How did one man understand what so many different consumers wanted? In what manner did he use psychology to sell his ideas and designs? What can you do, to sell anything to anyone?
Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, had a theory. He was the all-star 20th-century designer of the Coca-Cola fountain and Lucky Strike pack. Furthermore, he designed the modern sports car, locomotive, Greyhound bus and tractor. Additionally, he designed the interior of the first NASA spaceship and the egg-shaped pencil sharpener. Ergo: What is popular, and when? And how you can sell anything to anyone?
How do you learn? Most likely, you learn by taking in new information and then repeating it so often, that it becomes ‘second nature’. Remember the first time you were driving a car? A lot of information to take in. After a while, you did it so many times, your subconscious brain took over and said ‘We got this”. Personal development works this way, too.
There is a hack for this, which allows you to retain the ‘new’ information even quicker. Firstly, it will allow you to make more connections in the brain, quicker than before. Secondly, it’ll ensure that those connections in the brain apply to existing knowledge too.
It’s called the 50/50 rule, and it will help you retain that information even quicker.
How does it work? According to Thomas Oppong, it’s this: “A better way to learn, process, retain and remember information is to learn half the time, and share half the time.”
So if you’re reading a book, instead of completing it in one take, do something different. Aim to read a chapter, and then recall, share, or write down the key ideas. What have you actually learned from it? Write it down, tell a friend, or tell a colleague. It’s a way to further your own personal and professional development, and that of others.
“The mind is like a muscle. The more it’s exercised, the better it gets and the stronger it becomes. “Use it or lose it” very much applies to the mind.”
When we train groups or individuals, this is why we encourage taking as many notes as you can. The brain activates when it’s writing down, because it helps memorizing and putting into action.
What is a great indicator for the success of your company or organization? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s the ability of your middle managers to inspire the people in their teams. Leadership development and execution, not just by the CEO, but by everybody who leads a team.
The study that triggered the WSJ article, is done by Gallup, on the future of work. “Five years ago, the Gallup organization embarked on one of the most ambitious deep dives it has ever conducted; an analysis of the future of work based on a decade of input from nearly 2 million employees and more than 300,000 business units. The results confirmed something Gallup had seen before: a company’s productivity depends, to a high degree, on the quality of its managers.”
What else did that study show? First of all, it showed that managers didn’t just influence the results their teams achieved. Due to that influence, it even explained 70% of the results. In other words, if you want your company to be full of excellent teams, getting the right manager is 70% of the battle.
Mentorphile commented on the article by the WSJ and the Gallup study. He stated: “What sort of return can businesses expect from doing this? According to Gallup, the top 10% of companies, ranked by engagement, posted profit gains of 26% through the last recession compared with a 14% skid at comparable employers.”
As a result of better leaders, teams perform better
Want to get the leadership of your middle managers to the next level? And consequently allowing your teams to exceed their own expectations and results? We have a program just for that.
What subconscious patterns are standing in the way of your success?
Epictetus said it well, hundreds of years ago. The things you think you know are 100% true, may not be as true as you think they are. Everybody has their own set of beliefs and subconscious patterns, and thus perceive those to construct reality. But who knows if that is really the best way to handle a specific situation?
Your personal growth and development depend mostly on one thing: You. And that means that you have to be able to let go of the things, beliefs, and patterns that were once working for you – but are no longer. Figure out why you’re not successful, and then dig deeper. Much deeper than you feel comfortable with.
If you don’t allow yourself to consciously step out of your comfort zone, then what are your developing yourself for?
The best methodology to get your brain and intentions powerfully aligned
What is it that you really want? What do you want to accomplish? In your personal life or in your professional life? What goals do you have? How do you set goals? Does that even work? How does your brain work with goals?
David Paul Kirkpatrick writes about the brain, and how it helps you to achieve your goals. At Vision Forward, this is what we combine with the essential skills you need to reach your goals. Thus, the combination of skills and effective behavior, influencing your surroundings, and knowing how the subconscious works, is what sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful.
How do you set goals? One way to get ahead in this is to use intentional dreaming.
Here are the 7 steps that Kirkpatrick describes.
Acknowledge that imagination has power
Bring yourself into ‘body calm’
Construct the aspiration in your consciousness and imagine it moving with you into your unconscious and subconscious reserves
Go to sleep
Repeat every night before sleeping
When compelled by an intuitive affection, act upon it
Let it go
Kirkpatrick goes into detail, which we suggest you do too. Read about it here.
Learning from ancient emperors to become a better leader
Marcus Aurelius held the most powerful position in the world. The adage that power in absolute absolutely corrupts has been repeated throughout history for a reason. It unfortunately tends to be true. But as the famous historian Edward Gibbon wrote, under Marcus, the last of the ‘Five Good Emperors,’ “the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue.” Do you want to become a better leader?
The Daily Stoic writes about the 12 lessons on leadership from Marcus Aurelius. For the entire article, click here. In this post, we focus on 1 essential trait of leadership:
EXPECT TO CHANGE YOUR OPINIONS
93% of the time, we are ‘unconscious’. Which means that we let our auto-pilot take over. It means that we tend to get stuck in our subconscious patterns. When we are conscious, it takes real effort and sweat. Because that’s just how our brains work.
In a meritocracy, which is a culture that works in favor of the best ideas, you sometimes have to change your opinions or ideas about what works best. But if you’re a capable leader, you’ll do that. However, it comes at a cost. Because you’ll have to put your own ego aside.
Are you ready to become a better leader?
“Remember, if there is one core teaching at the heart of this philosophy, it’s that we’re not as smart and as wise as we’d like to think we are. If we ever do want to become wise, it comes from the questioning and from humility—not, as many would like to think, from certainty, mistrust, and arrogance.”
If you’re in sales, you have got a lot of things going on. Following up on leads, calling prospects, managing customer experience. Depending on the size of your organization, you’re also setting meetings, creating proposals, and checking up on delivery. We all know it’s a lot. So what should sales leaders focus on?
Imagine you manage a group of sales executives. You’ve got all of the above ánd checking up on your people to make sure they’re on target. Meetings with the people ‘above’ you, meetings with the people ‘below’ you, and meetings with all other stakeholders.
Because you’re all so busy with the day to day operational side of the job, it’s easy to get stuck in that. You’ll keep on managing dissatisfiers, and you’re focus won’t be providing extra value or differentiating from your competitors.
Aside from the operational dealings, which have to happen, what should you focus on? It doesn’t matter if you’re an account manager, sales executive, or sales manager. We mention 5 resolutions that will enable any forward-thinking sales leader to hit target easier than before.
Have strategic conversations with your clients. Not just tactical conversations.
The world is changing daily. Technological innovations, new legislature, or key economic events. Mike Houghton says: “Understanding your customer’s mindset can help you have a strategic conversation about or guide the conversation towards one focused on business outcomes. In fact, it’s useful to think of yourself as a consultant rather than a salesperson. When you start to think of it [your conversations with the customer] that way, talking about type, brand, feeds and speeds will often be irrelevant.”
Spend time daily developing your skills and mindset.
If you’re not on top of your game, you will lose to one (or several) of your competitors. As a result, it is important that you spend time daily to develop yourself. For instance: Develop your skills. Develop your mindset. Develop your knowledge. If you’re a manager, enable your sales people to develop themselves. Provide training, books, and courses.
Focus on what you do best, not what everybody else is doing.
At Vision Forward, we know what we do best. We enable people and companies to be highly successful. That means we’re narrowing our focus to ensure that our resources are well spent on providing that value to our people, our clients, and their clients.
Help your customer act, not just react. Think proactively.
Mike Houghton states: “Addressing your customer’s desired business outcomes – whether those include reducing costs, increasing efficiency, or improving safety – means that a 30,000-foot approach to their environment.” That’s your only job as a sales person or consultant. So make sure that you enable your clients to reach their goals faster.
Look to the future – not the past.
If your focus on the things that happened in the past, you won’t be able to step forward into the future. It sounds cliché, but that is because it’s true. When you do the things you’ve always done in the past, you will not get different results in the future. It’s that simple. That does mean, however, stepping out of your subconscious patterns. Look out for the innovations that might change your business, or the businesses of your clients, and anticipate. Where are the opportunities? Where do possible risks lie? If you’re providing value to your clients based on what you know and they don’t, you’re one up.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply
Everybody has heard this cliché. It’s not new. But somehow, most people don’t practice the art of active listening – which is listening to understand. To really comprehend. To be emphatically engaged in a conversation, and trying your best to understand the other person’s point of view, and digging deeper if you need to.
The people who do practice the art of active listening, radiate something special. And why? Because they have put aside their ego and are really involved in your story. They have set aside their subconscious, automatic patterns.
These people are the leaders that truly inspire. Or the team members that can bring order in a team that was chaotic before. The sales rep that gets new business deals again and again, because (s)he is actually trying to create win-win situations with clients.
Glenna Fulks gives a practical trick to improve your active listening: “Count to eight before you reciprocate. I have been guilty of hi-jacking a conversation and realizing that I spoke too soon and cut off the other individual’s response. It will seem like an eternity, but be smart and give the person with whom you are communicating the time to acknowledge your comment or statement. It builds respect and credibility. Not only does this expand the opportunities for communication, but you also allow yourself time to hear and take notice of their cerebral nuances.”