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Monday, July 29, 2013

Hi-Octane Innovation for your Brain

Today’s sales people are met with great challenges. They live in a world where we all talk about the importance of relationships, but few have the time to build them. Especially when, organizations are making more and more decisions as committees and the actual decision process, let alone the decision maker, is getting harder and harder to define. Your ability to be extremely focused and intuitive may be the most important assets you possess. Few sales managers or salespeople would disagree with any of the following statements:

Successful Salespeople:

  • Focus
  • High expectations
  • Self-Motivated
  • Stay in the Moment
  • Intuitive

We view these as very difficult traits to be acquired. We might even say that salespeople are born with them. The truth is few of us know how to acquire them. We read self-help and how-to books, attend training sessions and receive coaching to improve these needed traits. This training  may helps us temporarily, but after time we slip back to where we were before.

Just as we need continuous improvement on the shop floor, we need continuous improvement in the sales arena. We need more than a method. We need a way to exercise and sharpen our mind.  We need to develop the skill of intuition. We need a way to develop and maintain a sales personality. What we need is to program ourselves, our minds to success.

Road Map of The MindFew of us will argue over the power of meditation. It can prove beneficial by providing us clear thought and more energy. It is a skill that needs to be developed taking many years to master. The benefits are enormous it is just a matter of practice. It comes down to the fact most people will not take the time, and if you are a salesperson, it is not even a consideration. I would like to introduce you to an area that I call, The Sales Neuro Charger or meditation on steroids. It is a combination of Brainwave and Biofield Entrainment. Review this page, How it Works, for more technical information. 

You should be cautious in buying into Biofield and Brainwave Entrainment. Brainwave entrainment has been around since 1960’s. Biofield is relatively new technology and should be approached with caution. I have followed and participated, off and on, with Brainwave entrainment and meditation for over twenty years. My recent return has been a result of being introduced into Biofield Entrainment. I have become associated with the product and feel that it offers some significant advantages for sales people. In fact, it is a great companion to Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP.

Lean more by visiting this page, Sales Neuro Charger.
It has been called hi-octane innovation for your brain.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

An Unexpected path from Unger to Zachi Warfel

UX Designer and author, Russ Unger is next week’s podcast guest. We focused primarily on his new book, Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful Facilitation (Voices That Matter). However, I could not resist discussing a favorite book of mine that he wrote several years ago and a 2nd edition was recently published,  A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)

Joe: Well, going back to the book A Project Guide to UX Design. I think you did hit a nice chord there. That book has a lot of granularity. You always get that twenty thousand foot level on projects, but when you start doing a project and follow most books, there are a lot of holes. Your book didn't have a lot of holes, I didn't think?

Russ: Well, thanks. We tried to take the approach of what's a good starting point. Especially, if you are kind of new to this and you're working on a real project in the real world outside of a college scenario where it is kind of safe. What is a great starting point, a good place to start and learn as a foundation and try to give you articles or at least information to help you kind of grow yourself. For example, we provided basic persona and then linked out to Todd Zachi Warfel's personas, which are really, really super detailed. Todd probably does some of the best personas in the business. He was generous in showing us some of his expertise, and that gives people direction to reach out and learn on their own.

Joe: I saw that and there is a real art to building personas?

Russ: You know, there's a lot of art, but I would say there's a heck of a lot more science. When you start to do the research, and you start to collect a lot of data about people's scenarios, various demographics. Those data points really are important. They are a part of what keeps it from being a myth. You start to make it real when you draw in the data from any of the research that you've done.

If you are not familiar with Todd Zachi Warfel’s work, you are missing something. His book Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide even for a Non-UX person is exceptional. I have incorporated a few of Todd’s ideas along with a mind map at the bottom of this page: Prototypes provide a Pathway for Connecting with Customers

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Business Process Management more than an IT Function

Business Process Management is more than an IT function. It is how we go about our work as an organization. Theodore Panagacos, a former Management Consultant with Booz & Company explains this and how BPM works with Lean and Six Sigma in his book The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Management: Everything you need to know and how to apply it to your organization. His book has become an Amazon top seller in its category, Business Process Management.

A written exceprt from the podcast is available: What are the benefits of BPM?


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About: Theodore Panagacos is an industry recognized change management practitioner and has 10 years experience helping organizations design and implement business models that improve its service to customers. He has a strong background in the banking, financial services and government sectors, and has worked across a range of functional areas relating to business strategy, ICT transformation, project management, corporate governance reform, and organizational re-design.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Working Conversations

Craig is the founder of The Weber Consulting Group, an alliance of experts committed to helping organizations and teams build their capacity for engaging tough, wicked, adaptive challenges. He’s consulted to an expansive roster of world-class clients, helping them improve their performance by treating dialogue as a discipline. His unique work is outlined in his ground-breaking new book,Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building Successful Teams That Perform When the Pressure Is On.

Craig offers excellent advice and material on the most basic way of creating success, our conversations.  I thought there were several gems in the book, and one chapter offers one of the most practical descriptions, and as a result, understanding of double loop learning that I have read.

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Craig has worked with leaders and teams from such diverse organizations as Boeing; Boeing Defence Australia; The Royal Bank of Canada; NASA; Clif Bar; Los Alamos National Labs; NASA; Novo Nordisk; The CDC (The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention); Pfizer; Vistage: An International Organization of CEOs; legislators from the states of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Colorado; Suncorp Insurance & Finance (Australia); and The Upper Valley Waldorf School.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What it takes to Simplify

Irene Etzkorn, my guest on the Business901 podcast, is a worldwide authority on simplicity. As executive director of Simplification, she built the Simplification practice of Siegel+Gale. Her clients include the nation’s top banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, utilities, and health care providers. Irene and Alan Siegel have recently authored Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity describing these practices.

From the book: In Simple, the culmination of their work together, Etzkorn and Siegel show how having empathy, striving for clarity, and distilling the message can reduce the distance between company and customer, hospital and patient, government and citizen—and in so doing increase a company’s bottom line. Examining the best and worst practices of an array of organizations big and small, they recast simplicity as a mindset, a design aesthetic, and a writing technique.

A written excerpt from the podcast is available at The Competitive Advantage of Simplification


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About Siegel+Gale: ( Simplicity is the centerpiece of the strategies they develop that reveal the unique truths of an organization, the engaging stories they create that connect brands with their audiences and the meaningful experiences they deliver that are both unexpectedly fresh and remarkably clear. Since 1969, Siegel+Gale has championed simplicity for leading corporations, nonprofits and government organizations worldwide.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Are you Plusing your Show?

That philosophy is found in the phrase the Walt Disney started and everybody in the Disney Organization knows and it is called “Plusing the Show.” Walt would say: “We have to keep plusing our show, if we ever lose them, meaning the guests, it will take us 10 years to get them back.

This is an excerpt from the podcast with Doug Lipp. Doug is a world-renowned speaker and acclaimed expert on customer service, leadership, change management and global competitiveness. Doug recently published a book, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees.

About Disney U: The Disney University, founded by Van France, trains the supporting cast that helps create the world-famous Disney Magic. Now, for the first time, the secrets of this exemplary institution are revealed. In Disney U, Doug Lipp examines how Van perpetuated Walt Disney's timeless company values and leadership lessons, creating a training and development dynasty. It contains never-before-told stories from numerous Disney legends. These pioneers share behind-the-scenes success stories of how they helped bring Walt Disney's dream to life.

Download Podcast: Click and choose options: Download this episode

or go to the Business901 iTunes Store.

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Disney U reveals the heart of the Disney culture and describes the company's values and operational philosophies that support the iconic brand. Doug Lipp lays out 13 timeless lessons Disney has used to drive profits and growth worldwide for more than half a century.

Doug Lipp helped create the first international version of the Disney University, in Japan at Tokyo Disneyland, and then led the training team of the Disney University at the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company, The Walt Disney Studios. He mentored under a number of Disney University visionaries, including the Disney University founder, Van France. Lipp consults with numerous Fortune 100 corporations and travels the world speaking about the lessons he learned at the Disney University.

The 5 Whys of a Lean Sales Conversation

I have found talking to little or too much are both ineffective ways to proceed in a sales conversation. When we discuss a Lean Sales Person, many people think of this problem solving person that is out finding the root cause and how their product/service could benefit the customer.  I have expressed my views on that subject as a problem solving salesperson ends up typically being an average salesperson. More on that subject in this blog post, Lean Salespeople are Challengers, not Problem Solvers.

I think we need when having a Lean Sales Conversation it is not about asking 5 Whys to find the root cause. Rather, I like the CAP-Do approach where we concentrate more on the downloading of information at the beginning.  This conversation is not what I would call one of discovery, that seems to be little premature. I think of the yoga saying; ”if you want to take a deep breath, you first need to exhale.”  And, in a Sales conversation the person that needs to exhale is the customer.

I learned this process from the book, Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.  I get more mileage of these words than any other sales pitch or script I have ever constructed. Instead of saying Why, the response should be Hmm! Really! Sorry, that is the second response. Before I get into a parody of Who’s on first, Here is my list of 5 Whys:

  1. Hmm
  2. Really
  3. And So
  4. Then what Happened
  5. Tell Me more

In my job, I will write auto-responders and telephone scripts. The first step in this process is not to think what you want a customer to know, feel, and do. That leads to an attempt  to manipulate the customer actions. Instead, try to learn what the customer knows, feels and wants to do. I look at this from a perspective of learning, the Lean way.  Hmm, and Really equate to exhaling. You learn what they know. And so, and Then what Happened draws out the feelings. Tell me more opens up the response that signifies what they are going to do.

These 5 little prompts, mixed with a small amount of conversation will get you further than any other preconceived  planning that you can do. This is the Check in the CAP-Do cycle and why you must stay away from the elements of PDCA and root cause. Don’t discover, learn! It all starts with a Hmm!

Consider Attending the Webinar, Lean Sales Methods on June 7th