“Are your performance evaluations improving your organizational culture? Do you think evaluation systems really engage people, make them feel heard and help them to grow? Because an overwhelming number of companies review their people infrequently, and in a way that is not engaging or effective. Yet, engaging employees is crucial. Especially with today’s multi-generational, technology driven and app savvy workforce.” writes Stuart Levine. Are you improving your results by improving your leadership?
But what are you doing to engage your employees? To inspire them? How are you supporting their professional growth? What effects does that have on the experience of the customer? Above all, if you don’t take care of your employees, they won’t take care of your customers.
Do you need help in setting goals for yourself and company? Or do you want to get out of the subconscious patterns that are keeping you where you currently are? Let’s get in touch. Because we know that you can be a great leader. One who can inspire instead of track and punish.
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.”
The term “personal development” is very much a part of today’s lexicon, but have you ever thought about what it really means?
Svetlana Whitener describes personal development “as a transformational journey, and improving your emotional intelligence (EI) can be a major part of that journey. This is because EI develops your self-awareness and gives you the tools to understand your own needs and the needs of others. EI also elevates your self-actualization by allowing you to honor those needs as well as understand them.”
Personal development, according to us, is very much linked to improving your emotional intelligence on the one hand. On the other hand, what new beliefs can you adapt and make your own? What skills do you need to learn in order to achieve what you want to achieve? How can you increase your sphere of influence? With yourself, and with others?
Whitener also states a number of steps she deems necessary in your lifelong journey of personal development:
Be an internal light
We know, of course, that personal development (and professional development) is also predicated on the goal you tie it to. WHY do you want to develop yourself? WHY is it important? What Goal are you trying to achieve? Without a Goal, without that point on the horizon, the ease with which you develop yourself will be much less – all because of the way our brains are wired.
Need to take the next steps in developing yourself, personally or professionally? Need to improve yourself? Your team? Your sales? Your leadership? The way customers perceive you? Let’s get in touch.
People tend to have a natural aversion to those who make it all about themselves. But wait, is that person you?
Inc. states: “Almost every workplace has at least one toxic employee. You know the type — always negative, tends to bully others, distracts much of the team … the “bad apple” that ruins the barrel. But what if someone were to tell you that you were that person?”
What are the signs that you are the “toxic person”? And what effects does that have on your workplace satisfaction? The relationships you have with your colleagues? With your customers and clients? Your prospects?
Try and look as objectively as possible. If you tick the boxes, it’s time to look at how you can change your behavior, as well as influence how people perceive you. And what lies underneath, on a subconscious level, that you behave like you do?
Do you: – Make everything about you? – Say and do passive-aggressive things? – Feel and show jealousy of other’s successes?
You might be the toxic person in your environment. How does that affect your success? Lead yourself to a better place.
Companies that make superior customer experience a priority reap the benefits of repeat business, ultimately developing a loyal and concrete customer base.
ManagementEvents states: “Customer experience is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful business. If a business manufactures a product that is of great quality and captures a niche in the market with the most amazing features but fails to provide its customers with an environment where they feel comfortable, that business can never be successful.”
And we agree. In the article, you’ll find a number of techniques and strategies that’ll allow you and your people to take the next step in positively influencing the customer experience.
However, if you look critically at your team – do they have the skills to take that step? And if so, do they believe that it’s worth it? Which member of your team might not care as much as you do? Is that a problem? And if so, how to fix it?
This is why Vision Forward know for a fact that an intervention on a deeper level is needed, for every individual, every team, and every organization. The subconscious level. If you don’t tackle someone’s subconscious belief system first, most of the taught skills and knowledge won’t ever be put into practice.
Continually optimizing your sales machine by using neuropsychology
In his book Predictably Irrational, Psychologist Dan Ariely describes a particularly interesting experiment, in which the factor ‘free’ had a specific result on the ‘sales’ of chocolate.
From the article: Experiment 1:
A table was set up offering two kinds of chocolates – expensive luxury truffles and much lesser priced ordinary chocolates.
The luxury chocolates were priced at 15 cents and the ordinary chocolates were priced at 1 cent. 73% of buyers chose the luxury truffle and 27 percent chose the ordinary chocolate.
Next, they decided to see how the ‘free’ factor would change results. In the next run, both prices were lowered by 1 cent.
So now, the luxury chocolates were priced at 14 cents and the ordinary chocolates were made to be free.
Would there be a difference in results? Should there be? After all, both prices were reduced by 1 cent.
This time, 69% of people chose the free ordinary chocolate (up from 27 % before). Only 31% chose the luxury chocolate (down from 73% last time).
Most people chose to miss out on the chance to get an expensive chocolate truffle at a big discount, when they had the option to get the ordinary chocolate for free.
How can you use this in your business? Let’s get in touch, and we’ll help you get set up in the practical application of neuropsychology in your sales machine. We’ve enabled others to become successful with this – so why not you?
Salespeople are used to hearing “no.” These tactics help them get past that and work toward that yes.
What can you do to turn ‘no’ into ‘yes’ and feel confident in doing so? Which subconscious beliefs are limiting you? And which are helping you? Sales is rejection-heavy, so if you want to be successful in sales, you may have to adapt your tactics. Sales training (skills) could help, but the real intervention on the level of beliefs is much more powerful and effective.
“We’re all in the business of persuading people to do things–sometimes things they don’t necessarily want to do. Is your coworker really happy about picking up the slack while you’re on vacation? Is your sister genuinely okay with you borrowing her car for the weekend?”
The tactics that Jeb Blount states are the following:
Train for rejection like soldiers prepare for battle
Visualize the outcome you want, not the one you don’t want
Try ‘murder-boarding’ before you ask
Learn how to shut up and listen
Instead of an “all-or-nothing” question, ask for a micro-commitment.
All helpful tactics. Let us know how you’ve used these!