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Like Batman and his trusty sidekick Robin, sales combined with the knowledge of the DISC personality styles are a fantastic pairing that can put you one step ahead of the competition.  DiSC allows you to connect more easily with your customers.  

iISC, coined in the 1928 book by William Marston refers to four different styles, D stands for Dominance, I style refers to an Influencer, S equates to Steadiness and C relishes Conscientiousness.  We are all a blend of the styles; however we all have a natural tendency to lean into one or two of these styles in our everyday interaction.  Now, imagine taking the time to learn your own style and how that comes across in a sales call.  Then, step back and ask yourself a few simple questions that might provide insights into your customer’s iISC personality type.  You can now prepare your approach, your message and your presentation in a way that resonates to the prospect or customer and they can more readily and easily digest your information. This kind of knowledge is invaluable to you as a salesperson as you open more doors, secure more interest and close more sales.

For example, have you ever felt a disconnect with a customer?  Maybe you approached them with enthusiasm and worked at building rapport only to find they were ready for you to get to the point?  Learning to quickly read the style of your customer can help you adapt your sales approach.  You see, if your customer is a high D style, they may simply want you to get to the business at hand, stick to the facts and provide options. The I style prefers a sales rep who is friendly in nature and tries to identify ways to personally connect. The S style wants to know you sincerely care, and they like solutions that are tried and true. Our C style, well, they may make us work a little harder for the sales as they really do like to dig into the details, do their homework, understand the reasoning logic or even research behind a solution and they want to know you will provide quality in your offerings.

You can adjust your style accordingly as you learn your customer’s personality type.  It is a tool that puts you ahead of the competition because these are important details that other people are not aware of if they are not familiar with iISC personality profiles.

Sales and DISC personality types.  A dynamic duo that can succeed together!

marshmallow test

“Just one more bite.”

“I need to get to the next level.”

“Sure, I will have another.”

“I just need to vent.”

These are just a few examples of that voice inside our heads that takes us from moderation and a healthy place to unhealthy behaviors leading to negative consequences.  We all, in some aspect of our life, deal with self-control issues.  It’s part of being human.

Discipline and denial lead to great things in life.”  – The life insurance sales legend, John Savage so eloquently advises on a complicated issue.  How can we obtain such a state of existence?  What is easy to do, is often as easy not to do!

The prefrontal cortex of a human’s brain (where self-control is based) is quite a bit larger in humans than in other mammals.  This means we are born with the ability to plan and even find ways avoid mistakes and solve problems. Of course, just like any other ability – some people have to work harder than others to achieve results or find ease in mastering one area of their life over another.

I remember hearing about “The Marshmallow Test” that came about in the 1970’s.  Psychologist Walter Mischel left children alone in a room with one marshmallow.  He told them that if they did not eat the marshmallow, they could have two later.  The kids who were willing to wait for the second marshmallow (delayed gratification) were followed throughout their lives and showed numerous positive life outcomes compared to the ones who could not wait and ate the first marshmallow.  We are not all born with an overabundance of self-control.

Here are seven strategies that you can use to help with your self-control issues:

  1. Be aware of your triggers and avoid them. Listen for that voice in your head and know your emotional trigger. You can train yourself to “flip the switch” by having a planned ahead of time as to your reaction when these things happen.  If your temptation is to take that extra bite, have an awareness of your trigger, (your automatic thought) and re-frame it. In other words, as you hear the trigger, you now say, “No thank you, I have had enough”.  Tempted to say something you should not, learn the trigger, it might sound something like, “they need to feel this” or “I probably shouldn’t say anything but…” Change that unproductive thought to, “Is this battle really that important?”
  2. Let go of control! It may seem like a contradiction but letting go of control of others can be a very healing exercise for you.  Being too controlling of others or situations is not healthy.  Relinquishing some of those controls can be vital for you and the other people involved.  Start out small – this cannot be solved overnight.  It will take a conscious effort on your part. Once again, the automated thought might sound something like, “I can do it better if I do it myself” or “They will screw it up”. Change that thought to, “It’s important I let them learn (or fail
  3. Understand your EQ (Emotional Intelligence). Truly get to know yourself.  Start to gain awareness of the impact of your words, actions and behaviors and the impact they have on others.  Ask questions of the people around you, even if you don’t want to hear the answers.  Once you are aware of your impact, you can begin to be able to respond appropriately.  Emotional Intelligence is listening to understand versus listening to respond.  Once you take time to understand the situation or the emotions, you can find the right response, leading to problem solving and relationship building.
  4. Create a plan. So, now you have self-awareness, but today you ate that extra bite, spent too much time on video games or crossed that line with a co-worker.  Everyone has a bad day.  Do not let one small setback ruin your whole plan.  Get back on the track, do not beat yourself up. In interpersonal relationships, recognize when you do need to take ownership and apologize.
  5. Learn to say NO. For some people this comes easy, but for others who have been trained from a young age to be compliant, it is very difficult to say no, even to the smallest requests.  Start by saying no to small requests from people.  There is no reason to explain or apologize – just say no.  You will realize that having this ability to say no is very freeing and reduces a lot of stress in your life once you truly learn how to do it. If no is not easy for you, practice saying things like, “Let me get back to you”, “Or, “Hmm, interesting, let me think about it” or “thank you, I have had enough”.
  6. Get an accountability partner. We all know that accountability drives results. Find someone you can trust and be open and vulnerable with and count on to help you versus judge you. This can be a friend, family member, or co-worker.  It might be someone with the same issues or goals. You will be able to help each other by communicating things that you might be struggling with.  It’s always nice to have someone in your corner.  An accountability partner will be sure to tell you what you need to hear, versus what you want to hear.
  7. Build your willpower. Knowing your “Why” versus simply focusing on the how, will be your guide.  Being mindful of why you want to do something is much more helpful when working towards a goal.  This will help to build up your willpower and have the courage to slowdown and stop unhealthy behaviors.  Many people say they want to lose weight, but often fail, but if an important event like a wedding or class reunion comes up, watch those pounds fall.  For me, it was the doctor trying to put me on medication that changed my eating habits.  Willpower means feeding your mind like you would your body!  Keep positive affirmations and people around you.  Knowing your why helps you see in pictures what can be.  This will help you stay emotionally attached to your goals.

In summary, self-control is a complicated issue. Decide ahead of time what your goal and strategy will be.  Write your plan down and refer to it often.  You could even strategically place signs around your house, to remind you of your goals. Never be afraid to get outside help such as counselling.

Life is short.  Start doing the things you want to do and being the person, you want to be now! Don’t wait for New Years Day for your resolutions, make it today.

You have probably seen videos featuring song parodies featuring pandemic  quarantine response or “stay home, stay safe” orders.   In the 1.5 minute video below, Mary Anne Wihbey-Davis reads her poem “My Favorite Things (work from home version),” which may may you think of the song “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things” from the classic movie The Sound of Music.  For another movie comparison, see her blog post Groundhog Day.

 

DISC Agility EQA lot has been studied and written on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and I bet we all believe, we are okay in that area. I mean, I use my gut for most decisions and reactions and that serves me well, “Most of the time”.  My husband, who many readers know, well, he challenges assumptions and that serves him well, “most of the time”. But that brings up a question, What about the other times? What would our world be like if we really could manage our first choice emotional response, look at something from a different perspective and possibly, not always, make a different choice?

Emotion as defined by Merriam Webster is – a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body. Tied with intelligence means, how smart are you when it comes to managing your emotions and reactions day to day, throughout the day?  Is it possible, we have room to grow and develop in this area and if so, what could it mean for us?

Our newest offering Everything DiSC Agile EQ allows one to recognize his or her natural mindset and how one might naturally approach situations and people. It demonstrates the value of stepping into another mindset with practical strategies as to what it might look like and how to do it.

There are eight different EQ mindsets that you can learn to adopt, depending on the situation and who you are dealing with.  Most people of course gravitate naturally to a couple of those mindsets.  But you could learn the skills to adopt any of them as needed.  You would be a much more successful communicator, both at home and in work situations.  You would recognize the mindsets of the people around you and adapt yours as needed.

For example, if your natural mindsets are “Self-Assured” and “Dynamic”, you would easily know how to relate to someone with the same qualities.  But with Everything DiSC Agile EQ, you will study and learn all of the other types of mindsets.  You may encounter someone who is “Receptive” and “Composed”.  You will learn to recognize those qualities and know how to better interact with them.

After learning about the different mindsets and the connection they have for workers and business, you will begin to stretch those mindsets so that you become comfortable with the ones that don’t come naturally to you.  It takes time, but gradually you will become more and more comfortable doing it. You will find a chart of the eight different mindsets in Agility Unlocked: Revealing the Connection between Agility and Emotional Intelligence (EQ).  Which ones are similar to your personality?

Back to me and my choices. My natural approaches lean right into my DiSC Style, (Influencer at heart).  I lean right into any one of these mindsets without being mindful of the outcome of decisions. I am outgoing and no not a stranger even when someone may want some personal distance. I am Dynamic and want to make things happen NOW versus taking a composed or objective approach. I listen with an Empathizing ear, meaning I am accepting at face value what people say when I should take a more objective or discerning approach. I have countless examples of how the outcomes in my life would be different and better, if in fact, I knew my emotional responses and then could have the ability to step back and make a different choice.  My question to you is, “Do you know your natural mindsets and where could you benefit and find value from choosing a different response?” 

I recently watched the movie “Groundhog Day” again, and if you’re not familiar with that movie, it is about a man (Bill Murray in weatherman role) who keeps waking up to the same exact day as the day before – and it keeps happening until he “gets it right”.

That is when I realized that we are in a kind of “Ground Hog Work Day” existence right now and have been for just short of six months!

We wake up and put on our “daytime pajamas”. The uniform is something that consists of making up the top half of us with a dress shirt and combed hair, and the bottom half, well… sweatpants, shorts and even pajamas for some. And what’s interesting, on our calls, most will admit to not having on shoes or socks, meaning barefoot at work has become a new norm. Instead of walking out the door in a hurry to drive to work, we walk to our makeshift desk/computer set up somewhere in our home and push the ON button and OFF the day goes.

Our situations are vast, as some have children in virtual school, a spouse working from home, babies crying or dogs barking while there are others who are simply alone. Most would agree, our cooking and baking skills have matured and well, for some, the frequency of happy hour has increased.

Our reality has changed! All of the in-person day to day things we took for granted in an office environment have disappeared.  No more water cooler conversations, “drive-by” desk chats or break-room visits.  Gone are the short elevator talks about everything and nothing.  Now if we want to have even the smallest conversation, we schedule it on Zoom or Skype.

Yes, we have gotten to know our co-workers on a more personal level, since we have been able to see fragments of their home life through a webcam lens. We have learned more about our family members as well.  We have never spent this much time together at home!  We are saving money on gas, and possibly taking better care of our plants!

Maybe now that we have learned so much, we can take that knowledge and start a new kind of workday.  A beautiful hybrid called Work/Life Balance.  We always hear the words, but now we know what the potential meaning can be for us.

But if you have not noticed, Groundhog Day is still here – this repetitive day is still happening.  And I’m wondering if we have yet to “get it right”, so let us take what we have learned, and design our day to be fulfilling and finds ways to connect, engage, and thrive.

coffee breakThe blue dot keeps me on track and some of you know what I am referencing. I have tried all kinds of diets, but I finally dropped 25 pounds in a year on Weight Watchers on-line and have kept if off for two years. It is simple, all I have to do is get a blue dot every day.  And now, it would be easy to cancel and save the $19.95 per month but I might get comfortable and slowly see pounds creep up, so I get right back on the plan and work for my blue dot and it gets back on track.  The WW App acts as my weight management accountability partner.

Do you have an accountability partner? Someone you can share your day with, what went well, what worked, what did not work?  Someone to review a proposal with before you hit the send button?  Is there someone to brainstorm creative ways to keep in contact with your clients while they may be still on furlough? Find someone to partner with and will help hold you accountable to your goals.  I challenge you to find someone of “like mind” and set up a buddy system.

Nothing formal is required for your accountability sessions.  It could be text chats, phone calls here and there, virtual meetings, or getting a quick coffee together.  Together we are better is not a new slogan yet it really is true. Be sure you find someone who, like you is a leader and a life long learner. You become who you hang out with, so pick and choose wisely.

For additional sales improvement tips, check out our training options and keep checking this blog.  Happy selling!

Look at your goal for this year. Divide that number by the number of months you have left in the year. Example, If my goal is $100,000 July to December in revenue, then I divide that by 5, I have to generate 20K per month.  Then, outline your prospecting list and identify where you might find this.

You can do so much more if you know and are tracking your ratios.  Consider call to close, proposal to business and you can in some businesses break it down to a daily goal based on the actual number of working days.  Be organized about your prospecting. In other words, Plan your work and then work your plan.

Get some systems in place!  I recommend you look at the calendars offered by Sales Activity Management at SalesActivityManagement.com.   While they market to the insurance industry, they have calendars for everyone. It was this firm that taught me the difference between a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely) Goal and SAMMY Goals. But we all know, if the “why” is missing in SMART.  You will not reach the goal unless you also make your goals SAMMY (Specific, Actionable, Measurable, Motivational and Yours ) style!  If they are not your goals, they are simply an expectation people place on you.

Check back soon for more sales tips!

There is a skill associated with persuasive selling that goes back to the times of Aristotle, Socrates, St. Augustine, Martin Luther King, and built into what the specific wording trial lawyer states to win over a jury. Those that are students of the skill are at the top 20 percent of revenue generation in their organization, generating 80% of the business. These people know there is no such thing as winging it when it comes to selling.

Yesterday, I heard a story of a gentleman who got into a sales opportunity. The position, in the medical field, was made to sound glamorous. He is up against a wall and simply hating the business, now hating sales and all his management is doing is telling him, “Get out there and do more”.  Why on earth would this organization even consider letting him waste good sales opportunities without giving him the skills he needs and set him up for success?

This reminds me of some multi-level marketing companies that tell me, we do not call our team “Salespeople.” Instead they are considered Independent Business Owners and the organization brings in leadership training and get them listening to Leadership gurus. Do not get me wrong – if you are going to build a team, you have to lead.  How can they be successful if they cannot sell people on the opportunity?

I am always wary of the call, “I am starting a new business, I want your advice” as so often that is the hook for the bait and switch. Yes, I am a magnet and an ideal prospect for multi-level marketing. Please know, I support multi-level marketing, I refer people for products and careers to those that might be a fit for the individual, my point is simply, we have to give people the skill of moving to the next best activity in the process and the sale will come when the time and the fit is right!

Use this time to sharpen your sales skills.  Reading articles, case studies, and my book (see giveaway in previous post) is a start. To Sell is Human by Dan Pink is another great one.  Three Value Conversations (multiple authors) really helps you with the large account sale.  Do not forget the old classics like The Greatest Salesman in the World and Think and Grow Rich.

PuzzleBlink and before you know it, I is a new month. I went from puzzles, baking and cooking while slipping in a few hours of work here and there maintaining contact with friends and clients to waking up with a packed schedule. As we approach July, traffic is beginning to form during rush hours, restaurants are getting full; business is coming back to life.  Now, with that said, is my business all income generating? No. It’s the result of harvesting a few hours a day through the shutdown and now having those business talks, writing proposals, demonstrating new seminars for free and more.

The point here is, whether you are ready or not, the time is here to prepare to make your quotas, not lower them in the final quarter. If you are an entrepreneur or in sales, it is time to get ready because you cannot afford to miss one opportunity.

In the next few posts, I will provide details on these three tips for winning every sales opportunity:

  1. There is no such thing as winging it.
  2. Meeting quotas requires planning.
  3. Accountability is your friend.

For a free e-copy of my book The Sales Messenger, contact me immediately, as I am giving them away for a limited time only.

As we pointed out in the post “How Managers Can Close the Engagement Gap with Employees,” there are five conditions to stronger employee experience.  In this post, we will discuss how PXT Select hiring and placement assessments can help management close the engagement gap with their employees.  This is done mainly with performance models  and PXT Select reports.

  1. Meaningful work:  PXT Select measures 20 traits, its performance model pages help you to determine person-to-job fit using skills and talents not only for the current job, but for future career planning as well.   Matching the employee to the job assignment helps the employee be successful and makes them want to stay longer.  PXT Performance Models define the styles and traits necessary for each job so candidates can be better matched to functions where they will fit best.
  2. Hands-on management: PXT Select provides information on employee-to-manager fit using management reports that provide summary data and trait scales for reflection, in order to leverage employee strengths.
  3. Positive work environment: For team work environments, PXT Select can provide insights on employee-to-team fit with the Team report. Utilizing PXT Select helps organizations build teams that achieve results.
  4. Growth opportunities: PXT Select indicates person-to-culture fit for the organization’s environment so succession planning and career growth are possible. The Coaching report is helpful in planning advancement and future roles, which will require more skills as well as a person-to-culture fit.
  5. Trust in leadership: PXT Select allows organizations to support the development of leadership skills within teams and individuals by focusing on the development of 6 critical leadership skills. These skills are outlined in the PXT Leadership Report as:  create a vision, develop strategies, ensure results, inspire people, be approachable, and mentoring others.

Using PXT Select to close the gap between management and staff will build a stronger employee experience and increases employee engagement.  The result will be higher productivity that exceeds expectations.

If you are interested in finding out more about how PXT Select can help you, please contact us.  We also offer The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and Everything DiSC behavioral assessments and training.

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