Four Questions About Leadership

I hear four questions asked about leadership often. This article gives a short answer to each of these important questions.

Why Does Leadership Matter?

Parents universally hope that their children develop leadership qualities. They know that leaders are people who are effective in what they do, are respected by others, and typically rewarded for those skills in a variety of ways. It is in these formative years that, through our parents, we first see leadership as desirable and important.

As young people we look up to people around us that motivate and listen to us people that seem like real-life heroes. We consider these people leaders.

As we grow we begin to relate leaders to their jobs and ministers, teachers, police officers. And later Mayors, Presidents, and CEO’s…

As adults all of these thoughts and experiences define why we think leaders have desirable traits and play roles we admire (and why we desire these things for our children).

All of these experiences and thoughts help us define why leadership matters and it matters because leaders make a difference and can shape the future. It matters because leaders are valued and valuable. In everyone’s mind leadership, especially when it is good, matters. Continue reading “Four Questions About Leadership”

Saying Yes

“All that man achieves, and all that he fails to achieve is a direct result of his own thoughts.” -James Allen

John Lennon, at the height of his popularity, had his heart captured by one simple word: yes. He was rich, talented, desired and loved by people all over the world and had the option of nearly any woman he wanted. And ‘yes’ was what did it for him.

He attended an exhibit in England and Yoko Ono was one of the artists. The piece in question was a ladder which led to a tiny sign and a magnifying glass. In order to see what was written on this tiny sign, one had to climb the ladder and look through this magnifying glass. It said, ‘Yes’.

It started with a yes. John later said he liked the piece so much because of it’s positive message. He said if it had been something negative, he wouldn’t have found Yoko or her work interesting in the least.

We all say ‘yes’ or derivatives of it every day (yeah, uh huh, ya). A positive response to a question or situation. Yes.

When we say yes, many times we are projecting an attitude and an affirmation, more than just agreement, and we are showing an openness and welcoming.

As a persuader, I love to hear ‘yes’.

Self awareness and attitude go hand in hand with persuasion. This requires that you “check in” with yourself and pay special attention to all the signs and feelings we experience.

There’s a young women who works at the cafe where I work sometimes. She has the ultimate ‘people suck’ attitude. ‘I’ll never get what I want. Why can’t I ever find a parking spot. I’m so fat. I’m always broke. . .’ Wow. This is not a ‘can do’ attitude. She is most certainly not saying ‘yes’.

By changing our loops, our negative tapes, for positive ones, and you’ll be rewarded immeasurably. It takes a lot of conscious work and can sometimes be uncomfortable.

There have been days when I let negative moods get the better of me. Sometimes it happens without you even knowing it. I’m not normally a complainer. I take action when action is warranted, but I had a bad day not too long ago where I was irritated by absolutely everything. I noticed the ugly paint job on the house down the street, I noticed the horrible driver in traffic. And then something happened that interrupted my (temporary) pattern of negativity. Someone just said, ‘Are you okay?’ It made me realize that, yeah, I had really been complaining a lot, it had been a bad day. I took a deep cleansing breath, checked in with myself, and intentionally readjusted my attitude. Presto! That ugly paint job was inconsequential.

Life happens. Part of life includes ‘bad’ things. We have the choice to respond with either positivity or negativity. Emotions are choices.

Charles Hannel, author of ‘The Master Key System’, (an incredible study in self-improvement and higher consciousness) said of attitude, “The predominant thought or the mental attitude is the magnet, and the law is that like attracts like, consequently, the mental attitude will invariably attract such conditions as correspond to its nature.”

As you begin to reorient yourself to a ‘yes’ attitude, you will get more ‘yes’ in return.

How to Sell to Anyone

Let’s face it. We all have those difficult customers to whom we are required to sell. From the demanding, abrasive buyer to the individual who never seems to make a buying decision, we encounter challenging people on a regular basis. Part of the reason this happens is due to the disconnect we have because of conflicting personalities. This post will look at the four key types of people and how to improve your results with each.

Direct Donna. Donna is very direct in her approach. She tends to be forceful and always wants to dominate or control the sales call. Her behaviour is aggressive, she points at you while she talks, interrupts your to challenge you, and she seldom cares about hearing the details of your new product or service. Instead, she demands that you cut to chase and tell me the bottom line. Donna is very results-focused and goal-oriented and hates wasting time.

To achieve the best sales results with this individual you need to be more direct and assertive. Tell her at the beginning of the sales call or meeting that you know how busy she is and how valuable her time is. Tell her that you will get right to the point and focus your conversation on the results she will achieve by using you product or service. Resist the temptation to back down if she confronts you because you will lose her respect. To Donna, it is not personal, it’s just business.

Lastly, be direct in asking for her business, you don’t have to dance around this issue.

Talkative Tim. Tim is a gregarious and outgoing person but very ego-centric. He is often late for your meetings and his constant interruptions and long stories cause your sales calls to go beyond the scheduled time. He appears to be more concerned with listening to himself talk which is frustrating because you don’t always get enough time to discuss your solution.

Relationships are very important to Talkative Tim so invest more time in social conversation. Even if you don’t see the point in this, he will appreciate the gesture and will like you more. This person often makes buying decisions on intuition and how he feels about the sales person.

Be careful not to challenge Tim because he will feel rejected and when this happens he will shut down and become unresponsive. During your sales presentation, tell him how good your solution will make him look to others in the company or how his status or image will improve. In other words, appeal to his ego.

Steady Eddie. Soft-spoken, Eddie is a nice fellow who seems more focused on his team and coworkers than on his personal results. He is very quiet compared to some of your other prospects and can be difficult to read. But most frustrating is his reluctance to make a buying decision. Eddie’s mantra seems to be I’m still thinking about but thanks for following up.

Structure and security is important to these people and it is difficult for Eddie to make changes. He often contemplates how the decision will affect other people within the organization. That means you need to slow down the sales process, demonstrate how your solution will benefit the team, and remove as much risk from the decision-making process as possible. Soften your voice and make sure your sales presentation flows in a logical manner. Use words like fair logical and your team in your presentation.

Analytical Alice. She reads every point and specification about your product or service and regardless of how much information you give Alice, she always wants more, including written guarantees and back up documentation. She is very difficult to read and it is extremely difficult to get her engaged in an open conversation because personal feelings and emotions do not enter the picture when Alice makes a decision.

Whenever possible, give Alice a written, bullet-point agenda of your meeting beforehand. Ideally, email it to her a few days in advance so she can prepare herself. Make sure it is completely free of typos, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. When you meet, follow the agenda in perfect order and if you make any type of claim, have supporting documentation available for her to read.

While the approach to use with each of these people may not make sense to you or seem completely rational, it is critical to recognize that how you naturally and instinctively sell may not be the best way to get results with someone else. Modifying your approach and style, even briefly, will help you better connect with your customers and prospects which means you will generate better sales.

The inception

It’s time to start over, blogs do go old over time and we don’t want to read old topics or out of date blog. ¬†So i started from the beginning. For all who doesn’t know me I am mostly interested into technology, art and other modern¬†esoteric interests. So stay tuned for my posts.