Archive for category Leadership

The Journey to Self-worth, Self-love and ultimately, Love – Starts with…

(This blog is an extract from a forthcoming book I’m writing with the working title, How to be a Friend of the Devil Within)

Three raysThree Constituents and their Dualities…

  1. Accept vulnerabilities: as necessary to the human condition. Avoid allowing them to dictate your actions. Avoid denying them. Learning from vulnerability is fundamental to knowing what being invulnerable means. That’s the paradox of duality – you know something is wet because you know it’s not not-wet, i.e. dry.

To understand invulnerability, allow yourself to ‘be ok being vulnerable’. As you learn more about vulnerability (defencelessness), you learn more about ‘not-vulnerabilty’, invulnerability.

Image courtesy of Cernonnos

Defencelessness becomes your strength – when you learn to apply its wisdom.

  1. Learn to be okay with uncertainty. For example, when you commit to a journey, you may not arrive at your intended destination. Likewise, when you allow yourself to fall in love, that love may be rejected or lost. Learn to avoid trying to control people to adhere to your will. Love is only achieved through choice and freedom and living with the uncertainty that choice and freedom imply. Put another way…

If you want to change something stop trying to control it.

  1. Self-love does not mean that you or life has to be perfect. You were designed to be incomplete. By all means strive to improve yourself or the life you lead AND ‘don’t beat yourself up for being imperfect’. You, your friends and acquaintances, your children and your enemies, none are perfect.

This is what researcher and storyteller, Brené Brown, says about raising children in a generation that has the highest rate of drug dependency, obesity and debt in history…

Our job is to say (to our children), “You know what? You are imperfect, you are wired to struggle – BUT you are worthy of love and belonging”. That’s our job. Show me a generation of children raised like that and we’ll end, I think, the problems we see today.
Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Be clear about your intended outcomes and commit to the journey to achieve them. The outcomes will not necessarily be spiritual. Yet the journey to complete – that which is incomplete (incomplete self-worth, incomplete self-love and incomplete love) – is always spiritual.

Your True Nature Creates Love

Being okay with the three states: vulnerability, uncertainty and imperfection, means that you no longer hold yourself back with emotions (anger, shame, hurt and fear) that stop you from expressing your true nature. Not feeling angry, hurt, ashamed or fearful allows you to embrace these four disabling-emotions’ dualities (enabling-emotions):

1. Not-anger =  compassion and patience

2. Not-shame = self-worth and faith-in-self

3. Not-hurt = joy and serenity

4. Not-fear = love.

Your true nature is to…

Create love, moment by moment, through a cocktail of compassion, patience, self worth, faith-in-self, completeness, serenity, and joy  – with a twist of enthusiasm and will-power.

Shine on… & a Happy Winter Solstice!

/|\

Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author Facebook: Beowulf (>16,000 followers)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

In Your Business (or Personal) Life, What is Mindfulness?

Extracts from Quick Guide V: How to Apply Mindfulness to Business.

Front Cover 8.5x5.25

 Mindfulness

Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Allow me to add my own business related definition.

Mindfulness is responding in the present moment without reacting through anger, shame, hurt or (the most likely feeling) fear. Instead it’s about having faith-in-self to use your intuition to respond with passion, curiosity to learn, composure, patience, compassion, harmony, and timing to complete whatever is incomplete in your approach to business relationships.


Mindfulness
Approach

If you are mindful of, moment by moment, you…

  • Demonstrate faith-in self, passion, curiosity to learn, composure, patience, and compassion.
  • Avoid both panicking and reacting out of anger, shame, hurt, and fear – instead, under-react.
  • Create harmony and resonance to nurture The Master Mind.

A Master Mind may be created through the bringing together or blending, in a spirit of perfect harmony, of two or more minds. Out of this harmonious blending the chemistry of the mind creates a third mind which be appropriated and used by one or all of the individual minds.
from The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill

  • Complete incompletions (when the future presents them to you and in the past you may have reacted negatively) to time.

Then, with these intentions, actions and qualities you apply…

The Mystique

You will induce everything that’s incomplete in your approach to your business relationship. This is the future’s gift to the present moment. You are given the opportunity to rise above anger, shame, hurt, and fear (borne of the past tense).

When you complete anything in your business approach that is incomplete, it travels into the past and need never return. If you react negatively, i.e. it remains incomplete, it travels into the past before returning to the future – so that you attract the same source of anger, shame, hurt, and fear once again.

The goals of nurturing healthy business relationships may be financial success and kudos but these things are not the purpose.

The real purpose of any relationship, business or otherwise, is the development of self (consciousness) to be the very best at what you do.

When you achieve the above, the goals and purpose become one. You cannot fail because there is no one better and you have no fear of not-success – because…

The Mystique
Genuinely having no fear tells you that not-success no longer exists.

There’s a corollary to this. To release your fear you need to approach not-success. Which is why I encourage you to…

Include not-success as well as success in what you want.

Get it?

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author
Facebook:
Beowulf (>16,000 followers)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

How to Track your Commitment to a Relationship – Personal or Business

A subset of an exercise, on building outcomes for a relationship, from my book…

The Mystique to the Game of Life (and Unrequited Love).

Mystique

Pick a relationship you’re in, business or personal…

Bring into focus how your relationship has been of late. Answer and write down the answers to the following questions and responses to instructions…

  • Give yourself a score of 0 to 10, out of 10, for level of satisfaction with the relationship where 10 equates to 100% – “The relationship is exactly how I want it to be”, 5 equates to “Half and half” or “So so”, 0 equates to “Not at all” and so on.
  • What has been your input to making the relationship how you want it to be?
  • Give yourself a score of 0 to 10, out of 10, for your level of commitment to the relationship where 10 equates to 100%, 5 equates to 50%, 0 equates to nothing at all and so on.
  • Track your level of commitment to the relationship on a weekly basis.

You raise your level of commitment by raising how much (energy) you give to and receive from the relationship materially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – as long as what you give or receive is not borne of anger, hurt, shame or fear.

Old scale

The relationship is in balance when you receive the same amount of ‘energy’ as you give.

The relationship gets to exactly where both parties want it to be when both rate their satisfaction with it as a ‘10’. A ‘10 all round’ is where both parties are fully committed to the relationship, they both give and receive 100% which means they are both 100% satisfied.

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author
Facebook:
Beowulf (>16,000 followers)

Image courtesy of newyorkparkingticket.com

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

How to Be at your Peak in Every Key Meeting

QGIV Book Cover 3MbExtract from Quick Guide IV – A Scorecard that Accounts for Mindfulness in Business

Top performers do three essential things to be at their peak.

1. Clarify your outcomes for the meeting in hand and how you want the relationship with the person to develop, meeting by meeting, one step at a time. Moderate performers focus less on the latter dimension.

2. Be mindful of the frame of the mind you want to be in and that any meeting (is hopefully a meeting of minds) is ultimately about helping everyone present to frame a congruent viewpoint of what needs to be done.

3. Prepare your strategy, primarily so that you allow yourself to get in the frame of mind you want to be.

Research I’ve come across and my own experience shows that the most important thing you take into a meeting is your frame of mind followed by being clear about the outcomes you seek. Having a strategy is important but, once the meeting has started, it’s factors ‘2’ and ‘1’ above (and in that order) that will determine most how you ‘handle any curve balls thrown your way’.

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

“I Feel Good, dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah-dah!”

james-brown

Your outlook in life goes hand in hand with your personality. Personality is a long term habit. A habit is a long term mood. A mood is a long term feeling. So when you feel good and stay feeling good, you shape your outlook for the better. Do and say what feels good. If what you’re about to do doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

Image courtesy of Fans Share

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Effectiveness = Motivation x Confidence x Competence x Curiosity (Mindfulness in Business Meetings)

QG2 Book Cover 01Extract from Quick Guide II: How to Spot, Mimic and Become a Top Salesperson

Most sales training I’ve come across focuses primarily on developing a salesperson’s skills or competencies, for example: opening, qualifying, questioning, advocating, presenting, negotiating and closing. The intention is that, over time with experience, the salesperson will get better and better at demonstrating these skills. It follows logically that they’ll become more confident in their sales approach and thus hopefully more motivated.

I haven’t seen much in the way of material that focuses on engendering an ongoing sense of curiosity, for example, how can I be the best, if not better, at what I sell?

The E=MC3 equation implies that an individual’s effectiveness is three parts mental and emotional (motivation, competence and curiosity) to one part intellectual (competence).

Let’s take a first pass at each of the qualities: motivation, confidence, competence and curiosity.

Motivation

Most salespeople are motivated to win, especially when the selling is relatively easy. Likewise, most are motivated by earnings and win bonuses. Some are motivated by advancing their career.

What motivates top salespeople? The answers from my research fall into three categories:

1. “To be the best I can be” or “…recognised as the best salesperson there is” – not only the best in terms of results but the best at selling too (outcomes + journey).

2. “To deliver customer value above and beyond that expected.”

3. “To create a legacy so that I am renowned for the value I bring to customers and my organisation’s business.”

In all three categories, the top performers are motivated by being (and being seen as) excellent. ‘Moderates’ talk of winning and earnings but talk less of personal excellence.

Confidence

I worked with a 26 year old CEO of a recruitment firm who had a good reputation for hiring confident as opposed to arrogant people. I was asked to model how he went about the task. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “How do you differentiate between a confident person and an arrogant one?”

CEO: “Well, I’m not sure; I just get a ‘feeling’.”

Me: “Describe that ‘feeling’.”

CEO: “Well you just sort of know, don’t you? It’s something you sense….. a gut feeling.”

Me: “Okay, imagine you have an arrogant person to your left and a confident to your right. What’s the difference between them?”

CEO: “The confident person asks questions; the arrogant person doesn’t. The confident person probes for where they feel they’ll bring value to the organisation. They look to find out if they will enjoy the role. They seek opportunities for themselves to grow in the role. The arrogant person takes a position that they have the knowledge and wisdom suitable for the job and makes no effort to see how well they’ll fit in.”

Top salespeople exude confidence by the quality of questions they ask as well as the articulacy by which they convey reassurance. (For a framework with which to construct quality sales questions, refer to the INCREASETM model in Number 1 of this series of business guides, Quick Guide – How Top Salespeople Sell.)

Competence

If you stacked all the sales training and development materials in the world on top of one another, you’d probably build a mountain higher than Mount Everest. So I’ll attempt to put a different slant on competence by giving you a customer’s perspective. (For completeness, Appendix 1 lists the skills and knowledge demonstrated by top salespeople at, and away from, the customer interface.)

A corporate salesperson spends, on average, 15% of their time speaking directly to a customer. Ergo, 85% of the time, they apply their skills and knowledge to researching, developing and planning; how to be more effective during the ‘15%’ customer interface window when the occasion arises.

Top performers prepare themselves, intellectually and psychologically, to be at their peak when speaking to the customer. They develop appropriate skills and knowledge (the intellectual exchange) and they also prepare themselves to be in the right frame of mind and body (the mental and emotional exchange) with the customer.

Being perceived as ‘competent’ by the customer requires you to be:

1. Prepared: with insightful questions to ask and have answers to potential customer questions, including facts, data and logic so that your proposals are visionary, ‘grounded in reality’ and hopefully compelling

2. Clear about the outcomes: What do you want to achieve in the meeting both in terms of the task-in-hand and your relationship with the customer (e.g. engender trust). It’s also being very clear about the outcomes the customer might want to achieve, in terms of their task-in-hand and from their relationship with a supplier like you.

Illustration: 4 Outcomes to a Meeting

Outcomes hires croppedMost of us prepare ‘box 1’ before a meeting. Many ‘moderates’ omit boxes 2 and 3 above from their preparatory work. Most salespeople miss out box 4 altogether – often because of a lack of self-belief and sometimes unconsciously. They don’t visualise themselves in a picture working closely with the customer.

3. In the right frame of mind: If you were to prioritise the three factors: Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind – which order would you place them?

Exercise: Allocate three weighting percentages (that add up to 100%) against Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind respectively – in terms of how important they are to being successful during (not before) a meeting.

Research shows…

The most important thing you take into a meeting is your frame of mind.

Be Mindful!

This statement often raises a few queries. It doesn’t say that you shouldn’t prepare diligently for a meeting. What it says instead is – the moment the meeting starts, the single most important factor that will determine your success is your frame of mind. You may well feel you have to do a significant amount of preparation to get yourself ‘centred’, for example. BUT it’s not the process the meeting follows that determines success the most; it’s you, your frame of mind and the thoughts that engender that frame of mind.

Specifically, whatever thought you process in your conscious mind passes straight into your unconscious mind and merges with any ‘subconscious programmes’ running there. The aggregate information is then passed directly to your DNA which vibrates at different rates in accord with your temperament. That is:

The vibe you put out determines your success.

I coached a very successful salesperson who never felt at her best in front of a CEO customer. It took a wee while for us to discover a subconscious programme she’d developed from her authoritarian parents, created by a ‘single significant emotional event’ when she was three years old. Once she ‘released’ this programme, her faith-in-self in front of CEO’s increased significantly. Her sales soared.

Research by scientists (e.g. The Biology of Belief, by Dr Bruce Lipton and The Genie in your Genes, by Dr Matthew Dawson) demonstrates the subliminal communicative functioning power of DNA between human beings which can be harmonious (I prefer the term, ‘resonant’) or out of tune (dissonant) – and at its extreme, disruptive.

Allow me to define ‘being competent’ as not only having the capability to demonstrate requisite skills and knowledge at the  customer interface, it’s also about being competent at preparing yourself to be at your peak, to achieve the gravitas (sometimes called ‘traction’) you seek.

Author’s note: gravitas is something we can all achieve; it’s a result not a gift privy to a chosen few. Only 15% or so of salespeople achieve the ‘customer gravitas’ they seek, hence this book!

Let me add, the competence that customers attribute to you will also include an element of the perceived competence of the solutions you bring to the table, i.e. an acknowledgement of the potential of your solution’s value proposition. Put another way, if the customer has little faith in what you’re selling, even though they value your personal contribution, to what degree will you be invited to participate in the decision making process?

We’ve covered two of the three ‘Cs’ in the E=MC3 equation. A salesperson not only has to be competent in following ‘top sales processes’ (and have potentially ‘competent’ solutions); they need to be confident in their ability and motivated to follow those sales processes too. And still there’s one further factor that determines how effective you are (by seeing what’s really going on), a heightened sense of…

Curiosity

Top salespeople are unstintingly curious. For example, they love to be coached. They are very willing to learn how to become more effective at selling.

Top performers focus on working smarter, not harder, than ‘moderates’

You might ask, “Curious about what?” Answer: “Everything!”

Top salespeople probe below the surface of what’s going on – especially when forging business relationships. Like a metaphorical iceberg, they acknowledge that you only see about 15% above the surface; the obvious facts and logic by which a customer makes a decision. But they don’t stop there, they’re proactive to find the real passions and fears which will motivate or deter key stakeholders in the decision making process.

Curiosity is the sonar signal you emit to track changes on your ‘sales radar screen’. You track political, economic, sociological, technological and organisational developments as well as your competitors’ manoeuvres. At the deepest level, you’re tuning into changes in customers’ feelings, e.g. inspiration, motivation, confidence, sense of security, anger and most of all – trust and fear.

There’s more. You also need to be proactively curious about what might happen. I return to this later.

To summarise: selling is three parts mental/emotional to one part intellectual.

E=MC3, it’s not rocket science!

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

Share this blog…

Facebook
Twitter
More...

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

The Currency of All Relationships: Truth, Trust and Passion

QG3 BookCoverPreview.do

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr

Business/Personal Performance Coach & Author

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

It’s Out! Quick Guide II – How to Spot, Mimic and Become a Top Salesperson.

QG2 Book Cover 01Available from Amazon in US, UK and Smashwords in Kindle, paperback and e-book versions.

Publication Date: May 6, 2013 | Series: Quick Guides to Business

Over and above exemplary sales achievements how do ‘you’ (by ‘you’ I mean: you, me, us, we) spot a top salesperson when you meet one? Top salespeople come across differently. There’s a resonance to their mannerisms. If you want to sell as well as they do, how would you go about it? If you were to ask the same questions and give the same answers as they do, would that be enough? No, because you bring your own personality and mannerisms into the equation. It requires the wisdom and will to nurture 7 key traits by which top salespeople outsell ‘moderates’.
This series of ‘Quick Guides to Business’ is borne of research, direct selling experiences and coaching in some of the world’s largest companies including: IBM, Xerox, Cisco, BP, American Express, Standard Chartered and Reckitt Benckiser.


From the Author

I chatted to two advisers about a business book that “I have inside me”. I had original research and experience inside my head. I had data. It delves into people’s effectiveness at strategic and personal levels. I’d developed simple but powerful business frameworks and a scorecard that take people’s feelings, motivations and fears into account.

They reveal what happens below the surface of successful business relationships at their outset – and what needs to happen for those relationships to thrive. I had a lot to tell but would the busy-business people, it’s aimed at, read it? So I tested my ideas and scope for ‘the book’ with two wise confidants.

The first simply said, “At last, I’ve been waiting for you to write ‘your business book’. When are you going to write it? I want a copy!”. The second: “People want ‘quick guides’ these days. They want ‘manageable chunks’ of wisdom, practical tools and ‘cheat sheets’. Something you can read in minutes and do something with straight away.”

Subsequently, I gave a series of briefings to business audiences and post-graduates. The talks were very highly received. The University of London asked me back to talk to a wider range of postgraduates in business-related studies. I am due to go back a third time.

March 2013: I set about writing a series of Quick Guides. Each would have about 10-15 (A4 size) pages of findings, tips, self-help tools and insights into specific topics.

The majority of my work focuses on what top performers do differently from ‘moderates’. I’ve started in sales and sales management, an area in which I’ve coached hundreds of individuals/teams and conducted research – across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The first two guides reveal ‘the what, how and why’ top salespeople outsell ‘moderates’. They sequence activities differently. They come across differently. They attune their approach to the most senior of clients resonantly; ‘moderates’ do not.

My next and third Quick Guide… will reveal what needs to happen for business relationships to thrive over the long term.

Summary Bullet Points

This 17-page article (A4 size, excluding appendices) bears from my research, consulting, direct selling and coaching within global corporations over a twenty year period.

Within you will discover how and why top salespeople succeed through:

  • Effectiveness = motivation x confidence x competence x curiosity (or E=MC3)
  • Migrating from selling at D-Level (middle management) to C-Level (senior management) involves a journey, from a tangible and known environment to one of uncertainty and the unknown
  • Engaging a customer effectively and willingly, to co-explore uncertainty and the unknown, requires a salesperson to demonstrate 7 key traits, characteristics and competencies
  1. Faith-in-self
  2. Curiosity
  3. Composure
  4. Sensibility
  5. Co-opting
  6. Inspirational
  7. Passion
  • Top salespeople demonstrate that:
  1. The aforementioned 7 key traits are what really differentiate top performers from ‘moderates’, more so than behaviours in that they predict whether the salesperson will be successful selling directly to C-level clients.
  2. You can spot a top-performer or high-potential individual by noticing how much they demonstrate these 7 key traits.
  3. These key traits are nurtured not ‘trained in the classroom’; the nurturing process can be accelerated by equipping yourself with ‘non-expert’ coaching tools, such as in Appendix 2 – Prepare to Be at your Peak in Every Meeting.

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell, Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Top Salespeople in the Future will Forge Truth…

Extract from Quick Guide – How Top Salespeople Sell

Picture courtesy of Electronic Payments Coalition

truth-magnifying-glassThe higher up a corporate customer’s management hierarchy you call, the more uncertainty there is to deal with. At operational levels, you deal with business unit managers who, by and large, are all measured against the same tangible yardsticks of performance.

Once above that level you deal with leaders of change who, by definition, are looking to do things that haven’t been done before. They focus on defining and creating new realities. They are the ‘harbingers’ of tomorrow’s world.

The ‘harbingers’ delve into the unknown. Their task is becoming increasingly difficult because the unknown, aided and abetted by ever increasing changes in technology, is getting larger and darker. There’s much more data about what’s going on but can it be extrapolated with confidence into the future?

There is very little data that accurately measures what the world or business may look like in anything beyond six weeks hence.

I went to series of banking seminars in and around mid 2008. Were there ‘green shoots’ appearing in the economy? Were we in an elongated dip? Were we starting a ‘double dip’? Nobody could predict accurately. Any form of optimism was mooted very cautiously. More data was called for. More analyses were completed. Did they make any of the forecasts more believable? No. Bankers and politician’s couldn’t predict the future with any sense of accuracy. They/we still can’t.

We live with more data, more unknowns and more uncertainty than we ever have because the future happens a lot more quickly than it used to.

The more uncertainty faced, the more we need to put trust in our advisors and ourselves. But trust is not truth.

Trust is the gap between what we know and what we put our faith in.

Here lies the role for, dare I say, a ‘newish’ generation of salespeople. There was a biggish fad a few years ago to develop salespeople to become ‘trusted expert advisors’. My personal experience is that you can count on one hand the number of ‘broad-based industry experts’ in, for example, a global IT sales organisation who know as much about, say, banking as the bankers themselves. And even then you might find you have three or more of your fingers missing.

The new sales role is more than mentoring and different. The relationship with the customer still requires a huge amount of trust but the ‘new salesperson’ doesn’t need to be an industry expert. Instead, they develop the expertise to help explore uncertainty and find answers in the hidden nooks and crannies of the psyche of their customers’ organisation.

By psyche, I mean the intellectual and emotional capabilities of its leaders and workforce. These salespeople don’t have magical answers. Instead, they have magical questions that spark the customers imagination into collaboratively putting together a believable ‘image-in-ions’.

This is about making the sales/customer relationship equation: 1 + 1=3. The sum of the parts is more than each party can bring to the table on their own. But this is a relationship that transcends trust, it’s rooted in truth. There are no hidden agendas.

When you exchange truth with another wholly, you no longer need to trust them. What remains is your trust in yourself.

This is more than being an ‘honest broker’. The salesperson of the future will still bring skills and know-how of their own industry to the table. BUT, the top salesperson will be an intrepid explorer too; capable of guiding clients into the unknown and back again safely. They achieve this by knowing how to find and help release that which holds the client back, namely fear.

Only four things hold us back in life: shame, anger, sadness and fear. When you look inside these negative emotions, you discover they’re all fear. The opposite of truth is falsity. Behind all falsity lies fear.

The top salesperson earns the customer’s trust because they deal in truth, and only truth. Truth drives out falsity which ultimately releases fear. More than trust, truth forges a relationship that can connect to the ‘greater good’ for all involved.

A business world forged by relationships rooted in truth might be a pipe dream. But we have to imagine it before we can create it. As we look back over history and specifically the world economy over last few years, it begs the question, “What sustainable alternative do we have?”

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell, Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

To Sell to CEOs: Find What They Value and Fear Most

Combined extracts from two business articles:

  • Quick Guide – How Top Salespeople Sell (available from Amazon in US and UK)

  • Quick Guide II – Learn How to Spot, Mimic and Become a Top Salesperson (coming soon)

 

“When you’re selling at board level it’s about taking the customer on a journey that’s both fantastic and believable. That is, no matter how complex that journey is…, it’s about breaking it down into manageable chunks. You create a pathway into the future that is as clearly marked out as possible. There will be uncharted territory. So it’s about discerning all the parts of the map that are known from those unknown.

dots

It’s then about pinpointing all the ‘dots on the chart of the unknown’. That is, answering all the ‘what if this happens’ questions.

dots joined

In effect, you join the dots of the unknown with customer as best you can.”

Top UK salesperson for a global top 10 IT company

Images courtesy of http://misswhit-tany.blogspot.co.uk/

What CEOs value:

The ‘science’ to determine value discovers what’s important to the CEO. And once you understand the customer’s priorities – how do you stack up (against your competitors) to deliver against them?

Here are sources of value (business drivers and problems to fix) that CEOs look for:

• Cash – Will your proposal improve our cash position?

• Cost Down – Will we reduce costs?

• Revenue/Market Share Up – Will we make competitive gains?

• Agility/Speed – Can we move, reshape, transcend quickly?

• Security – Will we be better protected?

• Governance – Am I compliant with Company Law?

• Product/Service/Cost Leadership – Will our own customers notice and value the changes in our organisation that your proposal offers?

• Innovation (e.g. Technology, New Business Models) – Do I want (to be seen) to be first in the marketplace, to do something differently? Does your proposal accelerate the process?

• Personal Credibility – Can I use your proposal to advance my own prospects and standing?

• People – Will your proposal raise the effectiveness and job satisfaction of people?

• Something else? – If you don’t know, ask “What else do you feel is important for me to know?” Even if you feel you know, ask anyway.

Put concisely, you need to understand profoundly what’s important in the heart and mind of your CEO client and convey the value you bring to the table in their language, not yours.

At this stage you may have provided sufficient verifiable value for the CEO to progress the sale. And there’s often a temptation to press on. In doing so, you may miss another, often unspoken, factor that weighs heavily in the CEO’s mind (as well as most of us) – fear.

The more you earn a customer’s trust, the more fears they share with you. They give you more power deliberately to help them.

My thanks go to Professor Colin-Coulson Thomas who shared with me the bounty of a minute fraction of his wisdom, and made a significant contribution to the following list.

What CEOs fear:

• Bad earnings news: the most likely and quickest sign of departure.

• Corporate programs don’t deliver: mergers and acquisitions “achieve 70% of their potential” at best.

• Failure to turnaround ailing sales quick enough.

• Change takes too long: ‘corporate firewalls’ prevent people from getting it done.

• Investors don’t understand: a CEO spends 40% of their time articulating strategy and some argue that’s not enough.

• Personal wealth at risk: e.g. missed deadlines can lead to private investors swallowing up the shareholding of a company

• Lack of innovation: playing it safe is no longer an option these days. Competitors and customers are moving too quickly.

• Talent gaps in performance: e.g. 20% of the sales-force bring in 80% of the revenue.

• Conflict in the boardroom: too much time spent looking inwards leaves too little time to focus on the customer.

• Personal credibility at risk: any of the above means less likelihood of stepping up the ladder of success and/or lack of a legacy of note. These in turn can lead to…

• Personal health at risk: where the stressed mind-body connection can have serious consequences. I know of one CEO who, after missing targets set by investors, developed terrible eye problems because he didn’t like what he saw. Another developed disabling back pain through a lack of self-esteem. Another who was deemed too rigid and inflexible developed problems with their joints.

Your task is to earn the right to zig-zag; to take the CEO on a journey whereby they see your solution working in their organisation and have allayed any fears they once had.

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell, Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

TftD: Changing your Character, Changes your Life

ChangeMan1Image courtesy of Blaze Institute

…All that happens is the result of character; the only manner in which the destiny can be changed is to change the character…..

the chart of birth….is merely a map of character…..

(and) can be markedly altered in any direction desired.

CC Zain

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell, Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

What Does It Take to Coach a Top Executive or Performer?

Kevin Price

Any form of business improvement, be it personal or strategic, is a journey, 2 parts emotional to one part intellectual.

I was a guest of Kevin Price, on the Price of Business radio talk-in show on Thursday, 28 March 2013.

Click here to listen.

What does it take to increase the effectiveness of someone who’s already the best (or at least very experienced) at what they do?

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell, Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

TftD: Truth Goes Hand in Hand with Trust but Ultimately Surpasses It

Honesty

Honesty

Being honest often requires courage. And courage is about letting go of fear and trusting yourself.

Trust is the gap between what you know to be true and what you have faith in.

And truth drives out falsity.

Have faith in, and be true to, yourself (“above all else” as the Bard once said.)

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

May ‘La Force’ Be With You

Willpower + Commitment + Self Trust = Faith in Yourself

Slightly revised extract from Defrag your Soul

Hu-man did not invent the wheel, the steam engine, the aeroplane or the nuclear bomb without the capacity to imagine each invention in the first place – along with willpower, commitment and trust in its own ability to create such inventions. The same holds true for the future you seek for yourself.

11 StrengthTo invoke such ‘magic’ you need to perceive your ‘image-in-ions’ as highly desirable and have faith in yourself. You may find you need that faith in yourself for many other reasons:

The road can be long and hard.

 I found thousands of ways how not to make a light bulb.

I only needed one way to make it work.

(Paraphrased from) Thomas Edison

You can meet many setbacks and stumbling blocks. Being a Leo, I’ve found affairs of the heart to be the biggest area of learning. The area, more than anywhere else, where in the past I have disowned facets about myself. Such setbacks and heartaches required a vast amount of patience with myself as well.

You may be ridiculed, ignored and isolated.

 All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Revolutionaries: Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Wilde and Pink Floyd were all ridiculed either by their peers or the media before the world accepted the beauty and wisdom of their works.

When truth attempts to usurp not-truth, those protectors of not-truth in power often do all they can to suppress it; without bringing it or the truth tellers to the public’s attention.

Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.

Albert Einstein

In my early years when I first got into spirituality, I was prone to be outwardly enthusiastic about my journey within. Most of the people around me were not into ‘it’ at all.

When, for instance at a wine party, I started spouting off about “shining light into my inner darkness”, I would get different types of response.  The minority would show interest but the silent majority would remain quiet and walk away to join another group who talked about ‘normal’ things. Some who objected strongly to what I was saying would let me know of their views in no uncertain terms. Others would ridicule me face to face or behind my back. It is often easier to ridicule something than to face it; especially when that something invokes fear in you.

There’s a paradox too. If I’m attracting ridicule, is it because I fear it? Probably yes. In the meantime, I do my best to avoid responding to ridicule with ridicule or any other animalistic response. Sometimes I fail.

You may choose to isolate or distance yourself.

I go to the occasional reunion where others see changes in me. I no longer take much interest in ‘normal’ day-to-day small talk, like who is going to win ‘the current Saturday night TV contest’ or get thrown out of some ‘reality’ show. Many of my interests have changed and, perhaps more significantly, my perspective has changed.

For example, I feel distanced when people complain about being the victims of an economic recession that we have collectively created. At the same time, I ask myself, “Why have I attracted this conversation? I wonder where I am not being accountable for what I receive in life; whom or what am I blaming?”

I do not consider myself superior in any way and do my best not to come across as an evangelist. It’s that I’ve moved on. If people ask my opinion about the latest TV game show, I probably don’t have one. If we’re discussing global events, I speak my views.

I prefer to distance myself from day-to-day chatter or ‘complaining about the system’ – both of which I might have engaged in once upon a time.

I still ‘rabbit on’ a lot about two of my passions though: football and music (probably more than I do about spirituality J) and, undoubtedly, I distance a few people from myself in the process as well.

You may be opposed violently.

When all other attempts at their suppression fail, truth tellers face their sternest test; to stand firm and risk physical harm from those who stand to fall by truth. I could cite religious, political and civil-rights leaders, pacifists and innocent people – all whom have been attacked, beaten and some murdered ignominiously to prevent truth from being revealed to, or sustained in, the world.

What others do not do to you, you may do to yourself.

Without willpower, you limit the depth of your learning; you only go so far and you only get so much in return. When you commit yourself 100% to a project, that’s what you can receive in return, 100%. On the other hand, if you commit less than 100%, you get at best what you put into it and sometimes you get nothing. Ask any seasoned salesperson.

 ________________________________________

Act as if you make a difference. Act as if you count. Act as if and you will…

Notice the focus is on your journey, more than the outcome.

From Warrior to Magician

By Paul C Burr

Toward the flower in full bloom,

Full Truth in the noonday sun.

Devoid of ego, it casts no shadow.

With no nooks and crannies to hold darkness,

All it can now do is give of itself.

Unafraid of being cut down (crucified) by those, in power, who fear Truth.

 

The Warrior stands bereft of armour, sword and shield,

Secure in what they know is Truth.

No words of explanation required.

No fear to control or manage.

The darkness embraced.

The fear dissolved.

 

Armed with only Truth and compassion,

The Warrior thus becomes the Magician.

This is the way of the Tarot.

This is the true definition of White Magic.

Tis called redemption.

Shine on…!
/|\
Paul C Burr
Author of Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return, 2012: a twist in the tail and Defrag your Soul

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 314 other followers

  • Contact Details

    Paul C Burr PhD
    Mobile: +44 (0)7768 601974
    Email: doctapaul@paulcburr.com
    Skype: pbviaskype (mention this blog, when you connect)

    Skillpages profile

  • Share this page

    Facebook Twitter More...
  • How to Be a Friend of the Devil Within

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Quick Guide VII – A Top-notch, Sales-Relationships, Account Management Template

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Quick Guide VI – How to Sell Coaching

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • For The Love of Lilith & How to Put Love into Practice (and Non-attach Yourself to It)

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Quick Guide V – How to Apply Mindfulness to Business Relationships

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • The Mystique to the Game of Life (and Unrequited Love)

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Quick Guide IV – A Scorecard that Accounts for Mindfulness in Business

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Quick Guide III – How to Bridge the Pillars of Successful Business Relationships

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

    US , UK also Createspace
  • Quick Guide II: How to Spot, Mimic and Become a Top Salesperson

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

    US & UK also Createspace
  • Quick Guide: How Top Salespeople Sell

  • Downloadable in kindle and ebook formats from

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

    US, UK also Createspace
  • Defrag your Soul

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • 2012: a twist in the tail

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

  • Learn to Love and Be Loved in Return

    Available in USA and UK, in paperback and Kindle format

  • Available from Amazon and major bookstores:

    UK, US

  • Doctapaul

    Doctapaul

    Business & Personal Performance Coach, Author, Researcher, Speaker, Energy Healer and Singer.

    View Full Profile →