Bill Walshe Chief executive officer, Viceroy Hotel Group
“I leave a suitcase containing a toiletries bag, a change of business clothes, and a set of workout gear at a hotel in each destination I travel to frequently. I arrange it with the concierge, who knows me. Keeping what I need at my destination saves me hours of standing around luggage carousels, as well as trying to cram everything into a carry-on.”
Elizabeth Gilbert Author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things
“I use an iPhone app called CheckList. It’s exactly what it implies: a simple checklist of everything I need to do, pack, or arrange before I go off traveling. The checklist now has 98 items on it, ranging from “mascara” to “speech notes” to “change outgoing voice mail,” and I’m not allowed to leave the house till every single item is checked off. I honestly don’t know how I used to prepare without it. Oh, wait, I do know: I just used to forget stuff and then panic at the airport.”
Stephen Stagner President and CEO, Mattress Firm
“A night of tossing and turning can ruin a trip, which is why I bring clothespins or clips so I can secure the hotel curtains and keep unwanted light out. And of course, I research hotels in advance to ensure they have good reviews on beds.”
At a recent client meeting we discussed the need to create a Board of Directors. It is a difficult task to find the right individuals and more difficult for an entrepreneur to accept what a good board can provide. Another spin is creating a “Client Advisory Board”. This is easier to develop and can actually provide real value to your business as well as your sales process. Both topics are covered below. What are your thoughts? Experiences with these kinds of boards?
Our research shows that accountability — or, more accurately, the lack of accountability — is among the top challenges that partner-company executive’s face. We’ve also found that many partners are too close to their own organizations to have genuine insight into their own businesses, their marketplaces or their industries. Client Advisory Boards and Business Advisory Boards can help provide better visibility for both those blind spots.
How you think of yourself as a sales rep will translate into how you communicate to your prospect. That is a universal truth for all things, if you believe something will happen it probably will, i.e., the self fulfilling prophecy. If you see prospects being annoyed at your calls, they will be. Example: if you believe your cold call is a nuisance, you will project that through your voice gestures, your choice of words, and your overall interaction with your prospect. Reps that assume their call is unwanted, often open up with statements like “am I calling at a bad time?” or “is it okay to talk for a minute?” Or end their introduction with a question inflection–like “Hi Barbara, this is Bill Smitherton over at Imagintech?” Sending that subconscious message of “do you know who we are? you don’t huh?” Those kinds of statements immediately create a class distinction of “you don’t know me, you are better than me, your time is worth more, will you please talk to me….” They will also say to themselves “execs never call back, no reason to leave a voice-mail.” Or, “execs don’t take cold calls, I never call without a warm intro.”
I do a lot of troubleshooting for sales teams, and one thing I continually see is the biggest obstacle to success is the belief systems reps have about engaging with prospects. How we think about things forms the way we DO them, so sometimes what is needed is not coaching but changing a mindset.
Most would agree that questions are the most powerful weapon; a seller has at their disposal. Yet it is interesting to see how many will either not use them at all, or to their full advantage. As with any weapon, practice is key, not just on the battlefield, but off the field as well, the better you become at the technique the better the outcome for both you and your buyer.
But day after day you see sellers come to play with either the wrong questions, dull questions or just plain stupid questions. [...Continue Reading...]
The word ‘benefits’ often conjures up the image of 401K plans and insurance coverage. While these benefits are certainly important, often these items are minimum requirements for prospective employees and are not the real decision factors when choosing a new employer. Talented professionals are often attracted to companies that match their personal goals and interests.
As a starting point, what do your current employees find attractive about your company? Is it your company’s values, mission, or work environment? How is your company different from other firms in this respect? If possible, clearly identify unique reasons why people would want to work for you versus another company across town. Write it down. Share it in your job descriptions, in your candidate screening, and in your interviews – make it concrete and real to your applicants.
As President of Naviga, a North American Sales Recruitment agency, I am exposed to many unique companies that want to upgrade the talent in their organizations. When asking the question “Why should someone come to work for your company?”, the response is often about salary or the benefits package. Most candidates make decisions on lots of other factors. A few of the factors that we see affecting employer choice for top performers includes having a shared mission, providing opportunities for growth, and encouraging work-life balance.
Many of us have experienced tension and conflict in meetings. This can be exciting and energizing, but it can also hurt the team’s progress and morale. If you’re in charge of a meeting and conflict occurs, what is your role? How do you restore peace? How can you assure that these conflicts don’t harm your work?
While you can’t always prevent conflict in meetings, there are many things you can do to stop disagreements from damaging your team’s wider goals. Consider the following:
Can you set up your meeting to reduce the risk of conflict?
How do you turn the conflict and tension into a positive force, and one that generates better solutions and results?
Can you reduce the negative impact of conflict?
How can you help those involved accept the situation when consensus isn’t possible?
We’ll look at each of these. As we do so, remember that there are two separate underlying reasons for conflict in meetings. [...Continue Reading...]