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Articles and Write up / 6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer
« on: September 17, 2014, 05:28:40 PM »
6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer

This is a hot topic because it happens a lot. Buyers take advantage of salespeople.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with a number of buying departments, many times as part of the sales training I’m doing for their salespeople.

There are six confessions professional buyers have shared with me regarding how they take advantage of salespeople:

1. “My goal is to always keep the face-to-face meetings short.”

Keeping meetings short helps keep the salesperson guessing, and when they start guessing, they tend to offer better deals. Just as the salesperson is about to leave the office, I always make one more quick request to test them and to put even more doubt about me in their mind.

2. “Making demands via voicemail is a great way to get more from the salesperson.”

Making demands using voicemail prevents the salesperson from trying to counter the demand. By not putting it in writing, it also allows for last minute changes to get an even better deal.

This one hurts, because I personally fell victim to it early in my sales career. As a new salesperson, I was eager to make an impression. I felt I could do it by delivering excellent customer service. The problem was the customer service I was giving was in the form of concessions.

It didn’t take long for the customer to know they could make demands of me when I was sitting across the desk from them—and also by way of voicemail. One buyer, in particular, took advantage of me by always leaving me a voicemail 10 minutes after I left his office. I don’t even want to calculate how much I cost my company—and to think it was all because I thought I was doing the right thing.

3. “When I am slow to respond to a salesperson’s email or phone call, they start to feel like I’m not interested.”

The longer it takes me to respond, the more the salesperson will come to believe the offer they made is not good enough. Simply waiting a couple of days to respond to an email can often scare the salesperson into believing the offer isn’t good enough.

4. “I’m not going to put anything in writing unless I absolutely have to.”

When something is put in writing, it eliminates the ability to make last-minute changes to get even more out of the salesperson. At the same time, however, I always demand the salesperson put everything in writing to give me the power of knowledge, so I can use it against them.

5. “It’s great to make the salesperson believe I’m considering multiple vendors.”

Even if there is not another vendor, the salesperson doesn’t need to know it. Just by saying things like, “We’ll compare it with the others,” I know I can usually get a better price from the salesperson. No matter how much I may want to do business with them, I don’t let them get that sense from me.

6. “Slow is better. I never admit I’m in a rush to buy anything.”

Advisor Selling Book Cover 6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer photo

Salespeople always believe a slow buyer is an unmotivated buyer. It is amazing how the offer will get better when I take my time making a decision.

Want to know more about dealing with professional buyers and other vital sales techniques?

The above is an excerpt from the book I recently co-authored with Matthew Hudson called Advisor Selling.

Articles and Write up / Data, Information, and Knowledge
« on: September 17, 2014, 09:01:15 AM »
Data, Information, and Knowledge

by Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research Group. Denis is a top CRM market researcher who advises end users in CRM selection, deployment and use while also publishing a steady stream of analysis on many of the industry’s most popular topics and emerging trends. ( InsideView | Customer Success, Data, Marketing, Sales 2.0, Sales Data, Sales Intelligence, Social CRM)

Augmenting what we know with curated data produces new insights

There is still a lot of confusion in the market about data, information, and knowledge. Too often we use the terms interchangeably and while that might sound like a small issue, these words frame our mindsets and color our understanding of the marketing and sales process.

This trio is really a hierarchy of increasingly refined concepts and along with the refinement comes real power to affect sales situations. Data is the lowest level because it lacks context. While it is important, and the whole Big Data industry swoons over it, data without context is almost meaningless. In marketing, the name of the game is turning data into actionable knowledge.

First off, context turns data into information. So while a phone number is just a phone number, knowing another bit of data, like who owns the number, turns the common phone number into a key piece of information about a customer.
In the marketing and sales process we are always trying to capture context, to add data to data or data to information to build up what we know about prospects so that we can figure out how to spend our precious time and resources. And knowing is a far from arbitrary word because it represents the level of understanding that decision-makers routinely need to go forward with confidence.

It wasn’t always that way. Before the Internet and Big Data revolution, having actionable knowledge in business was relatively rare. You could develop knowledge long after it would have been useful. In the moment, the best we had was a handful of information and gut instinct so decisions were made by HIPPOs. Ever hear of a HIPPO? It stands for the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Unfortunately, opinions can often be wrong but too often that’s all there was. And HIPPOs? Lacking credible knowledge, we often deferred to the highest paid person who also had the most grey hair, a marker for experience, and that is what often substituted for knowledge.

Today, it’s all different or at least it can be. Big Data and analytics deliver information by the boatload but that has its problems too. Analytics is so efficient that anyone with a computer and a bit of software can sift the Internet stream and come up with more or less the same information. That means going into a sales process, every rep is more or less equal and, ironically, we might all still be searching for that bit of difference making knowledge.

Knowledge is available but it is also in the mind of the beholder. For example, a sales person armed with a base level of information about a prospect plus a fact as benign as a company’s quarterly filings or the CEO’s statement of direction might be able to combine all of it with his or her specific product knowledge to discover an opportunity. Interestingly, that knowledge might only be in the mind of the sales person so it actually rises to the level of intellectual property. It can be as valuable as your product plans, patents, processes, and procedures.

This kind of knowledge is what the most competitive businesses use today to outfox their competition. But notice that the information that drives knowledge is only partly represented by numerical data that you can process through an analytics engine. The contextual information like the CEO’s statement of direction is not quantifiable and a person, not an algorithm, has to unpack it to derive meaning.

All this suggests that we need to expand our data analysis options from just dealing with quantitative data to including the qualitative data that, so far, only humans are good at deciphering. Combining the two provides greater insight than either one alone and that’s how information turns into knowledge.

A Good CV/Resume / Guide Line for Interview
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:35:14 PM »
Conducting an Interview by HR Expert

When conducting the interview, the interviewer should use the following outline:

Establish Rapport

    Help the candidate relax with brief, casual conversation.
    Maintain appropriate eye contact.
    Listen sympathetically.
    Avoid direct criticism.
    Reassure the candidate after an awkward disclosure by commending the openness, honesty, and willingness to face up to a problem.
    Remain neutral; do not speak approvingly of questionable conduct.

Control the Interview

    Keep the purpose of the interview clearly in mind.
    Decide in advance what questions to raise in light of the job requirements and the candidate’s résumé.
    Keep to the planned agenda and allocate time appropriately.
    Politely return to the original question if the candidate’s answer was evasive.
    Persuade the candidate to elaborate on suggestive or incomplete responses by:
        Asking follow-up questions.
        Repeating or summarizing the candidate’s statements in a questioning tone.
        Maintaining silence.
    Make smooth transitions from one topic to another.

Document the Interview

    Take notes for reliable recall. Note points to follow up on later in the interview.
    Note dress, behavior, or facial expressions, if relevant.
    Wait until after the candidate has left to write down evaluative comments.

Elements of Good Interviewing

Meeting the interview goals requires the following on the interviewer’s part:

    Interpersonal skills, which put a job candidate at ease and elicit the most accurate responses.
    Preparation helps an interviewer cover all job-related questions and avoid saying things that might violate antidiscrimination laws, create an implied employment contract, or misrepresent the job.
    Objectivity requires the interviewer to be impartial and unbiased. Interviewers must evaluate a candidate based on the factors that predict future job performance.
    Good recordkeeping supplies the information needed to compare different candidates and documents the screening process in case a rejected candidate challenges the hiring decision.

Interview Types

Interviews may be structured and unstructured where structured interviews generally provide the interviewer with the information needed to make the hiring decision. All candidates are asked the same questions, rather than tailoring the questions to target a specific individual.

Interview questions should accomplish the following goals:

    Determine a candidate’s qualifications and general character, in relation to the job
    Expose undesirable traits
    Clarify information
    Provide other job-related data
    Reveal inconsistencies

Job-Related Questions

Develop interview questions by examining the job description and determining job demands in each of these following areas:

    Skills and abilities, including technical skills, communication ability, analytical ability, and specialized training
    Behavioral factors: motivation, interests, goals, drive and energy, reliability, stress tolerance,

Evaluating candidate responses

As important as it is that questions are job-related, it’s even more important to know how to evaluate the candidate’s response.

The interviewer should not feel that a candidate’s first answer to any of the questions must be accepted as the only answer. When the interviewer feels an answer is lacking, the interviewer should ask layered questions until reaching an answer with a satisfactory amount of information.

Questioning Techniques

The best interviewers employ a flexible questioning technique to elicit pertinent, accurate information

Close-ended questions are most commonly asked in interviewing and are the most commonly misused questions.

Open-ended questions often yield better results than close-ended.

Behavioral questions are open-ended and request specific examples of past behavior.


Negative-Balance Questions

Interviewers often assume, albeit incorrectly, that a candidate who is strong in one area is equally impressive in all areas. This is not always the case.

Reflexive Questions

Reflexive questions help interviewers calmly maintain control of the conversation no matter how talkative the interviewee.

Mirror Statements

Mirror statements function as a subtle form of probing in conjunction with silence

Loaded Questions

Loaded questions are inappropriate as they may lead to manipulation by the interviewer. Obviously, the interviewer should avoid absurd, loaded questions.

Half-Right Reflexives

Half-right reflexives can be utilized to glean specific answers and determine an individual’s propensity for specific work-related incidents.

Leading Questions

Leading questions allow interviewers to lead the listener toward a specific type of answer. Leading questions are often useful, but like closed-ended questions, the interviewer must use leading questions appropriately.

Question Layering

A good question poorly phrased will be ineffectual and provide the interviewer with incomplete or misleading information. However, question layering allows an interviewer to thoroughly probe and answer on many different levels.

Additional Input Questions

Additional Questions

Employers should try to include questions that go beyond a candidate’s technical competence or knowledge.

The interviewer should probe for qualities needed to succeed at the job:

    Organizational skill
    Willingness to put in the extra time and effort necessary to complete a project

Relevant and job-related questions might target the following:

    Incomplete information on application form
    Work experience or education
    Gaps in work history
    Geographic preferences
    Normal working hours
    Willingness to travel
    Reasons for leaving or planning to leave previous job
    Job-related achievements
    Signs of initiative and self-management
    Specialized knowledge or expertise
    Meaning of former job titles

Improper Interview Questions


    Sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
    Marital status
    National origin

Other laws prohibit questions about military background, age, disability, or union membership. Generally, do not ask about:

    Medical or mental health history
    National origin and citizenship status
    Height, weight, or physical characteristics
    Membership in professional or civic organizations that would reveal national origin, race, gender, religion, or any of the other protected classes under fair employment practice laws
    Military service history
    Marital status
    Sexual orientation
    Receipt of unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, or disability benefits
    Child care situation, family planning, or number of children
    Religion or religious beliefs

The following are samples of questions which should be avoided. This is not an all-inclusive list.

Personal Data

    "What is your maiden name?"
    "Do you own or rent your home?"
    "What is your age?"
    "Where do you live?"
    "What is your date of birth?"
    "Are you married?"
    Questions which tend to identify an applicant's age as over 40.


    The dates of attendance or completion of elementary or high school.


    Birthplace of applicant or of applicant's parents, spouse or other relative.
    "Are you a BD Citizen?" or "What is your citizenship or that of your parents, spouse or other relative?"
    Questions as to race, nationality, national origin, or descent.
    "What is your mother's tongue?" or "What is the language you speak at home?"


    Applicant's marital status.
    The number or ages of children or dependents.
    Provisions for child care.
    Pregnancy, childbearing or birth control.


    Questions which indicate an applicant's sex.
    The applicant's height and weight.
    Applicant's general medical condition, state of health, or illness.
    Questions regarding HIV, AIDS, and related questions.
    "Have you ever filed a workers compensation claim?"
    "Do you have any mental or physical disabilities or handicaps?"


    "Have you ever been arrested?"
    Applicant's credit rating.
    Ownership of a car.
    Organizations, clubs, societies or lodges which an applicant belongs to.
    Religious obligations that would prevent an individual from being available to work on Friday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.
    Asking an applicant the origin of their name.
    "Do you speak __________________?" (unless a requirement for the job).
    "Do you have any physical or mental disability/handicap that will require reasonable accommodation?"

Note: I am neither expert nor researcher, just learning from you all. You are welcome to share your comments (as I am in learning stage).

Source: Linkedin Post by S M Altaf Hossain Commander,BN (Retd)
Head of Admin, The Cityscape International Ltd, Gulshan, Dhaka

Public Health / Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:47:19 AM »
Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success
Dr. Travis Bradberry|Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart

For many people, this tip has the potential to have a bigger impact than any other single action. The catch? You have to cut down on caffeine, and as any caffeine drinker can attest, this is easier said than done.

For those who aren't aware, the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence. These individuals are skilled at managing their emotions (even in times of high stress) in order to remain calm and in control.

The Good: Isn’t Really Good

Most people start drinking caffeine because it makes them feel more alert and improves their mood. Many studies suggest that caffeine actually improves cognitive task performance (memory, attention span, etc.) in the short-term. Unfortunately, these studies fail to consider the participants’ caffeine habits. New research from Johns Hopkins Medical School shows that performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal. By controlling for caffeine use in study participants, John Hopkins researchers found that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.

The Bad: Adrenaline

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state, your emotions overrun your behavior.

Irritability and anxiety are the most commonly seen emotional effects of caffeine, but caffeine enables all of your emotions to take charge.

The negative effects of a caffeine-generated adrenaline surge are not just behavioral. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that large doses of caffeine raise blood pressure, stimulate the heart, and produce rapid shallow breathing, which readers of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 know deprives the brain of the oxygen needed to keep your thinking calm and rational.

The Ugly: Sleep

When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, focus, memory, and information processing speed are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Your brain is very fickle when it comes to sleep. For you to wake up feeling rested, your brain needs to move through an elaborate series of cycles. You can help this process along and improve the quality of your sleep by reducing your caffeine intake.

Here’s why you’ll want to: caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full twenty-four hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep.

When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap. You’re naturally going to be inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel better. The caffeine produces surges of adrenaline, which further your emotional handicap. Caffeine and lack of sleep leave you feeling tired in the afternoon, so you drink more caffeine, which leaves even more of it in your bloodstream at bedtime. Caffeine very quickly creates a vicious cycle.


Like any stimulant, caffeine is physiologically and psychologically addictive. If you do choose to lower your caffeine intake, you should do so slowly under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. The researchers at Johns Hopkins found that caffeine withdrawal causes headache, fatigue, sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people report feeling flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety after reducing intake by as little as one cup a day. Slowly tapering your caffeine dosage each day can greatly reduce these withdrawal symptoms.

Articles and Write up / Completing Customer Profiles
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:20:14 AM »
Completing Customer Profiles  by Jason Rushin

Sales people have been demanding better leads for a long time and today marketing is in a position to provide them. Marketers have discovered that the kind of data they collect is as important as its volume. It is no longer enough to create programs that capture a small set of demographic data about a customer and hand it over to a sales rep.

A few years ago sales people were happy with a name, title, and a phone number and with that they’d schedule a meeting to capture what was really important — need, budget, the identities of the other decision makers, and more. But today sales people don’t have time to invest in this basic data gathering and with high quotas managers want more meetings that advance sales processes rather than performing simple qualification. So all this has caused marketing to re-think its processes to meet sales’ demands.

Today marketers collect a variety of data through multiple techniques to enrich the leads that they ultimately hand over to sales. This approach also weeds out leads that might look strong but that will never close. With nurturing and enhanced collection feeding more data to analytics the refined leads that marketers are delivering to sales people are a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, that’s not enough any more.

In addition to all the data we collect and analyze to produce sales information, we also need to be mindful of the current situation in target accounts. By definition, situations change almost daily and the information about change, when added to data already collected through other marketing channels can produce a potent combination.

Change information comes in many forms — press releases, earnings reports, news items, analyst reports, and much more. When added to what we already know about our territories and target accounts, it can turn a pile of so-so information into powerful sales knowledge that approaches intellectual property. If you view IP as the sum or a company’s research, knowledge, patents, processes and the like, then you really should add sales knowledge. The knowledge you can develop about your markets and target customers, in relation to your own knowledge, designs, and plans is unique. You own it, no one else has it and it is a competitive weapon.

Create Your Social Selling Strategy in Just 3 Steps

if you’re in sales or marketing, you can’t go a day without hearing the term “social selling.” In a nutshell, social selling is knowing who your targets are before you engage with them. And by “knowing,” it means the 2014 version of knowing, not the old title+company+industry that used to pass for knowing your targets. The 2014 version is knowing their needs, knowing if you have any mutual connections, and knowing any recent news or events that are relevant—all before you even reach out to them.

If you’re looking for an edge over your competitors or want to energize your lead-to-revenue process, social selling could provide the bump that you need, since the stats are in its favor. For one, social selling can increase your engagement rate by up to 84 percent. For another, only 10 percent of executives respond to unsolicited emails. It’s easy to get started, even if you want to give it a try on just a single campaign. Of course, you do need the ability to find accurate, relevant, timely data first, but we’ll assume that you’re up to the task.

Let’s get started!

1)   Build your list

Start by building your list as you always have, based on company size, location, industry, etc. Then, identify your key targets based on level and job function. Try to keep the list as Developing a social businesstargeted as possible. Starting with “Fortune 1000 companies” or “services industry” is going to cast too wide of a net, and social selling is a pinpoint tactic, not a broad, generic shotgun approach. Think about it this way:  if you’re throwing a weekend picnic, do you invite everyone you’ve ever met in your life or just the circle of friends that can fit in your back yard? Social selling uses deep, specific, and relevant information to tip the balance in your direction. Trying to find, parse, and act upon that type of information for thousands of leads isn’t going to work.

2)   Listen and engage

First, you want to find out what’s happening with your targets and even with the individual leads. News is a good example, like a target company entering in a partnership with another listen to customerscompany, or an earnings release that missed estimates. Both good and bad news are equally valuable to you. You might also have specific types of news or events that are specifically relevant to your offerings. Say that you’re selling data security services. You might want to key in on news events related to data breaches, of which there have been many recently. The news triggers that are interesting to you might be unique to you, so look for what you can leverage.

Next, dig into the “social” side, since this is social selling after all. Look at the company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds for any tidbits of information. Companies tend to push out smaller news or niche items via those channels, rather than full press releases. This step can get tedious, unless you have the right information readily available and easily accessible. That’s why it’s important to both narrow your list and have the right tools to quickly and easily gather this information.

3)   Connect and win!

Again with the social, check your own social networks to see if you have any connections to the company and the individual leads. If you’re a good sales rep, you’ve been checking LinkedIn and Facebook for years, but there are new tools out there today that help you see the social and professional connections of everyone in your company, giving you another connect online through social networks to close more dealslayer of hundreds or thousands of potential connections. Finally, you need to hone in on those targets and leads with the best set of connections, criteria, and news to get:

- A warm introduction through a mutual connection…
- At a company that fits your target criteria…
- With a lead to whom you can offer a relevant, timely discussion about a key business issue that they’re dealing with.

That’s social selling. Now go do it!

Source: by Jason Rushin | Sep 4, 2014 | Closing, CRM Intelligence, customer intelligence, Funnel, lead qualification, Leads, Sales 2.0, Sales Data, Sales Intelligence, Sales Strategy, Sales-Marketing Alignment, Social CRM, Social Media for Sales, Social Selling

Articles and Write up / 3 Things Your Sales Team Never Has to Do Again
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:38:48 PM »
3 Things Your Sales Team Never Has to Do Again; By Rebecca Brown / in AppExchange , Cloud , IT , Sales

Ask any salesperson what his or her favorite part of the job is and you’ll probably never hear the answer “fighting for leads” or “creating proposals.” Salespeople like to sell. They love being face-to-face with potential customers, helping them find solutions, and—most importantly—closing deals.

We’ve identified some smart solutions to help them do just that—close more deals, more effectively. Find sales apps on the AppExchange and make sure that your team never has to do these three things again.

1) Fight for leads

Distributing leads fairly and consistently is a huge and often difficult task to manage and track, but it doesn’t have to be. Productivity apps like Distribution Engine conquer the challenge using intelligent round robin assignment, sharing leads according to priority, rep availability and quota-based weighting. The result? A satisfied, motivated team that can focus on closing deals, not clamoring for leads.

2) Build proposals the hard way

Putting together a proposal with the right product solutions for a prospect shouldn’t be complicated, but so often it is, causing undue frustration on your team. Make it as fast and painless as possible with Configure Price Quote (CPQ) apps like SteelBrick CPQ, which simplifies the process and guides reps to the best products and most accurate pricing for their customers.

3) Delay closing a deal because they have to sign it in person

Sure, it’s important to have as much face time as possible with prospects and customers. But once a prospect says yes, don’t delay getting started because there’s no time on her calendar to ink the deal in person. There are plenty of contract management tools out there that help salespeople close deals faster. for example, helps reps send documents securely and get signatures from anywhere, on any device, and can be managed and tracked within Salesforce.

Articles and Write up / 7 Principles for Individual Sales Success
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:35:12 PM »
7 Principles for Individual Sales Success; By Mark Hunter
You should only read this if you believe that your level of success is largely up to you.

Yes, it’s impacted and influenced by external events, but it’s not your sales manager, employer, customer, product, partner, bank manager or religious leader who ultimately determines your destiny. It’s you, and in difficult selling times, that’s the first principle that you have to accept.

There are few professions where the inner strength of the individual protagonist is as critical as that of an individual salesperson. During each sales call, you put your own credibility—and that of your company—on the line. Most likely, you are the primary arbiter of success or failure, and you always face the risk of failure or rejection. But when you win, the sense of achievement and personal gratification is amplified just because you are always putting yourself out there.

1. Ambition

To achieve your ambition, you first need to be very clear as to what it is. There are two main questions you should ask yourself;

    “Do I know what I really want to achieve?” and
    “Is my goal ambitious enough?”

A ‘shoot for the moon’ goal is a wonderful motivator. By figuring out your personal outrageous goal—conceived in a moment of suspended reality—you see what might be possible. Then you can plan to achieve that ambition by breaking it down into attainable and realistic steps. Winning sales professionals do this in small ways every day as they strategize how to maximize revenue from an account, or win a specific deal. Then it is the art of the possible, planning the realization of the ambition. (Trying to measure your ambition might be hard—here’s a way to think about it.)

2. Commitment and Resilience

How badly do you want it? Will you stay the course? Invariably you will see seemingly ‘lucky’ people for whom everything just works out. Evidence of their hard work is sometimes hard to see. Enduring hardship is frequently the bedfellow of success, so you’ve got to be committed to your goal and both resilient and relentless in its pursuit. When you continue to do the right thing, and stick with it, good things invariably happen.

3. Honesty and Integrity

These are two of the least understood, and most undervalued, personal and business assets. A reputation for being honest or having high integrity is priceless. It brings trust and openness, deeper relationships and more productive engagement. Trust is ‘truth delivered over time.’ It is hard to win but easy to lose. The sustained value of these assets cannot be overstated.

4. Inquisitiveness and Learning

In sales, as in life, it is better to be interested than it is to be interesting. You need to be inquisitive and curious about what matters to others and less focused on what ‘interesting’ stuff you have to say. When you have earned the right—you can then be interesting. 

If you are in the right job/company/industry, being interested in your customers’ business/industry/market comes easily to you. You have a natural passion for what you do, choosing to continuously self-improve. Without this passion to learn, you will find it hard to be naturally inquisitive. Then you’re possibly in the wrong job/company/ industry—and probably stuck in mediocrity.

5. Empathy and Perspective

Without empathy, you can’t possibly appreciate what’s important to your customer or your own support team. Remember the last time you complained about your marketing / product department, ‘I just don’t understand why we never seem to get ... [Insert leads, new features, competitive analysis, better pricing]. Usually when you start a sentence with ‘I just don’t under stand why ...’, it’s usually just that—you don’t understand. Arrogance is usually bred from ignorance, and that’s never pretty or productive. Consider the other Perspective. (This is the fundamental to Account Planning. Read this.)

6. Vision: Innovation and Leadership

Ambition without vision is dangerous and usually counter-productive. Vision elevates ambition to a higher place, one where your insight, founded on innovative thinking and thought leadership (informed through inquisitiveness and learning), propels you to the front.

7. Enterprise

You’ve got to work hard, really hard—no, really, really hard. Come up with the right strategy to fulfill your ambition, and then through your own initiative and resourcefulness, determine how you best execute your plan. Unless you have the requisite Commitment and Resilience you won’t reach the uncommon heights you’ve visualized in your ambition.

When you put these principles together—Ambition, Commitment, Honesty, Inquisitiveness, Empathy, Vision, Innovation, and Enterprise—you can choose to A.C.H.I.E.V.E. your goals.

Articles and Write up / 6 Ways Buyers Gain The Upper Hand With Salespeople
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:26:40 PM »
6 Ways Buyers Gain The Upper Hand With Salespeople ; By- Mark Hunter

There isn’t a salesperson alive who hasn’t encountered a purchasing agent who is “difficult.”  (And that’s a polite way to say it!) For most salespeople, few things can be more challenging than having to go toe-to-toe with a professional buyer. The sales process can be a minefield of tactics and tricks that help buyers get the upper-hand on unsuspecting sales reps.

However, just like a trick or tactic, it loses its effectiveness if you see it coming.  So to make sure you’re prepared, here are six things purchasing agents and buyers love to do to get you, the salesperson, to cough up a better deal.

1.  Regardless of how attractive your offer might be, they simply reject it without giving a reason

Buyers love to do this by way of a late afternoon email that is short and to the point. Their objective is to merely see if you will blink, and guess what most salespeople do? They blink and offer a lower price or more attractive deal.shutterstock_79071637

2.  Delay giving any response

For some buyers, saying “no” to a salesperson can be hard, so the way they work around it is they simply don’t give any response.  If the salesperson is presenting the offer face-to-face, the buyer says they’ll have to analyze it and get back to them.

Their comment might be something like, “I’ve got to run some numbers on it and compare it with some other things we’ve got going on, so I’ll get back to you.”  This sets up the delay, which a sharp buyer will stretch out until the salesperson comes back with a better offer.

3. During a face-to-face meeting, buyers are quick to look for any sign of body language that indicates you don’t believe in the price

A basic rule buyers use is to watch the salesperson’s facial expression and eye contact when they are talking about price or presenting their offer. If the salesperson can’t give the buyer eye contact, it indicates one thing—the salesperson doesn’t believe in their own price.

If the salesperson’s body language is not firm, then it means there is even more price wiggle room. The beauty is that many times the buyer doesn’t have to do anything other than remain silent. The salesperson who is already doubting their own offer winds up offering a concession without the buyer even saying a word.

4. Have competitors’ information on their desk when you come into to meet them

Few things scare a salesperson more than seeing their competitors’ information sitting on their customer’s desk. Many buyers collect sales materials with one intention—to use it against someone else.

5.  Provide salespeople with economic newsletters and other information that indicates how bad things are

I’ve known many buyers who will, on an annual basis, distribute economic news or other articles indicating how the only way for businesses to survive is by cutting their prices. Some will paint amazing pictures of distress merely to see how much they can extract from salespeople.

6.  Buyers love to say: “Your price is simply too high, so I’ll have to buy from your competitor”

What they don’t tell you is that they don’t have a clue what the competitor’s price is and that the last thing they want to do is go through the hassle of setting up another vendor. The amount of work it takes to switch vendors can quickly eat up any cost savings, and that doesn’t even take into consideration all of the other issues that could arise from switching.

Selling effectively and profitably when working with buyers can be done, but you have to be diligent in paying attention to the tactics buyers use. You can overcome these tactics by refining your own selling skills and boosting your confidence.

5 Sad Truths About Success And Happiness

By- Bernard Marr | Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Consultant in Strategy

Even as medical science and quality of life continues to increase our life spans, it seems as though many of us are not really living the life we’re given.

Too often we are caught in the “busy” trap, running, running, running—but never getting much of anywhere.

But how would you live differently if you knew you were going to die?

Finding true success and happiness

Not to be maudlin, but we all are going to die—sooner or later. And while death is something we humans pretty universally fear, thinking about our own demise can actually spur us to live more fully.

In surveys of people who know they are going to die, the regrets are almost never “I wish I had worked more,” or even “I wish I had made more money.” More often they are about success and happiness in their truest forms.

I chose these five common regrets from a book called, aptly, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse in Australia who routinely asked her patients about their regrets and recorded them on her blog.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

So often we make decisions in our life based on what others want or believe. You got a particular university degree because it’s what your father wanted. You took a certain job because you wanted to make more money to support your family. You didn’t pursue your dreams because someone told you they were foolish.

But what would happen if you lived a life that was true to yourself, and no one else? How would you dress? Where would you work? How would you live? Who would you spend your time with? What would you do if you weren’t afraid of what others would think?

Although there are certainly constraints on all of us, the closer we can come to living that true life, the happier we will be.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Ware reported that she heard this from almost every single one of her male patients. We often think we have to work 40, 60, 80 hours a week because it’s expected, because we want the promotion or the raise, but is it worth it?

If you were truly honest with yourself, which would be more important: working hard to earn all that money, or having a different lifestyle? With even a few conscious choices, you can tweak your lifestyle to make it possible.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

How often do you bite your tongue to keep the peace? We’re told, “Don’t get so emotional about it,” or “Don’t let your emotions rule you,” but our emotions are our own personal truth. No one can deny how you feel about something.

We cannot control how other people react to us, but we can control how we react. Does that mean you should break down crying in your next board meeting? Maybe not. But if you can take your emotions and channel them into positive change, a productive conversation with someone, or even a lifestyle shift, your emotions—even negative ones—can have a vast positive impact on your life.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

It’s easy to let personal relationships slide (especially if we’re working too much, as in No. 2), but personal connections are what give life meaning—not reports and promotions and pay raises. Not television and video games and all the other time sucks of modern day life.

Who could you reach out to today? Who could you call, or write, or text (if you must) and let them know you’re thinking of them? How would it make you feel? And how would it make them feel? It’s pretty much a no-lose situation.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

There’s so much wisdom tied up in that little statement. Happiness, it turns out, doesn’t have that much to do with the car you drive or the job you have or even the person you spend your life with. Happiness is actually a choice.

It’s the difference between seeing an unexpected event as a setback or an adventure; the difference between being frustrated by a delay or relishing the time alone; the difference between resenting someone for who they aren’t and loving them for who they are.

We don’t have to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before us. Our happiness, our success, nearly every detail of our lives comes down to choice, and we can choose to live the way we truly want to live, or spend our final days regretting the choices we didn’t make.

I hope that these sombre truths help inspire you to make the choices you won’t regret. I have always tried to take the loss of my father when I was a teenager and the loss of my mum when I was a young man as important reminders to not leave happiness for a later date, but make the choices that lead to true success and happiness today.

How can the regrets of the dying help inspire your choices about the way you live your life today? I’d love to hear what you think. Please share your thoughts…

Five Truths for Dealing with Difficult People
By- Kris Plachy is the CEO of Leadership Coach, Inc. Leadership Coach, Inc

In my coaching practice the three most common challenges facing my clients include; managing change for themselves and others, holding others accountable and having courageous conversations about performance and dealing with difficult people.

I’ve coached myself and others on this subject so frequently, that I’ve drawn some conclusions about how best to move forward. Because I’ve seen consistent success, I’ve now adopted them as truths.

For purposes of this article, I’ll introduce them to you as options. Consider them invitations or new ways to think about that colleague, employee or boss that you believe to be difficult. You don’t have to accept the invitations, but I’ll ask that you entertain them for a moment. For purposes of this discussion, 'difficult' defines behavior from someone that you find challenging to work with. It does not cover how to deal with bullies or abusive behavior. That is an entirely different topic and should be addressed with the full force of your organizational support mechanisms.

Invitation #1

Difficult people are not difficult until someone else believes that they are. People cannot be difficult. People can demonstrate behavior that we may believe to be difficult to deal with, manage, work around, etc. But, people themselves are not difficult. Complex maybe… but not difficult.

Most of the ‘difficult’ people we encounter are just being who they are. They’re busy being who they’ve always been. How they act. What they say. How they interact. Their behavior has been cultivated over a lifetime. Just like you and I, right? Each one of us behave in a manner that is learned, from our experience. So, how they act isn’t necessarily difficult. But, because it is different from our expectation we perceive it to be difficult. As soon as we believe something or someone to be difficult, it impacts how we interact with them.

The truth is, we can also be the difficult ones. I know it may come as a shock, but yes… you too are the ‘difficult’ one to someone, somewhere.

Invitation #2:

What we think about, comes about. As I learned from Dennis Deaton years ago, “the eye sees what the mind looks for.” As soon as we believe that someone is difficult we seek out evidence to prove that we’re correct. Most of the time, this isn’t intentional. It’s your brain needing to find correlation and support for your belief about the difficult person. AND because we spend most of our time thinking about how other people should or shouldn’t behave with us, we spend very little time examining how we are reacting to them.

It takes two people to participate in a relationship. Rather than only entertaining how the difficult person should change, why not also entertain how you may be contributing to the relationship. In my book, “Change Your Think”, I challenge managers to notice how their thinking impacts the results they get with their teams. It flows like this:

What I think drives how I feel.

How I feel drives how I act.

How I act leads to my results.

So, if I think that my colleague is difficult and hard to work with I may feel frustrated.

When I feel frustrated with her I may ignore her or speak bluntly or curtly to her.

When I speak bluntly or curtly what kind of results might I get in the relationship?

When I ignore someone I work with, what kind of results might I get in the relationship?

Other people do not drive your behavior, your thoughts do.

To get a different result from yourself, you have to start thinking differently about this person and yourself in this relationship.

When you see them as an adversary, it’s likely you will find them to be.

If you see them as a partner, it’s likely you will find evidence to prove that true as well. You get to pick.

You may not like what other people do or say, but not liking how they behave is not an excuse for you to not accept accountability for how you behave. Stop waiting for them to change, in order for you to act differently. Your behavior is your choice, not a reaction to someone else. You alone are the one in charge of yourself and your results. This is also true for the ‘difficult’ people. The only way they will ever change is if they choose to. Not because you want them to.

Invitation #3

There will always be a difficult person. Always. I know that there are days you’d like to quit your job and mow the lawn at the local golf course. Anything to get away from (insert name here). But, the truth is, there is always going to be THAT person. The more we resist dealing with them, the less likely we are to adapt and learn new skills for managing different personalities and perspectives.

This is how I often explain the futility of resistance to my students. Take a walk with me, in your mind, to the beach. Let’s say we stand, arm in arm, knee-deep in the waves. We tire of the waves. They thrash us around. They make it hard to stand in place. They are unpredictable and sometimes unexpectedly strong. So, we decide we want the waves to stop rolling in. So, with a collective ‘STOP!’ we yell at the waves to stop rolling in. We tell them that we’re done with them and would like them to STOP right now! What happens? Well, unless it’s the end of times, the waves continue to roll in.

This is what we do with people and circumstances in our lives. We focus on what we want to change, instead of working with ‘what is’. The truth is, if you grow weary of the waves there are so many other options available to you, right?

    You can surf with a board
    You can body surf
    You can float
    You can dive through the waves
    You can go out past the break
    And you can even get out of the ocean all together. Always an option.

But making the ocean waves stop, isn’t one. And as long as we stand there, yelling at the ocean to stop, we will not find solutions for working within the waves.

As long as you stand there, yelling in your mind and to others, about how someone should change or be different or stop doing that, you will not find a solution to work within the situation. You will only find more challenges. Just like waves, people are generally that consistent. Even if they are consistently inconsistent. We can usually plan on people being exactly like we’ve known them to be. In times when I’ve dealt with difficult people I’ve found myself almost chuckling when they behave exactly as I expect them to. I may not choose it for myself. I may not choose them as a colleague, employee or boss, but I can at least no longer pretend to be surprised when they act as they always do.

People don’t change for your reasons, they change for their own. Yelling at them to be different doesn’t work. Understanding this and accepting this invitation is probably one of the most liberating gifts you can give yourself.

Invitation #4

Everyone in your life is there for a season. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career it is that people move on. Nothing is static. Making large professional and life decisions because of one person’s behavior is something I encourage all of my clients to think long and hard about. People move on. It’s very likely that the person that you want to escape is also making plans to do something new as well. And even if they aren’t, nothing stays the same for long.

You have dreams, aspirations, and goals. Never let one person sway you from your ambitions. AND if you are finding that you are rattled by the behavior of someone else, it may be time to consider your goals. Do you have a plan? Do you know where you are going? Do you know what you want to achieve in the next year, two years, three? In my experience, it is the clients who are the most unclear about their future, that are also the most impacted by difficult people in their lives. When you don’t have a plan for where you are going, it can make the challenges of today feel extremely big and unmanageable. But if you know the direction you are heading, it can help make the challenges of the day feel like blips on the radar and suddenly they are much more manageable.

Invitation #5

You don’t have to give up who you are to work with a difficult person. But you may just have to learn new skills and challenge yourself to do more and be more for yourself and others. So often, clients believe that they have to over-compromise to get along with a difficult person. They believe they have to give up a part of who they are to make it work. I see it quite differently. I see that you aren’t giving anything up. You are a whole, complete person. What I’ve experienced instead is that when we encounter someone we believe to be difficult it is our cue to learn a new skill, manage ourselves and others differently and to embrace the discomfort and challenge to broaden our capabilities. Whether we need to do so in our conversations, our boundaries, our communication, or our technical skills.

Difficult people can be the sharpest tool kit you’ll ever encounter. And even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time, the difficult people we encounter can truly be some of our greatest teachers.

So, I’ve offered you five invitations. Five different ways to think about working with that ‘difficult’ person.

    Difficult people are not difficult until someone else believes that they are.
    What we think about, comes about.
    There will always be a difficult person. Always.
    Everyone in your life is there for a season.
    You don’t have to give up who you are to work with a difficult person.

It’s up to you if you choose to accept any of them. Try them on for a while. See what you think... But whether or not you you choose to change your perspective will not change the fact that there will always be another difficult person at work. How you choose to react to that person and the relationship you create with them is ultimately up to you. Regardless of how they behave, your actions and your interactions are yours to keep.

What makes someone a great sales manager? What separates them from the rest?

Based on 15 years of consulting with sales teams, I have concluded the below list of 15 factors are what the “best of the best” do to be a successful sales manager:

1. Realize their job is not to be a sales manager, but to be a sales leader.

2. Hold constructive sales meetings salespeople find value in, rather than meetings that are nothing more than information updates.

3. Spend time with their top performers.

4. Leverage their position as a sales manager to generate opportunities and discussions with customers while working with their salespeople.

Don’t let their own paperwork stand in the way of spending quality time with their people.

Coach their people each day and hold them accountable on the skills they’re developing.

7. Provide an environment that allows their salespeople to be motivated every day.

Never talk negatively about any of their people or anyone else while in the company of anyone.

9. Help each of their salespeople achieve their professional and personal goals.

10. Be open and accountable to others.

11. Realize their objective is not only to make the numbers, but also to develop their people.

Impact everyone with whom they come in contact in a positive manner, regardless of who they are or the position they hold.

Know their role is to lead their people and allow their people to lead their customers.

14. Demonstrate 100% respect to everyone.

15. Hold as a personal goal developing a team that everyone wants to be a part of, and be the manager who assures a majority (if not all) of the people on the team are recognized and promoted for their performance.

As you can see, these attributes are not out of reach of most sales managers – if they are willing to put effort into becoming a leader!

Do you want a free infographic I put together on sales leadership?  Check out 10 Physical Signs You Are A Sales Leader.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter

Successful salespeople are disciplined. Leaders are disciplined. Successful business people are disciplined.

Regardless of your position, to be successful you have to be disciplined.

Disciplined people know there are always things to work on.  This is why I say, “Today’s expectations are tomorrow’s norms.”

If you’re reading this and you’re a sales manager, I want you to think about areas where people who work for you are operating at a sub-optimal level.

What are your expectations?

What do your people expect of you?

Once you begin expecting more and coaching them on how to achieve more, then in time what you expect becomes routine — thus it becomes norm.

One of the best examples I can think of is expense reports.  For many salespeople, doing expense reports on time and accurately is a real problem.

If you’re a sales manager who believes doing expense reports on-time is the norm, then that is what you have to expect today.  Expect today and in time it will become the norm.

High-performing people understand this and practice it themselves.

What are some items you need to work on?

What are your expectations for what you want to accomplish?

Once you begin to expect and then perform, it soon becomes norm.   In watching high-performing salespeople and understanding what make them high-performing, this process is one of the ways they motivate themselves.

Regardless of what you do, always plan on having at least one area where you are expecting more. Make that your focus and in time allow it to become normal behavior.

One of the easiest ways to put this into practice as part of your sales motivation is by selecting one item in your sales process you want to improve.  It might be the number of sales prospecting calls you make or it might be the speed with which you follow-up with customers.

Just pick something and then set the new expectation.  Focus on the expectation and what you’re doing about it, and in time it will become normal behavior.

Source and Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

6 Ways to Prove You're a Genuine Superstar at Work
Aug 19 2014

Remarkable employees (here's how to tell if you are remarkable) spend significant time helping other people succeed: their company, their employees, their customers and vendors and suppliers...

But remarkable employees also spend a little time helping themselves succeed, both for "selfish" reasons and because their success creates success for others.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Want to stand out based on go, not show? Here are some great ways:

1. Be first, but with a purpose.

Many people try to be the first to arrive each day. That's great, but what do you actually do with that time? Organize your thoughts? Get a jump on your email?

Instead of taking care of your stuff, do something visibly worthwhile for the company. Take care of unresolved problems from the day before. Set things up so it's easier for other employees to hit the ground running when they come in. Chip away at an ongoing project others ignore.

Don't just be the one who turns on or off the lights – be the one who gets in early or stays late in order to get things done. Not only will your performance stand out, you'll also start to...

2. Master a specific -- and valuable -- skill.

Meeting standards, however lofty those standards may be, won't help you stand out.

So go above the norm. Be the leader known for turning around struggling employees. Be the shipping manager who makes a few deliveries a week to personally check in with customers. Be the VP who promotes from within. Be known as the employee who responds quicker, acts faster, or always follows up.

Pick a worthwhile mission and then excel at that mission. I promise people will notice.

3. Create your own side projects.

Excelling at an assigned project is expected. Excelling at a side project -- especially one you created -- helps you stand out.

For example, years ago I decided to create a Web-based employee handbook my then-employer could put on the company Intranet. I worked on it at home on my own time. Some managers liked it but the HR manager didn’t, so it died an inglorious death.

I was disappointed but the company wasn't "out" anything, and soon after I was selected for a high visibility company-wide process improvement team because my little project had made me "that guy."

Try it. For example, experiment on a new process or service with a particular customer in mind. The customer will appreciate how you tried, without being asked, to better meet their needs... and you'll never be forgotten.

4. Put your effort where your mouth is.

Lots of people take verbal stands. Few take a stand and put actual effort behind their opinions.

Say you think a project has gone off the rails; instead of just pointing out its flaws so you can show everyone how smart you are, jump in and help fix it.

Everyone talks about problems. The people who help fix problems are the few who stand out.

5. Show a little of your personal side.

Personal interests help other people know and remember you. That's a huge advantage for a new employee or a company competing in a crowded market.

Just make sure your personal interests don't overshadow professional accomplishments. Being "the guy who does triathlons" is fine, but being "the guy who is always training and traveling to triathlons so we can never reach him when we need him" is not.

Let people know a little about you; a few personal details add color and depth to your professional image. (Plus it makes you a lot more likeable.)

6. Work harder than everyone else.

Nothing – nothing – is a substitute for hard work. (Sure, you can also work smarter -- but why not do both?)

Look around: How many people are working as hard as they can? Very few.

One way you can always stand out -- regardless of talent, experience, or skill -- is by outworking everyone else.

It's also the easiest way to stand out, because I guarantee you'll be the only one trying that hard.

Be a Leader / 9 Things Successful People Won't Do -- By Travis B.
« on: August 19, 2014, 11:28:04 AM »
9 Things Successful People Won't Do

They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they've done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them.

While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

They Won’t Forget

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn't mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Emotionally intelligent people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

They Won’t Die in the Fight

Emotionally intelligent people know how important it is to live to fight another day. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

They Won’t Prioritize Perfection

Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and you end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

They Won’t Live in the Past

Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve something that isn’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this when they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require you to take some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens, and your past becomes your present, preventing you from moving forward.

They Won’t Dwell on Problems

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and improves performance. Emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on problems because they know they’re most effective when they focus on solutions.

They Won’t Hang Around Negative People

Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid getting drawn in only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix a problem. The complainer will then either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

They Won’t Hold Grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event involved sends your body into fight-or-flight mode. When a threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when a threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Learning to let go of a grudge will not only make you feel better now but can also improve your health.

They Won’t Say Yes Unless They Really Want To

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for most people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

By Travis B.
President at Talent Smart & coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0

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