Better Results, Less Effort!

Many business people think sales is about talking, presenting or, what I call yapping. Presenting your information is important. At the right time, the right way, for the right reason, to the right people. Therefore, the key selling skills are:

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When We Screw Up!

When we screw up, let’s stop calling it “dealing with priorities”. Call it what it more often is: over-promising, knee-jerk decisions, and disrespect. When you screw up, just admit it, then apologize, rectify it, and don’t do it so much

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Confirm! Get Bigger Results!

One of my all-time favorite sales questions is—Did I answer your question? A simple confirming question I ask after I believe I’ve answered theirs. I don’t assume I’ve answered them. I ask. I confirm. Why? To eliminate misunderstanding; to make

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Attitude and Activities

My client asked: How do I measure a new salesperson’s performance before she has enough time to start closing business? My response: Attitude and activities. He replied: I get how to measure activities. Calls. Appointments. That stuff. It’s attitude I

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Even When It’s Business, It’s Personal!

People say it all the time—“It’s not personal, it’s business.” Really? Let’s think about it. Let’s pretend you have to fire me. And during the meeting, you tell me: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Do I believe you? I don’t

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Will They Buy?

I’ve been asked this so much lately, I thought I’d remind us all.  In sales, if you’re dealing with a qualified prospect, you can answer the following questions, Do they need it? Do they want it? Will they use it? Can

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Possibility Thinking!

I overheard a conversation this week, which started: “Well, probably we can’t, but, oh, maybe, possibly…we can.” Sounds like they got it backwards…what Zig Ziglar calls, “stinkin’ thinkin’.” Why not start with the possible, the doable, the positive? How ’bout—“Probably

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Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Testing!

Anything worth doing long-term is worth testing short-term. Whether an idea, a project, or a partnership, try it out, see if it fits—with your vision, your goals, your ideals. The feedback you get will make it easy to decide—for you,

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Set Exceptional Goals!

I’ve used positive self-talk my whole career, liking the adjective “exceptional.” What a “pump-up” word. Old affirmations I said over and over, with enthusiasm—I’m an exceptional salesman. I’m an exceptional presenter. I’m an exceptional coach. Why not use that same

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Direct and Effect!

When Tjan interviewed global CEOs and senior executives, asking them if they thought their meetings met their intended objectives, they said less than 40% of the meetings did! How does this happen? It’s simple: people are avoidance-motivated. Tjan writes, “…the answer

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Monkey Management***

When Hartman and I started together, he’d often ask me what he should do. To save time and energy, I’d tell him. Eventually, we decided on a different process. When he’d ask me what he should do, I’d say: You know I

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What’s Next?

When we train sales people, we ask them to focus on the next step, not every step. The next step must be taken before all the other steps are necessary. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first

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Done Is Better Than Perfect!

Striving to be perfect is self-defeating. Why? Anytime you set an unachievable standard, you guarantee failure. This is how it sounds: We have to wait until everything is just right. And: Let’s do more research and planning. Or: I’m not sure

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The Crime of Interrupting!

In a business session, I found myself wanting to interrupt our client. Knowing that interruptions are like stomping on someone’s thoughts, I controlled my impulse. I focused on listening to them as if they were the most important people in the world. They

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Invest In You!

Reading Jon Westenburg, I was intrigued by his article about how to take control of my business and my life. Here’s the gist of what he said (with some editorial comment). Write a list of 100 things you’ll do in

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Do You Do What You Say You’ll Do?

Many businesses have selected integrity as a core value. They’ve written their Mission Statement to reflect it. Their employees are proud to parrot the word. However, when asked, many employees don’t know what the word means. If you really want

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Won’t You Join Me?

I’ve read about the experiences of those who’ve been in wars. I’m not one of them. I certainly can’t expect to understand it as those who’ve experienced it. I try to comprehend the mindless horror of imminent attack, the expectation

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Did You Make Your Decision?

One of the smartest, most successful people I know told me the system he uses to make every decision in his life. And exactly what to do after he makes his decision. Here’s what he said:  How I Make Decisions!

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Hire Slow. Fire Fast.

As the guest speaker for an executive group in Philadelphia, my topic was How to build a winning sales team. The title? 10 Do’s and Don’t’s! I started with the 2 most important Do’s for building a high-performing sales team:

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How did Ben Franklin do it?

How did Ben Franklin accomplish so much? It took him days to travel from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE; took him months to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Great Britain. There were no planes, trains, cars; no iPads, smartphones,

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Accountability!

Hartman and I were brainstorming our business strategy. We disagreed about priorities. Instead of fighting over it, he asked me three questions: What are our goals? What’s our purpose for doing this? What problem will it solve? I answered the

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Sales Resolutions or Bust!

So many sales people fall in love with their prospects.  They fantasize: I know they’re gonna buy from me!  As salespeople, we’re good at convincing ourselves, aren’t we?  We think everyone who gets excited and indicates they might buy, will

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Manage Your Euphoria!

A while back, my son, Justin, called me euphoric about an outstanding purchase he had made. I congratulated him and shared in his excitement. We celebrated together, paid attention to what was great at that moment, and then were to

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It’s The Owner’s Job!

A business owner I know assigns a middle-manager to set the company goals. By the way, he’s not an absentee owner, he’s there every day supposedly directing the company. This leader is making a serious mistake and he doesn’t seem

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The Magic of Easy Early Wins!

May I give you one quick, effective way to build momentum? Get some easy early wins. Set up your day so you’re constantly winning and feeling better about yourself as your day goes on. Here’s what I mean: most of

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Integrity?

Last fall, I was talking to a group of business owners about the presidential debates and the integrity of the candidates. One of the group, seeming confused, asked: Bruce, how do you stay ‘within the cones’ in today’s world? In

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