Play to WIN

Play to WIN

Christine Corelli

Ferocious Competition, Football, and Playing the Game to WIN are the topics of our new guest blog from Christine Corelli.

It’s football season! Who doesn’t love football? But the Coronavirus has dramatically changed how we fans can enjoy the games. We can’t go to the stadium to watch one– just like we can’t go to see our customers to be face-to-face, up-close, and personal. Far too often, we have to communicate with customers on an app such as Zoom. Hopefully, with the vaccine now being administered, this won’t last for long.

If you think about it, there are many similarities between the game of football and the game of business.

On Competition:

  • We must battle fierce competitors each and every day without a break. In the past, we used to think of competition as if we’re playing for the Superbowl championship. We want to play hard for the season, win that Big Game, and sit around during the off-season and gloat about how great we are.
  • But the competitors we face in today’s world don’t want to wait until next year for a rematch. They want to stay in the game and rise to meet the challenges brought about by Covid and keep playing again and again until they finally win. Competition has always been tough, but today’s competition is fierce!
  • Like a great football team, a great business team needs to round out their defense with ferocious competitiveness, a smart game plan, a commitment to stay in the game, and the determination to play to win. All of these are critical to success in the most challenging business climate we have ever faced.

On Sales and Teamwork:

  • You and any person in your company involved in sales must have the mentality of a professional athlete and the fighting spirit of a Superbowl Star. Just like in the world of sports, it takes a team to win. Your entire team needs to pull together to win the game or even stay in it and create raving fans who cheer about the service you provide.

On Facing Your Challenges HEAD ON:

  • Consider the coach who lists their potential plays in certain situations. He or she selects their options and sends their choice to the Quarterback. The Quarterback relays the play to his teammates in the huddle. Sometimes the call is to be fancy and throw the ball. Other times, it’s to down and dirty and run down their opponent.
  • Just like in business and life. When you’re confronted with pressure and challenges you have a choice: You can either run around them or face them head-on.
  • Face your challenges by being a better business person, create a stronger team and consistently strive to deliver World Class Customer Service! (Caution with the down and dirty part. Don’t ever compromise your ethics and integrity. If you do, it won’t keep you in the game for the long run.

On Attitude:

  • Lou Holtz, the great American football coach once stated, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
  • At the peak of his career, Ron Jaworski, former Youngstown Quarterback stated, “Positive thinking is the key to success in business, in pro football…in anything you can mention. I go out there thinking I’m going to complete every pass. On the phone, or in front of customers, complete the pass. Then score a big touchdown.”

On Execution:

  • Football great Peyton Manning made this statement after big win: “We had great execution today. We had a real mindset to execute down in the red zone because last week people were making a big deal that in the red zone we had to settle for three points a couple of times. That was the mindset, to finish drives into the end zone. We did that today and that really was the difference.”

Food for Thought:

  • How’s your competitive spirit? Don’t let the economy and Covid steal your enthusiasm. Get in there with a strong free kick of confidence every day.
  • With the changes we’re facing, there are challenges. But you have a choice…sit on the bench, or face them head-on.
  • How’s your attitude? Get in the red-zone, and stay in the no-whine zone. Apply grit, determination, and persistence.
  • How well do you execute? Knowing what you should do and doing it are two very different things. Learn more about business excellence, boost your marketing and update your advertising. Train your team. Make sure they play the game from the same playbook.

Play the game to win, and enjoy it!

I’ll be cheering for you. Christine Corelli

P.S. All the best for 2021!

For more information on our assessments and courses, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Planning to Succeed or NOT?

Planning to Succeed or NOT?

Planning to Succeed or NOT?

In his latest guest blog, Brad Stimmel shares with us the readiness of leaders for the next stage in “Planning to Succeed or NOT?”

Every good business leader that I have ever encountered make plans for the coming year.  And every plan has the first goal of creating success for that same period of time.  But are you sure you are making all the arrangements for your plan to succeed or are you just setting yourself up for unintentional failure?

The styles of annual planning process differ greatly depending on many factors of the company and its leadership.  In each company, the different styles of plans are usually financially driven.  And, of course, then it is broken down into its components by department and then by revenue, expenses, and profit.  This is pretty much the basic process done in many different manners by every company.  In some companies it is done from top management down and some companies it is created middle management up.  All of it will sum up to a potentially successful plan that is aimed at reaching the company goals for the coming year.

But there could be missing components that are equally as important. Ones that, if left undone, could increase the probability of failure to reach the company financial goals.

The concept is reduced to a twist on an old cliché quoted from an anonymous source:

“Ready, Fire, Aim”

It can be further qualified this way:

  • “Ready” means your standard financial plans that are well done and created with good planning and collaboration.
  • “Fire” means the approval, communication and launching this great plan for the coming year.

But… is everyone on your team “Aiming” in the right direction or even the same direction as others?  Usually not.

If each of your team members have not personally created a set of Measurable Objectives that will move their department and their personal efforts in the direction of the financial plans, then the probability of failure is much higher.

As Peter Drucker states:

Objectives are not fate – they are direction.  They are not commands – they are commitments.  They do not determine the future – they are means to mobilize the resources and energies of the business to make the future.”

All managers and Sales representative should create a set of measurable objectives that create success for them and their departments.  The objectives should be specific milestones that are productively moving toward the overall company financial plan.  They should have specific dates to target and well-developed action plans to accomplish over time. They should name any collaboration required with other members, vendors, or departments. And finally, they should be agreed to by their supervisor but never dictated by him or her.

As Drucker says, “There is a great difference between doing things right and doing the right things!”

This objective plan should be cascaded to all managers and sales representative at all levels. The higher the agreement and the clearer the communication of these objectives up and down the organization, then success is almost inevitable.

The last important step after the objective planning is to complete a quarterly review on progress toward the objectives with each participant.  NO penalty and NO reward should be offered.  Just check for progress.  If the objectives are just filed away in a cabinet until the end of the year, then most likely not much will change until the end of the year. And then it is too late.

So here is the summary of the ESSENTIALS OF OBJECTIVES PLANNING.

  1. Individuals determine their objectives and share with their supervisors. They both agree upon and state very precisely the specific results that are to be accomplished by a specific future date either by the individuals or by the units they manage.
  2. These same individuals work enthusiastically to achieve the expected results because, in the process of developing their objectives, they have become sincerely committed to achieving them.
  3. Regularly, the results achieved by these individuals and the units they manage are measured and reviewed at least quarterly. (I suggest a dashboard be set up for each individual member if your enterprise management system software provides this option.)

This whole concept is carried along on a wave of increased communication.

“The clearer the idea you have of what it is you are trying to accomplish, the greater the chance of accomplishing it.”

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Falling Upward

Falling Upward

Falling Upward

Tonight’s guest blog is from Sonya Law, sharing the experience of Falling Upward.

How to create a culture of Ethical Leadership and Courageous Conversations

Falling upward is how it can feel like for leaders when faced with an ethical dilemma and there is no rule book…

Firstly, every organization I have worked for has an ethics policy which sets out ethical behavior for all employees and consequences of an unethical act.

What it does not set out is clear guidance in complex environments where we need to make ethical decisions.  We have all sat through hours of mind-numbing ethics training with textbook like scenarios that fail to apply to real life situations.

Secondly, a true ethical dilemma, is a moment in time in your career, that occurs only a handful of times that tests you’re grit, resolve and ability to think under pressure.  Characterized by 3 main things: you are often alone there is limited time to think, you are acting on gut instincts, fear will kick in followed by a momentary dread of you whole career flashing before you. You know that in this moment it’s not the right thing for you personally, you may need to challenge the status quo, you may take a hiding in the process from those more senior than you, there are no accolades for doing the right thing, it is a quiet and largely unwitnessed act of good faith.

Your resilience, fortitude and courage will be tested and it will feel like falling upward no matter what your position is in the company, Emerging Leader or Senior Leadership Team.

Lastly, ethical leadership at the basic foundation is about following a rule book, however the interpretation and application of ethics is often not clear cut, against a complex external environment.  Imagine sky diving for the first time you understand the safety rules and laws of gravity, what goes up must come down and you alone are left with the ultimate decision to jump.  Before we can free fall, we must go upward in the plane, reach dizzying heights, adrenalin pumping, fear kicks in and your whole life flashes before you as you get ready to jump.

Ethical leadership – takes courage when we make a stand for what is right, we are faced with a difficult dilemma, no clear path of what to do just a guttural feeling of discomfort and a racing heartbeat.

In the military, there are a clear set of rules that must be followed and order of command that must be obeyed, yet the military still face the same ethical dilemmas that we do in Business.  Because fundamentally we are all human beings who make decisions just like the moment right before we jump out of the plane.  Early in my career as a recruiter I was frustrated when a candidate wouldn’t accept the job offer; what I learnt very quickly is that people have a fundamental floor they often do what is right for them.

How do we create a ‘lived culture’?

  1. Human Resources set Culture
  2. Senior Leadership Team role model behaviors
  3. Employees observe these behaviors.

How do we create a culture of Ethical Leadership and Courageous Conversations?

  1. Accountability and Responsibility
  2. Trust – Create a Circle of Safety
  3. Educate the Senior Leadership Team how to have Courageous Conversations.

Accountability and Responsibility:

Encourage your employees to come to you with ethical dilemmas with what they see are the ethical challenges and what needs fixing in the organization.  Resist the temptation as a manager to fix it for them, by giving them the responsibility it activates thinking and accountability.  Ask them what do you think? How would you solve it? Empower them.

Trust – Create a Circle of Safety:

Managers tell people what to do but true leaders help people to feel safe, promote thinking and drive a culture of empowerment. Where employees are empowered to do the right things as opposed to the right thing for them which typically stems from a fear-based culture the opposite of a circle of safety.  Simon Sinek describes what he calls the Circle of Safety and establishing trust in his book titled ‘Leaders Eat last’.

Educate Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in why they need to have courageous conversations:

As a Human Resources Manager, I held a session exclusively with the SLT on the importance of courageous conversation and in 2019 took them to see Brene Brown live in Melbourne, Australia with the message that by having courageous conversations ourselves is the first step and encourages employees to do the same.

So, what’s it worth to you?

Your reputation and financial sustainability.

 

 

Max and the Little Extras

Max and the Little Extras

Max and the Little Extras

In this latest abstract from Ed Wallace’s book, Business Relationships That Last, Ed and Max, the remarkable taxi driver, remind us that it’s all about the experience that we create for our customers and colleagues and many times that experiences is manifested in doing all of the ‘little things.’ “Max and the Little Extras” is a great reminder of that.

Three weeks later, on the morning Max had agreed to pick me up, I was running a few minutes behind schedule. I kept checking out the front window, hoping to catch him before he rang the doorbell. At exactly 5:00 a.m., I heard a gentle tap on the screen door. As I walked to the taxi with Max, I imagined how many people had probably ridden in his taxi over the previous three weeks, yet despite that large number, he had remembered I had an infant son who was most likely sleeping at such an early hour. Max’s thoughtfulness and ability to remember details about my life impressed me.

During my next several rides to the airport in Max’s marvelous taxi, we talked almost entirely about my life. (Notice that I was no longer driving myself to the airport!) He asked about my work, where I was traveling to, my ambitions, my family. I could hardly believe how at ease I felt opening up to him. I was more comfortable telling Max things about myself than I was telling people I had known much longer. The more time I spent with Max, the more interested I became in learning how he was able to make me—and most likely all of his customers—feel so comfortable.

When asked, he told me a few things about himself, his business, and his day-to-day schedule as a taxi driver and small business owner. His clients could not be easily categorized. They were local CEOs and their colleagues. They were sales professionals going to the airport and elderly people going shopping. They were groups of ladies going to the city for a day at the art museum, lunch, and a nice tour of the historic district. I finally asked how he had developed such a long list of loyal customers, hoping he would provide me with a “secret to success” that most client-facing professionals dream about. “Simple, Ed,” he answered, holding his thumb and index finger about an inch apart. “It’s the little extras that turn fares into friends.” I thought about what Max meant by the “little extras.” Sure, it was great fun riding around in his taxi; it was the only one of its kind in the area and attracted a lot of attention. But that was only a “It’s the little extras that turn fares into friends.” That’s a small part of what made Max a success—and he was a remarkable business success.

After a few minutes, I realized that his entire business philosophy was based on friendship, and the little extras that friends would do for each other. So, I asked, “What are these little extras? Are they the on-time arrivals? The courtesy and warmth? Treating everyone equally? The impeccable upkeep of the taxi and the quiet environment it provides? The bottled water? Listening, remembering, and having a genuine interest in the riders’ lives? The gentle tap on the screen door at five o’clock in the morning?” Max answered, “Yes.” “Which one?” I asked. Just as the words were coming out of my mouth, I got it. Of course, how could I not get it? Max was skilled at identifying and aligning with each rider’s specific needs and situation. But how did he do this? I believe that Max woke up every morning thinking not that he was going to work but that he was going to spend the day with his close friends. This is obviously a very different approach from viewing business as a series of transactions in which both parties want something from each other. If we define friends as “parties who help one another,” and if you consider everyone you interact with your friend, then adding the little extras in your business relationships would be as easy as including them in your personal life, which you do naturally. On the simplest level, Max’s job was to provide a ride from one place to another. Any driver could do that, and do it on time, safely, and courteously. But when you rode with Max, the quality of the relationship, the conversation—the whole experience—was so enjoyable, supportive, enlightening, and pleasant that you didn’t want the trip to be over. He had mastered the art of taking his so-called simple business from a merely transactional level to the It’s the Little Extras!

The Time is Now

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Virtual Selling and Time Management

Virtual Selling and Time Management

Virtual Selling and Time Management

Don Buttrey, President of Sales Professional Training, Inc. is back with a new installment of his CRM Hell series: Virtual Selling and Time Management.

 

Virtual Selling Tips related to Vital Selling Regimens.

The virtual world is all on you. You are in control of every aspect of your world. Your life, your world, everything. It is a big change. We had become comfortable with our “old” routines. How we proceeded through the day. How we organized our calls. Now we have to “relearn” how to do everything.

Time and Appointment Management (calendar)
  • Check/improve internet speed. Upgrade if needed. This is your new main venue and you must avoid as many potential distractions as possible.
  • Set aside time each week to SCHEDULE calls/video conferences with current and prospective customers. Call and/or email to ask for best day/time then send invites. Be proactive. Take control.
  • Load up your calendar with appointments and live by that calendar.
  • Confirm next meeting and venue (call or video) at the end of every sales call.

With time management applied to our virtual world, we can stay on top of our customer service.

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

My Friend Max

My Friend Max

My Friend Max

Sometimes wisdom and life changing opportunities come out of the blue. The challenge for us is to recognize them and take heed. In this second abstract from Ed Wallace’s book, Business Relationships That Last, that is exactly what Ed experiences… Please enjoy this guest blog, “My Friend Max.”

My Friend Max

A number of years ago, my sales efforts required that I travel a great deal. I didn’t like being away from my family any more than necessary, so I became king of the day-trippers. It got so that I could leave my home on the East Coast around 5:00 a.m. for a meeting in Minneapolis or Des Moines and still make it back home the same day for a late dinner and to see Brett, our first child, for a few precious minutes before tucking him into bed.

The night before one of these trips, my car developed an engine problem. I asked my wife, Laurie, to reserve a taxi to the airport for me. As usual, when she got involved in helping me solve one of my problems, remarkable events began to unfold. The next morning, I waited anxiously for the car to arrive. At precisely 5:00 a.m. I noticed an old-fashioned British taxi, with stately, rounded exterior lines, running boards, and a large passenger compartment pull up in the front of the house. Even in the faint light of dawn I could tell the car was spotlessly clean. In the short amount of time, it took me to exit the house and lock the door, the driver had already exited the taxi and was on his way up the walk toward the house. He was a tall, lanky fellow with glasses and the sort of calm, kind face you might see in a Norman Rockwell painting. I was about to learn that he was not your average taxi driver. He gave me a warm, “Good morning,” and we walked together toward his parked taxi. I climbed into the passenger area of the car, settled into a luxurious leather seat, stretched out my legs, and felt a deep sense of comfort and relief. When the driver started the car, I noticed there was no noise—no scratchy dispatcher’s voice barking instructions, no jangling music on the radio. A cooler within reach provided a supply of bottled water. It was amazing! As we pulled away, the driver turned around to introduce himself. “Hello, Ed, my name is Max,” he said with a smile. “Glad to meet you, Max,” I replied, wondering how he knew my name. As we drove, he asked me a couple of questions about myself. Since I’m pretty much my own favorite topic, I happily offered plenty of information. He was a terrific listener, and I found myself sharing a good deal about my life with this person that I hardly knew. He had a special calm, sincere demeanor that made me feel comfortable opening up to him. He took special note when I told him about our new young son and how he had just started sleeping through the night. When we arrived at the airport, I gave Max a more generous tip than I usually give drivers. I had so thoroughly enjoyed his company and the stress-free ride to the airport I asked him to schedule me for the following Tuesday. Max hesitated and then said, “I’m truly sorry, Ed, but I cannot pick you up next week.” “What’s wrong, Max, is it something I said?” I inquired, half-jokingly. “No, nothing like that, Ed. I just have a great deal of fares— friends, that is—and they usually need to book three to four weeks in advance with me.” “For a ride to the airport at five o’clock in the morning?” I asked incredulously. “Yes, I have a lot of friends,” Max responded. “I just happened to have a cancellation last night before I got your wife’s request for a ride.” “Okay, how about three weeks from today?” I tried again. “That works. I look forward to seeing you then,” Max answered, and he was off.

We will continue with the story of Max next week.

The Time is Now.

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Out on a Ledge

Out on a Ledge

Out on a Ledge

In this week’s guest blog, Sonya Law takes us Out on a Ledge with a look at the end of the year performance review.

How to jumpstart the EOY Performance Review to drive high performance in 2021? Out on a ledge … is how it can feel like sometimes for employees walking into their end of year review… It’s a mixed bag of dread and discomfort which only serves to weigh you down.  These negative feelings brought about by fear from past experiences where managers have got it wrong by using it as an opportunity to dredge up past mistakes for the first time.  Or worse they gloss it over and this indifference only serves to strengthen a performance culture of mediocrity and completely devalues the review.

As a Human Resources Manager, I feel like this is a missed opportunity to re-connect and re-engage the effort and performance of your employees leading into 2021.  After all, aren’t we all striving to create High Performance Cultures?

As managers we are really good at ‘what went well’ but often fail in asking employees what are our biggest challenges and what needs fixing.   Instead, we wait to ask the employee who has resigned in the exit interview, when it’s too late.    Organizations that facilitate honest, open dialogue will solve problems faster and improve overall innovation and performance against rivals.  Our ability to reflect on the year, our performance and grow together as human being’s and as an organization is a comparative advantage in Business.

So how do we conduct a good EOY review and what is it worth to the organization?

The three key success factors of a good EOY review are approachability, attention, appreciation.

Approachability: your manager is open and communicative in the review, in his or her language both verbal and non-verbal, this congruency builds integrity in the relationship and review.

Attention: the greatest gift, they give their employee their 100% attention.  That is, they don’t answer phone calls or send emails, they have committed to this time, they don’t re-schedule or put it off.  This is a big no-no rescheduling an EOY performance review! Where practical always commit to this meeting, it sends a bad message to the employee if you shift it, they feel deprioritised.

‘People want to feel heard, listened to’

Simon Sinek – virtual event – 24th November, 2020 – The Infinite Game.

When you do this well morale goes up, trust goes up they feel you have their back and it reduces fear and if you show care and exercise your empathetic listening skills your people will even be willing to suffer stress for you.

Encourage your employees to come to the meeting with what they see are the challenges and what needs fixing.  Resist the temptation as a manager to fix it for them, by giving them the responsibility it activates thinking.  Ask them what do you think? How would you solve it? Managers tell people what to do; but true leaders help people feel safe, promote thinking and drive a culture of Empowerment, where employees are empowered to make decisions impacting their work. You can take this a step further and if you here the language of blame, for example they ordered the wrong part, simply replace they with we ordered the wrong part. It’s a subtle way to encourage teamwork and accountability. To read more about this see Book titled: “Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet, former nuclear submarine commander.

Appreciation – As the manager it is your role to show appreciation to your employee for their valuable contribution over the year.  You would be surprised how many managers fail to do this, and only tick the box – did they achieve goal – yes or no.  My top tip to get into the role of an appreciative manager, is to imagine that your star performer is walking out of their EOY review into a call with a ‘headhunter’ following your meeting!  What do you want your star performer to say when the headhunter dangles the carrot and tries to poach your star performer? You want them to walk out of the EOY review feeling inflated like a balloon filled with all the warm and fuzzy feelings that make us feel giddy when we are in love! Think about it like your most important relationship, reconnect, reengage them in the cause, vision, purpose, mission and the important role they have in that, we all want to feel connected and sense of belonging.

How do you prepare for this EOY review with your employee?

  1. Create an Appreciation folder in your Outlook for your employee.
  2. Collect things – throughout the year – note all the good things they do.
  3. Drop any emails into that folder – things you write yourself to remind you of the good things or emails you get from customers, suppliers or colleagues about how fantastic your star performer is, achievements etc.

Top 3 things to remember:

  1. All your employees are star performers
  2. You hired them or someone else in your organization did so and its up to you to make sure they fulfill their potential
  3. If they are a poor performer why did they make it to the EOY performance review – that’s a bigger organizational culture question, which would require some deep work.

So, what’s it worth to you?

If you don’t get this right – Instead of putting a STAR on top of the Christmas Tree this year you will be putting a job vacancy up online to look for a new STAR performer.

An EOY review is a great opportunity to unite your people in the cause so they are bursting with new energy heading into 2021, ready to face new challenges, refreshed and reinvigorated.

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Call Reporting

Call Reporting

Call Reporting

Virtual Selling Tips related to Vital Selling Regimens, by Don Buttrey, President of Sales Professional Training, Inc. Today, Don shares with us the importance of Call Reporting in Customer Relationship Management.

Let me discuss some items requiring more discipline and attention in this “Virtual” world we are living in today.

Call Reporting

  • If working remotely, it is even more critical to include to define your commitment to some specific start/stop times and aggressive guidelines on how many calls you will make each day. Own it. Be accountable. Do the grunge work. It will pay off in the long run! If you coast or get distracted it will bite you. Get fired with enthusiasm! . . .or . . . be ‘fired up’ with enthusiasm!
  • Set target ‘guidelines’ to make more calls/touches in this current market! And that is now feasible due to elimination of travel time. Use that to your advantage and be tenacious with the discipline of proactive calls! The slower the market, the harder we must work as salespeople! No excuses.
  • Mix up your touch points such as phone, email, video etc. Try multiple approaches until you connect. Do not give up.
  • Monitor and document communication preferences in your CRM for each contact (such as email, text, call, video –Zoom, Meet, TEAMS, FaceTime, etc.)
For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

It’s the Little Things

It’s the Little Things

It's the Little Things

I met Ed Wallace a number of years ago and developed a wonderful relationship with him that continues to this day. Ed wrote a very meaningful book in 2010 titled “Business Relationships that Last.” He has kindly allowed us to use excerpts from this book in our blog. We start the first of a three-part series today with “It’s the Little Things.” You will see the follow-on blogs in the coming weeks. I have found there to be terrific value in this book and feel honored that Ed would allow us share his wisdom with you. I hope you enjoy and it gives you serious food for thought. Ron   

It’s the Little Extras!

Little things make big things happen. —John Wooden

Imagine that today is the last day of your sales cycle and you still have not made your monthly quota. This scenario was all too often a reality for me during my early years in sales. Now imagine that you have built such outstanding business relationships that you could contact any number of your clients and ask for their help with your quota shortfall. Imagine a level of mutual trust and commitment so deep that this request will be as easy for you to make as it will be for your clients to understand. And, finally, imagine they not only understand your need but also offer to fulfill it by signing a contract or placing an order earlier than they had planned. My passionate belief after a twenty-five-year career in sales, executive leadership, and now business ownership is that creating business relationships that last is the secret to success. As I reflect on all of the amazing technological advances that have evolved during my career, I find one remarkable, simple constant: business is still driven by people and relationships. Eventually, human beings need to interact with one another in order to work through all of the details associated with their organizations doing business together. Whether it be the use of a product or service or the acquisition of a new business, humans— with all of our knowledge, skills, goals, emotions, biases, and fears—need to collaborate to get things accomplished. Developing business relationships that last with your clients sometimes seems like a lot of extra work, especially if you cannot ensure a predictable return on the investment from all of your efforts. But even though lasting business relationships can seem as elusive as holding on to sand, learning and applying a process to help you “cup them in your hands” makes it much less challenging than you might think.

We will share with you next time the story about Ed’s friend Max.

The Time is Now.

For more information on our programs and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

From My Perspective

From My Perspective

From My Perspective

From My Perspective is the latest guest blog by Don Buttrey, President of Sales Professional Training.

We have covered the headlines and some thinking on Customer Relationship Management. Let me wrap it up with these final thoughts.

HELP! I’m in CRM hell!

My position is that the “software” is not a solution per se.  The solution is getting the entire organization to embrace the power and value of knowledge with effective team selling.  Call documentation, account strategic planning, pre-call planning, post call documentation, customer profile completion, account tiering and prioritization, calendar management, and whole team communication must be taught and expected first and foremost. Then, CRM can and will be embraced by all as a powerful technological tool that makes doing all these things easier—and actually possible! As an analogy, this is similar to learning the concepts and discipline of mathematics first – then seeing the time savings and exponential power that a calculator or computer can provide.

Every dealer I have trained in the last 20+ years has seen the need – and is at some stage of CRM initiation or operation. Like cell phones or any other technology it has become a part of being a sales organization. I do not sell or promote any particular CRM.  However, due to the inevitability of dealers needing and using it, my training addresses it throughout my curriculum. As a sales trainer, my service to dealers is to support and promote buy-in and implementation of all the selling and service activities that CRM documents, tracks, and manages. I teach the “why” of CRM and make sure that leaders do not dictate it – but that all levels of the dealership accept the duties of data entry, maximize it’s use, and are involved in continuous improvement and ongoing customization of the tool.

For more information on our programs and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.