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Unpaid Consulting

Unpaid Consulting

Have you ever had someone give you a sales pitch on something you clearly had no need for or no interest in? You stopped listening and began to think of the excuses you would use just to get out! Sound familiar?

Presentation of a detailed solution without first clearly understanding the problem and more importantly the ramifications of the identified problem is a recipe for objections and excuses. It leads to wasted time, energy and a drain on self-esteem. Excuses from prospects create overloaded pipelines which in turn creates a complacency in your sales people with regard to new business development.

The typical traditional salesperson spends his or her career wasting their time pitching, presenting and demonstrating towards surface issues, or problems that their prospect has been managing to date. The premature sales pitch is then followed by the handling of objections, which are often excuses and reasons for not making a decision. After all, would you make a buying decision regarding an issue that in your own mind is not essential or critical, in particular when your budget is tight?

Unpaid consulting starts when sales people cross the line between diagnosing the prospect’s problem and detailing the solution. In other words the sales person provides a solution without first uncovering the negative effects the prospect suffered in the past and future negative effects the prospect will incur if the problem isn’t fixed.

This eagerness to provide premature solutions can be attributed to the traditional sales training provided by most companies to new sales recruits: Feature-Benefit based training. Therefore, unknowingly companies put their sales people in a position where they automatically try to fix a problem the prospect has not yet concluded requires a fee based solution.

When sales people begin to present detailed solutions, without first allowing the prospect to acknowledge a problem exists, and that this problem merits a solution they immediately begin acting as unpaid consultants. It is this common sales method that wastes your company’s time and money and reduces your opportunity for growth.

Self- Esteem and Self-Acceptance

Self- Esteem and Self-Acceptance

High self-esteem is a desirable quality, but you can’t have it without self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance is an absolutely essential component of having high self-esteem, but what does self-acceptance mean? Some people think accepting yourself just as you are means that you condone or are proud of your faults – but that is a mistaken idea. You see, to “accept” means to experience the full reality of, without denial or avoidance. I can accept the reality of things about myself that I don’t like or condone at all.

For example, suppose I’m feeling envious of my friend who has a better job. If I accept myself, I can allow myself to acknowledge this envious feeling and take the time to examine and think about it. As I do this, I’m not concerned with judging it as bad or weak, but I am concerned with being aware. Perhaps my awareness will show me that I’ve wanted something more than I knew, and I’ll need to think about that too.

You see, you can’t grow out of your unwanted feelings if you’re not aware that you have them, and if you judge your feelings as bad or weak you’ll be inclined to push them down into your subconscious where they’ll express themselves in ways you can’t control.

So the next time you find yourself thinking something you feel guilty about, try practicing awareness and self-acceptance. This means refusing to be in an adversarial relationship with yourself. It’s one of the basic building blocks of self-esteem.

Lou Tice

Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter Parenting

We all want our children to be safe and happy, but is there such a thing as too much safety, too much protection?

Raising children is an exciting process, but sometimes it can seem a little too exciting, especially when you have to call the plumber to get your kid’s hand unstuck from the toilet! It is quite the balancing act, and it takes a lot of nerve and devotion on the part of parents.

How much should parents do to keep their kids safe, and how much protection is too much? There is a fine line between mothering and smothering, between fathering and bothering. Overprotective parents, in their desire to save life, may suppress it instead, as they project their own fears onto their children. However, what they are really doing is protecting their own comfort.

Too many adults go through life afraid of all sorts of things – dogs, heights, meeting new people, going barefoot, riding horses, you name it – because of repeated fear messages and warnings given them by overprotective parents when they were small. Don’t get me wrong, there are palpable dangers “out there,” and it is smart to be wary. The question is, do we really need to be “helicopter” parents, always hovering over our children?

Teach your kids to be cautious when it’s necessary. But also teach them to risk, to live and laugh and test their own limits. Be there with a guiding hand and an encouraging word, and be ready to haul them away from real danger. Be mindful that you don’t squelch their spirits in your quest to keep them from harm.

If you can teach them how to take calculated risks and really live life fully as children, you will be giving them a wonderful blessing that will serve them well as adults.

Managers, how many times do we do this with our employees?

The Daffodil Principle

The Daffodil Principle

“It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

‘Who did this?’ I asked.

‘Just one woman,’ she answered. ‘She lives on the property. That’s her home.’ She pointed to a well-kept house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. ‘ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU ARE ASKING’ was the headline. The first answer was a simple one – ‘50,000 BULBS’ it read. The second answer was, ‘ONE AT A TIME, BY ONE WOMAN. TWO HANDS, TWO FEET, AND ONE TINY LITTLE BRAIN’. The third answer was ‘BEGAN IN 1958’.

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman, whom I had never met, who, more than 40 years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.”

“That is – learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

‘It makes me sad in a way,’ I admitted. ‘What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years?

Just think what I might have been able to achieve!’

She summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. ‘Start tomorrow,’ she said.

She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, ‘How can I put this to use today?’

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting –

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until the kids go to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 pounds
Until you gain 10 pounds
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die.

**Did you notice it makes the shape of a vase?? I noticed that when I copied it over. It’s a vase for your daffodil.

There is no better time to start than right now.

Don’t be afraid that your life will end.

Be afraid that it will never begin.

Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Stretching Your Comfort Zone

How big is your comfort zone? Is it growing or shrinking? All of us live inside an area I call a comfort zone. It’s the imaginary space containing all the activities we have done often enough to feel comfortable about. It also contains our ideas about where we belong, how we should live, what we do socially, and so on.

You can visualize this zone of comfort as a circle, if you like, but the wall of that circle is not really there to protect us. It is made of fear and self-imposed limitations. We like to believe that the wall keeps us safe, but perhaps you’ve noticed that it doesn’t work that way.

What it keeps us from, in truth, is getting all the things we want most. If we are willing to venture outside of it often enough, we overcome our fear and our zone of comfort expands. Not only that, when we expand our comfort zone in one area, it automatically expands in others, as well. However, if we give in to our fears, that zone contracts. For some poor folks, their comfort zone is just about the size of their apartment. There they sit, making up reasons why it’s better for them to stay put, convincing themselves they are better off.

So, what’s the answer? Get up, get moving, and conquer your fears by doing what you need to do. Being ruled by fear is not living safely. In fact, it’s not living at all.

Stop March Madness

Stop March Madness

It’s that time again, everyone is busy filling out their NCAA brackets and the country has basketball fever. Of course, when I say “Stop March Madness” I don’t mean the NCAA tournament. I love that.

I mean the madness of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It usually kicks in about now as the first quarter winds up and you are wondering why you are at the same or slightly below last year’s numbers.

What usually happens is that you decide to crank it up a notch and do more of the same habits that have led you to this point in the first place. We call that the gerbil wheel.

If you believe that there might be a better way, then we need to talk. I help people create real positive change in themselves and their organizations. It doesn’t come easy, but it is possible.

Imagine for a second what your life and job would be like if you worked smarter and not harder. If you broke the rules and increased your results while decreasing your physical effort. Imagine what it would feel like to live on “goal time” and not “clock time.” What that means is that if you have hit your numbers and goals for the week, then call it a job well done and go watch some basketball. Instead of staring at the clock and pushing papers and reading emails until 5pm, go out and enjoyed your life.

Do you still believe that is possible? Give me a call and we can talk about how to make those goals, or any for that matter, a reality in your life. It is possible and we have done it for thousands of companies in over 30 countries. Check us out at www.effectivesales.net, call 816-505-2500 or email [email protected].

If you don’t believe that you can do any better or that you have to work harder to get more done, then quit reading and get back to work. We’ll see you in front of the TV for the second half of the late game…