Monthly Archives: January 2013

Your Unique Voice

31 Jan
by Bridget DiCello

You can get a lot done by talking.  You can get a lot done by listening well.  In general, you can accomplish great things by having powerful conversations effectively.

What is it that YOU need to talk about?

Each of us has things we feel passionate about, ways that customers should be treated, standards to which we hold our peers and vendors, and strategies we believe will deliver what our customer demands, whether it is your boss (internal customer) or an external customer.

Why is it that you don’t speak up?

Do you ever hold back, even if you feel strongly about something?  It should be done a certain way, and it’s not happening that way?  Everyone should participate and they don’t?

You may hold back if:

  • you know it will be a tough conversation, and you don’t want to create conflict;
  • you’ve convinced yourself it’s a small detail (although it matters to you) and it’s not worth the argument;
  • you know someone will have good excuses that are tough to argue;
  • you know you disagree and may not feel like sorting through where you’re right and they’re wrong, and where they’re right and you’re wrong…

Do you avoid those conversations?

Avoidance of conflict, and lack of value put on the bold thinker – sucks the life out of many organizations.  Each one of us has high standards for ourselves and others, even if we may have buried those under bureaucracies, people with stronger personalities, and avoidance of irritating daily challenges that try to prevent us from moving forward.

Let your unique voice speak!

These passions are what are most unique and awesome about you!  These are what you can most offer your company and yourself!  When you routinely listen to yourself and share what is important to you, you will bring out your highest potential and your God-given greatness!

Listen to your unique voice, don’t squelch what wants to coming screaming out, don’t believe others when they tell you it doesn’t matter, and get impatient and find your determination to make positive change happen.

You must speak up, and when you do, you must use the Opportunity Space well – that moment before you speak.  You must communicate in a way that both conveys the urgency you feel, and takes into account where the other person is coming from and how what you will say and how you will say it, will make them feel.

Top 5 Non-Technical Sales ‘Musts’

16 Jan
by Bridget DiCello

I never wanted to sell.  I fought selling tooth and nail because I found salespeople annoying and time consuming.  I just wanted to be a trainer and a coach.  But, if no one sells, the company ceases to exist.

And if you think there is no sales in your job because you are not the owner or the official salesperson, think again.  You sell your ideas, your concerns, your approach, your strategies and your objectives every day to team members, strategic partners and your boss.

Since that time of resistance, I’ve learned a few things, and below are the non-technical (not the nuts and bolts of how to sell) things you must do to be successful.

The ‘Musts’:

  1. You must make connections with new prospects.  Sound simple?  Many people rely too heavily on current customers for recurring or new business, and keep calling on those same prospects they think will buy, but haven’t yet.  You must find new prospects whether you cold call, network, obtain referrals, initiate a marketing plan or hire a telemarketer.  Within your organization, make new connections with those involved elsewhere in the chain of events of which you are a part.
  2. You must track your sales activities.  I’m fanatical about tracking operational metrics in a business because it is the only way to measure what you are currently doing, assess how much more you want/need to do, and tweak your systems.  If you are not selling enough, but don’t have a concrete picture of what you are doing now, and therefore don’t know what to change, you will start shooting in the dark with sales strategies.  Track activity – calls, appointments, proposals, etc.  Whatever your goals, track your key activities that will get you there.
  3. You must ask curious questions.  As a leader, if you want to build powerful relationships and be able to motivate and inspire your team, you must connect with them.  Connecting occurs when you can understand where they are coming from, meet them there, and lead them in the right direction.  This also applies to the prospect.  Learn about them before you push your product on them – lest it be the wrong fit.  Get them talking to the point where they are selling themselves!  This is the best way to build strong relationships in every area of work, and personal life too!
  4. You must know yourself, as Socrates would tell us.  A major obstacle to a leader’s success is a lack of understanding of why you and others do what you and they do.  Are you driven by results, by the journey, the pat on the back, security or by the happiness of those involved?  This greatly affects how you sell, and why your prospect will or won’t buy.  Spend time in 2013 understanding you and others – read up on Emotional Intelligence.
  5. You must get some training.  If you need to sell, you need to learn how.  I often think that the skill most often assumed, but not present, is the ability to lead others, which is why so many exceptional employees who are promoted to leadership, then struggle with the new role.  However, I think the ability to sell is also very often assumed, especially if you happen to land a big sale or two at the outset.  It requires a very specific set of skills, which must be developed and expanded over time.  Within any organization, the ability to connect with others is critical, often undervalued and not natural to most people – so get some training to develop those skills.

I’ve learned to greatly enjoy selling because I enjoy the process of connecting with people who I can help and who want and need my professional expertise.  Take a look at your sales function.  Does it need an overhaul this year?  Greater revenue certainly helps to buy time to fix a whole lot of operational issues.

Need help with sales?  Contact my all-time favorite Sales Trainer and Coach, Andrew Gieselmann  He handles the technical, the nuts and bolts and all the details I’ve left out of this article…

Your Personal Goals for 2013

09 Jan
by Bridget DiCello

Will you do the same things in 2013 and expect different results?

Will you try to ‘change’ other people and remain frustrated?

Will you address those things about yourself that you most want to be different?

Personally, we are created by the person we are, the relationships we have, the work we do, the hobbies we enjoy and the legacy we leave. When you think about setting goals for 2013, think beyond work – where goals are most common, beyond weight loss – the most common personal goal, and set goals this year for the whole you.

At work, don’t only set goals for promotion, pay raise or increased sales. Ask yourself:

  • At what tasks do I want to become more proficient?
  • What routines do I want to tweak?
  • What projects do I want to start, and which ones do I want to finish?
  • Which relationships do I need to improve? What do I want to improve about them?
  • How do I want my role to change? Do I want a promotion? Do I really want that new job?
  • What skills do I want to improve?

Then, look at the area over which you have the most control and on which you probably spend the least amount of time and focus – YOU.

Thinking not of what I do, but who I am, what do I want to be different about the way I am in these categories? Maybe it’s related to commitment, time, quality, perseverance, depth, determination, focus or energy…

  • Health/Fitness
  • Business/Career/Studies
  • Self-Image/Confidence
  • Religion/Spiritual
  • Finances/Wealth
  • Social/Friends
  • Family
  • Romance/Love
  • Contribution/Service
  • Fun and Recreation

Jim Collins book, ‘Good to Great’ is a bestseller and speaks to companies who want to go from being Good to having Great results. What about YOU? How can you personally move from being Good to being Great? Only you really know the answer to that question, and only if you take a few moments and slow down long enough to find the answers.