Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Competitor vs. Spectator Consciousness – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Making choices of your own volition vs. watching your life unfold – do we truly have the power to choose or is life merely a series of inevitable events based on cause and effect. The free will/determinism paradox … and how to break it!

Interesting articles/people mentioned in this video:

“Is Your Company Culture Pirate Ship or Battleship?” by Chris Murray. 

“The Paradox of Free Will” by Peter Russell.

Shift the Paradigm – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Breaking out of routines to get what you want. How to set the wheel in motion for a shift that will make the desired outcome inevitable.

Here’s a link to an article about a concept I mention in the video on “The Myth of Discipline,” by Charles Poliquin: http://www.strengthsensei.com/discipline-myth

 

Sell Your Unique Story – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Friday, April 14th, 2017

The one of a kind power you have as a communicator is not born of your ability to deliver a sales pitch, but rather your efforts to speak from the heart.

Decimating Adversity & Getting Fired Up – Even Cancer Can’t Stop Us!

Friday, April 14th, 2017

So much inspiration and power, what lies at the heart of such fire and passion? What fuels the drive and desire to fight and win no matter how challenging the circumstances?

 

Extreme Ownership – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Monday, March 13th, 2017

extreme-ownership

Sales is more than just a profession, it is the prime mover of all commerce and economies. Selling is an awesome responsibility, and businesses live and die on the success of its salespeople. Such significance demands the cultivation of the qualities and traits associated with leadership.

The ability of salespeople to lead, to coordinate the synergistic power of all the departments involved in making the deal a success, from marketing and finance to product development and more, can make the difference between a mediocre and stellar career, as selling successfully encompasses both harnessing, and directing, the capabilities of many different colleagues and roles within an enterprise.

And, the capacity to lead the customer, to guide potential clients in their hunt to solve the problems that frustrate them or overcome the obstacles that challenge them, should be the core directive of any salesperson.

Embodiment of the lead-to-win creed, whether in running a team or as an essential part of the (sales) force itself, is crucial when striving for victory.

Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete - Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

Willink and Babin are former Navy SEALs who fought and led some of the most intense urban combat missions the Teams have ever engaged in, including the infamous Battle of Ramadi.

Willink commanded SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser (where Babin served as a platoon leader) and received the Silver and Bronze Stars. Babin earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart as well for his efforts. Other notable SEALs who served under Willink include American Sniper Chris Kyle, Kevin Lacz (author of The Last Punisher), and Michael Monsoor.

Willink and Babin learned their lessons the hard way, through the “humbling trials of war,” from failure and loss as well as triumph. Having built up a wealth of knowledge on effective strategy they now train businesses in the application of their hard won principles of leadership, and have written Extreme Ownership as the go to reference for those interested in leading both in and beyond the battlefield.

The book is divided into three parts, here are the headings and a key concept (there are many more) from each segment:

Part 1. “Winning the War Within”

Own it: Blaming circumstances and/or other people for poor results or failure can absolve you of accountability for your actions, and that may appeal to those looking to avoid having to answer for bad decisions, but by abdicating responsibility you also cede control of your destiny to those who are bolder and willing to shoulder the weight. Owning success as well as failure forces you to be mindful of the necessity for constant improvement.

Part 2. “The Laws of Combat”

Keep it simple: Success does not have to be difficult, contrary to popular belief, great victories are not the result of some grand and elaborate plan, complex strategies do not necessarily win the day. Complicated plans often slow things down and create quagmires that are difficult to fight your way out of when things go wrong. To achieve your ambitions, you must be able to express your vision clearly and communicate the mission in the most straightforward of terms, keep the blueprint for victory simple and the actions to be taken explicit and unequivocal.

Part 3. “Sustained Victory”

Discipline Equals Freedom: How is that possible, isn’t discipline rigid? A structured path with no room for maneuver? A regimented, restrained structure doesn’t appear to allow for something as flexible as “freedom,” however it is in the well laid out framework of practiced routine that one finds a firm footing and the confidence to evolve and be creative. Once the basics are ingrained you don’t get bogged down in having to struggle through getting the fundamentals right, as you know the patterns for achievement like the back of your hand, if things go awry then the elemental principles can be tapped like a reflex, it becomes instinctive, freeing up your focus such that you can improvise and come up with new routes to success when necessary.

The grit and resolution of discipline is also a wellspring from which one can tap the strength to carry-on and strive. When challenges arise, most rely on motivating factors to drive them to adapt and overcome, however as Willink is fond of saying, “motivation is fickle,” and when inspiration runs out or is nowhere to be found, it is your discipline that will carry the day and deliver the will-power and control necessary to get the job done.

In Extreme Ownership, Willink and Babin deliver a tome fortified with compelling accounts of blood, sweat and tears, of what it takes to lead, build a high-performance team or fulfill the aspirations many have to simply better their lives. Salespeople in particular would do well to study the methods, actions and management skills of these master warriors, and the traits necessary to achieve and maintain victory in the toughest of situations, as many of these axioms are the same precepts that drive businesses and the executives that power them in the fight for success.

And salespeople are the tip of the spear in that battle.

 

 

Mastery – Mind Fuel For The Sales Athlete

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

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Salespeople are the athletes of the business world, and much like those who compete physically and need to feed their bodies the best nutrition in order to operate at peak performance, as sales is a thinking person’e game, so must we nourish our minds.

What do you read, watch and/or listen to? Is it fortifying, inspiring and enlightening or, like junk food, is it wasting your abilities and deterring your performance?

Mind Fuel For The Sales Athlete – Tip #1 - Mastery by Robert Greene:

Genius or talent in a particular field is often built not inherited, achieving mastery is the key according to Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction and The 33 Strategies of War.

Supreme tenaciousness and intensity of effort is the common thread woven across the success of great Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison according to Greene. Throughout the book he references fascinating stories and anecdotes of legends from a multitude of diverse sectors including architecture, art and psychology; from Benjamin Franklin to Rembrandt, Carl Jung to Frank Lloyd Wright, all in an effort to highlight the knowledge teased from history’s renowned experts.

So what does it take to achieve mastery? 

Greene’s principles include:
  1. Find your calling/seek to dominate a niche.
  2. Become an apprentice/find a mentor and follow the path established by the Masters.
  3. Gain emotional intelligence and craft the persona necessary to navigate the social environment in which you ply your trade.
  4. Become an original: acquire the knowledge and embody the rules that govern your sphere of influence, then recreate them to suit your ambitions.
  5. See what other cannot: immerse yourself deeply in the study of your field to evolve a higher-level intuition.
If you decide that selling is the profession for you, then don’t play at it, seek out the experts, study the craft and dominate your niche!
Sales champions are not born, they are forged, and masters are keepers of the flame that tempers sales steel.

 

Sell Magnetic

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

“An idealist is one who helps the other fellow to make a profit.” ~ Henry Ford

When you peel back the layers, all B2B solutions help vendors sell their products and services more efficiently, effectively and often (whether it’s a business process solution, inventory management system or finance package) anything that helps a business operate more competently and productively often helps it sell more prosperously.

And businesses will pay handsomely for solutions that help them generate more revenue.

If you want to sell B2B products and services, the type that will gain more than just the fleeting “first call” interest of your prospects, then you must uncover, understand and address the problems or challenges your customers face that hold them back from being as productive as they need to be, this is how 5% of all salespeople (the best) go about the business of selling.

When done in this way, the approach resonates, and it roots out/brings to the fore issues that the customer cannot afford to live with…

Leading to the purchase of solutions they cannot afford to live without!  

This type of approach to sales is also known as “Gap Selling,” a method that, as originally conceived (and as studied today when learning how to sell “consultatively”), attempts to exploit the “gap” that exists between a customer’s current situation and where that prospect would ideally like to be. 

However, a very small fraction of these top performers, the best of the best, understand and make use of a far more evolved and dynamic version of this approach – it is a very different form of the technique known to most, one that is powerfully unique from what has been taught up till now, a process not even the majority of this highly effective and prosperous 5% are aware of or are ever trained in. 

These elite sales people do something only the world’s best consultancies do when closing multi-million dollar deals…

Read “Sell Magnetic,” Lawrence Rosenberg’s new book on How to Sell the New Gap, download your copy here:

https://gumroad.com/l/BigL

Selling The New Gap

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

What’s Wrong With Sales and Right About Selling the New Gap

Sales is one of the world’s highest paying professions, and media sales (or knowledge/information sales) is among the most lucrative in the field. But, as with all sales, the economy of the last five years has weeded out those with weak skills and a sub par work ethic. The best still do very well, but it has become an industry where most just get by and a few make the lion’s share of commissions.

However, the top performers in our business are aware of a number of factors that prevent many from earning the type of money they did prior to the financial crisis and have taken steps to ensure their approach and sales process reflects these new dynamics.

3 Factors Which Define the “New Normal” 

  • Buyers are becoming ever more risk averse (pre crisis, the market was flush with liquidity and clients were looking for reasons to buy, now they look to avoid risk). 

  • While the sheer number of media offerings continues to grow, global marketing spend has decreased significantly, leaving more information/content providers battling it out for less available budget. 

  • To compete, media as a product is becoming more comprehensive. Many companies in the space now view themselves as knowledge/information providers and offer portfolio type solutions inclusive of events, print and digital publications, online news sites, market intelligence, social media, lead gen, e-mail marketing, etc.

In an environment such as this, the majority of spend allocation flows to a small fraction of media providers that couple the most versatile product with the best trained and most agile (and competitive) of sales forces.  

The rest fight for an ever-shrinking pie of ex-budget funds.

However, the single biggest differentiator between the haves and have-nots in media sales is not the product, but the approach. This is good news for sales people, it means they have the ability to alter their circumstances for the better, regardless of the grip other departments have on creating and developing product.  

Of course, the most dynamic companies look to include their sales force at the tip of the spear in probing and listening to the market’s demand for viable media solutions, but irrespective of where the salesman stands within his organization, if he engages his customers in the right way, he can join that small fraction of dealmakers who are doing just as well, if not better than they did prior to the economic downturn.

In order to understand how the elite salesperson continues to succeed and thrive in today’s marketplace, it’s important that we first take a closer look at how the majority of media/information based salespeople approach the business of selling.

(Product) Pushing the Prospect Around 

98% of media/information salespeople sell using a method known as “pitching product”, or push marketing. It’s a technique where the salesman pushes the features, functions and benefits of a particular product, and why the salesman believes it to be of value.  

The typical product pitch sounds something like: ”The beauty of what I’m selling is only outshined by the magnitude of what it will do for you – which is exactly why you must buy it…now!” 

However, when you push, you inevitably get resistance, prospects push back. This leaves the salesman with two possible options: confront or convince. 

Steamrolling the Prospect 

Talking “at” or down to the customer to let them know who’s in charge, or to “clue them in” on why they should consider themselves lucky to have received your call or bludgeoning them with rebuttals to objections that are borne only out of a ham-fisted, shove-it-down-their-throat approach, is a recipe for how to lose friends and alienate people.  

Confrontational selling is a lose-lose proposition

It’s Now or Never 

‪Pitching product (in order to be successful) relies on emotionally charged stories fuelled by intense urgency and ginned up enthusiasm all in hope of triggering an impulse buy, of convincing the prospect to make an impromptu purchase,.

If the deal does not close on the first call (and the vast majority do not), the magic moment passes and the sale moves to a second stage (typically involving additional members of the decision making unit and deeper scrutiny of the proposition). A process this particular approach was never designed to withstand.

Discount Kings 

As the sales cycle lengthens, and the excitement generated during the initial conversation fades, without a genuine need uncovered or addressed, the chances for a deal diminish greatly. And, for those product pitched deals that do make it through the multi-decision maker gauntlet, what are the results? 

As the push style of selling highlights functions, features and benefits, and as the functions, features and benefits of most media/information products (advertising, event sponsorship, e-marketing, etc.) are all “relatively” similar, the only unique differentiator between one product and another becomes cost, which is why most advertising/sponsorship salespeople get caught up competing primarily on price, discounting as part and parcel of their sales process and selling at ever lower and lower rates.

Hold on, I’m not a (Product) Pushy Salesman! 

As customers become far more sophisticated (and fastidious) in their approach to choosing suppliers, a number of media/information salespeople have abandoned the transactional style of pitch based selling and adopted some of the principles of those that sell larger ticket offerings rooted in longer sales cycles. Many salespeople in the space now consider themselves to be practitioners of a “consultative” method of sales known as solution selling.

Instead of pitching a particular product, when selling solutions, the salesman seeks to assess a prospect’s problems and needs via a question-based approach before attempting to sell an appropriate solution (product or service). 

However, for many in our space, “solution selling,” is really just pitch-based selling in disguise, the push method of sales dressed up in fancier clothes to better navigate the initial trepidation of prospects who have grown impatient and resistant to those cold callers who so often launch into hawking product within a few seconds of introducing themselves.   

Those that pitch product like to believe they are solution selling because they are engaging in a dialogue about their prospect’s “needs,” but what “needs” are actually being uncovered? Well, what types of questions are typically being asked? 

Two types of queries are usually asked in this faux solution sales cum product push environment: audience centric questions and/or product centric questions.  

Audience Centric Questions are designed to qualify the prospect’s target market, examples include… 

What regions do you focus on?

What type of businesses/consumers do you target?

What type of decision makers do you look to engage with?    

Audience centric questions often lead to product centric questions as the salesman naturally looks to build on his newfound knowledge of the customer’s target market by seeking to learn how they identify and communicate with their audience.     

Product Centric Questions are intended uncover and identify the prospect’s use of similar or competing media product. Some typical product based questions include… 

How do you go about generating leads?

How are you currently marketing your product?

What publications/websites do you currently advertise in?  

Do you sponsor events, conferences or exhibitions? 

Product centric questions are then followed by results driven questions, as the salesman looks to query the outcome or performance of the customer’s current activities. 

What types of results are you experiencing? 

Product and audience centric questions often only end up confirming that the prospect either makes use of similar solutions or targets a market the salesman can help with. At best these questions uncover dissatisfaction with results.  

These types of questions are obvious and far from compelling, the prospect is typically underwhelmed. Nothing mission critical is discussed and no need/problem unearthed so urgent that it demands a timely solution.  

Product and audience centric questions are designed to provide nothing more than a distraction to get past the gate and push product, as both lead to either “we can deliver/help you engage your target market” and/or “we can deliver better product/results than our competition” based pitches.

Selling the Sizzle 

So how does a product pitchman make the sale? By selling what he has, and although he has no solution, what he does have is a story, and the best product push sales people sell the sizzle, the steak, and the plate it was served up on.  

Unfortunately, with this type of approach, the thrill exists only in the white-hot enthusiasm generated during a “heat of the moment” style call, and if the rate quoted is not low enough to avoid further approval, the chances of an impulse purchase are less than zero. As, once the phone call ends and the spell the fast talking salesman has cast wears off, the prospect is left with nothing more than a half-baked proposal that must hold up to the skepticism of one or more risk-averse decision makers who will wonder: “do we really need this product?” and “do we need it at this price?” 

When the sizzle fizzles out, the steak goes cold!  

Reframe the conversation

No company wants to part with budget, particularly budget holders and their minions, especially when they are so good at spending it prior to the point at which you have contacted them. It is a rare cold call indeed when a salesman stumbles upon a prospect who says, “the timing of your call couldn’t have been any more perfect, I have a ton of budget to spend, what have you got!”

The number one excuse for holding up a deal when pitching product (or even when solution selling) overwhelmingly has to do with budget. Of course this can be abated with a skillfully positioned approach (especially when engaged in the right type of solution led conversation), for if a customer really wants what you have they will find the money, but for the most part decision makers and especially decision fakers (you know who I’m talking about, the messengers, those we like to refer to as influencers) or even worse, i2i’s (influencers to the influencers) just love to claim budget as the reason for not moving forward with a sale.

For those caught up pitching product, the reality of being forever faced with the budgetary woes/excuses of their prospects leads to a never-ending war of attrition, as the “numbers game” is all that can be counted on to thwart the endless claim that customer budgets have evaporated. And when product pushers do hit the lottery on a sale, it is a frictionless, highly discounted rate that moves the deal over the line. If you are pushing low cost/low value product then playing the odds as your best bet to success is a hazard of the job.

If, however, we want to change the odds in our favor, then we must actively seek to reframe the conversation. As almost all sales calls will lead to a second stage, we need a sales methodology that has impact and holds influence over the process beyond the initial enthusiasm of the first call. To do so we must engage in a different sort of discussion from those who merely pitch product. We must steer the conversation away from one that ends up in an assessment of product vs. price (an inevitability when push selling) and instead look to have a conversation that leaves the customer contemplating the magnitude of the problem he needs fixed, the financial gain in doing so and the minimal investment necessary to see such a return on investment.

The conversation we want to construct has the prospect moving on from the first call un-preoccupied by the trivialities of product vs. price, and rather has them engaged in the possibility of a cure to what ails them, we want our prospects contemplating the severe cost of problems, the business altering value of opportunity should plight be overcome, and the fact that a solution is within reach.  

And, while decision making units love to hold on to budget, what no decision maker in any organization wants to own is a problem, especially one that is getting in the way of hitting revenue targets. Executives that do not come up with plans to overcome challenges or take action to solve problems do not tend to last very long. 

Root Cause Selling 

What product and audience centric questions (as well as the salesman who deals in them) fail to take into account is why the product (or the audience for that matter) is needed by the prospect in the first place.  

Why would a prospect ever want to advertise in a magazine, on a website or sponsor an event?  

When asked this question, many sales people respond by saying that their clients invest in advertising or sponsorship because they want brand awareness, increased exposure, thought leadership, opportunities to network, build relationships, educate the market, make the business case for their solution, generate leads, etc. 

As sound as these objectives are, they are not the core reason why customers buy advertising space or sponsor events. They are merely routes (among many routes) to achieve the customer’s one true need…

The reason clients purchase advertising, sponsor events or do any form of marketing is because they want to… 

Sell more product!

The need to sell (more) product is the fundamental need all media opportunities address.  

Advertising and event sponsorship are powerful solutions that help clients overcome the challenge of selling their products and services more effectively, efficiently…and more often.  

And customers will pay handsomely for solutions that help them sell more product.

Solution-Led Selling  

If you want to sell a media/information/knowledge solution, one that will gain more than just the fleeting “first call” interest of your prospects, you must uncover, understand and address the problems and challenges they face in attempting to sell their products and services.

‪Uncovering, understanding and addressing the issues faced by prospects in bringing their offering to market, winning their next big contract or in simply selling more product, and only then offering the appropriate solution to help them do so, is how the top 2% of media/knowledge/information sales people go about the business of selling.

When done in this way, the approach resonates, and it roots out/brings to the fore issues that the client cannot afford to live with…

Leading to the purchase of solutions that clients cannot afford to live without!  

The Best of the Best  

The top 2% of dealmakers that sell advertising and sponsorship in this manner are noted for their ability to close business at higher value rates than their product-pitching colleagues.  

However, a very small fraction of these top performers, the best of the best within our business, understand and make use of a far more evolved and dynamic version of this approach, a process that not even the majority of this highly effective and prosperous 2% is aware of. These are the million dollar producers, dealmakers that regularly generate between $1,000,000 – $5,000,000 a year in sales.  

These elite sales people do something only the world’s best consultancies do when closing multi-million dollar deals…

Gap Selling  

Those at the very top of their game in media/knowledge/information sales practice a sales methodology known as Gap Selling. However, it is a very different version of the technique known to most, one that is powerfully unique from what has been taught up till now  

Gap Selling, as originally conceived (and as studied today when learning how to sell “consultatively”), attempts to exploit the “gap” that exists between a customer’s current situation and where that prospect would ideally like to be.  

The New Gap Selling methodology is just as simple in concept, yet far more sophisticated in its approach (and effective in its results) because it adds real value to the process.  

How does it work?

Unlocking Your Value  

We have already established that, in order to sell an advertising/marketing/sponsorship/lead-gen solution, we must uncover, understand and address the challenges faced by our prospects in attempting to sell their products and services.  

But, how can we truly expect to help our prospects overcome the issues they face in selling more efficiently, effectively, and more often, unless we also understand the challenges faced by those our prospects look to sell their products and services to…

Their customers!            

If you can identify the needs of your prospect’s customers (and potential customers), and communicate those needs (and the challenges faced in meeting those needs) to your prospect, then you are adding real, unique and extremely compelling value to the (sales) equation.  

But, how do you deliver this type of highly valuable intelligence to the process?

How do you come to know, understand (let alone be able to communicate) the (commercially solvable) issues and challenges faced by your prospect’s customers?  

Well, who is your prospect’s customer in relation to what it is we do in media, marketing and event production? 

Your prospect’s customer is your publication or website’s readership, they are your event’s speakers and delegates, they are the target of your market research.  

You not only have the access necessary to uncover this priceless data, but those that hold the key to this critical information are a proprietary (and captive) audience of your firm and its product! 

Uncovering the New Gap

Selling the New Gap is sublime in that, when you identify the disparity that exists between your prospect’s need to sell product, and his customer’s challenge in finding an appropriate solution, and communicate your understanding of the dilemma faced by both sides, you have exposed are far larger opening than the one which exists in getting your customer from point a to point b and in doing so perfectly positioned to bridge this new “gap” with your solution, bringing powerful value to both parties. 

Cultivating a Dialogue

So how do you develop/have this type of solution-led conversation?  

How do you add real value by becoming a source of actionable intelligence for your prospects (and clients) and offer credible insight that helps them understand their own customers better?  

And, how do you ask effective questions that ensure you uncover issues and challenges that your product can actually solve?  

Furthermore, how do you do all this without devolving into push style selling once the prospect is ready for a solution? 

How do you sell by not selling, convincing or pushing, but by simply giving your prospects what they will quite naturally request once you have engaged in the right type of dialogue and have asked the right types of questions?  

And, finally, how do you do this in an efficient, effective and persuasive manner? How do you package your dialogue and questions in a nimble and agile, yet meaningful and compelling way? 

Contact Lawrence Rosenberg 

lawrence.rosenberg@chasethechampionship.com 

uk.linkedin.com/in/rosenberglawrence/

Take Action and Find Faith

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Having what you want, becoming who you wish to be or merely looking to change your life for the better is as simple as…believing you can.

Or is it?

And is believing as simple as it sounds?

If you do any research on the subject of how to motivate yourself to go after what it is you want or undertake any type of significant change, you will quickly find out that the prevailing wisdom among self-help experts and psychologists is that the reason most people do not move forward or do the things necessary to dramatically alter their lives is because they lack faith or belief that they will get what it is they are after.

They say that the key is to BELIEVE (with absolute certainty) that your efforts will be worthwhile, that your actions will alter your universe of carry you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Popular theory has it that you start your journey with BELIEF, they claim that this is the pre-requisite, that in order to start you must have total conviction, because having rock solid belief will lead to a massive increase in your POTENTIAL, and once your POTENTIAL has been upgraded, you will have the firepower necessary for ACTION. The next part of the equation is that inevitably, your action will yield RESULTS, and at that point you have what is known as a positive  feedback loop, because those results (the positive ones at least) will seal your faith in your ability to achieve and fuel your drive to take even greater action, which will lead to even stronger results and so on, and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that sounds great, and I agree, if you do have an intrinsic, unshakable belief that you are going to get what you want, then yes, you will walk through walls. I mean it is absolutely brilliant if you are fortunate enough to have been born with belief, or to have had an epiphany, to be one of the lucky few who have magically arrived at a state of mind buttressed by absolute faith before you get to the starting line. But what if you are one of the millions upon millions of people who have not yet found unassailable conviction, or what if you did have it at one time but have now lost your faith? What then?

Let’s face it, we are in a tough economy and there are a lot of downtrodden and defeated souls out there. Many have been laid off, lost their jobs and/or simply cannot find a compelling new opportunity to motivate them to action. Many are no longer even sure they live in a land of opportunity, how many still believe that the streets are paved with gold (as my grandfather did and growing up I was absolutely sure of)? So whether you have never taken a big step before due to uncertainty or you have lived the high life, been successful, but have lost it all and are finding it hard to get motivated and believe again, does not having faith in your future at the outset eliminate you from the challenge to win the life of your dreams? Is belief absolutely necessary to moving forward and taking the steps required to change your life?

I am happy to confirm (from a life lived rising and falling and rising again) that thankfully, if you have lost your way, or you have forgotten what it was like to have faith, or are missing the type of determination that breeds confidence, that it makes no matter.

You do not need belief or absolute certainty in order to take action.

And, the even better news is that, it is in taking action that you will regain your faith if you have lost it and/or you will acquire the assuredness you have yet to come upon that what you are doing will lead you to your destination.

Saying that you need to be a believer before moving forward is like saying you need to have confidence before you can ever become confident. It is incongruent, a complete catch-22. In reality, it is through the very action of ACTING confident that you, in turn, eventually become confident. It does not matter at the outset whether you truly are or not, it is not what is going on inside your head that counts (the world at large has no clue as to your true thoughts or feelings), the only thing that is of any consequence is what the world sees, what matters most are the actions you undertake.

“A man is not judged by his thoughts or his words, he is judged by his deeds, he is judged by his actions.”

It is the manifestation of confidence, the mechanics of élan (talking in an assuring tone, standing with poise, walking with a brash stride) that makes the man, inside you may be as timid as a field mouse but you can always ACT like a lion. The beauty of this principle is that “as you be, so you are,” the assumption of character becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (life imitating art) — by wearing a confident man’s shoes, by simply acting with confidence YOU WILL BECOME CONFIDENT.

And so it is with faith.

By simply taking action, you will have ACTED WITH BELIEF (irrespective of how you feel or what you think initially) your actions will have dictated otherwise. Through the mere act of moving forward, you will have set yourself on the path to living the life you want, to having the things you desire.

And it is here that you will discover your faith.

It is here where you will come upon the belief that many so desperately seek. It is the ACT OF MOVING FORWARD that signifies the ultimate vote of confidence, your very action in pursuit of your interests will underwrite a new belief system, it will set in place the foundation stone that you will build your faith upon, faith that you will reach your destination, wherever it may be, simply for having had the courage to act in the first place.

Belief is the natural and inevitable consequence of your actions.

So here is a different feedback loop, one that works all the time, on every occasion, for anybody, irrespective of what your level of confidence or conviction is. You begin with one move, could be a small change, could be a major dive into the deep end, either way you take some type of ACTION and as sure as day follows night your actions will yield RESULTS, the positive of which will lead to the BELIEF it is so often claimed we need to start with. And, that BELIEF that you discover along the way, will forever propel your actions to greater and greater heights as your RESULTS grow and grow and grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The magic lies within your actions, that is where belief lives, in that very first step.

The Ten Laws of Competitive Persuasion

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity – Edwin Hubbell Chapin.

You flick the light switch on because you assume that the light will turn on. You strictly follow a particular dietary regime because you trust it will aid in your physical health and shape. You follow the tenets of your religion because you have faith that it will secure your place in God’s good grace. We are our beliefs, they define who we are – they characterize the self. Some convictions are rooted deep in our childhood, taught to us by parents and teachers, and accepted as dogma. Others are learned from peers, books or television and warped or reinvented to suit our psyches. And some beliefs we come by late in life after having lived, made mistakes, realized accomplishments and formed steadfast opinions. Once shaped or solidified, beliefs act as a filter for the way we see the world, they affect the way our brain interprets the endless information we are bombarded with and stands as the backdrop against which we justify action.

It is a profound and complex process the business of forming ideas and beliefs that we both become anchored to and readily act upon. Or is it? Moving forward based on certain notions, taking action on propositions that we feel are the natural consequence of our summations (usually formed over great lengths of time and supported by everything from conjecture and hearsay to hard-core empirical evidence and experience) is not always the natural consequence of belief. And conviction is not always a necessary prerequisite to action. Sometimes, under the right circumstances, a mere suggestion will do.

Consider cold calling sales, an endeavor or process by which an individual is asked to assume and act over the span of a single telephone call or visit. In many instances, the prospect has never heard of the company, product or service they are being introduced to or informed of, yet are eagerly asked to have faith in and commit to a person they have never met or know next to nothing about, all over the course of a lone conversation. No time to collate data or study propositions, no time to “think about it,” just a brash expectation on the part of the closer that the prospect should presume and act. And they do, every hour of every day prospects become buyers, agnostics become apostles.

What causes a man to believe, or to at least become interested enough to act on an impulse? What must you do to convince another human being to take action on an idea that is not their own? How can a state of being that usually evolves over a period of months, years or even decades be distilled and induced in the space of a single sales pitch? To short circuit a process that usually involves teaching, programming and indoctrination over the course of one’s life is no small feat, but it is doable. It is well within the capabilities of any determined individual to stoke the fires of another man’s fascination and cause him to take action on nothing more than a moment’s notice. More so than being doable, it is a workable process that can be modeled, adapted and repeated. However, before this can be done, before you can develop into a proficient closer, you must first understand a bit about human nature, and you must learn the fundamental laws that govern this process, of which there are ten.

Although these ten laws are grounded on fundamental behavioral science and cognitive psychological principles, no deep understanding of human psychology is required to understand the essence of their power over the thoughts and actions of men or the effectiveness of their implementation. Far from being complex formulas or theorems, the laws, as I present them, are as effortless to appreciate as they are incontrovertible; they are common sense, practical and manifest. Your challenge will not be in comprehending the laws, it will be in remaining consistent, in following through and conducting your business according to the full protocol. Although it would be of immense value to merely embrace one, or even just a few of these ideals, as each imparts an extremely powerful advantage in the pursuit of deal-making, in order to ensure that you do not end up a one hit wonder or a part-time champion, in order to yield the greatest possible windfall, the full ten laws should be adopted as creed and code.

The ten laws will ensure your success. If you apply them you cannot fail. It is why I call these principles laws as opposed to rules. Rules are merely customary practices; rules are boring and restrictive. People dislike following rules. Many rules are often defied and avoided. Hell, rules were meant to be broken! Laws however, in the scientific sense (which I firmly believe is the ground on which we tread) are principles based on the predictable consequences of specific actions. Laws guarantee results. Adhering to them means that you are not just working to the custom, tradition or whimsy of another (as is the case with a rule) but, rather, operating under a set of circumstances that ensure a pre-determined outcome. It is cause and effect. You cannot flout the laws of the universe; scientific or physical laws cannot be violated. These ten principles are the science behind selling anything successfully and as such, consistent, large and undeniable success can be the only product of dedication to these ten maxims. Much like two plus two equals four, the forecasted outcome must occur, and the results are obliged to be bountiful.

The Ten Laws of Competitive Persuasion:

The First Law:
Compete to Win (Chase the Championship)

The Second Law:
Know thy Prospect

The Third Law:
Become a Believer – Learn to Love What you Sell (Gain Product Knowledge)

The Fourth Law:
Pitch the Decision-Maker

The Fifth Law:
Stack the Deck (Your Advantage is Their Advantage)

The Sixth Law:
Be Urgent

The Seventh Law:
Close

The Eighth Law:
Be Bold (Moving Yourself and Your Prospect Beyond the Comfort Zone)

The Ninth Law:
Gain Obligation

The Tenth Law:
Always Negotiate From a Position of Strength