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.

Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” 2017 survey showed only 30% of employees are engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.  In most organizations, that means less than a third of their employees are actively engaged in the job they do. Signs of an employee who is disengaged include:  lack motivation, does not take part even in fun company activities or celebrations, often silent, not enthusiastic about learning new things, or growing their career within the company. How can you motivate your employees and increase engagement?

Employee experience drives engagement and productivity.  Yours and their good intentions have to be transferred into behavior which leads to action.  To change behavior and close the engagement gap, it is important to understand the five conditions that lead to stronger employee experiences in these turbulent economic times.  Managers must provide employees with the following:

  1. Meaningful work: First, make sure you have a good talent and skills fit for their current role. Give them the independence and necessary tools to do their work. Share opportunities for individual empowerment and working in teams.  Allow time for creativity and necessary rest.  You may also want to review How PXT Select Can Help Managers Close the Engagement Gap.
  2. Hands-on management: Set clear goals and guidelines for activities. Acknowledge their accomplishments and offer coaching as needed. For ideas, see 5 Tips for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce and 5 Simple Tips to Managing a Successful Team.
  3. Positive work environment: Leverage their strengths and consider flexibility on their work schedule and place. The work culture should be inclusive and diverse.
  4. Growth opportunities: Have various training and support options available (this is especially key during work-from-home situations) that increases: skills, job flexibility, and career mobility.
  5. Trust in their leadership: Create mission and purpose for company and staff. Embrace leadership development; proved inspiration and motivation through positive and transparent communication. You may also review 10 Tips for Preventing Isolation in Your Remote Workforce.

For more about the issue of employee disengagement and the five conditions to engagement, read case studies in Mending the Engagement Gap: Driving Organizational Success through Employee Engagement.

Roy Davis and Mary Anne Wihbey Davis

Mary Anne and Roy Davis celebrating award

Wiley announced that Dallas-based business Davis Success Solutions is a 2019 Diamond Award winning partner for Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®. This achievement is in recognition of the company’s continued commitment to improving organizational culture and teamwork.  Typically, this award is announced and given during the April MindLab Conference.  Due to current circumstances, the conference is rescheduled for October 2020 and award winners were notified in advance.


“We are proud to partner with Davis Success Solutions in their mission to enrich people’s lives by building better workplaces and high-functioning, cohesive teams,” says Susie Kukkonen, Vice President of Channels at Wiley. “We are honored to have them as an Authorized Partner.”


This is the fifth time the Davis Success Solutions has won the Diamond-level award.  The Diamond designation recognizes the Roy Davis’ commitment to building better workplaces with the help of Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® proven workplace assessment-driven solutions from Wiley.


Davis Success SolutionsAbout Davis Success Solutions
Davis Success Solutions (DavisSuccessSolutions.com) is committed to providing professional training solutions and resources with outstanding support. The company focus is delivering workplace performance improvements that align with the professional development goals of organizations and individuals. It has been that way since the beginning of Davis Success Solutions in 2004.  With his extensive management and training experience in various industries and professions, Roy Davis has a proven track record of helping organizations improve communication, processes, productivity and ultimately their profitability and efficiency.  Owner and president of Davis Success Solutions, Roy has almost fifteen years of experience using DiSC®-based tools. Roy Davis, in collaboration with his wife Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis of Peak Performance Solutions, deliver client-focused solutions and engaging training to their customers throughout the United States and internationally.  Both are certified Everything DiSC® training facilitators and accredited facilitators for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®.


Roy Davis says, “I find my partnership with Wiley is an increasing factor in my business success.  Offering Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® training programs and profiles has been of great benefit to my customers as well. I look forward to similar success with the PXT Select® hiring and placement tool. I am proud to receive the Diamond award for three years straight [2017-2019] and for a total of five times.”


Peak Performance SolutionsAbout Peak Performance Solutions

Peak Performance Solutions (PeakPerformanceSolutions.com) is committed to “moving individuals to action” through training and advanced learning. Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis is president and owner of Peak Performance Solutions.  She is an internationally recognized sales and management consultant and trainer.  Her company provides multiple business training and coaching options for her clients, including customized workshops.  Mary Anne is also the author of “The Sales Messenger: 10 Lessons for Sales Success in Your Business and Personal Lives,” which went into a third printing in 2018.


Mary Anne added, “Coordinating with Davis Success Solutions on Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® has allowed me to offer even more options to my client base.  Participating with Roy in the MindLab conferences and associated awards program, along with receiving Wiley certifications, have taken my company to a different level from when it was started in 1994.”


About Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors®

Everything DiscEverything DiSC is the leading suite of DiSC®-based workplace training and assessment solutions. These advanced applications combine online assessment, classroom facilitation, and post-training follow-up to create powerful, personalized workplace development experiences. With a global network of independent Partners, Everything DiSC solutions are used in thousands of organizations, including major government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.


The Five Behaviors of a TeamThe Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is the result of the partnership between Wiley Workplace Learning Solutions and Patrick Lencioni, author of The New York Times best-selling book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. This team development program improves team effectiveness and productivity through the understanding and application of The Five Behaviors: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. This unique learning experience helps individuals and teams build effective work culture through communication and collaboration.

It is important for proper employee placement and as a tool for feedback to have performance models for the job titles within an organization.  Many organizations do this by staring with the job classifications they feel are most important to their organization or for their key functions at the management level.  Afterwards, they will continue down through all the job titles within the company.

There are many methods to build an organization’s performance model.  You can use a lot of time trying to find the best solution, which might include:  trial and error, pricey consultant.  or even create your own models with your Human Resource (HR) department.  You can go through several months and lots of dollars only to find out that your selected approach may not meet your expectations or fit your specific needs.

You may know PXT Select as a hiring and placement tool with a variety of useful HR and manager reports.   Did you know the tool is based on job performance models?  The advantage of PXT Select reports are how they show the candidates results against your performance model and provide potential questions for interviewers.  With PXT Select, you have three possible methods to build performance models for your organization.  PXT authorized partners can help you build a model by:

  1. Replicating your top performers by using your existing job descriptions, tasks and skills lists
  2. Helping you to create custom models built especially for you via PXT consulting
  3. Utilizing their existing PXT Select performance model library of general job specific data

If you are interested in building or updating your job performance models, please contact us.  We are a PXT Select authorized partner.

Telecommuting Remote Worker Working from home and telecommuting has a whole new meaning today.  Leaders need to be aware of the issues their employees face when working alone.  These issues are more than which technologies are the best to use.  There are feelings of isolation and loss in belonging to a group or a purpose.  Below are ten tips for leadership to prevent feelings of isolation in your workforce that is working remotely from home or others locations.

10 Tips for Preventing Isolation for Your Remote Workforce:

  1. Set Them Up for Remote Success.  While you may have sent your employee home with a laptop, camera and microphone, some people are more hesitant of new technologies. Have some “dry runs” or create a fun interaction and let the team members play with the tools.  Take the lead with your IT Department or application provider and get some tips and tricks for keeping information safe.  Show them how to: access/store documents on your secure server or cloud storage for shared or team documents.  Encourage them to reach out to team members using text, chat, instant message, phone, or electronic meeting tools for communication.   Leverage some of the many tools and technologies that are available like the various forms of virtual meeting for sharing ideas.
  1. Communicate with your Remote Employees on a Regular Basis.  You can simply call or email team members, but if you are looking to maintain engagement, take the time to do web-based video sessions. It is only a couple of extra steps to have one-on-one individual meetings or virtual meetings for your intact team members.  Encourage all your team members to make the extra effort to connect by phone and video. Working remotely can be quite isolating and all team members need to feel part of something.  Real-time phone and video captures what the chat, IM and texting cannot. Even the most extreme introverts will begin to feel isolated an lonely without the human interactions for too long.
  1. Manage with Realistic Goals and Timelines.  Being extra specific on what your expectations and timelines are will pay off in a big way for all involved. Be sure you agree on how to “urgent” items and provide true deadlines with milestones to reach along the way.  Consider color coding tasks and priorities assigned to reflect those things you need now versus later. The more they understand the expectations of tasks and timelines, the more successful they will be at meeting them. You need to realize that many have their hands full with the challenges of managing a family and a job.
  1. Provide Performance Coaching and Feedback.  While we are all busy scrambling to get our business in order along with managing competing priorities, do not forget to regularly coach your employees and give them constant feedback. This means employees need clear expectations. Find out what is keeping them from meeting their targets and see how you can provide guidance or resources to help them.  If providing critical feedback, be sure they are in a place to actively listen without others overhearing or interruptions. When it comes to your employees meeting targets, use PTC when they: exceed them – Praise them, meet them – Thank them sincerely, miss them – Coach them on their performance.
  1. Create Opportunities for Team Engagement.  As the team’s leader, you need to schedule time for you and your team members to connect with each other. Even though they are not physically seeing each other every day, there is no reason you cannot create a feeling of comradery. Consider doing a short lunch and learn, or a team building activity or even a group break using a virtual platform. Let them have a forum to share what is making them smile and also their challenges and fears. Some organizations are doing virtual events like: interactive happy hours, virtual cooking classes, and Everything DiSC learning sessions.   You might consider seeing if you could find a local charity or outreach to sponsor.
  1. Be Results-Focused – No Micro-Managing.  Assuming you have communicated expectations clearly, then the focus can shift to looking for accomplishments and results. Being overly concerned about every task being done and how every hour of the day is spent will make everyone more than a little crazy. Trust them to do what is needed to achieve the goals and if they are not, then a different conversation can take place. It is a new world and you will see many have to manage tasks on their own timeline, meaning, they may be having to spend more time with children in the day, but will give you a 150% in the evening or early morning.
  1. Strategically Communicate with the Individual.  While you lead and manage your remote team members, create a strategy and guidelines for when and how you will connect with them for reports, updates, etc. Remember, your team members have different communication styles and preferences. Adapt to their style as much as possible for the best results.
  1. Encourage Stepping up to the Plate.  As a leader, it is important to ask team members who are in a position to help, to step up to the plate to help their fellow co-workers who are struggling to manage family issues at home while trying to work.  Challenges will arise for your remote employees, so fell free to ask team members, who may not have as much personal responsibility, to reach out to co-workers and see if there are any tasks they can take off their plate to relieve stress and reduce feeling of isolation.
  1. Provide Management Consistency.  Although as a leader may want to let the employee decide how to work, you might provide guidelines as to use of company technology for personal use, work-time policy, and confidentiality.  Your HR department or consultant can provide you some best practices that you could share. This will avoid confusion between team members who have their own ideas as to what they should and should not be doing while working remotely.  Some may need time management tips for telecommuting as well as the technology training.
  1. Support Their Needs, Professional and Personal.  When we work in a physical space daily, we get to know those on the team beyond a professional level. We learn about their families, personal values and beliefs, as well as their own personal history. Take the time to be intentional about deepening the relationships you have with your employees as well, to help create a sense of belonging and community for them.  Simply said, make them feel valued by checking in on them.  Be prepared, many will have more on their plate than you knew, listen – really listen.  If necessary, give them the guidance or the employee assistance they may need.

Using the ten tips make it easier for leaders help their employees overcome the feeling of isolation when working alone at home or other remote locations.  Knowing that their leadership cares, about both the professional and personal issues of telecommuting, will encourage a sense of belonging and instill more purpose into their work done from home.

Leaderhip Books On this blog, I have recommended reading for success and given book suggestions. Reading books has worked well for me and has helped others. Many great leaders today and in history have said that they took time to read books. Books not only take you on adventures, they can improve your mind by helping you develop personally and professionally, Reading can help leaders become not only intelligently and technically smarter, they will gain emotionally and empathetically too. Through books, you can see things from a different viewpoint, get new ideas, and increase your knowledge.

“Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

According to The American Institute of CPAs, reading can help you get ahead. Reading expands you vocabulary and increase your ability to communicate. Reading also reduces stress, enhances creativity, and increase focus. So why not read more?

“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”
– Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

According to the job posting site Monster, reading is good for your career development. Books make you smarter, improve your writing skills, and enhance your analytical skills. So why not pick up a book today?

“Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
– Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

The quotes from great business leaders above should be enough to convince you if you want to be a great leader then you need to take time to read books. If not, then read Popular Science article on how reading is good for the brain. As we noted above, books increase your knowledge, Knowledge is definitely a competitive advantage. So get reading this year to improve yourself and your business!

Below is a video explaining the what and why you may want to implement PXT Select assessment in your Human Resources selection process.  For more information on this assessment, read Use PXT Select for better hiring decisions and Manage Easy with PXT Select Reports.  Or contact Peak Performance Solutions, an authorized partner for PXT Select.

It’s here! Since 2015 our team leaders have been asking for a way to drive the Cohesive Behaviors through their organizations.  Well, it’s finally here. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Teams now comes in the original team version whereby, the Team scores how they feel the interactions are collectively as compared to the behavior.  Now, we have the  new Personal Development option allowing the team member to rate themselves and learn in a team setting how to foster the cohesive behaviors together.  Both versions include behavior profiles, reports, and training.  Below are an image and a brief list of the gains from the team and personal development options.

Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Models

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Models

Team Development is for organizations trying to change team behavior in specific new or intact work teams.  In other words, you want to move the needle on objective data.

Personal Development helps identify tendencies and preferences related to each construct.  It is used to overcome barriers related to each construct so individuals can be more successful on teams.

  • Increase awareness of individual role and effect on dynamics of cohesive team model
  • Expand desired behaviors throughout the organization, whether or not utilizing teams
  • Empower an organizational culture of teamwork and collaboration


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