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The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Pyramid

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive team program includes reports to help the team improve along the Five Behaviors model (Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results).  Below is a list of the reports.  Feel free to contact us for a sample report or to get you team started on this model.

  • Team Comparison Report is the initial report after all team members complete their profiles.  This report shows the team where they are on the Five Behaviors model on a scale of low, medium, high colored like a traffic light (Green=Go/Good, Yellow=Caution/Review to Improve, Red=Stop!/Work on It is Necessary) based on summarizing the individual member’s overall scoring on profiles.  The summary is followed by information in each area that includes:  averages, details and how personal DiSC style may affect the team’s progress, discussion questions for the team, and action worksheets for the team’s use to create improvement plans as needed.
  • Team Progress Report is an optional follow-up report that teams, leaders, or facilitators may use quarterly or semi-annually to see how team is improving along the Five Behaviors model.  It is a great way for teams to see how they are getting better and what they need to do to continue to grow as a team.  Find out more in previous post introducing this feature.
  • Annotated Team Report is used by a team-building session facilitator.  This report is a copy of the team profile/comparison report that includes additional aids for facilitation.  The extras include: expanded explanation of profile content, scoring interpretation, resources for additional information, and indicators of personalized/tailored content.  In addition, an appendix includes a ranking of all assessment items by team average and the team’s percentile for each of the Five Behaviors. Find out about facilitator accreditation in flyer on our website.
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I have shared the role of the Sales Coach before.  I want to go a little deeper this time and talk about how coaching directly affects your sales team’s effectiveness.  This is important because as you know, their effectiveness in- the-field and on-the-phone affects your company’s bottom line.

Coaching is about tactics and blocking.  It is the strategic part of the experience.  Coaching is about the ability to build rapport, trust, guide and influence.  It is about knowing the plays (sales process steps)  that will get you to the end (successful close).

In sales, it is also about setting conversational boundaries – what to say, what not to say.  There needs to be focus and a purpose to the words you and your team use.  They should sound like music to the customer’s ears when they hear them.   That is both the strategic plan for every encounter and the tactical skills to move the conversation forward.

Your role in the coaching process is to be sure all sales and customer service representative are armed with the skills, tools and confidence that keep conversations moving forward, while creating an ideal customer experience that will  keep both customers and employees for a lifetime. If they miss sales, you need to let them know if and what they might have done differently or better.  If there was not a better way, than congratulate them on a sale conversation well done.

You should always be coaching your team.  If you are at a loss for how to do so, start by asking these six simple questions of yourself?  Then try asking them individually with each member of your team by changing the “I” to “WE”.

  1. How do I create the ideal customer experience?
  2. Do I get the answers to the questions I might need to be viewed as a problem solver by the customer?
  3. Do I answer the customer’s questions to their satisfaction?
  4. What will it take to get everyone on same page?
  5. Am (Are) I doing what it takes to get mastery of the sales language?
  6. What are the gaps and what actions and behaviors can I personally influence?

So are you being a leader, manager, or coach?  If you do not utilize these coaching techniques, you may be viewed as a micro manager.  The worst thing that will happen if you do not coach your team – you will not have people who can get and keep the customers buying.  The next worst thing, you may lose some great talent on your team if they do not feel they are being helped to reach their full potential.

 

The Ideal Team Player Model

The Ideal Team Player Model

In other posts, I have talked about the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team based on the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.  This time I want to share three key characteristics to make sure you are hiring great team members from his book The Ideal Team Player.  You might ask “Why does Lencioni have two different books to deliver a full message on team building?”  It is fairly simple, if you want cohesive teams that have trust, show commitment, work through conflict, understand accountability, and deliver resultsyou need to hire and keep the right people.

To hire the right people for your teams, you need to look for people who are humble, hungry, and smart.  To keep the right people on your teams, you need to continually monitor existing employees against  those three team player characteristics to make sure they still fit into your team culture.  We need to take a closer look at what Lencioni means by humble, hungry, and smart to better understand why we need to hire for and monitor against these traits.

Humble should be a requirement of any team player!  These people like working in a team, sharing credit with others, and defining success as group accomplishment.  Self-centered, ego-driven, or politics-playing individuals will not fit into a team well.  So look for “we” instead of “I” when they talk.

Hungry people are always looking to do more, take on responsibilities, or learn more.  These people are self-motivated, diligent, and require little supervision.  Ask questions about projects they have been on and how they have handled problems,  you should be able to gauge hunger by the way they have handled situations in the past.

Smart is not mental intelligence or skill sets (IQ), it is about people (more along the lines of EQ) and social skills.   This is not touchy-feely stuff.  It is about using common sense when working with and talking to other people.  Ask questions about how they work with others and you should see enthusiasm in their responses.

In Lencioni’s model, you can see that it is easy to be fooled when looking at any one characteristic too strongly.  Lencioni examples are Humble=Pawn, Hungry=Bulldozer, or Smart=Charmer.  Even settling for a combination of two characteristics can be bad.  Lencioni examples are Humble+Hungry=Accidental Mess-maker,  Hungry+Smart=Skillful Politician, or Smart +Humble=Lovable Slacker.  You want is someone that falls in the middle of the model.  This way they truly will have all three characteristics: humble, hungry, and smart.

MarketingMarketing and sales are crucial to the success of any entrepreneur. Whether you have a real estate practice, a contracting service company, or you are a franchise owner, knowing a few good marketing tips can take you from good to great as you set your plan for the next business year.

Over the years, I have had so many people say, “Mary Anne, I get great evaluations in my training and I want to go out on my own.” Or I hear the statement, “I don’t know how you do it, it is such a risk to be self-employed.”

I have been self-employed for all but three years of my multi-year career and I have never felt like I was taking too big of a risk, because I figured out a few key things early on. It’s not your evaluations or even your product that determine your success. I have seen many people with great ideas and an excellent product/service struggle significantly or fail entirely, simply because they never learned how to correctly market themselves or their business. So here are five tips you can employ now to help you survive and thrive in this competitive world:

1. Know your target demographics.  Ask yourself these demographic questions and then pay attention to your answers so you can target appropriately.

  • Who are the actual people who would benefit from your product or service?
  • What geographic area do they reside in (and how far do you want to go to serve them)?
  • What do they value most and how can your product or services meet their needs?

2. Keep your friends close and your competitors closer.  It is important to know your competitors and set yourself apart from them. You need to be able to give unique and realistic reasons why customers would want to work with you instead of the competition without ever knocking the competition.

3. Create content that fosters emotional engagement.  There should be an impactful connection between what you offer and what your customers need. Rather than leading with the sale, focus on engaging customers on their journey to success.  Create a lasting emotional connection that will nurture them towards the point of sale. Your message should be short and sweet. It should encompass their needs instead of being a story about you. Use a transition such as, “We offer a service that will [state the values and what it can do for them].”

  • Example: “We offer a service that will build the confidence of your team members, increase your customer satisfaction and reduce the stress of our managers through our proven training.”

4. Create short compelling videos. If you want to connect with your audience, your greatest impact is through video. It creates rapport by giving your viewers a sense of who you are. Viewers are able to feel like they know you, like you and even trust you before ever having a conversation with you.  People are beginning to use videos not only to educate, promote and inform, but to post casually and answer questions on social media platforms.

It is clear that the world is increasingly going visual in its engagement with content in the social world. Taking a visual-first approach unleashes the potential for engagement across all social networks. – Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social

5. Connect via social media. Social media platforms are the perfect place to tell your story, share your lifestyle, and market your business/self.  Instead of just contributing to the constant noise and chaos, allow your social media platforms to work for you. Develop a strategy that promotes you and your brand, without being overtly salesy. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter change rapidly, so it is important to keep up with key changes and adopt practices that work best for you and best represent your brand. Use a portion of your marketing budget to have social media influencers promote your product and services. This will open the door for potential customers you would not otherwise reach.

Five simple tips; no magic tricks and no secrets revealed. It will take discipline and hard work.  When you begin utilizing the tools that are already out there for you, letting them work for you, and implementing these tips in the right way – you will see massive growth in your business.

 

 

Every sales representative occasionally feels like they may have missed a sale because they did not close the sale.  If this happens, remember it does not mean you no longer have a chance. You see, the term “Kill them with Kindness “ has its place in sales. Keep the communication lines open and continue to move the conversation forward to create a great customer experience with your company and yourself.

By moving a conversation forward, even if you don’t get the deal, you might:

  • Keep a customer you were at risk of losing
  • Get missing personal information so you can market to them later
  • Generate a referral for future business clients
  • Create positive conversation about your company
  • Plant a seed in the prospect’s mind for a future sale

 

When I lead training workshops, I provide a recommended reading list.  Why? Because we know that readers are leaders at all levels of an organization.  There is even new research showing that one’s success can be equated to their reading level.

A must read, and often built into our Leadership Excellence and Management Workshops is a classic, Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.  While the book is loaded with fundamental tips, for leaders and managers at all levels, the final chapter sets the stage for continued growth and professional development. In this book, Tony, the coach talks about the difference between the comfort zone and the learning zone.

I thought it would be an appropriate topic for beginning a new year. So let me ask, are you in a comfort zone or a learning zone? Are you moving forward or remaining stagnant? Is the way you have always done it, going to keep you and your organization in the front of the market? In the book the parts of the learning zone are presented as three rooms.

3 Rooms in the Learning Zone:

  1. Reading Room where “You learn more by reading more… the more you learn, the more you earn.”  Did you know that if you read from a business book for 10 minutes each day, you might read 12 books in a year?
  2. Listening Room where you gain knowledge by listening to employees and co-workers.  Attending conferences and seminars, or listening to audio books is another way to learn. Did you know the average person spend 500 hours a year in their car?
  3. Giving Room is where you share the knowledge you gain with others.  “The more you teach, the more accountable you become to what you’re teaching.”

As you looked through the rooms, where do you stand?

I am no one to judge, while an avid non-fiction reader, 2017 was my year to coast. I am being vulnerable here, as I bought many “must read” business books. But somewhere along the way, I got hold of a Vince Flynn novel, the Mitch Rapp series, I could not put them down. While waiting for the next last one to come off the press, I got hooked on Daniel Silva and went through the entire Gabriel Allon series! That was a lot of reading, great entertainment but did it move my goals forward, or, the authors? I have set some learning goals for 2018. I hope you will join me.

In the final chapter of Monday Morning Leadership , the coach also shares common reason people do not set goals.

4 Reasons People do not Set Goals

  1. They do not understand the importance of goal-setting.
  2. They do not know how to set good goals.
  3. They are afraid of failing to meet the goals.
  4. Achieving goals might require them to leave their comfort zone.

Remember, from this book one of the wisdom quotes is “For you to be the very best, you cannot allow yourself to become complacent in your comfort zone.  You need to be reaching for improvement.”  Complacency is the enemy of Success. Although the book is designed for leaders, the principles are applicable to all.

 

For many entrepreneurs making the sale or closing the deal can be intimidating and at times seem like an impossible task. We want to show confidence in our product, services and abilities, but we do not want to be the “always pitching”, “cheesy”, “salesy” person that we have all had the unfortunate experience of dealing with from time to time.  In my experience, the most effective way to make the sale is to drop the “sales” attitude and be authentic. My posture towards potential clients is not that I sell products and services, it is that I solve problems and know how to meet their needs. When you can explain the benefits, the sale happens naturally.

Here are four simple tips to keep in mind as you adjust your sales attitude for the upcoming year.

  1. Dust off the telephone and start making calls. Social media and other modern technology tools are highly effective ways to prospect, promote, and advertise.  The telephone is still the most powerful tool in your kit. Prospects today receive fewer calls than ever before, which is why utilizing the telephone in the right way will catapult your sales.  So planning your calls ahead of time is a must! Set aside enough time to get into a rhythm and make sure that your conversations do not seem rushed. Know your objective and make clear the purpose of your call. One of the most common mistakes people make is by trying to contact their prospects between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm. It is better to call them earlier or later than the traditional office hours. Most of the important prospects are frequently in the office early and stay late, so you have a better chance of catching them and avoiding the “gatekeepers” of you call before 8:30am or after 5:30pm.
  2. You do not have to stick to the script. While it is great to have a script to keep yourself on track and make sure you cover the main talking points, sticking to the script can do more harm than good if it is generic and sounds just like everyone else’s sales pitch. Make sure that your script is client focused and that you are only referencing it for key information.
  3. Focus on their need. The majority of clients and prospects care less about what your product or service is and more about how it solves their problems and alleviates frustrations. Ask your prospects what challenges they are facing and really listen to their response. Follow up with questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. Then offer solutions by explaining how your product or service will benefit them, meet their need or solve their problem. When you know their needs, you can focus on them. People do not buy products, they invest in solutions.
  4. Close with choices. Rather than asking them “Is that something you are interested in?” or “Does that sound good to you?” – give your prospect a few choices. For example, when I am presenting a DiSC Workshop to a team, I ask if they would prefer a half day or a whole day or training. Or I ask if they would prefer meeting on-site or scheduling something off-site. I am much more likely to seal the deal using this approach, because in a subtle way, they have already committed.
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