How to To
Improve Your Company
your personal values.
What's most important to
you personally? When you know your values, you'll better
filter new information and opportunities and can rely
better on your intuition because you know what you're
hearing and how it fits in with you.
candid input from at least 5 other people who know you
While it's nice to get
input from experts, it's as valuable to get points of
view from colleagues, family members, key employees who
know you -- they know your tendencies, your moods, the
way you think, your blind spots, your passions. Let them
3. Have a
really big, big picture.
When you know your long
term goals, have a vision or have a helicopter view of
the current situation or opportunity, you'll be "seeing
more" and thus have more information on which to base
have a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D ready to go!
You can improve your good
judgment by having back up plans, whether you need them
put yourself in situations where you are forced to rely
on your "good judgment."
This one is important. After all, shouldn't you be
enough ahead of the curve to have been making good
decisions along the way so that having "good judgment"
doesn't become critical? Don't confuse good judgment
with crisis management.
the facts from the interpretation of the facts.
There are very few facts
that aren't also coupled with someone's (even your)
interpretation of the facts. Either sales are down 20%
or they are not. An explanation is just that. There are
great explanations, few of which are worth banking your
business on. If sales are down, assume they'll stay down
until you do something about it.
include a worst-case scenario -- and make it a really bad
For a decade or two,
Detroit kept factoring in worst-case scenarios, yet they
continually came up short because they took incremental
actions based on what they wanted to believe would
happen, not what was so clearly a long-term trend of
foreign-made cars slicing up their market share. Living
in denial is always expensive -- yet we all do it. A
good way to get out of denial is to assume that sales
will drop 50% in the next year (think Volkswagen) and
"be ready" for that possibility. Just by including that
option and developing options at that level, one will
make a better decision about what is more likely to
look at the downside of every decision you make.
If you're adding a new
product, increasing the customer service budget,
reducing overhead, permitting use of your
name/trademark, entering into a co-venture agreement,
make a list of the 10 potentially negative and even
deadly consequences of even a no-brainer/excellent
change. Everything affects everything today -- and
unexpectedly. If you respect this ecological truth
you'll realize that every decision affects, in some way,
you, your employees, your shareholders, your
profitability and your viability.
9. Seek to
enhance your reputation first; bottom line second.
I used to base most of my
decisions on whether or not my company would make more
money. But in 1994, I realized that the future of my
business came from my current customers, their
word-of-mouth and from the press we were beginning to
receive from the national media. At that point, it
occurred to me that if I'd just invest more money in our
reputation and make my decisions based more on
reputation than quarterly profitability, I'd be a lot
more financially successful --- and more proud of my
out with others who have excellent judgment.
There are so many
subtleties about acquiring and developing good judgment
that most of the process comes best from friends,
colleagues, competitors and staff who already have great
judgment. Learn from them, in every conversation.
How to be a Super
Successful Sales Professional
The top 5% of all sales
professionals seems to have most of the following
qualities, traits, styles and attitudes. I've included the
traditional/old selling skill in parenthesis. Obviously,
these Top 10 Secrets go the next step beyond the
traditional way of describing them.
An obvious and compelling Passion for People, not just the
for product or service. (OLD: Really believe in the
Super Sales Professionals
care SO much for people and helping them to solve their
problems/get their buying needs met that the buyer FEELs
this. It's not an act; it's a calling.
An ability to help the prospective customer to FEEL. (OLD:
The Super Sales
Professional doesn't just look for the hot buttons as a
way of getting the person to buy. Instead, they help to
create a possibility that EXCITES the buyer.
A willingness to sell to the buyer's buying strategy instead
of using a collection of selling techniques and hoping for a
connection. (OLD: Using a technique that works for you.)
This requires a certain
humility because the Super Sales Professional makes the
buyer more important than the Super Sales Professionals
collection of selling skills. Every buyer has their
preferred way to purchase; get to know these in general
and quickly discover the preferred way that your potential
customer buys/makes a decision, etc.
An ability to peg/discern who is going to be a buyer and who
is not. (OLD: Ability to qualify prospects quickly.)
Super Sales Professionals
have a sixth sense that helps them to distinguish between
tire kickers and real buyers. This sixth sense is
develop-able. And, it saves LOTS of time and frustration
Ability to easily match the EXACT features/benefits of the
product with the client's spoken or unspoken needs or wants.
(OLD: Sell the sizzle, not just the steak.)
No buyer cares about ALL of
the features and benefits; they usually only care about 1
or 2 of them. Your mission: Sense, feel or discover (by
asking questions, guessing) the key benefits that turn
this discussion into a sale, quickly.
Not needing to have to make the sale. (OLD: Don't appear too
Hungry salespeople scare
away the meal.
Discerning the appropriate next step for the buyer and
helping them to see how your product/service is the obvious
choice. (OLD: Sell to the need.)
This requires some thinking
and feeling. When you can size up your buyer and look
"ahead" for/with them, you'll see a picture of what's next
and be better able to language how your product/service
can assist them in their progress.
Having enough evidence of how REALLY effective valuable your
product/service is and then sharing that with confidence.
(OLD: Know your product/service well.)
When you've seen enough
customers do extremely well with your product or service
(not just well, but EXTREMELY well), you'll not be
hesitant to share how well your product/service works.
Facts inspire confidence. Get to know the real facts about
how effective your product or service performs and
delights customers, and you'll be a FEARLESS sales
Naturally adding value to everyone you touch, buyer or not.
(OLD: Be a resource to potential customers.)
Either you seek to add
value to everyone or you don't.
Be human, be light and be real with everyone. Don't perform
or act. (OLD: Create rapport.)
Drop the pretense, the
false sincerity, the I'm-your-new-best friend, the