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Archive for the ‘Motivation / Mindset’ Category

How to Achieve Your Goals by Tricking Your Brain

May 15th, 2014

Your brain can be an enemy or an ally in achieving your goals, but because of the way we talk about our goals we often turn our brain against us.

The average human brain is about 2 percent of our total body weight, yet it consumes 20 percent of the energy we burn daily.

Because our brain is such an energy pig, it guards against threats that could reduce the amount of energy available to it.

At the same time our brain is wired like an animal. It lives in the moment and can only draw from past experiences to predict the future. As Mark Twain said, “If a cat sits on a hot stove, that cat won’t sit on a hot stove again. It won’t sit on a cold stove either.”

This creates a “want/will” paradox when we talk about our goals. Ask a group of friends what their goals are and they’ll likely start off with “I want to…” or “I’d like to…”

We come by the want/will paradox naturally. Think back to when you were a child, were you asked, “What will you be when you grow up?” or “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

When your brain hears “want” as in “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to double my client base” it does a quick calculation and decides that a want’ means we don’t have it and it sounds like we’d need to burn a lot of energy to do that; energy that won’t be available to me so we’ll pass on that idea.

What happens next is you may start with good intentions such as following your exercise program for a few weeks, but your brain will eventually override your willpower, convincing you to “take a rest day” (aka task avoidance), which will cause you to fall short of your goal.

By using more powerful words your brain will respond differently. For example, if you tell your brain you will lose 10 pounds or you will double your client base, your brain does the same calculation and decides a path to achieve those goals.

By willing yourself toward a goal you recruit your brain’s energy into task achievement instead of task avoidance.

On the other hand, the most terrifying word for your brain is “need.” By making a statement like,“I NEED to hire a new assistant” or “I NEED to exercise,” your brain is triggered to response in a severe way, like n “I need to move from the path of that oncoming car.” To your brain “need’ means—I have to give up the energy I want to ensure survival.

Because your brain has no history on an assistant being necessary for your survival it shifts you from task completion to task avoidance by creating a shiny object for you to chase that doesn’t require much energy (e.g. have you ever rearranged your desk instead of working towards completing a task?)

The next time you set a goal be sure to trick your brain by writing your goals as “I will” instead of “I want.”

What are some other ways you try to trick your brain when it comes to productivity?

By: Hamish Knox, Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta.


Thank you, Mom: How Childhood Lessons Prepare us for the Adult Working World

May 7th, 2014

Growing up, how many times did we all hear, “You’ll thank me when you’re older?” At the time, we didn’t believe her and we certainly didn’t understand her, but all these years later it’s clear. Mom really did know best.

The lessons a mom teaches are endless. From how to treat others to how to stand up for ourselves, we carried those lessons with us right to the office.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few lessons we learned from the women who helped shape us and prepare us for our careers.

  • Be others focused. When trying to make a connection, ask the other person questions. People enjoy talking about themselves, their families and their interests. You’ll never know what you can learn just by asking questions.
  • Mind your manners. Some of life’s greatest lessons are centered around our manners. Always greet others, send thank-you emails and notes, make eye contact, hold doors, etc.
  • Be a leader. Mom assured us that we are just as smart, capable and visionary as anyone else, so seize opportunities, take the ball and lead the team forward.
  • Listen to your teachers. In addition to it being the polite thing to do, mom encouraged us to listen to our teachers because they’re in our lives to leach us both life lessons and lesson plans.
  • Stand up for yourself. Each time you defend a project’s results, a recommendation or an idea, you can thank your mom who endlessly taught you to stand up for yourself.
  • Patience is a virtue. Decisions take time, sales cycles vary and progress doesn’t always move at the speed of light. Mom taught us to slow down, calm down and find something productive to do while we wait. (Only now we only have to make our beds and clean our rooms if we want to.)
  • Look both ways. More abstract, but “looking both ways” applies to our professional lives because we need to view a situation from every angle. For example, your product, competitors, market, numbers, goals, expectations, etc.
  • Hold hands. In many professional environments, collaboration is key. Having strong working relationship with your co-workers, vendors and other allies is essential.
  • DIY, first. How many times did you ask for help and mom challenged you to try it yourself first? She was on to something. Never enter a supervisor’s office with a problem. Instead, try and solve it yourself to show that you’ve thought through the situation and attempted to reach a solution independently.

Not all of these lessons were welcomed at the time – but looking back, all were appreciated. So, thank you, mom, for all of those days toughing it out with us to prepare us for a richer future.

You were right, we really did thank you when we got older.

Happy Mother’s Day from Sandler Training.


How Discipline in Sales Leads to Freedom

May 6th, 2014

Some people think of discipline as a burden, but smart salespeople see it as a tool that keeps them from sabotaging their future achievements.

Discipline frees salespeople from mistakes that can cripple their best efforts. It liberates them from wasting time on useless endeavors and failing to close sales.

Best of all, discipline removes the blinders of self-delusion we use to kid ourselves into being more productive than we really are. Nothing is more uplifting than being free to do what we’re called to do—to close more and better sales.

Adding self-discipline frees us up more effectively than a personal, key performance indicator (KPI). That’s because a personal KPI reinforces what we know, but often ignore: What gets measured gets done. What doesn’t get measured gets ignored.

Salespeople who excel tailor a KPI to their specific needs and track it daily, weekly and monthly. They measure leading indicators (behaviors under their control) and lagging indicators (behaviors not fully under their control).

Intelligent salespeople know where and how to spend their best efforts. They know that 20 percent of their prospects will buy from them no matter what they do or say, and 20 percent won’t buy from them no matter what they do or say. Thus, they work hard to win over companies and organizations that make up the remaining 60 percent.

In sales, accountability is critical. Being disciplined and tracking your KPIs will make it easy to set and monitor sales goals, subgoals and mechanisms.

Do you consider yourself a disciplined salesperson?

By: John Rosso Sandler Training Pittsburgh, PA and Charleston, SC


4 Habits of Successful Professionals

April 24th, 2014

What do successful professionals do that amateurs don’t?

Certainly there are many that could fall into this category, but right now we’ll focus on four habits that could make the greatest impact on your career.

  1. Study – Professionals are not born, they are made. Some may have a natural gift, but most maximize that talent by studying history, best practices and innovative techniques. There are plenty of talented individuals who never accomplish anything. Professionals often spend hours to years studying before engaging in their profession to ensure their success.
  2. Practice – Like David Sandler taught, in his book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar,” you can’t learn how to do anything by merely studying. You have to practice. Doctors, athletes and other types of distinguished professionals spend countless hours practicing before they are called upon to perform. How do you get to Carnegie Hall, the Masters, the Olympics or whatever is the top of your profession? Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Invest in themselves –True professionals bet on and invest in themselves. They don’t wait for their parents, employer or anyone else to invest in them. Professionals continue their education beyond the classroom and invest in workshops, seminars, books, coaches and other resource that will advance their learning. They take responsibility for their own education and personal growth.
  4. Follow a system – Finally, professionals don’t just show up and wing it. They have a system that’s repeatable and reproducible – and leads to predictable success. To outsiders, if sometimes looks like superstition or obsessive compulsive disorder, but professionals know that only by following the proven system can they expect consistent success. Amateurs sometimes think it is luck when they win or lose. Successful professionals make their own luck, and they know that fortune favors the prepared.

Successful professionals know that there is no magic bullet or shortcut to get to the top. They don’t waste their time with such things. They are too busy learning, practicing, refining their system and investing in their own success.
What do you think are some additional habits of successful people?

By: Mike Montague is a Sandler Trainer in Kansas City.


Top Traits of Successful Salespeople

April 17th, 2014

High-performing sales teams are led by strong sales managers who embody leadership skills that motivate and empower the team. Exceptional sales professionals display certain traits that allow them to stand out from the rest and achieve great sales success.

Since 1967, Sandler Training has trained sales professionals to be mindful of their behaviors, attitudes and techniques when prospecting and negotiating. While Sandler witnessed many professionals transform, there were always certain characteristics that “the greats” possessed in addition to the skills learned through continuous training and reinforcement.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you have what it takes to be great.

  • Do I build good rapport? This might go without saying but the best salespeople are people that can relate to other people. They come across as genuine, they’re natural and they put people at ease. As Sandler teaches, people want to do business with people that are like themselves.
  • Am I goal focused? Long-term goals are important, but what really drives salespeople is the focus on daily activities that are in direct relationship to the results in which they are in pursuit. They understand that it is the daily “behaviors” that are critical to delivering the results.
  • Am I curious? Sandler devotees know – a salesperson’s job is to find the compelling, emotional reason for the problem and match that “pain” to a solution. We discover the pain by asking questions and listening because sometimes the prospect hasn’t accurately identified their pain or are not yet comfortable sharing it.
  • Do I listen? A keystone to the Sandler Training methodology is listening. The Prospect should be doing 70% of the talking while the salesperson is actively listening and searching for the pain.
  • How motivated am I? Being self motivated is essential to finding success as a sales professional. Since a salesperson’s income is largely based on their ability to find and close new business, success usually comes to those who are diligent and focused.
  • Do I seek out challenges? Sometimes in sales, it’s about being fearless and going after challenges. Whether it’s going after a prospect that’s been on your radar or taking on a vertical that’s completely new to you, having the ability to put yourself in new situations and enter unchartered waters will serve a salesperson well throughout their career. As Sandler teaches, No Guts, No Gain!

Can you name more characteristics of successful salespeople that set them apart from mediocre salespeople? What are some traits of top salespeople that you wish you had to complement your sales approach?

By: Daryl Burgess, Director Global Accounts


Point the thumb, before you point the finger: Taking responsibility for your sales performance

March 31st, 2014

I had a position coach during my freshman year in college that made the comment, “Point the thumb, before you point the finger,” and it has stuck with me ever since. Our football team was in a transition period, new coaches, new players, new strategies and we stunk pretty badly.

One week, we sat down before practice for our normal Monday meeting, after a particularly bad loss and team morale couldn’t have been lower. People were yelling at each other on the sidelines, the finger pointing ran rampant. We were turning on each other, and it was getting ugly. Our position coach came into the meeting and passionately yelled, “POINT THE THUMB, BEFORE YOU POINT THE FINGER!” He was talking about taking responsibility for your own actions; stepping up and doing everything you can to do your job to the best of your ability. If someone slipped up, you pick them up, don’t point the finger and pass the blame. Do your job better. I will never forget those words, and that lesson.

Same “rule of thumb” applies to the sales profession. Sandler Rule #41, “There are no bad prospects – only bad salespeople.” It’s easy to blame everything else. Salespeople will point the finger of blame at: the prospect, the customer, the economy, the competition, the pricing, their management and so on. Many salespeople have a tendency to externalize their problems, rather than accept the responsibility for what’s going on in their base of business – and in their careers. Guess what? Whatever is happening in your relationship with a prospect or customer – whether it’s success or failure – is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

Next time when things don’t go your way, don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity to learn from the mistake by pointing the finger. You will be destined to repeat it. Instead, point the thumb and ask yourself what you could have done differently? What will you do differently next time? What responsibility will you accept for what happened, or didn’t happen? Comment below.

By: Patrick Carroll Sandler Training Richmond, Va.


What it means to be a top sales training company

March 12th, 2014

People make buying decisions emotionally and justify those decisions intellectually – Sandler Principle 6

There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of this Principle and how it applies to our business at Sandler Training. Since 1967, we have been a part of the success path for thousands of businesses. Each year our trainers spend more than 90,000 hours training small, medium and Fortune-ranked sales teams. We’ve helped shape futures, changed lives and encouraged sales professionals to be their best self when in the field. To me, it’s humbling to know that our clients choose to work with us every day.

For the fifth year in a row, Sandler Training has been named one of Training Industry’s Top 20 Sales Training Companies. Each year, the Top 20 companies are selected based on their innovation in the sales training market; company size and growth potential; breadth of service offering; strength of clients served and a company’s geographic reach. When I look at that list, I see the power of Sandler Training’s associates and trainers.
Sandler Training is made up of a team of dedicated, strategic and motivated professionals. At every level, there is a thirst for knowledge and desire to help.

It’s an honor to be recognized as a top sales company – and for me, it’s equally an honor to work with the Sandler Training team and have the chance to help our clients grow.

I dedicate this, and every other award Sandler receives, to each of our associates, trainers and clients who keep Sandler Training going strong and leading the way in sales training.

By: Dave Mattson


Can a daily schedule help me achieve my goals in 2014?

January 27th, 2014

“A person’s burning desire to achieve something must come from within.”

You’ve set lofty goals for 2014 but have you also built the plan to achieve them?

Often we fall into the trap of setting goals without ‘building a plan’ to achieve them. If you decide to make one change this year – ‘build the plan and then implement it’.

I often have clients tell me they want to earn a certain amount of money this year. The first questions I always ask are, “what are you going to do with the money?” or “let’s pretend I’ve just handed you the amount of money you want to earn – what are you going to do with it?” I always get the most interesting responses because most people don’t know what they’d do with the money. When I ask how they came up with the number, they shrug and tell me they’ve just pulled it out of the air. Is that your way of deciding how much money you want to earn in 2014 or do you really know why you want to earn a particular dollar amount?

The first step in the process is to determine what your personal goals are and why they are important to you. I encourage you to take the time to look at all aspects of your life and set goals in the following areas:

1. Social
2. Physical
3. Spiritual
4. Financial
5. Mental (educational)
6. Professional
7. Familial
8. Personal

Sometimes we get so caught up in the financial goals or targets the company we work for has either set for us or asked us to achieve, that we lose focus on how these targets impact our personal lives and dreams. Your incentive to achieve the ‘what may seem unrealistic’ goals will be put into perspective when your desire to achieve them is because of what you want to do personally. So when you’re not feeling motivated or when you’ve had one too many rejections during your prospecting calls, think about what goals you’re working towards for motivation.

How to get started with this process:

1. Decide what you want. Spend some time really thinking about what’s important to you and why you want a particular amount of money, vacation, new home, etc.

2. Build a plan. How are you going to achieve it? What is required to have it come to fruition? The key in this process is establishing S.M.A.R.T. goals:

a. Specific
b. Measurable
c. Attainable
d. Realistic
e. Time-bound

3. Break down the plan. Take that plan and organize it into monthly, weekly and daily tasks so you’ll know what’s required at all times to achieve your goals.

Just saying in January that you have 12 months to achieve what you set out to do isn’t going to get you where you want to go. The plan has to be built so that every day, every week and every month you know what is required. I can hear the groans from some of you reading this right now, however I ask you to look back over the years and review if you achieved your goals consistently without building a plan.

What are you waiting for? Are you prepared to make a big change in 2014? Then decide what you want and build a plan. And the days you get discouraged, you’ll remember why you need to do what you’re doing.

If you need help with getting started contact your local Sandler Training office and ask for some guidance.

Carol Rosdobutko
Sandler Training Calgary, Alberta, Canada