Are your Goals Empty or Full?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

My sales manager gave me and each sales team member a big yellow envelope. He then asked us to write down our goals for the year, place them in the envelop, sign and seal the envelope and pass them in.

I recall this event vividly as it was my first sales meeting ever. It was 1980 and I had just

Have You Set Your Own Goals?

Have You Set Your Own Goals?

joined an office equipment sales team. Being new to sales I did not know what to expect so I went with the flow.  I recall the feeling of empowerment as I wrote my goals down – a feeling which lasted at least until late afternoon. To this day, however,  I do not recall the goals I wrote down.

The Price Is Right

The TV game show ‘The Price is Right’ has been on air almost continuously since the late 1970’s in one form or another. Contestants are asked to “Come on down” by the host and exhibit outbursts of emotion as they are overwhelmed, with audience encouragement, as the progressive list of prizes is unveiled and then given the opportunity to win.

What would happen if the curtain was drawn back and there was nothing there and the host said “Tonight you are going to name your own Prize“.

I suspect, after the initial shock and stunned silence,  the contestant might make some suggestions for the prize pool.

I, like most people on the planet, find it is much easier to let others determine goals. We wait for the curtain to be drawn back, our goal revealed and we get excited at the prospect of a large reward.


Game shows have done well in all cultures. I can recall a few ‘winners’, however, it is more common contestants will leave with just a small prize. Often you will see a contestant who could walk away with a reasonable prize risk it all for the chance to ‘win it all’. After all, they came with nothing they may as well take the risk.

The reason this happens is the contestant has not yet taken ownership of what is already theirs. Contestants who have clearly defined outcomes, for example ‘a second car for the family’, will take a reasonable prize pool as they mentally take ownership of a well defined preset goal. Once a link is established with a goal they are totally engaged with it is easy to stop and take the prize.

Goal setting is probably the most talked about topic in business and sales. Nearly every business plan template I know includes a section on specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-framed  goals, or similar. In sales goals are set for sales volume and margin. Often specific non-monetary account and territory specific goals are also included.

Most business and sales goals, however, like New Year’s resolutions, are either abandoned within the first few weeks of them being set or, if engaged with, create limits in the mind of the person the goal has been set for. The key reason for this is the goal is not linked by the person setting out to achieve it to one of their own goals.  Even if a goal is intellectually accepted, the plan to achieve that goal needs to be emotionally set and embraced as well

Empty goals

When challenged most people are able to rattle off a few of their life goals;

  • “I will be a millionaire by the time I am 35”
  • “I will run a triathlon”

While both of these goals are great, to achieve them you need to embrace them as your own and commit to actions to make them happen.

If I was working in a sports store and my manager said “This year everyone in this company will run a triathlon this year” most people would accept it as a goal intellectually but not engage. This is like in the game show contestant opening the curtain and finding out what they are playing for. In this case it might not be so pleasant.

To embrace a goal you need to be fully engaged emotionally and intellectually.

  • “I will take my love of natural products,  identify ways to make this into a thriving business and create a lifestyle around this where I can bank one million dollars by the time I am 35”
  • “I will set daily, weekly and monthly goals for cycling, running and swimming so I can successfully complete a triathlon before I turn 30”

The sports store manager could engage everyone, and perhaps get a few others to join in, by saying “This year I will be doing a triathlon to support the Children’s hospital. If anyone wants to join me the store will support you with all the equipment you need. I would also encourage others to support this cause by supporting this important cause“. Leadership, allowing everyone to engage in a personal goal in the best way they can without feeling guilty.

The difference is the new goals are personal and easily embraced emotionally and intellectually. They allow for setbacks and mixing up of short term goals to ultimately achieve what your main goal.

From that first sales meeting I learned the power released in the process of setting goals and the importance of creating goals. It is in embracing the goal as your own, creating the daily, weekly and monthly target and measuring the small successes where he real power of goals lie.

Today’s question and actions

Who is setting your goals? Are you in charge or are those around you setting default goals? Here are two things you can do to take charge today;

  1. Identify four or five things which you are passionate about. These could be simple things like “I want my son to talk more with me about what is going on in his life” or super challenging like “I will climb Mount Everest“.  Whatever it is you need to be fully engaged with the goal and really want it to be so.
  2. Take some time to plan out what you need to do every day, week and month to make this a reality. e.g. Make at least three calls with you son each week. Walk further up the Devil’s staircase each day.

Setting goals is great. It is setting goals you are fully engaged with which will change your life.

Have a great week!

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5 Great Management Books For Small Business Owners

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

As a small business over, you must wear many different hats and have a wide range of knowledge. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to help you acquire all of the know-how you need in order to run your business successfully. Here are five great management books for small business owners:

Small Business Management: Launching and Growing Entrepreneurial Ventures by Justin G. Longenecker et al. As the title suggests, this comprehensive text guides you through all of the practical aspects of running a small business, from startup to expansion. Keep this in your library for a handy go-to when you need some tactical guidance.

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky. As a small business owner, you probably have a lot of great ideas for how to grow your business; however, what may not be so obvious is the path you should take to bring those ideas to fruition. This text can guide you through the process and help you turn ideas into realities.

Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization by Daniel Patrick Forrester. This text teaches you how to take a time out in pressing business situations so that you can think things through logically and come back to the table with the best possible solution. Forrester uses real world case studies to guide you through the process of reflective thinking–a process that can be of great value to you, the small business owner.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Great management starts with you–how you manage yourself, that is. Your personal habits will inevitably trickle into your business management and you should therefore make sure you’re operating with the right habits. This book will show you what that means.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Where is the best place to turn to for advice on creating business success? Well, a successful business owner, of course! Hsieh is the founder and CEO of the hugely successful online retail store Zappos, and in this book, he walks you through his own experience and shares his personal insights into what makes a great business work.

As you can see, there is no shortage of educational and inspirational texts out there to help you, the small business owner, succeed in your venture. The important thing is to approach the task of business management with an open mind so that you can see your success from many different angles. These books will help give you that perspective.

About the Author: Marion Moon is a business consultant who loves to see small business owners succeed. She recommends management classes, tools for employee scheduling from When I Work, and a wide variety of team building tools to promote growth.

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Twelve Seconds and Six Actions to Establish Rapport

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Earlier this month a colleague of mine called and asked how many return calls I was First-Impressionsgetting when I sent my CV out. I had just re-written my profile and he was concerned I had missed the mark.

Being a professional sales coach and someone who prided themselves in helping others achieve I was a bit surprised. I listened to Paul with patience as he pointed out a number of important things.

Those 30 minutes with Paul gave me a whole new perspective of how others viewed me and changed the way I presented myself. It was also a timely reminder that no matter how good you might think you are, getting someone else to read your story, listen to your ideas and provide the tough questions to test your plans is still vital to ensure you are getting the right story out.

This is particularly important when you work as an independent consultant or in a small business as it is easy to lose perspective without peers to help you.

Almost every decision a person makes, from making a purchase to who they date, is made emotionally within the first minutes of your first belly-to-belly meeting. Many communication experts argue it is the first 12 seconds which are the most important. While you may have had a good, polite, discussion; when you walk out of that first meeting your prospect will have already made up their mind if they want to continue the relationship. ‘Flop’ into your first ‘belly-to-belly’ meeting unprepared and you will not get a second chance.

Here are six vital actions to help you in those important first twelve seconds…

1. People do judge a book by its cover

When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time 93% of how you are judged will be an emotional response based on the non-verbal data you are presenting – your appearance, verbal tone and body language. Only 7% is influenced by the words you speak.

When your initial encounter is over the phone, 70% of how you are judged will be an emotional response based on your tone of voice and enthusiasm, only 30% on your words. It’s not what you say – it’s the way that you say it.

2. Be prepared

While a mere 7% of what you say is of influence in your first belly-to-belly encounter, don’t leave them to chance. Express some form of thank you when you meet the client. Clients appreciate you when you appreciate them.

Do some research into the person you are meeting. With the mountain of information available today there is no excuse to not have a few personal and business questions ready to show they are important to you and their business is of value.

3. Use Their Name Immediately

When someone calls me by my first name I feel cared for. Nothing brings down barriers quicker than using a person’s name. When you use your client ‘s name in conversation you are sending a message that you value that person and are focused on them.

4. Pay Attention to Your Personal Appearance

I have one of those eyebrows which needs regular attention or it becomes the one thing people I meet focus on.

When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time they will notice your hair, eyebrows, forehead and face – in that order. If you are meeting with a female in addition to these they are likely to pay more attention to your shoes, crispness of your shirt / blouse and your nails.

While it may not be obvious, people look from your face to your feet and take in the detail subconsciously. Right or wrong they are deciding if you are a person they like and trust.

5. The first touch

The first physical touch you have with someone, business and personal, is almost always a handshake. A good business handshake is essential to make a lasting impression. When meeting someone belly-to-belly for the first time put out your hand and be prepared to provide a firm handshake. There is no need for bone crunching strength or trying to overwhelm them with vigour. Set the scene as equals and develop from there.

6. Swap cards

While a nice business card can contribute to your total image, the main purpose of a business card is to receive one in return. When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time offer your card and expect one in return. The details on their card indicate how they wish to be contacted.

Treat your cards with respect ensuring you only give out cards which are in pristine condition. When you receive a card treat it with the same respect.

In today’s world there is no excuse for being unprepared. Take time to prepare yourself and your mind.

Today’s question and actions

In business in particular there is a mountain of information available at your fingertips. Get to know the person you are going to meet and prepare yourself.

Here are a couple of things you can do;

    • Use LinkedIn, Face book and a companies website to learn about the person you are about to meet. Read the annual report to learn about their industry & their business challenges.
    • Check your personal grooming, your posture and mental attitude just before you meet them.
    • Learn more about emotional intelligence and how to use it to push their green buttons. (click below to download two free chapters of the
      book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles“)

Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles Sample Download

You never get a second chance at making a first impression.


Have a great week!

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Sales and marketing strategy for everyone

By Lucy of PPI reclaim

Welcome to Monday

Sales and marketing strategies are essential to take your products to the consumer.  Sales

Sales and Marketing Strategy for Everyone

Sales and Marketing Strategy for Everyone

strategy refers to a design proposed by an individual or business on how to trade products and services and increase revenues. Usually sales strategies are developed by administration department along with its advertising, marketing and sales managers. Having a perfect sales strategy is important for the success of any organisation. Well-planned sales strategies help you to target the potential consumers and communicate with them in meaningful and relevant ways. Sales representatives play important role in promoting the products or services. They should have a complete knowledge on how the services and products can meet the consumer requirements.

Active marketing starts with well-informed and considered marketing strategies.  A well-organized marketing method helps you to define your business goals , mission and vision; it also helps your organisation to frame the steps to achieve these goals. Marketing policy can influence your organisation’s growth; you need to frame a plan in consultation with your team members. A well developed and planned marketing method defines your business and its services and products. It is a simple way to recognize the marketing tactics you can use. It will also help your association to know the role and position of your services and products in the market. A well-defined method can outline your competition and customers.

Sales plans will change from industry to industry, but target market is same for any type of business. Target market is vital to take your services to the consumers and increase profits. For example, if you are selling electronic gadgets , advertising on fashion magazine will not yield any results. Target market is not only the factor to be considered before promoting your brand, but things like gender, age, location and spending habits of an organisation’s are also important. If you want to achieve the growth potential for your association, well-planned sales strategy is inevitable. It plays a key role in penetrating and targeting your products to the most profitable and promising sectors and markets. Sales strategy will help you to measure the performance of your firm, helps retain market share, customer retention, forecasting and morale. It will set out clear sales targets for your business, meet sales goals and attract repeat customers. With the help of a well-defined sales plan you can analyse the weakness and strengths of your competitors.

There are many marketing strategies like affiliate marketing, article writing, blogs, social media and joining in networking groups. Among them social media and article writing are powerful marketing strategies which are suitable for everyone.  You can promote your product and services with the help of Facebook fan pages which will get you huge brand reputation. It is the simple and easy way to reach millions of customers. Article writing is one of the best marketing strategies to increase your profits, but you need to update your website or blog with unique and latest content to attract repeated customers. Unless you  update your blog regularly, you cannot expect good returns.

If you want to achieve the marketing objectives and fill the market needs, marketing strategy work as the fundamental underpinning. Marketing strategies are broadly classified based on market dominance leader, challenger, follower and niche. A well-defined marketing strategy will help you to know the unique selling proposition of your organisation, describe the target market and benefits of your services and products.  Marketing is an investment; you have to develop a budget for your marketing plan.

Author bio:  I am Lucy from Manchester. I am a tech writer. I am into Health and finance. I have written numerous articles on PPI reclaim. You can catch me on @financeport.

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What will you accomplish this week?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was listening in on a sales team conversation. They were setting very low expectations fordont-wait-for-your-ship-to-some-in-swim-out-to-it the month of March. Here in Victoria we have three four day weeks out of four and a lot of people seem to be on holidays.

This got me thinking about the results this team were setting themselves up for.

Sun Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Henry Ford, Greek philosophers and many others all recognise one important human characteristic. “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”

Mental Blocks

I learned to swim on holidays at the beach while growing up in Korea. As a part of the swimming program I was required to do a series of dives. While attempting to do a backwards dive I hurt myself. In retrospect it was probably not a serious injury, however, it placed a mental block in my brain. Even today, almost 50 years later, there is no way I can do a backward dive without this incident rushing into my mind and creating fear.

While the ability to do a backwards dive is not so important, my brain continues to put up blocks for other more important activities. In fact, psychologists tell us the brain is very good at finding and remembering reasons not to do something.

Deliberate plans are required to overcome the blocks our brain puts in place.

Setting Priorities

Early in my sales career I was competing for a major ERP systems implementation and software development job.

We had moved from a long list to a short list to being one of two organisations being considered. The decision date was looming and it was obvious we were in position two – not a nice place to be with the decision being made on Friday! We knew we were not the ideal fit, however, we had proposed some innovative modifications they liked.

Gerry and I decided to make one last pitch. We got in front of the decision maker and did everything we could to budge him! His mind was made up. He was ready to sign with our competitor.

I knew the sales person from the winning company very well. I called up Bill to congratulate him. You could feel the excitement coming over the telephone line.

Are you going to get the contracts signed today?” I asked.

No,” he said, “I have made an appointment for Tuesday morning so I can get away for the long weekend“.

Those words came back to me like when I read the business section of the paper on Tuesday morning. Over the weekend a Japanese company had put in a takeover bid which the board were likely to accept.

The First Law of Professional Selling

 When there is a deal to be closed stop all other activities to finalise the deal

It never ceases to amaze me so many people just do not get it. When a deal or opportunity is there to be closed do not hesitate – close it!

If Bill had gone out that day he would have had a signed contract, a fat commission check and his company would have a big deal. He had ignored the first law of a professional sales person and lost.

What you accomplish this week is up to you. There may be some things which are genuinely out of your control. If you do not think it is possible, however, you probably will not ask, and if you don’t ask the opportunity might just go away.

Today’s question and actions

The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win. If you’re in business or sales the very first question you must ask each morning is ‘What deals or opportunities  are there that can or need to be closed today?’

Extend this to everything you do by asking the question ‘Is this activity going to help me achieve my goals today, this week, or this month?’

The answer to these questions will help determine the priority of all other activities for the day.

Click below to download a copy of my ‘six-pack’ – the tool I use each day

Six Pack March 2013

Have a great week!

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What is one question you can ask to eliminate price as an objection and open up an opportunity?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

The most commonly asked question by business owners and sales people is “How can I remove price as an objection?”Why People Listen

I was standing in the supermarket aisle last week and noticed a young man lingering in the laundry power section. Being a naturally curious person so I walked up and asked “What a range – how can you ever select the right product

I am trying to decide which of these laundry powders is the cheapest” he said. “Which one do you use?”

My brain went into overdrive. ‘What an opportunity to test my price theory’ I thought. I looked straight into his eyes and asked “If they were all the same price what would be important for you?”

My girl friend has an allergy – so I need to be sure that the powder washes out completely” he said.

I turned and pulled the most expensive item off the shelf “If you want your girlfriend to keep healthy and kissing you, you need to use this brand in warm water as it completely washes out.”

Thanks” he said and immediately placed it into his shopping trolley and wandered off.

It was amazing. He had gone from buying on price to buying the most expensive brand in just thirty seconds

Why do people buy from you?

This is the most important question you will ever ask. When I challenge people with this question almost every time they will answer without thinking with stock answers like;

    • I have a relationship with them
    • We have the best price
    • Because I am a great sales person
    • Quality of our product
    • Our service

Some even look at me like I have two heads. Why would I bother to ask this question? We all know why our clients buy?

This is dangerous thinking.  Notice all the personal pronouns – ‘I’, ‘Our’ and ‘We’. Customers crave for your attention and they can’t get the attention of someone focused on themselves.

When I started my sales training business I did what all good business people do – I looked at my strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. I quickly picked up my first client and assumed, of course, that they had purchased my program for one of the reasons I put forward.

After the last session I sat down with the director of sales and asked this simple question “John, why did you buy my program?”

I was not prepared for the answer. “Greg, when you were selling to us we were concerned that you were new to the business. What we noticed, however, was you were the only person who used the sales techniques you proposed to teach our team and these were the same techniques we wanted them to use.”

Wow – all the hot air I had come up with to sell my programs had made no impact on this sale – it was something I had not even considered.

With every sale I make now I ask ‘Why did you buy this product or service from me?’ I am continually amazed at the feedback I get and use this feedback to build stories to use in new sales campaigns.

Talk with your best clients to find out why they are really doing business with you. They will provide you with your best stories and help you develop powerful open and probing questions to ask your prospects.

 What is more important than price to your client?

Price only becomes an issue if you make it an issue. If you make a business outcome the issue then price becomes secondary. Even if two products are identical, your client will always buy on perceived outcome.

Today’s question and actions

Go to your best clients, look them straight in the eye and ask “Why do you buy from me?” You can phrase this in any way you feel comfortable, so here are a couple of variations;

    • Other than price where, specifically, do our products / services add value to your business?
    • Why do you continue to do business with us year after year?
    • Where in your business could we offer more value?
    • What is it that makes our products / services stand out?
    • What makes us different from every other company that calls on you?

Then shut up and listen. You will learn more about your sales strengths from this exercise than weeks of sitting in your office with your marketing gurus making up a story.

If price is an issue – guess who made it an issue. Stop selling price and ask great questions about business value.

Have a great week!

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What blockages are stopping the heartbeat of your business?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

As in life, at the core of every business is a heart beating away providing life giving oxygen,boulder on road paying salaries, keeping production moving and supporting the families of every person involved. This heartbeat pumps something which, like our own heart pumping oxygen, can kill your business faster than any other business problem. This essential oxygen for business in paying customers.

No matter what business you are in, and this includes ‘not for profits’ and totally volunteer organisations, the life blood of every organisation is people willing to be engaged, to volunteer, to pay fees, and to buy products or services.

 Traffic Jams

I live and work in a large city. This involves travelling in and out every day. I take a keen interest in traffic reports as I know it takes just a small accident to create a major blockage on the roads. Manufacturing companies wait on deliveries to meet the demands for production; Events wait on patrons to turn up; Buildings wait on maintenance companies to fix the elevators … the list goes on.

A major blockage can bring a city to its knees.

Wait until you feel the pain

I was talking with a cardiologist and he despaired about the small number of people who proactively did something about their heart health. Even though there are well proven ways to maintain a healthy heart less than 5% of the population did anything at all about it voluntarily.

This struck a chord with me as less than 5% of people in business or sales have EVER attended a sales training program, read a sales book or listed to a sales or motivational CD by their own choice. (Brian Tracy – ‘Psychology Of Selling’)

The average person waits until they feel the symptoms until they do something about the pain of a heart problem – and if you are a male you are likely to wait until it is too late.

In business, if you wait until you feel the pain of a blocked sales pipeline of funnel, insolvency is often just around the corner.

Is Selling a ‘Black Art’ or Normal?

Selling is often termed the ‘Black Art’. Something necessary to make a business work, yet mysterious in nature. Somehow the sales wizards go out and bring in orders.

An inventor I have worked with keeps telling me “If you build it they will come“.

It is now ten years since he built his first working model and no one came. He has built three improved models and still no one came.

Selling is a very normal function and is about telling people a story. You do not need a working model, just an idea or concept which might work. It is not about building, it is about proactively listening to others and sharing your ideas. It is simple and straight forward.

At the core of your business is a heartbeat, and that heart is kept going by listening and telling others your story.

Today’s question and actions

What are you doing to keep the heartbeat of your business going? Here are a couple of things you can do;

    • Know your story. Keep it simple and do not leave things out just because you think it has all been said before. For this new person it is the first time and it is important they get the full impact. Like an actor playing the same show every day – keep the passion alive and your audience will applauded every performance.
    • Look for something new with each customer. Every person who does business with you, decides to volunteer, or become engaged with what you do does so for their own reason. Find out their reason and you will have a depth of real stories to keep you message fresh.

There is nothing difficult about selling if you know your story and can relate it to others.  Usually if there is a blockage it is because you have not maintained you own enthusiasm.

Have a great week!

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Why is it top performers demand coaching?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was listening to the commentary of the Australian Open tennis this week and the

The destination may be familiar but the way to get there varies

The destination may be familiar but the way to get there varies

commentators were debating the wisdom of one of the players entering the competition without a coach – the only player in the competition without one. This got me thinking. I researched the statistics of success in sports over the past fifty or so years and I struggled to find a single case where a person had risen and maintained elite level performance without a coach.

Yehudi Menuhin, the most gifted violin player of our time, was asked by a newspaper reporter for an interview. He agreed, but it would need to be straight after his violin lesson during the week. The reporter was surprised that even at the peak of his career he still had regular violin lessons. Menuhin said “To continue to be relevant and engage with my audience“, Menuhin said “I need help to regularly develop my skills and techniques.”

In my second year of high school I was failing maths miserably. So much so I was placed in the slow or remedial class. I was fortunate enough that the teacher of this class, long before there were textbooks on the subject, understood everyone had a different learning style. In just a few weeks I was back on track, loving maths, and from that day to this I have always loved the subject. There was nothing different being taught in the more advanced classes, she was just acting as a coach and helping me reconnect to the subject.

Recent research (Gallup Management Journal research – over 10 million customers, 3 million employees, 200,000 managers) found that successful business owners and sales people rarely achieve greatness on their own! Great sales performers invariably have great coaches and mentors close at hand. The very best performing sales people and business owners need – and deserve – the most gifted coaches. In fact, many elite performers will have multiple coaches focused on different aspects of their life or game.

Sales and Business Fitness

When you start a fitness program at a gym the very first thing you do is undergo an assessment. The fitness instructor evaluates your fitness levels in a number of areas – aerobic fitness, cardiac fitness, muscle strength, abdominal strength, body fat etc. In general there are a few key dimensions of fitness.

Business and Sales fitness is the same. There are five key areas of fitness that a business or sales coach needs to assess. As a coach we work with the individual and develop a plan to develop their fitness in these key areas and then to maintain peak fitness for long term success. These key areas are:

  1. Motivation
  2. Relationship Building
  3. Gaining Commitment
  4. Getting things done
  5. Understanding and solving customer problems

Take motivation as an example.

While being highly motivated is not enough to achieve success in business or as a sales person, having motivation is fundamental to success. Motivation, however, comes in many forms.

If your emotional style is ‘The Mover’(1) then communication is the form that drives your motivation and you are drawn to talking, storytelling and discussing concepts. As a coach I would touch base regularly, use positive words to praise you for your accomplishments; listen to ideas and check to be sure you understand what needs to be done before our next conversation. Even if times get tough, taking the time to touch base with you is vital for your ‘sales fitness’

If your emotional style is ‘The Politician’(1) then winning is the form that drives your motivation. I would turn things into a competition feeding your emotional need to win. If you have clients where there are lots of smaller orders this will fuel your motivation. If there are fewer and larger orders I would help you break this down into many more wins. Regular communication and direction is not a priority and investing time in idle conversation is a definite negative. Even in tough time breaking down achievements into ‘wins’ maintains ‘sales fitness’.

A great sales coach knows and understands how to read the fitness form of each of their team and design a fitness program to keep each one of them motivated to achieve.

Today’s Question and Actions

Great coaching does not happen by accident. It is wonderful to have a friend, spouse or colleague to talk things over with. When it comes to achieving greatness, however, you need to ask the following questions;

    • Is this person objectively evaluating the five key areas of my business or sales fitness and planning  strategies  to help build and maintain those fitness levels?
    •  Do they understand how to deal with me on an emotional level?
    • Do they focus on wins relevant to me?

What coaches do you have in your life?

Have a great week!

Exceptional Sales Performance

(1) see “Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles

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We all talk about ‘Vision’ but are you living the dream?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Towards the end of 2012 I was doing a few handyman jobs around the house. This Visionparticular day I missed my step on the ladder. I started bumping into things I would normally have avoided and noticed my left eye was having trouble focusing. This developed over time to a state where, no matter what I did, I couldn’t see anything but a blur.

Today I am having some surgery on that eye which, I am assured, will bring back my 20:10 vision. This got me thinking, however, about vision and how important it is, in business as in life.

People buy from people they believe have a similar world view to them

John Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company (NCR), while known for his benevolence was also a hardworking aggressive businessman. The saying most often attributed to him is “Before you try to convince anyone else, be sure you are convinced, and if you cannot convince yourself, drop the subject

Patterson engaged a sales person by the name of Joseph Crane. Crane’s sales approach embraced Patterson’s philosophy and changed sales forever. He would walk into a retail store and start talking to the owner about their store and how best to generate profits. He asked about the problems the owner had and related to them his own experience as a retailer, how he overcame the problems and the payback he achieved. He then invited them to a demonstration where he would close by asking for the order. The process worked so well it was enshrined as the NCR ‘primer’ and became a model for sales training for the next seventy years.

NCR Sales people were hired and fired on their ability to follow and deliver the primer script. Successful NCR salespeople believed in what they sold and were able to convince their prospects they understood their business problems or ‘world view’. They could see their product delivering a solution to a business problem

Recession proofing a business

John Scott, founder of Remington Office Products, was asked about how he managed to grow his business during the depths of the 1930’s recession. “While other sales people are gathering together telling stories of how bad things are I talked with business people about how good things could be”, he said. What Scott did was to share his infectious vision while everyone else hid. Perhaps the total market was smaller, however, Scott got most of it.

Is your vision empowering you?

The concept of the ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ (BHAG) was introduced by Collins and Porras in 1994. While having grand goals is important, these tend to be a rallying to the flag type goal based more on emotion rather than substance.

Take a moment and think about the one goal you are currently working towards right now – not a BHAG, but which specific goal are you working on right now? If you do not know, or can’t directly relate your current activity to a goal you are not alone. In fact, most people, even with a well defined BHAG, find it difficult to relate specific activities to the achievement of a goal.

Right now business conditions are a bit challenging so I am investing a lot of time prospecting. While I have very specific billing and revenue goals (my BHAG) these will only be achieved if I have opportunities to close. To support these goals I break them down to daily and weekly goals. Here are some of my specific goals;

  • Each evening I select 20 names of people in my network and call at least 10 of them the next day
  • I have a target list of accounts. I select a number of key people in these accounts I have never spoken to before, do a bit of research and call at least one person on this list every day.
  • Every afternoon I review all my calls and update my opportunity file, create a list of at least one follow-up action for each opportunity and decide where that opportunity sits in my sales funnel.

These may sound simple goals. Achieving these very specific achievable goals every day, however, is a powerful motivator. Coach’s in every field of human endeavour set these types of daily and weekly goals for motivation. In business and sales it is just as important.

So, is vision important? There is nothing more satisfying than reflecting on the day and seeing your goals being reached. More importantly, if these goals are set to achieve your Big Hairy Audacious Goals  you have the satisfaction of knowing all is well.

Today’s question and actions

Do you have a well defined vision of who you are and what you want to achieve? To maintain your energy here are some things to consider;

    • Break down what you need to do every day and every week to make your vision a reality
    • What are you doing each day to recharge you three energy sources – your chemical, emotional and mental energy
    • How are you rewarding yourself for your daily and weekly wins?

Maintaining a vision is difficult, yet vital, for success. Establishing your own strategies to maintain it will drive the energy in your life for success.

Have a great week!

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Is there one ‘Sales Elixir’ that, when used, turns a person into a business or sales superstar?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

In my conversations with sales people and business owners there is Linus Salesperson shouting from TVone recurring theme, “How can I get more business for less effort?”. What they are really looking for is the magic elixir which will make prospects come to their door and buy without them needing to make any effort.

The ‘Easy Rider’ Road

In 2012 more people went to seminars on business building, sales and wealth creation than ever before. Despite this;

    • Less than 4% of people have goals they can remember
    • Less than 1% of people actually follow their plan to achieve these goals
    • Most people reach their mid-life and ask “How did I get Here?” and are not satisfied with the answer, and
    • At the end of 2010 there are fewer people in the upper and middle wealth (not income) bracket (proportionately) than ever before.

It seems there is a basic desire by most people to make significant amounts of money. This drives what I call the ‘Easy Rider’ industry. Seminars, books, videos and the like promising to reveal ‘secrets’ on how to make huge returns for just a few dollars investment.

All the technology in the world, however, cannot change the simple fact human beings are social animals. Every time a decision is made about where to go to share a meal, the car to buy, who to Marry, were to go on holidays is made, in the end, by two or more human beings sitting down and agreeing to move forward together.

It is the same in business. The people you are dealing with may be in business themselves, or be employed by someone, however, they are still a human being. They  engage you to deliver a business result because they trust you to deliver on your word – and this is because of the trust they have in the relationship they have with you. Real commercial relationships are honest, sincere, of value and meaning to all parties.

Relationships are built as a result of investing time and energy. Despite this I find it staggering we constantly look for shortcuts around this basic human need.

Here are two examples of sales I observed.

Example 1

A mid-sized manufacturing organisation I was consulting to decided they should consider their communication needs. They made a decision to move a small section of their mobile telephone fleet to a new supplier to trial a potential move. This prompted a deluge of calls over a few weeks. According to the CEO they took nearly 100 calls about ‘special deals’, packages, new technology – even a bicycle courier company called them up to determine what was going on!

In this example one company made a small initial sale. Almost immediately the whole flock arrives trying to win the business, or just pick up a few crumbs. With more competition than ever even the smallest ‘deals’ are quickly found out about and broadcast in the industry. The consequence to this mentality is what I call ‘Seagull’ sales.

Example 2

A global manufacturing company, based in the USA, outsourced a small software development job to an Australian company. They delivered the project to the IT department meeting all the projects expected outcomes. The salesperson did something different, however, and made a call to the business process owner (not in IT). He asked a simple question – “Did the project deliver the expected business outcomes?”

The process owner was so surprised to hear this question. His experience was IT departments and software development companies made statements more like “We delivered the project on time and on budget”.

The conversation developed and a number of other key areas of the business were identified where a similar solution could be applied to similar business problems. Over the next few years this business process owner kept coming back to the same salesperson to talk about his business problems. Even in the face of pressure from their internal IT department, they continued to buy tens of millions of dollars of services from this Australian company to deliver global services.

Successful businesses, sales people and investors know the value of the making an investment in relationships, delivering value to these relationships and maintaining the integrity of those relationships.

 So is there a Sales Elixir?

Yes. The Sales Elixir is the time and effort invested into relationships and then linking that relationship to value. For every piece of business awarded, someone has made a decision they can trust their future, and future of their company, to the sales person they are dealing with. Most importantly, they can only make this decision if they have met you, like you and believe you will deliver the expected business outcomes.

Today’s Question and Action

How well do you know your clients? With just a little effort you can start to build a serious business by building trust and establishing a relationship where they call and discuss their business with you. Ask yourself these questions;

    • Which of my clients could develop into a serious customer?
    • Who do I need to establish relationships with to make this happen?
    • What are the individual goals and needs of these people?
    • Am I helping them achieve their goals?
    • Would the depth of our relationship allow them to be proud when you achieved you goals as well?

For all those who are reading this week’s article that want a quickie fix – I am sorry – the only answer to long term success is long term investment in helping others to succeed.

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