:

  1. Over time it is significantly less money.
  2. More importantly, it tells you — and the marketplace — that your market value is $25 per hour, not $30.

Brenda texted back a very nice message that said:

“Good morning, Sue! Thank you and I completely understand if my fee is not in your budget. Your Mom sounds lovely and it would be my pleasure to help out if circumstances change.”

Just moments later Brenda received a return text that said:

“Please don’t walk away. We will pay $30 an hour and we’re so excited to have found you. We will make it work. Please reconsider.”

As Brenda Suspected

It simply was a matter of their instinctively trying to get a better price.

Notice what Brenda did:

  1. Knowing her value she made the decision to stand by her fee.
  2. Rather than react with disgust, disappointment, or indignation she responded with respect, confidence, and tact.
  3. She thanked the person, complimented their Mom, and shared that it would be her pleasure to work with them if circumstances change.

Again, because she had done a thorough discovery of what the family was looking for and communicated her value accordingly, plus backed it up further with a number of testimonials, she was very confident that the only reason for the price negotiation tactic being used by the children was because they felt that’s what they were supposed to do.

With that in mind Brenda’s job was to handle the objection correctly, which she did. And the family will benefit greatly, as will Brenda’s company.

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We’re always delighted to know that our clients have benefitted from the principles we teach in order to have more lucrative and more enjoyable businesses. Would you like to work on your business in-depth and in person with Kathy Tagenel and me over a very special two days?

Registration is open for our final Go-Giver Sales Academy Live Workshop in 2017. It will be held in Orlando, Florida, and it is limited to just 10 people as we go deep into helping you accelerate your business. Special early registration pricing ends July 12th or until we are filled up (whichever comes first). Check out the rave review from past attendees. I hope you can join Kathy Tagenel and me, and up to nine other successful entrepreneurs and salespeople. Visit gogiversalesacademy.com

Theo Epstein and the Trust Factor in Leadership

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Theo EpsteinDoes trust really matter when it comes to leadership? After all, leaders pay people to do their jobs. Trust is somewhat beside the point, right?

Actually, not by a long shot. Research both formal and anecdotal proves that organizations run as such suffer in big ways, including the bottom line.

On the other hand, leaders who treat their people with respect and who’ve earned the trust of their people tend to have an entirely different result. These organizations are happier, healthier, more profitable, and sometimes even win world championships after 86 years and 108 years respectively.

Last week I received a very excited email from my great friend and brother, Randy Stelter, a veteran professional educator and Athletic Director of Wheeler High School (and without question a long-time loyal Chicago Cubs fan). Randy is also the coauthor of A Teacher’s Guide to The Go-Giver, a curriculum for High School students.

He wrote:

“I was coming home today from an Athletic Director’s meeting and ESPN Radio was interviewing Cubs President, Theo Epstein. They asked him about the ‘trust factor’ he has with the players. He shared a story about sitting on the bench with a player in 1995. The player made a statement about the fact that no MLB (Major League Baseball) players ever trust management. Theo said the lightbulb went off and he vowed he would never lie to a player and that all contracts and conversations with agents would be on the up-and-up. He has never deceived a player during negotiations. He went on about ‘trusting and knowing’ the players and meeting their needs in the contract periods. Very refreshing and no wonder he has turned two programs around that had such world series droughts.”

No wonder, indeed. Of course he brought a lot of knowledge and talent to the equation. But, lots of baseball executives have knowledge and talent. That’s simply the baseline (no pun intended). Trust was a key factor for the man who brought the Boston Red Sox their first World Series championship since 1918 and the Chicago Cubs their first one since 1908.

It was the trust he focused so hard on earning that allowed him to operate without the — as Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust puts it — “low-trust tax” that affects so many organizations.  After all, when your team-members know you care about them, they’ll not only negotiate in good faith; they’ll be committed to a team goal that is bigger than themselves.

As Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last so eloquently stated it, “Trust is a biological reaction to the belief that someone has our well-being at heart.”

Trust comes not by being demanded but by being earned, in small part by what one says, in greater part through what one does, but in greatest part…through who one is!

Mr. Epstein, as a public figure, is a fantastic ambassador of this message. But he’s just the latest in an ever-growing line of leaders who understand this simple truth: when leaders earn trust, they are nine steps ahead of the game…in a ten-step game.

“People Wisdom” from Gandhi

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

people-wisdom-gandhiIn his terrific new book, Reinvent Yourself, prolific author, entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster, and serial reinventor-of-self, James Altucher shares a ton of wisdom. Included are lessons from business titans to historical figures; world-class athletes to top entertainers, and many more.

And, in his usual humble, self-effacing way, he shares golden nuggets of wisdom from…himself as he takes their lessons and serves them up to us through the filter of his brilliant mind.

While this is not a review of his book (though I recommend it highly), there’s a quote I’d like to share and then provide my own thoughts afterwards.

On page 168 James points out that Gandhi never actually said the oft-quoted, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” However, he did say something perhaps even more profound:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

Rather than go through each individual line and thought in the Mahatma’s magnificent statement, let’s look at what I underlined, beginning with, “If we could change ourselves.” This informs us that we have a lot more potential to influence the world around us than we might believe. As we deal with others on an individual level, to the degree which we are in control of our own emotions, that’s the degree to which can positive effect – and yes, change – their attitudes.

In Adversaries into Allies I suggested the following:

“Expecting someone to be helpful doesn’t change them, it changes you.  And that is what changes them.”

In other words, regardless of their natural or current state, if you go into the transaction believing they will be kind, helpful, and gracious…YOU will take on the corresponding attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. And, the chances are excellent they will respond to that.

Always? Of course not. This isn’t magic. There are all sorts of people. But…usually?

Absolutely!!

Yes, it begins with you. You and your emotions are the only element of the equation that you can control. Change yourself, and watch how the world changes for you.

So, you can indeed become the change you wish to see in the world.

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

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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

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Understanding The Antagonist

Monday, August 8th, 2016

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.